Showing posts with label Human Rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Human Rights. Show all posts

Sunday, March 03, 2024

Media review: Haaretz says Israelis must wake up before it is too late

    Sunday, March 03, 2024   No comments

Will the Flour Massacre be a turning point on this road paved by blood? It is unlikely because tomorrow, the day after, or a week after, there will be another equally harrowing event that will supersede this massacre. However, some Israeli media outlets now see it as a red flag, if not a turning point. This point was made this week in the opinion essay, Gaza's Night of Death and Hunger, published in Haaretz. 


The author, Gideon Levy, argues that the people of Gaza lived through the “flour massacre” that took place in the Nabulsi roundabout in the Gaza Strip last Thursday, as a “night of death and hunger”, when at least 118 people (figure updated after the death of injured who cannot be treated due to destroyed hospitals) were killed and 760 others were injured, explaining that Israel tried to deny its responsibility, which cannot be denied because it is the occupying power in sector.

In his article in Haaretz newspaper, Gideon Levy refuted the Israeli army’s account of the massacre, and pointed out that among the 176 wounded who were taken to the hospital, 142 had gunshot wounds.

Levy pointed out sarcastically that the trucks - according to what is known - do not fire, and that the claim that the security guards of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) were the ones who fired such an insane amount of ammunition into the crowd carries no more credibility than the credibility that the Palestinians were the ones who fired Palestinian-American journalist Sherine Abu Aqla was shot in Jenin in 2022.

The writer explained that video clips published on the Instagram platform show hundreds of people gathering around fires in an attempt to alleviate the winter cold, while they are waiting for trucks, before a convoy of trucks coming from Egypt heads through the Israeli checkpoint north on Al-Rashid Street.

He continued that Al Jazeera also showed a video clip that was partially filmed at the back of the convoy, where gunfire could be heard and people could be seen crawling to the trucks or taking cover behind them. Eyewitnesses also reported that the gunfire came from the direction of the Israeli vehicles, and even more than that. The Israelis prevented access to the wounded.

However, if it were proven that the occupation army soldiers were the ones who opened fire on this gathering and killed and wounded hundreds of hungry residents, no one in Israel would be upset about that - according to Gideon Levy - because it is “a war as you know: remember October 7th.”

Levy said, "The minimum level of sympathy for the Palestinians completely stopped in Israel on October 7, as if we were in a coma. We only feel sympathy for ourselves, our soldiers and our hostages, and anyone else could explode."

Indeed, Levy continues, Gazans and the world are exploding with anger, and Israel is on the verge of being outcast, as it has never been condemned, denounced, or incited such hatred as is the case today, and soon every Israeli will feel this.

The writer wondered: What must happen in order for the Israelis to wake up from their sense of complacency and activate their moral sensors regarding what has happened since October 7?

He concluded that the night of death and hunger, in which body bags replaced food bags in trucks, and blood mixed with flour, did not inspire Israel to confront the continuation of the war, and nothing would stop it, even to think about its fate, if not because of the horrific price that the residents of Gaza are paying, At least for the price that Israel itself will pay.

Friday, March 01, 2024

The United States fails to approve a UN statement on “Al-Rashid Street Massacre”

    Friday, March 01, 2024   No comments

The UN Security Council failed to approve a statement holding the Israel responsible for the massacre committed by its forces on “Al-Rashid Street” in Gaza City, against Palestinians who were waiting for aid trucks to arrive.

The Council had held a closed session, at the request of Algeria, regarding the recent developments in the Gaza Strip, following the Al-Rashid Street massacre.

Algeria presented to the Council table a draft presidential statement holding responsibility for the occupation army that opened fire on thousands of civilians who were waiting for aid trucks to arrive.

But the text did not pass because presidential statements can only be approved unanimously, as 14 members supported the text and the United States of America opposed it.

In turn, a diplomatic source said that the United States voted against the text, because it refused to hold the occupation forces responsible for what happened, indicating that discussions in the corridors of the Security Council will continue in an attempt to reach a formula that receives the required consensus.

As for the French Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Nicolas de Rivière, he confirmed that “the humanitarian situation of the civilian population in Gaza is deteriorating day by day,” and added: “We are facing an unprecedented catastrophe.”

He continued that this is not the first time he has stated that the Security Council must “assume all of its responsibilities,” calling again for “an immediate ceasefire, for humanitarian reasons.”

For its part, the German government affirmed that “the circumstances of the killing of residents of Gaza who were seeking humanitarian aid must be investigated,” calling for a “ceasefire, for humanitarian reasons.”

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on the X platform that people “wanted to bring relief supplies for themselves and their families, and they ended up dead.”

She added: “The reports coming from Gaza shocked me,” noting that “the Israeli army must provide a full explanation of the panic and mass shooting that occurred.”

As for France, it called for an “independent investigation” into the circumstances in which the occupation forces opened fire on crowds seeking humanitarian aid.

In an interview with French radio France Inter, French Foreign Minister Stephane Ségornet said that Paris “will ask for clarifications,” noting that if the investigation concludes that the Israeli shooting was a war crime, “it is clear that this becomes a matter of judicial authority.”


Thursday, February 29, 2024

Media Review: Bearing False Witness--New York Times, Western Media

    Thursday, February 29, 2024   No comments

Journalism (mass communication) is the fourth branch of government. As to how much power this fourth branch of government has, that depends on the circumstances and events being covered. During war times, this fourth branch of government is as powerful as the armed forces, the most potent state instrument in the hand of the first branch of government. That is because a war cannot be won without a powerful narrative that justify it and motivate soldiers to fight in it.

In the wars involving majority-Muslim countries and when covering events involving Muslims in genral, Western media often skips the due diligence protocols and releases questionable stories as long as such stories fit the narrative needed for winning the war or not release critical information that may prevent winning the war.

After (and during) the US illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, not only did the New York Times withheld information about the US torture programs for more than a year and half, but the paper methodically refused to use the word “torture” to describe the programs when writing about them as reported by Colin Kalmbachera in 2018. It was not until 2014 that the New York Times decided to “use the word “torture” to describe incidents in which we know for sure that interrogators inflicted pain on a prisoner in an effort to get information,” when ordered by NYT’s executive editor, Dean Baquet. The withholding of evidence of torture programs is likely to have continued longer if it were not for Wikileaks data dump that brought that information to the public. A person involved in Wikileaks, Julian Assange, is sought by the US government on espionage charges. In 2019, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, stated that “while the US Government prosecutes Mr. Assange for publishing information about serious human rights violations, including torture and murder, the officials responsible for these crimes continue to enjoy impunity.”

During this ongoing war in Gaza, we are now learning that news stories that may have facilitated and justified the “plausible genocide” committed by the state of Israel, as found by the International Court of Justice in its provisional injunctions in the case brought by South Africa, these stories were fake stories, and many were based on secret government agents.

The New York Times is facing an ethical dilemma that was behind the launch of an internal investigation and review of the author of the article “Screams Without Words: How Hamas Used Sexual Violence as a Weapon on October 7,” which was published on December 28 by Israeli journalist Anat Schwartz. The investigation began after the newspaper found that Schwartz had liked posts on social media platforms calling on Israel to execute Palestinians and turn Gaza into a “slaughterhouse.”

Anat Schwartz wrote a total of seven articles for the New York Times, all of which except one, focus on the sexual violence against women angle that captured the mind of the Western public at the beginning of the war are what gave cover to the rage of the Israeli killing machine that has been going on for months. All seven stories are still published here, nytimes.com/by/anat-schwartz, as of this writing.

The “independent” Israeli journalist, who began working with the American newspaper after the operation of October 7, 2023, is being reviewed by the newspaper because she liked posts on social media that showed support for the genocide committed by Israeli forces, including posts that called for the transformation of Gaza to a “slaughterhouse” and promoting the lie of “40 headless children.” The New York Times’ social media policy prohibits its journalists from expressing partisan opinions or endorsing political views.

During her work at the newspaper, Schwartz’s reporting focused on highlighting “Israel” as a victim, especially writing fabrications about sexual violence that she claims was committed by Palestinians. It also supported publications that said
Westerners should be “afraid” and should believe that “Hamas” is like ISIS. Schwartz’s work has faced internal criticism, leading to the removal of an episode of The Daily podcast related to the original story. Schwartz quickly deactivated her account on the X platform for a short period to remove the posts she liked after users noticed them. But the matter had already turned into a scandal and the newspaper’s management was forced to take action.

Anat Schwartz was not a reporter or journalist before last October 7. She is a filmmaker who was suddenly hired by the New York Times last October. More evidence has emerged online that Schwartz also served in Israeli military intelligence. Her assistant in writing two of the articles was her nephew, Adam Sella. As the scandal escalated, one of the main media outlets in Israel, Ynet, wrote about Anat Schwartz, quoting Israeli sources who feared that the New York Times’ move against Schwartz would affect the Israeli narrative, and that the Israeli government was pressuring the American newspaper to conceal these facts.

The first person to discover that Schwartz liked racist posts calling for the extermination of the people of Gaza was an account on the X platform called zei_squirrel on the 24th of February. Then, the Internet began investigating Schwartz’s background and searching for any of her digital traces on the web. It was  revealed that she has been working at the “Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation” since 2021, and continued her work while writing the fabrications published by the New York Times.  This means that the New York Times was aware of all these matters, but decided to rely on a film director, and a former soldier in Israeli intelligence, to write propaganda content that the paper published as reliable, vetted information.

Now, the New York Times is claiming that it is investigating Schwartz, not for the content it published, but for violating the newspaper’s rules regarding how to appear on social media platforms.

The bias does not stop there. Western media was fully saturated with news stories after the Israeli government presented a made-for-drama show about the sexual violence allegedly committed by Hamas. The New York Times alone published six stories on the matter by the same individual reporter. However, when two independent UN bodies produced evidence documenting sexual violence committed against Palestinian women and girls at the hands of Israeli officers, Western media ignores it or provide little coverage of it. The complicity of Western media in genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity is what enables these crimes to continue to happen. Importantly, the prominent media outlets’ biased coverage  provides the first draft of history, and often the final draft of it.


Adapted from The Way Western Media Whitewashes Illegal Invasions And Torture And Enables Genocide

Monday, February 26, 2024

Media Review: US Navy pilot burned himself in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington: "I will no longer be complicit in genocide"

    Monday, February 26, 2024   No comments

Aljazeera reported that the Pentagon confirmed on Monday the death of a US Navy pilot who burned himself in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington to protest the war in Gaza.

Pilot Aaron Bushnell (25 years old) died of the serious burns he sustained yesterday, Sunday. This incident comes amid mounting protests in the United States against the ongoing war in Gaza.

 The New York Times had previously quoted a US Air Force spokeswoman as saying that Bushnell set himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington on Sunday afternoon in an "apparent act of protest against the war in Gaza."

 The newspaper also quoted a fire department spokesman as saying that members of the US Secret Service were able to put out the fire, and the man was taken to the hospital with serious burns.

 In a video broadcast live over the Internet, Bushnell, wearing military uniform, said he would no longer be complicit in genocide, before setting himself on fire while shouting, “Free Palestine.”

 The New York Times reported that the pilot repeatedly shouted, "Free Palestine," and said before setting himself on fire, "I will no longer be complicit in genocide."

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Does providing weapons to state that kills civilians and children in disproportionate numbers represent complicity in alleged war crimes?

    Saturday, February 24, 2024   No comments

While some other Western countries continue to supply Israel with weapons systems that are used in its war on Gaza that have resulted in the killing of more than 30,000 civilians thus far, Spain announced that it will not sell arms to Israel until the war stops.

Spain will not sell arms to Israel "as long as the current situation continues," said Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares on Friday.

During a news conference at the UN headquarters in New York, Albares said no new arms sales license was given to Israel after Oct. 7.

This statement comes after media reports have accused the Spanish government of double dealing: by words annouce that they will not sell weapons, while in reality they continue to sell weapons to Israel. News Reports have suggested that Turkiye, too, stated words contradict their action: "Contrary to Ankara’s political rhetoric on the war in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, Turkish exports to Israel rose by 34.8%."

 Stating that Spain announced that it will provide €3.5 million ($3.7 million) in financing to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Albares noted that Spain is looking at how this can be increased in the short term.

In Germany, lawyers acting on behalf of Gazans have also accused German officials of complicy in the alleged war crimes.

 Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas. The ensuing Israeli war has killed more than 29,500 people and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

 media reports suggesting that Spain continues to export weapons to the conflict zone:




Monday, February 12, 2024

What is the value of the life of a Muslim person compared to the life of a Westerner?

    Monday, February 12, 2024   No comments

1/25, that is the value.

At the peak of the "war on terror" and the during the course of Israel’s assassination campaigns in the last two decades, a media commentator and former US military official was asked about what would be an acceptable collateral damage. He said: if killing a "high-value" terrorist or conducting an important security operation results in the deaths of 25 civilians or less, then, such collateral damage is acceptable. That is 25-to-1 ratio.

According to a study by Brown University, the US-led global war on terror, that took place mainly in Muslim-majority countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen, “nearly 1 million people” have been killed. Adding all persons of all Western countries killed by acts that could be categorized as “foreign terrorism” (a category coined to designate acts carried out by persons who might Muslim) as well as troops killed in battle fields (including US and NATO troops), the 25/1 ratio becomes a very aspirational figure. The data shows that for every one Western person killed in any incident involving Muslim actors, 100 Muslims--mostly civilians--were killed. 

This formula for revange establishes that the life of non-Westerners as being worth less compared to Western lives. The dehumanizing formula was crudely, yet illustratively articulated by Trump last year. Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition Conference on Oct. 28, 2023, the former US president declared: “If you spill a drop of American blood, we will spill a gallon of yours.”

To add to the body of evidence of dehumanizing people from non-Western nations, Israel just acted on that equation, killing 100 civilians to rescue just two Israelis. During this conflict alone, comparing the reported total of 1,139 Israelis killed since Oct. 7 (695 Israeli civilians and 373 security forces and 71 foreigners), and comparing it to the 29,000 Palestinians killed thus far, produces a ration of exactly 25 Palestinians killed for every 1 Israeli--the formular still holds--though the killing is still ongoing and likely to reach the 50-for-1 ratio should the war on Gaza lasts for another five months.

In the light of the above data and the comments by US officials that the civilian toll in Gaza “remains too high”, one must ask Israeli officials: How many Palestinian civilians must die for every Israeli death before this revenge war comes to an end? And one must ask US officials: what is an acceptable “toll of civilian deaths”?

The lack of awareness of how bigoted the view that there is an acceptable “toll of civilian deaths” that can be excused and justified when every single Western life is avenged by unimaged level of destruction and death is confounding. When one adds the number of children killed thus far in Gaza, such callousness becomes cruelly mind-bending.

 Acceptance of some level of civilian toll destroys Western rhetoric about their commitment to universal rights. It clearly shows that there is no universal right to life; that some lives are superior and worth saving at any cost and some lives can be destroyed to avenge the loss of the superior lives. The troubling part is that, now, US officials acknowledge that the military operation is "over the top" and that too many civilians have been killed and displaced, yet the US administration blocked every UN intervention that could have stopped the war.

Biden’s phone call with Netanyahu comes a few days after the president offered one of his sharpest rebukes to date of Israel’s military conduct in Gaza, saying the operation to go after Hamas had been “over the top.”

 “I’m of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza – in the Gaza Strip – has been over the top,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Thursday, describing his own efforts to open up Gaza so more humanitarian aid could flow in.

 Last week, Blinken told Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials that the civilian toll in Gaza “remains too high” as violence continues in the region.

“Nearly 2 million people have been displaced from their homes. Hundreds of thousands are experiencing acute hunger. Most have lost someone that they love. And day after day, more people are killed,” Blinken said at a news conference after meeting with top Israeli officials.


Saturday, February 10, 2024

After 127 days of killing in Gaza, US admin officials admit errors: We made mistakes and we do not trust the current Netanyahu government

    Saturday, February 10, 2024   No comments

Another example of Western democracies' behavior showing that for them  politics trumps human rights, US officials now worried that their next presidential elections could be decided by the administration’s handling of the war on Gaza. Officials are now in damage control mode admitting errors and justifying their actions and inactions. The entire world wanted the war to stop, 80% of nation-states in the world voted to stop the killing, a vote opposed only by the US government and 5%, countries most informed readers will not be able to place them on the map. Even the UK a long time partner of the US could not vote against, so they abstained.

 White House officials claim that they now know that this government of Israel cannot be trusted. The problem for the administration is this: the head of this government, Netanyahu, is the longest serving prime minister, and therefore, therefore, his policies and stances have been known for a long time. So, what kind of government is not open for discovery to determine whether it should have the confidence of the US government. The US government must have known for years that this long serving right wing government has no desire for peace. The continuous building of illegal settlements on occupied land in West Bank is the manifestation of their rejection of any just solution.

The New York Times quoted US Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer as saying that Washington had made “mistakes in responding to the crisis since last October 7.”

Finer added, “The Biden administration should have quickly condemned Israeli statements that compared the Palestinians to animals.”

The aide offered some of the administration's clearest expressions of remorse for its response to the Gaza war, a sign of growing Democratic pressure on President Biden.

In a closed meeting with Arab American leaders in Michigan this week, one of President Biden's top foreign policy aides acknowledged mistakes in the administration's response to the war in Gaza, saying he had "no confidence" that the Israeli government is willing to accept war in Gaza. Taking “purposeful steps” towards establishing a Palestinian state.


“It did not in any way address the loss of Palestinian life during the course of the first 100 days of the conflict,” Mr. Finer said. “There is no excuse for that. It should not have happened. I believe it will not happen again. But we know that there was a lot of damage done.

“Out of a desire to sort of focus on solving the problem and not engaging in a rhetorical back-and-forth with people who, in many cases, I think we all find somewhat abhorrent, we did not sufficiently indicate that we totally rejected and disagreed with those sorts of sentiments,” Mr. Finer said.

He did not clarify which Israeli officials he was referring to, but in the conflict’s early days, Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, said, “We are fighting human animals, and we are acting accordingly.” Some other Israeli officials have also faced criticism for dehumanizing language.

Friday, February 09, 2024

Media review: How to End America’s Hypocrisy on Gaza

    Friday, February 09, 2024   No comments

Sarah Yager, director of Human Rights Watch in Washington, described the US handling of the Israeli war on Gaza as “hypocrisy,” and the Biden administration must evaluate Israel’s behavior and hold it accountable for that.

Yager commented in an article published by Foreign Affairsmagazine that the staggering numbers of Palestinian casualties and injuries as a result of the war launched by Israel on Gaza in response to the attack by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on October 7 is impossible to consider without considering whether Israel has violated the law. International humanitarian aid during its war.

She added that a large amount of available information indicates that Israel did in fact do this, as human rights organizations and the media published reports of illegal collective punishment of the Palestinian population, the use of starvation as a weapon of war, air and artillery strikes, and the demolition of buildings that had no targets. A clear military operation, but it resulted in heavy civilian casualties and the destruction of property.

She pointed out that there was enough smoke to suspect a fire, which put American officials in a dilemma, because American law obliges the State Department to ensure that American security aid does not go to security forces that constantly commit gross human rights violations.

 Current US policy also requires the department to evaluate whether recipients of US military assistance are “more likely” to use US weapons to violate international law, and prohibit transfers to any country that meets these criteria.

 Yager questioned whether the State Department had conducted these assessments yet, despite the fact that its Secretary, Tony Blinken, and Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, repeated on more than one occasion the phrase that the number of civilian casualties was “very high.”

 However, despite President Joe Biden's offhanded warning last December about the risk to Israel's reputation by carrying out "indiscriminate bombing," US officials have avoided clearly stating that any specific Israeli actions in Gaza are unacceptable, taking Administration spokesmen walk back Biden's comment.

 The director of Human Rights Watch referred to the direct questions directed to White House spokesmen regarding Israel's behavior in Gaza and their twisted responses on more than one occasion.

 She commented that these official statements and many others were noticeably absent of any positive declaration that Israel is in fact adhering to international law.

 She said if American officials believed that Israel was doing this - or at least taking all possible measures to avoid harming civilians under difficult circumstances - they would say so with passion, but they did not do so even though the Biden administration was not shy about criticizing the behavior of the warring parties in Other conflicts.

 The reason is that drawing more attention to what is happening in Gaza could almost certainly force a policy change that Biden does not want to make, could confront his administration with a series of difficult choices that it would rather avoid, and could also further complicate the already complex dynamics of the US-Israel relationship. And it may create political weakness for Biden in the election year.

 She added that as long as the administration avoids the reality of Israeli violations in Gaza and selectively applies the rules for military assistance, the moral authority claimed by the United States will diminish more and more, and the Biden administration’s apparent unwillingness to apply the legal aspect to the available information will be exacerbated by its clear failure to adhere to policies that She put it herself as an expression of Biden's supposed commitment to human rights.

 Yager believes that the worst consequence of the administration's refusal to comply with the letter and spirit of American law is that Washington may make it possible for massive and perhaps criminal loss of civilian lives in Gaza.

 

She added that there is another victim of this approach, which is the credibility of the United States, which has been damaged by what can be considered at best inconsistency and at worst hypocrisy.

 

For example, in 2016, President Barack Obama condemned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s deprivation of food and water to civilians in Aleppo. It can be said that Israel did the same thing with the civilian population in Gaza for more than 3 months without facing any criticism for this method from the Biden administration. Biden Netanyahu called for opening a corridor to Gaza to deliver more aid, but he did not directly criticize the blockade.

 

She added that to begin to rein in Israel and stop the bleeding of American credibility, the Biden administration needs to assign its lawyers to evaluate all available information - confidential and non-confidential - regarding the Israeli military campaign in Gaza and determine the time and place of Israeli forces violating the laws of war, and the results should be published and evidence submitted to Congress.

 

She concluded that the political costs resulting from looking directly at the evidence and correcting the course of American policy as necessary will not be comfortable for the president and lawmakers during the election campaign.

 

But these costs are less than the cost of US authorities acting as if the extreme suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza does not deserve the same scrutiny as the suffering of civilians in other conflicts, a position that gives an argument to those who claim that when it comes to applying basic American principles and protecting inherent human rights, Washington applies A clearly hypocritical double standard.

 

 

 

Sunday, February 04, 2024

Media review: Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times: What can we tell the children of Gaza?

    Sunday, February 04, 2024   No comments

Nicholas Kristof, in his column in the New York Times, started by the story of a 10-year-old girl in Gaza. Her father was an X-ray technician. She was smart and spoke English well. She was accepted into an international exchange program, and had to travel to Japan to meet... A bright future awaits her, but now she lies in a hospital bed with a severe wound to her thigh and part of her femur bone missing as a result of a bomb explosion.

Dr. Samer Al-Attar, the orthopedic surgeon who cared for the girl and told me about it, says Nicholas Kristof, says the girl needs to have her hip amputated to save her life, and her father is struggling to come to terms with how his life and the life of his daughter have collapsed.

Nicholas Kristof mentions that he covered many bloody wars, and wrote scathingly about how governments in Russia, Sudan, and Syria recklessly bombed civilians, but this time the matter is different, because “my government stands by what President Joe Biden referred to as indiscriminate bombing, and because I am this... "This time, I'm helping pay for the bombs as a taxpayer."

While the writer understands Israel's reaction, the military response is not just one of two options without a third. Israel chose to respond with bombs weighing about two thousand pounds, destroying entire neighborhoods, and allowing a small amount of aid to enter the region, which is now teetering on the brink of famine. The result is This does not appear to be a war against the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), but rather against the entire population of Gaza.

Nicholas Kristof wondered how Americans, with their conflicting views due to the war, could confront their friends from Gaza, pointing out that they might remain silent, or look away, instead of entering into a bitter and polarizing debate that might cost friendships, but “indifference is the most insidious danger.” Not at all,” says writer Elie Wiesel, who also said that “human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.”

The writer warned that the suffering of children - and half of Gaza's population is children - "should raise our particular concern," noting that estimates by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) indicate that there are at least 17,000 children in Gaza who are unaccompanied or separated from their families. In the midst of the chaos of war and displacement.

Some will blame all of this on Hamas, but - for Nicholas Kristof - this seems to be an evasion of moral responsibility, because Israel and America have the ability to act, and “the atrocities suffered by Israeli civilians” do not justify leveling Palestinian neighborhoods to the ground.

The writer wondered how Biden criticizes Russia for bombing civilians and undermining the rules-based international order, while he himself supplies Israel with bombs that wipe out neighborhoods in Gaza, and how he gives diplomatic cover to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a time when the residents of Gaza are facing famine, especially since he suspended funding for His country to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA), which is responsible for providing assistance to them.

The writer concluded that decisions related to waging war are painful, because innocent civilians always suffer, stressing that a smart 10-year-old girl in Gaza is as valuable as the life of any American or Israeli child, “and therefore we Americans must bear responsibility.” “We are complicit in its tragedy and the tragedy of Gaza as a whole.

To date, the Ministry of Health in Gaza announced that 27,365 people were killed, more than 70% are children and women; 66,630 Palestinians were injured, since October 7.

The ministry added that the occupation army committed 14 massacres against families in the Gaza Strip, claiming 127 deaths and 178 injuries, during the past 24 hours.

A number of victims are still under rubble and on the roads, while the occupation army prevents ambulance and civil defense crews from reaching them..




Friday, January 12, 2024

Egypt denies Israel's allegations of preventing aid from entering Gaza

    Friday, January 12, 2024   No comments

As reported in international media outlets, Dia Rashwan, head of the Egyptian Information Service, categorically denied the allegations and lies of the Israeli defense team before the International Court of Justice, that Egypt is responsible for preventing the entry of humanitarian and relief aid into the Gaza Strip from the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing.

Rashwan explained in a statement today, Friday, that the inconsistency and lies of the Israeli allegations are evident in the following points:

All Israeli officials, especially the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense, and the Minister of Energy, have confirmed dozens of times in public statements since the start of the aggression on Gaza that they will not allow aid to enter the Gaza Strip, especially fuel, because this is part of the war that their state is waging against the Strip.

  After all these statements, which did not consider this prevention and siege to be war crimes and genocide under international law, and when the occupying state found itself before the International Court of Justice accused with documented evidence of these crimes, it resorted to throwing accusations against Egypt in an attempt to escape its likely condemnation by the court. .

He said that it is known that Egypt's sovereignty extends only to the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, while the other side of it in Gaza is subject to the actual occupation authority, which was actually demonstrated in the mechanism for the entry of aid from the Egyptian side to the Kerem Shalom crossing, which connects the Gaza Strip to Israeli territory, where She is inspected by the Israeli army, before being allowed to enter the Gaza Strip.

He said that Egypt has announced dozens of times in official statements, starting with the President of the Republic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and all concerned parties, that the Rafah crossing from the Egyptian side is open without interruption, calling on the Israeli side not to prevent the flow of humanitarian aid to the Strip and to stop deliberately obstructing or delaying the entry of aid under the pretext of inspecting it.

He said that many of the world's senior officials, led by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, had visited the Rafah crossing from the Egyptian side, and none of them were able to cross it into the Gaza Strip, due to the Israeli army preventing them from doing so, or fearing for their lives due to the ongoing Israeli bombing of the Strip.

He said that the negotiations that took place over the humanitarian truces, which lasted for a week in the Gaza Strip, in which Egypt, Qatar, and the United States were parties, witnessed extreme intransigence on the part of the Israeli side in determining the amount of aid that the occupation forces would allow to enter the Strip, given that they control it militarily, which resulted in The end of the entry of quantities announced at the time.

Rashwan said that in light of the continued Israeli intention to obstruct the entry of aid at the Kerem Shalom crossing, Egypt has resorted to assigning Egyptian trucks with Egyptian drivers to enter, after inspection, directly into the territory of the Gaza Strip to distribute aid to its residents, instead of transferring it to Palestinian trucks to do this.

He said that what confirms the Israeli occupation army’s control over the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip and its deliberate obstruction of it is what US President Joe Biden asked it to open the Kerem Shalom crossing to facilitate its entry, which was announced by his National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on December 13, as good news.

Rashwan concluded his statement by saying: “If the Israeli authorities really want food, medical supplies, and fuel to enter the Gaza Strip, they have six (6) crossings from their lands with the Gaza Strip, and they must open them immediately for trade and not for the entry of aid, especially since this trade with the Gaza Strip has reached Gaza in 2022, more than $4.7 billion for the benefit of the Israeli commercial and industrial sector.”


Saturday, January 06, 2024

Contrary to Ankara’s political rhetoric in support of Palestinians, Turkish exports to Israel increased

    Saturday, January 06, 2024   No comments

Economics is the overriding engine in global relations

Contrary to Ankara’s political rhetoric on the war in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, Turkish exports to Israel rose by 34.8 percent last month, according to official figures, as the country’s trade relations with Tel Aviv come under scrutiny.


Israel began pounding Gaza after Hamas militants carried out an unprecedented attack in the country on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostage. Israeli airstrikes and ground attacks on Gaza have so far claimed the lives of more than 22,000 people, according to the local authorities, in addition to leading to vast destruction in the enclave.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Le Monde: Western donors punish human rights organizations because of their support for Gaza

    Wednesday, December 27, 2023   No comments

The French newspaper Le Monde said that civil society organizations in many Middle Eastern countries are extremely angry because of their loss of European funding, after they condemned the Israeli attack on Gaza.

The newspaper - in a report by its correspondents Laure Stephane in Beirut and Clotilde Mravco in Jerusalem - reviewed the story of the Egyptian lawyer Azza Soliman, who had been relying on German support for about 10 years, and learned that Germany would withdraw the funds allocated from her for a project to support women victims of human trafficking.

This came after it signed - with more than 200 Arab organizations - a text condemning “genocide against the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip” and calling for sanctions to be imposed on Israel, “the occupying and apartheid state.”

The punishment sparked intense anger within Egyptian civil society, which denounced this censorship. The lawyer said, “Do the German authorities want to discipline us? Teach us what we have the right to say? It is a scandal.” However, the German Foreign Ministry said that it acted because of “the public statements of the Seola organization and its founder, Azza Soliman.” , which contradicts “the Berlin line, including the call for an economic boycott of Israel.”


This decision comes within a broader framework - according to the newspaper - since the attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, during which Germany reviewed the projects funded “in the region,” which “includes a re-evaluation of the political positions and announcements of our partners, with regard to these issues.” 

The newspaper saw that Arab human rights defenders risk losing their funding if they do not adhere to the political line of this donor regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at a time when the unconditional support provided by Washington and the majority of European leaders for Israel arouses discontent in the Arab world, in light of the massacre committed by Israel. against civilians in Gaza.

Other European governments want to reconsider their partnerships with civil society organizations in the Middle East, especially Palestinian NGOs, after the European Union generalized the “combat incitement” to hatred and violence clause to all new contracts signed with Palestinian actors, including vague language, which is likely To be used to force beneficiaries to silence their work denouncing the Israeli occupation.

For its part, Sweden intends to ask its Palestinian partners to condemn Hamas. Switzerland also announced the end of its cooperation with 3 Palestinian non-governmental organizations, considering that its statements after the Hamas attack are not consistent with its rules of conduct. The director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, lawyer Raji Sourani, says, “It is an issue that returns.” "For political motives."

At the end of November, Amnesty International and about 100 organizations denounced this pressure, which is seen in the Middle East as a reflection of right-wing policies in Europe, and considered it an obstacle to freedom of expression and opinion.

Le Monde believed that the conditions imposed on non-governmental organizations threaten to weaken civil societies that rely heavily on Western funds, at a time when their silence in the face of the ongoing massacre in Gaza means losing their credibility in the region.




Sunday, December 24, 2023

Spain refuses to participate in the “Guardian of Prosperity” coalition in the Red Sea

    Sunday, December 24, 2023   No comments

Spain announced that it will not participate in the international coalition to protect shipping traffic in the Red Sea from attacks by the Houthi group in Yemen, but it will not oppose participation with other European countries within the framework of a specific mission.

After several days of delay, the Spanish leftist government made clear, in a Defense Ministry statement published on Saturday evening, that it opposes expanding the mission of the European “Atalanta” operation, which has been combating piracy in the Indian Ocean since 2008.

The ministry noted that the recent resumption of piracy in the region "requires maximum investment" in this mission. She also stressed that "the nature and objectives of the Atlanta mission have nothing to do with what we aim to achieve in the Red Sea."

From this standpoint, the government of socialist Pedro Sanchez considered it “indispensable to establish a new, specific, dedicated mission” to protect commercial maritime traffic in the Red Sea.

The Ministry stressed that this special mission must have “its own scope of work, means and objectives determined by the competent bodies of the European Union,” adding that “Spain is in no way opposed to the establishment of this mission.”

In response to a question from Agence France-Presse on Sunday, the ministry spokesman explained that Spain will not participate in the current process. The ministry did not explain the reasons for this rejection, which was announced shortly after a phone call on Friday between US President Joe Biden and Sanchez.

The White House confirmed in a statement that the conversation focused specifically on "condemning the current attacks launched by the Houthis against commercial ships in the Red Sea," a topic that the Spanish government did not mention when it touched on this phone call.

Washington's maritime coalition will not affect Yemen operations

The official spokesman for Ansar Allah, Muhammad Abdel Salam, said that the Washington naval coalition that was announced yesterday will not affect the Yemeni operations, pointing, in this context, to the presence of American, French and British frigates and military bases on the other side of the Red Sea, which It could not prevent Yemen's operations supporting Gaza.

He stressed that "Washington's naval alliance in the Red Sea is to protect Israel, not to protect international waterways," noting that "it cannot be called an alliance. Rather, it is, in fact, a weak grouping, and dead before it was born."

Abdel Salam reiterated his assertion that “the international corridors bordering Yemen are safe, and there are no security or military problems.” Adding that what is being targeted are ships heading to Israel, or Israeli ships.”

 Abdel Salam pointed out that “this alliance does not include any country overlooking the Red Sea, and it comes, unfortunately, in accordance with an American desire to protect “Israel” and to give it the opportunity to continue committing massacres against the Palestinian people.”

 

He added: "If they were keen on peace and stability, they would not have opposed calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. This alliance cannot be acceptable or palatable, because its goal is the continuation of the Israeli aggression against Palestine."

Yemen said the blockade is a human action to stop the killing and starving of Palestinians; “the blockade imposed by Yemen will stop when the genocide in Gaza at the hands of Israeli Zionist occupation forces stops.”

Total bias

An opinion poll conducted by the NGO, Almustaqilla, on a sample of Arab people, the results of which were published at the end of last November, showed that only 7% of those polled believed that the United States’ role in the Israeli aggression was positive.

 20 years ago, the American invasion of Iraq damaged the reputation of the United States in the world.

 Munqith Dagher, an official at the Almustaqlila, comments that until recently, America “still represents this image of a country that embodies democracy, human rights, freedom of expression, and many values that befit the famous American dream.”

But the torrent of horrific scenes from Gaza, the massacres carried out by the occupation and the policy of collective punishment, “turned the situation upside down,” he added.

Dagher believes that this matter demonstrated to the Arabs "the United States' complete bias toward the Israelis and its lack ofrespect for human rights when it comes to the Palestinians."



Saturday, December 09, 2023

International condemnation of the American “veto”... “History will not forget Washington’s actions”... Israel conducting mass-arrests of "military-aged" Gazan Men

    Saturday, December 09, 2023   No comments

Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Security Council, Dmitry Polyansky, announced that the United States, by using its veto power against the draft resolution presented by the Arab group in the UN Security Council calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, “sentenced the death penalty to thousands of civilians.”

Polyansky said during a voting session in the UN Security Council: “It will not be an exaggeration if we say that today is one of the darkest days in the history of the Middle East, as our colleagues in the United States have sentenced to death before our eyes thousands, if not tens of thousands, of civilians, including women and children. "By obstructing the call for a ceasefire."

Polyansky stressed that history will not forget Washington's actions in this regard.


The Russian deputy delegate continued, saying, "You can say as many empty words as you want about democracy, human rights, women, peace, security, and some rules, but we have seen their true price now, when two members of the Security Council chose to remain complicit in this genocide committed by Israel."

For his part, China's permanent representative to the UN Security Council, Zhang Jun, strongly supported the Arab draft resolution as a means to save lives, and criticized the United States for using the veto, saying that expressing grief for civilians and using the veto to continue the fighting is "the utmost hypocrisy."


John pointed out that "the ceasefire helps to achieve a two-state solution to establish lasting peace in the Middle East," pointing out that "the continuation of the war would increase the collapse of security in the region, and the Security Council must assume its responsibilities without delay."


He also called on "Israel" to stop the policy of collective punishment that it is committing against the residents of the Gaza Strip. He also described what is happening as a "humanitarian catastrophe," stressing that "any slowdown means more bloodshed."


For his part, Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, stressed that the “veto” in the United Nations cannot be used to allow massacres, noting that in order for “democracy and peace to shine on the American continent, America cannot allow genocide anywhere in the world.”


In turn, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian confirmed that as long as Washington supports the crimes of the occupation and the continuation of the war, the scope of the war will not be limited to the current situation only, but will expand, pointing to the possibility of an “uncontrollable” explosion in the situation in the region.


In a phone call with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, the Iranian minister appreciated the latter’s activation of Article 99 of the United Nations Charter regarding developments in Palestine and the genocide in Gaza, describing it as a “courageous act.”


This comes after the UN Security Council failed to adopt a draft resolution submitted by the Arab group to the UN Security Council with a record sponsorship of 100 countries, calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, despite receiving 13 votes, after the United States used its veto power. Veto to block the draft resolution.


The draft resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip for humanitarian reasons. It also stresses the need for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners, ensuring the arrival of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, and the entry of aid in sufficient quantities into the besieged Strip and from all crossings.

It is noteworthy that Britain abstained from voting, while the French representative, François de Rivière, regretted not adopting the resolution and wished it had included a condemnation of “Hamas.”


Israeli leaders thanked the United States for the veto, and attacked the UN General Secretary, once again invoking anti-semitism.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid said that the decision of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to push for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza is anti-Semitism.

Lapid said anti-Semitism was the only “logical explanation” for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ decision to push for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

“Just when Israel was defending itself after our children were killed by brutal terrorists and our people were taken hostage, the UN Security Council suddenly decided to activate Article 99 to help Hamas,” Lapid wrote in a series of social media posts on Saturday.

“How do we know it is anti-Semitic?” he added. Because there is no other logical explanation.”

Lapid cited a number of other bloody conflicts, including in Sudan and Syria, in which neither Guterres nor any of his predecessors used Article 99 power to force debate in the Security Council.

Guterres used Article 99 of the UN Charter, which has not been used for decades, to force the UN Security Council to discuss a resolution calling for a ceasefire.

The United States used its veto power yesterday, Friday, against the draft resolution submitted by the UAE for a ceasefire in Gaza.


Meanwhile, a UN source confirmed to Sputnik that a delegation from the UN Security Council intends to visit the Rafah crossing on the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip next Monday.


The source added that the delegation heading to the crossing will include the Russian permanent representative to the Security Council, Vasily Nebenzia.


In a related context, the American website “Axios”, citing an Israeli official, said that the United States is not “pressing the brakes” or giving “Israel” a specific deadline to stop the military operation in Gaza, but it points to the fact that time is running out.


The Israeli official said that the United States would be satisfied if Israel finished the high-intensity phase of the operation by the end of December, while Israel aims for the end of January.


“The message from the United States is that they want us to finish faster, with fewer civilian casualties and more humanitarian aid to Gaza,” the official explained, adding: “We want the same thing, but there is another player here and that is the enemy who does not agree.”


He continued by saying, "The United States understands this. We are working together. We need them and they need us."

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Media Review: The Washington Post: How does Israel detain hundreds of Palestinians in prisons without charge?

    Tuesday, November 28, 2023   No comments

The American newspaper The Washington Post reported that administrative detention rates rose in the West Bank, even before October 7, that is, the day the Palestinian resistance launched its epic “Al-Aqsa Flood.”


Under international law, administrative detention is supposed to be practiced only “in exceptional circumstances,” according to the newspaper, but this has become the norm in the West Bank, as human rights groups document.


The newspaper referred to figures published by the Israeli human rights organization HaMoked, indicating that the total number of Palestinians in administrative detention increased from 1,319 on October 1 to 2,070 on November 1, meaning about a third of the total number of Palestinian prisoners.


Here, it is worth noting that the number of detainees in the West Bank has exceeded 3,000 since the start of the war on the Gaza Strip, according to what was reported by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.


The Israeli occupation authorities have claimed for years that their practice of administrative detention is consistent with policies followed in “other democracies,” as the newspaper put it, and constitutes a “necessary preventive measure,” given the security conditions in the West Bank, in reference to the operations carried out by resistance fighters against the occupation.


In contrast, the dynamics of Israel's prison system for Palestinians raise anger about the broader nature of Israel's military occupation of Palestinian territories, according to the Washington Post.


Israel's widespread practice of administrative detention has long been the subject of criticism by international observers, and a European parliamentary report, issued in 2012, described administrative detention as a tactic used "primarily with the aim of restricting Palestinian political activity."


Later, in 2020, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, Michael Lynk, called on Israel to abolish this practice.


Likewise, Israel's critics assert that the Palestinians faced a "skewed and unfair judicial system," according to the Washington Post, which also noted that Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to Israeli military courts, unlike the half a million settlers among them.


The newspaper also pointed out that in some years, these courts issued 99% convictions, which raises questions about “the legal procedures granted to the Palestinians.”


It should be noted that the Washington Post report comes at a time when the pace of arrests is escalating in the West Bank, following the increase in operations carried out by resistance fighters against the occupation forces and their response to their attacks.


Since the beginning of the "Al-Aqsa Flood", the rate of arrests in the West Bank has increased significantly, to the point that hardly a day goes by without confrontations erupting between the Israeli occupation forces, which launch massive campaigns.


Even during the days of the temporary truce reached by the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian resistance in Gaza, Israeli arrest campaigns continued against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.


Monday, November 27, 2023

Media Review: Aljazeera highlights Qassam fighters' treatment of Israeli prisoners and the treatment of Palestinian prisoners by Israeli forces

    Monday, November 27, 2023   No comments

The al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas,” broadcast a video recording showing the handover of the second batch of Israeli detainees in the Gaza Strip to an International Committee of the Red Cross team under a prisoner exchange agreement with Israel.

5 women and 8 children were handed over, in addition to 4 foreigners outside the agreement, in exchange for the release of 39 Palestinian women and children imprisoned in Israeli occupation prisons.

The scenes showed some Israeli prisoners, women and children, bidding farewell to al-Qassam fighters with a smile on their faces and a greeting, which sparked widespread controversy on social media, especially in light of Israeli doctors and the families of the prisoners declaring that they were in good health and were being treated humanely.

The release of the second batch came shortly before midnight, as it was hours late than scheduled on Saturday afternoon, the second day of the truce in the Gaza Strip, after al-Qassam Brigades announced the postponement of the operation until the occupation adhered to the criteria of the exchange deal, which the occupation authorities agreed to later, after Qatari-Egyptian mediation. .

What caught attention in the published “Al-Qassam” video was that the Israeli detainees saluted Hamas members, the moment they were released and transferred to the Red Cross vehicles, where one of the Qassam fighters bid them farewell by saying: “See you now,” and a woman and her child greeted him while smiling.

Other media outlets from the region, inclduing Aljazeera reported that one of the released woman left a two-page letter addressed to Qassam "generals" thanking them for the way they treated her daughter.







The sister of a young girl who was held in Gaza tells Israeli Channel 12 that she has developed new positive habits she did not have before — such as offering others to eat first.





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