Tuesday, May 28, 2013

EU lifts arms embargo on Syria

“The European Union has decided to lift the arms embargo on the Syrian opposition while maintaining all other sanctions against President Bashar Assad’s regime after June 1, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said late Monday.



Council of the European Union declaration on Syria - 27 May 2013 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Austria: EU fails to reach deal on Syria arms embargo

“European Union governments have failed to reach an agreement on easing an arms embargo on Syria to help rebels fighting President Bashar Assad, Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said on Monday.

"Syrian National Coalition"

The so-called "Syrian National Coalition" doesn't really have to convene, since all the decisions are made by the United States. SNC only reads them.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Friends of Syria" in Amman, Jordan

The “Friends of Syria” are now holding a closed session in order to... conspire further against Syria !

The number of the so-called “Friends of Syria” decreased to eleven; soon none of them will be left, but Syria will remain.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Palestine is ready to join UN agencies, conventions and treaties


“A top official says Palestinians have done all the legal work necessary to join 63 U.N. agencies, conventions and treaties, but haven't applied yet mainly to give the U.S. peace effort a chance to succeed.

Reconstruction of Syria


I’m wondering: the so-called “Friends of Syria” have spent billions of dollars on the destruction of Syria. Would they spend the same amount of money on its reconstruction?

Israel cancels UNESCO mission to Jerusalem


Israel foolishly claimed that Palestinians were "politicizing" UNESCO mission to Jerusalem, while the whole situation is political and legal.


The story:
“Foreign Ministry rescinded its offer to let a team from the UN cultural agency inspect historical sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, saying the Palestinians violated a prior agreement that the visit be apolitical.
Israel has canceled a visit by a delegation of inspectors from UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency, which was supposed to begin an inspection Monday of historical sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.”


Israel seeks a seat on the Security Council


“Israel will go ahead with its candidacy for an unprecedented seat on the UN Security Council in 2019 despite Germany’s determination to run against it, diplomatic officials told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
Both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni brought up in separate meetings on Friday with visiting German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle the announcement by Berlin that it will seek a seat on the council in 2019, badly weakening Israel’s chances to win a first-ever seat on the Security Council.”

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Political solution to the Syrian crisis


No political solution to the Syrian crisis can be reached without putting an end to the flow of arms and fighters into Syria.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

French Polynesia added to UN decolonisation list

“The UN voted Friday to add French Polynesia to its decolonisation list, affirming the inhabitants' right to "self-determination and independence". The British-ruled Falkland Islands and the US Virgin Islands are also on the list. The UN General Assembly voted on Friday to add French Polynesia to its list of territories that should be decolonised, affirming the right of the islands' inhabitants to "self-determination and independence". French Polynesia joins 16 other territories on the decolonisation list, including the British-ruled Falkland Islands and the US Virgin Islands.”

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Separation Wall


Today Palestinian youth pierced a 4 meter wide hole in the Israeli-built Separation Wall at Kabseh Bethany, an Eastern suburb of Jerusalem. Video



Ban Ki-moon on the Syrian crisis


Ban Ki-moon calls for solving the Syrian crisis without “foreign interference”. Amazingly, UN General Assembly most recent Resolution blatantly interferes in Syria’s internal affairs!




Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quelques réflexions en marge du 65e anniversaire d'Al Naqbah (= le catastrophe) de 1948


La Naqbah qui représente la première guerre israélo-arabe de 1948, a entraine l'exode de centaines de milliers de Palestiniens de leurs foyers.

Cette Naqbah est à l’origine du problème des réfugiés - les réfugiés palestiniens représentent 1/4 de tous les réfugiés du monde entier.

Durant les six dernières décennies il y a eu nombreuses tentatives de résolution politique du conflit israélo-palestinien. Le processus de paix lance au début des années 90 demeure une question complexe, irrésolue.

L'accent a été mis sur le processus, mais pas sur la paix.

L'impasse des négociations révèle le peu qui subsiste du principe élémentaire selon lequel chacune des parties en conflit a quelque chose à offrir à l'autre en échange de ce qu'elle même revendique. Il semble qu'Israël - la partie la plus puissante, soutenu par la superpuissance mondiale Numéro 1 - est habituée a la situation actuelle et ne ressent pas le besoin de modifier le statu quo. Israël domine toutes les questions en jeu, y compris celles relatives aux territoires, aux ressources naturelles et aux populations; son économie est florissante.

D'autre part la communauté internationale semble incapable de prendre de mesures concrètes pour mettre un terme aux agissements illégaux d'Israël ou à l'occupation.

La question des réfugiés palestiniens occupe une place centrale au sein du conflit depuis la résolution 181 de l'Assemblée générale de l’ONU du 29 novembre 1947, appelant à la partition de la Palestine mandataire en deux Etats, l'un juif, l'autre Arabe. Une solution juste du problème des réfugiés demeure éloignée. En effet il revient à Israël une obligation légale de permettre le rapatriement des Palestiniens déplaces en 1948, ou une réparation globale, incluant le droit au retour, le droit à la restitution de leurs propriétés, et le droit à être indemnises pour toutes pertes matérielles et morales subies.

La plus importante référence est la résolution 194 de l'AGNU de 1948. Mais Israël s'obstine toujours à contester la légalité des droits des refugies palestiniens.

En décembre 1949 l'ONU reconnut la détresse des refugies palestiniens prévoyant de fournir une aide humanitaire à travers l'établissement de l'Office de secours et de travaux des Nations Unies pour les refugies de Palestine dans le Proche Orient (UNRWA).

Au cours de la guerre de juin 1967 les parties demeurées libres de la Palestine arabe passèrent sous occupation israélienne.

La position palestinienne se résume comme suit :

1. Israël doit admettre sa responsabilité dans la création et la perpétuation du problème des refugies

2. Israël doit reconnaitre que les réfugiés palestiniens et leurs descendants ont en principe le droit de retour dans leur foyer

3. La question doit reitre résolue de façon équitable conformément à la résolution 194 de 1948

4. Les refugies doivent bénéficier d'une réparation pour les pertes matérielles et morales subies


Les réfugiés palestiniens malgré l'angoisse de l'éviction, et la frustration devant toutes  initiatives de paix,  entretiennent toujours de père en fils l'espoir de pouvoir revenir dans leur foyer - la 4eme génération détient encore les clefs des habitations que les parents, ou les grands parents, occupaient en Palestine avant la Naqbah de 1948.

Il est temps que la conscience internationale se réveille.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Palestinian Nakba: 65 years, and counting


65 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.

Nakba, known also as the 1st Arab-Israeli War, stands for the  1948 catastrophe surrounding the establishment of the State of Israel, resulting in the dispersion of Palestinians worldwide.

The United Nations General Assembly Partition Plan of  1947 - UNGA Resolution 181 - caused the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, in the wake of the exodus of British Mandate forces from Palestine on May 14, 1948. The Plan granted  the Jews in Palestine just over 56% of the area at a time when they owned less than 7% of the land and constituted approximately one-third of the population. By the end of the War, Israel controlled 77.4% of the land. Palestine was fragmented, occupied and its society dismantled and rendered a nation of displaced refugees. When the State of Israel was proclaimed on May 15, 1948, in Tel-Aviv, there was significantly no mention of borders - the “Jewish State” has never publicly defined the extent of its limits.

After the 1948 War, and by the time of the 1949 cease-fire agreement, Arab areas had shrunk to 23% of Palestine (Gaza Strip and West Bank).  418 Palestinian villages had been depopulated and erased from the map as a result of Israeli military activities, expulsion orders, and the exodus of Palestinian civilians. Only about 120 Arab villages remained within the 1949 cease-fire lines, and these now have no more than 7% of the land, as a result of large-scale seizure and confiscation of Arab land and property. By September 1949, according to United Nations estimates, there were 726,000 Palestinian refugees located outside the armistice lines and 32,0000 inside.

On December 11, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 194 (III) affirming the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. However, this Resolution has never been implemented.

Following the 1948 War, separate  armistice agreements with the Egyptians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Syrians were signed in Rhodes in the course of 1949, which did not pave the way before any settlement to the conflict. Furthermore, the Gaza Strip was controlled by Egypt and came under the administration of an Egyptian governor. Meanwhile, the West Bank was controlled by Jordan which annexed it  in 1950 declaring the two banks of the Jordan River as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip remained under Jordanian and Egyptian rule, respectively, until  June 1967 War when Israel conquered the areas, imposing Israeli military  hegemony over Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Subsequently,  a UN agency was established under the name of UNRWA - UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.  It was meant to give emergency assistance to Palestinians displaced by the war of 1948 and began to operate in May 1950. Its mandate, to provide essential education, health and relief services to Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon,  Syria, as well as in the  West Bank and Gaza Strip.

As a result of the ongoing process of the Nakba, Palestinians have become indeed the world's oldest and largest refugee population, and now make up more than 1/4 of the world's total refugees.

Many of the Palestinians fleeing their homes in 1948 left with minimum of luggage in the belief that they would be returning to their homes within days, weeks,  as soon as the violence passed their villages. Now living in overcrowded and underprivileged camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they and their descendants - now entering a 4th generation - are still waiting. Many of them still hold the keys of their pre-1948 homes ..

May 15, 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.


NOW,

65 years later, 

In the name of Humanity, human dignity and rights,

And in conformity with international law,

We, Palestinians, appeal to world conscience to find an equitable solution, and put an end, to the prolonged human suffering of the Palestinian people. The counting should end.


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


قرار الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة 194



قرار الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة 194 (3) الصادر في  11 كانون الأول 1948


"الجمعية العامة،

...


11. تقرر أن اللاجئين الراغبين بالعودة إلى منازلهم والعيش في سلام مع جيرانهم يجب أن يسمح لهم بذلك في أقرب وقت متاح، وتعويض أولئك الذين يختارون عدم العودة عن ممتلكاتهم وكذلك التعويض عن أي فقدان أو ضرر لحق بالممتلكات يقتضي، بموجب مبادئ القانون الدولي أو العدالة، التعويض عنه من قبل الحكومات أو السلطات المسؤولة؛"

....
-------------------------------------------------------

هناك بعض التفسيرات أو الادعاءات الاسرائيلية التي تنكر إلزامية القرار 194 من حيث القانون الدولي واعتباره مجرد توصية، كغيرها من التوصيات الصادرة عن الجمعية العامة، وبالتالي فإن اسرائيل غير ملزمة بما جاء فيه من حيث السماح للاجئين بالعودة إلى ديارهم.

إن كل هذه المحاولات هي مجرد تزييف للحقائق من أجل الحيلولة دون تنفيذ اسرائيل لالتزاماتها  الدولية، خاصة فيما يتعلق بعودة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين، فيمكن الرد عليها على النحو التالي:

أولاً: لقد اشترطت الأمم المتحدة لكي تمنح اسرائيل العضوية فيها، بالإضافة إلى ما نص عليه ميثاق الأمم المتحدة من شروط في المادة 4 منه، أن تقبل اسرائيل قرار الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة 194 وأيضاً قرار الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة 181. و بناءً على هذا، منحت اسرائيل عضوية مشروطة. وقد تم التأكيد على ذلك في ديباجة قرار الجمعية العامة 273 الذي بموجبه تم منح اسرائيل العضوية في الأمم المتحدة. وبالتالي، فإن اسرائيل ملزمة بتنفيذ ما جاء في القرار 194.
ثانياً: أكد قرار مجلس الأمن 242 - الصادر في أعقاب حرب حزيران عام 1967 - في الفقرة 2/ب منه، على ضرورة إيجاد حل عادل لمشكلة اللاجئين. وبناءً على ذلك، فإن اسرائيل، كدولة عضو في الأمم المتحدة، ملزمة بقبول وتنفيذ كل ما يصدر عن مجلس الأمن من قرارات، وذلك بمقتضى المادة 25 من ميثاق الأمم المتحدة.

ثالثاً: دعم مجلس الأمن، بموجب القرار 1515، "خريطة الطريق" التي وضعتها اللجنة الرباعية الدولية من أجل الوصول إلى حل النزاع الفلسطيني – الاسرائيلي على أساس "حل الدولتين"، والتي بدورها نصت على إيجاد حل "عادل ومتفق عليه" لمشكلة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين.

ومن أقوال الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة – بان كي مون – في خطاب له أمام الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة في الذكرى الستين لقبول اسرائيل عضواً في المنظمة العالمية، في 11 أيار 2009: "قليلون يعرفون أن اسرائيل هي الدولة الوحيدة التي منحت عضوية مشروطة. فمبوجب قرار الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة 273، تم قبول اسرائيل عضواً بشرط أن تمنح كل الفلسطينيين الحق في العودة إلى ديارهم وتلقي التعويضات عن الممتلكات المفقودة أو المتضررة، بموجب الفقرة 11 من قرار الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة 194. يكفي القول أن اسرئيل لم تلتزم أبداً بهذه الشروط، ولم تنوِ أبداً الالتزام بها".

أما فيما يتعلق بوضع النازحين الفلسطينيين الذين هجروا ديارهم جراء حرب حزيران عام 1967، فقد نصت المادة 12 من "إعلان المبادئ بشأن الحكم الذاتي الانتقالي" على ما يلي: "سيقوم الطرفان [منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية واسرائيل] بدعوة حكومتي الأردن ومصر للمشاركة في إقامة المزيد من ترتيبات الارتباط والتعاون بين حكومة اسرائيل والممثلين الفلسطينيين من جهة، وحكومتي الأردن ومصر من جهة أخرى، لدعم التعاون بينهم. تتضمن هذه الترتيبات إنشاء لجنة مستمرة تقرر بالاتفاق أشكال ادخال أشخاص نزحوا من الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة عام 1967..."

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Israel opens diplomatic mission in unnamed Gulf State


“Israel has opened a diplomatic mission in one of the Persian Gulf States, according to a Finance Ministry paper being submitted for cabinet approval this week. The paper is an economic plan for the next year and does not name the location of the new mission.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

"Paving the way to an indivisible Jerusalem"


“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Sunday joined Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to dedicate Route 20, a highway that connects Jewish neighborhoods in northern Jerusalem and happens to have an interchange named after the prime minister's father, historian Benzion Netanyahu.
"We are working unceasingly, systematically, to link Jerusalem to itself," the prime minister declared.
The road may turn out to be the most important legacy of both generations of Netanyahus in that, as part of the road network encompassing Jerusalem, it could be the nail in the coffin for plans to re-divide the capital and attach its Arab areas to a future Palestinian state.”

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The 46th anniversary of the illegal "unification" of Jerusalem


Today, Israel observes the 46th anniversary of the annexation of East Jerusalem, according to the Hebrew Calendar - in flagrant violation of international law.

In the course of June  1967 war, Jerusalem in its entirely was occupied by Israeli forces. Hundreds of Palestinian homes were demolished in the Old City's Maghrebi Quarter, its residents evicted in order to facilitate the construction of an expanded Jewish Quarter and a plaza in front of the Wailing Wall. For that purpose Israeli bulldozers levelled 135 Palestinian houses.

Israel confiscated the keys to the Magharbeh Gate (western gate of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound) and has not yet returned them to the Islamic Waqf.

On June 28th the Israeli Government decided to annex East Jerusalem, illegally declared the city as its “eternal, unified and indivisible capital”. Knesset empowered the Government to extend Israeli law, jurisdiction and public administration over the area of the “Land of Israel”. On that day, Israel cleared away the wall barriers separating the two sectors of Jerusalem, and allowed citizens of the city to cross over to the other side. Palestinians, who owned properties in West Jerusalem, were thus able to "see back"  their usurped   properties for the first time since the Nakbah. 

It is worthwhile mentioning that Israel annexed the “territory” but not the citizens of Jerusalem, in the sense that they were forced to carry Israeli IDs - but not the nationality. The Arabs of East Jerusalem have obligations, are tax payers, but no rights.

As of yesterday morning Israeli settlers keep roaming in the streets of East Jerusalem, hoisting Israeli flags, in a very provocative manner. This morning the Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Hussein was arrested on his way to Al-Aqsa Mosque.  

This afternoon Damascus Gate Plaza was the scene  of violent confrontations between Palestinian youth and Israeli police using brutal measures -  while Israeli settlers are seen  dancing, chanting, hoisting flags. Many were beaten, arrested, even TV cameramen were attacked.

At 6 pm large throngs  of Israeli settlers - together with Likud Party members - are expected to enter the Old City - in an obvious attempt to confirm the Jewish character of Jerusalem.

All Arab owned shops are closed.

Monday, May 6, 2013

UN: "Rebels" used sarin in Syria


"A United Nations inquiry into human rights abuses in Syria has found evidence to suggest that rebel forces may have used chemical weapons, its lead investigator has revealed.
Carla Del Ponte, a member of the UN independent commission of inquiry on Syria, said that testimony gathered from casualties and medical staff indicated that the nerve agent sarin gas was used by rebel fighters.
"Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated," Ms Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television, broadcast on Sunday.
"This was used on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities," she added, speaking in Italian."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Denmark and Finland to upgrade relations with Palestinians


“The governments of Denmark and Finland wish to upgrade the status of the respective Palestinian Missions in Copenhagen and Helsinki.
The joint intention by the two countries to present to the Palestinian Government a draft agreement that would give a status equivalent to that of an embassy to the Palestinian Missions in their respective capitals should be seen not least in the context of the on-going Nordic cooperation.  With this decision, all Nordic countries will be offering the same working conditions for official Palestinian representatives as is the case for accredited diplomats serving in an embassy of a recognized state.”

Friday, May 3, 2013

Google edition adopts 'Palestine'


“Internet giant Google has changed the tagline on the homepage of its Palestinian edition from "Palestinian Territories" to "Palestine". The change, introduced on 1 May, means google.ps now displays "Palestine" in Arabic and English under Google's logo.”

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Palestinian Cause


Arabs are the worst lawyers for the most just cause - the Palestinian Cause.