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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘US.’

International Criminal Court at The Hague Has No Jurisdiction in Gaza

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Palestinian Authority and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been threatening for weeks to charge Israel with war crimes at the International Criminal Court at the The Hague.

But this week, suddenly, PA delegates are saying they “might” be willing to “delay” the PA’s application to international agencies – including the ICC – if they are able to close a deal with Israel within the next four months.

Why?

It turns out the answer is to be found in a clear, elegant and blunt article published in the UK-based newspaper ‘The Guardian,’ penned by Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor of the ICC.

Bensouda explains that the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, mandates that the prosecutor investigate and prosecute crimes “committed on the territory or by the nationals of states that have joined the ICC statute or which have otherwise accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC through an ad hoc declaration to that effect pursuant to article 12-3 of the statute.”

In plain language, the ICC has no jurisdiction over ‘Palestine,’ over the Palestinian Authority, over PA-controlled territory in Judea, Samaria or Gaza. Nor does Israel consider itself under the jurisdiction of the Court for various legal reasons.

“In November 2012, Palestine’s status was upgraded by the UN General Assembly to “non-member observer state” through the adoption of resolution 67/19. My office examined the legal implications of this development and concluded that while this change did not retroactively validate the previously invalid 2009 declaration, Palestine could now join the Rome Statute,” Bensouda wrote.

However, the PA has not yet done so, probably in part because if it does, the PA leadership will be just as liable to prosecution as will anyone else.

That’s pretty scary.

“In both practice and words, I have made it clear in no uncertain terms that the office of the prosecutor will execute its mandate, without fear or favour, where jurisdiction is established and will vigorously pursue those – irrespective of status or affiliation – who commit mass crimes that shock the conscience of humanity,” Bensouda wrote. “My office’s approach to Palestine will be no different if the court’s jurisdiction is ever triggered over the situation.

“It is my firm belief that recourse to justice should never be compromised by political expediency. The failure to uphold this sacrosanct requirement will not only pervert the cause of justice and weaken public confidence in it, but also exacerbate the immense suffering of the victims of mass atrocities. This, we will never allow.”

The question of course is how the International Criminal Court at The Hague would view the unbelievable number of incidents of use of human shields in Gaza documented by the IDF. Not to mention the exploitation of the “neutral” United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) by Hamas and allied terrorists in Gaza during wartime. That is use of human shields also – several of those facilities were filled with civilians displaced due to combat – not to mention use of UN cover.

Add to that the mass executions of local civilians Hamas suspected of collaboration with Israel – and for that matter, the executions they continue to carry out in service of that fear. Hamas, after all, is a member of the PA unity government now; what Hamas does, everyone is liable for.

All of which the PA would be inviting the ICC to fully investigate. And which Israel has substantiated with documented evidence in objective detail. Not eyewitnesses, who can be manipulated, intimidated and forced into distorted testimony, but satellite imagery, photograph stills and video footage.

Does Abbas want to risk that? Is the United States recommending he risk that? For that matter, the European Union and US might even have a part to play as well; both fund the Palestinian Authority quite liberally, and the PA government in Ramallah continues to pay the monthly salaries of terrorists imprisoned in Israel. More than a few were released due to diplomatic pressure from the US, and have since returned to their old ways. What part did they play in the war in Gaza? Probably the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) knows.

Obama White House Condemns Designation of Gush Etzion Lot as ‘State Land’

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has sharply condemned the Israeli government’s decision Sunday to designate a lot in Gush Etzion as state land.

The decision came as a direct result of the kidnapping and murder by Hamas terrorists of three teenage yeshiva students on the site in early June.

The U.S. claimed the move would damage future final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” a Statement Department spokesman said. “This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue, is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians. We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision.”

In general, the U.S. has opposed Israeli development in Judea and Samaria, although most past administrations have ameliorated their concerns, depending on circumstance.

The 4,000-dunam lot is located adjacent to the Gush Etzion community of Alon Shevut, not far from bus stop and hitchhiking post where Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar were abducted by Hamas terrorists and then murdered on June 12. Their bodies were found three weeks later in Judea after a massive manhunt by thousands of IDF soldiers and security personnel, in a field owned by the Hebron-based Qawasme clan along Highway 60 between Hebron and Gush Etzion in the PA town of Halhul.

Prior to the designation, the Judea and Samaria civil administration had designated the status of the area — known as Geva’ot — as ‘survey land’ as ordered by the political establishment after the bodies of the three teens were recovered. The move froze the status of the area and prevented construction plans from moving through the system until a determination could be made about its future, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Geva’ot is not new. In 1982, an Israeli cabinet decision laid the groundwork for development of the area as an IDF Nahal community, which started in 1984 and then closed two years later. For the next 10 years the site became the home of the Shevut Yisrael Yeshiva, with small pre-fab homes. In 1998, The Gush Etzion Regional Council reached out to the government, requesting construction of a full-scale city on the site similar to Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim, Modi’il Illite and Beitar Illit. Plans began but two years later were dropped due to international diplomatic pressure. In 2008, once again the plans were picked up and moved forward in 2009, especially after the Annapolis Summit came to naught. By 2012, initial authorization for 523 homes was secured from the Defense Ministry — and there the project was frozen.

Gush Etzion is well within the area Israel is likely to retain in any final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

The PA immediately responded that the site belongs to districts of two separate PA-controlled cities: Bethlehem and Hebron. Bethlehem is located across the road and is more than five and a half miles north. Hebron is the same distance, to the south.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, declared Sunday evening, “The settlement enterprise is illegal,” in a sweeping condemnation of every Jewish city, town and village built in Judea and Samaria, including any that might be built on the newly-designated state land. Nearly 400,000 Jews now live in Judea and Samaria.

He, too, said the move would “bring about a further deterioration” in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – which at this point includes Hamas in its unity government.

The PA has had to be repeatedly dragged to the negotiations table over the years, each time with ‘enticements’ and ‘good will gestures’ forced on Israel by the United States.

Egypt Warns US to Exercise Restraint in Missouri

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Egypt has urged the U.S to exercise restraint in dealing with demonstrations in Missouri, according to a Reuters report.

The official statement sounded very similar to the wording Obama used against Egypt in June 2013, when US President Obama  “urged security forces to exercise maximum restraint and caution” when Egypt dealt with its Jihadi Muslim Brotherhood and deposed president Mohammad Morsi supporters. 

Egypt doesn’t feel that Obama has treated them like a close ally ever since Morsi was deposed.

Don’t you feel just a tad jealous of Egypt right now?

Al Qaeda Threatens US to Free Terrorists or Warren Weinstein Will Die

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Al Qaeda called on the family of captive U.S. government contractor Warren Weinstein to pressure the U.S. government to negotiate his release or risk his “dying a lonely death.”

“If you want Warren Weinstein to be released, do whatever you can to pressurize your government,” the terror group said in a statement posted on Islamist websites, the French news agency AFP reported.

“Your continued silence on the inaction of your government will only lead to your prisoner dying a lonely death in prison after this deliberate and prolonged neglect on the part of your government.”

Weinstein, 73, of Rockville, Md., was kidnapped in August 2011 outside Pakistan while he was working for J.E. Austin Associates, a private company that advises Pakistani businesses. The United States has said it will not negotiate with al-Qaida, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

Al Qaeda is demanding the release of several Islamists held in jail in the U.S., including Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheik who is serving a life sentence for his part in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

In January, a video message featuring Weinstein, a former Peace Corps and USAID official, was sent to journalists and news services in Pakistan along with a link to a photo of a handwritten note.

PA Accuses the US of Establishing ISIS

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

The Palestinian Authority official daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, has published five articles in the last six weeks accusing the United States of establishing the radical Islamic movement Islamic State (ISIS or IS) that has conquered vast territory in Syria and Iraq in recent months, this according to a report compiled by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

The articles claim that the US has a long term goal of controlling the Arab-Muslim states by dividing them through conflict and wars. ISIS’s war and other conflicts are all said to be the work of the US.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida wrote on July 16th: “The wars in Libya, Iraq, Syria and Palestine were planned by the US in order to protect its interests… The ISIS, Islamic Front, and Al-Nusra Front (i.e., all radical Islamists) are Muslims from various countries the US is using to fight in Iraq and Syria, in order to fragment the unity of these two Arab countries… We are now more aware that the Americans, who want to fight for their own interests using Islamic, Jewish and Christian believers, are truly the head of the snake.”

On July 14th the newspaper wrote: “ISIS, the perpetrators of atrocities and the groups that hoist the banner of religion seem to be raising their weapons in sync with Washington, and fight the US verbally, but in practice are killing their enemies. Is this a coincidence, or was it planned ahead of time?”.

On July 3rd the paper stated: “The radical terrorists of ISIS and those like them, who were created by Israel and the US, are paving the way for Israel to act like them.”

As Palestinian Media Watch reported in June, the current editor in chief of the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida was appointed by the presidential decree of Mahmoud Abbas.

ISIS has declared itself a Caliphate, thereby claiming religious authority over all Muslims; its goal is to bring much of the Middle East, including Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Cyprus under its control. To this end, ISIS has used extreme terror tactics, including decapitations, crucifixions and mass murders. Their latest religious campaign is against the Yazidi Kurds in northern Iraq. They have reportedly slaughtered 400 Yazidis in Iraq and 700 members of a tribe in Syria over the weekend, the majority of them civilians.

History of Cease-Fires Shows Israel as the Big Loser

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

President Barack Obama’s direct contact with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to devise a long-term cease-fire plan follows a long history of American and U.N. ventures that have flopped, all of them at Israel’s expense.

Egypt has been the power broker in trying to maintain a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, and Obama is trying to put his foot in the Middle East door to reclaim American influence based by whittling down the popularity of Netanyahu.

His “poll numbers are a lot higher than mine” and “were greatly boosted by the war in Gaza,” Obama told Thomas Friedman of The New York Times last week. “And so if he doesn’t feel some internal pressure, then it’s hard to see him being able to make some very difficult compromises, including taking on the settler movement.”

It’s always the fault of the settlers. If it rains on the picnic, it is because of the settlers. If Obama’s popularity drops, it is because of the settlers who are an obstacle to his illusions.

The war against terror in Gaza has made Netanyahu even more popular. A Knesset Channel poll released this week shows that the Likud party that he heads would win almost 50 percent more seats than it now has in the Knesset if elections were held today. That translated into 28 mandates compared with 19.

Obama must be politically jealous of Netanyahu, considering the president’s dismal ratings.

Jealous or not, Obama has the habit of most previous presidents to pressure Israel, often by blocking or threatening to block military aid. That is what happened during the war, when Obama stopped the United States from shipping missiles to Israel, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Obama’s phone conversation with Netanyahu was reported as “combative,” nothing new for the two leaders who have distrusted each other during the president’s two terms of office.

The American government’s one-track mind for the “peace process” blocks out all reality, which is a lot different in the Middle East than in the United States. The Jewish Home party’s Housing Minister Ur Ariel said it in a matter of fact way on Thursday – “Americans don’t understand what is happening in the region.”

But that doesn’t stop Obama from throwing his weight around and bullying himself into Iraq, Syria and Egypt only to look like a fish out of water.

Like Carter, Clinton and even Reagan, Obama has the freedom to exploit Israel’s democracy and run roughshod over the government to “make peace” with cease-fires that make war.

That is what happened in 2012 to conclude the Pillar of Cloud campaign against Hamas terror, and that is what happened in 2009 to conclude the Operation Cast Lead campaign against terror.

That is what happened in 2006, when the United Nations and the United States brokered a cease-fire that ended the Second Lebanese War and promised the moon, whose location has not moved since. Hezbollah was supposed to be dis-armed under United Nations supervision, which is like Hamas agreeing to dis-arm under Mahmoud Abbas’ supervision.

“For proxies such as the Palestinian Sunni faction Hamas and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, the centuries old Islamic jurisprudence of Hudna (tactical truce) and Tahadiya (temporary calm) serve as a plausibly regrouping tactic that is continuously reshaped amid the changing face of modern warfare in the Middle East,” Israel Defense noted during the war.

Enter U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whose “peace process” and ceasefires self-destruct.

He and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon orchestrated a humanitarian cease-fire last month. It lasted for 90 minutes. At least five other cease-fires failed.

Israel Defense reported, “Following the inability to transmute any ceasefire, Hudna or Tahadiya over the last decade into encompassing political progress, the tone is that ceasefires only exasperate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the medium-to long-term. Paradoxically, it is the achievement of these bitesize ceasefires as a short term benefit that has trampled on the utility of ceasefire.”

New US, Canadian Immigrants Arrive, Undeterred by Gaza Terror

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

North Americans are ignoring the largely skewed news coverage they are being fed by mass media abroad and continuing to ‘come home to Israel’ regardless of the grim news headlines around the conflict with Gaza.

One of the special Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah flights from New York that takes place each summer arrived bright and early Tuesday, bringing 338 new “olim” to Ben Gurion International Airport on the wings of Israel’s national carrier, El Al Airlines.

The 38 new Israeli families included 107 children and 108 young men and women who are soon to become soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces.

The new immigrants, who came from the United States and Canada were welcomed by top government officials at a special ceremony held under tight security inside the airport.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-us-canadian-immigrants-arrive-unmoved-by-gaza-terror/2014/08/12/

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