Monday, May 28, 2012

Trade between Palestinians and Israelis is increasing !


Business between the Palestinian Authority and Israel is growing despite the political impasse as both sides seek to boost sales.” !! 

Turkish court charges senior IDF officials over Gaza flotilla deaths


Turkish judges approve demand for a sentence of a combined 18.000 years for former IDF chief of staff and other officers allegedly responsible for deaths aboard the Mavi Marmara cruise ship in 2010.”

Sunday, May 27, 2012

عضوية فلسطين في الأمم المتحدة: ما بين قرار 'الاتحاد من أجل السلام' والأخطاء القانونية

بقلم جابي حلو: "عندما قررت القيادة الفلسطينية - بدعمٍ من الشعب الفلسطيني - أن تتوجه إلى الأمم المتحدة لطلب عضوية المنظمة العالمية، تركز الحديث كثيراً حول احتمال - أو بالأحرى تعهد - الولايات المتحدة الأميركية - إحدى الدول الخمسة الدائمة العضوية في مجلس الأمن - استخدام حق النقض (الفيتو) في حال تم وضع طلب فلسطين للعضوية على طاولة المجلس من أجل النظر فيه والتوصية إلى الجمعية العامة بمنحها عضوية الأمم المتحدة. وبالفعل تقدمت فلسطين بطلب العضوية في 23 أيلول عام 2011. وبطبيعة الحال، إن استخدمت الولايات المتحدة الفيتو فعلاً، يفشل مشروع القرار (التوصية) في المرور، ولا تحصل فلسطين على العضوية." لقراءة النص الكامل، اضغط 

Palestine UN Membership: “Uniting for Peace” vs Legal Misconceptions


Gabriel Helou: “When the Palestinian leadership – backed by the Palestinian people – decided to apply for membership at the United Nations, discussions focused widely on the possibility – or rather the pledge – that the United States – one of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council – would use its veto power in case Palestine application would be put on the table of the Council for examination and recommendation to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that Palestine be admitted as a member at this world Organization.” To read the full text, click here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Women's rights in Saudi Arabia

Women's rights in Saudi Arabia: “Morality police” orders a young woman out of a mall over nail polish ! Article

Egyptian presidential elections: unconstitutional?


This is hilarious: I’ve just heard an Egyptian lawyer saying on Al-Jazeera that the Law on Presidential Elections would be challenged before the Supreme Constitutional Court. Now, what if the Court ruled that the Law in question is unconstitutional, and the presidential elections are therefore null and void? Would there be a repetition of the elections?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

تهجير سكان القدس: فلسطيني مقدسي يهدم منزله بنفسه بموجب أمر اسرائيلي

"أُضطر المواطن المقدسي عزام العفيفي إلى هدم منزله بنفسه تفاديا لاعتقاله ودفع غرامة مالية. وكانت محكمة بلدية القدس اصدرت أمرا بهدم منزل العفيفي بحجة إقامته دون ترخيص."

Monday, May 21, 2012

NATO is going bankrupt

NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen is now begging the international community for money: "We urge the whole international community to help finance Afghan forces/police as investment in our own security".

Sunday, May 20, 2012

WATCH: Israeli settler shoots at Palestinians while IDF soldiers stand by


"B'Tselem releases video of clashes between settlers and Palestinians near Itzhar on Saturday; 24-year-old Palestinian wounded as a result of the shooting."

اتحاد السعودية والبحرين: بين التأييد والمعارضة وحق تقرير المصير


لاقى اقتراح اتحاد المملكة العربية السعودية ومملكة البحرين في دولة واحدة - لتنضم إليها دول خليجية أخرى فيما بعد - التأييد والمعارضة. في كل الأحوال، خطوة كهذه يجب أن تجري عبر الاستفتاء الشعبي الحر لأنها تمس بالسيادة التي هي مُلك الشعوب، وليس الأنظمة. فهذا القرار يعود إلى الشعب الذي هو صاحب السيادة وله أن يختار كيف أن يمارسها - تماشياً مع الحق في تقرير المصير. والسيادة لا تُمنح ولا تُصادر أو تُسلب، هي موجودة دائماً لدى الشعوب، وإن جاء ما يُعطَّل ممارستها أحياناً.

وبناءً على ذلك، قرار اتحاد السعودية والبحرين يعود للشعبين السعودي والبحريني - دون أي تدخل خارجي - ويجب أن يمارس عن طريق الاستفتاء الشعبي الحر - مع المراعاة الشديدة للقانون الدولي ومبادئه الراسخة - لا سيما مبدأ المساواة - والمبادئ المتعلقة بحقوق الإنسان. وإن تم الاتحاد بقرار من الأنظمة فقط - أي ليس عن طريق الاستفتاء الشعبي - يكون اتحاد مفروض فرضاً ومخالف للقانون الدولي لأن في ذلك انتهاك لحق تقرير المصير.

وأذكِّر بأن كل شعب له الحق في تقرير المصير الذي بممارسته بشكلٍ حر يختار ويحدد وضعه السياسي ويسعى لتحقيق نظامه ونمائه الاقتصادي والاجتماعي والثقافي.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Egypt: Widespread Military Torture of Protesters Arrested in May


Egypt: “Military soldiers beat and tortured protesters they arrested at a demonstration near the Defense Ministry on May 4, 2012, Human Rights Watch said today, after interviews with numerous victims and lawyers. The military also failed to protect the protesters from attacks by armed groups in the early morning hours of May 2, at the same demonstration, which began on April 27 in Cairo’s Abbasiyya neighborhood.

Annexation and unification of Jerusalem


Tomorrow 20 May 2012 marks the 45th anniversary of the "unification" of Jerusalem by Israel in the aftermath of 1967 War: unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem to Israel - in flagrant breach of international law.

Jerusalem: "Capital of Israel"

On 30 July 1980, the Israeli Knesset enacted "Jerusalem Basic Law" declaring Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible” Capital of Israel. In response, the Security Council adopted Resolution 478 deciding that this Law had violated international law and declared it null and void.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

تشكيلة الحكومة الفلسطينية الجديدة


الحكومة الفلسطينية لا يجب أن تضم في الوضع الراهن إلا الوزارات التالية: المالية، الداخلية، العدل، الصحة، التربية والتعليم بما فيه التعليم العالي، الاقتصاد، العمل، الاتصالات، الإعلام، الخارجية. لكن جاءت تشكيلة الحكومة الفلسطينية الجديدة حسب الآتي: 

سلام فياض: رئيساً للورزاء 
نبيل قسيس - للمالية.
رياض المالكي - للخارجية.
يوسف ابو صفية - للبيئة.
احمد مجدلاني - للعمل.
سعيد ابو علي - للداخلية.
لميس العلمي - للتربية والتعليم.
محمود الهباش - للاوقاف.
سهام البرغوثي - للثقافة.
خالد القواسمي - للحكم المحلي.
علي الجرباوي - للتعليم العالي.
ماجدة المصري - للشؤون الاجتماعية.
ماهر غنيم - الاشغال.
ربيحة ذياب - وللمرآة.
عيسى قراقع - للاسرى.
جواد الناجي - للاقتصاد.
رولى معايعة - للسياحة.
صفاء ناصر الدين - للاتصالات.
عدنان الحسيني - لشؤون القدس.
علي مهنا - للعدل.
محمد ابو رمضان - لشؤون التخطيط.
هاني عابدين - للصحة.
وليد عساف - للزراعة.
علي زيدان - للمواصلات
نعيم ابو الحمص أمين عام مجلس الوزراء برتبة وزير

The Palestinian National Authority should change course

I wrote this paper back in 2008, but nothing has changed eversince. 


The main objective of this paper is to focus the light on an issue which concerns the whole Palestinian people who strives to establish a government (regime) based on the principle of the “Rule of Law”, and who aims simultaneously at fighting corruption.

The issue concerns the salaries of members of both the Legislative and Executive Powers of the Palestinian National Authority, established in 1994.

However, the birth of the PNA was the product of the Declaration of Principles (DOP) signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the State of Israel in Washington D.C. on September 13th, 1993.

The “Interim Agreement” was signed by the two sides in 1995, granting the Palestinians, living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, an interim self-government, as a preliminary step towards a future independent Palestinian State.

The abovementioned agreement empowered the Palestinian interim self-government to adopt legislation through Article 18/1, which stated:

    “For the purpose of this Article, legislation shall mean any primary and secondary legislation, including basic laws, laws, regulations and other legislative acts”.
By virtue of this article, the Palestinian Basic Law (Constitution) was promulgated in 2002 in order to regulate the principal organs – Legislature, Executive and Judicial – of the PNA and their relations to each others and to the people, and their competences, and to guarantee the rights of the Palestinian people.

In addition, many other laws were adopted by the Palestinian Legislative Council to regulate the daily life and relations of the Palestinians.

For the purpose of this paper, I will focus on the effects of Articles 44, 55 and 81 of the Palestinian Basic Law.

Article 44 states the following:

   “The President’s salary, allowances and remuneration shall be determined by law”

In compliance with this article, the Palestinian Legislative Council approved “Law concerning the Allowances and Remuneration of the PNA President number 18 of year 2005”.
According to Article 2 of this law, the President of the Palestinian National Authority shall receive a monthly salary of 10,000 US dollars. In addition, Article 6 of the same law provides that he shall also receive a sum of 50,000 US dollars for appearance improvement.

However, Article 55 of the Palestinian Basic Law talks about the regulation of the PLC Members’ salaries through a law as well.

Furthermore, Article 81 of the Palestinian Basic Law provides that the remuneration and allowances of the Prime Minister and Ministers must also be determined by law.

For the purpose of Articles 55 and 81 of the forementioned law, the PLC approved “Law concerning the Allowances and Remuneration of the PLC Members and the Members of the Government and Governors number 11 of year 2004”.
                                                                                                   
Article 2 of the abovementioned law states that the Speaker of the PLC, who is at the same time a member of the Council, shall receive a monthly salary of 4000 US dollars, while the other PLC Members shall be paid 3000 US dollars monthly, according to Article 3.

Concerning the Prime Minister, Article 5 states that he shall receive a monthly salary of 4000 US dollars. And, according to Article 7, every Minister is paid 3000 US dollars.

Furthermore, Article 14 provides that each of the Speaker and Members of the PLC, as well as the Prime Minister and Ministers, shall receive an amount of 15,000 US dollars for appearance improvement.

After this short presentation, we wonder: Why should those in power receive such big sums of money while the majority of the suffering Palestinian people lives on less than 10 dollars per day? Besides, what we obtain is not more than an interim self-government, and not an independent state.

However, the Palestinian treasury depends to a great extent on the external financial aid. This financial support is meant to be directed or allocated to the construction of institutions and a well-based civil society, and to the well-being of the Palestinians during the interim period, in order to pave the way for the establishment of the Palestinian State.

But we notice that the contrary is done; the financial aid is being allocated, by laws, to cover the high salaries and improve the appearance of those in the authority, while the majority of Palestinians lives below the poverty line, and others walk around bare-footed, especially in the Gaza Strip Refugee camps.

It is thus clear that building a strong civil society, so as to be the solid base for the future State of Palestine, is rather improbable, as long as the Palestinian National Authority does not change course.

In conclusion, the dream of establishing a Palestinian State would remain as such, as long as the PNA does not refrain from issuing “profitable laws”, or amend the existing ones, because the original aim of laws is to regulate matters and prohibit corruption, and never to legalize the misuse of public money.

Gabriel Helou
17 July 2008
                                                                                                                             

Obamas’ 2011 assets valued at as much as $8 million, financial disclosure forms show

"According to disclosure forms released Tuesday by the White House, the Obamas in 2011 held total assets ranging from $2,566,000 to $8,265,000."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

نص الاتفاق الذي جرى بين ممثلي الأسرى واسرائيل

نص الاتفاق:


"1. نحن الموقعون أدناه (الاسم الرباعي، رقم الهوية، السجن) وبصفتنا ممثلين عن جميع الاسرى الأمنيين في السجون الإسرائيلية نتعهد هنا بإسم الأسرى الأمنيين في اسرائيل وإلحاقاً بالتعهد المقدم من قبل قادة التنظيمات بعدم ممارسة أي نشاط أمني من داخل السجون الاسرائيلية.

2. يكون المقصود هنا بالنشاط الامني هو تجنيد العناصر لمهام أمنية، توجيه، تنسيق، تقديم المساعدة والمساندة أو القيام بأي عمل آخر من شأنه تقديم الدعم الفعلي لنشاط أمني يستهدف دولة إسرائيل.

 3. يعتبر الوفاء بهذا التعهد شرطاً لتسهيلات تقدمها دولة اسرائيل في المواضيع التالية:

 احتجاز أسرى أمنيين في العزل الإنفرادي.
 السماح لأهالي الأسرى من الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة بزيارة ذويهم.
 الظروف المعيشية للأسرى الأمنيين – البدء بنقاش مطالب المضربين.

4. أي نشاط أمني يتم ممارسته من داخل السجون أو استئناف اضراب الأسرى في السجون الإسرائيلية سوف يترتب عليهما إلغاء التعهد الإسرائيلي بتقديم تسهيلات في المجالات الآنفة الذكر."



الأمم المتحدة وإنهاء الاستعمار


أوراق عمل الأمانة العامة للأمم المتحدة

فيديو مسرب لعمليات اعتداء وحشية على الأسرى واطلاق نار واستشهاد أحد الأسرى

القناة الثانية الاسرائيلية تبث فيديو مسرب لعمليات اعتداء وحشية على الأسرى واطلاق نار واستشهاد أحد الأسرى 

"بثت القناة الثانية للتلفزيون الاسرائيلي فيلما صور عمليات اقتحام وتنكيل بالاسرى الفلسطينيين في معتقلي النقب واشكلون حيث صور الفيلم عمليات اطلاق نار على الاسرى اسفرت مباشرة عن استشهاد الاسير محمد الاشقر واصابة عدد كبير من الاسرى."



May 15th, 1948: A Black Day for the UN


May 15th, 1948, will always be remembered as a black day in the history of Humanity and of the United Nations, unless the continuous Palestinian suffering is brought to an end. No injustice can or should be permanent!


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King, Jr.




Monday, May 14, 2012

نكبة فلسطين: نداء إلى الضمير العالمي

64 عاماً انقضت منذ أن هُجِّر الشعب الفلسطيني من بيوته قسراً أو تحت تهديد السلاح نحو آفاق مجهولة. بين ليلةٍ وضحاها، أصبح نزيل خيام مؤقتة لتصبح فيما بعد ملاذاً دائماً لسنين عديدة امتدت حتى هذا اليوم. وهكذا أصبح يُعرف بـ"لاجئي فلسطين" كتب عليهم أن يعيشوا في أحوال تعيسة تفتقر لأدنى معايير الإنسانية.

آن الأوان لوضع حدٍ لهذه المأساة التي امتدت لما يزيد عن نصف قرن عن طريق إيجاد حلٍ عادل لها، إذ لا سلام بدون عدالة. 

Israel, Palestinian prisoners ink deal to end hunger strike


“Israel and Palestinian security prisoners signed a deal to end a 28-day hunger strike by the inmates on Monday. The Palestinian Authority and Egypt both played a role in helping broker the deal.
According to the terms of the agreement, Palestinian prisoners committed to refrain from dealing with "activities against security" within prison confines. In exchange, they will receive benefits from the Prisons Service, including the end of separation from the general prison population, and family visits.”

Nakba Day: An appeal to world conscience

64 years - day by day - have passed since Palestinians were forcibly evicted out of their homes towards unknown destinations. In no time, they found themselves living under temporary tents which became their permanent shelter for many many years ahead. They became to be known as Palestine refugees, to live in the most inhuman and miserable conditions.

It is high time that this prolonged human suffering find an equitable solution and be put to an end, for there can be no peace without justice. 

A right delayed is a right denied” Martin Luther King, Jr.

NATO: Investigate Civilian Deaths in Libya


“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has failed to acknowledge dozens of civilian casualties from air strikes during its 2011 Libya campaign, and has not investigated possible unlawful attacks, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

Netanyahu says no to West Bank annexation


“A private bill to impose Israeli law on all Jewish settlements in theWest Bank was brought to a vote at the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs on Sunday but was eventually withdrawn after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's intervention.

In practice, the bill means that military rule will not be applied in settlements. Imposing Israeli law on Jewish settlements is de facto annexation of the West Bank.”

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Netanyahu ordered evacuation of Hebron home over fears of war crimes suits


“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the evacuation of a Hebron home taken by settlers last month after being informed that the expropriation of Palestinian homes and lands could complicate Israeli officials in war crimes litigation, Haaretz learned on Sunday.
Sources in the Justice Ministry indicated that they fear the State of Israel or Israeli officials could be charged by the ICC, in operation since 2002. According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, an occupier moving population into occupied land constitutes a war crime.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Local EU Statement on Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike


“The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah are concerned about the deteriorating health condition of the Palestinians held in administrative detention in Israel who have been on hunger strike for more than two months. The EU requests the Government of Israel to make available all necessary medical assistance and to allow family visits as a matter of urgency.

The EU reiterates its longstanding position on the use by Israel of administrative detention without charge. Detainees have the right to be informed of the reasons for their detention and be subject to a fair trial without undue delay.

The EU is also following closely the on-going hunger strike by several hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, and calls for the full respect of international human rights obligations towards all prisoners.”

Sunday, May 6, 2012

أوروبا تعود إلى الأحزاب الاشتراكية؟


ملاحظة: توجهت أوروبا في السنوات الأخيرة نحو الأحزاب اليمينية. ويبدو أنها بدأت تعود إلى الأحزاب الاشتراكية. هذا ما حصل في بلجيكا والآن في فرنسا.

Arab regimes must learn from democratic societies !


I just wish Arab regimes would learn how democratic societies freely elect their leaders without falsifying the results or spilling one drop of blood; they must learn how to respect the will of their own people.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sarkozy vs European Dream: Europe Day

Will the French people let President Sarkozy jeopardize the “European Dream” when the elections will be held only 3 days before Europe Day (Schuman Day) – 9 May?

Sarkozy still stands a chance of winning if he eventually manages to mobilize the votes of the “Front National”, those of François Bayrou and of those who are still “undecided”.



*Declaration of 9 May 1950

What Is Indian Country?


There are a number of types of "Indian country" recognized by US law: reservations, informal reservations, dependent Indian communities, allotments, and special designations.
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“To be recognized as "Indian country", usually, the land must either be within an Indian reservation or it must be federal trust land (land technically owned by the federal government but held in trust for a tribe or tribal member). For most purposes, the types of Indian country are as follows”.

UN official calls for US return of native land


A UN special rapporteur has called for the US to restore tribal lands, including the Black Hills of South Dakota, site of Mount Rushmore.

James Anaya announced the recommendation at the end of a 12-day tour, during which he met tribal leaders and government officials.
"The sense of loss, alienation and indignity is pervasive throughout Indian Country," Mr Anaya said.
He met with tribes in seven states on reservations and in urban areas.
The trip, Mr Anaya's first tour of Native American lands, was to determine how the United States is faring on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
President Barack Obama endorsed the declaration in 2010, reversing a previous US vote against it.”

UN: US must heal native peoples' wounds, return lands


UNITED NATIONS - The United States must do more to heal the wounds of indigenous peoples caused by more than a century of oppression, including restoring control over lands Native Americans consider to be sacred, a UN human rights investigator said on Friday.

James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, just completed a 12-day visit to the United States where he met with representatives of indigenous peoples in the District of Columbia, Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, Washington State, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. He also met with US government officials.

"I have heard stories that make evident the profound hurt that indigenous peoples continue to feel because of the history of oppression they have faced," Anaya said in a statement issued by the UN human rights office in Geneva.

That oppression, he said, has included the seizure of lands and resources, the removal of children from their families and communities, the loss of languages, violation of treaties, and brutality, all grounded in racial discrimination.”

Olmert's confessions

Olmert: US money led to collapse of peace negotiations

“Former prime minister Ehud Olmert blamed right-wing extremists in the United States for the collapse of peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, in an interview with CNN released Friday.

Speaking at the sidelines of this week's Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on Sunday, Olmert said his peace plan would have been accepted by the Israeli public, but was hampered by radical elements in the Jewish diaspora. "I had to fight against superior powers," he said, "including millions and millions of dollars that were transferred from this country by figures from the extreme right wing."”


Thursday, May 3, 2012

مجلس الشيوخ البلجيكي يصوت على رفع التمثيل الدبلوماسي الفلسطيني


"رحب وزير الخارجية رياض المالكي، اليوم الخميس، بتصويت مجلس الشيوخ البلجيكي على مشروع قرار قدمته مجموعة الحزب الاشتراكي، لرفع مستوى التمثيل الفلسطيني في بروكسل أسوة بما يوازيه في الدول الأوروبية الأخرى.


وكانت البرلمانية ماري آرينا قد طالبت باسم المجموعة الاشتراكية في مجلس الشيوخ، الحكومة البلجيكية برفع مستوى التمثيل الفلسطيني إلى المستوى الذي يوازيه في معظم الدول الأوروبية الأخرى، مثل فرنسا، وألمانيا، والبرتغال، وإيرلندا، والمملكة المتحدة، والنرويج.

ويطالب القرار الحكومة البلجيكية باتخاذ كل الإجراءات الضرورية لمنح العاملين في الممثلية الفلسطينية ببروكسل الوضع الدبلوماسي مقارنة بما يتمتع به ممثلو فلسطين في الدول الأوروبية، حتى يصبح هناك تجانسا في الوضع الدبلوماسي للممثلين الفلسطينيين بإطار الاتحاد الأوروبي". 

Tibi treats fainting Palestinian prisoner in court

“Dramatic scenes unfolded in the High Court of Justice on Thursday, after a hunger-striking Palestinian security prisoner fainted during a petition hearing.

Bilal Diab, who alongside fellow prisoner Thaer Halahleh has been on hunger strike for 66 days, lost consciousness as Supreme Court Justices Elyakim Rubinstein, Yoram Danziger and Noam Sohlberg heard a petition against the prisoners' administrative detention.


When Justice Rubinstein asked the court whether there was a doctor present, it was MK Dr. Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List - Ta'al) who got up from his seat in the public gallery to aid Diab.


Rubinstein asked Tibi, a trained physician, to examine Diab, but a guard from the Israel Prison Service's Nahshon Unit refused to let him through, even after a court security guard told him that he must comply with Justice Rubinstein's decision.


Tibi informed the justice of the issue, and Rubinstein immediately made a written order.”