US veto blocks UN anti-Israel resolution

The UN Security Council has been unable to force an end to Israeli attacks against Gaza due to the intervention of the United States.


bageri_d20081228113347218Washington once again used its veto powers on Sunday to block a resolution calling for an end to the massive ongoing Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip. 

The council has only been able to issue a ‘non-binding’ statement that calls on Israel to voluntarily bring all its military activities in the besieged region to an immediate end. 

The statement comes as Israel has begun a fresh wave of air strikes on Gaza on Sunday, killing at least six people. At least 230 people were killed and 800 wounded in similar attacks on Saturday. The number of Palestinians deaths has so far risen to 271. 

The council called on the parties to address the humanitarian crisis in the territory but has not criticized the Israeli air attacks. 

Croatian UN Ambassador Neven Jurica read out the non-binding statement on behalf of the 15-member body that “called for an immediate halt to all violence” and on the parties “to stop immediately all military activities.” 

“The members of the Security Council expressed serious concern at the escalation of the situation in Gaza,” he said, as the president of the council. 

The council also requested the opening of border crossings into Gaza to address the serious humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza and to ensure medical treatment and a continuous supply of food and fuel. 

US representative to the UNSC, Zalmay Khalilzad, defended the Israeli move, saying Tel Aviv has the right to self-defense. 

“I regret the loss of any of all innocent life,” he said, adding that Hamas rockets precipitated this situation. 

Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip fire rockets into Israel in retaliation for the daily Israeli attacks against them. Unlike the state-of-the-art Israeli weapons and ammunition, the home-made Qassam rockets rarely cause casualties. 

The US, a staunch ally to Israel, has so far vetoed over 40 anti-Israeli resolutions sought by the council since 1972. 

Since 2004, Washington has prevented the adoption of four other resolutions that called for Tel Aviv to halt its operations in the Gaza Strip. 

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Israel deports American academic

Israel has refused entry to the controversial Jewish American academic and UN envoy, Richard Falk who once compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews.

Falk flew into Tel Aviv on Sunday night and spent the night at Ben Gurion airport before he was deported this morning.

Earlier this year, when the Princeton University professor of international law was appointed as the UN’s special rapporteur in the Palestinian territories, Israel said it would deny him entry because in 2007 he said the Jewish nation’s blockade on the Palestinian coastal territory of Gaza was a “Holocaust in the making”.

In June this year, Israel allowed Falk to enter in a personal capacity to attend a conference in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Israel defended its decision to deport Falk, saying he had used his personal visit in June to write an official UN report and because of his “shameful comparisons to the Holocaust”.

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Israel also objects to the UN’s special rapporteur mandate which aims to document only the Jewish state’s abuses of Palestinian human rights. It does not include Palestinian abuses of Israeli human rights.

It’s the third time this year that Israel has barred a high-profile critic from entering.

In May, it deported Norman Finkelstein, a controversial Jewish American academic who has accused Israel of using the Holocaust to justify its actions against the Palestinians. Israel also refused Nobel peace laureate the Archbishop Desmond Tutu entry while on a UN fact-finding mission in Gaza the same month.

Toni O’Loughlin in Jerusalem –  guardian.co.uk

26 Years on 1982 Invasion, Resistance Made the Change

June 6 is a day with a special characteristic. It’s a day that marked the beginning of a new era in the Arab-Israeli conflict and paved the way for strong resistance movements to rise and eventually make a change.

us embassy beirut


On this day, twenty-six years ago, Israeli occupation forces launched a massive military incursion into Lebanon in an operation dubbed “Peace for Galilee.” At first glance, the Israeli aggression seemed to be aimed at south Lebanon, but then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon pushed all the way to the capital Beirut.
“Peace for Galilee” for the Israelis is the “Israeli Invasion” for the Lebanese.  It began on 6 June, less than two months after Israel transformed its defeat in Sinai into a political victory in Camp David. Then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin got the impression that all Arab countries would follow Egypt and sign so-called peace deals with Israel.
 
Jordan gave its word to Israel that it would sign such treaty once Lebanon signs a similar one. The Kingdom did not want to get involved in any agreement that would put it at odds with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) that had its leadership headquarters in Beirut.
Back then, Lebanon meant the fertile land for Palestinian resistance movements; thus dealing a blow to the PLO in Lebanon would crush the resistance once and for all and pave the way for signing a peace deal with Lebanon and then with Arab states. In doing this, Israel would extract the acknowledgment of Arabs in the so-called “state of Israel” and open the way for political and economic expansion in the Middle East region.
 
Menachem Begin found that the only way to achieve this “glory” for Israel was to invade Lebanon to crush the PLO, but under what pretext?
 
On July 24, 1981, US President Ronald Reagan’s special envoy Philip Habib arrived in Beirut with a controversial mission. Habib managed to broker a shaky nine-months ceasefire between Yasser Arafat and Israel. When the ceasefire took effect, Tel Aviv was like a beehive preparing politically and logistically for their “big time invasion.”  
Back in Beirut, Israeli and pro-Israeli bodies worked persistently on straining the internal front. Clashes between Lebanese and Palestinian forces expanded throughout south Lebanon. Both forces got weak and their chances of closing ranks to confront any Israeli military operation were zero.  
 
The element of direct military resistance was removed at a time some Arab regimes were at the Arab Summit in Fass preparing a formula to penetrate the Arab impregnability.
So everything was ready for the invasion. Israel just needed the pretext and it was not hard to find. On June 3, 1982, Israel’s ambassador in London Shlomo Argov escaped an assassination attempt.
The Israeli intelligence told Begin that the PLO was not involved in the attack, however he withheld this information from his cabinet. Rafael Eitan, who was then the Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, responded to the aforementioned information in his famous saying “Abu Nidal, abu shmidal. We need to end PLO!”

Full article: http://www.insight-info.com/articles/item.aspx?i=1156

US political author Norman Finkelstein denied entry to Israel

A great example of how the west claims to have the freedom of speech but in reality it is only the freedom to say whatever the west allows you to say and not to step out of the box

norman finkelstein

Jerusalem – The US political author and critic of Israel Norman Finkelstein was denied entry to the Jewish state on Friday, his lawyer said.

Finkelstein landed at Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv in the early morning and was told by a representative of the ministry of interior that he would not be allowed into the country on ‘security’ grounds, attorney Michael Sfard told dpa.

‘This usually means a 10-year ban on entry,’ Sfard added.

Finkelstein, who is Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivors, has written critical books on Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories and on what he called ‘exploitation’ of the Jewish tragedy during World War II.

Finkelstein has received with the fierce disapproval of some authors and academics, while others have praised his controversial works.

Source

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.”

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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

War with Iran, Israel’s doomsday

Iran will defeat Israel in any war waged by the regime against the Islamic Republic, a spokesperson for the Israeli government warns.

Colonel Miri Eisen

Iran will rout Israel if Tel Aviv gets involved in an open conflict with Tehran, said Colonel Miri Eisen, a special Israeli government spokesperson in Dublin.

Israel’s coffers would be drained in case of war with Iran, Eisen added at a seminar in Dublin’s Trinity College, the Jewish Telegraph Agency reported.

Eisen said the regime should welcome a diplomatic solution with Tehran. “There is no other way — because if it becomes Israel versus Iran, Israel has already lost.”

Iran’s Defense Minister, Brig. Gen. Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, said Thursday that Israel is in no position to launch an attack on the Islamic Republic.

“Israel is too weak and vulnerable to wage war against Iran and the claims by the regime that it might attack the country are only aimed at covering up its failures and domestic problems,” the Iranian minister stressed,

An Israeli air force base commander, Col. Ziv Levy, cautioned in April that Israel will “cease to exist” following the single war it loses.

Press TV