Archive for the Gaza convoy / Gaza blockade Category

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon Should be Fired. Upholds the Violation of International Law. Abuses his UN Mandate [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Gaza, Gaza convoy / Gaza blockade, Israel, Palestine, Torture, UNSC, Zionism on June 19, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

This guy is running unopposed for his 2nd term as UN Sec-Gen. I guess at this point in history this job is fairly radioactive. Apparently he doesn’t mind being bugged by the USA or having odious Hillary Clinton hunting down his biometric data, as Wikipedia revealed. I never thought anything good would come of having a UN Secretary-General from a country occupied by the US military. And he’s shown himself to be another in a growing list of USA-collaborating and/or USA-appeasing stooges who have helped further warp the UN into a rubber-stamp of USA hegemony. It’s really sad to see the nations, similarly collaborating with or appeasing the USA, line up to give this guy a pass. I’m with the Egyptian vanguard who attacked his car after UN Resolution 1973 provided a fig leaf for the naked imperial-fascist aggression against Libya. The excerpt from the article below gives just an inkling of the wretchedness of this guy’s tenure as UN head, and his perpetuation of the warping of the UN into the antithesis of a world peace and justice agency. – Zuo Shou

May 29, 2011

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon has taken the unusual decision of pressuring member governments to respect the “legal channels of the Israeli government pertaining to the flow of goods and aid to the Gaza Strip”. In this regard, Ban Ki-moon has called upon governments to prevent the Freedom Flotilla scheduled for June from heading to the Gaza Strip:…

…By recognizing Israel’s “legitimate crossings” into Gaza via Israeli territory, Ban Ki Moon is condoning rather than condemning the violation of international law pertaining to the sovereign borders of Palestine…

*** Ban Ki Moon’s Violates UN Norms and Procedures ***

Ban Ki Moon visibly takes his orders from Tel Aviv and Washington rather than from the UN General Assembly in derogation of his mandate.

His decision is not only in violation of international law, it is in defiance of United Nations internal norms and procedures. Ban Ki Moon has ignored the report of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s independent fact-finding mission, commissioned by the United Nations General Assembly. The conclusions of this report are unequivocal: The actions of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in intercepting and attacking the Gaza Flotilla (May June 2010) in international waters were in violation of international humanitarian law:

“The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence. It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality. Such conduct cannot be justified or condoned on security or any other grounds. It constituted a grave violation of human rights law and international humanitarian law.

the Mission considers that several violations and offences have been committed…

There is clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention:

• Wilful killing;

• Torture or inhuman treatment;

• Wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.

The Mission also considers that a series of violations of Israel’s obligations under international human rights law have taken place, including:

• Right to life (art. 6, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights);

• Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (art. 7, International Covenant; Convention against Torture);

• Right to liberty and security of the person and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention (art. 9, International Covenant);

• Right of detainees to be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person (art. 10, International Covenant);

• Freedom of expression (art. 19, International Covenant).

The right to an effective remedy should be guaranteed to all victims. The mission must not be understood to be saying that this is a comprehensive list by any means.

266. The Mission notes that the retention by the Israeli authorities of unlawfully seized property remains a continuing offence and Israel is called upon to return such property forthwith. (para. 265
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/15session/A.HRC.15.21_en.pdf

The decision of the Secretary-General of the UN upholds the legitimacy of the Gaza blockade by Israel in defiance of the UN General Assembly.

Ban Ki Moon refers to “legitimate crossings and established channels” into Gaza through Israeli territory and Israeli controlled checkpoints, thereby denying to Palestine the most important right of a sovereign nation, namely the right to control its international borders by land and by sea.

Ban Ki Moon’s decision denies the right to Palestine to trade and transact with foreign countries. It obliges Palestine to seek the authority and permission of Israel in receiving humanitarian aid as well as conducting commodity trade…

…Ban Ki Moon upholds the jurisdiction of Israel over the borders of Palestine in violation of international law:…

…Ban Ki Moon’s decision also upholds Zionism in derogation of the UN General Assembly’s 1975 Resolution entitled ‘Zionism is Racism’ (Resolution 337)

The UN Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly, “on the recommendation of the Security Council”.

Ban Ki Moon is in violation of his mandate. He should be fired from his job by the General Assembly.

Full article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25049

“Richard Goldstone Folds” by Scott Creighton [Willyloman.wordpress.com]

Posted in Fascism, Gaza, Gaza convoy / Gaza blockade, Israel, Mossad, Palestine, UNSC, Zionism on April 13, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Scott Creighton

Frankly, I don’t care how many Mossad agents threatened the lives of his children, in the end Richard Goldstone has betrayed all of humanity with his pathetic retraction.

I just read Richard Goldstone’s “Reconsidering the Goldstone report on Israel and war crimes” and I have to say that I haven’t seen a more obvious and cowardly betrayal of historical fact… ever. I don’t even think that Donald Rumsfeld’s new book could come close to this in terms of outright revisionist history.

The Goldstone Report has been a thorn in the side of the zionist rulers of Israel and their apologist corp of internet Megaphonies and propaganda peddlers, since it was published.  It’s a stark and candid assessment of the brutality unleashed by Israel on the confined people of Gaza living in what some call the “largest open air prison in the world”.  It correctly accused Israel of potential war crimes and crimes against humanity and recommended a full inquiry by the International Criminal Court.  The fact that Richard Goldstone turned into a coward after god-knows how many zealots threatened his life, changes nothing.

The mission finds that the conduct of the Israeli armed forces constitute grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention in respect of wilful killings and wilfully causing great suffering to protected persons and as such give rise to individual criminal responsibility,” the report’s executive summary said. “It also finds that the direct targeting and arbitrary killing of Palestinian civilians is a violation of the right to life.”

It went on to criticize the “deliberate and systematic policy on the part of the Israeli armed forces to target industrial sites and water installations,” and the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields. UN News Centre

1387 Palestinians died during Operation Cast Lead, the majority of them were civilians who did not take part in combat. According to B’TSelem, and Israeli peace organization, the casualties break down as follows:

  • 773 Palestinians died who took no part in any hostilities
  • 107 women over the age of 18 were killed
  • 60 children under the age of 6 were killed
  • 119 children under the age of 11 were killed
  • 320 children were killed
  • 330 combatants were killed
  • Palestinians killed 9 Israelis – 3 civilians, 6 IDF soldiers (4 IDF killed by friendly fire)

Richard Goldstone’s retraction is based on nothing more than Israel’s “independent” investigation they did on themselves – which of course, came to the conclusion that Israel was guilty of nothing and that Israel is the most moral nation in the world.

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Reflections of Fidel: The Revolutionary Rebellion in Egypt [Granma Internacional]

Posted in Cameron, Cuba, Egypt, Fidel Castro, France, Gaza, Gaza convoy / Gaza blockade, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Jordan, NATO, Obama, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, U.K., USA, USSR, West Bank, Western nations' human rights distortions on February 15, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Havana.  February 14, 2011

(Taken from CubaDebate)

I said several days ago that the die was cast for Mubarak and that not even Obama could save him.

The world knows what is taking place in the Middle East.  The news is circulating at incredible speed.  Politicians barely have time to read the cables coming in by the hour.  Everyone is aware of the importance of what is occurring there.

After 18 days of harsh battling, the Egyptian people attained an important objective:  to defeat the United States’ principal ally in the heart of the Arab countries.  Mubarak was oppressing and plundering his own people, he was an enemy of the Palestinians and an accomplice of Israel, the sixth nuclear power on the planet, associated with the military NATO group.

The Egyptian Armed Forces, under the command of Gamal Abdel Nasser, had overthrown a submissive king and created the Republic which, with support from the USSR, defended the homeland from the Franco-British and Israeli invasion in 1956 and retained possession of the Suez Canal and the independence of this millennial nation.

Thus Egypt enjoyed a high level of prestige in the Third World.  Nasser was known as one of the most outstanding leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement, which he participated in creating, together with other eminent leaders of Asia, Africa and Oceania who were fighting for national liberation and political and economic independence from the former colonies.

Egypt always enjoyed the support and respect of the abovementioned international organization which brings together more than 100 countries. That sister nation currently presides over the Movement for the three-year period established; and the support of many of its members for the struggle which its people are now waging will not be slow in coming.

What did the Camp David Accords signify, and why are the heroic Palestinian people so passionately defending their most vital rights?

At Camp David – with the mediation of the then U.S. President Jimmy Carter – the Egyptian leader Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the famous accords between Egypt and Israel.

It is said that they held secret talks during 12 days and, on September 17, 1979, signed two important accords: one referring to peace between Egypt and Israel, and another related to the creation of an autonomous territory in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which Al-Sadat thought – and Israel knew and shared the idea – would be the headquarters of the Palestinian state, whose existence, as well as that of the state of Israel, the United Nations Organization agreed on November 29, 1947, during the British Mandate of Palestine.

After difficult and complex talks, Israel agreed to withdraw its troops from the Egyptian territory of Sinai, although it categorically rejected the participation of Palestinian representatives in the peace negotiations.

As a result of the first agreement, Israel returned to Egypt the Sinai territory occupied in one of the Arab-Israeli wars.

In virtue of the second, both parties committed themselves to negotiate the creation of the autonomous regime in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  The former comprised a territory of 5,640 square kilometers and 2.1 million inhabitants; and the latter, 360 square kilometers and 1.5 million inhabitants.

The Arab countries were angry with that agreement in which, in their judgment, Egypt did not energetically and firmly defend a Palestinian state whose right to exist had been at the center of the struggles waged for decades by the Arab states.

Their reaction reached such extreme indignation that many of them broke off relations with Egypt.  In that way, the UN Resolution of November 1947 was erased from the map.  The autonomous entity was never created and thus the Palestinians were deprived of the right to exist as an independent state, leading to the interminable tragedy endured there and which should have been resolved more than three decades ago.

The Arab population of Palestine is the victim of acts of genocide; their lands are being snatched from them and are deprived of water in those semi-desert areas, and their housing is destroyed with sledge hammers . In the Gaza Strip, one and a half million people are systematically attacked with explosive missiles, live phosphorus and the well-known stun grenades.  The territory of the Strip is blockaded by land and sea.  Why is there so much talk about the Camp David Accords and no mention of Palestine?

The United States supplies Israel with the most modern and sophisticated armament, worth billions of dollars every year.  Egypt, an Arab country, was converted into the second [greatest] recipient of U.S. weapons.  To fight against whom?  Against another Arab country?  Against the Egyptian people themselves?

When the population was demanding respect for their most elemental rights and the resignation of a president whose policies consisted of exploiting and plundering his people, the repressive forces trained by the United States did not hesitate to fire on them, killing hundreds and wounding thousands.

When the Egyptian people were awaiting explanations from the government of their own country, the replies came from senior officers from U.S. intelligence agencies or the U.S. government, without any respect whatsoever for Egyptian officials.

Do the leaders of the United States and their intelligence services, by any chance, know nothing of the Mubarak government’s colossal theft?

Faced with the people’s mass protests in Tahrir Square, neither government officials nor intelligence agents said one single word about privileges and the bold-faced robbery of billions of dollars.

It would be an error to imagine that the revolutionary popular movement in Egypt simply constitutes a reaction against the violation of their most fundamental rights.  Peoples do not risk repression or death, nor do they stand fast the whole night protesting energetically about purely formal issues. They do so when their legal and material rights are pitilessly sacrificed to the insatiable demands of corrupt politicians and to the national and international forces sacking the country.

The rate of poverty already affected the vast majority of a combative, young and patriotic people, whose dignity, culture and beliefs have all been attacked.

How could they reconcile themselves to the continuing increase in the price of food with the tens of billions of dollars attributed to President Mubarak and the privileged sectors of his government and society?

At this point, it is not enough to know how high that figure is; it must be demanded that the funds be returned to the nation.

Obama is affected by the events in Egypt; he acts or appears to act as if he were the owner of the planet.  What is happening in Egypt seems to be his own issue.  He has not stopped talking over the telephone with leaders of other countries.

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Uprisings across Arab world pose dilemma for U.S. imperialism [Workers World]

Posted in Afghanistan, Egypt, Gaza, Gaza convoy / Gaza blockade, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Labor strike, Lebanon, NATO, NATO invasion, Obama, Pakistan, Palestine, Pentagon, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA, Western nations' human rights distortions, Wikileaks, Yemen, Zionism on February 3, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Published Jan 31, 2011 10:46 PM

The revolutionary upheaval in Egypt has brought millions of workers, youth and professionals into the streets to demand the removal of the U.S.-backed regime of Hosni Mubarak.  The potential looms for a total collapse of Washington’s foreign policy in the region.

Egypt’s mass outpouring was inspired by the earlier mass demonstrations, strikes and rebellions in Tunisia that drove longtime neocolonial puppet Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to seek refuge in Saudi Arabia, another imperialist outpost in the Arabian Peninsula.

In addition to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, significant mass actions have protested the governments in Yemen and Jordan, where U.S. imperialism has dominated the regimes as a key component of their so-called “war on terrorism” against political Islam and against the masses of the region.  Obama administration officials have been scrambling to formulate and articulate a coherent position on the rapidly developing situation where the people have lost all fear of repression and retaliation from the client states of the region and their U.S. benefactors.

President Barack Obama during his Jan. 25 “State of the Union” address stated that the U.S. supported the democratic aspirations of the people in Tunisia.  Washington, however, has been a solid supporter of the ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) in Tunisia. The Obama administration maintained its backing of Ben Ali until after he fled the country on Jan. 14.

Regarding Egypt, the U.S. administration has refused to publicly call for Mubarak’s removal as of Jan. 31.  The April 6 Movement and other opposition forces have called a general strike for Feb. 1.  These groups said that one million people will enter the streets around the country to demand the immediate removal of Mubarak and his ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

U.S. imperialist policy in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula has been based on the shoring up of a number of neocolonial and autocratic regimes, as well as giving full backing to the Israeli settler state.  Now, with the failure of this strategy, the ruling class inside the U.S. is debating what course of action to take in order to maintain its economic and strategic interests in the region.

Economic impact of the uprisings

There is much at stake for the U.S., the European Union and Israel regarding the political outcomes of the current crisis.  Tunisia has been a source of cheap agricultural products that are marketed in Europe and around the world.  Egypt, with its population of 80 million, borders the state of Israel and on its territory is the Suez Canal, a gateway to the most important waterways where vessels transport oil and other resources that are essential to the world capitalist market.

Already, as reported in the Jan. 31 MarketWatch, “European markets fell on Jan. 31 as investors remained nervous about the growing unrest in Egypt, with financial firms, travel companies and car makers posting some of the biggest losses.”

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Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shooting and Tucson massacre vs. Israeli Mari Marvara massacre – which Giffords supported [Sweet and Sour Socialism Special Report]

Posted in Afghanistan, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, Capitalist media double standard, Corporate Media Critique, Gaza, Gaza convoy / Gaza blockade, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, Palestine, Pentagon, US imperialism, USA on January 16, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

January 14, 2011

by Zuo Shou 左手

There’s been a great deal of political posturing deployed in the wake of the attempt on the life of US Representative Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, which left her currently in critical condition and resulted in several deaths, including a judge.

The general gist of the Left has been ‘this is the Right’s fault’, which is true to a great extent.

What I see hardly anybody saying is that Giffords’ herself IS the Right. This postulate seems to be a taboo. The mainstream media gives a very sketchy outline of her politics and describe her variously as a “liberal”, “a moderate Democrat”, a “Blue Dog Democrat”, etc. However, the dominant paradigm of the US ruling class has shifted so much to the Right in the last few decades, that these terms are practically useless.

I’m in the process of gathering data on how right-wing she is; but a particularly damning proof will be listed later in this report.

We also get that the apparent assassin, Jared Loughner, suffered from mental illness.

It’s implied that Rep. Giffords, by contrast, is not “mental”. But…is it certain that Rep. Giffords’ is sane? Is this question being raised? Frankly, a lot of her positions [see quoted article below for an shocking example] have me seriously doubting her ability to distinguish right and wrong, let alone demonstrate a fundamental grasp of reality. She may not have directly assassinated anybody nor killed civilians by her own hand, but she certainly pays people who do (via Congressional funding for the Pentagon’s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere) and furthermore praises these people as “heroes” on her website.

What’s easy to see is that in her relatively short career as a US Congressperson — who is literally “married to the military”; her astronaut spouse is an active-duty military veteran decorated for combat in Gulf War I — she seems to be a typical bourgeois executive of a hyper-militaristic “superpower” imperial government that is waging global war on several fronts in various stages from open to covert, while various clients and proxies support these wars to greater or lesser degrees, some of them at times waging their own military actions both civil and cross-border. No US Congressperson is without blood on their hands at this point; none is above the charge of at worst threatening and engaging in, at least perpetuating, the ultimate crime: the deadly violence of aggressive, reactionary warfare.

So it’s important not to exempt Rep. Giffords from the “incitements to violence” which are alleged to have brought about her own victimhood. While the Republican / Tea Party vs. Democrats gang war basically shows a monopoly on dirty tricks and incitement coming from the former camp, both Republican and Democratic parties have a long history of flagrantly inciting and justifying violence globally as an unbreakable and pernicious plank of US foreign policy. Certainly there’s an indication of Rep. Giffords’ “sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind”, or more concretely “getting a taste of one’s own medicine”, as Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Palestinians, and many others who’ve tasted US oppression may see it.

There’s much to substantiate this, but here’s one compelling example: Rep. Giffords’ and other US Congresspersons’ ultra-right letter, brazen in its lies and inhumanity, “strongly supporting” Israel’s massacre of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla participants, which included a US citizen among the dead.

From “Foreign Policy in Focus”, June 25, 2010:

~ Pavlovian Congress Jumps to Israel’s ‘Self-‘ Defense ~
by Steven Zunes

In a letter to President Barack Obama date June 17, 329 out of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives [including Rep. Giffords] referred to Israel’s May 31 attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters, which resulted in the deaths of nine passengers and crew and injuries to scores of others, as an act of “self-defense” which they “strongly support…”

The House letter urged President Obama “to remain steadfast in defense of Israel” in the face of the near-universal international condemnation of this blatant violation of international maritime law and other legal statutes, which the signatories referred to as “a rush to unfairly judge and defend Israel.” [It] called upon the United States to veto any resolution in the UN Security Council criticizing the Israeli attack.

What is perhaps most disturbing is that many of the key arguments in the [letter are] misleading and, in some cases, factually inaccurate.

The Israeli government had acknowledged prior to the writing of the letter that the extensive blockade of humanitarian goods was not necessary for their security, but as a means of pressuring the civilian population to end their support for Hamas, which won a majority of legislative seats in the most recent Palestinian election. In addition, the Israeli government announced a significant relaxation of the embargo two days after the letter was written. Despite this, the House letter claimed that the purpose of the blockade was “to stop terrorists from smuggling weapons to kill innocent civilians,” thereby placing this large bipartisan majority of the House even further to the right than Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s rightist coalition.

There was no mention in the letter than no such weapons were found on board any of the six ships hijacked by the Israelis nor on the previous eight ships the Free Gaza Campaign had sailed or attempted to sail to the Gaza Strip. In addition, even though the ships had been thoroughly inspected by customs officials prior to their disembarkation, the House letter claimed that had the Israelis not hijacked the ships, they would have “sailed unchecked into Gaza…”

The House letter insisted, despite the fact that several of those killed on the Mavi Marmara were shot at point blank range in the back or the back of the head and a video showing a 19-year old U.S. citizen shot execution style on the ground, that “Israeli forces used necessary force as an act of self-defense and of last resort…”

The House letter also claimed that the other ships were “commandeered peacefully and without incident,” even though on the other ships, despite completely nonviolent resistance, passengers were tasered and brutally beaten and were attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets…

Even though the Israeli government has never entered Gaza to disperse aid to the people of that territory since the start of the siege years earlier and reputable relief organizations have documented that the Israelis had routinely refused to allow humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip, these House members claimed that Israel had offered to “disperse the aid . . . directly to the people of Gaza…”

…these right-wing Democrats [who signed the letter] defend attacking peace and human rights activists and lie about the circumstances to justify it. They…lie and mislead their constituents in order to defend illegal actions by allied right-wing governments, even when they kill and injure participants in a humanitarian flotilla on the high seas…

[Article edited by Zuo Shou 左手. Sections of the article about a related U.S. Senate letter were removed for sake of brevity.]

Zunes’ article link: http://www.fpif.org/blog/pavlovian_congress_jumps_to_israels_self-_defense

US House of Representative’s “Israel Flotilla” Letter, entire: http://peters.house.gov/uploads/Israel%20Flotilla%20Letter%20FINAL.pdf

To be continued…

Canada’s international “do-gooder” image shattered: Ottawa Loses Bid for UN Security Council [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Gaza, Gaza convoy / Gaza blockade, George W. Bush, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Islamophobia, Israel, Israeli Nukes, NATO, Obama, Palestine, Russia, Torture, UNSC, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zelaya coup, Zionism on October 27, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Eric Walberg

October 21, 2010

The writer cherry-picks and omits much to paint Canada as a fallen NATO “peacenik”; this term is an absolutely false description of Canada as it has been warmongering as far back as when Canada played no small role in the appalling aggression of the US-provoked “Korean War”, to its bellicose participation in the NATO assault on Serbia/Yugoslavia in the ‘90s.  Seemingly yearning for a bygone liberal imperialism, which results in him here delusionally running interference for Democrats including US President Obama (as he does in other writing), Walberg still documents well the tremendous ultra-right degeneration of Canada’s recent foreign policy. 

For a news article on Canada’s repudiation at the UNSC, see Policy cost Canada UN seat: ex-ambassador CBC News Ottawa – Zuo Shou 左手

 
The humiliating withdrawal by Canada from the race with Germany and Portugal for a covetted place on the United Nations Security Council revealed what close observers have long known — that the current Conservative government in Ottawa has nothing but disdain for the world’s tattered peacekeeper [sic] and would most likely just use its seat to serve US and Israel’s agenda.  Four years of Stephen Harper’s government was enough for the world to turn its back on a once beloved peacenik [sic, and gag – ZS].

Dubai’s police chief’s announcement Monday that Canada is covering up its arrest of a suspect in Israel’s assassination of Palestinian leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in the UAE in January merely confirms the world’s distrust.

Canada has served on the SC many times in the past, once each decade since the 1950s, and was never refused when it ran for a seat. It…was the good cop [sic] to its southern neighbour’s bad cop.  It refused to break relations with Cuba after the 1959 revolution, refused to send troops to Vietnam (unlike another privileged ex-British colony Australia), recognised China in 1970, and refused to send troops to Iraq in 2003 despite intense pressure from US president George Bush…

How did the present sorry state of affairs come to pass? Canadian Conservatives from the days of Confederation in 1867 until relatively recently stood for an independent Canada, and old-time Conservatives today are as shocked as anyone.  The only arguably great Conservative leader since Confederation, John Diefenbaker, refused to station US nuclear weapons on Canadian soil, defying a furious US president Kennedy.

But the old Progressive Conservative Party was highjacked in 2003 by predominantly small-town right-wingers, boosted by the rising evangelical Christian movement, a repeat of what happened to the US Republican Party in the 1990s. The fiasco at the UN was “the world’s response to a Canadian foreign policy designed to please the most reactionary, short-sighted sectors of the Conservative Party’s base — evangelical Christian Zionists, extreme right-wing Jews, Islamophobes, the military-industrial-academic-complex, mining and oil executives and old Cold-Warriors,” writes Yves Engler, author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid.

In every corner of the world, Ottawa is now following US neocon policies, as if scripted in Bush’s [or Obama’s] Washington.

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Israel accused of war crimes by expert panel [Sydney Morning Herald]

Posted in Corporate Media Critique, Gaza convoy / Gaza blockade, Israel, Turkey, War crimes on September 24, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Blistering truth from a UN panel, with no blame assigned to the “freedom flotilla” organizers.  The negative is there’s really no good article about this development yet, as every mainstream news venue automatically gives ample space to the usual loathsome Israeli insults towards those who investigate it and denials of war criminality.  Also no mainstream article points out that the flotilla activists themselves were apparently exonerated. – Zuo Shou 左手

September 24, 2010

by Chris McGreal

NEW YORK: A United Nations panel of human rights experts has accused Israel of war crimes through wilful killing, unnecessary brutality and torture in its ”clearly unlawful” assault on a ship attempting to break the blockade of Gaza in May, in which nine Turkish activists died.

The report by three experts appointed by the UN’s Human Rights Council described the seizure of MV Mavi Marmara, a Turkish vessel, by Israeli commandos as illegal under international law…

The report further condemned the treatment of the passengers and crew as brutal and disproportionate.  It said that the Israeli blockade of the Palestinian enclave was illegal because of the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

”There is clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the fourth Geneva convention: wilful killing; torture or inhuman treatment; wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health,” the report said.

”A series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation.”

…Israel had agreed to take part in a separate inquiry set up by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon…

…the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, hailed the report, saying it ”is extremely unbiased and based on sound evidence … I hope the Israeli side will … from now on act within international law.”

Relations between Turkey and Israel have cooled dramatically since the assault in May.

The 56-page report – compiled by a former UN war crimes prosecutor, Desmond de Silva, a judge from Trinidad, Karl Hudson-Phillips, and a Malaysian women’s rights advocate, Mary Shanthi Dairiam – accuses Israeli forces of crimes including violating the right to life, liberty and freedom of expression, and of failing to treat prisoners with humanity.

”The conduct … towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence.  It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality,” the report said.

Israel,…refused to co-operate with the inquiry…

Article link here