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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘the Hague’

One More Try for Peace as Envoy Martin Indyk Arrives in Israel

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

U.S. Special Envoy Martin Indyk raced to Jerusalem Wednesday for emergency meetings with Israeli and Palestinian Authority negotiators over the crashing final status talks.

In Algeria for strategic security talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also urged Israeli and PA leaders to make one more effort to reach an agreement, warning that the Obama administration could not force peace if partners were unwilling.

“You can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions and compromises,” he said. “The leaders have to lead and they have to be able to see a moment when it’s there.” Kerry quoted the old adage of being able to ‘lead a horse to water but not being able to make it drink’ — an analogy that every American child is raised with.

“Now is the time to drink,” Kerry said. “The leaders need to know that.”

Last week Israel balked over the release of a final group of 30 PA terrorist incarcerated in Israeli prisons. The group included 20 Israeli Arab citizens – a controversial issue that had split the coalition government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from the start of the talks in July 2013.

The Israeli Arab prisoners acted in their terrorism under the auspices of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Both are led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, so it is impossible for him to close his eyes to their incarceration. More so, it is impossible for Israeli government ministers to ignore the fact that Abbas, whose nom de guerre is Abu Mazen, is in some ways as much a terrorist as those who are imprisoned. Abbas has claimed “only a few hundred thousand” Jews were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. During the years of the Bush Administration he refused to dismantle terrorist organizations as required by the Roadmap peace plan – which collapsed — and refuses to stop media incitement in the PA against Israel as well.

The prisoners were to be freed in stages linked to progress in the talks and the participation of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas – who has not been active at the negotiating table since November 2013. Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that no visible progress appears to have been made on the core issues since that time, with Israel making all the security concessions and endangering its own population.

Last Friday, instead of freeing the terrorists, Israel proposed to extend the talks and offered to free another 400 prisoners, again in stages linked as before to progress in the negotiations.

The talks are not scheduled to end until April 29.

Instead, on Monday infuriated PA leaders signed applications for membership in 15 United Nations agencies and organizations. The move is an outrageous violation of its commitment to both Israel and the United States at the outset of the talks.

Last night (Wednesday), Fatah faction leader Mohamed Shtayyeh also threatened in a statement in Arabic to Sky News to submit an application to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague – a second violation.

The PA committed at the start of negotiations with Israel in July 2013 not to seek membership in international organizations – including the International Criminal Court at The Hague – until the conclusion of talks on April 29.

But Shtayyeh announced that the PA is also no longer willing to “negotiate” on any issue other than borders and demanded Israel present a map of new borders based on the 1949 Armistice lines, also known as the “1967 lines.” This is a third violation.

The “1967 lines” term is used with bitterness by Arabs and many in the international community to refer to the areas occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, whose borders were dissolved after Israel won the 1967 Six Day War.

If Israel is unable to reach agreement with the PA on borders, the PA threatened to submit applications for membership in 63 international organizations. The strategy is being used as a means of gaining de facto legitimacy as a as an independent sovereign nation.

Moreover, Shtayyeh blamed Israel for the action, saying it came in response to the government decision not to release the final group of terrorist prisoners last week.

PA envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour added in a statement to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency – a PA mouthpiece — that the entity is “eligible for membership in up to 550 international organizations.”

Dutch Candidate Compares Geert Wilders with Hitler

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch rightist, pro-Israel Party for Freedom, called for The Hague to be home to fewer Moroccans, which led an opposing candidate to compare him to Hitler.

Wilders, an anti-Islam and anti-immigration politician and a supporter of Israel, made the comments last week during a campaign event. Local elections in Holland will be held on March 19.

Wilders called for “a city with fewer taxes and, if possible, fewer Moroccans,” according to the Het Parool daily. His party, known as PVV, reportedly is set to become the largest party in The Hague.

Following Wilders’ remarks, Fouad Sidali, a senior member of the Dutch Labor Party, compared Wilders to Hitler.

Sidali on Thursday wrote on Twitter: “Hitler is among us. In the figure of Geert Wilders. Hitler also thought that there should be fewer Jews. We will never forget that.”

Sidali later withdrew his comment. He was quoted by Het Parool as saying Friday that the comparison was inappropriate and that he should not have made it, but added: “One needs to understand what emotions Wilders’ statement evokes.”

Wilders responded on Friday in a tweet which stated:  “Sidali … retracted his statement. Wise. Leaving for Morocco would be even wiser.”

“The days that I let myself, my party and voters be insulted with Nazi comparisons are over. Anyone who does that, I will confront through the microphone or through the court,” Wilders said during a filmed interview which appeared last week on the website of the Dutch daily Telegraaf.

He told the ANP agency that he will sue politicians who make the comparison in civil court for defamation, and that Sidali’s apology came after Wilders’ attorney threatened to sue.

Head of UN Rights Panel: Report Is ‘Weapon’ against Israel

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

The head of the UN panel that issued a one-sided report attacking Israel, has said publicly that the document could be “a kind of weapon for the Palestinians.”

French judge Christine Chanet said at a news conference that the Palestinians could use the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) report, if they wanted to, take their grievances before The Hague-based International Criminal Court.

The Palestine Liberation Organization has already announced it is planning such action and said the report, describing Israel’s settlements as “creeping annexation,” was “proof of Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing” and its desire to undermine the possibility of a Palestinian state.

Israel has said the report is biased and UN Watch, a watchdog group based in Geneva, also denounced it saying, “The council report is categorically one-sided, casting Palestinians as the sole victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict, while denying the slightest consideration to any basic human rights for Israelis.”

The HRC report says Israel is violating international humanitarian law under the Fourth Geneva Convention, since the Israeli government is persisting in building settlements in territories claimed by Palestinians for a future state, including east Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, “despite all the pertinent United Nations resolutions declaring that the existence of the settlements is illegal and calling for their cessation.”

The settlements are “a mesh of construction and infrastructure leading to a creeping annexation that prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian State and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” the report concludes.

The report’s conclusions are not legally binding and Chanet complained that Israel did not cooperate with her investigation.

The panel went to Jordan to interview more than 50 people on the impact of the settlements, reporting violence by Jewish settlers, confiscation of land and damage to olive groves.

Pakistani attorney Asma Jahangir, a mwember of the panel, said the settlements “seriously impinge on the self-determination of the Palestinian people.”

More than 500,000 Israelis live in settlements in Judea and Samaria and in east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians wish to make their capital. “All the Israeli settlement activities are illegal and considered to be war crimes according to the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention. This means that Israel is liable to prosecution,” said PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi. The settlements, according to her, are “clearly a form of forced transfer and a proof of Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry accused the council of taking a systematically one-sided and biased approach toward Israel, with the report being merely “another unfortunate reminder” of that bias.

In a statement, Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director, said he was astonished that the report members had decided to ignore a 54-page document with 257 footnotes sent to them by his organization.

“The report disregards the thousands of suicide bombings, knifings, and other terrorist attacks committed by Palestinian Arab groups, failing to acknowledge how this violence brought about Israeli security measures in the territories that did not previously exist,” he said.

“The reality is that the HRC’s fact-finding enterprise is dedicated chiefly to attacking but one country: Israel. In the entire history of the HRC, there have been seven one-sided inquiry missions on Israel, and only five on the rest of the world combined. Mass atrocities committed by Iran, China, or Sri Lanka, for example, have never been subjected to a single HRC inquiry.

“In a week when the UN legitimized genocidal Sudan, by electing the regime as vice-president of a top human rights body, it is now focusing its scarce time, resources and moral outrage on yet another biased, politicized and one-sided report against Israel.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/head-of-un-rights-panel-report-is-weapon-against-israel/2013/02/03/

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