Time to hold Veolia to account

The tramway under construction in Jerusalem, February 2008.

The tramway under construction in Jerusalem, February 2008.

During the bidding process for an eight-year, $4.5 billion dollar contract to operate Stockholm county’s subway, the French company Veolia came under heavy pressure in the Swedish media for its involvement in Israel’s tramway project that links illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank to Jerusalem. With its involvement in this project, Veolia is directly implicated in maintaining illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and the company is playing a key role in Israel’s attempt to make its annexation of Palestinian East Jerusalem irreversible. In 2005, Amnesty International-France and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) already warned Veolia to stay away from the tramway project. Despite international actions against Veolia’s participation in the tramway project, the company still refuses to take action, at the risk of increased damage to its already questionable image and losing business in Europe.

Recently, Diakonia in Sweden organized protests calling on the Stockholm Community Council to exclude Veolia from bidding for the subway contract. The council received thousands of signatories from people demanding that the council choose an operator that was not associated with violations of international humanitarian law. On 20 January, the council announced that Veolia, after operating the subway for the past 10 years, had lost the contract to Hong Kong-based rail operator MTR. When Veolia was not re-awarded the contract to run bus services outside Stockholm in 2007, Veolia Transport Manager Joachim Ytterstene stated that “We are very sad to hear this. We worked hard on this offer during the whole year and it feels really heavy to receive this decision.” If the loss of a contract to run a bus service with about 650 employees and 180 buses is painful, then it is obvious how painful the loss of the biggest European public contract procurement process will be. The recent bidding experience in Stockholm should help to get the message across that Veolia should withdraw from the Israeli tramway project.

Last November, activists and lawyers in France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland have joined forces to campaign for the withdrawal of the French transport giants Veolia and Alstom because of their involvement in the Israeli tramway project. In France, Veolia Transport and Alstom were required by an order of the Nanterre Court in July 2008 to provide sworn translations in French of all contractual documents relating to the tramway project. The legal team for the PLO and Association France Palestine Solidarity (AFPS) concluded that the released documents demonstrated that Alstom and Veolia are directly involved in the execution of the contract, even if they have argued they are not signatories to the concession between the City Pass Consortium and the State of Israel. The City Pass Consortium, which holds the contract with the State of Israel for the construction of the light rail project, consists of Alstom and Connex (Veolia Transport), two Israeli companies and two banks. The legal team found that the same principle applies to Alstom Transport, which also has an engineering, supplying and construction contract. As a result, Alstom Transport was added to the case before the Nanterre Court, as the PLO and ASFP hope to prove that this contract is also illegal and to prevent the company from continuing its work on the tramway. On 2 February, a subsequent hearing at the Nanterre Court was held regarding Alstom and Veolia Transport, and a decision is expected on 10 April this year.

Meanwhile, we requested a local London council in the UK to exclude Veolia from public contracts due to its “grave professional misconduct.” Under the UK Public Contract Regulations 2006, a contracting authority may exclude an economic operator from bidding for a contract or may reject any such bid where it is found that the individual or organization has committed an act of grave misconduct in the course of his business of profession. The regulation follows European Law, Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts. In our letter to the council, we used the same legal arguments to demonstrate that Veolia’s involvement in the Jerusalem tramway project involves assisting Israel to violate international law.

Israeli settlements in the OPT and the annexation of East Jerusalem are illegal under international law. Numerous UN resolutions and the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on Israel’s wall in the West Bank have confirmed this. The settlements violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention — which states “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” — as well as Article 53 forbidding destruction of property. In some cases in East Jerusalem these violations amount to war crimes, i.e. “grave breaches,” as they involve extensive appropriation of Palestinian property not justified by military necessity (see Articles 146 and 147 of the convention).

These grave breaches are being facilitated by Veolia’s part in the construction and future operation of the tramway serving the settlements. The tramway also constitutes a significant alteration of the infrastructure of the OPT contrary to the Hague Regulations of 1907, Section 3, which Israel accepts as binding international law. Through its involvement in the building and future operation of the tramway linking Israel’s illegal settlements with West Jerusalem, Veolia is facilitating Israel’s grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and is complicit in its perpetuation of those actions. In other words, Veolia is involved in aiding and abetting ongoing war crimes. It is also facilitating, exacerbating, aiding and abetting Israel’s breach of the Hague Regulations. These same arguments apply to Alstom.

Veolia attempts to dodge its responsibility with false claims that Veolia Stockholm and Veolia Jerusalem are independent units. However, this is not the case. Veolia Environment has four divisions — water, waste management, energy and transport services. In 2005, the company’s four divisions adopted a single name, Veolia, and a new logo. As explained on the Veolia website, this move signaled the desire of the entire company to link Veolia divisions in a coherent way and increase its visibility. Veolia’s revenues and profits are calculated as a whole, and the corporation is quoted on Euronext Paris and the New York Stock Exchange. Even when reporting results, Veolia regards its subsidiaries as divisions of itself and, significantly, Veolia regards its subsidiaries’ contracts as its own. This is clearly illustrated in Veolia’s statement that “The company won and renewed multiple contracts in its priority development zones, including: … Shropshire in the UK in the Environmental Services (Waste Management) division.” It is evident that Veolia treats itself as a single entity. Also in its marketing and public corporate structure Veolia treats itself as a coherent whole. As such, the conduct of one division is the conduct of Veolia as a whole and affects each division accordingly. If one division of Veolia is involved in activities of grave misconduct and profits from such conduct, then the parent company must necessarily be implicated in such misconduct and most certainly profits from such misconduct. That means that Veolia as a whole — all of its divisions and subsidiaries — are implicated in such misconduct.

The activities of Veolia and Alstom clearly constitute misconduct sufficiently grave to warrant the exclusion of all its divisions from public contracts in Europe. It is difficult to imagine what misconduct could be more grave than the aiding, abetting, facilitation or exacerbation of war crimes and human rights violations. The London council that received our letter about Veolia have side-stepped the whole issue by saying that a 1988 Act of Parliament prevents a decision under the 2006 Regulations, because it is unlawful to make an adverse decision based on the country where any company operates. But this is not an attempt to enforce a public sector boycott of all companies that trade with Israel: it is restricted to excluding from public contracts companies that demonstrably break international law or help Israel to do so. Legal action is therefore likely to follow in London and the court will make it clear if the refusal to even consider excluding Veolia was lawful. If the court confirms that public bodies can lawfully exclude Veolia from public contracts, then campaigners can follow this up by ensuring that Veolia and Alstom are shut out of future public contracts across Europe.

Electronic Indifada

Anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim attitudes rise in Europe

Hijab Bomb

Hijab Bomb

Anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim attitudes have been rising nearly in tandem in several European countries, apparently reflecting concerns over immigration, globalization and economic ills, according to a new international survey.

Anti-Jewish feelings were particularly strong in Spain, Poland and Russia – with negativity up significantly since 2006, according to the Pew Research Center’s polling. Anti-Muslim views were also strong in those three countries, as well as in Germany and France.

“There is a clear relationship between anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim attitudes,” said the report from Pew, released Wednesday. “Publics that view Jews unfavorably also tend to see Muslims in a negative light.”

Negative views of Muslims were also strong in several Asian countries: Half or more of the Japanese, Indians, Chinese and South Koreans surveyed said they had negative impressions of Muslims.

Negative feelings about Jews were somewhat less strong, from 32 percent in India to 55 percent in China, with Japan and South Korea falling in between.

The survey also underscored rising concerns in several predominantly Muslim countries, including Indonesia, about a struggle for dominance between Islamic fundamentalists and those favoring  modernization.

In Europe, negative views of Jews and Muslims were strongest among older people, the less educated and those of the political right.

In some countries, including Germany, negative feelings toward Jews had risen along with favorable feelings – fewer people were left undecided.

full article: www.insight-info.com

Why `Holocaust Denial’ Laws are Dangerous

Frederick Toben

Frederick Toben

On October 1, British police at London’s Heathrow airport arrested Dr. Frederick Toben – an Australian citizen and a Holocaust revisionist – during a stop on a flight from the United States to Dubai. He was detained on the basis of a “European Arrest Warrant” issued by German authorities that accuses him of publishing material online “of an anti-semitic and/or revisionist nature.”

Toben, a former schoolteacher who holds a doctorate in philosophy, has reportedly described the Holocaust as “a lie”. His Australia-based “Adelaide Institute” website allegedly carries the transcript of an interview in which he says there is “no proof” that the Hitler regime systematically exterminated Jews.

He is being held in custody until a British court decides if he is to be extradited to Germany. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 17. A German prosecutor says that if Toben is extradited, he could be sentenced to five years in prison. He would then join two German citizens, Ernst Zundel and Germar Rudolf, who are already serving prison terms for having violated Germany’s “Holocaust denial” law.

In Germany it is crime to “deny, play down or justify” genocidal acts carried out by the Hitler regime. “Holocaust denial” is also a crime in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, and several other European countries, as well as in Israel. Over the years many individuals have been fined, imprisoned or forced into exile for “denying the Holocaust,” including Robert Faurisson and Roger Garaudy in France, Siegfried Verbeke in Belgium, Juergen Graf and Gaston-Armand Amaudruz in Switzerland, and Ernst Zundel, Germar Rudolf, Guenter Deckert and Hans Schmidt in Germany.

full article: www.insight-info.com

Less Than Half the World Believes al Qaeda Was Behind 9/11 Attacks

9/11 Victims

9/11 Victims

An international poll released this week by the Project on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) found that outside the United States, many are skeptical that al Qaeda was really responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sixteen thousand people in 17 countries — allies and adversaries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East — were asked the open-ended question: “Who do you think was behind the 9/11 attacks?”

On average, fewer than half of all respondents said al Qaeda (although there was significant variation between countries and regions). Fifteen percent said the United States government itself was responsible for the attacks, 7 percent cited Israel, and fully 1 in 4 said they just didn’t know.

Among our closest allies, very slim majorities believe al Qaeda was the culprit. According to the study, “Fifty-six percent of Britons and Italians, 63 percent of French and 64 percent of Germans cite al Qaeda. However, significant portions of Britons (26%), French (23%), and Italians (21%) say they do not know who was behind 9/11. Remarkably, 23 percent of Germans cite the U.S. government, as do 15 percent of Italians.”

Whatever one thinks of “alternative” theories of who the perpetrators were that day, the results are an eye-opening indication of how profoundly the world’s confidence in the United States government has eroded during the Bush era. The researchers found little difference among respondents according to levels of education, or to the amount of exposure to the news media they had. Rather, they found a clear correlation with people’s attitudes toward the United States in general. “Those with a positive view of America’s influence in the world are more likely to cite al Qaeda (on average 59%) than those with a negative view (40%),” wrote the authors. “Those with a positive view of the United States are also less likely to blame the U.S. government (7%) than those with a negative view (22%).”

full article: www.insight-info.com

Self-Defense for Me, Not You!

Israeli nuclear site

Israeli nuclear site

Suppose that you and your neighbor were not on friendly terms. One day you saw a large cannon in his front yard, pointed in your direction. Hmm. Concerned, you sought to obtain a similar weapon for yourself, and were not surprised to learn that your neighbor objected to such a move on your part.

 

 

You were astonished, however, to learn that people hundreds – even thousands – of miles away also objected. Your acquisition of such a weapon, they claimed, was a provocation. Several of them stopped doing business with you, even though you had not as yet acquired any weaponry, and they urged others to take the same action. You have difficulty understanding how it can be a provocation for you to arm yourself, but not a provocation for others, via sanctions of some sort, to slowly starve you to death.

Today this situation prevails in the Middle East, with Iran being the nation suspected, but certainly not proved, of developing nuclear weapons. Horrors!

There are nine governments with nuclear weapons: U.S., Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel. Russia has the most, with 5830, followed by the U.S. with 4075. Israel has 100–200, according to estimates. Israel isn’t particularly forthcoming about its nuclear arsenal, or whether or not it is actively developing nuclear weapons. It is Israel, of course, that expresses the greatest concern about Iran’s possible development of nuclear devices.

Well, that’s understandable. Iran and Israel are hardly on good terms. Mutual suspicion is to be expected. We could easily sympathize with Israel’s accumulation of a nuclear arsenal as a response to one possessed by the Iranians. But it’s the other way around. It’s the Israelis who have a nuclear arsenal, but few are sympathetic with the Iranians desire to have one, too.

full article: www.insight-info.com

The incredible story of Youssef Nada

Under the cover of the ” war against terror “, the United States and the European Union have granted unlimited powers to secret services and police. Emergency measures which were introduced on a provisional basis in 2001, outside any judiciary control, have become permanent. Since September 2001, at least 80,000 people, mainly Muslim, would have been kidnapped, kept in secret prisons, and tortured by CIA and FBI agents. Hundreds of others have been put on the UN « black list ». That’s what happened to the businessman Youssef Nada, 77 years old, an Italian citizen of Egyptian origin, accused by U.S. President, G.W Bush of financing Al-Qaeda. Two judiciary investigations resulted in a non-suit, but Mr. Nada didn’t get his name deleted from the UN « black list » (*). His assets remain frozen; he is barred from travelling to or transiting in any country. He can’t go outside the tiny enclave of Campione – an Italian enclave inside Swiss territory – where Silvia Cattori went to meet him.

Silvia Cattori : Once he knew, in detail, your incredible story, Mr. Dick Marty denounced the injustice which is inflicted on you. He reported on your case, 19th March 2007 to the Council of Europe. Despite his report, you remain on the « black list » of people suspected of assisting terrorism, deprived of freedom because my country continues to uphold the UN sanctions against you. You are living in Italy, yet being kept as hostage by Switzerland?! I want to tell you that many of us are outraged by the martyrdom that Switzerland continues to inflict on you.

Youssef Nada : You can’t say that it is “the country, Switzerland”. The citizens are one thing, and politics is another. It is true that, in Switzerland, the people here are tolerant and peaceful, and neutral. Not only is the Government neutral, but the people themselves are neutral. But Mr. Dick Marty proved that he is one of the best Swiss citizens. Really, you feel when you read and hear what he says, that he is a humanitarian. The risk he took when he followed the “Extraordinary Renditions” case, nobody took before him. All the politicians know what is going on, but no one has the courage to speak. He was the only one who had the courage. Although I respect all the Swiss people, I respect Mr. Marty more, and not only because of the attitude he had towards me. His courage when he talks about people who are helpless in front of the biggest power is unique.

Silvia Cattori : Mr. Marty’s behaviour was exemplary; but unfortunately not the behaviour of the media. You implicate them on your personal website [3]. Does that mean that the journalists are apologists in support of this war?

Youssef Nada : Some journalists do have a special agenda, which they just mix up. They take part from me, part from their preconceived ideas, and make their own story. However, most journalists and media are honest. You can’t generalise. There are a lot of honest people within the media, doing their job and looking for the facts and for the interest of the public. Every month, I speak to about 15 to 20 journalists. TV journalists came: two from France, two from England, one from Austria, two from Germany, two from Italy, one from Spain, others from the Middle East and from the Far East. Some of these journalists are very honest. In fact, some of them, even without seeing me, defended my case in a correct way.

Silvia Cattori : It must have been a terrible hardship for you. Every day, you were confronted by new accusations, all more unlikely and overwhelming than the last, without being able to answer them!

Full article: www.insight-info.com

 

Did Hezbollah Thwart a Bush/Olmert Attack on Lebanon?

This week Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief Major General Amos Yadlin complained to the Israeli daily Haaretz that “Hezbollah proved that it was the strongest power in Lebanon and if it had wanted to take the government it could have done it.” He said Hezbollah continued to pose a “significant” threat to Israel as its rockets could reach a large part of Israeli territory.”

hizbollah

Yadlin was putting it mildly.

But what Intelligence Chief Yadlin did not reveal to the Israeli public was just how “significant” but also “immediate” the Hezbollah threat was on May 11. Nor was he willing to divulge the fact that he received information via US and French channels that if the planned attack on Lebanon’s capitol went forward, that in the view of the US intelligence community Tel Aviv would be subject to “approximately 600 Hezbollah rockets in the first 24 hours in retaliation and at least that number on the following day”.

The Israeli Intel Chief also declined to reveal that despite Israel’s recent psyche-war camping about various claimed missile shields “the State of Israel is perfecting”, that this claim is being ridiculed at the Pentagon. “Israel will not achieve an effective shield against the current generation of rockets, even assuming no technological improvements in the current rockets aimed at it, for another 20 years. And that assumes the US will continue to fund their research and development for the hoped for shields”, according to Pentagon, US Senate Intelligence Committee, and very well informed Lebanese sources.

full article

Cheerleading Genocide

With spectacular fanfare and a plethora of highlighted events, Israel celebrated its 60th birthday on 18 May 2008.

israel 60

According to an Israeli government website called Israelfestival.com, the festival included “non-stop entertainment, [a] fashion show, a variety of ethnic food for sale, Israeli folk dancing, arts and
crafts, Israeli and Jewish cultural and heritage pavilions and art exhibits”.

The centrepiece ceremony takes place in West Jerusalem and be attended by Israel’s political and military leaders as well as foreign dignitaries. Among those expected are US President George W Bush,
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Israeli media and non-governmental organisations have already begun celebrations in earnest. For example, Israeli television has begun airing a new series called Shishim (meaning “60”), which looks back at the six decades since Israel was created in May 1948. The series, which began 31 March, is divided into six episodes, each devoted to one of the decades following the founding of the state.

Israel hopes that the high-pitched celebrations will serve as an opportunity to promote Israel and enhance its questionable standing abroad. “It is an opportunity to celebrate our achievements, our
successes, our national being,” boasted Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who was not yet born in 1948.

From the Zionist viewpoint, Israel is a story of success. Today, Israel is a political and military force to be reckoned with, even if its power is based on the patronage of foreign entities. A country of
no more than seven million people, including nearly 1.5 million non-Jews (mainly Palestinians), Israel more or less directs the politics and policies of world’s only superpower, the United States, thanks mainly to powerful Jewish lobbies in Washington.

The power of the Jewish lobby largely explains how massive American financial and military support is to Israel, which is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars. Were it not for this nearly unlimited
financial, economic, technological, political and military backing, Israel would never have been able to survive, especially given its predator tactics.

Israel, which has been mounting a vitriolic incitement campaign against Iran for its acquisition of nuclear technology, is a nuclear power on par with other established nuclear powers, and its military
supremacy — at least until summer of 2006 — has covered the vast bulk of the Middle East from Turkey to Iran and from North Africa to east and central Africa.

Economically, Israel is also a regional economic superpower, with a GNP bordering on $0.5 trillion. In fact, Israel is among a few pioneering states in the field of electronics and the development of
new generations of medicine, with Israeli pharmaceutical firms’ share of the world market reaching billions of dollars.

Notwithstanding all its success and achievements, Israel remains a state based on racism, apartheid and criminality against the Palestinian people whose homeland it seized and whom it is trying to
obliterate to this day. To be sure, Israel has failed. Palestinians remain, both as a human entity and as a national entity.

Israel, in order to achieve its goals, always sought to acquire, by hook or by crook, as much Palestinian land as possible while taking in as few Palestinian people as possible. The policies and tactics employed by Israel to achieve this goal are both blunt and insidious and amount to ethnic cleansing and the international crime of genocide. Israel has institutionalised racism, bulldozed hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages, shamelessly confiscated Palestinian land and property, including private homes, and recently built the so-called “Separation Wall” in the West Bank, aimed first and foremost at annexing to Israel as much Palestinian land as possible.

On top of all of this, Israel has perfected the practice of state-sponsored mass terror; a deliberate policy aimed at making Palestinian life as unbearable as possible with the ultimate goal of forcing Palestinians to leave their homes and land altogether. This is done in broad daylight; in full view of key world powers, such as the US, EU, Russia and China, which either keep silent or issue a few terse and innocuous words about the need to stick to a peace process that has form but very little substance.

Today, as Israel is getting ready to celebrate its 60th birthday, the massive theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem and its surroundings, continues unabated. Against all odds, the Palestinian people have survived. Indeed, Palestinian resilience to Israeli oppression is legendary — a trait that continues to baffle and frustrate Israeli strategists. Perhaps it is this resilience that is encouraging influential Israeli political, military and religious leaders to openly call for genocide of the Palestinians.

Recently, Israel’s Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai threatened to “inflict a greater holocaust” on Palestinians. Similarly, a growing number of rabbis associated with the two largest religious camps in
Israel, the Haredi ultra-Orthodox religious sector and the national Zionist religious sector, issuing one edict after the other, permitting soldiers to murder at will Palestinian civilians, including children, on the grounds that in war all among the enemy population ought to be treated as combatants, including children.

One might imagine that this is exaggerated, but it is not. Recently Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, director of the Tsomet Institute, a religious seminary attended by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, declared: “All
of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants, and even their beasts.” And the chief rabbi of the City of Safad, Shmuel Eliyahu, urged the state and the army recently to hang the children of
a Palestinian fighter who last month attacked the Merkaz Haarav Centre, run for Jewish settlers in West Jerusalem, killing eight pre-military Talmudic students in retaliation for the killing by the Israeli army of more than 130 Palestinians, most of them innocent civilians, in the Gaza Strip.

The mushrooming of fascist impulses is not confined to the religious sector. In March, the Israeli media quoted Knesset members and former cabinet ministers as threatening to extend discriminatory laws against non-Jews in ways reminiscent of Nuremberg Laws passed in Nazi Germany. One Israeli Knesset member reportedly told his Arab colleague: “the day will come when we will kick you out of this house.”

Such instances raise no eyebrows in a country where some rabbis, like David Batsri, openly teach that non-Jews are animals and donkeys. A recent opinion survey published this week showed that as many as 75 per cent of Israeli Jews support ethnic cleansing of Arabs from mandate Palestine — Israel proper and the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Understandably, the poll drew angry reactions from the Israeli Arab community. Jamal Zahalqa, an Israeli Arab Knesset member, suggested that Arabs are being treated in ways similar to the way Jews were treated in the Third Reich ahead of World War II.

“The hateful smell of racism and fascism is wafting everywhere in this country. You must know that we didn’t come to Israel from abroad… On the contrary; it was Israel that invaded us. We are the indigenous people of the land, and we receive our legitimacy from our belonging to this land, not from having Israeli citizenship,” he said.

Zahalqa described the poll as “additional evidence underscoring the growing rampancy of racism and fascism in Israel as a result of the ongoing waves of hate against everything and anything Arab.”

The fears of Zahalqa and other Israeli Arabs are real. Recently, hundreds of Arab residents from Jaffa, Lod and Ramleh took to the streets to protest against the planned eviction by the state of thousands of Arab residents from Jaffa. Authorities had issued warrants for the evacuation and destruction of hundreds of homes, claiming infringements on building regulations. The state also claimed that, “the families [had] lost the right to continue living in their homes, since these homes belonged to their parents … ”

“We are here and we won’t leave. We will either live on this land or die on this land. We will not let you touch our lands or our holy places,” said Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Arab movement in Israel. “All your rulings belong in the trashcan. We are not afraid of you. We will continue to live in our homeland,” he added.

Last year, Richard Falk, a renowned American Jewish professor of international law and practice, wrote an article entitled “Slouching toward a Palestinian holocaust,” in which he warned that Israel was moving towards the perpetration of a holocaust against the Palestinians. “Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalised Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not,” said Falk.

Justifying the Israel-equals-Nazi analogy, Falk argued that developments in Gaza (the blockade against its estimated 1.5 million inhabitants), were especially disturbing because they expressed
vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its backers to subject an entire human community to life- endangering conditions of maximal cruelty. “The suggestion that this pattern of conduct is a holocaust-in-the-making represents a rather desperate appeal to the governments of the world and to international public opinion to act urgently to prevent these current genocidal tendencies from culminating into a collective tragedy,” Falk wrote.

In sum, from the standpoint of fascism, Israel has much to celebrate in terms of political and military achievements. But in terms of justice, morality and humanity, one struggles to name a country on
earth that so openly practices oppression and racism. As such Israel, on its 60th birthday, remains what it was when born six decades ago: a state built on blood, murder, theft and lies.

Is Israel about to change its ways? Don’t hold your breath, Israeli leaders might say. Unless, that is, you’re Palestinian.

in Ramallah

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