The Neoliberal Ocean of Cop-15 Accord + SMART POWER

Smart Power

The Bush administration has hijacked a once-proud progressive doctrine–liberal internationalism–to justify muscle-flexing militarism and arrogant unilateralism. Progressives must reclaim the legacy of Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy with a foreign policy that will both bolster U.S. power and unite the world behind it.

RECLAIMING LIBERAL INTERNATIONALISM

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, conservative foreign-policy makers have united behind a clear agenda: combating terrorism, aggressively preempting perceived threats, and asserting the United States’ right and duty to act alone. Progressives, in contrast, have seemed flummoxed. Stuck on the sidelines, they advocate tactics that differ sharply from those of the Bush administration. But they have not consistently articulated a distinct set of progressive U.S. foreign policy goals.

This is a mistake. Progressives now have a historic opportunity to reorient U.S. foreign policy around an ambitious agenda of their own. The unparalleled strength of the United States, the absence of great-power conflict, the fears aroused by September 11, and growing public skepticism of the Bush administration’s militarism have created a political opening for a cogent, visionary alternative to the president’s foreign policy.

To advance from a nuanced dissent to a compelling vision, progressive policymakers should turn to the great mainstay of twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy: liberal internationalism, which posits that a global system of stable liberal democracies would be less prone to war. Washington, the theory goes, should thus offer assertive leadership — diplomatic, economic, and not least, military — to advance a broad array of goals: self-determination, human rights, free trade, the rule of law, economic development, and the quarantine and elimination of dictators and weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Unlike conservatives, who rely on military power as the main tool of statecraft, liberal internationalists see trade, diplomacy, foreign aid, and the spread of American values as equally important.

After September 11, conservatives adopted the trappings of liberal internationalism, entangling the rhetoric of human rights and democracy in a strategy of aggressive unilateralism. But the militant imperiousness of the Bush administration is fundamentally inconsistent with the ideals they claim to invoke. To reinvent liberal internationalism for the twenty-first century, progressives must wrest it back from Republican policymakers who have misapplied it.

Ref: ForeignAffairs

Suzanne Nossel was Deputy to the Ambassador for UN Management and Reform at the U.S. mission to the United Nations from 1999 to 2001 and is currently an executive at a media company in New York.

How Israel Buried the UN’s War Crime Probe – Buying Off the Palestinian Authority

Israel celebrated at the weekend its success at the United Nations in forcing the Palestinians to defer demands that the International Criminal Court investigate allegations of war crimes committed by Israel during its winter assault on the Gaza Strip.

The about-turn, following furious lobbying from Israel and the United States, appears to have buried the damning report of Judge Richard Goldstone into the fighting, which killed some 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians.

Israeli diplomats suggested on Sunday that Washington had promised the Palestinian Authority, in return for delaying an inquiry, that the United States would apply “significant pressure” on Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, to move ahead on a diplomatic process when the US envoy, George Mitchell, arrives in the region tomorrow.

But, according to Israeli and Palestinian analysts, diplomatic arm-twisting was not the only factor in the PA’s change of heart. Haaretz newspaper reported last week that, behind the scenes, Palestinian officials had faced threats that Israel would retaliate by inflicting enormous damage on the beleaguered Palestinian economy.

In particular, Israel warned it would renege on a commitment to allot radio frequencies to allow Wataniya, a mobile phone provider, to begin operations this month in the West Bank. The telecommunications industry is the bedrock of the Palestinian economy, with the current monopoly company, PalTel, accounting for half the worth of the Palestinian stock exchange.

The collapse of the Wataniya deal would have cost the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties, blocked massive investment in the local economy and jeopardised about 2,500 jobs.

Omar Barghouti, a Jerusalem-based founder of a Palestinian movement for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, denounced the Palestinian Authority’s move: “Trading off Palestinian rights and the fundamental duty to protect the Palestinians under occupation for personal gains is the textbook definition of collaboration and betrayal.”

The deal to establish Wataniya as the second Palestinian mobile phone operator has been at the centre of the international community’s plans to revive the West Bank’s economy and show that Palestinians are better off under the rule of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, than Hamas.

Tony Blair, the Middle East envoy representing the so-called Quartet of the United States, Russia, the UN and the EU, brokered the agreement last summer, saying Wataniya’s investment of more than $700 million over the next 10 years would “provide a much-needed boost to the Palestinian economy”.

Wataniya is a joint venture between Palestinian investors, including close allies of Mr Abbas, and Qatari and Kuwaiti businessmen.

But while Mr Netanyahu has welcomed the deal as part of his plans for an “economic peace”, an option he prefers to Palestinian statehood, Israel has been dragging its feet in allocating the necessary frequencies.

Wataniya’s planned launch earlier this year had to be pushed back and the company has threatened to pull out of the deal if the new October 15 deadline is missed. If it does, the Palestinian Authority will have to repay $140m in licensing fees and could be liable for hundreds of millions more that Wataniya has invested in building 350 communication masts across the West Bank.

According to Who Profits?, an Israeli organization that investigates links between Israel and international companies in exploiting the occupied territories, Israel has a vested interest in limiting the success of the Palestinian mobile phone industry and protecting its control over extensive parts of the West Bank it wants for Jewish settlement.

The only existing Palestinian operator, Jawwal, a subsidiary of PalTel, has been blocked from building communications infrastructure in the so-called Area C of the West Bank, comprising 60 per cent of the territory, which is designated under full Israeli control.

Instead, four Israeli companies – Cellcom, Orange, Pelephone and Mirs – have built an extensive network of antennas and transmission stations for Jewish settlers in Area C. Mirs, a subsidiary of Motorola Israel, also has an exclusive licence to provide cellular services to the Israeli military.

Typically, Palestinians travelling outside the major population areas of the West Bank find a limited or non-existent Jawwal service and therefore have to rely on the Israeli companies.

A World Bank report last year found that as much as 45 per cent of the Palestinian mobile phone market may be in the hands of the Israeli companies. In violation of the Oslo Accords, these firms do not pay taxes to the PA for their commercial activity, losing the Palestinian treasury revenues of up to $60m a year.

Israeli companies also rake off additional surcharges on connections made by Palestinians using Jawwal, including calls between mobile phones and landlines, between the West Bank and Gaza and many within Area C, and international calls.

Dalit Baum, a founder of Who Profits?, said the importance of the telecommunications industry to the Palestinian economy made it a point of leverage over the PA at moments of diplomatic crisis, such as the Goldstone report.

She said: “This case highlights not only how Israel restricts Palestinian economic development through the occupation but also how it uses that control for its own economic and diplomatic advantage.”

Israel’s chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, was reported last week to have conditioned his approval for Wataniya’s launch on the Palestinian leadership withdrawing demands for a referral to the war crimes tribunal.

Defense officials were reported to be angry that the PA had supported the attack on Gaza when it was launched last winter but were now pressing for Israeli soldiers to be put in the dock. One senior figure was quoted by the Haaretz newspaper saying: “The PA has reached the point where it has to decide whether it is working with us or against us.”

Under the Oslo accords, Israel retained ultimate control over the “electro-magnetic spectrum”, including the allocation of radio frequencies, in both Israel and the occupied territories.

Allan Richardson, Wataniya’s chief executive, who has previously launched mobile services in post-war Iraq and Afghanistan, blamed Israel for the company’s problems during an interview in July: “The obstacles we’re suffering from are obstacles you’ll never get anywhere else in the world.”

Last year Israel committed to providing Wataniya with a bandwidth of 4.8MHz, the absolute minimum required to provide coverage over the West Bank, but so far has offered only 3.8MHz.

Jawwal finally received 4.8MHz from Israel in 1999, two years after it launched. Despite the number of its subscribers growing tenfold to 1.1 million today, its bandwidth has remained the same. In comparison, Israel’s Cellcom company, with three times as many subscribers, has 37MHz.

Abdel Malik Jaber, PalTel’s chief executive, complained last year that millions of dollars of imported telecoms equipment was stuck at Israeli customs, some of it since 2004. Wataniya has made similar accusations against Israel.

Ref: Counerpunch

A version of this article originally appeared in The National (www.thenational.ae), published in Abu Dhabi.
Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jkcook.net.

READ THE UN REPORT ON ISRAELI(HAMAS) WAR CRIMES!!!

Meet the racist, hateful WHITE america

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See the slideshow displaying the true WHITNESS OF AMERICA


Ahmadinejad’s victory: predicted and feared

As we know the Islamic Republic often applies the death penalty, detains political opponents, uses torture when it suits. Human rights are violated, as Gary Sick notes in his latest blog, “Gary’s choice”, 13 June, Iran’s elections – the human rights dimension. Women’s rights have often been flouted. And the political system is boxed in by a constitution which debars “non-conformist” candidates from standing for election.

Even so, Iranian women have gained since 1979 (mainly through the eradication of illiteracy) and there has been progress in the struggle against poverty, access to potable water and to mains electricity. But let’s focus on the presidential system. Astonishingly, Iran is the only country in the region (apart from Lebanon and Palestine) where the outcome of elections is not known in advance. In Egypt and Algeria, for example, the sole question is whether the president will obtain more than 90% of votes cast…

As Reuters reported on the evening of 12 June, there was a huge turnout in Iran. According to the official results announced on the morning of 13 June, Ahmadinejad gained two thirds of the votes and his opponent Mousavi one third. But this result is contested and the situation in Iran is tense.

As Mohsen M Milani, professor and chair at the department of government and international affairs, University of South Florida, pointed out in a 10 June interview published by the Council on Foreign Relations, Iranian Presidents Have a Critical Role in Policymaking, contrary to many people think, the Iranian president is an important figure, even if he’s less powerful than the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

Lively campaign

Observers noted that the presidential electoral campaign had been very lively, as Scott Peterson described in the Christian Science Monitor on 10 June, Once apathetic, young Iranians now say they’ll vote.
Hussein Mousavi was the most credible opposition candidate to Ahmadinejad, and on 10 June the TehranBureau website listed his election manifesto The Mousavi agenda.

Televised debates between the main candidates had enthralled viewers (some speeches are available with English subtitles on PressTV archive. The second debate between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi, early in June, was watched by more than 40 million people. As the Los Angeles Times’s Tehran correspondent, Borzou Daragahi, reported on 4 June, Iranian president, rival spar in debate:

“Mousavi, struggling with his words during the beginning of the debate, hammered hard at Ahmadinejad’s foreign policy, accusing him of needlessly alienating other countries. He mocked what he described as Ahmadinejad’s erratic behaviour during several crises and trips abroad and repeatedly criticized Ahmadinejad for questioning the existence of the Holocaust, which he said hurt Iran’s national interests and unified the world behind Israel, Tehran’s rival,” Daragahi wrote.

As for the incumbent, “Ahmadinejad painted Mousavi as part of a cabal that includes Hashemi Rafsanjani, an influential ayatollah and former president, and is dedicated to defeating him to secure vested interests. He named names, accusing several key political figures and their families of corruption and hinting at evidence showing Mousavi’s alleged wrongdoings.”

Such an attack on Rafsanjani, one of the country’s most powerful figures, is unprecedented. During the 2005 presidential campaign Ahmadinejad put himself forward as the candidate of social justice and the enemy of the mafia operators who had grabbed the country’s resources. He won after making many promises, some of which he has been able to keep because of high price of oil on the world market, but he has enjoyed no success in breaking the mafia rings (See Ramine Motamed-Nejad “Iran: money and the mullahs”, Le Monde diplomatique, English edition, June 2009). Economic and social issues were the main reason for the reformers’ defeat in 2005 and for Ahmadinejad’s victory. They will play a central role in the outcomes of this poll.

“Is the Rafsanjani aristocracy establishment supposed to perpetuate itself?” Ahmadinejad asked during the debate. Don’t hold your breath for the reply. In an open letter to the Supreme Leader, Rafsanjani protested against such attacks on him, as Muhammad Sahimi reported on 9 June for the TehranBureau website Rafsanjani’s Letter to the Supreme Leader :
Rafsanjani’s reply

“Following the presidential debates between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his reformist foes, Messrs Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, during which the president literally put the entire system of the Islamic Republic under question — he accused many national leaders and powerful politicians of nepotism and corruption, and claimed that since the 1979 Revolution only his administration has done extensive work for the nation (hence, indirectly attacking even the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who was elected the president for two terms in the 1980s) — he was condemned by people across the political spectrum…

“In an unprecedented letter today to Ayatollah Khamenei, Mr Rafsanjani struck back at the president. The tone and clarity of the letter, especially for a politician who has always worked behind the scenes, were astounding. The letter starts:

“Unfortunately, the untrue and irresponsible statements of Mr. Ahmadinejad during his debate with Mousavi, the pre-debate statements [by him] and the events afterwards remind us of what the hypocrites [a reference to Mojahedin Khalgh Iran, an armed opposition group in exile] and counterrevolutionary groups said and did in the first few years after the Revolution, as well as the accusations during the 2005 [presidential] elections, the elections for the 6th Majles [during which Mr. Rafsanjani was strongly attacked by the reformists], and the nonsense that Paalizdaar propgated [a reference to Mr. Abbas Paalizdaar, who made numerous accusations similar to the President’s a few months ago in a speech], who has been convicted in the court of law. Since some of the [same] allegations had already been printed in the government-controlled media and had been repeated in the [president’s] speech in the holy [city of] Mashhad [a large city in northeastern Iran], the claim that he might have been influenced by the debate’s atmosphere and the attacks were unplanned is not acceptable. This is apparently an attempt to distract people’s attention from the many documented reports by the Government Accounting Office that $1 billion is missing [a reference to various reports that the GAO cannot account for $1 billion in the state budget], and that thousands of other unlawful acts have been committed with respect to the misuse of the national budget [approved by the Majles]; or it could be that he [the president] feels that his main competitor [Mr Mousavi] is a hero of a quarter of century of the Islamic Revolution [and, therefore, feeling vulnerable].

“The letter then asks if such unlawful acts are not stopped, and if the president, who has taken the oath of office to respect the law, can break the laws of the land without being persecuted, how can the nation consider itself the followers of the holy Islamic system of governance?

“The letter ends by asking Ayatollah Khamenei to ensure that the upcoming voting process will be devoid of any fraud.

“More than anything else, the letter reveals the deep fissures in the ruling establishment that have been created by Mr Ahmadinejad’s presidency. The letter in some way may also lessen the possibility of fraud in the Friday voting. In the 1997 elections that resulted in a landslide victory for Mr Mohammad Khatami, Mr Rafsanjani warned the nation a few days before voting about the possibility of fraud. Many believe that Mr Rafsanjani’s warning at that time was the prime reason why the conservatives could not resort to voting fraud, as they were terrified by a revolt by the people.”
Electoral fraud?

If we are to believe the reactions of Mousavi and his supporters the night that the results were announced, voting fraud was substantial all the same.

Rafsanjani’s position was supported by 14 clerics from the holy city of Qom according to Reuters on 9 June, Iranian cleric slams Ahmadinejad “fabrications”.

Moreover unconfirmed sources indicated that, in response to this open letter, the Supreme Leader had nominated Akbar Nategh Nouri, a conservative cleric critical of Ahmadinejad, to check for election irregularities in TeheranBureau’s 10 June Reaction to Rafsanjani’s Letter by Muhammad Sahimi.

A less optimistic, even alarmist, interpretation came from the Kamal Yaser Nassin of the Zurich-based International Relations and Security Network (ISN) on 11 June, Iran : Ahmadinejad’s Palace Coup.

“First, according to usually reliable sources, security forces are preparing for a massive crackdown on the protestors, once the winner of the contest is announced.

“Second, in a highly symbolic departure from past norms, the office of the Supreme Leader has issued an official disclaimer about alleged promises made to Hashemi Rafsanjani by Ayatollah Khamenei. The Supreme Leader also warned today against “ill-wishers” who spread malicious rumours and are lodged everywhere, adding “they may be found everywhere, in all agencies and groups.” Experts believe that since the Supreme Leader is not known as someone to bank on the losing side, this can be interpreted, with moderate confidence, as a sign that Mahmood Ahmadinejad is considered as the next president of the Islamic Republic.”
Concerning the nuclear issue, Rasool Nafisi, wrote on Radio FreeEurope’s website on 12 June, In Iran, The Election Is Being Televised :

“Despite some pretty fierce duels, the candidates have been careful not to cross any of the regime’s ‘red lines.’ All candidates have endorsed the country’s uranium-enrichment programme, and none has argued that continuing this policy in the face of UN resolutions and international sanctions is shaking the foundations of the economy or society. None of the candidates has asserted that the 25% inflation rate is at least partly due to the impact of sanctions.”

Washington had shown a deal of circumspection during this election campaign, fearing that favouring one candidate could backfire. In the Foreign Policy website of 10 June As Iran votes, all quiet on the western front , Luara Rozen spelt it out:

“We are committed to direct diplomacy with whatever government emerges,” a US official said Wednesday on condition of anonymity. The administration is “being tight-lipped on this one,” he acknowledged, noting that some planned interviews on the issue had been shut down out of apparent sensitivity to concerns that Iranian hard-liners could portray them as evidence of US meddling, a sensitive issue in Iran.
For the American and Israeli right – as Scott Harrop pointed out in Helena Cobban’s Just World News blog of 12 June, “Israel’s horse in Iran’s Race” – Ahmadinejad was the preferred candidate!

Elsewhere an influential American Democratic Senator pronounced, in a 10 June interview with the Financial Times’s Daniel Dombey, US senator opens Iran nuclear debate, that Iran had the right to enrich its own uranium and that arguments to the contrary made by the Bush administration were “ridiculous”.

And what next?

Ref: Le MOnde

VIDEO: The Great White Father of America

Israeli Violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention

Israel is a serial international law abuser. Specifically, it commits grave violations of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention that protects civilians in times of war and has done it for decades:

— Article 2 states that “the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them. The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory….even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance;”

— Article 3 prohibits all kinds of assaults on life or physical security;

— Article 27 refers to “protected persons” and states “They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence….,”

— Article 32 prohibits murder, torture and corporal punishment, and

— Article 33 prohibits collective punishment and “all measures of intimidation or….terrorism.”

Geneva and other international human rights laws guarantee what Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: that everyone “has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” It also affirms Article 6 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 stating that every “human being has the inherent right to life.” Violations of Geneva and other internationa laws are crimes of war and against humanity. Israel is a serial offender but has yet to be held to account.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights documented its extra-judicial executions from September 29, 2000 through December 2007 and updates it weekly on its web site – pchrgaza.org. Below are examples, but first some background.

Some Brief History of Israeli Targeted Killings

Without cause, these executions target specific individuals with explicit government approval, and Israelis have done it for decades. During the Mandatory Palestine period, Stern Gang (later renamed Lehi) and Irgun members were underground terrorists with very committed aims – to drive out the British (seen as occupiers), allow unrestricted Jewish immigration, remove indigenous Arabs, and establish the Jewish state of Israel. They carried out killings and bombings, some of which were notorious like Lehi’s 1944 assassination of Britain’s Lord Moyne, the military governor of Egypt. Another was Irgun’s infamous 1946 King David Hotel bombing killing 91 Brits, Arabs and Jews and injuring many more.

Two of their leaders became future prime ministers – Lehi’s Yitzhak Shamir (1983 – 84 and 1986 – 1992) and Irgun’s Menachem Begin (1977 – 1983), but they were wanted men before 1948. The New York Times called Irgun a “terrorist organization,” and the World Zionist Congress in 1946 strongly condemned “the shedding of innocent blood as a means of political warfare.” It was just beginning.

In the 1950s, targeted killings were common and were used to halt fedayeen resistance attacks from Egypt. In 1967, after Gaza and the West Bank were occupied, Palestinians became the favorite target, inside and outside the Territories, and by various means:

— car and mail bombs,

— air attacks,

— commando raids,

— undercover operations,

— poisoning,

— snipers, and

— various other methods, including proxy forces to do Israeli killing.

General Ariel Sharon commanded an “anti-terror” detachment in the early 1970s that targeted Palestinian resistance fighters in Gaza. Through undercover operations, the unit killed 104 Palestinians and arrested 742 others.

After Israeli athletes were killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics, Prime Minister Golda Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan established “Committee X” that used Mossad operatives to find the kill the perpetrators. Thirteen deaths resulted, including a Moroccan busboy in Norway by mistake.

Throughout the 1970s, Palestinians in the Territories were targeted, especially its leaders, and in 1982 Israelis nearly killed Yasir Arafat with car bombs, air attacks and at least once when a sniper had him targeted but got no orders to shoot. His second in command, Abu Jihad (Khalil el-Wazir), was less fortunate. He was key to the first Intifada’s success, an irreplaceable leader, and had to be eliminated. Ehud Barak reportedly got the assignment and headed a commando operation that killed him.

Executions continued in the 1990s, including three major ones with mixed success. One killed Islamic Jihad leader, Fathi Shikaki, in Malta in 1995. Another eliminated Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas Izzaddin al-Qassam Brigades member who was known as “the Engineer” for his bomb-making skills. One embarrassing attempt failed. It targeted Hamas’ Amman, Jordan political bureau chief, Khaled Meshal. Two Mossad agents poisoned him but were captured by Jordanian authorities before they could flee. To secure their release, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to provide the poison’s antidote and release Hamas’ founder, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, from an Israeli prison.

With the outbreak of the second Intifada, killings escalated markedly. Below are examples, including several high-ranking Palestinians:

— Abu Ali Mustafa – head of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP),

— Mustafa Zibri – the PFLP’s Secretary-General,

— Raed al-Karmi – a Lebanese Tanzim movement leader, and

— many mid-level resistance fighters from various Palestinian groups opposing the occupation.

Examples of Extra-Judicial Executions from September 29, 2000 Through December 2006

All three Israeli government branches support extra-judicial killings and require no evidence to justify them. Officials merely say those targeted are wanted, dangerous, and threaten State security. As a result, security forces kill with impunity and with no regard for the innocent, including women, children, the elderly or infirm.

Consider an egregious example. On July 12, 2006, IDF aircraft attacked the home of Dr. Nabeel Abu Silmiya in the Gaza City Sheikh Radwan neighborhood. The house was completely destroyed and Dr. Nabeel, his wife and seven children were killed – possibly in error, according to IDF. It claimed it targeted Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades leader, Mohammed al-Daif, and a number of his colleagues but struck the wrong house instead.

Multiple killings are common and are carried out against civilian homes, government buildings and structures, and by planting bombs in cars and targeted shootings on the ground. The death toll keeps rising, and PCHR documented specific examples below.

Examples of IDF Executions from January Through March 2007

Five targeted killings occurred in the period during which three others were injured.

On February 1, IDF soldiers killed Jaser Nader Ahmad Abut Zugheib in the Tulkarm refugee camp. In the same incursion, two Palestinians were wounded, one seriously with a bullet in the chest.

On February 21, an IDF undercover unit targeted the al-Bassatin area west of Jenin. It killed Mahmoud Ibrahim Qassem Obaid, an Islamic Jihad al-Quds Brigades leader, by shooting him in the head at close range.

On February 28, another IDF undercover unit executed three Islamic Jihad members as they tried to flee the Jenin refugee camp in a car.

In the examples above, arrests weren’t attempted, and victims were either wounded or unarmed when IDF soldiers executed them Mafia-style by point-blank shootings. PCHR stresses that with no due process and the absence of evidence, there’s no guarantee or even likelihood that targeted individuals committed crimes. They were simply Israeli vigilante justice victims targeting the innocent.

Selected IDF Executions from April Through June 2007

During the period, 25 killings occurred, but only 16 were actually targeted.

On April 21, an IDF undercover unit attacked a car in Jenin killing three Palestinians in it. Two were al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members and the other belonged to the al-Quds Brigades. On the same day, an IDF aircraft-fired missile killed an innocent civilian in his vehicle who had no affiliation with Palestinian resistance groups.

On May 4, Seilat al-Harthiya village, west of Jenin was attacked. Two al-Quds Brigades members and a mentally disabled Palestinian civilian were executed.

On May 20, an IDF aircraft missile struck a Gaza City al-Shojaeya neighborhood meeting hall killing seven members of the al-Haya family and a Hamas activist as well as wounding three others.

On May 29, IDF undercover units killed two Palestinian activists in Ramallah and Jenin and wounded five others.

On June 1, the IDF assassinated an Islamic Jihad member in Khan Yunis.

On June 12, the IDF executed an al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member in the north Tulkarm Saida village.

On June 24, the IDF killed three al-Quds Brigades members and wounded three civilians.

On June 30, IDF forces executed three al-Quds Brigades members in Khan Yunis.

Selected IDF Executions from July Through September 2007

On July 26, an IDF aircraft struck a vehicle south of Gaza City killing three activists in it.

On August 4, an aircraft-fired missile struck a civilian car near the Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border. Three al-Quds Brigades members in it were seriously wounded but managed to survive. Moments later, two other missiles hit another civilian car killing the driver and a civilian bystander and wounding 12 others.

On August 20, IDF forces executed four Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades members and two additional Palestinian Ministry of Interior Executive Force members in central Gaza’s al-Boreij refugee camp.

On August 21, IDF air and ground forces killed three Palestinians in al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis.

On August 22, the IDF executed an Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades member and wounded another east of Gaza City.

During the last week of August, three children were extra-judicially killed in Beit Hanoun. There was no evidence they had any affiliation with a local resistance group.

On September 26, IDF forces executed five Army of Islam members in the al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City.

Examples of IDF Executions from September through December 2007

On October 11, an IDF undercover unit killed one and wounded another al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member near al-Hamam Square in Jenin.

On November 25, IDF forces executed an al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member in the Tulkarm refugee camp, east of the town. Witnesses said he raised his hands to surrender but was shot in the neck. Seriously injured, two IDF soldiers beat him violently and let him bleed to death in a coffee shop. A second man was also seriously injured in the attack.

On November 29, IDF aircraft attacked and killed two Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades members northeast of Khan Yunis.

Attacks continue unabated – by air strikes and on-the-ground Mafia-style executions in violation of sacred international law explained above. And a Haaretz February 29 article suggests they threaten to escalate.

It quoted Defense Minister Ehud Barak blaming Hamas for the increased violence and said it will “bear the cost of our response….(it’s) necessary and will be carried out.” On the same day, Knesset chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Tzachi Hanegbi, said IDF forces must “quickly….topple the Hamas terror regime and take over all the areas from which rockets are fired on Israel,” and they should remain in those areas for years.

Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai went further and threatened a “shoah,” which is the Hebrew word for holocaust. On Israeli radio he said: “the more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger ‘shoah’ because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.” The comment is outrageous, it incites genocide, and it’s a punishable crime in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

Gregory Stanton’s Genocide Watch site has a mission: to “predict, prevent, stop, and punish genocide and other forms of mass murder (by) rais(ing awareness and influenc(ing) public policy concerning potential and actual genocide.” Its aim “is to build an international movement to prevent and stop genocide,” and it’s badly needed in Occupied Palestine where Israel has conducted state-sponsored genocide for decades according to Israeli historian Ilan Pappe.

International law expert Francis Boyle agrees and proposed in a March 20, 1998 article that “the Provisional Government of (Palestine) and its President institute legal proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague for violating the (Genocide Convention).” He categorically stated that “Israel has indeed perpetrated the international crime of genocide against the Palestinian people (and the) lawsuit would….demonstrate that undeniable fact to the entire world.” Boyle would likely agree that the case today is even more compelling at a time Israeli forces are ravaging Gaza and assaulting West Bank communities as well.

Genocide is hideous in concept and execution, and Stanton explains how it progresses in eight defined stages:

1. Classification – Cultures or societies distinguish between “us and them” to categorize people by race, religion, nationality or other distinguishing characteristic;

2. Symbolization – Classifications are given names or other symbols, such as Jews, Latinos, blacks or Muslims.

3. Dehuminization – A dominant group denies another’s humanity and equates its members with animals, vermin, insects, diseases or, in the case of Palestinian resistance fighters, gunmen or terrorists;

4. Organization – Genocide is always organized; most often it’s by the state using militias, the military and/or other security forces to target victimized groups;

5. Polarization – Extremists incite hate through propaganda and other communication methods, and laws and other measures often target the victims;

6. Preparation – Victims are identified, separated out and targeted for elimination;

7. Extermination – Once it starts, it escalates to mass killing that’s legally defined as “genocide;” and finally

8. Denial – The final stage assures continued genocide will follow with evidence of it suppressed or destroyed. Some genocidal regimes are brought to justice like the Nazis at Nuremberg. Others like Israeli governments since 1948 have gotten away with it for decades with no indication (so far) the Olmert or a future regime will be held to account.

Minister Vilnai affirms that killing may now escalate against a people who’ve been under a medieval siege for months. Talk of peace and ceasefire is hollow, Israel and Washington incite violence and want none of it, and IDF commanders are preparing a large-scale assault to target Hamas for removal. How much longer will this go on? When will the occupation end? How many more killings will be tolerated? When will world leaders take note? People who care want answers. It’s about time they got them.

Ref: The populist party