Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Egyptian general’s admittance of forced ‘virginity checks’ of female protestors

"Revelations that the Egyptian army administered “virginity checks” on detained female protestors have triggered outrage since a senior general admitted the procedure in a televised interview.

Allegations of “virginity tests” first surfaced in a report by Amnesty International about a protest on March 9 in Tahrir Square in which it said 17 female demonstrators were tortured, given electric shocks and forced to submit to virginity checks"

UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya

UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011) of 17 March 2011 on Libya

"4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory..."

Merkel’s plane was denied permission to fly over Iran

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel's flight to India has been delayed after Iran's government refused it permission to fly over the country"

Israel to change names of neighbourhoods in Jerusalem

"If you’re coming to Jerusalem to walk through the many streets that have exotic and historically Arab or Jewish names, your luck may just have run out. According to a new bill being proposed, all Jewish and Arab street names are to be changed into their Hebrew counterparts"

Monday, May 30, 2011

فلسطينيون بدون جوازات سفر

"وظلم ذوي القربى أشد مضاضة على المرء من وقع الحسام المهند".. بهذا البيت الشعري اختصر المقعد أسامة أبو عسكر (38 عاماً) التعبير عما يختلج في صدره من استياء وتذمر لعدم سماح السلطة الفلسطينية له بالحصول على جواز سفر.

وقال أبو عسكر الذي بترت ساقاه في صيف العام 2004 إثر تعرضه لقصف  طائرة إسرائيلية إن "ما يزيد من حسرتي وألمي أن الذي منعني ليس الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، ولكنهم فلسطينيون من بني جلدتنا"

اسبانيا تؤكد عزمها الاعتراف بالدولة الفلسطينية قبل ايلول المقبل

"كشف القنصل الاسباني العام ان بلاده ستعترف بالدولة الفلسطينية قبل ايلول المقبل.

جاء ذلك خلال لقاء القنصل مع الدكتور نبيل شعث عضو اللجنة المركزية لحركة فتح مفوض العلاقات الدولية اليوم برام الله في مقر مفوضية العلاقات الدولية.

واوضح القنصل الاسباني ان بلاده ستؤيد انضمام فلسطين الى الامم المتحدة، مشيرا الى ان مدريد تتحرك حثيثا الان لحث الدول الاوروبية الاخرى للاعتراف بالدولة الفلسطينية المستقلة"

الاتحاد الأوروبي يشيد بإنجازات السلطة على طريق إدارة الدولة

"أشاد ممثل الاتحاد الأوروبي لدى السلطة الوطنية كريستيان بيرغير  بالتقدم الذي أحرزته السلطة الوطنية في مجالات الحكم، وإدارة التمويل العام في ظل الاحتلال، وببعض التقدم في مجال سيادة القانون.

جاء ذلك خلال تسليمه التقرير السنوي حول التقدم الحاصل في سياسة الجوار الأوروبي في العام 2010 في الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة، لوزير الخارجية رياض المالكي، اليوم الإثنين،  في مقر الوزارة برام الله"

البحرية الأميركية تطلق اسم جون كينيدي على أحدث حاملة طائرات

"أعلن سلاح البحرية الأميركي جون كينيدي عن قراره إطلاق اسم الرئيس الأميركي الراحل جون كينيدي على حاملة الطائرات الأحدث التي تنضم إلى أسطوله. وذكرت وسال الإعلام الأميركية ان سلاح البحرية أصدر بيانًا أوضح فيها ان واحدة من حاملتي الطائرات الأجدد من طراز "فورد" ستحمل اسم جون إف. كينيدي. وأوضحت ان السفينة، التي يجري العمل حاليًا على بنائها، ستكون ثاني حاملة طائرات تحمل اسم الرئيس الـ35 للولايات المتحدة، والحاملة الأولى سحبت في آب/أغسطس 2007 بعد 40 سنة من الخدمة وكانت تلقب بـ"بيغ جون"، كما شاركت في عملية "عاصفة الصحراء". وينتهي العمل على الحاملة الجديدة في العام 2019، ولم يعلن سلاح البحرية أين سترسو وإن كانت سان دييغو احتمالاً مطروحًا. وأعلن المتحدث باسم البحرية راي مابوس عن العزم على تسمية السفينة نسبة للرئيس كينيدي قائلاً ان الأخير كان "جسّد معنى الخدمة، ليس للبلاد فقط بل لكل الإنسانية"

المفوضة السامية لحقوق الإنسان تعبر عن قلقها من الانتهاكات الإسرائيلية

"عبرت المفوضة السامية لحقوق الإنسان نافي بيلاي، عن قلقها الكبير من حالة حقوق الإنسان في الأرض الفلسطينية المحتلة نتيجة استمرار الانتهاكات الإسرائيلية.

وأشارت بيلاي، خلال افتتاح أعمال الدورة السابعة عشرة لمجلس حقوق الإنسان بمقر الأمم المتحدة في جنيف اليوم الإثنين، إلى قيام إسرائيل القوة القائمة بالاحتلال، بانتهاك حقوق الشعب الفلسطيني، مذكّرة بأحداث الخامس عشر من الشهر الجاري، التي أسفرت عن استشهاد وجرح العشرات من الفلسطينيين والعرب في ذكرى النكبة"

نتنياهو يتهم مصر بالعجز عن السيطرة على سيناء

نقلاً عن "معاً": "نتنياهو يتهم مصر بالعجز عن السيطرة على سيناء وزيادة نفوذ حماس هناك"


كيف يمكن لمصر أن تسيطر على سيناء في ظل اتفاقية "كامب ديفيد" لسنة 1979 التي قيدت التواجد العسكري المصري من حيث النوع والعدد ليس فقط على طول الحدود الدولية وإنما في سائر أرجاء شبه الجزيرة؟ المسألة لا تحتاج للتفكير أكثر من مرة !

جابي حلو

Arab Spring moving to Europe?

"The first confirmation of protests expected to sweep across Europe tonight from Greece to Spain, France and Italy comes from Syntagma square where up to 100,000 people are protesting at this moment"

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bahraini pro-democracy female doctors abused and tortured

"Out of prison but in fear of being rearrested, Bahraini Shiite women doctors have spoken of abuse and torture by police after being accused of backing pro-democracy protests in the Sunni-ruled monarchy... Some of the women doctors recently freed told AFP how they were made to confess to such allegations under torture and after being subjected to verbal abuse"

فتح معبر رفح خرقاً للسلام بين مصر وإسرائيل

نقلاً عن "اليوم السابع": "تل أبيب تعتبر فتح معبر رفح خرقاً لاتفاقات السلام بين مصر وإسرائيل"

لا يمثل حصار قطاع غزة المقصود والمشدد خرقاً للقانون الدولي؟ فهذا الحصار يشكل عقوبات جماعية محرمة بموجب الفقرة الأولى من المادة 33 من اتفاقية جنيف الرابعة الخاصة بحماية المدنيين في وقت الحرب لسنة 1949.
والأبعد من ذلك، هذه العقوبات الجماعية – أي الحصار المقصود والمشدد – هو أحد أشكال جريمة الإبادة الجماعية بحسب الفقرة (ج) من المادة 6 من النظام الأساسي (نظام روما) للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية. مما يعني أن هذا الحصار قد يرتقي إلى مستوى جريمة الإبادة الجماعية.
جابي حلو

Friday, May 27, 2011

Air France Flight AF 447 Stalled in Free Fall to Atlantic

Air France Probe Shows Jet Stalled in Free Fall to Atlantic


"Air France Flight 447 crashed after the Airbus A330 lost speed and stalled before beginning a three- and-a-half minute plunge into the Atlantic Ocean that killed all 228 people on board, an investigation found.

The findings by the French BEA air-accident investigation bureau show the autopilot disengaged shortly after the pilots had alerted cabin crew of possible turbulence ahead. According to data from the flight recorders, the younger of the two men angled the jet’s nose higher, a position the aircraft maintained until its final impact"

Spanish police stop sale of Israeli military helicopters to Iran

Spanish police stop illegal sale of Israeli military helicopters to Iran

اسبانيا تحبط محاولة بيع طائرات عمودية اسرائيلية لايران

"أعلنت الشرطة الاسبانية عن احباط محاولة بيع طائرات عمودية عسكرية لايران وصلت من اسرائيل، حيث اعتقلت 8 اشخاص متورطين بهذه الصفقة بينهم 3 ايرانيين.

وبحسب ما نشر موقع "قضايا مركزية" العبري اليوم الجمعة فقد احبطت الشرطة الاسبانية بيع 9 طائرات عمودية عسكرية وصلت مفككة من اسرائيل الى اسبانيا، حيث اعتقلت الشرطة 5 رجال اعمال اسبانيين وكذلك 3 مواطنين ايرانيين بعد مداهمة الشرطة الاسبانية لمدينة مدريد وبرشلونة"

استشارة محكمة العدل الدولية بقضية الأسرى الفلسطينيين

"أكد وزير الخارجية المصري نبيل العربي ورئيس المجلس الوزاري لحركة عدم الانحياز، أن الحركة تؤيد وتدعم الاستراتيجية القانونية التي تبنتها السلطة الفلسطينية، والقاضية بالتوجه إلى الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة لأخذ الرأي الاستشاري من محكمة العدل الدولية بلاهاي، في قضية الأسرى الفلسطينيين بالسجون الإسرائيلية، والذين تمارس ضدهم انتهاكات جسيمة مخالفة للقانون الدولي والقانون الإنساني، واتفاقية جنيف الرابعة"

Rwandan genocide suspect arrested

Rwanda: Bernard Munyagishari arrested for genocide
"A Rwandan genocide suspect on the run for 17 years has been arrested in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo"

*"An estimated 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus were killed in 100 days in 1994"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

UN Resolutions on the Question of Palestine

Compilation: RESOLUTIONS AND DECISIONS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND THE SECURITY COUNCIL RELATING TO THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

Ratko Mladić arrested

OSCE Chairperson welcomes arrest of Ratko Mladić

Congress to Palestinians: Drop dead

MJ Rosenberg: "Netanyahu's address to Congress demonstrated that he has no intention of making peace with the Palestinians"

"If anyone had any doubt about whether the Palestinians would declare a state in September, they can't have them now"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Israeli oil company trades with Iran

U.S. imposes sanctions on Israeli company for trade with Iran
"The U.S. State Department imposed new sanctions on 7 oil and shipping companies for violating the ban on oil trading with Iran. Sanctions were imposed in particular on PDVSA (Venezuela), PCCI, Royal Oyster Group, Speedy Ship (UAE), Tanker Pacific (Singapore), Ofer Brothers (Israel) and Associated Shipbroking (Monaco). They are now closed access to U.S. government contracts, but cooperation with the private sector and activities in the USA are not restricted.

Besides, the U.S. State Department imposed sanctions on 16 companies from China, Syria, Iran, Belarus and North Korea for the actions that promote the growth of nuclear weapons in Iran, Syria and North Korea"

To read more about USA's best ally's company, click here

John F. Kennedy longed for USSR to spice up space race

"President John F. Kennedy feared the space race had "lost its glamour" during his final months, and longed for the USSR to put up more of a fight to excite the American public, it has emerged"

Germany Losing Global Clout

Despite Germany's economic clout, Berlin has failed to place German officials in top jobs at the EU and in key organizations such as the IMF and ECB. The country's global influence is suffering as a result. A dearth of suitable candidates, domestic politics and Angela Merkel's lack of horse-trading skills are to blame.

"Merkel's lack of capable senior experts is beginning to adversely affect Germany's role in international bodies. While such organizations have become increasingly important in the course of globalization, Germany's ability to successfully champion its interests inside them is declining. "Germany," says former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, "is failing as a leading power in Europe."

Palestinian reconciliation: Nudge it along

The West and Israel, for their own good, should encourage Palestinians to get together

"AMID the joy of the Arab awakening, the most stubbornly insoluble of all the Middle East’s problems, the argument between Jews and Arabs over the Holy Land, seemed almost forgotten and perhaps better shelved for the next few years. No more. The upheavals elsewhere in the Arab world are affecting even the Palestinians—and by extension the Israelis. On May 4th the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, bloodily at odds for many years, signed an historic agreement to support a national-unity government in the Palestinian territories: the Gaza Strip, now ruled by Hamas, and the West Bank, ruled by an authority under the sway of Fatah" (thanks Cheryl)

'Netanyahu's Rejection Is Self-Important and Arrogant'

"The European Union is backing US President Obama's call for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn says in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE. He also argues that, if the Israelis remain stubborn, the EU must consider taking political action"

Lands Swaps Key to 1967 Israeli-Palestinian Border Issue

"The notion of going back to pre-1967 borders with land swaps as a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinian territories elicited instant resistance after President Obama's speech last week, but further emphasis on land exchanges showed some wiggle room might exist" (thanks Cheryl)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Netanyahu's version of the two-State solution

Benjamin Netanyahu’s version of the two-State solution:

Israel and Palestine, living in peace and security (not side by side). Israel on the whole territory of Palestine, and the location of the Palestinian State to be determined later.

Gabriel Helou

Netanyahu's "State of the Union Speech" to Congress

Addressing US Congress, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to appear as if he was delivering the Presidential State of the Union Speech.

Israeli PM

Monday, May 23, 2011

Council of the European Union conclusions on Bahrain

Council conclusions on Bahrain
3091st FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting

Brussels, 23 May 2011


Council of the European Union conclusions on Syria


Council of the European Union conclusions on Syria

3091st FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting

Brussels, 23 May 2011


"8. On the 9th of May the EU decided to impose restrictive measures against Syria and persons responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population with a view to achieving a fundamental change of policy by the Syrian leadership without delay. The Council has decided to further strengthen these restrictive measures by designating additional persons, including at the highest level of leadership. The EU is determined to take further measures without delay should the Syrian leadership choose not to change swiftly its current path"

AF 447: Pilot Wasn't In Cockpit During Critical Phase

Air France Flight AF 447 Investigation

Recording Indicates Pilot Wasn't In Cockpit During Critical Phase

“What happened on board the Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic en route from Rio to Paris? According to information obtained by SPIEGEL from the analysis of flight recorder data, pilot Marc Dubois appears not to have been in the cockpit at the time the deadly accident started to unfold”

Council of the European Union on Middle East Peace Process

Council conclusions on Middle East Peace Process

3091st FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting

Brussels, 23 May 2011

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"1. The fundamental changes across the Arab world have made the need for progress on the Middle East Peace Process all the more urgent. Recent events have indeed shown the necessity of heeding the legitimate aspirations of peoples in the region, including those of Palestinians for statehood, and of Israelis for security.

2. The EU is deeply concerned about the continuing stalemate in the Peace Process and calls for the urgent resumption of direct negotiations leading to a comprehensive solution on all tracks. Our goal remains a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition. A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two States. Recalling the Berlin Declaration, the EU reiterates its readiness to recognize a Palestinian State when appropriate.

3. The EU believes that negotiations are the best way forward, if there is to be a lasting resolution to the conflict. The parties and the international community must contribute to the resumption of substantive talks as a matter of urgency, leading to a framework agreement by September 2011, as agreed by the parties and endorsed by the Quartet. In this regard the EU welcomes the recent consultations between the parties and the Quartet envoys.

4. The EU believes that clear parameters defining the basis for negotiations are key elements for a successful outcome, together with the avoiding of unilateral measures and acts on the ground which undermine confidence. The Council welcomes President Obama's speech which sets out important elements contributing to the resumption of negotiations. The EU has set out and will actively promote its position with regard to parameters in Council Conclusions of December 2009 and December 2010, and as expressed by the EU in the UN Security Council on 21 April 2011. On this basis, it looks forward to an early meeting of the Quartet Principals to take the process forward.

5. The EU supports the holding of an international donors' conference for the Palestinian State this June in Paris also in view of the resumption of negotiations.

6. The EU has consistently called for intra-Palestinian reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas as an important element for the unity of a future Palestinian state and for reaching a two state solution. Reconciliation should also be in the long term interest of Israel by helping to engage all parties in a process leading to a sustainable peace agreement. The EU welcomes that Palestinian reconciliation has led to the cessation of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip and insists on the need for a permanent truce. In this regard, the EU reiterates its call for the lifting of Gaza closure.

7. The Council hopes that this new context will favour without delay the unconditional release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

8. The EU welcomes the agreement signed in Cairo on 3 May. The Council commends the successful mediation of the Egyptian authorities and encourages further efforts in support of the full implementation of the agreement. The EU welcomes that President Abbas, as Chairman of the PLO, will be the representative of the Palestinians in peace negotiations.

9. In this context, the EU stands ready to reactivate the EUBAM Rafah Mission, once political and security conditions allow, in order to ensure the EU third party role at the Rafah crossing point, as set out in the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access.

10. The EU looks forward to continuing its support, including through direct financial support, for a new Palestinian government composed of independent figures that commits to the principles set out in President Abbas' speech on 4 May. Such a government should uphold the principle of non-violence, and remain committed to achieving a two-state solution and to a negotiated peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict accepting previous agreements and obligations, including Israel’s legitimate right to exist. The EU's ongoing engagement with a new Palestinian government will be based on its adherence to these policies and commitments. The EU calls on the international community, Israel, and regional partners to work with the government on this basis. The EU also looks forward to the holding of elections.

11. The EU calls on Israel and the PA to continue their cooperation in all fields, including in terms of security and transfer of revenues and to abstain from measures that could hamper progress and further reforms.

12. The EU calls on the future Palestinian government to continue the PA’s institution-building efforts and to uphold current standards in terms of transparent and efficient public finance management, as consistently commended by the UN, the IMF and the World Bank, most recently during the AHLC meeting hosted by the High Representative on 13 April in Brussels. The EU welcomes the outcome of the reports which state that the PA is above the threshold for a functioning state in the key sectors studied. In this regard the EU expresses its full appreciation of the current Government’s success in implementing the state building plan"

Supreme Court's Fourth Amendment ruling gives police too much discretion

"A U.S. Supreme Court ruling fragments the force of the Fourth Amendment. The ruling leaves the Constitution's protection against warrantless searches as a symbolic right, easily sidestepped in practice by police.

Two Kentucky police officers sparked the case when, in search of a suspect, they broke into an apartment smelling of marijuana for fear of evidence being destroyed. They got the wrong place but still found illegal drugs.

The Fourth Amendment once emphasized the right to the security of one's home. The U.S. Supreme Court now confirms that police who smell drugs, knock loudly and listen may find the circumstances necessary to enter a home before obtaining a warrant"

Arizona inmate set to die this week wants stay

"Lawyers for an inmate set to be executed this week want the Arizona Supreme Court to withdraw his death warrant because the justices toured death row and met with prison officials.

Court papers filed Sunday also ask the entire five-member high court to step away from the case and appoint a panel of judges to hear Donald Beaty's appeals"



To read more: click here

حق الشعب الفلسطيني في تقرير المصير

حق الشعب الفلسطيني في تقرير المصير

قرار الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة A/RES/65/202 الذي تبنته في 21 كانون الأول 2010، والذي أعادت التأكيد فيه على حق الشعب الفلسطيني في تقرير المصير، بما في ذلك الحق في أن تكون له دولته المستقلة، فلسطين. 177 دولة صوتت لصالحه، 6 دول صوتت ضده، و 4 دول امتنعت عن التصويت.

النص الكامل للقرار

The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

The most recent resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly in which it reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine. The resolution was approved on 21 December 2010 by 177-6-4.

The full text of the resolution: A/RES/65/202

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Referring the situation in Egypt to the ICC?

If Mubarak regime committed crimes against humanity during the revolution in Egypt, wouldn't it be better to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court in order to avoid vengeful trials?

Palestinians will keep up their campaign to win UN endorsement

"Palestinian Territories (AFP) – The Palestinians will keep up their campaign to win UN endorsement for a unilaterally declared state despite US opposition, a senior Palestinian official has said.

"Now that (Israeli Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu has proved that he rejects the peace process, there is no doubt that we shall continue with the strategic objective of turning to the United Nations in September," Nabil Shaath, a senior member of the Fatah movement, told AFP late on Saturday.

Shaath, a former minister, said that the goal of the Palestinians is to win recognition by the world body of their promised state "in the 1967 borders," referring to the lines that existed before that year's Six Day War.

That would mean a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Israeli-annexed Arab east Jerusalem"

Palestinians plan fresh protests to mark war anniversary

"Palestinian refugees are planning a fresh round of marches on Israel next month, amid signs that grassroots protests could gain momentum from deep disillusion over the prospects for peace talks and the impact of the Arab Spring"

SALEH GUNMEN HOLD US AND GULF ENVOYS HOSTAGE

SALEH GUNMEN HOLD US AND GULF ENVOYS HOSTAGE IN UAE EMBASSY IN SANA’A

"Gunmen claiming to be loyal to President Ali Abdallah Saleh of Yemen laid siege Sunday afternoon to the embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Sana’a, trapping the ambassadors of the United States and of the six members states of the Gulf Cooperation Council"

Saudi woman detained for defying driving ban

"Authorities detained a Saudi woman on Saturday after she launched a campaign against the driving ban for women in the ultraconservative kingdom and posted a video of herself behind the wheel on Facebook and YouTube to encourage others to copy her. Manal al-Sherif and a group of other women started a Facebook page called "Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself," which urges authorities to lift the driving ban. She went on a test drive in the eastern city of Khobar and later posted a video of the experience"

Arabie: une femme arrêtée pour avoir défié l'interdiction de conduire

"Les autorités saoudiennes ont arrêté une jeune femme qui avait défié l'interdiction de conduire dans l'est du royaume, a affirmé dimanche à l'AFP une militante pour les droits des femmes.

Manal al-Charif avait posté vendredi sur Youtube une vidéo la montrant en train de conduire dans la ville de Khobar (est)"

Bahrain court upholds death sentences

"A Bahrain emergency appeals court has upheld death sentences for two men found guilty of killing police officers during recent unrest on the island kingdom.

Human rights activists said that punishments given to Ali Abdullah Hassan al-Singace and Abdul Aziz Abdul Redha Ibrahim Hussein in Sunday's court rulings were designed to prevent more protests"

الاستئناف يؤيد حكم الاعدام بحق محتجين في البحرين

الاستئناف يؤيد حكم الاعدام بحق محتجين شيعة بتهمة قتل شرطيين في البحرين

"ايد الاستئناف في محكمة السلامة الوطنية الاستثنائية في البحرين الاحد حكم الاعدام بحق محتجين شيعة وخفض العقوبة من الاعدام الى السجن المؤبد لاثنين آخرين في قضية قتل شرطيين خلال الحركة الاحتجاجية التي شهدتها البلاد، وذلك بحسب بيان نشرته وكالة الانباء البحرينية"

فضيحة العرب: أدوية فاسدة مرسلة إلى غزة

فضيحة العرب: أدوية فاسدة مرسلة إلى غزة

Obama’s Peace Tack Contrasts With Dennis Ross

Obama’s Peace Tack Contrasts With Key Aide, Friend of Israel

Divisions Are Clear as Obama and Netanyahu Discuss Peace

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel told President Obama on Friday that he shared his vision for a peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and then promptly listed a series of nonnegotiable conditions that have kept the two sides at an impasse for years.

Sitting at Mr. Obama’s side in the Oval Office, leaning toward him and at times looking him directly in the eye, the Israeli leader bluntly rejected compromises of the sort Mr. Obama had outlined the day before in hopes of reviving a moribund peace process. Mr. Obama, who had sought to emphasize Israel’s concerns in his remarks moments earlier, stared back"

Ashton opens EU office in Benghazi

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton opens European Union office in Benghazi, Libya.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Obama misses deadline for congressional approval

Obama misses deadline for congressional approval of Libya operations


"President Obama missed a legal deadline Friday — set in a 1973 law — that required him to obtain congressional approval for U.S. military operations in Libya.

Friday was the 60th day since Obama formally notified Congress that U.S. planes would strike targets in Libya, a bid to protect civilians from the government of strongman Moammar Gaddafi. Under the Nixon-era War Powers Resolution, the president must obtain congressional authorization of military action within 60 days or else begin withdrawing forces"

Majdal Shams, Golan Heights

In the Golan Heights, Anxious Eyes Look East

"Until the Internet came to this Druze village in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights in late 1990s, residents used to go to an area known as the shouting hill and use megaphones to communicate with relatives across the fence in the motherland, Syria"

Guy Verhofstadt: "L’Europe est la réponse au nationalisme"

"Pour l’ex-Premier ministre belge Guy Verhofstadt, le repli sur soi mène à une impasse. “Les politiciens ne doivent pas singer les nationalistes, mais leur opposer une vision européenne.


Fédéraliste européen dans l’âme, l’ancien Premier ministre belge Guy Verhofstadt se désole de la montée des nationalismes et de l’extrême droite aux quatre coins du Vieux continent. Pour renverser la tendance, les leaders politiques doivent s’investir et démontrer aux citoyens qu’une plus grande intégration européenne est la seule issue possible, affirme le chef du groupe libéral au Parlement européen"

Karel De Gucht fustige les "pom-pom girls" qui suivent la N-VA

"Le commissaire européen Karel De Gucht s'en prend violemment samedi dans le quotidien Het Laatste Nieuws aux partis flamands qui suivent la N-VA pour toutes leurs décisions.
 
"Ils se comportent déjà depuis un an maintenant comme les 'pom-pom girls' de la N-VA. Comme s'ils étaient devenus la proie d'une sorte de 'folie collective'", explique Karel De Gucht. Si la N-VA ne veut pas de gouvernement, alors selon Karel De Gucht il serait "sensé que les trois partis classiques, CD&V, sp.a et Open Vld, se rapprochent des Francophones et disent: ok, nous voulons le faire sans la N-VA, mais en échange vous devez nous garantir une réforme de l'Etat sérieuse, la scission de BHV et la réforme de la Justice, des pensions, et autres".

Saeb Erekat: "Israel no partner"

"Israel is lobbying against the Palestinians' UN bid.

But European Union states, UN diplomats say, are looking increasingly favourably on the idea of recognising a Palestinian state.

Obama criticised the Palestinian push in his Middle East speech on Thursday, dismissing it as "symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations."

In February, the United States struck down a Security Council motion that would have branded the West Bank settlements as illegal.

The Palestinians currently have the status of UN observers without voting rights. The Vatican and European Union have the same status.

Israel disputes the Palestinian claim on all of territory based on the 1967 borders. Gaza, the other half of the Palestinian polity, was evacuated by the Israelis in 2005"

President Abbas to Jordan: a waste of time

According to “Maan News Agency": "President Mahmoud Abbas is heading today to Amman to meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan and discuss with him President Barack Obama’s speech on the peace process and its consequences".
This can only be described as a waste of time and energy. The last place that he can go to – following President Obama’s speech - is Jordan, and the United Nations is the first one that he should go to. What weight or influence does Jordan represent in the international arena?
President Mahmoud Abbas should go to the United Nations and take the following actions (with reference to another post but in Arabic), or else, we shall not dream of acquiring any part of our rights.

Gabriel Helou

فلسطين، ولو اعترف العالم بها

هل تظن القيادة الفلسطينية أن الدول تقام بمجرد الاعتراف الدولي بها؟ حسب القانون الدولي، الاعتراف بالدول هو أمر ثانوي، وليس أمر أولي أو أساسي لوجود الدول. الاعتراف هو إعلان من قبل الدول عن إرادتها للتعامل مع كيان موجود أصلاً. بكلمات أخرى، الاعتراف هو لاحق لقيام الدولة، وليس سابق، أي لا يقيمها.
 فحتى لو اعترف كل المجتمع الدولي، ممثلاً بالأمم المتحدة، وحتى لو اعترفت أيضاً الولايات المتحدة، بالدولة الفلسطينية، فهذا لا يغير أي شيء على أرض الواقع، طالما لم تستوف "فلسطين" جميع مقومات الدولة، وفق القانون الدولي.
فمقومات الدولة هي: شعب، إقليم، حكومة لها سيطرة، سيادة. دون هذه المقومات، ولو حصلنا على الاعتراف في شهر أيلول، يبقى الأمر رمزي، لأن الاعتراف لا ينشئ دول.
هل استوفينا هذه الشروط؟ أو هل يمكن أن نستوفيها قبل شهر أيلول لنطالب بالاعتراف الدولي؟ هذا السؤال يجب أن تجيب عليه القيادة الفلسطينية والشعب الفلسطيني قبل المطالبة بالاعتراف.
جابي حلو

الرئيس عباس إلى الأردن

نقلاً عن وكالة "معاً": "يتوجه الرئيس محمود عباس اليوم السبت إلى عمان للقاء العاهل الأردني الملك عبد الله الثاني وبحث خطاب الرئيس الأمريكي باراك أوباما حول عملية السلام وتداعياته".

هذا يسمى بمضيعة وقت وطاقات. المكان الأخير الذي يمكن أن يذهب إليه بعد خطاب الرئيس أوباما هو الأردن، والمكان الأول الذي يجب أن يذهب إليه هو الأمم المتحدة. ماذا تمثل الأردن من وزن أو نفوذ على الساحة الدولية؟

 يجب على الرئيس محمود عباس أن يذهب إلى الأمم المتحدة والقيام بالخطوات التالية، وغير ذلك لا يمكن الحلم بالحصول على أي جزء من حقوقنا.

جابي حلو

Kuwait: A Mockery

How can Kuwait – a State that deprives 120 thousand citizens of their civil rights – be elected as member of the Human Rights Council? Not only that. According to a report by Reuters, “Kuwait's ruling family largely sets the policy agenda and dominates political life. Formal political parties are banned, and the country limits freedom of the press and assembly and has no independent judiciary”. This is abominable and deplorable.
What is more appaling is that Kuwait received the full US backing for a seat on the Council. Only yesterday, in his speech, President Obama emphasized on democracy and the need for change in the region. Yet, Kuwait was “rewarded” for violating the human rights of its citizens. This is a rather bizzare and infurating situation.
It would have been way preferable, and even more respectful for human rights, to leave one of the 47 seats of the Council empty than filling it with a State that does not respect the human rights of its own citizens, bearing in mind that it was elected instead of Syria. Both of them should stay out of the Council. The UN General Assembly should therefore reconsider Kuwait’s membership of the Council, and put an end to this mockery.

Gabriel Helou


Information on Kuwait

"120 thousand citizens in Kuwait don't have basic civil rights" (thank you "jkuwaiti" on Twitter)

A 14-year-old sentenced to life without parole, not unconstitutional

Omer Ninham murdered a 13-year-old boy in 1998. Today, in a case that could be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Ninham will never leave prison

"The Wisconsin Supreme Court today ruled that sentencing a 14-year-old to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is not cruel and unusual punishment"

Obama Draws the Line

"As Obama noted, occupation is “humiliation.” It was humiliation as experienced by a young Tunisian fruit vendor that sparked the unfurling of the Arab Spring. There is no reason to believe this quest for dignity and self-governance will stop at Palestine’s door or that Israel’s quest for security can be sustained by walls alone"

The view from Palestine

"FOR would-be Palestinian negotiators, there was much in Barack Obama's speech on the Middle East to applaud. For the first time an American president has articulated his country's commitment to two states based on the 1967 borders. He also called for a "full and phased withdrawal of military forces"—ruling out a permanent military presence, though leaving open the possibility of a long-term interim one. He said a Palestinian state would border Jordan, thereby quashing any lingering Israeli demands that Israel retain a buffer in the Jordan Valley. To Israel's chagrin he also proposed that the parties first resolve their security arrangements and define their borders, before tackling what he called "wrenching and emotional issues remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Obama looks forward to rediscovering his Irish roots

Obama looks forward to rediscovering his Irish roots on European tour

"President making 'homecoming of sorts' says White House, when he visits mother's family town in Ireland"

STATEMENT BY MIDDLE EAST QUARTET

Statement

"The following statement was issued by the Middle East Quartet (United Nations, Russian Federation, United States, European Union):

The Members of the Quartet are in full agreement about the urgent need to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. To that effect, the Quartet expressed its strong support for the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined by [United States] President Barack Obama on 19 May, 2011. The Quartet agrees that moving forward on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation for Israelis and Palestinians to reach a final resolution of the conflict through serious and substantive negotiations and mutual agreement on all core issues.


The Quartet reiterates its strong appeal to the parties to overcome the current obstacles and resume direct bilateral negotiations without delay or preconditions. The Quartet further recommits itself to its previous statements and principles"

The only road to peace

The only road to peace in the Middle East is the full implementation of the list of United Nations Resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu rebukes Obama over 1967 plan

UN Security Council Resolution 242 must not be shelved; it must be the basis of any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict !

Netanyahu challenges Obama

Prime Minister Netanyahu - again - challenges President Obama in a meeting in Washington D.C.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remain unresolved, unless President Obama decides to press Netanyahu to adhere to the guidelines for peace drawn by the international community.

Strauss-Kahn Posts $1 Million Bail

"A judge agreed Thursday to free former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn from a New York City jail on the condition that he post $1 million in bail and remain under house arrest, under the watch of armed guards, at a private apartment in Manhattan"

Election: Human Rights Council

Photos: Dominique Strauss-Kahn behind bars

Obama and Netanyahu Are Facing a Turning Point

"As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel heads to the White House on Friday for the seventh meeting since President Obama took office, the two men are facing a turning point in a relationship that has never been warm.

By all accounts, they do not trust each other. President Obama has told aides and allies that he does not believe that Mr. Netanyahu will ever be willing to make the kind of big concessions that will lead to a peace deal... "I think the Europeans are sliding” toward voting for Palestinian statehood “because they don’t see a peace strategy coming out,” said David Makovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy"

Peace and Change

"Mr. Obama was right to warn the Palestinians that such symbolic actions “won’t create an independent state.” But the vote would also isolate Israel and the United States. Washington and its allies need to put a map on the table and challenge both sides to resume negotiations. That is the best chance for breaking the stalemate and the best chance for peace"

Obama's prescription for Mideast peace, democracy

"Key elements of President Barack Obama's approach to the Middle East, as outlined in his speech Thursday"


Obama sides with Palestinians

"President Obama, delivering his first major address tackling the uprisings in the Middle East, on Thursday endorsed Palestinians' demand for their own state based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war"

Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General on Middle East and North Africa

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Middle East and North Africa

The Secretary-General welcomes President Obama's important speech on the historic developments taking place in the Middle East and North Africa. The Secretary-General has consistently expressed his support for the legitimate aspirations of the people in the region for greater freedom, dignity and a better life. The Secretary-General continues to call on the leaders throughout the region to reject the use of force, violence and repression, and to chose the path of comprehensive reform and inclusive dialogue. He believes it is the people of the region who will lead the way, and he pledges the full assistance of the United Nations.
On the Middle East Peace Process, the Secretary-General believes that President Obama has offered important ideas which could help the peace talks move forward, consistent with international positions and responding to the legitimate core concerns of both parties. He encourages Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas to respond as statesmen and peacemakers to this important speech. He hopes all sides will demonstrate a renewed determination to achieve a peace agreement that provides for two States living side-by-side in dignity, security and peace.

Reactions: Obama's 'Arab Spring address'

Reactions to Obama's speech outlining his vision for the Middle East and North Africa

Obama calls for Israel's return to pre-1967 borders

President Barack Obama on Thursday made official the long-held but rarely stated U.S. support for a future Palestinian state based on borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war.

In the past, the United States has unofficially backed a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict based on the borders in place prior to the war 44 years ago in which Israel seized the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula”

’67 Borders as Starting Point for Peace Deal

President Obama: “At a time when the people of the Middle East and North Africa are casting off the burdens of the past, the drive for a lasting peace that ends the conflict and resolves all claims is more urgent that ever... The international community is tired of an endless process that never produces an outcome”

Obama granted Netanyahu a diplomatic victory

"... Obama scornfully rejected the Palestinian initiative to attain recognition at the United Nations and to isolate Israel, demanded the Palestinians return to negotiations, and called on Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist. These points came straight out of the policy pages of the Prime Minister's Bureau in Jerusalem..."

Netanyahu rejects withdrawal to 1967 borders

Netanyahu rejects withdrawal to 'indefensible' 1967 borders

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday Israel would object to any withdrawal to "indefensible" borders, adding he expected Washington to allow it to keep major settlement blocs in any peace deal.

In a statement after President Barack Obama's speech outlining Middle East strategy, Netanyahu said before heading to Washington that "the viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of Israel's existence"

In light thereof, how will the Obama Administration react?

Will President Obama's speech revive Middle East talks?

What did President Obama offer in his speech today? And how can it be read in light of his campaign for a second term in office? Analysis

Amnesty International on President Obama's speech

This is a very interesting analysis of President Obama's speech by Amnesty International.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Key quotes from Obama's Middle East Speech

"President Barack Obama addressed the convulsive events sweeping North Africa and the Middle East and offered a glimpse of a U.S. peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians in a speech Thursday"

Full text of Obama's Middle East Speech

President Obama's Middle East Speech

Can Palestine become a United Nations Member State?

"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appears determined to ask the United Nations to admit Palestine as a sovereign member state. But there is little chance of success at the moment"

Les Belges inquiets face à la crise gouvernementale

"La crise gouvernementale est le souci le plus important pour 6 Belges sur 10 (57 pc), révèle le Baromètre GfK annuel "Challenges of Europe" mené en mars 2011, dans 11 pays Européens auprès de 13.300 interviewés. "Avec 57 pc de tous les Belges qui indiquent que la crise du gouvernement est leur souci le plus important, on a atteint le pourcentage le plus élevé de notre baromètre", a indiqué GfK dans un communiqué"

Strauss-Kahn resigns as IMF Chief

"Coverage of the scandal surrounding Dominique Strauss-Kahn continues in today's papers, following his announcement that he would resign as IMF chief amid allegations of sexual assault and attempted rape"


More

Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East

Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question (Channel 3)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Le FMI doit trouver un moyen d'obtenir le départ de Strauss-Kahn

Vendredi est le jour où M. Strauss-Kahn doit comparaître devant la justice de l'Etat de New York qui doit lui notifier son inculpation formelle

Gouvernement belge

Di Rupo reçoit De Wever ce jeudi

"Le formateur Elio Di Rupo rencontrera demain jeudi, à 14 heures 30, à la présidence de la Chambre, le président de la N-VA, Bart De Wever, pour "faire le point sur la situation" politique, a-t-on appris mercredi" 

Inside Rikers Island Prison - Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Abuses against Journalists by Palestinian Security Forces

Human Rights Watch

"No News is Good" Report



للمزيد

Bahrain activists jailed

"The trials of eight activists convicted over their involvement in pro-reform protests in Bahrain that began in February, were politically motivated and unfair, Amnesty International said today.

A military court in Bahrain's capital city Manama has sentenced the eight activists, in two separate cases, to between one and four years imprisonment for "participating in illegal demonstrations and inciting hatred against the regime" during popular protests in February and March"

Diplomatic Immunity

 
"Diplomatic immunity is a principle of international law by which certain foreign government officials are not subject to the jurisdiction of local courts and other authorities. The concept of immunity began with ancient tribes. In order to exchange information, messengers were allowed to travel from tribe to tribe without fear of harm. They were protected even when they brought bad news. Today, immunity protects the channels of diplomatic communication by exempting diplomats from local jurisdiction so that they can perform their duties with freedom, independence, and security. Diplomatic immunity is not meant to benefit individuals personally; it is meant to ensure that foreign officials can do their jobs. Under the concept of reciprocity, diplomats assigned to any country in the world benefit equally from diplomatic immunity.

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 codified most modern diplomatic and consular practices, including diplomatic immunity. More than 160 nations are parties to these treaties. The conventions provide immunity to persons according to their rank in a diplomatic mission or consular post and according to the need for immunity in performing their duties. For example, diplomatic agents and members of their immediate families are immune from all criminal prosecution and most civil law suits. Administrative and technical staff members of embassies have a lower level of immunity. Consular officers serving in consulates throughout the country have an even lower level of immunity. Members of an embassy's service staff and consular employees are immune only for acts performed as part of their official duties
It is true that diplomats are exempt from the criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction of the host country. However, this exemption may be waived by their home country. Moreover, the immunity of a diplomat from the jurisdiction of the host country does not exempt him/her from the jurisdiction of his/her home country.
It is also within the discretion of the host country to declare any member of the diplomatic staff of a mission persona non grata (or unwanted person). This may be done at any time and there is no obligation to explain such a decision. In these situations, the home country, as a rule, would recall the person or terminate his/her function with the mission.
The Vienna Convention provides for specific measures that can be taken by both the home and host countries in cases of misuse or abuse of diplomatic privileges and immunities. On the whole, diplomatic privileges and immunities have served as efficient tools facilitating relations between States. No UN Member State has so far proposed rescinding the Convention or re-writing its provisions.
Diplomatic privileges and immunities guarantee that diplomatic agents or members of their immediate family:
  May not be arrested or detained
       May not have their residences entered and searched
        May not be subpoenaed as witnesses
        May not be prosecuted"