Monday, October 31, 2011

U.S. cuts off UNESCO funding after Palestinian vote

“The United States said on Monday it had stopped funding UNESCO, the U.N. cultural agency, following its vote to grant the Palestinians full membership.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the United States had no choice but to halt funding because of longstanding U.S. law, saying Washington would not make a planned $60 million transfer that was due in November.”

Palestine must ratify UNESCO’s Constitution

“For its membership to take effect, Palestine must sign and ratify UNESCO’s Constitution which is open for signature in the archives of the Government of the United Kingdom in London.
Palestine’s entry will bring the number of UNESCO’s Member States to 195.
The vote was carried by 107 votes in favour of admission and 14 votes against, with 52 abstentions.
Admission to UNESCO for states that are not members of the United Nations requires a recommendation by the Organization’s Executive Board and a two thirds majority vote in favour by the General Conference of Member States present and voting (abstentions are not considered as votes).
The General Conference consists of the representatives of the States Members of the Organization. It meets every two years, and is attended by Member States and Associate Members, together with observers for non-Member States, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Each Member State has one vote, irrespective of its size or the extent of its contribution to the budget.
The General Conference determines the policies and the main lines of work of the Organization. Its duty is to set the programmes and the budget of UNESCO. It also elects the Members of the Executive Board and appoints, every four years, the Director-General.”  

UNESCO grants Palestine full membership

Palestine became a full member of the U.N. cultural and educational agency Monday, in a highly divisive move that the United States and other opponents say could harm renewed Mideast peace efforts.
U.S. lawmakers had threatened to withhold roughly $80 million in annual funding to UNESCO if it approved Palestinian membership. The United States provides about 22 percent of UNESCO's funding.
Huge cheers went up in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization after delegates approved the membership in a vote of 107-14 with 52 abstentions. Eighty-one votes were needed for approval in a hall with 173 UNESCO member delegations present.
"Long Live Palestine!" shouted one delegate, in French, at the unusually tense and dramatic meeting of UNESCO's General Conference.”

UNESCO gives Palestinians full membership

“The United Nations’ cultural agency decided on Monday to give the Palestinians full membership of the body, a vote that will boost their bid for recognition as a state at the United Nations.

UNESCO is the first U.N. agency the Palestinians have sought to join as a full member since President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full membership of the United Nations on September 23.

The United States, Canada and Germany voted against Palestinian membership. Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa and France voted in favour. Britain abstained.”

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Palestinians file complaint with UN Security Council over Lieberman 'incitement'

"The Palestinian Authority has filed a complaint with the United Nations Security Council over the 'incitement' by Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
The complaint cites an article published by Haaretz on Monday, in which Lieberman was quoted as saying that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is the "greatest obstacle" to regional order, and that it would be a "blessing" if the Palestinian leader were to resign.
"If there is one obstacle that should be removed immediately, it is [Abbas]," he said. "If he were to return the keys and resign, it would not be a threat, but a blessing."
The letter submitted on Tuesday to the Security Council states that "we unequivocally reject and object to such incitement, which we consider to be a clear threat against the life of President Mahmoud Abbas, whose commitment to peace is absolutely unquestionable.""

Thursday, October 27, 2011

UN Security Council Ends Mandate for NATO Military Operations in Libya

“The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to lift the no-fly zone over Libya on Oct. 31 and end its authorization of military action to protect civilians.
The council adopted the resolution to end military action on Thursday, a day after Libya's deputy U.N. Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi asked to council to wait until the transitional government made an official request.
The council authorized the actions on March 17 in response to an Arab League request to try to halt Muammar Qaddafi's military, which was advancing against rebels and their civilian supporters. The NATO bombing campaign that followed was critical in helping the rebels oust Qaddafi from power in August.”

UN Security Council ends Libya military mandate

THE UN Security Council unanimously voted today to end the mandate for international military action in Libya.
“The 15-member council ordered an end to authorization for a no-fly zone and action to protect civilians from 11:59pm Libyan time on Oct. 31. The mandate was approved in March after ousted Libyan leader Moamar Ghadafi launched a deadly assault on opposition protests.
NATO, which carried out the airstrikes that played a key role in the downfall of Ghadafi, said it was studying new ways to help the Transitional National Council (TNC), which had asked for an extension to the mandate.
The alliance's decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council, is due to meet today in Brussels to formally declare an end to its seven-month-old air war.
Security Council Resolution 2016 also eased an international arms embargo so that the TNC can acquire weapons and equipment for its national security.
It ended an assets freeze on the Libyan National Oil Corporation and virtually all restrictions on the central bank and other key institutions. It completely ended the ban on international flights by registered Libyan planes
Meanwhile, the TNC said Thursday that it would prosecute Ghadafi's killers. The move comes after international criticism of the manner of Ghadafi's capture and execution.
"With regards to Ghadafi, we do not wait for anybody to tell us," said Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the TNC at a news conference in Benghazi.”

المحكمة الجنائية الدولية تطالب النيجر بتسليم سيف الإسلام القذافي

"طلبت المحكمة الجنائية الدولية من النيجر أن تبدي تعاوناً معها لاعتقال سيف الإسلام القذافي ورئيسِ الاستخبارات الليبية السابق عبدالله السنوسي بصفتها دولة موقِعة على معاهدة روما ونفى المتحدث باسم المحكمة الجنائية الأنباء التي تحدثت أن الرجلين ينويان تسليم نفسيهما، مؤكدا أنه لم يتلق "أي معلومة أو تأكيد في هذا الصدد".

وقال فادي العبدالله المتحدث باسم المحكمة لوكالة "فرانس برس" "إن على النيجر بدون أدنى شك واجب التعاون، نظراً إلى أنها دولة موقعة على معاهدة روما"، التي تمثل النص التأسيسي للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

الصليب الأحمر الدولي: العثور على 267 جثة في مدينة سرت الليبية

"ذكر مصدر في اللجنة الدولية للصليب الاحمر يوم الاربعاء 26 اكتوبر/تشرين الاول انه تم العثور على 267 جثة في مدينة سرت الليبية وضواحيها. ويعتقد ان اغلبية هؤلاء القتلى من انصار الزعيم الليبي الراحل معمر القذافي الذي قتل هناك اثناء هجوم مقاتلي المجلس الوطني الانتقالي الليبي على هذه المدينة."

Gaddafi's family plans to file a war crimes complaint against NATO with the ICC

Gaddafi's family plans to file a war crimes complaint against NATO with the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the alliance's alleged role in his death, the family's lawyer said.
Marcel Ceccaldi, a French lawyer who previously worked for Gaddafi’s regime and now represents his family, told AFP news agency on Wednesday that a complaint would be filed with the Hague-based ICC because NATO's attack on the convoy led directly to his death.
"The wilful killing (of someone protected by the Geneva Convention) is defined as a war crime by Article 8 of the ICC's Rome Statute," he said.
He said he could not yet say when the complaint would be filed, but said it would target both NATO executive bodies and the leaders of alliance member states.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Neocon Plan to Attack Seven Countries in Five Years, Including Libya and Syria

"In the video below, former four star general and NATO commander Wesley Clark talks about the neocon plan to invade seven countries in five years. Included in the plan was an attack on Libya. Clark mentions the plan at two minutes, 26 seconds into the video."

Monday, October 24, 2011

UK: Referendum on EU Membership?

David Cameron has issued a final appeal to his MPs not to rebel in a vote on a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.

"All Conservative MPs, and Lib Dem and Labour MPs, were instructed to vote against the motion but 61 Tory MPs have signed it and may defy the party whip.

Mr Cameron, facing the biggest rebellion of his premiership, told them the approach and the timing was wrong.

"The time for reform is coming," he said ahead of the debate.

The motion calls for a referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU, leave the EU or renegotiate its membership."

القذافي في وصيته الأخيرة: ادفنوني بدمائي كالشهداء واستوصوا بأهلي خيراً


"فيما تواصل الصحف العربية والعالمية اهتمامها بتفاصيل الأيام الأخيرة للقذافي وبملابسات مقتله على أيدي الثوار، نشرت صحيفة "ديلي تلغراف" ما قالت إنه وصية القذافي التي كتبها في الساعات الأخيرة قبل وفاته، والتي أوصى فيها بدفن جثمانه دون تغسيل في مقبرة سرت بجوار عائلته، كما حث على استمرار المقاومة من بعده، مطالباً بإكرام أفراد عائلته.

ووفقاً لنص الوصية التي نشرتها الصحيفة البريطانية فقد أوصى القذافي بألا يتم تغسيله وأن يدفن وفق تعاليم الشريعة الإسلامية في ثيابه التي يموت فيها - أي اعتباره شهيداً - في مقبرة سرت "إلى جوار قومي وأهلي"، حسب تعبيره.

وطالب القذافي بأن تعامل عائلته وخاصة النساء والأطفال معاملة حسنة، داعياً الشعب الليبي إلى أن يحافظ على "هويته وعلى منجزاته وأن تستمر مقاومة أي عدوان أجنبي تتعرض له الجماهيرية الآن أو غداً وعلى الدوام"."

Gaddafi's will call on followers to fight on and remember 'heroes'

“The short will was said to be one of three copies given to relatives, one of whom was killed, one arrested and one managed to escape the fighting in Sirte, where the dictator was killed.

Published on Gaddafi's website, Seven Day News, the former Libyan dictator said: "I call on my supporters to continue the resistance, and fight any foreign aggressor against Libya, today, tomorrow and always."
He apparently made it clear he had decided to die in Libya rather than flee, telling his supporters: "Let the free people of the world know that we could have bargained over and sold out our cause in return for a personal secure and stable life.
"We received many offers to this effect but we chose to be at the vanguard of the confrontation as a badge of duty and honour."
Gaddafi asked to be buried, clothed as he died, with his body unwashed, in a graveyard in his home town of Sirte, not far from where he was killed as he fled the city on Thursday.”

Saturday, October 22, 2011

UN Security Council Calls for Political Settlement in Yemen

“The U.N. Security Council sent a message Friday to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to accept a plan from the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] to transfer power to his deputy in a bid to end the violence that has shaken Yemen for the past nine months.

The 15-member council unanimously adopted the resolution, which calls for Saleh to sign and implement without delay a political settlement based on the GCC initiative. The resolution also condemns the violence and calls on all parties to bring it to an end.”

UN Security Council unanimously condemns Yemen

“The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday in favor of a resolution to condemn violence in Yemen, where demonstrators, government forces and rival factions have been embroiled in months of unrest.

The 15-0 vote demands that Yemen allow peaceful demonstrations to take place and to end government crackdowns on civilians.

U.S. Ambassador Susan E. Rice said the "Security Council sent a strong message to President (Ali Abdullah) Saleh that it is time to heed the legitimate calls of the Yemeni people for a peaceful and orderly transition toward a unified, stable, secure and democratic Yemen."”

Friday, October 21, 2011

مقتل القذافي: جريمة حرب

بالأمس فشلت ليبيا الجديدة "الديمقراطية" أمام اختبارها الأول. كان القذافي مطلوباً للعدالة الدولية – المحكمة الجنائية الدولية – لجرائم ضد الإنسانية. وبناءً على ذلك، كان ينبغي على الثوار أن يتركوا القضاء الدولي يأخذ مجراه.
وعند إلقاء القبض عليه - كغير محارب - كان القذافي بمثابة أسير حرب، وعلى هذا كان يجب منحه الحماية التي ينص عليها القانون الدولي الإنساني. بدلاً من ذلك، تم تعذيبه، وإعدامه بشكل تعسفي دون محاكمة عادلة، مما يشكل جريمة حرب.

Qadhafi's Death: War Crime

The new “democratic” Libya failed its first test yesterday. Qadhafi had been wanted for international justice – International Criminal Court – for crimes against humanity. Accordingly, the rebels could have let the international judiciary take its course.
When captured by the rebels, and as a non-combatant,  Qadhafi was a prisoner of war, and as such should have been granted the protection prescribed by international humanitarian law. Instead, he was tortured, and summarily executed without a fair trial, constituting thereby a war crime.

Amnesty International calls for investigation into Gaddafi’s death

"Amnesty International called on Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) to make public information about how Colonel al-Gaddafi died, making the full facts available to the Libyan people.
It is essential to conduct a full, independent and impartial inquiry to establish whether Colonel al-Gaddafi was killed during combat or after he was captured, the organization said.

Amnesty International called on the NTC to ensure that all those suspected of human rights abuses and war crimes, including Colonel al-Gaddafi's inner circle and family members, are treated humanely and, if captured, given fair trials."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

فيديو القبض على القذافي

فيديو القاء القبض على معمر القذافي وهو حي.

Qaddafi Is Dead

"Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the former Libyan strongman who fled into hiding after rebels toppled his regime two months ago in the Arab Spring’s most tumultuous uprising, was killed Thursday as fighters battling the vestiges of his loyalist forces wrested control of his hometown of Surt, the interim government announced."

NATO confirms it hit military vehicles of Muammar Gaddafi loyalists near Sirte

“From Christopher Gillette and Rami Al-Shaheibi, the AP:  NATO confirms it hit a convoy of Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists fleeing Sirte as the city fell Thursday, but there are conflicting reports whether the ousted Libyan leader was in the convoy or possibly killed or captured.

Col. Roland Lavoie, spokesman for NATO's operational headquarters in Naples, Italy, says the alliance's aircraft Thursday morning struck two vehicles of pro-Gadhafi forces "which were part of a larger group maneuvering in the vicinity of Sirte."  

From the BBC:  "At approximately 08:30 local time (GMT+2) today, Nato aircraft struck two pro-Gaddafi forces military vehicles which were part of a larger group manoeuvring in the vicinity of Sirte," Nato spokesman Colonel Roland Lavoie said in a statement.”

Gaddafi killed as Libya's revolt claims hometown

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an eight-month-old uprising against his rule overran his hometown Sirte, Libya's interim rulers said.

"His killing, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte, is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen."

Misrata Military Council says Moammar Gaddafi captured

Reports that Gaddafi has been captured

القبض على معمر القذافي

رويترز تنقل عن المجلس الليبي الانتقالي القبض على القذافي مصابا بساقيه

Muammar Gaddafi captured

Muammar Qaddafi captured and wounded in both legs, says NTC official - Reuters

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Palestinian UN bid seen decided in November

“A Palestinian quest for U.N. membership is likely to come to a head on or around November 11, when Security Council ambassadors plan a final meeting to decide their response, diplomats said on Wednesday.
The November 11 meeting could result in a vote by the divided council, diplomats said. The United States, which supports its ally Israel in strongly opposing the membership bid, is considered certain to veto it but the Palestinians may seek a vote anyway if they can show majority support in the council.”

مجلس الأمن يصوت على طلب العضوية الفلسطيني الشهر المقبل

"أكد دبلوماسي غربي كبير أن مجلس الأمن الدولي قد يصوت في 11 نوفمبر/ تشرين الثاني المقبل على طلب حصول الفلسطينيين على عضوية كاملة في الأمم المتحدة.

وأوضح الدبلوماسي للصحافيين أن مباحثات جديدة ستجري في 11 نوفمبر/ تشرين الثاني مع عملية تصويت محتملة ستسجل نهاية عملية لطلب العضوية الفلسطينية في الأمم المتحدة.

وأشار إلى أن اجتماعا انعقد أمس الثلاثاء لاستعراض ما آلت إليه أعمال لجنة الانضمام في موضوع الطلب الذي تقدم به الفلسطينيون الشهر الماضي للحصول على مقعد دائم لدولتهم في الأمم المتحدة.


وأضاف أن اجتماعا على مستوى السفراء سيعقد في الثالث من الشهر المقبل ثم يعقد اجتماع رسمي في الحادي عشر من الشهر نفسه سيفضي إذا أراد الفلسطينيون إلى التصويت على طلبهم."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ashton on settlement expansion in Givat Hamatos


EUROPEAN UNION

Brussels, 15 October 2011

A 415/11

Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on settlement expansion in Givat Hamatos

“Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made today the following statement:

"I deplore the decision by the Israeli Authorities to advance the plan for the construction of 2600 new housing units in the settlement of Givat Hamatos and to legalize – under Israeli Law – houses in West Bank outposts. This is unacceptable. Both actions run against roadmap obligations. Settlements are illegal under international law. These decisions should be reversed.

The proposed constructions in Givat Hamatos are of particular concern as they would cut the geographic contiguity between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

The EU has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity, including natural growth, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001.

These initiatives run contrary to the current EU and Quartet efforts to bring about the resumption of peace negotiations and to Israel's stated commitment to this process. Both parties are responsible for the creation of an environment of trust conducive to negotiations."

Peres: I do not forget and I do not forgive

Do you expect someone like Peres, who says "I do not forget and I do not forgive", to make peace?

Monday, October 17, 2011

السيرة الذاتية لرئيس الوزراء الدكتور عون الخصاونة

السيرة الذاتية لرئيس الوزراء الأردني الدكتور عون شوكت الخصاونة.

ICJ Judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh appointed new Prime Minister of Jordan

“Jordan's King Abdullah II designated a well known international judge as his prime minister Monday, a royal palace statement said, replacing a premier who ran afoul of reformers.

Awn al-Khasawneh, 61, succeeds Marouf al-Bakhit, 64, who resigned earlier in the day after a majority of 70 out of 120 parliamentarians called for his ouster.

Al-Bakhit was widely perceived as dragging his feet on a political reform package. He was also accused of corruption during his earlier 2005-2007 tenure as prime minister.

He was the deputy chief of the Hague-based International Court of Justice. He also served as a chief adviser to Abdullah's late father, King Hussein.

Al-Khasawneh has a reputation as a clean politician as well as a noted legal expert.”

تعيين قاضي محكمة العدل الدولية عون الخصاونة رئيساً للحكومة الاردنية


"اعلن في العاصمة الاردنية عمان يوم الاثنين ان العاهل الاردني الملك عبدالله الثاني قد قبل استقالة حكومة معروف البخيت.
وكلف الملك عبدالله الدكتور عون الخصاونه بتشكيل الحكومه الجديدة.
...
يبلغ الخصاونة من العمر 61 عاما، وهو عضو في محكمة العدل الدولية منذ عام 2000. وشغل في الماضي منصب مدير الديوان الملكي، كما عمل مستشارا قانونيا للوفد الاردني الذي تفاوض مع اسرائيل حول اتفاقية وادي عربه عام 1994."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

UN Chief urges European governments to repair finances; 'It is a deficit of trust'

“Lawmakers in Europe and elsewhere must do more than put their debt-wracked houses in order -- they must reassure citizens who fear diminished future prospects, and that means restoring people's trust in government, the U.N. secretary-general said Sunday night.

Ban Ki-moon's comments came during the opening session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which features representatives of parliaments from 157 nations. The global financial crisis was a major theme.

"It is a deficit of trust," Ban told the group's 125th assembly, held in the Swiss capital and attended by Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey. "People are losing trust in governments and institutions to do the right things."

Ban added that "the time for haggling over incremental steps is over" within the Group of 20 rich and developing nations, which he said now "must shoulder their full share of responsibility" -- for the crisis.”

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Germany takes part in global economic protests

“As more global support mobilises for Spain’s Indignado movement and Occupy Wall Street in the United States, it was Germany’s turn to show its anger about economic injustice.
Protesters gathered outside the European Central Bank building in Frankfurt, holding banners with slogans against tough austerity measures and corporate greed.

All over the world, ordinary people feel that they are bearing the brunt of the global economic crisis and suffering disproportionately. One protester said she felt it was time for change: “We always have to take the blame for what the financial markets are doing. It can’t continue.”

Another man at outside the ECB building said radical action was needed: “Now is the time for a revolution.””

Anti-capitalist protests go global

Marches had been planned for Saturday in at least 868 cities in 78 countries. Organisers say they are broadly in favour of greater democracy in global financial and political systems.
“Undemocratic international institutions are our global Mubarak, our global Assad, our global Gaddafi,” said a statement from Egality, an activist group that is helping co-ordinate the global protests.
Shimri Zameret, a co-ordinator for Egality, said that events such as the Arab spring, the student-led protest movement in Chile and Spain’s indignados, or outraged, who have been demonstrating against joblessness and austerity measures, were all part of the same global movement demanding greater democracy and fairness.
The inspiration for Saturday’s protests is the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US, which began in New York last month with the occupation of Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, but has since spread to cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco.”

Ki-moon on new East Jerusalem settlements

Ban Ki-moon on new Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem: “East Jerusalem settlement plans are unacceptable”. Unacceptable? Seriously? What about their illegality?  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vandalizing Rabin memorial: What if he were a Palestinian?

Just think: What if Shvuel Schijveschuurder - who vandalized Yitzhak Rabin memorial in Tel-Aviv - were a Palestinian? Undoubtedly, he would have made front page headlines worldwide and, most likely, have been labeled as “terrorist”.

Canada urged to arrest and prosecute George W. Bush


Amnesty International today urged Canadian authorities to arrest and either prosecute or extradite former US President George W. Bush for his role in torture, ahead of his expected visit to Canada on 20 October.

“Canada is required by its international obligations to arrest and prosecute former President Bush given his responsibility for crimes under international law including torture,” said Susan Lee, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“As the US authorities have, so far, failed to bring former President Bush to justice, the international community must step in.  A failure by Canada to take action during his visit would violate the UN Convention against Torture and demonstrate contempt for fundamental human rights.”

Amnesty International submitted a memorandum to the Canadian authorities on 21 September 2011 that makes a substantial case for the former president’s legal responsibility for a series of human rights violations.”

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Deportation of Palestinian prisoners

Deportation constitutes a grave breach of international humanitarian law, namely Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention and, furthermore, a war crime according to Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, on the one hand.
On the other hand, if Palestinian prisoners are deported to third countries, they will most likely be deprived of the right to return to Palestine, thus violating international human rights law which guarantees the right of every person to leave his country and return to it. This is specifically set forth in Article 13(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human rights 1948, and Article 12(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966.




Avigdor Lieberman "rightly" deserves the Nobel Peace Prize

On Tuesday, 11 October 2011, a proposal to execute Palestinian prisoners was put on the table of the Israeli Government.
It is unclear – from Haaretz article - who was behind this proposal. But one can reasonably presume that it was the "peace dove" Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. In 2003, he had proposed to execute Palestinian prisoners by "drowning them in the Dead Sea", and even offered to provide the buses! Doesn’t he "rightly" deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?!

For more

Le néerlandais d’Elio Di Rupo n’est pas très bon

« C’est de notoriété publique, le néerlandais d’Elio Di Rupo n’est pas très bon. Le Premier ministre pressenti ne ménage pourtant pas ses efforts, même si sa qualité de formateur royal l’empêche pour l’instant de suivre des cours de langue intensifs. Et puis quelle immersion que ces négociations longue durée, dit-on dans son entourage. Ces efforts, encore fournis lundi à la télévision flamande sont, pour l’heure, salués de l’autre côté de la frontière linguistique. »

Palestinian Options at UN Lead to Legal Threat to Israel's Military

“If the Palestinian Authority succeeds in winning even an incremental upgrade of its status at the U.N, it could subject Israel's military to international courts for actions in Palestinian territory—as well as allow Palestinian control of its Israeli-patrolled air space and national waters off Gaza.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday he would seek full U.N. membership through the Security Council. If the U.S. vetoes that effort, as it has vowed to do, the Palestinians have a second option for membership: go to the General Assembly.
...

Even more troubling for Israel and the U.S. would be Palestinian membership in the International Criminal Court. Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, president of the ICC Assembly of State Parties, said in an interview that a Palestinian observer state could join the ICC and ask the court to investigate any alleged war crimes and other charges against Israel committed on Palestinian territory after July 2002. including Israel's 2008-09 assault on the Gaza Strip.”

Why Palestine is Already a State

“President Abbas told reporters on his plane back home from New York that the Palestinians are willing to wait two weeks for the Security Council to act before going to the next step for membership. That step is to try to circumvent either a U.S. veto or less than nine votes in the Security Council in the General Assembly, employing a Cold War-era resolution known as Uniting for Peace.

It was introduced by the U.S. in 1950 to get around repeated Soviet vetoes on the Korean War. Francis Boyle, a legal adviser to Abbas, told me he has advised the Palestinian president to take this step. But the Palestinians would have to convince two-thirds of voting Assembly members that Palestinian membership would be a response to a "threat to peace, breach of the peace or an act of aggression" from Israel.

The U.S. and Israel would fight to keep this off the General Assembly agenda. But Boyle, who cautioned that he does not speak for the Palestinians, told me he thinks the Palestinians have the votes to overcome this.”

Should Israel fear ICC war crimes prosecutions if Palestine becomes a state?

“Critics of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's U.N. statehood drive have highlighted the pointlessness of the initiative, saying it will bring the Palestinians no closer to their dream of an independent state, and may in fact delay it.
But the move is anything but meaningless.
A General Assembly declaration recognizing a Palestinian state may provide the Palestinians with a powerful weapon to use in its ongoing struggle with Israel: the right to invite the International Criminal Court prosecutor to investigate alleged Israeli crimes against Palestinians, according to legal experts. But it could also expose Palestinian militants to prosecution for launching missile attacks against Israeli towns.”

Gaddafi's Son Mutassim 'Captured In Sirte'

“Ousted Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's son Mutassim has been captured in Sirte, National Transitional Council officials say.
He was reported to have been arrested trying to flee the city in a car with his family and was taken to Benghazi, the power base of the revolution, on Wednesday morning to be questioned.
During the battle for Tripoli in August it was reported that three of Gaddafi's sons - Saif al-Islam, Saadi and Mohammed - had been seized by anti-Gaddafi fighters but they either escaped or the claims were incorrect.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Israel: Addicted to occupation

"Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin: “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seemed to be "addicted to the conflict" and therefore is not the right person for direct peace talks with Israel.”"

If that’s the case, then Israel’s continuous policies do not but demonstrate that it is unquestionably addicted to occupation.
And if President Mahmoud Abbas is not the right person, then who is? This is another proof of Israel’s lack of logic, seriousness and credibility to achieve peace.

Al Jazeera vindicated over Palestine Papers

“The United Kingdom's broadcasting regulator has thrown out a complaint against Al Jazeera for its publication of the so-called Palestine Papers in January 2011, ruling that the coverage was fair and in the public interest.

Monday's verdict by Ofcom, the UK parliament's communications watchdog, followed an investigation into a complaint lodged by Saeb Erekat, the former Palestinian chief negotiator, on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Erekat claimed that Al Jazeera's English language channel (AJE) had violated his privacy and that of the PLO by publishing more than 1,600 confidential documents detailing Israeli-Palestinian talks over the past decade.

The Palestine Papers, as the leaked documents were called by Al Jazeera, contained minutes of meetings between representatives from the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).”

Egypt's events

How can we speak of “change” in Egypt when peaceful demonstrators are still shot at and killed?
The Armed Forces hold the primary responsibility to protect demonstrators, and must ensure that the deadly events of yesterday do not happen again.  

Verhofstadt: Egypt is backtracking on democratic revolution

"Yesterday evening a peaceful demonstration of Copts turned into a massacre by the army, leaving 24 people dead and countless more injured. The ALDE Group strongly condemns this deplorable reaction from the Egyptian Army.

Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader said: “It is the primary duty of the army to protect the people and maintain order. That is also what the SCAF promised after the revolution to the Egyptian people and observers around the world. Yesterday they dramatically broke that commitment, using live ammunition to end a demonstration. This must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. It is increasing our fears that Egypt is going the wrong way.”"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Capital Punishment: An Attack on Human Dignity

“The cornerstone of human rights is respect for the inherent dignity of all human beings and the inviolability of the human person. Human Rights Watch opposes capital punishment in all countries and in all circumstances because the inherent dignity of the person is inconsistent with the death penalty. This form of punishment is unique in its cruelty and finality, and it is inevitably and universally plagued with arbitrariness, prejudice, and error.

October 10, 2011 is the ninth annual World Day against the Death Penalty, and this year marks 35 years since the United States reinstated capital punishment in 1976. In that time, 1,271 people have been electrocuted, shot, hanged, gassed, or put to death by lethal injection. In September, the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis despite significant doubts about his guilt. Texas executed its 475th prisoner since 1976. During that time, Texas has by far executed the largest number of people of any US state.”

Le roi se réjouit vivement de l'accord

« Le chef de l'Etat s'est vivement félicité de l'accord institutionnel intervenu entre les huit partis qui ont négocié une réforme de l'Etat. "Le roi s'en est réjoui vivement", a indiqué lundi le Palais dans un communiqué publié à la suite d'un entretien avec le formateur Elio Di Rupo. "Le roi a reçu en audience en fin d'après-midi au Château de Laeken Monsieur Elio Di Rupo, formateur, qui lui a fait rapport sur l'accord très important intervenu sur le volet institutionnel des négociations", a communiqué le Palais à l'issue de l'entretien. "Le formateur a souligné la qualité du travail accompli par l'ensemble des négociateurs. Le roi s'en est réjoui vivement", selon le communiqué.

Entouré des huit négociateurs, le formateur présentera demain mardi à la presse les grandes lignes de l'accord dont le texte sera rendu public dans le même temps. »

'Historic' state reform deal spells end to Belgian crisis

“Negotiators from the eight political parties involved in coalition talks have reached an agreement over the weekend to overhaul the Belgian state, lifting a major stumbling bloc on the way to forming a new government.
The agreement, announced at 01.00 am Saturday (8 October), signalled a major breakthrough in ongoing government talks, some 500 days after a general election held in June last year.
The agreement will give the country's two main regions, Flanders and Wallonia, more power to raise their own taxes, setting them further apart and weakening the federal level.
The deal to overhaul Belgium's institutions "puts an end to decade-long divergences between [regional] communities and a political crisis that lasted more than a year," the Green party said on its website.
Charles Michel, leader of the French-speaking liberal party MR, hailed the reform as "the most important since the Second World War."
Talks will now continue between the eight parties involved in coalition negotiations on the socio-economic aspects, including the 2012 budget and measures to curb the country's debt.
The state reform agreement comes on the heels of a September deal that sealed the break-up of the BHV electoral district surrounding the Belgian capital Brussels. The break-up was a key demand of political parties in the Dutch-speaking Flanders region, where nationalists made huge strides at last year's election.
Details of the agreement will be announced on Tuesday, when it will be presented to the Belgian Parliament but some elements are already known:
  • The Bruxelles-Hal-Vilvoorde electoral district will be split, with some municipalities now considered Dutch-speaking instead of bilingual.
  • In exchange for the BHV split, Brussels will see its financing strengthened over time to the tune of €461 million.
  • As of 2014, elections at regional and federal level will now be held every five years, up from four currently, in order to bring them in line with the European elections.
  • Traffic rules will be partly delegated to the regions, with speed limits now enforceable on smaller roads at regional level.”