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Posts Tagged ‘Guatemala’

Guatemala Recognizes Palestinian Authority as a State

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Guatemala has recognized Palestine as a state, which it believes will help bring about a peace agreement with Israel. It joins several Latin American countries that have recognized a sovereign state of Palestine in the last two years.

The Guatemala’s president’s office said in a statement that it decided to “recognize the State of Palestine as a free, sovereign and independent state” in order to “gain new momentum” in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“The decision in no way alters Guatemala’s long tradition of friendship and cooperation with the State of Israel, a relationship the Guatemalan government highly values,” the statement added.

Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile, Peru and Guyana all have recognized an independent Palestinian state, some specifying that it be located within 1967 borders.

 

 

Gloria Steinem, Women Under Siege, Documenting Sex Crimes in Syria in Real Time

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

“Imagine what it would mean to track rape in conflict in real time – we’re doing it in Syria,” declares the new website Women Under Siege.

“Our mission is to show the world that each woman raped has been illegally brutalized against her will. We aim to show that this woman, wherever she is, matters. As part of this, we’re trying something new: telling individual stories from Syria as they happen.”

The website is calling on women and men from Syria and those working with Syrian refugees to provide reports of sexualized violence as the crisis there continues to unfold.

A Women’s Media Center initiative, Women Under Siege is documenting and advocating against sexualized violence in conflict. Spearheaded by Gloria Steinem, this initiative explores historical evidence that sexualized violence occurred in wars from the Holocaust to the present day. In the belief that understanding what happened in the past might have helped us to prevent or to prepare for the mass sexual assaults of other conflicts, from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Women Under Siege is working to heighten public consciousness of causes and prevention.

“We are relying on you to help us discover whether rape and sexual assault are widespread—such evidence can be used to aid the international community in grasping the urgency of what is happening in Syria, and can provide the base for potential future prosecutions,” declare the website operator. “Our goal is to make these atrocities visible, and to gather evidence so that one day justice may be served.”

The website has partnered with a Harvard-based doctor and an epidemiologist from Columbia University, as well as multiple Syrian activists.

In an article titled “The cartography of suffering: Women Under Siege maps sexualized violence in Syria,” published on the new website, Lauren Wolfe and Catherine M. Mullaly write:

When we hear about conflicts in foreign countries and imagine terrible acts, our thoughts don’t turn immediately to rape. We think of bombings and refugees and government suppression. If we think of sexualized violence at all, we may imagine a faceless, powerless woman, one unfortunate person who will eventually become a statistic—400,000 raped in Rwanda, 100,000 in Guatemala. When we hear about conflicts, we don’t imagine these stories. Or we consider them to simply be part of a larger horror.

But at Women Under Siege, our mission is to show the world that each woman raped is a person who has been illegally brutalized against her will, that she is part of a family and a community that may now be shredded. We aim to show that this woman, wherever she is, matters.

As part of this mission, we’re trying something new: telling egregiously underreported stories from Syria as they happen, with as much accuracy as possible. The blurred suffering of women who have been sexually violated in the raging but opaque Syrian conflict is now being made visible on our site, WomenUnderSiegeSyria.crowdmap.com.

Users can submit reports to the website anonymously or with one’s personal information, which will not be stored on any server or posted online.

Outraged Israeli Leaders Pledge Boycott of UN Human Rights Council, Punitive Measures Against Palestinians

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

The fury sparked in Israel by the UN Human Rights Council’s passage of a resolution Thursday – which ordered a fact-finding inquiry into Israeli settlements and their infringement on the rights of Palestinians – has shown no signs of abating, as the Israeli security cabinet is set to meet Sunday afternoon to discuss possible punitive measures.

The UN body resolved “to dispatch an independent international fact-finding mission” to “investigate the implications of Israeli settlements on the…right of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including east Jerusalem.” The resolution, the first ‘fact-finding mission’ authorized by the 47-member Council, was adopted by a vote of 36 to 1, with 10 abstentions. The United States was the lone dissenter. Beyond the predictable reflexive anti-Israel votes (Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Norway), Switzerland, Austria, and Belgium were among those that voted for the resolution. Even those countries that have stood with Israel in past UN votes (Czech Republic, Poland, Guatemala, Hungary) only managed to cast abstentions, which in UN forums is often the closest Israel can get to an expression of support.

In the same session, the Council also approved four other resolutions against Israel: on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (44 for, 1 against [USA], two abstentions [Cameroon, Guatemala]); on the Right of the Palestinian People to Self-Determination (46 for, 1 against [USA]); on the Follow-up to UN Fact-Finding Mission to Gaza (29 for, 1 against [USA], and 17 abstentions); and on Human Rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan (33 for, 1 against [USA], and 13 abstentions). All except for the last resolution were submitted by ‘Palestine’.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that Israel would not be cooperating with the Council: “We have no reason to continue cooperating with a hypocritical organization which specializes in double-speak and has a mission to smear us…We know in advance what their conclusions will be.”  Israel Radio reported that Israel is considering simply barring entry to delegates of the Council. Ayalon also warned the Palestinian Authority that it should not expect “cooperation” from Israel “while it is fighting it in international forums.”

Israel Radio also reported on Sunday that Israel was considering punitive measures against the Palestinians like suspending tax transfers and, according to a report in Yediot Ahronot, freezing an initiative to allocate 5,000 new work permits to Palestinians.

“We have many resources but we will act with discretion and will not shoot from the hip,” Ayalon responded when asked what measures Israel might take.

PM Binyamin Netanyahu responded angrily to the vote, saying the Council “should be ashamed of itself…the Council has made 91 decisions, 39 of which dealt with Israel, three with Syria and one with Iran.”

Avigdor lieberman, speaking to Israel Radio while on a visit to Singapore said, “[t]his hypocritical organization has nothing to do with human rights. Its bias and lack of objectivity are obvious…We will not be actors in this theatre of the absurd, where 70 percent of the council’s decisions are hostile to Israel.”

Lieberman continued to blast the Council on Sunday, saying: “We are considering asking free countries like the United States to withdraw from this organization.” But the US State Department quickly quashed this possibility by issuing a statement that appeared to defend the Council’s work, saying that it had “helped spur action on a series of important human rights situations around the world,” but added that the US condemns the Council’s anti-Israel bias which “continues to unnecessarily politicize the Council’s human rights agenda.”

 

 

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/outraged-israeli-leaders-pledge-boycott-of-un-human-rights-council-punitive-measures-against-palestinians/2012/03/25/

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