USC Students for Justice in Palestine

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“Abbas helps Israel bury its crimes in Gaza”

Posted by uscsjp on October 4, 2009

Mahmoud Abbas has abandoned a resolution to hold Israel accountable for its alleged war crimes in Gaza (Link to The Electronic Intifada)

Mahmoud Abbas has abandoned a resolution to hold Israel accountable for its alleged war crimes in Gaza (Link to The Electronic Intifada)

Just when it seemed that the Ramallah Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leader Mahmoud Abbas could not sink any lower in their complicity with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the murderous blockade of Gaza, Ramallah has dealt a further stunning blow to the Palestinian people.

“The Abbas delegation to the United Nations in Geneva (officially representing the moribund Palestine Liberation Organization) abandoned a resolution requesting the Human Rights Council to forward Judge Richard Goldstone’s report on war crimes in Gaza to the UN Security Council for further action. Although the PA acted under US pressure, there are strong indications that the commercial interests of Palestinian and Gulf businessmen closely linked to Abbas also played a part.

The 575-page Goldstone report documents evidence of shocking Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity during last winter’s assault on the Gaza Strip which killed 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority noncombatants and hundreds of them children. The report also accuses the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas of war crimes for firing rockets into Israel that killed three civilians.

Goldstone’s report was hailed by Palestinians and supporters of the rule of law worldwide as a watershed; it called for suspects to be held accountable before international courts if Israel failed to prosecute them. Israel has no history, ever, of holding its political and military leaders judicially accountable for war crimes against the Palestinians.

Israel was rightly terrified of the report, mobilizing all its diplomatic and political resources to discredit it. In recent days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that if the report were acted on, it would ‘strike a severe blow to the war against terrorism,’ and ‘strike a fatal blow to the peace process, because Israel will no longer be able to take additional steps and take risks for peace if its right to self-defense is denied.’

Unsurprisingly, an early ally in the Israeli campaign for impunity was the Obama Administration, whose UN ambassador, Susan Rice, expressed ‘very serious concerns’ about the report and trashed Goldstone’s mandate as ‘unbalanced, one-sided and basically unacceptable.’ (Rice was acting true to her word; in April she told the newspaper Politico that one of the main reasons the Obama Administration decided to join the UN Human Rights Council was to fight what she called ‘the anti-Israel crap.’)

Goldstone, whose daughter has publicly described her father as a Zionist who loves Israel, is a former judge of the South African Supreme Court, and a highly respected international jurist. He was the chief prosecutor at UN war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia…
…What makes this even more galling, is the real possibility that the PA is helping Israel wash its hands of the blood it spilled in Gaza for something as base as the financial gain of businessmen closely linked to Abbas.

The Independent (UK) reported on 1 October:

‘Shalom Kital, an aide to defense minister Ehud Barak, said today that Israel will not release a share of the radio spectrum that has long been sought by the Palestinian Authority to enable the launch of a second mobile telecommunications company unless the PA drops its efforts to put Israeli soldiers and officers in the dock over the Israeli operation.’ (‘Palestinians cry “blackmail” over Israel phone service threat,’ The Independent, 1 October).

Kital added that it was a ‘condition’ that the PA specifically drop its efforts to advance the Goldstone report. The phone company, Wataniya, was described last April by Reuters as an ‘Abbas-backed company’ which is a joint venture between Qatari and Kuwaiti investors and the Palestinian Investment Fund with which one of Abbas’ sons is closely involved…”

–Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 2 October, 2009

Also from The Electronic Intifada

Obama must match rhetoric with principle

“US President Barack Obama has placed restoration of the stature of the United States among his primary foreign policy goals. He has already achieved substantial progress in Europe, where polls indicate that he is widely admired. The president’s June Cairo University speech also won praise in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Yet many across the globe still await the substantive policy changes implied by his inspiring words.

President Obama can solidify broader global respect by supporting the recommendations of the just-released Goldstone report in the United Nations Human Rights Council. Richard Goldstone, an eminent South African jurist, led a mission to investigate allegations of war crimes in Gaza last winter.
Indeed, the Goldstone mission concluded that Israel and Hamas committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. The report recommends that both parties be given six months to mount independent, internal investigations — and if they fail, that the UN Security Council refer the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation and possible prosecutions.

Much of the 575-page report documents Israeli violations of the laws of war and human rights surrounding the intense fighting of last winter. That is fair, as the scale of harm Israel caused to lives and property in Gaza vastly exceeded that inflicted by Hamas. Israel killed approximately 100 Palestinians for every Israeli who died, and destroyed vast swaths of private housing, industrial buildings, agricultural facilities and public infrastructure…”

–George Bisharat, The Electronic Intifada, 1 October 2009

See also the latest news from Al Jazeera

Clashes as Israel shuts off al-Aqsa

“Israeli security forces have closed off the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jersualem as more than 200 Palestinians stage a sit-in at the site. Sporadic clashes broke out on Sunday as military and police checkpoints were set up around the site, known as the Haram al-Sharif to Muslims and the Temple Mount to Jews. At least seven people were wounded and seven arrested as clashes broke out at the Lion’s Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem.Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros, reporting from Jerusalem, said that the mosque was being protected by worshippers who wanted to stop Jewish hardliners from entering the compound.

‘They are very keen that what happened in Hebron, where hardliners did in fact storm and take over a mosque there, doesn’t happen here in this very holy site,’ she said. She said that there was a lot of tension in the city because of the standoff. ‘It could, of course, boil over if we hear of clashes between the police and those at the sit-in at the al-Aqsa compound,’ she said.

Palestinian officials told Al Jazeera that Muslim worshippers entered the mosque late on Saturday to prevent a repeat of last Sunday’s clashes in the area. In that incident, at least 13 Palestinians were injured and seven detained when fighting broke when Israeli Jews apparently attempted to enter the mosque. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades at hundreds of Palestinians, while stones, chairs and other objects were reportedly thrown…”

–Al Jazeera English, 4 October, 2009

And an unusual piece from The Independent:

Israeli supermodels in catwalk spat over draft-dodging

“She has already been criticised by the military for her decision to avoid the draft in her native Israel, but now a former girlfriend of Leonardo DiCaprio is under attack from a fellow supermodel.

Months after a retired general rebuked Bar Refaeli for side-stepping her compulsory national service, the ‘draft-dodger’ has been berated by Esti Ginzburg.

Unlike Refaeli, the model from Tel Aviv was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for her mandatory two-year period of duty in July…”

–Danny Brierly, The Independent, 4 October, 2009

And, from Jewish Voice for Peace, the latest on the Ezra Nawi case:

“Faced with over 20,000 of your signatures, Judge Eilata Ziskind decided to postpone the sentencing.

A few days before her ruling, the judge got another call to conscience. Boaz Okun, a prominent judge and legal authority in Israel, published an op-ed in an Israeli daily, stating that Ezra deserved ‘defense from justice’:

The penal code allows the canceling of a guilty verdict against a criminal if the crime committed shrinks vis-a-vis the arbitrary behavior of the state. This is called ‘defense from justice.’ (1)

Ezra Nawi’s sole crime was trying to stop a military bulldozer from destroying the homes of Palestinian Bedouins in the South Hebron region.

Mr. Okun quoted from the hearing proceedings, where Yehudit Karp, a former Israel Attorney General, stated in reference to Ezra Nawi:

Those people that break the law in order to save others and to defend human rights are the ones that get written on golden pages.

But Ezra’s troubles are not over yet.

The judge has offered him an impossible ‘deal.’ She is willing to reduce his expected sentence from jail time to community service, but only if Ezra waives any further appeals–in fact acknowledging that he is guilty without any way to exonerate himself.

As we celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, many of us wondered what the new year would hold for Ezra Nawi. A judge was expected to render her sentence on his case on Monday, the first day after the holiday.

This is far from a golden page, far from a defense from justice.

We will keep you updated of future developments in his case.

In the meanwhile, we have just learned that Kobi Snitz, a long-time activist with the Israeli group Anarchists Against the Wall, begins a 20-day prison term for an arrest in 2004 in which he tried to prevent a home demolition in the Palestinian village of Kharbatha, in the Ramallah District. He is the first Israeli activist to serve time for a demonstration in the Occupied Territories. In prison, he will now join countless Palestinians who are in administrative detention — without benefit of trial — simply for exerting their rights as well.

Only yesterday Mohammad Othman was arrested on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. Mohammad, 33 years old, has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the defense of Palestinian human rights. His village, Jayyous, has lost most of its land to the Wall and the settlements. You can learn more about Mohammad and take action here…”

–from a Jewish Voice for Peace email, 24 September, 2009

And finally,

Upcoming LA Area Events

IN TWO WEEKS Sunday afternoon, October 18; 1 -3 PM
What:  Benefit for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions & director Jeff Halper
Location:  Penthouse on Venice Beach at 8 Brooks Ave., Venice Beach, CA

  • Screening of Homes and Homeland, a 30-minute film by Ed Gaffney and Alicia Dwyer that features Jeff Halper and the ICAHD story.  Filmmaker Ed Gaffney will be present.
  • Refreshments
  • Premiums

Sponsored: LA Jews for Peace, Friends of Sabeel, and Jews for Peace between Israel & Palestine

Endorsed:  Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles

Also on Sunday, Oct. 18, 11-4 PM (attend before or after ICAHD Benefit)


Mosques open to all in many southland cities, refreshments.

Sponsored by Islamic Shura Council

Information or call 714-239–6473.

Amira Hass at UCLA Nov. 2 & 3

Monday, Nov. 2, 3-5 PM

Bunche Hall 6275 – Use parking lot 3

Tuesday, Nov. 3,  1-3 PM

Faculty Center, Downstairs Lounge – Use parking lot 2

Information Amy Bruinooge, Center for Near Eastern Studies Tel: (310) 825-1181

Thanks to Jeff Warner from LA Jews for Peace for passing along the above events information


One Response to ““Abbas helps Israel bury its crimes in Gaza””

  1. greenfeld said

    the wasent any crime there is just a good attack on palestinian murder that think they can do what ever they went.

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