I am sorry to those who regularly read the blog and my entries for my lack of entries. As you know I was injured 2 weeks ago and have had little ability to write, let alone research, what to write about. I was shuffling through the news articles before going to bed at 3am (part of my injury is a nice form of insomnia) and came across a slew of news articles about various events I wish to discuss for as long as I can before I get my nice headache.
The first article I read in Haaretz regarding the reaction of Israeli police to peaceful protesters at the new settlement in East Jerusalem. In addition to 7 being arrested, for the 1st time in East Jerusalem protest history, police used stun guns against the protesters. Anyone who has ever been tazered by these knows how awful they are and paralyzing of the body. This is the way the Israeli police react to situations of non-violent protest, with unnecessary violent measures. This is not unique in East Jerusalem or anyone in the Occupied Territories but the fact that these protests were almost exclusively Israeli Jews. When was the last time you read about an outpost/settlement evacuation that involved settlers being stun gunned, shot at in the head with tear gas, shot with rubber bullets, or anything of the sort? Why is it only people who wish for international law and human rights get this treatment?
The next issue I wish to discuss was also found on Haaretz regarding the issue of ‘unilateral’ declaration of Palestinian statehood in the UN. A top UN official said that it was impossible for the measure to go through without a recommendation from the UN Security Council. Now for those with minimal knowledge of the UN, there are a few important precursors. In the General Assembly where the Palestinians are seeking recognition and where all states are essentially equal there is no veto power. In the Security Council there are 5 states that have a veto power (US, UK, France, Russia, and China) and if any decide to veto it, no matter the vote of the 14 other countries it automatically gets shut down. For curiosity sakes one should look up the amount of resolutions the US has vetoed in the Security Council on Israel’s behalf. The Security Council can take any issue from the General Assembly which it feels involves world security and vote on it. There is a legal procedure to which issues can be taken but with the top UN official’s statement it seems this has already been solved. So for all those thinking that Palestine would get recognized in the General Assembly, Israel would be forced to leave the West Bank and Gaza by UN troops, sorry to tell you, it will get vetoed.
The next topic involves the G8 meeting that discussed Middle East peace. Canada was the main antagonist to make sure the inclusion of the 1967 borders was omitted. This is no surprise if one checks Canada’s track record involving the issue. Although Canada may be held in leftist’s mindsets as being a haven of progressive social goals, in regards to the Palestine issue they are as right wing as the US and Australia. Canada has been getting great praises from the Israeli government for the step, including from the Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. As most readers know who this is and his destructive rhetoric I feel it suffices to say, to get a glowing comment by this man only shows the horrible nature of this decision. Canada more than showed its desire to not allow the Palestinians to access their international rights.
The last item I will discuss also involves the UN but in particular Ban Ki Moon. Yesterday he made a statement asking Mediterranean states to discourage the Gaza Aid Flotilla from sailing to Gaza and to make aid go through the proper channels. Without going into reference to the way Israel handled the Flotilla last time, I feel it suffices to say this is a more than discouraging statement. As Haaretz even notes “Ban said all aid for Gaza, which is blockaded by Israeli forces, should go through “legitimate crossings and established channels” — which in practice in recent years has meant through Israel.” This means Israel gets another veto on goods that go into Gaza. Now without listing all the items Israel does not let in (a simple google search will get you the list) it suffices to say this shows Israel still illegally occupies the Gaza Strip and the UN seems more than ok with it. But don’t worry, Ban Ki Moon also gave a message to the Israelis as Haaretz notes “But he also called on Israel to “act responsibly” to avoid violence.” Wow, what a stern message Ban Ki Moon. You tell countries to not help an illegally occupied piece of land with mass poverty, that is subject to daily raids, and has no sovereignty yet all you say to the Israelis is “don’t be violent.” You tell the biggest belligerent in the region to not be violent, yeah I am sure that will work, good luck.
As I say, it is a bad week for Palestinians and those who support their struggle. It seems the world thinks it can play with the Palestinians and their internationally recognized rights. I wonder what Palestinians will be called when they take the situation into their own hands when they realize no one is going to help them achieve these rights. Will they be called protesters for freedom in the face or tyranny? Will Obama mention them as he did Egyptians or Libyans? Will he sanction or bomb Israel? Or will we still be lazy and just dismiss them as terrorists like we have for 75 years. (Since the Illegally Occupying British used this term to name Palestinians during the Revolt of 1936)
Photo by Haaretz