Israel plays bully in the UN and adopts zero-tolerance for criticism of faults

Palestine Updates 30/2017

Editorial Comment

Israel plays bully in the UN and adopts zero-tolerance for criticism of faults

Israel is aware of, and seeks to obfuscate, its discreditable track record on just about every front.  It has been accused of ‘genocide’ by credible international bodies and of practicing apartheid against civilian populations. It is said: “You can run, but cannot hide”. Evidence of Israeli atrocities is mounting and one can only hope that the day when the world judges that “enough is enough”, may not be too far away. Also, that the ICC will summon Israeli leaders to face justice.

But, the dogged persistence with dialogue, peaceful resistance, civil disobedience has always been the preferred option of the international community and the Palestinians. Israel is simply defying the odds and flowing against the currents with only contempt for world opinion when it adopts military machines to suppress even peaceful protest.

Israel has, in the last week, browbeaten the UN to remove the damning “apartheid” report championed by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Israel is inventing allegations that will silence the BDS founder, Omar Barghouthi. It is accused by the UN Special rapporteur of “the subjugation of [Palestinians’] humanity” and intensifying a crackdown on human rights campaigners.

It is obstructing normal tourists from seeing the sites, and witnessing to the truth of the Wall, check-points and other atrocities. It has also put in place a new law which allows Israeli courts “to prevent citizens living outside the country from returning home if the state suspects that their return would endanger Israeli national security.

It has further diminished livelihood options for Gazans reined in by the blockade by restricting entry by about 40 percent last month. It has placed an activist of “Youth against Settlements” under military trial just because he chose nonviolent resistance activist against illegal settlements. Baseless allegations are made against aid workers ostensibly to confuse Palestinian sympathizers around the world.

Meanwhile, even supposedly extremist groups are seeking to reinvent themselves to hasten the process of peace and justice. Hamas now characterizes itself as a Palestinian resistance movement against occupation but drops references to holy war against Jews.

It is now Israel’s turn to reciprocate peaceful overtures and undo its policies of cruelty and injustice.

In solidarity

Ranjan Solomon
Editor


United Nations Human Rights Council censures Israel over apartheid
A number of delegates at the latest United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) session have censured Israel over human rights violations against Palestinians, and accused the Tel Aviv regime of “apartheid.” Among those accusing Israel of apartheid were the representatives of Palestine, Nicaragua, Qatar (three times), Bahrain (twice) and Pakistan; and representatives of four NGOs, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, American Association of Jurists, Union of Arab Jurists, which also accused Israel of genocide, and World Muslim Congress. They also bemoaned the removal of the damning “apartheid” report championed by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Source:press tv

Israel uses dubious means to get at BDS founder
What a dubious to destroy the career of a Palestinian activist. He founded an international movement, BDS, so arresting him for espionage or on a political pretext would invoke the world’s wrath on Israel. So it chose an alternative: taxes. At an anti-BDS conference held last year in Israel, ministers even called for the “civil” targeted assassination of the group and its leaders. The allegations against Barghouti are that he earned $700,000 from a Palestinian company, for which he was a director and should have paid taxes on these earnings. Instead, so the claim goes, he spirited the money to Palestinian and US banks, and never declared the income.
Source: Middle East Eye

UN Expert: Israel subjugating Palestinians’ humanity
A United Nations rights expert issued a blistering criticism of Israel’s policies saying that the regime is subjugating Palestinian people’s humanity. The UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, Michael Lynk, charged Israel with “the subjugation of [Palestinians’] humanity” and intensifying a crackdown on human rights campaigners. Lynk made the remarks in a report presented to the UN rights council during the Geneva-based body’s mandated session on Israel, known as Agenda Item Seven, AFP reported.
Source : Tasnim news

What’s left of peace- a touristic approach

With the two-state solution in peril 50 years after the West Bank was occupied by Israel, the half-Jewish, half-Palestinian author Claire Hajaj walks a biblical path to assess what hopes are left for peace
Read more 

Palestinians want tourists to spend time on the West Bank
A bid to boost commerce, but Israeli occupation makes it tough
And now a message from the Palestinian Authority: Walk in the footsteps of Jesus, enjoy some savory hummus and stuffed grape leaves, and please, please, please spend the night. If you squint, you might not see the watchtowers, barbed wire, and rifle-toting Israeli soldiers. The Palestinian government is making a push to attract tourists to Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron, and other historic religious sites—going so far as to call Jesus “the first Palestinian.” While tourism to Israel has steadily increased in recent years, Palestinian-controlled lands—which include many of the major Biblical sites—have seen scant benefit as Israel maintains a tight military grip over the West Bank.
Source:Bloomberg

Jesus’s tomb reopened after restoration work
The ornate shrine surrounding what is believed to be Jesus’s tomb was reopened at a ceremony in Jerusalem following months of delicate restoration work funded by Jordan’s King Abdullah, the Palestinian authority and Christian denominations that share custody of the church.Religious leaders, including the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, and a representative of Pope Francis, opened the ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built at the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried. “If the intervention hadn’t happened now, there is a very great risk that there could have been a collapse.” Bonnie Burnham of the World Monuments Fund said: “This is a complete transformation of the monument.”
Source:Al Araby

New law will allow revocation of citizenship for overseas citizens
Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Association or Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) issued a statement in response to a newly approved law, which allows Israeli courts “to prevent citizens living outside the country from returning home if the state has a ‘concern’ that their return would allegedly endanger Israeli national security.”

The statement noted that the right to citizenship has become a target for the Israeli Knesset, which essentially targets Arab citizens of Israel. “The right to citizenship has itself become a target in the state’s vindictive efforts to threaten the status of Arab citizens. The Knesset has chosen to inflict severe harm to this most basic of rights.”
Source: Palestine Chronicle

Israeli-issued exit permits for Gazans sees drastic drop
The number of Gaza residents who were allowed to enter Israel dropped by 40 percent last month compared to the 2016 monthly average, according figures from legal nonprofit organization Gisha cited in a report. Palestinian businesspeople that entered Israel from the besieged coastal enclave fell by 60 percent compared to February 2016. In February 2017, only 7,301 people passed through Israel’s Erez crossing — the only land crossing for Palestinian civilians to access Israeli from Gaza, which is heavily restricted by Israeli authorities as part of a crippling blockade on the coastal enclave in place since 2007.
Source: Maan News

Help support Issa Amro:
Palestinian activist facing charges under Israeli Military Court
Palestinian activist Issa Amro, Hebron native and a leading Palestinian nonviolent resistance activist, is facing Israeli military trial in just a few days. Amro, who helped found the group Youth Against Settlements (YAS), has been organizing in Hebron for over 13 years, and was recognized as a Human Rights Defender by both the United Nations and the European Union. Because of his activism, Amro is currently facing trumped up charges dating all the way back to 2010. He will be tried under a military court system that has a 99% conviction rate for Palestinians.
Sign the international charge to defend Issa here.