Israel's Gaza war crimes at 10/14 UN Security Council

January 17, 2009, Israeli airstrike on UN school in Gaza

Always good when popular pressure forces a politician to do the right thing. In this case, the right thing is to discuss and act on the Goldstone report, which detailed possible Israeli and Hamas war crimes during Israel's invasion of Gaza last December and January. West Bank president Mahmoud Abbas reversed an earlier stance (purchased by the U.S.) to delay action, and now supports getting the report discussed on Wednesday by the Security Council and then referred to the UN Human Rights Council:

Criticism forces Abbas to harden stance
October 12, 2009
Michael Jansensus

. . . Many Palestinians were outraged when [Abbas] shook hands with Mr Netanyahu at an encounter arranged by US president Barack Obama on the sidelines of opening of the UN General Assembly.

Mr Abbas had said that he would not meet or negotiate with Mr Netanyahu until he agreed to freeze all Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Under US political and financial pressure, Mr Abbas capitulated to what a Palestinian observer called a "$200 million handshake,"referring to the amount the US pledged for PA budgetary support by the end of the year.

Outrage became fury when the PA agreed to postpone endorsement by the UN Human Rights Council of a report on crimes committed during Israel's war on Gaza earlier this year.

Palestinian economy minister Bassem Khoury resigned in protest, other PA figures called the decision a mistake, and Palestinians staged a rally in Ramallah. . . .

. . . In an attempt to limit damage over the Goldstone report, Mr Abbas instructed the PA delegation in Geneva and the Palestinian observer at UN to press for an early discussion in either the Human Rights Council or the Security Council of the 575-page document, which provides evidence of Israeli and, to a lesser extent, Hamas war crimes.

Fearing involvement of the International Criminal Court, Israel has threatened to pull out of US-brokered talks if the Goldstone report is endorsed and its recommendations are adopted.

Though it won't be as effective as human rights activists wish, especially not in the U.S., displaying Israeli immorality and criminality to the world is still the most promising path for international resistance to take. At least it gets real results (a series of diplomatic and popular blows against Israel are listed in "Israel-Turkey relations hit new low"), and the real results would mount if Israel continues on its present path. In addition, campaigning for basic human rights in Palestine and against war criminality on both sides is so obviously right and fair-minded that even members of the Israeli home team are swayed (see British UN ambassador in article below). Maybe even more so when the main argument against justice is 'you/they did it too':

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Gaza Revisited: Lies, Deceit, and now Blackmail

Photobucket Estimates of children killed during Israel's invasion of Gaza fall between 250 to over 300. Total killed, mostly civilians, number over 1,400.

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Gaza probe 'fatal blow' to peace

This headline from the BBC site this morning is a quote from the Israeli PM, Bibi Netanyahu, in reaction to the UN Goldstone Report about 'war crimes' committed by Israel and Hamas during the Gaza invasion, which killed 1,400 mostly civilian Palestinians. Its seriousness is attested to by the fact that only last week, a British court actually considered an arrest warrant for Ehud Barak, the visiting Israeli Minister of Defense, for war crimes, refused on the basis of diplomatic immunity, and only today, Israeli minister and former military chief Moshe Yaalon cancelled a UK visit because of fears of arrest for alleged war crimes (Pro-Palestinian groups in Britain want him to face trial over the 2002 killing of a Gaza militant, in which 14 others died, at least eight of them children).

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Will Obama & Israel bury Gaza war crimes?

Raw numbers of the Gaza 'war':B'Tselem found that 1,387 Palestinians were killed in the war, including 773 civilians, 330 combatants, 248 policemen and 36 people whom the group was unable to classify as combatants or non-combatants. B'Tselem said there were 320 minors under the age of 18 among the civilian dead.

The Goldstone Report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, which condemned both Israeli and Gaza government actions and suggested the possibility of referring the possible international law violations to the International Criminal Court, is the disappeared news of the day. Americans should know that the Obama administration is leading that immoral effort.

White House will block U.N. action against Israel
Politico, September 23, 2009

A White House official told Jewish leaders on a conference call today that the U.S. will use its veto in the U.N. Security Council, if necessary, to block the international body from acting on a report accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza, according to two people on the call.

The National Security Council's Dan Shapiro said President Obama assured the Israeli Prime Minister yesterday of the U.S stand on the Goldstone Report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, which has been a source of major concern for the Israelis. Shapiro said the U.S. agrees with the Israeli view that the report is one-sided, and would block a referral to the International Criminal Court.

The U.S. pledge comes as the Israeli side was already declaring victory in avoiding a total freeze on settlements, and it's likely to further alienate Palestinian leaders whom the U.S. is simultaneously trying to lure to the negotiating table.

A Quick Burial For Goldstone's Report on Gaza
By Nathan Guttman
The Jewish Forward
September 23, 2009

As a result of [the] efforts [of U.S. and Israeli diplomats], it appears all but certain that the report accusing Israel and the Palestinian faction Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity will not reach any binding international forums.

The report, released September 15, caused a huge initial international stir, not only because of its findings -- the bulk of them focusing on Israel -- but also because of its ultimate recommendation: that the United Nations Security Council, which has binding power under international law, require Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza, to conduct their own respective independent investigations of the evidence of human rights violations cited in the report. If they do not do so within six months, the report urged the Security Council to refer their cases to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

But in the days following the release of Goldstone's report, it became clear that in the arm-wrestling contest between international rights organizations and the established Israeli-American diplomatic bond, the latter wins easily.

. . . Jewish groups and pro-Israel activists stressed that it remained important to fight the Goldstone report in the public arena to ensure that its findings are not adopted as world public opinion.

That fear could only be reinforced by the assessment of international law expert Richard Falk, a Princeton University professor, strong critic of Israel and earlier UN appointee charged with investigating allegations of Israeli war crimes.

Falk cited the report's likely impact on "the symbols of legitimacy, what I have called the legitimacy war" between Israel and the Palestinians.

"Increasingly," he wrote on the website Mideast Online, "The Palestinians have been winning this second non-military war."

Falk predicted the report would mean gains for the international movement to boycott [divest from and sanction] Israel and fray Israel's Jewish support, as well. "The weight of the report will be felt by world public opinion," he predicted.

More on the moral legitimacy war from Richard Falk:

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Corporatocracy 'news' on Gaza, Iran, and then some real news

News is 'news' in our corporatacracy. Currently, for example, we have the Israeli-Warmongers-Only-Perspective 'News'. See below for how the release of a UN report on the war criminal conduct on both sides of the Gaza war is widely headlined in the mainstream news (to see how news of 320 dead Gazan children in that massacre is handled (hint: 'not at all'), see NPR's Linda Gradstein):

Israel fights 'perverse' UN report on Gaza

The funniest part is this sentence --

Both sides of the Gaza conflict criticised the report for putting them on the same footing.

-- followed by Israelis-only criticism of the report in the article's concluding 5 paragraphs.

Just a reminder that it is possible to headline the release of the UN report fairly: Israel, Hamas called to account. Now was that so hard?

Related is the 'Anything to get "Iran's Got Nukes!" Into the Headline' 'News':

Iran is a nuclear power: Ahmadinejad aide

Where the Iranian spokesperson is allowed to dispel the headline's glaring implication in paragraph 20:

Javanfekr said Iran is ready to face the six powers and "during the talks we will definitely speak of banning nuclear arms globally because it is not a problem for us as we do not possess any nuclear arms."

So, obviously 'nuclear power' means 'nuclear power power'. Some of you got your war on before you realized that, right? That was the intent.

Meanwhile, McClatchy continues to be a source of news. Here it provides some reality on the domestic side, first the real health care catastrophe:

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