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United Nations

  • What Trump's new UN envoy could mean for Israel-Palestine

    Whatever disruptions are afoot in the balance of international power will eventually be reflected at the United Nations. And when that happens, even a staunch supporter of Israel like Nikki Haley may have to yield to a new order. When she signed into law the first state legislation penalizing companies that boycott “based on race, color, religion, gender or national origin,” South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was lauded by the bill’s author, State Representative Alan Clemmons, who made clear its intent. [tmwinpost] Citing “tactics employed by the Nazis,” Clemmons called the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement a prime example…

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  • Using education to normalize horrific acts of violence

    This is how the Israeli education system makes it possible for generation after generation of Israelis to accept the most brutal forms of state violence.  By Gil Gertel October provides Israelis a number of opportunities for self examination, one of which happened just a week ago, on October 14. On that night in 1953, 600 Israeli soldiers — half of an infantry battalion — raided the Palestinian village Qibya, located just over a kilometer from Israel's border with the West Bank, then under Jordanian control. The soldiers opened fire, threw grenades, laid explosives, and blew up 45 homes. Sixty-nine residents of Qibya, the majority of…

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  • 'The occupation is sustainable because the world refuses to take action'

    The following is a transcript of the prepared remarks B'Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad delivered to UN Security Council members during a special 'Arria-formula' session on 'Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution' in New York on October 14, 2016. By Hagai El-Ad Members of the Security Council, Ladies and Gentlemen, Before I begin, I would like to express my deep thanks for this unique opportunity of speaking at this distinguished forum and engaging with the members of the UN Security Council. What I’m about to say is not meant to shock you. It is, however, meant to move you. For…

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  • Israel’s showdown with the UN over immunity for Gazan engineer

    By Marian Houk and John Brown* It didn’t take more than a few hours before the United Nations found out Israeli intelligence agents had arrested one of its Palestinian engineers as he was returning to the Gaza Strip through the Erez military checkpoint. The very next morning, on July 4, a senior UNDP official in Jerusalem fired off a “Note Verbale” to Israel’s minister of foreign affairs, Benjamin Netanyahu, that expressed anxiety. “At around 1730 hours while at Erez, Mr. [Waheed] al-Bursh was taken by two security officers, and since then we know nothing about him." The UN official, Roberto Valent, asked that…

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  • A law banning torture in Israel? Don’t hold your breath

    An anti-torture law currently being drafted by the Justice Ministry is not enough to fix an entire legal system that allows the practice to be used against an occupied population. During its review session at the UN Committee Against Torture in Geneva on Wednesday, Israel’s representatives informed the committee that the Justice Ministry is drafting a bill that, for the first time, would explicitly enshrine torture as a crime under Israeli law. This appears to be a very positive development in a years-long battle to end Israel’s use of torture, championed by torture victims, human rights groups, and UN bodies.…

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  • Marwan Barghouti is planning a comeback — from behind bars

    He may be serving five consecutive life sentences in an Israeli prison but Marwan Barghouti is the only leader who has a chance to succeed Mahmoud Abbas and unite the Palestinian people. This is how he plans on doing it. By Menachem Klein Until recently Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was considered only a lame duck. Long ago he had promised not to run for president in the next elections. Not a single politician threatened him, he did not appoint a vice president, and elections never took place. But over the past two weeks Abbas has gone from lame duck to…

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  • UN: 75,000 Palestinians in Gaza still displaced from 2014 war

    Only 16 percent of destroyed or severely damaged households have been made habitable, a new UN survey finds. Some 75,000 Palestinians, including an estimated 44,000 children, remain internally displaced in the Gaza Strip almost two years after the devastating war with Israel that killed over 2,000 people, according to a United Nations survey of the situation published Tuesday. An estimated 18,000 housing units (16,965 households) in Gaza were either destroyed or severely damaged during the war. Only 3,000 of those housing units, or 16 percent, have since been rebuilt or otherwise rendered habitable, according to the UN’s Office for the…

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  • Democracy, the High Court and punitive home demolitions

    Israeli politicians endlessly chastise the Supreme Court for doubting the use of punitive home demolitions. So what do the politicians do? Blame the judges for defending terrorists. By Frances Raday The spate of stabbing and vehicular attacks by Palestinian youths over the past couple of months has brought along with it a spate of punitive home demolitions targeting the attackers' family members. Both political leaders and Israeli Supreme Court justices have had something to say about the practice. The justices have expressed some doubt about the practice, and in some cases even issued injunctions delaying the demolitions. In response, politicians…

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  • Israeli settler couple killed, and the band plays on

    Our hearts are desensitized by horror fatigue, convinced that nothing can change. But we must still try, if not for the dead then for the living. A lifetime of sorrow lies before four children who became orphans last night when their parents were killed in a hailstorm of bullets on a West Bank road. The children were in the car when it happened, including a four-month-old infant. The oldest was nine. They were unharmed physically, but their suffering is indescribable. But it’s time to admit that aside from their circle of family and friends, no one else really cares. If we did,…

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  • WATCH: Netanyahu's deafening silence, the extended version

    The Israeli prime minister digs deeper into his bag of UN shtick. (Updated below with even better versions.) Israeli Prime Minister is known for his antics and shtick at the United Nations. In the past he has flaunted cartoon drawings of bombs, waved blueprints of Auschwitz and now he used a new prop — deafening silence. Deriding the entire world for ignoring threats to Israel by Iran, Netanyahu accused the representatives present in the UNGA chamber: “the response from every one of you here, utter silence. Deafening silence.” And then he went silent. With the most terrifying evil stare, or perhaps…

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  • What's happening in Jerusalem?: A roundup

    Dozens of Palestinians and several Border Police officers wounded in third day of clashes over restrictions to Jerusalem's holiest site. Tensions erupted in East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday, as dozens of Palestinians and three Border Police officers were wounded in the third day of clashes over restrictions on Muslim worship in one of Jerusalem's holiest sites. [tmwinpost] According to Ma'an News Agency, dozens Palestinians were wounded during clashes with Israeli security forces throughout the West Bank. Eighteen of them were lightly wounded near the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum, while protesting in support of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound amid…

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  • Will the UN Gaza report finally push Europe to confront Israel?

    The UN's Commission of Inquiry report on the 2014 Gaza war has been able to achieve what the Goldstone report could not in 2009: a new gateway for confronting the EU to demand accountability for the devastation of the war. Two weeks ago the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution to adopt the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, calling for the implementation of the report’s recommendations. In a move that some observers described as “unprecedented,” all eight EU member states on the Council – the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland,…

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  • Why Netanyahu can’t just wish Palestine away: Analysis of a failed policy

    Instead of earnestly pursuing peace, consecutive Israeli governments have attempted three policies: separating the Palestinians, erasing borders and boundaries, and attempting to change the world's perception of reality. All three have failed. Since Benjamin Netanyahu began his second term as prime minister in 2009, he has resisted reaching a two-state solution but he also claims not to want a single state, with or without a Jewish hegemony. Nobody seems to be willing to simply ask the prime minister: what do you intend for Israel and the Palestinians in five or 10 years from now? In lieu of a vision, Netanyahu…

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