CCR and ACLU File Lawsuit to Allow Challenge to Targeted Killings off the Battlefield

3 August, 2010 — CCR

Today CCR along with the ACLU filed a joint lawsuit to challenge the legality and constitutionality of a licensing scheme that requires lawyers to seek government permission to represent individuals that same government intends to kill. The U.S. government has claimed the power to target and kill U.S. citizens and other individuals anywhere in the world, outside of any battlefield-without charge, trial, or a judicial process of any kind.

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PCHR and Hickman & Rose Oppose Proposed Changes to Universal Jurisdiction in the UK; Political Considerations Must Not Be Allowed to Triumph over the Rule of Law

1 August, 2010 — PCHR Ref: 66/2010

PCHR and Hickman & Rose Oppose Proposed Changes to Universal Jurisdiction in the UK; Political Considerations Must Not Be Allowed to Triumph over the Rule of Law

On Thursday, 22 July 2010, UK Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced that the British government intends to give the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) the power to veto the issue of arrest warrants for universal jurisdiction offences in the UK. The proposal is the direct result of political pressure applied by the government of Israel, following the issue of warrants for the arrest of Doron Almog in 2005, and Tzipi Livni, in 2009. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) and Hickman & Rose Solicitors (UK) have been involved in numerous universal jurisdiction cases, both in the UK and elsewhere, beginning with a case brought against Shaoul Mofaz in the UK in 2002.

The proposed change is a purely political move designed to block the arrest of war criminals, from ‘friendly countries’ in the UK.  It is an effort intended to grant immunity under the veil of the law. The proposed change sends out the wrong message to perpetrators, and will lead to the UK  being seen as a ‘safe haven’ for international criminals.

Currently, victims can act quickly and ask the court to issue a warrant for the arrest of a suspect. They must submit evidence that the suspect is present in, or intending to travel to, the UK. The court would only issue an arrest warrant if credible admissible evidence had been submitted which is to a very high threshold, capable of proving all elements of the offence, and the personal criminal liability of the suspect.

Ms. Livni, suspected of having committed war crimes in Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009, and others, have alleged that the current system for arrest warrants is open to “cynical exploitation” by those wishing to make political points. However, this claim cannot be substantiated. The current system has not been abused and no single example has been put forward to show that British judges have failed in their duty to screen out baseless or poorly evidenced cases, when issuing arrest warrants.

In 1978, Lord Wilberforce stated that the right to bring private prosecutions is “a valuable constitutional safeguard against inertia or partiality on the part of authority”. Lord Diplock described this right as “a useful constitutional safeguard against capricious, corrupt or biased failure or refusal of those authorities to prosecute offenders against the criminal law.” These words are equally  pertinent today and in this context.

The UK is subject to a duty to apply the criminal law uniformly: the proposed amendment could breach both that obligation, and the UK’s legal obligations arising from the ratification of, inter alia, the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and the UN Convention against Torture.

The rule of law must be respected and enforced equally across the board. As legal representatives of victims of international crimes, we expect the British Parliament to reject this attempt to promote the triumph of politics over the law and individuals’ fundamental human rights.
For more information on universal jurisdiction, see ‘The Principle and Practice of Universal Jurisdiction: PCHR’s work in the occupied Palestinian territory’ released by PCHR in 2010.

Information Clearing House Newsletter 3 August, 2010: Let Them Eat Wedding Cake

3 August, 2010 — Information Clearing House

Pakistan No Obedient Ally
By Eric Margolis
WikiLeaks data shows how volatile nation is forced to act against own self interests.

The CIA & The ISI: More In Common Than We Think?
By Nida Khan
Drones Kill 12 Children Playing Outside’ – ‘A Family Buries 15’ – ‘Americans Target the Wrong House Again’. Virtually every morning on the streets of Karachi, Pakistan, these sorts of headlines gleamed across the front pages of major papers, led the evening news broadcasts and drove conversations around dinner tables in both elite and impoverished households alike.

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VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 2 August, 2010: Revered rabbi preaches slaughter of gentile babies

2 August, 2010 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Israel agrees to UN probe of Flotilla attack
IMEMC – 2 Aug 2010 – Monday August 02, 2010 – 17:36, Israel’s cabinet agreed on being a part of the UN committee investigation into the May 31 attack on the Mavi Marmara.

Rockets hit Israel and Jordan
IMEMC – 2 Aug 2010 – Monday August 02, 2010 – 16:42, Five rockets hit the southern Israeli port of Eilat and its neighboring Jordanian city of Aqaba in the early morning

Deir al-Balah Camp Hit By Rocket Fire; 42 Injured
IMEMC – 2 Aug 2010 – Monday August 02, 2010 – 16:29, Rocket fire has hit the home of a member of the Hamas movement in Deir al-Balah refugee camp, central Gaza, injuring 42 civilians; there were no deaths.

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Gilad Atzmon: Israel Cannot Handle Its Past

31 July, 2010 — Gilad Atzmon – Writings

gilad.jpgIsrael cannot handle its past. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu decided this week to extend from 50 to 70 years the time state archives remain classified. Israel realizes that it has too much to hide.

Haaretz reported this week (in its Hebrew edition only), that the first documents will be released to the public only in 2018 (1948+70). Many of the documents that are stored in the archive are relevant to the history of the first 20 years of the Jewish state: the mass expulsion of the Palestinian people, the massacres in Deir Yassin, Tantura and many others, the 1956 Suez conflict, the Israeli nuclear project and so on. Disclosing such documents may bring to light some facts that could ‘shatter myths and cause embarrassment to many entities and individuals’ said the Israeli paper. I guess that president Shimon Peres is one of those ‘many individuals’.

In my latest work I elaborated on the concerning fact that history is foreign to the Jewish religion, ideology and politics. Israeli and Jewish history are set as phantasmic tales. Facts and historical documents are either pushed aside, shoved under the carpet, eliminated or simply destroyed. As we all know, truth seeking is interpreted by Israelis and Zionist as anti Semitism or even holocaust denial.

As it seems, 50 years were not enough for Israel to tackle its original sin. The reason is simple, the crimes that are entangled with the foundation of the Jewish state have never been resolved. Millions of Palestinian refugees are still awaiting to return to their land. Israel is still driven by racist and supremacist laws. The Jewish state has never matured from its lethal philosophy of constant physical intimidation. Consequently, the IDF, the Mossad and the security services mounted pressure on the government to extend the classification status of these 50 year old documents. And no surprise, Netanyahu has provided the required extension.

Haaretz pointed out that it is slightly peculiar that PM Netanyahu, the son of Benzion Netanyahu, a Zionist historian, gave his hand to a crude attempt to conceal historical research and truth seeking. I read Benzion Netanyahu, I actually learned a lot from him. Benzion wasn’t exactly an ordinary historian, he was a Zionist historian (as opposed to a historian of Zionism). He was there to give the Jewish national aspiration a contextual pseudo academic meaning. PM Netanyahu’s decision to hide facts for another 20 years is actually in line with his father’s philosophy.

A disclosure of the truth regarding Israel’s early days would reveal that the Jewish state was a murderous lethal attempt from its very beginning. As much as Zionist and Israeli leaders vowed publicly to make Jews ‘people like all other people’, behind closed doors they commanded their army and secret services to kill like their imaginary Biblical forefathers.

I would argue that from a historical perspective, Israel can keep sitting on its secret files as long as it wants. We do not really need the Israeli archive in order to examine the true murderous meaning of the Jewish state and the Jewish national project. However, the fact that Israel insists on hiding its past, means that there is a little bit of shame and consciousness left in this tribal collective. This is actually a positive sign.

See also the video: Teddy Katz: Israel Cannot Handle Its Past