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July 8, 2015 / 21 Tammuz, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘human rights’

Israel’s Latest ‘War Crime’ and Human Rights Violation: Uprooting Trees

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Israel uprooted approximately 1,000 almond and olive trees that were planted illegally in a land grab on the western edge of Gush Etzion on Thursday, an action that Arabs are calling a “war crime” and even a human rights violation.”

The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) stated:

[We] carried out the eviction of an illegal invasion of around 1,000 olive trees planted illegally without permits on state land in Wadi Fukin.

The area is located between the security fence and the Hareidi city of Beitar Illit, west of Efrat.

The Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA website claimed that the land is owned by Arabs.

The London Independent reported:

Palestinians have accused Israel of a war crime after military tractors destroyed around a thousand olive and almond trees belonging to local farmers on the grounds that they were illegally planted on state land….. Three years ago, Israeli authorities posted signs saying that the land belongs to the state, farmers said.

Wasel Abu Yusuf, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, told the newspaper: This is occupied territory and international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention apply. This is the land of the Palestinian state and any colonialist settler building or expropriation of land or cutting trees is a war crime against the Palestinian people.

If they are going to claim it is a “war came,” why not go even farther and charge Israel with violating human rights?

That may sound absurd, but read what an unidentified journalist, whom we can assume to be Al Quds correspondent Sayid Erikat, told the State Dept. at yesterday’s daily briefing:

Yesterday the Israelis pulled out something like 1,800 trees in the West Bank; they uprooted trees and so on. I mean, we talked about the commission of inquiry and human rights abuses and so on. Is that something that you would like to see the Israelis stop doing?

State Dept. spokesman John Kirby answered, “I haven’t seen the report on the trees being uprooted. You’re going to have to let me go back and look at that. I just don’t have anything on that.

What is amazing is that there was no laughter from Kirby or fellow journalists.

US Supreme Court Rules on ‘Free Speech’ in Social Media

Monday, June 1st, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today (Monday, June 1) to affirm protection for “free speech” on social media and the internet – even if that speech is threatening or provocative.

The decision was handed down in the case of Anthony D. Elonis V. United States of America, affirming that threats made over the internet are protected, unless they are malevolent or reckless.

The case relates to Facebook posts by Elonis, who was convicted for making unlawful threats as he expressed anger about events in his life, basing the posts on rap lyrics of various artists.

In an amicus curiae brief (friend of the Court), The Rutherford Institute had argued the First Amendment protects even inflammatory statements that might give offense or cause concern to others unless the statements were a credible threat to engage in violence against another, and made by the defendant with the intent to cause fear in the alleged victim.

The decision is also particularly relevant to the brouhaha over the “Jihad Watch Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest” held in Garland, Texas a few weeks ago. Sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) run by Pam Geller, the event attracted an attempted attack by two terrorists, who opened fire on a security guard but were both shot and killed by police.

The event was organized in response to the radical Islamist attack on the Paris offices of the “Charlie Hebdo” French satiric magazine in January of this year, Geller said. “We decided to have a cartoon contest to show we would not kowtow to violent intimidation and allow the freedom of speech to be overwhelmed by thugs and bullies,” she told The Washington Post in an email statement.

Sweden Rips Up Saudi Military Deal After Cairo Spat Over Human Rights

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News

by Ilan Shavit

Sweden is canceling its military deal with Saudi Arabia one day after an open dispute between the two countries over human rights had led to the public humiliation of the Swedish foreign minister in Cairo.

According to Reuters, Swedish companies last year exported roughly $40 million in defense equipment to Saudi Arabia, and that the overall deal now killed has earned the Swedes in $560 million between 2011 and 2014.

The lucrative deal was cancelled after, on Monday, Saudi Arabia blocked Sweden’s foreign minister Margot Wallström from speaking to the League of Arab States assembled in Cairo.

Wallström was told that she could certainly speak to the Arab League about Sweden’s decision to become the first EU country to officially to recognize the State of Palestine—the reason she had been invited—but she shouldn’t bring up troubling issues such as human rights and democracy in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia.

Swedish politicians have been attacking Riyadh’s preference for sharia law, complete with flogging and beheading, and how that relates to our common notion of human rights.

So Wallström was snubbed one more time by a Middle Eastern country unhappy with its approach to international diplomacy—the first one being Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, who forced her to cancel her planned visit to Israel in January.

For their part, the Arab League ministers issued a statement saying “Sharia has guaranteed human rights and preserved people’s lives, possessions, honor and dignity. The ministers consider the comments as irresponsible and unacceptable.”

The deal was initially signed by the Social Democrats in 2005, and then renewed by the right wing government in 2010. But the current left-leaning government has the Green party as a coalition partner, and they refuse to arm a country with so many human rights violations like Saudi Arabia.

A spokesman for Saab told Reuters: “Saudi Arabia is a very important market for us and a good customer. How Sweden handles this can affect us.”

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, who is visiting the Ukraine, confirmed the Saudi deal is dead.

The Financial Times pointed out that Sweden’s military industrial complex’s cozy relationship with the Saudi Crown was one of the reasons the Right was defeated last September. Back in 2012, defense minister Sten Tolgfors was forced to resign over his exposed plans to build a weapons factory in the Arabian desert.

An open fight with the Arabs does not bode well for Sweden’s chances to gain a seat on the UN Security Council, which is why, presumably, they recognized Palestine in the first place.

UN Security Council Considers North Korean Alleged Crimes Against Humanity

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

For the first time, North Korea’s record on human rights has been placed on the agenda for discussion at the United Nations Security Council. The nuclear-status nation is led by capricious 31-year-old Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, whose mood swings and rages are legend both in the country and abroad.

Until now, the Council has focused primarily on the issue of North Korea’s nuclear activities and the threat they pose. In response to its violations of UN mandates nixing nuclear and ballistic tests, the Council imposed sanctions on Pyongyang that have caused severe economic hardship, but as is the case with Iran have not persuaded the country’s regime to change course.

Ultimately, the Council may consider whether or not to hold the North Korean government responsible for its alleged crimes against humanity.

The United States called Pyongyang a “living nightmare” for North Korean citizens at the first meeting held by the Council, held Monday despite an initial attempt from China to block it. The meeting opened with a procedural raised-hand vote that showed 11 of the 15 Council members supported placing the issue of North Korea’s human rights record on the agenda. China and Russia voted against; Chad and Nigeria abstained.

Testimony was compiled from North Korean exiles by a UN commission of inquiry that left no doubt as to the brutality of the country’s regime, according to U.S. envoy Samantha Power. The unprecedented talks included review of testimony from a former prison camp survivor who told of picking kernels of corn from cattle dung to stave off starvation. A former guard testified about prison wardens who routinely raped their prisoners.

In February 2014, an investigation by the United Nations found that up to 120,000 people are being held in North Korean prison camps. The report also detailed numerous cases of summary executions, torture and rape, leading the inquiry to conclude that North Korea was committing human rights violations “without parallel in the contemporary world,” ordered at the highest level of the state.

No decision was taken on Monday in response to a call to refer Pyongyang to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. But three of the five permanent members of the Council – the U.S., Britain and France – as well as Australia and others, said the Council should consider action on the issue.

“Rarely has such an extensive charge sheet of international crimes been brought to the Council’s attention,” said UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic.

Israel Wants UN to Recognize Hamas – as a Terrorist Organization

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Israel will demand that the United Nations label Hamas a terrorist organization when the head of the IDF’s international law department and Israel’s legal adviser to the international body meet this month for the first time ever with U.N. officials.

The United Nations never has officially recognized any group as a terrorist organization, and considering the solid pro-Arab majority in the General Assembly, the chances of its labeling Hamas as a terrorist group are as high as Iran publicly turning over its nuclear development program to the United States for safe keeping.

“Operation Protective Edge serves as a serious ‘indictment’ that reveals Hamas’ international crimes with emphasis on the terror tunnels as well as the usage of civilians as human shields,” the Israel delegation said in a statement.

The meeting with senior United Nations official will take place with the IDF’s expert on law, Col. Noam Neuman, and the Foreign Ministry’s legal adviser Ehud Keinan to UN senior officials.

It added, with what must undoubtedly be a carload of sarcasm, “Surprisingly, to date the UN has not officially recognized any organization in the world as a terrorist organization.”

”Surprisingly?”

The United Nations does not even know what terrorism means. It has no official definition of the term, according to Anne Bayefsky, editor of Eye on the UN. If the United Nations were to define a country that sponsors terrorism and then expel it from the undistinguished international body, the General Assembly could move into much smaller quarters.

The United Nations, once known for its work around the world to help poor societies, especially in Africa, has turned into a front for terrorism because it protects countries that operate on terror. It even awards them with prestigious positions. Saudi Arabia is on the Human Rights Council and Iran is on the Commission on the Status of Women.

Bayefsky wrote last week in the New York Daily News:

“Since the UN has no definition of terrorism, state sponsors of terrorism happily denounce terrorism’ at the very same time as they promote it. Second, the terrorist funders and weapons suppliers redirect the world’s attention to the supposed ‘root causes’ of terrorism….

“On Oct. 7, at the legal committee meeting at UN headquarters, Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon listed ‘root causes that may lead to radicalism such as . . . poverty, social exclusion and marginalization’ along with ‘Islamophobia.’

“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani played the same card in an address to the General Assembly in September when he whined about ‘Iranophobia.’ …

“Iran is also the president of the so-called ‘Non-Aligned Movement — a group of nations routinely aligned against the West. As such, Iran speaks for 120 UN member states — a majority of the 193 UN countries.

“Here’s the Iranian speech to the UN legal beagles that was webcast Oct. 7: ‘Terrorism should not be equated with the legitimate struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation for self-determination and national liberation.’

“All 56 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have signed on to the Islamic Convention on Combating International Terrorism, which gives a green light to killing Israelis, Americans and anybody else deemed fair game. The treaty says, ‘Peoples’ struggle, including armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination . . . shall not be considered a terrorist crime.’”

The United Nations Security Council has followed the Peace and Love philosophy of universal self-destruction by blaming “conditions” for the “spread of violent extremism.”

No one is responsible for his actions, except Israel of course, whose existence is alleged as the reason for terror. Get rid of Israel, and there will be no more terror.

Iran Bows to Pressure and May Remove Reyhaneh Jabbari from Death Row

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Iran’s so-called justice ministry has postponed for a month the hanging of Reyhaneh Jabbari, who allegedly stabbed to death a former intelligence office whom she said testified tried to rape her.

Jabbari used a small pen knife to fend off the attacker, who has been described as a burly man, in the shoulder, leaving open several questions concerning his supposed inability to get up and seek medical attention, as reported here.

No Iranian official ever can admit wrongdoing, and the “death” has being interpreted as a probable commutation of her death sentence. It is not known if she will serve more time in prison, assuming her life is spared.

The case attracted worldwide attention after she was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, the attacker who she stabbed as he tried to rape her.

The prosecution’s case against her has been highly questioned, and her lawyers said she was not given a fair trial, which is far from surprising. Human Rights Watch has been leading a drive to save Jabbari’s life, and the Iranian judiciary earlier this year agreed to review the death sentence.

Approximately 200,000 people have signed a petition in her behalf.

 

 

Amnesty International Admits Flawed Reporting on Israeli ‘Abuses’

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

An Amnesty International field reporter has unwittingly admitted that Palestinians often mislead human rights activists when they report about supposed Israeli “abuses.”

Donatella Rovera,Amnesty’s Senior Crisis Advisor, recently wrote on the Professionals in Human Assistance and Protection website, that

“In Gaza, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and other places I interviewed civilians who described what they thought were artillery or bomb strikes being launched by far away government forces and striking near their homes – whereas in reality the loud bangs and tremors were caused by mortars or rockets being launched by opposition fighters from their positions nearby. For the untrained ear it is virtually impossible to distinguish between incoming and outgoing fire, and all the more so for those who find themselves close to the frontlines.

“Fear can lead victims and witnesses to withhold evidence or give deliberately erroneous accounts of incidents. In Gaza, I received partial or inaccurate information by relatives of civilians accidentally killed in accidental explosions or by rockets launched by Palestinian armed groups towards Israel that had malfunctioned and of civilians killed by Israeli strikes on nearby Palestinian armed groups’ positions. When confronted with other evidence obtained separately, some said they feared reprisals by the armed groups.

Responding to the article, Honest Reporting notes that much of Rovera’s faulty “reportage,” is often cited by anti-Israel groups to vilify not only Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, but in the Land of Israel at all.

“Human rights reports “spread quickly and then become widely believed – including by “unbiased” NGOs – before anyone has a chance to investigate,” said the website.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/amnesty-intl-admits-faulty-reporting/2014/05/11/

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