I do not want to spend too much energy and time writing on the dead former Israeli president and twice prime minister, Shimon Peres. He doesn’t deserve too much effort.
Peres has lived too long; for most of his 93 years old life, he worked against Palestinian right to freedom and life. He directly participated in the Nakbah, in 1947 he joined the Haganah, the terrorist Zionist organization that became the IDF, Israel’s army.
During the Nakbah, the Palestinian catastrophe, he was responsible for personnel and arms purchases. Basically, he bought the weapons that killed thousands of Palestinians. He is directly responsible of the 700,000 Palestinians who exiled to neighboring countries. Today, more than 5 million Palestinian refugees are out of their own country, because of Shimon Peres and his terrorist friends, including mastermind Ben Gurion.
Peres held many ministerial positions, and from early on, he was involved in Israel defense policies, he helped buying substantial weapons from France in the 50’s as Director-General of the Ministry of Defense. From 1959 to 1965, he was deputy defense minister. In 1974, he became Minister of Defense. He developed Israel nuclear capabilities.
In the 90’s, he directly participated in the so called peace deal, the Oslo Accords, between Israel and Palestine. The Accords didn’t properly address the Palestinian right of return, it just postponed the issue.
As Prime Minister, Peres started the “Operation Grapes of Wrath”, an intense war against Lebanon which culminated with the Qana Massacre, where 106 Lebanese civilians died when they were sheltering in an UN compound. He later addressed the massacre: “Everything was done according to clear logic and in a responsible way, I am at peace”. The war intentionally bombed Shia villages in South Lebanon. According to the official Air Force website [in Hebrew], the “operation” was described as “Massive bombing of the Ahia villages in South Lebanon in order to cause a flow of civilians north, toward Beirut, thus applying pressure on Syria and Lebanon to restrain Hezbollah”.
All his life, Shimon Peres lived as a war criminal, he didn’t deserve to die in a hospital, just as Ariel Sharon.
He should have rotten and died in a prison, just like every war criminal.
Palestinian, Lebanese and all people that were oppressed by him celebrate his death, including myself.
Israel will receive the long expected 10 year pact military aid offered by the US.
The US administration military aid Israel is an all-time record, Israel will at least receive $38 billions over the next 10 years. Israel will get at least $3.8 billion a year, up from $3.1 billion it is currently receiving under the current deal that expires in 2018.
Israel has made so-called concessions. Netanyahu initially sought $4.5 billion a year and Israel agreed not to seek and lobby the American congress for further missile defense funds during the 10 years pack. The latter “concession” is likely to be flexible, according to Reuters, as Israel could lobby the US during wars or other major crisis. In other words, when Israel is relentlessly bombing the besieged Gaza strip or Lebanon, Israel can receive a boost from the US, besides the record annual military aid.
The 10 years deal helps immensely Israel. The country will continue to receive a subsequent military aid regardless of the next US president and his or her policy on Israel.
The aid shows and proves that last year “tense” relationship between Obama and Netanyahu wasn’t enough to shake up and undermine Israel and US special relationship. Netanyahu visited the congress in March 2015 and expressed his strong opposition to the Iran deal in a speech praised with 26 standing ovations from congressmen and women. The speech was boycotted by dozens of Democrats. Netanyahu visited the congress after a Republican invitation that bypassed the White House authority. Obama refused to meet Netanyahu.
The US and Israel are still best friends despite last year cold confrontation between Obama and Netanyahu. The catchphrase “Follow the money” has never been more meaningful.
Obama legacy won’t be the disastrous Nobel Peace Prize he received for “ending” the occupation of Iraq, nor the Iran deal. His “legacy” will be directly felt by millions of people in the Middle-East, from (at least) 2018 to 2028, when Israel and American bombs will be dropped on their heads.
UN is a failure in the way it was built and in the way it is dealing with conflicts.
UN Security assembly, the permanent five, a “vetocracy”.
When I was a child, school taught me that five members of the security council were permanent. They are sitting there because they have “won” World War Two. If one member-state of the security council disagreed, it had veto power. It means that the permanent member can stop the adoption of any “substantive” draft Council resolution, regardless of the level of international support for the draft. School (and life itself) also taught me that it is not very democratic to have one voice against all the others.
The five permanent members of the security council constitutes just another set for adversity between, but not exclusively, France, the UK, the USA on one side, and China and Russia on the other.
A recent example was the vetoing from China and Russia against a draft resolution that condemned the state of Syria. (05/22/2014). Russia is fully and militarily supporting the Syrian government since September 2015.
World war two has not ended a very long time ago, but in a few dozens of years, when the politics and power dynamics will be completely altered, the position of five permanent members will be understandably and inevitably challenged. In 2055, 110 years after the end of WW2, how much “the winners” of WW2 will still matter to new generations? How logical will it sound? And more practically, how many countries will want to have their own place among “the permanents”?
The permanent members existence is a denial of democracy.
UN patches up conflicts, doesn’t really stop them or prevent them.
UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, is the example I can relate to. UNIFIL deployed in Lebanon in 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon which Israel had invaded 5 days prior. Its goals are to restore “international peace and security” and help the government of Lebanon restore its effective authority in the area.
UNIFIL is still active, it has witnessed many Israeli invasions, and worse, their compound has been directly bombed by the “Israeli Defense Forces” in the sad massacre of Qana in 1996.
On April 18 1996, the IDF bombed a UN compound where civilians had taken refuge amid heavy fighting between IDF and Hezbollah, during the Israeli Operation “Grapes of Wrath”. A UN investigation found that it was unlikely that Israeli shelling was a procedural or a technical error; an Israeli drone was spying on the compound before the shelling. More than 800 people were taking refuge in the compound, 106 civilians died in 17 minutes of constant shelling. Two thirds of the shells were equipped with proximity fuses, meaning that the weapon explode above the ground, to kill more.
Israel was never really punished, despite a decision from the General Assembly stating that Israel should be the one paying for the $1.7 million needed to repair the compound. They voted every year until 2003 with the same pattern, one-third for, one-third abstaining and two voices against belonging to Israel and USA.
UN General Assembly vote.
If you ever wondered why we see so many resolutions but no real actions, its explanation is simple.
The UN General Assembly is democratic, where one state equals one vote. They could pass resolutions with a simple majority or with two-thirds from the member’s states present and voting. Two thirds are required when they are dealing with “important questions”, i.e. the matters that deal with international peace and security and UN internal matters. But resolutions are generally non-binding, meaning they have no real legal power and consequences. A resolution is really just a piece of paper. The real power lies within the Security Council, where “vetocracy” and political adversity reigns.
Questionable morality and impartiality.
UN wish of impartiality is understandable, but it usually ends in a moral and political fiasco. Impartiality is often an obstacle against action.
In Syria, the UN asks the green light from the Syrian regime to deliver basic humanitarian aid. Despite the regime almost constant refusal to allow the delivery of aid, a UN official said it would be too dangerous to deliver aid without the government consent, reported the Washington Post.
But how can the UN ask for the consent of the party responsible for so many besieged areas in Syria?
In a letter addressed to Stephen O’Brien, the UN undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, 112 Syrian civil society activists accused the agency of complicity in government-imposed blockades that violate the laws of war. The activists wrote that international law and that a 2014 UN Security council resolution oblige all warring parties not to disrupt the delivery of humanitarian aid.
In other words, the UN is violating its own resolutions in Syria, and its desire of impartiality is sadly indirectly helping the suffering of the Syrian people.
UN is also subject to the Syrian regime “inputs” into its documents and reports. In an alarming report from Foreign Policy, the newspaper discovered that the U.N, after consulting with the Syrian government, “altered dozens of passages and omitted pertinent information to paint the government of Bashar al-Assad in a more favorable light”. The UN doesn’t deny this.
Linda Tom, an OCHA spokeswoman replied that “it is standard procedure in each country for the UN to consult with the government of the country”. Amanda Pitt added more: “I assume it was done in consultation with a range of partners including the Government, as is normal practice”, she said in an e-mail to Foreign Policy.
More recently, Stephen O’Brien told the security council that the organization will formally ask the Syrian government to approve airdrops of humanitarian aid. The Syrian government has said there is no need for airdrops because no one is starving.
The decision to use airdrops was taken by US, Russia, and other powers. The use of airdrops was to be applied if the Syrian regime refused aid to be delivered by land.
UN is subject to pressure from countries over its decisions.
Earlier this month, U.N put Saudi Arabia in a blacklist of nations and armed groups responsible for killing children. Saudi Arabia didn’t stay very long on the list; UN removed it after pressure from Saudi Arabia itself. Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition that is bombing relentlessly Yemen since March 2015. Saudi Arabia and its coalition are responsible of 60 per cent of the 785 children killed in Yemen last year, according to the UN.
UN bowed down to Saudi Arabia after mounting pressure and threats from the Kingdom and its coalition to remove their financing from UNRWA, the UN agency that deal with Palestinian refugees.
“Bullying, threat, pressure”, a diplomatic source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The source added it was “real blackmail”.
Saudi Arabia didn’t only remove the blacklisting with pressure, it has its own seat on the UN Human Rights Council because of a phony deal with Britain. In 2013, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia gained a seat in the UNHRC, in an “exchange of support”. It was basically trading votes and money. The Saudi Cables that were released last year in 2015 by Wikileaks revealed an alarming case. UN watch, an NGO based in Geneva, translated the cables.
“The ministry might find it an opportunity to exchange support with the United Kingdom, where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would support the candidacy of the United Kingdom to the membership of the council for the period 2014-2015 in exchange for the support of the United Kingdom to the candidacy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Another cable uncovered that KSA transferred $100,000 for “expenditures resulting from the campaign to nominate the Kingdom for membership of the human rights council for the period 2014-2016”.
Recently, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch urged UN member-states to suspend Saudi Arabia from the UNHRC over the killings of civilians in Yemen and repression in their own territory.
UN is a failure because of its structure, the security council is a place where bickering powerful nations deal with each other, on the other side, its extreme impartiality pushes the agency to inaction and to asking dictators to allow helping starving civilians. Votes can be bought, it is dependent on funds and will bow down to pressure from unhappy and unsatisfied countries.
The United Nations should be either heavily reformed, or dismantled to let space for the creation of an agency that will at least ensure quick help of civilians in war-torn countries. It should be funded by individuals, not governments.
You might have seen their security guards, in white shirts with the logo G4S.
G4S is a global company that provide security solutions. In Lebanon they deliver many solutions such as cash solutions and manned solutions.
But in Israel it’s a whole other story, they help the Israeli zionist regime to continue their ideology of apartheid and oppression against Palestinians.
From the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement website G4S “helps Israel to operate prisons at which Palestinian political prisoners are held without trial and subjected to torture. G4S also provides equipment and services to illegal Israeli settlements, Israel’s apartheid Wall and the Israeli military.”
Few days ago, after BDS pressure in Jordan, UNCHR dropped its contract with G4S in the country and people overwhelmingly called for the UN to drop all the contracts with the security company because the latter violates international law.
“The #UNdropG4S campaign has set up a web page that makes it easy for people to write to the UN to voice their concerns and are urging people to join a Thunderclap social media action.”
In June 2014, G4S announced that it does not intend to renew its contract with the Israeli Prison Service when it expires in 2017, adds the BDS website in a campaign timeline. Earlier, the Bill Gates foundation sold its entire state in G4S, costing $170M after wide pressure.
Why doesn’t the Lebanese state do anything to completely stop G4S in Lebanon ?
It is time we target companies in Lebanon that work with G4S and pressure them so that they drop their contracts. These companies are indirectly complicit with Israeli crimes.
Disclaimer: I would have reacted almost the same way if the picture showed a Lebanese woman and an Israeli man, or vice-versa. But the homosexuality adds something particular to Israel called Pinkwashing, a form of propaganda.
The picture shows a Lebanese man and an Israeli man kissing, with obviously their respective flags on their back, and it’s taken somewhere in Israel. Fabian Maamari got into Israel with his Swedish passport, (I didn’t know this was possible) and happen to have, according to the pictures, a Jewish friend.
The picture is wrong for mainly two reasons, normalisation and pink-washing, both propaganda strategies used by Israel, called “Hasbara”.
1) The normalisation.
I support the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement (BDS). BDS put pressure on the Israeli society as a whole and on the Israeli government in particular. It is a peaceful way for people around the world to resist Israeli obvious war crimes and the apartheid. One of the strategies is to pressure artists, such as musicians, to boycott Israel and not to play there, whether in the West Bank or in Tel Aviv. Some accept, (like most notably Roger Waters from Pink Floyd) and themselves become advisors on the matter, on how performing in Israel will normalise the zionist country and put attention away from the crimes of the Israeli government or settlers. The Israeli government tacitly supports racist settlers.
I have nothing against the couple in itself, but I do have something against this picture, because it is now being used by pro-Israeli groups to show Israel as a welcoming country, such as “Stand with Us” and therefore turn away the attention from Netanyahu and his openly racist government. If I didn’t know anything about the Israeli society or the government, just that Israel and Lebanon have been at “war”. Then maybe I would think: “Hey, if Israelis permit that, therefore, their government must permit that too, so Israeli is not that bad!”.
Normalisation before justice is never acceptable, because it put away justice in a shade and the following reparations. Normalisation is one of the main strategies of the Israeli Hasbara, lsrael PR strategy, propaganda. Remember, Israel government incites settlers and are behind the violence that burned alive a 18-month Palestinian baby.
Israel always wants to present itself as the most modern and progressive country in the middle east, as the only democracy etc, as a safe haven for minorities and human rights. It uses a strategy called Pink-Washing: it represents itself as accepting LGBTQ people just in order to again put shadow on their crimes and wars. The picture will be used to present Israel not only as peace-loving, which is untrue, but also as LGBTQ-loving, which is also untrue. While Israel does allow gay couples, the same-sex marriage isn’t possible because of the confessional system. While pro-Israeli groups such as Stand with us display how much Israel is “open” about LGBTQ people, Israel restricts marriage between Palestinians and Israelis. In fact, Palestinians married to “Israeli” Arabs, can’t join their bride or husband into Israel. They also can’t have the Israeli nationality. Some LGBT groups like Queers against Israeli Apartheid rejected Israel pink-washing hasbara/propaganda, because it is hypocrite and is a way towards normalisation, basically just a PR stunt for Israel, again.
I don’t know Fabian Maamari as a person, but what I wish to tell him that by showing this picture, you’re helping Israeli crimes, and you most probably don’t know it.
Picture with IDF soldiers.
There’s also a highly disturbing picture of Fabian Maamari where he met Israeli soldiers and got along with them, not only he presented Israel as a welcoming country, but he also present the “IDF” as welcoming, kind, and fair. The same IDF that massacred 550 children just a year ago in Gaza, the same IDF that kills in the West Bank, the same IDF that massacred Lebanese civilians 9 years ago in 2006.
I am speaking about this because it happens that Fabian is a Lebanese person, so somehow the story connected with myself, but I would say the same to every person, regardless of nationality.
Fabian Maamari, stop whitewashing and pinkwashing Israeli crimes, just like so many Israelis do. I haven’t seen a post from you condemning Israel nor the IDF, I want to see that you’re not politically slavish, do what great Israelis are doing like Illan Pappé, combat the racist state of Israel.
You don’t have to be the most compassionate and altruistic human being to understand the injustice in Palestine in general and the despair and plight of those who live in Gaza in particular.
The Data here doesn’t explain the political context of the war, but it does reveal one component of the zionist ideology : Ethnic cleansing and psychological war.
A child who is 7 years old today has lived through three wars, and every war was worse than the previous one. The last one killed more than 550 children and has put hundred of thousands under heavy traumatic stress. In Israel, a child was killed by the unguided rockets of the resistance in Gaza.
Save the Children, an NGO, brought up the data in a report: 70% of children in Gaza have nightmares, 89% of the parents reported that their children leave in a constant fear, 75% of children usually wet their beds.
30% of children feel listlessness and a lack of motivation, 50% have a fear of attending school, and 20% of children isolate and withdraw themselves.
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is a group of activists that work peacefully for the end of the Gaza Blockade.
Activists, from various backgrounds and nationalities, were aboard the ship called Marianne. Marianne is a symbol of liberty in France, but Marianne, the ship, weren’t free to anchor in Gaza, Palestine.
It was hijacked by the Israeli Navy in International Waters. Israel forces a blockade over the Palestinian people in Gaza. Palestinians have not the right to move in and out of Gaza and Israel ensures that Gaza is impoverished by the blockade.
At 02:06AM today (Gaza time) the “Marianne” contacted Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) and informed us that three boats of the Israeli navy had surrounded her in international waters, while sailing approximately 100NM from Gaza coast. After that we lost contact with the “Marianne” and at 05:11AM (Gaza time) the IDF announced that they had “visited and searched” Marianne. They had captured the boat and detained all on board “in international waters” as they admitted themselves. The only positive content in the IDF announcement was that they still recognize that there is a naval blockade of Gaza, despite Netanyahu’s government recent denial that one exists.
Netanyahu quickly claimed after Marianne’s seizure, in an Orwellian lie, that “there were not a blockade against Gaza.”
The ship arrest proves obviously otherwise, and it carries a message: Gaza must be free and the illegal blockade must stop.
The effects of the Gaza blockade enforced by Israel are destructive. The siege is keeping Gaza from building a single house from the latest war, literally. Israel has killed more than 2200 persons, including more than 550 children, in the summer of 2014 during “Protective Edge”.
It is not the first time the Freedom Flotilla is arrested by the Israeli military. In 2010, a raid against one of its ships killed 9 Turkish activists.
Lina Khattab is a Palestinian journalism student and activist from the West Bank, Palestine, she has just been freed after 6 months in an Israeli Prison.
The IDF soldiers had kidnapped Lina Khattab on the 13th of December 2014, she was participating in a nonviolent protest to mark the 47th anniversary of PFLP, the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and to protest the numerous political prisoners jailed up in Israeli prisons.
IMEMC, the International Middle East Media Center has reported that she was mistreated and faced very difficult situations after her arrest and during her interrogation.
To have a strong voice against Israel in the West Bank is enough for the Israeli authorities to jail persons. Standing against apartheid, injustice, racism and the violations of Palestinian rights are crimes for Israel.
Data provided by the Israeli military and the UN has revealed that since martial law was imposed on the occupied West Bank in 1967, around 95,000 Palestinian children have been arrested by Israel, an average of more than 5 children per day. Almost 60,000 are believed to have been subjected to some form of physical abuse whilst in detention.
The details were revealed this week in a report submitted by rights group Military Court Watch(MCW) to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Over 300 pages of evidence relating to the treatment of Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention were included in the report.”
This day is an important day for the history of Lebanon and the region.
For the first time, an Arab country drove out effectively the IDF from its land, destroying the myth of Israel indestructibility.
I remember the day with some vivid pictures, even if I was a young kid back then. My family and I lived elsewhere, but Lebanese tv’s were available. My father announced to me with a lot of joy that Israel was out of Lebanon and that the “Muqawama” or militants drove them out.
2 or 3 years after that, I visited the Khiam prison, an Israeli prison that jailed resistants in the Khiam department of South Lebanon. Israel, in its rush to flee the country, let the prisoners in their cells. Families, citizens came to rescue and liberate them. This liberation was recorded on video.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reported the use of torture and other serious human rights abuses in the facility. During summer 2006 aggression against Lebanon, Israel bombed the prison, almost like it wanted to remove the traces of its torture and the memory of its defeat.
But here am I, like millions of Lebanese, remembering its crimes and its defeat. Israel, we will never forget.
A lot of Lebanese, I believe, think that Lebanon lost the war in 2006. Let me tell you this, a loss isn’t measured in destruction and death, it is not the most destructed country that looses, but it is the country that resists that wins. Israel destroyed Lebanon in 2006, and yet here we stand, defiant, resistant to its never-ending oppression. Israel didn’t bend Lebanon’s knee, but it will try again to do so, with all means possible. Recently Israel defence minister dared to threaten Lebanese civilians, including kids.
I am grateful to all forms of rightful and legitimate resistant groups, whether leftists or religious, it is thanks to them that we live today in dignity and freedom, not in subjugation, in apartheid or in a blockade.
67 years later, the oppression of the Palestinian people by the Zionist entity of Israel hasn’t stopped, the displacement hasn’t stopped, the killings haven’t stopped, the massacres continue, human rights are violated. People watch the apartheid of Israel, the wall still stands, the “advanced” democracies of the world support it, they applaud the newly reelected Prime Minister, Netanyahu. They wish him good luck and congratulate him, good luck to a killer of more than 500 children in Gaza.
Nakba day last year resulted with the killing of two teenagers, their crimes? Being Palestinians that dared to stand up against the Zionist regime of Israel.
The Palestinians of Gaza are collectively punished in the worst blockade. Palestinians of West Bank are oppressed with raids to arrest children that threw rocks. Rocks are scary, rocks are far more dangerous than “intelligent” missiles according to the most moral army of the world, the “IDF”.
The land is being stolen, colonies are decided and built, illegally of course, despite the condemnations of nations. These nations are very good at condemning Israel and then saluting it.
And yet Palestine will remain, it remains in the hearts of Palestinians and in every conscious heart. The conscious knows the crimes of Israel, shouts at Israel, denounces Israel and does what he can to fight Israel. The conscious knows that injustice will end one day. He knows that the walls of oppression will be destroyed. He knows that the men and women behind the apartheid will face Justice, not amnesty. He knows that peace between Jews and Muslims in Palestine-Israel can exist without racism and hatred.
The resistant fights Israel with arms or peacefully. He Boycotts, Divests and Sanctions Israel. The moment money flows into the apartheid system of Israel, it hurts Palestinians. Every artist that plays in Israel normalise Israel. Every item sold outside Israel normalise its child labor use. Every time someone buys an Israeli product from an Israel company, he says yes to its crimes, especially when the product has been made illegally inside the West Bank.
Knesset, Netanyahu, his predecessors, his racist government, those who threaten to kill children and who already did, will have to face justice.