Israel’s “Democracy” Becomes Just Jewish -Israeli FM proposes bribes for 1948 Palestinians to leave Occupied Palestine

Global Research, November 28, 2014

Avigdor-Lieberman_2359587b

Lieberman’s ‘peace’ plan: Strip Palestinians of citizenship

66 years after the establishment of the State of Israel, even the most ubiquitous term employed to describe the political nature of Israel as a “Jewish democratic state” is no longer valid. The Netanyahu government and its right-wing coalition partners are preparing a law, which will exclusively define Israel as a “Jewish State” for the “Jewish people”. For independent observers, who do not wear rose-colored Zionist propaganda glasses, Israel was never a democracy in the classical Western sense of the term, but always a Jewish democracy or a democracy sui generis, i.e. full democratic rights for Jews only.

Jewish and democratic just does not fit. It’s an oxymoron. Nonetheless, the Zionist propaganda (hasbara) has left no stone unturned in order to hammer this contradiction in terms into the awareness of the Western public. The Israeli Palestinians have always been treated as second class citizens. The Israeli political class regards them as a fifth column that cannot be trusted. The definition of Israel as a Jewish state is making visible, even to the politically blindest admirer of Israel, that all non-Jews are citizens with inferior rights.

The new Basic Law that will be up for adoption in the Israeli parliament shows that Israel, after 66 years of its existence, is completely in the dark about its identity. It is the proof of Israel’s shortcomings. From the very beginning of Israel’s foundation there existed a built-in contradiction: On the one hand, Israel was established as a “Jewish State in Eretz Israel”, on the other hand, the same declaration promised to “ensure complete equality of (…) political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion”. Historically, it has turned out that Israel could not be both.

In the “Law of Return”, the Jewish element was given precedence over the democratic one. The law stipulated that every Jew could immigrate to Israel and obtain Israeli citizenship, while the expelled Palestinians owners of the land were denied to return to their homes. The contradiction was reestablished by the “Nationality Law” of 1952, which reads: “A person who, immediately before the establishment of the State, was a Palestinian citizen (…) shall become an Israel national”.

Under the presidency of former Chief Justice Aharon Barak the Basic Law “Human Dignity and Freedom” was passed, which established the phrase “Jewish and democratic state” for Israel. The right-wing parties are up in arms about this phrase and the High Court of Israel (HCI) in general. Some extremists even want to abolish this institution and replace it by a religious court. Due to its large Palestinian population, former Israeli governments downplayed the Jewish component for the democratic one. But since right-wing parties dominate Israel’s political landscape and parliament, the public mood got even more susceptive to racism and open discrimination of Israel’s Palestinian minority.

As a consequence of this racism, the Netanyahu cabinet has discussed versions of a new Basic Law that will finally establish Israel as a racist pariah state.  The cabinet version received 14 yes votes, 6 liberal oriented members voted against. Should this bill become law, Israel is an open ethnocracy. The question which then arises for Israel’s friends in the US and Europe is, how can these Jewish-particularistic values agree with democratic ones. One does not need to be prophet to foretell that the West will also have an explanation for this, as it previously has justified Israel’s human rights violations, colonialism, violation of international law and all the war crimes and committed atrocities of the Israeli army against Palestinians.

In Israel, this draft caused an outcry by the liberal spectrum. Even President Reuven Rivlin spoke out against Netanyahu’s “Jewish state bill”. He called for a referendum and said that “democracy and Judaism must remain equal”. He asked at a conference in Eilat: “Does promoting this law, not in fact, question the success of the Zionist enterprise in which we are fortunate to live?” Rivlin was a former Knesset member of Netanyahu’s Likud party who has political scores to settle with the Prime Minister. Rivlin decried the elevation of Israel’s Jewish dimension over its democratic one, which is proposed in the intended new law.

The tainted atmosphere that led to this proposed law will neither vanish in the Knesset nor in the Israeli public. If the “Jewishness” of the State of Israel will prevail over the democratic one, the “Nation-State of the Jewish people” is going to admit that it is an ethnocracy guided by racist ideology. In future, the political discussion must turn on the racial aspect of Jewishness and Jewish culture in Israel and not so much around colonial Zionism, which serves as a vehicle for Israeli Jewish expansionism. Israel has always been a Jewish state, and finally it admits that it has little to do with democracy. How will the US Empire and Israel’s European friends react to this new definition of the State of Israel?

At the end of the day, Israel has to choose between a Jewish state with some democratic embedded particles or a democratic state with a Jewish preponderance. It cannot have the cake and eat it, too. The critics of the term “Jewish democratic state” asked for a “Jewish state”. For some, a “Jewish state” might be the solution of the Israeli dilemma, but for others this might be the nail in the coffin for the Zionist enterprise. As a state of all its citizens, as proponents of a one-state solution require, Israel is light years away.

Notes

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Israeli FM proposes bribes for 1948 Palestinians to leave Occupied Palestine

A Palestinian boy is seen during a protest against Israeli security’s raids in al-Ram district of Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. Anadolu / Issam Rimawi

Published Friday, November 28, 2014

 Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman proposed on Friday that Palestinians with Israeli citizenship be offered financial incentives to leave Occupied Palestine and relocate to a future Palestinian state.
As one of the most strident voices in favor of the separation of Israelis and Palestinians, Lieberman added that Palestinians living in Jaffa and Acre, two mixed cities on the Mediterranean coast far from the West Bank, should be encouraged to move if they want.

“Those (1948 Palestinians) who decide that their identity is Palestinian will be able to forfeit their Israeli citizenship and move and become citizens of the future Palestinian state,” he wrote in the manifesto, entitled Swimming Against the Stream, published on his Facebook page and his party’s website.

 “Israel should even encourage them to do so with a system of economic incentives,” he said.

Palestinian citizens of Israel, who account for about 20 percent of the population in Occupied Palestine, are the descendents of Palestinians who remained on their land when the Zionist state was established in 1948.

 The majority of Palestinians were killed, expelled from their homes, or detained in work camps.
Palestinians with Israeli citizenship complain of routine discrimination, particularly in housing, land access and employment, and anger has risen in recent months over Israel’s assault on Gaza that left nearly 2,200 Palestinians – mostly civilians – dead. More than 700 Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territories were arrested in protests across the country against the attack over summer.
Lieberman’s proposal echoes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s challenge earlier this month for 1948 Palestinians to go and live under Palestinian rule in the West Bank and Gaza, after many protested against the deadly police shooting of a young Palestinian with Israeli citizenship during an attempted arrest.
“To all those who are demonstrating and shouting their denunciation of Israel and support of a Palestinian state, I can say one simple thing: you are invited to move there – to the Palestinian Authority or to Gaza,” Netanyahu said.
“I can promise you the State of Israel will not put any obstacles in your way,” he told a meeting with Likud legislators.
The demonstrations in northern Occupied Palestine came against a backdrop of soaring Israeli-Palestinian tensions in annexed East Jerusalem, where there have been near-daily clashes over Israeli violations at the al-Aqsa mosque compound as well as illegal settlement activities.
Around 7,000 Palestinians, including hundreds without charge, are currently being held in Israeli prisons, more than 2,000 of whom were arrested by Israeli forces over this summer amid heavy tensions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Lieberman, whose ultra-nationalist party is a core part of Netanyahu’s coalition, has previously spoken about redrawing borders but not about using incentives to encourage Palestinians to uproot to a Palestinian state.
A poll carried out in 2010, after Lieberman addressed the United Nations and set out plans for the borders of a future Palestinian state to be redrawn to include Palestinian-majority towns in Occupied Palestine, showed that 58 percent of 1948 Palestinians opposed the idea.

Moreover, Lieberman had called on Palestinians in the past to take a loyalty oath if they want to remain in Occupied Palestine, a measure that Netanyahu denounced at the time.

But Netanyahu is now backing a contentious bill that would define Israel as the Jewish state and enshrine certain rights for Jews.

Earlier this week, the Israeli cabinet voted in favor of the proposal to anchor in law Israel’s status as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

Israel would no longer be defined in its Basic Laws as “Jewish and democratic,” but instead as “the national homeland of the Jewish people.”

Critics, including the government’s top legal adviser, said the proposed change to the laws that act as Israel’s effective constitution could institutionalize discrimination against its 1.7 million Palestinian citizens.

The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) said that the state’s Jewish identity is already contained in its 1948 declaration of statehood.

“However, that declaration also emphasizes the Jewish state’s absolute commitment to the equality of all of its citizens – an essential component missing from the proposals being presented to the government today,” IDI president Yohanan Plesner said in a statement.

The version of the “Jewish state” bill approved by ministers on Sunday represents a nod from Netanyahu to the most hardline elements of his party and ruling coalition as talk grows of an early election.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly expressed his refusal to compromise the longstanding Palestinian stance against recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

Palestinians fear that identifying Israel as such will cancel the right of return of Palestinian refugees or the right to reparations for those affected by the creation of Israel in 1948.

Palestinian leaders continue to demand the establishment of an independent state in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, with East Jerusalem – currently occupied by Israel – as its capital.

In November 1988, Palestinian leaders led by Yasser Arafat declared the existence of a state of Palestine inside the 1967 borders and the state’s belief “in the settlement of international and regional disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the charter and resolutions of the United Nations.”

Heralded as a “historic compromise,” the move implied that Palestinians would agree to accept only 22 percent of historic Palestine, in exchange for peace with Israel. It is now believed that only 17 percent of historic Palestine is under Palestinian control following the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) this year set November 2016 as the deadline for ending the Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967 and establishing a two-state solution.

According to PA estimations, 134 countries have so far recognized the State of Palestine, although the number is disputed and several recognitions by what are now European Union member states date back to the Soviet era.

It is worth noting that numerous pro-Palestine activists support a one-state solution, arguing that the creation of a Palestinian state beside Israel would not be sustainable. They also believe that the two-state solution, which is the only option considered by international actors, won’t solve existing discrimination, nor erase economic and military tensions.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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Absolutely crucial statement by Foreign Minister Lavrov (*MUST READ*!)

The Saker

Note: Finally the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs found the time, energy and personnel to translate this most important statement. They even posted it (thanks to Jonathan Jarvis for the pointer!). And if you detect irritation on my part you are correct – I am frustrated with how incompetent Russians are in anything relating to public information. Anyway,I have bolded out what I consider to be the most important statements made by Lavrov that day.  I would just like to add the following:

1)  Lavrov is considered very much a “moderate” and his language has always been strictly diplomatic.  So when you read Lavrov, just imagine what folks in other Russian ministries are thinking.

2) Lavrov makes no secret of his view of the USA and of his plans for the future of our planet.  When you read his words, try to imagine what a US Neocon feels and thinks and you will immediately see why the US elites both hate and fear Russia.

3) Finally, Lavrov openly admits that Russia and China have forged an long-term strategic alliance (proving all the nay-sayers who predicted that China would backtstab Russian wrong).  This is, I would argue, the single most important strategic development in the past decade.

4)  Finally, notice the clear contempt which Lavrov has for a pseudo-Christian “West” which dares not speak in defense of persecuted Christians, denies its own roots, and does not even respect its own traditions.

Friends, what we are witnessing before our eyes is not some petty statement about the Ukraine or sanctions, it is the admission by Lavrov of a fundamental “clash of civilizations”, but not between some wholly imaginary “Christian West” and Islam, but between Christian Russia and the post-Christian West.

Russia did not want this conflict.  Russia did everything in her power to prevent it.  But the West left Russia no choice and Russia now openly declares her willingness to fight and prevail.

The Saker
——-

Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the XXII Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy, Moscow, 22 November 2014

I’m happy to be at this annual Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (Russian abbreviation SVOP). It is always a great pleasure for me to meet people and feel the intellectual potential, which enables the Council, its leaders and representatives to respond to global developments and analyse them. Their analysis is always free from any hysteria, and its members offer well-grounded and solid arguments, taking a step back, since those caught in the midst of events can hardly adopt an unbiased perspective. We are inevitably influenced by the developments, which makes your observations, analysis, discourse and suggestions even more valuable to us.As far as I know, this year’s Assembly will focus on prospects for accelerating domestic growth in Russia. There is no doubt that concerted efforts by our society as a whole to bring about comprehensive economic, social and spiritual development are a prerequisite for making Russia’s future sustainable. That said, by virtue of my professional duties, I have to focus on foreign policy issues, which are still relevant for the Assembly’s agenda, since in this interconnected, globalised world, isolating internal development from the outside world is impossible. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin provided a detailed analysis of the international developments at the Valdai Club meeting in Sochi, as well as in his interviews during his trip to Asia. For this reason, I won’t offer any conceptual observations, as everything has already been said. Nevertheless, I would like to share with you some considerations based on our day-to-day foreign policy efforts. It is not my intention to deliver a comprehensive or clear outlook, since at this stage all forecasts are provisional, no matter who makes them. Moreover, diplomats seek to influence developments as they unfold, not contemplate them.

Naturally, I will start with Ukraine. Long before the country was plunged into the crisis, there was a feeling in the air that Russia’s relations with the EU and with the West were about to reach their moment of truth. It was clear that we could no longer continue to put issues in our relations on the back burner and that a choice had to be made between a genuine partnership or, as the saying goes, “breaking pots.” It goes without saying that Russia opted for the former alternative, while unfortunately our Western partners settled for the latter, whether consciously or not. In fact, they went all out in Ukraine and supported extremists, thereby giving up their own principles of democratic regime change. What came out of it was an attempt to play chicken with Russia, to see who blinks first. As bullies say, they wanted to Russia to “chicken out” (I can’t find a better word for it), to force us to swallow the humiliation of Russians and native speakers of Russian in Ukraine.

Honourable Leslie Gelb, whom you know all too well, wrote that Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the EU had nothing to do with inviting Ukraine to join the EU and was aimed in the short term at preventing it from joining the Customs Union. This is what an impartial and unbiased person said. When they deliberately decided to go down the path of escalation in Ukraine, they forgot many things, and had a clear understanding of how such moves would be viewed in Russia. They forgot the advice of, say, Otto von Bismarck, who had said that disparaging the millions-strong great Russian people would be the biggest political mistake.

President Vladimir Putin said the other day that no one in history has yet managed to subjugate Russia to its influence. This is not an assessment, but a statement of fact. Yet such an attempt has been made to quench the thirst for expanding the geopolitical space under Western control, out of a mercantile fear to lose the spoils of what they across the Atlantic had persuaded themselves was the victory in the Cold War.

The plus of today’s situation is that everything has clicked into its place and the calculus behind the West’s actions has been revealed despite its professed readiness to build a security community, a common European home. To quote (singer/song-writer) Bulat Okudzhava, “The past is getting clearer and clearer.” The clarity is becoming more tangible. Today our task is not only to sort out the past (although that must be done), but most importantly, to think about the future.

Talks about Russia’s isolation do not merit serious discussion. I need hardly dwell on this before this audience. Of course, one can damage our economy, and damage is being done, but only by doing harm to those who are taking corresponding measures and, equally important, destroying the system of international economic relations, the principles on which it is based. Formerly, when sanctions were applied (I worked at the Russian mission to the UN at the time) our Western partners, when discussing the DPRK, Iran or other states, said that it was necessary to formulate the restrictions in such a way as to keep within humanitarian limits and not to cause damage to the social sphere and the economy, and to selectively target only the elite. Today everything is the other way around: Western leaders are publicly declaring that the sanctions should destroy the economy and trigger popular protests. So, as regards the conceptual approach to the use of coercive measures the West unequivocally demonstrates that it does not merely seek to change Russian policy (which in itself is illusory), but it seeks to change the regime — and practically nobody denies this.

President Vladimir Putin, speaking with journalists recently, said that today’s Western leaders have a limited planning horizon. Indeed, it is dangerous when decisions on key problems of the development of the world and humankind as a whole are taken on the basis of short electoral cycles: in the United States the cycle is two years and each time one has to think of or do something to win votes. This is the negative side of the democratic process, but we cannot afford to ignore it. We cannot accept the logic when we are told to resign, relax and take it as a given that everyone has to suffer because there are elections in the United States every two years. This is just not right. We will not resign ourselves to this because the stakes are too high in the fight against terror, the threats of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and many bloody conflicts whose negative impact goes far beyond the framework of the corresponding states and regions. The wish to do something to gain unilateral advantages or to endear oneself to the electorate ahead of another election leads to chaos and confusion in international relations.

We hear the daily repeated mantra that Washington is aware of its own exclusiveness and its duty to bear this burden, to lead the rest of the world. Rudyard Kipling spoke about “the white man’s burden.” I hope that this is not what drives Americans. The world today is not white or black, but multi-coloured and heterogeneous. Leadership in this world can be assured not by persuading oneself of one’ exclusiveness and God-given duty to be responsible for everyone, but only by the ability and craft in forming a consensus. If the US partners committed their power to this goal, this would be priceless, and Russia would be actively helping them.

However, so far, US administrative resources still work only in the NATO framework, and then with substantial reservations, and its writ does not reach beyond the North Atlantic Alliance. One proof of this is the results of US attempts to make the world community follow its line in connection with the anti-Russian sanctions and principles. I have spoken about it more than once and we have ample proof of the fact that American ambassadors and envoys across the world seek meetings at the highest level to argue that the corresponding countries are obliged to punish Russia together with them or else face the consequences. This is done with regard to all countries, including our closest allies (this speaks volumes about the kind of analysts Washington has). An overwhelming majority of the states with which we have a continuing dialogue without any restrictions and isolation, as you see, value Russia’s independent role in the international arena. Not because they like it when somebody challenges the Americans, but because they realise that the world order will not be stable if nobody is allowed to speak his mind (although privately the overwhelming majority do express their opinion, but they do not want to do so publicly for fear of Washington’s reprisals).

Many reasonable analysts understand that there is a widening gap between the global ambitions of the US Administration and the country’s real potential. The world is changing and, as has always happened in history, at some point somebody’s influence and power reach their peak and then somebody begins to develop still faster and more effectively. One should study history and proceed from realities. The seven developing economies headed by BRICS already have a bigger GDP than the Western G7. One should proceed from the facts of life, and not from a misconceived sense of one’s own grandeur.

It has become fashionable to argue that Russia is waging a kind of “hybrid war” in Crimea and in Ukraine. It is an interesting term, but I would apply it above all to the United States and its war strategy – it is truly a hybrid war aimed not so much at defeating the enemy militarily as at changing the regimes in the states that pursue a policy Washington does not like. It is using financial and economic pressure, information attacks, using others on the perimeter of a corresponding state as proxies and of course information and ideological pressure through externally financed non-governmental organisations. Is it not a hybrid process and not what we call war? It would be interesting to discuss the concept of the hybrid war to see who is waging it and is it only about “little green men.”

Apparently the toolkit of our US partners, who have become adept at using it, is much larger.

In attempting to establish their pre-eminence at a time when new economic, financial and political power centres are emerging, the Americans provoke counteraction in keeping with Newton’s third law and contribute to the emergence of structures, mechanisms, and movements that seek alternatives to the American recipes for solving the pressing problems. I am not referring to anti-Americanism, still less about forming coalitions spearheaded against the United States, but only about the natural wish of a growing number of countries to secure their vital interests and do it the way they think right, and not what they are told “from across the pond.” Nobody is going to play anti-US games just to spite the United States. We face attempts and facts of extra-territorial use of US legislation, the kidnapping of our citizens in spite of existing treaties with Washington whereby these issues are to be resolved through law enforcement and judicial bodies.

According to its doctrine of national security, the United States has the right to use force anywhere, anytime without necessarily asking the UN Security Council for approval. A coalition against the Islamic State was formed unbeknownst to the Security Council. I asked Secretary of State John Kerry why have not they gone to the UN Security Council for this.

He told me that if they did, they would have to somehow designate the status of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Of course, they had to because Syria is a sovereign state and still a member of the UN (no one excluded it from UN membership). The secretary of state said it was wrong because the United States is combating terrorism and the al-Assad regime is the most important factor that galvanises terrorists from around the world and acts as a magnet attracting them to this region in an attempt to overthrow the Syrian regime.

I believe this is perverse logic. If we are talking about precedents (the United States adheres to case law), it is worth remembering the chemical disarmament in Syria when the Assad regime was a completely legitimate partner of the United States, Russia, the OPCW and others. The Americans maintain talks with the Taliban as well. Whenever the United States has an opportunity to benefit from something, it acts quite pragmatically. I’m not sure why the ideologically-driven position took the upper hand this time and the United States chose to believe that Assad cannot be a partner. Perhaps, this is not so much an operation against the Islamic State as paving the way for toppling al-Assad under the guise of a counter-terrorist operation.

Francis Fukuyama recently wrote the book, Political Order and Political Decay, in which he argues that the efficiency of public administration in the United States is declining and the traditions of democratic governance are gradually being replaced with feudal fiefdom ruling methods. This is part of the discussion about someone who lives in a glass house and throws stones.

All of this is happening amid the mounting challenges and problems of the modern world. We are seeing a continued “tug of war” in Ukraine. Trouble is brewing on the south border of the EU. I don’t think the Middle Eastern and North African problems will go away all by themselves. The EU has formed a new commission. New foreign actors have emerged, who will face a serious fight for where to send their basic resources: either for the continuation of reckless schemes in Ukraine, Moldova, etc., within the Eastern Partnership (as advocated by an aggressive minority in the EU), or they will listen to the Southern European countries and focus on what’s happening on the other side of the Mediterranean.

This is a major issue for the EU.

So far, those who are not guided by real problems, but rather by a desire to quickly grab things from freshly turned up ground. It is deplorable. Exporting revolutions – be they democratic, communist or others – never brings any good.

State, public and civilisational structures are actually disintegrating in the MENA region. The destructive energy released in the process can scorch states that are located far beyond this region. Terrorists (including the Islamic State) are claiming a national status. Moreover, they are already beginning to create quasi-governmental bodies there that engage in the administrative work.

On this backdrop, minorities, including Christians, are banished. In Europe, these issues are deemed not politically correct. They are ashamed when we invite them to do something about it together at the OSCE. They wonder why would we focus specifically on Christians? How is that special? The OSCE has held a series of events dedicated to keeping memories about the Holocaust and its victims alive. A few years ago, the OSCE started holding events against Islamophobia. We will be offering an analysis of the processes leading toChristianophobia.

On 4-5 December, OSCE ministerial meetings will be held in Basel, where we will present this proposal. The majority of EU member states elude this topic, because they are ashamed to talk about it. Just as they were ashamed to include in what was then the EU constitution drafted by Valery Giscard d’Estaing a phrase that Europe has Christian roots.

If you don’t remember or respect your own roots and traditions, how would you respect the traditions and values of other people? This is straightforward logic. Comparing what’s happening now in the Middle East to a period of religious wars in Europe, Israeli political scientist Avineri said that the current turmoil is unlikely to end with what the West means when it says “democratic reforms.”

The Arab-Israeli conflict is dead in the water. It’s hard to play on several boards at a time. The Americans are trying to accomplish this, but it doesn’t work for them. In 2013, they took nine months to sort out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I will not go into the reasons, they are known, but they failed at this as well. Now, they asked for more time to try to achieve some progress before the end of 2014, so that the Palestinians wouldn’t go to the UN and sign the Statute of the International Criminal Court, etc. Suddenly, it transpired that negotiations on Iran are underway. The US State Department dumped Palestine to focus on Iran.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and I agreed to talk on this subject some time soon. It’s important to understand that you can’t keep the problem of the Palestinian state deeply frozen forever. Failure to resolve it for nearly 70 years has been a major argument of those who recruit extremists in their ranks, “there’s no justice: it was promised to create two states; the Jewish one was created, but they will never create an Arab state.” Used on a hungry Arab street, these arguments sound quite plausible, and they start calling for a fight for justice using other methods.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Valdai Club meeting in Sochi that we need a new version of interdependence. This was a very topical statement. The leading powers must return to the negotiating table and agree on a new framework that takes into account the basic legitimate interests of all the key parties (I can’t tell you what it should be called, but it should be based on the UN Charter), to agree on reasonable self-imposed restrictions and collective risk management in a system of international relations underpinned by democratic values. Our Western partners promote respect for the rule of law, democracy and minority opinion within countries, while failing to stand up for the same values in international affairs. This leaves Russia as a pioneer in promoting democracy, justice and rule of international law. A new world order can only be polycentric and should reflect the diversity of cultures and civilisations in today’s world.

You are aware of Russia’s commitment to ensuring indivisibility of security in international affairs and holding it in international law. I won’t elaborate on this.

I would like to support the point the SVOP has been making that Russia won’t succeed in becoming a major, successful and confident power of the 21st century without developing its eastern regions. Sergei Karaganov was among the first to conceptualise this idea, and I fully agree. Taking Russia’s relations with the Asia Pacific countries to a new level is an absolute priority. Russia worked along these lines at the Beijing APEC meeting and the G20 forum. We will continue moving in this direction in the new environment created by the upcoming launch of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) on 1 January 2015.

We have been treated as “subhumans.” For over a decade, Russia has been trying to establish partnership ties with NATO through CSTO. These efforts were not just about putting NATO and CSTO “in the same league.” As a matter of fact, CSTO is focused on catching drug dealers and illegal migrants around the Afghan border, and the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation is the backbone of the international security forces, which, among other things, were tasked with fighting the terrorist threat and eliminating its financing schemes, which involve drug trafficking. We tried everything: we pleaded and then demanded real-time contact, so that once NATO detects a caravan transporting drugs and is unable to stop it, it alerts us across the border, so that this caravan could be intercepted by CSTO forces. They simply refused to talk to us. In private conversations, our NATO well-wishers (and I actually mean this in the positive way) told us that the alliance can’t view CSTO as an equal partner for ideological reasons. Until recently, we saw the same condescending and arrogant attitude with respect to the Eurasian economic integration. And that despite the fact that countries intending to join the EAEU have much more in common in terms of their economies, history and culture than many EU members. This union is not about creating barriers with anyone. We always stress how open this union is expected to be. I strongly believe that it will make a significant contribution to building a bridge between Europe and Asia Pacific.

I can’t fail to mention Russia’s comprehensive partnership with China. Important bilateral decisions have been taken, paving the way to an energy alliance between Russia and China. But there’s more to it. We can now even talk about the emerging technology alliance between the two countries. Russia’s tandem with Beijing is a crucial factor for ensuring international stability and at least some balance in international affairs, as well as ensuring the rule of international law. We will make full use of our relations with India and Vietnam, Russia’s strategic partners, as well as the ASEAN countries. We are also open to expanding cooperation with Japan, if our Japanese neighbours can look at their national interests and stop looking back at some overseas powers.

There is no doubt that the European Union is our largest collective partner. No one intends to “shoot himself in the foot” by renouncing cooperation with Europe, although it is now clear that business as usual is no longer an option. This is what our European partners are telling us, but neither do we want to operate the old way. They believed that Russia owed them something, while we want to be on an equal footing. For this reason, things will never be the same again. That said, I’m confident that we will be able to overcome this period, lessons will be learned and a new foundation for our relations will emerge.

The idea of creating a single economic and humanitarian space from Lisbon to Vladivostok can now be heard here and there and is gaining traction. Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has said publicly (while we have been saying it for a long time) that the EU and the EAEU should engage in dialogue. The statement President Vladimir Putin made in Brussels in January 2014, when he proposed the first step by launching negotiations on a free-trade zone between the EU and the Customs Union with an eye on 2020, is no longer viewed as something exotic. All of this has already become part of diplomacy and real politics. Although this is so far only a matter of discussion, I strongly believe that we will one day achieve what is called “the integration of integrations.” This is one of the key topics we want to promote within the OSCE at the Ministerial Council in Basel. Russia is about to assume BRICS and SCO presidency. The two organisations will hold their summits in Ufa. These are very promising organisations for the new age. They are not blocks (especially BRICS), but groups where members share the same interests, representing countries from all continents that share common approaches regarding the future of the global economy, finance and politics.

The Islamic State – America’s Double-Edged Sword

November 26, 2014
by

John McCain admitted he is regular contact with Islamic State
The US Never Intended to Defeat ISIS

By Dmitry Minn

Serious experts are now in little doubt that the US administration was the ‘midwife’ of the Islamic State (IS). 

Renowned Israeli analyst and former head of the ultra-secretive intelligence agency Nativ, Jacob Kedmi, says that the US is now trying to use the tactic of setting moderate Islam against radical Islam, which was «successfully employed in Russia». It is not turning out well for the US, however, considering that for the last three years the Americans have acted as allies of the IS in Syria, and before that were allies of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

On the one hand, the enormously complicated situation in the Middle East has been magically transformed, and simplified, with the emergence of the IS. Everyone has quickly forgotten that Washington’s ‘Arab Spring’ project failed spectacularly, and are now looking together for protection against the ‘Jihadist threat’ from those who created this threat. The most telling example is the improbable humility of oil-rich countries in the Persian Gulf regarding the drop in oil prices detrimental to themselves. Surprisingly, the falling curve of oil quotations came after reports of the Islamic State’s military successes.

The war currently being carried out against the IS by the US Air Force is recognised to be for show and is more reminiscent of an arrangement of red flags, beyond which it is inadvisable to go… 

At the same time, nothing is being done to curb the illegal shipments of oil from territories seized by IS militants; the cost of these shipments has already reached $800 million, allowing the game of lowering prices to be played.

When Barack Obama announced that the strengthening of the Islamic State caught the US intelligence community by surprise, one high-ranking Pentagon official exclaimed in surprise:

«Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting».

America’s involvement in the creation of the IS army is not limited to military supplies. The weekly French newspaper Le Nouvel Observateur writes that the most well-known Chechen emirs of the Islamic State originally come from Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge. There, many of them, including Omar al-Shishani (Tarkhan Batirashvili), who was recently killed according to Ramzan Kadyrov, underwent officer training in the Georgian army under the supervision of experienced American instructors. Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili could probably talk about how these Chechens from Georgia became commanders of the Islamic State’s armed forces. There is also evidence that Daoud Drugeon, a senior officer of the French secret service who switched allegiance to the Islamic State and was considered to be an authority on ‘Arab terrorism’, collaborated with the CIA.

The Anglo-Saxon’s tactic of using ‘jihadists’ to serve the interests of its policy dates back to the time of Laurence of Arabia and to the even earlier period of the Caucasian wars of the 19th century, when the British, having started the ‘Great Game’ with the Russian Empire, fuelled the ‘holy fire of jihad’ among the mountain dwellers of the Caucasus and the peoples of Central Asia. 

After the Second World War, London took great pains to create the Muslim Brotherhood Movement in the Middle East to counterbalance the Arab socialism that was gaining momentum there. It is also known that this experience was used by Israel, which, as Jacob Kedmi acknowledges, helped or «did not prevent» the creation of Hamas as a rival to Fatah, which was more influential at that time.

On the other hand, however, the Islamic State is becoming an increasingly dangerous weapon that could seriously wound its creator. Following reports that the US Air Force had allegedly killed ‘caliph’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an audio recording emerged in which he denied the premature rumours of his death and announced the expansion of the self-proclaimed caliphate. According to al-Baghdadi, as well as a third of Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State now also controls parts of Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and the Sinai Peninsula. Al-Baghdadi called for soldiers of the caliphate to join allied groups in order to «erupt volcanoes of jihad everywhere», especially in Saudi Arabia. Kurdish sources believe that Western estimates of 50,000 IS militants are too low, and a more realistic number is as many as 200,000, with a population of nearly 12 million people under their control.

A recently released video shows a map of the Islamic State with ‘conquered’ territories and groups from Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Algeria swearing oaths of allegiance to al-Baghdadi.

The Islamic State is declared the successor to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda. Its goals are stated as being the conquest of the whole of the Middle East, followed by Rome and then Al-Andalus (the Iberian Peninsula). After restoring the borders of the historic caliphate, the Islamic State will turn to the East to conquer China and Japan. The final phase will be the conquest of America. The video also contains images of the beheading of Syrian prisoners in which representatives of various nationalities perform the role of executioner (citizens of Belgium, France, Britain and Australia have been identified, as well as an Uzbek and a Malaysian).

From a military point of view, of course, plans for the worldwide expansion of the ‘caliphate’ seem like the fruit of an exalted imagination. However, it is impossible to underestimate the fanaticism of ideas and the overall scale of the threat. When IS militants enter a town, it seems that there is already an extensive underground network there waiting for them. Regular government troops find themselves between a rock and a hard place and take flight in the face of what would seem to be a much weaker opponent. Young Muslims, stirred up by the Washington-inspired ‘Arab Spring’ and then disillusioned with it, are looking for new ideological orientations. This danger has already moved beyond, or is just about to move beyond, the Middle East.

The panic that has broken out in the West in connection with the spread of Ebola becomes clear if we know that a number of African countries have reported cases of the theft and seizure of test tubes containing the Ebola virus from laboratories. According to analysts from various intelligence agencies, it is possible that the Islamic State is getting reading for a ‘virus kamikaze’, where they will infect their blood and then show up in public places in Western cities: from shopping centres to museums and sports stadiums. Humanity has never been faced with such acts of ‘bioterrorism’, and the consequences are impossible to imagine.

Speaking at a meeting of his supporters on 20 November, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad rightly said that IS terrorist groups did not come from nowhere, but are «the fruit of the mistaken and aggressive policies of those who have waged war on Syria». According to al-Assad, Obama’s statements on the «illegitimacy» of the current Syrian government is only pushing the Sunnis that live in the country to join the IS. It seems that the international coalition against the Islamic State set up by the Americans is also being destroyed by those same Americans.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Egypt Vows to Confront Planned Brotherhood Protests

Al-Manar

policemen

Egyptian authorities are bracing for potential violence on Friday following calls by Muslim Brotherhood group for nationwide protests against the government, with security forces vowing to crackdown on any unrest.

They have called on their followers to carry copies of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, during the protests.

Interior Ministry said it has prepared special security units to deal with such new kind of protests.

The ministry also announced that it broke up a “terrorist” cell associated with the Muslim Brotherhood that was planning to spread nationwide unrest on Friday. It said the group members were planning to disguise in military uniforms for conducting terror operations.

The call for nationwide rallies Friday is the first attempt in months to hold large protests in the face of an overwhelming crackdown. It remains uncertain whether they will succeed in pulling large numbers into the streets.

The country’s army on Thursday took charge of protecting vital state installations following an order to this end last month by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

This comes as the cabinet approved on Wednesday a draft anti-terrorism law that would give the government blanket power to ban groups on charges ranging from harming national unity to disrupting public order.

Source: Websites

28-11-2014 – 11:08 Last updated 28-11-2014 – 11:08

ماذا بعد _ د حسن نافعة ، احمد بان _ ماذا سيحدث غدا ؟ | لمنار 27 11 2014

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River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

The hypocrisy of the USA, falsely accusing Syria of targeting civilians while training, arming & funding terrorists

Syria denies targeting civilians, tells US to criticise militants

http://www.worldbulletin.net/world/149425/syria-denies-targeting-civilians-tells-us-to-criticise-militants

Syria denies targeting civilians, tells US to criticise militants

“The Syrian Arab Army does not target civilians and will not do so,” state news agency SANA quoted Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi as saying

World Bulletin/News Desk

Syria rejected as “fabricated” U.S. accusations that its forces are targeting civilians with air strikes and said Washington would do better to criticise militants who have killed American citizens.

The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday it was “horrified” by Syrian government bombings in Raqqa province which it said had killed “dozens of civilians and demolished residential areas”.

“The Syrian Arab Army does not target civilians and will not do so,” state news agency SANA quoted Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi as saying late on Thursday.

He said Washington got its information from “terrorist organisations” in Syria such as ISIL and Nusra Front.

Tuesday’s government strikes on the northern province killed 95 civilians, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Both the Syrian military and U.S.-led forces are bombing Syrian targets in separate campaigns and both say they are pursuing militant groups.

“The U.S. State Department should rather have shown respect for the souls of American victims at the hands of terrorists from the Daesh (ISIL) organisation and not directed fabricated accusations towards the Syrian state which has been facing terrorism for years,” Zoubi was quoted by SANA as saying.

Three U.S. civilians – two journalists and an aid worker – have been killed by ISIL.

The United States has backed anti-government rebels and wants to train and equip some to counter ISIL. Qatar has been running a camp for rebels, sources say.

The government of President Bashar al-Assad has characterised all opponents of his rule as extremists.

“Everyone has to choose between two options – either you are with terrorism, Daesh, Nusra Front and others or you are countering terrorism,” Zoubi said.

he United Nations estimates that some 200,000 people have been killed in Syria’s civil war since 2011.

Malaysia’s Exclusion From MH17 Investigation Foreshadows Politically Motivated Outcome

MH17: Malaysia’s Barring from Investigation Reeks of Cover-up

3545343It was a Malaysian jet, carrying Malaysian passengers, flown by Malaysian pilots, yet after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July 2014, Malaysia has been systematically blocked from participating in the investigation, leaving an overwhelmingly pro-NATO bloc in charge of the evidence, investigation and outcome as well as the manner in which the investigation will be carried out.

Despite the integral role Malaysia has played during several pivotal moments in the aftermath of the disaster, it appears that the closer to the truth the investigation should be getting, the further Malaysia itself is being pushed from both the evidence and any influence it has on the likely conclusions of the investigation. With the downed aircraft in question being Malaysian, Malaysia as a partner in the investigation would seem a given. Its exclusion from the investigation appears to be an indication that the investigation’s objectivity has been compromised and that the conclusions it draws will likely be politically motivated.

Joint Investigation Team Includes, Excludes Surprising Members 

With the Dutch leading the investigation, the logic being that the flight originated from the Netherlands and the majority of the passengers were Dutch, it has formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT). At the onset of its creation it seemed obvious that Malaysia would too be included, considering it lost the second largest number of citizens to the disaster and the plane itself was registered in Malaysia. Instead, JIT would end up comprised of Belgium, Ukraine, and Australia, specifically excluding Malaysia.

Malaysia was both surprised and has protested its exclusion from JIT, and has repeatedly expressed a desire to be included directly in the investigation.

Malaysia’s Star newspaper would report, “Malaysian Ambassador to the Netherlands Datuk Dr Fauziah Mohd Taib said Malaysia had not been invited to officially join the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which is undertaking the criminal probe.” It would also report that, “Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said recently that Malaysia had expressed its stand very clearly that it must be part of the criminal investigation team and had informed Dutch authorities of its intention.”

The Malaysian Insider cited Malaysian scholar Dr. Chandra Muzaffar who believes the decision to exclude his country from the investigation is politically motivated, aiming at excluding members that may urge caution and objectivity instead of draw conclusions first and bend the investigation’s results around those conclusions. In particular, Dr. Muzaffar believes that the investigations is intentionally being skewed to target Russia.

Ukraine’s involvement in the investigation is particularly troublesome. Had MH17 crashed in Ukraine under different circumstances, Ukraine’s role would be welcome. However, it was apparently shot down specifically in a conflict in which Kiev itself is a participant. With both sides of the conflict possessing anti-aircraft weapons and with Kiev itself confirmed to possess weapons capable of reaching the altitude MH17 was flying at when it was allegedly hit, Kiev becomes a possible suspect in the investigation. Kiev’s inclusion in JIT represents a monumental conflict of interest.

Imagine a potential suspect leading an investigation into a crime they may have committed. The possibilities to cover up, skew, spin, tamper with or otherwise distort both the evidence and the outcome of the investigation are endless.

And to compound this already glaring conflict of interest, it was revealed recently that an alleged “secret deal” was struck by JIT in which any member could bar the release of evidence. With all members of JIT being pro-NATO and decidedly arrayed against Moscow, such a “deal” could prevent crucial evidence from being revealed that would effect an otherwise distorted conclusion drawn by the investigators aimed specifically at advancing their greater political agenda in Eastern Europe. Had Malaysia been a member of JIT, the ability of other members to withhold evidence would have been greatly diminished and it is likely such a bizarre deal would not have been conceivable, real or imaged, in the first place.

Malaysia’s Exclusion Foreshadows Politically Motivated Outcome 

With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine perceived as a proxy war between NATO and Moscow, JIT’s membership including the NATO-backed Kiev regime itself (a possible suspect), two NATO members (Belgium and the Netherlands) and Australia who has passed sanctions against Russia over the conflict, is a textbook case of conflict of interest.

Those nations and international organizations calling for an investigation and for justice but who ignore the obvious problem of participants in a conflict investigating a key incident that may benefit their agenda directly, indicates that such calls for justice are disingenuous and instead, what is being done is not an investigation, but a politically motivated witch-hunt aimed at serving an ulterior motive.

Malaysia is not generally perceived to be a stanch ally of Moscow, but it is neither a loyal client state of Washington, London or Brussels. On many issues, Malaysia has exhibited an independence in foreign policy that has perturbed the so-called international order maintained by the West. And Malaysia’s internal politics have long wrestled to stem inroads by Washington’s favorites including Anwar Ibrahim and his political faction, Pakatan Rakyat.

Its inclusion in the investigation would provide a much needed, impartial counterweight to an otherwise fully pro-NATO JIT membership.

To casual observers, the current investigation led by NATO members and Kiev, a possible suspect, would be no different than the Donetsk People’s Republic and Russia leading it. Few would consider a DPR or Russian led investigation impartial, and few should see a NATO-led investigation as impartial. Had Malaysia been included in the process, an argument could have been made that an actual investigation was taking place rather than a complex propaganda campaign.

Malaysia’s exclusion is a troubling sign for the victims of the MH17 disaster, meaning the true culprits will never be known. The overt politically motivated nature of the investigation will on one hand  help fuel NATO’s propaganda war, but on the other hand, fuel the doubts of millions worldwide over the true events that took place in the skies of eastern Ukraine that day. Like so many other events in human history that took place amid a high stake political struggle, the downing of MH17 will be shrouded in mystery, mystery draped over the truth by the irresponsible leadership of NATO, and those in Washington, London and Brussels egging on the conflict in Ukraine to this very day.
First appeared: http://journal-neo.org/2014/11/28/mh17-malaysia-s-barring-from-investigation-reeks-of-cover-up/

 

Cycle of Death, Destruction and Rebuilding Continues in Gaza

http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/10/cycle-of-death-destruction-and-rebuilding-continues-in-gaza/

Displaced Palestinians gather at a United Nations school in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 26, 2014. Families found refuge after fleeing their homes in an area under heavy aerial bombardment in the besieged Palestinian territory. Credit: UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

Displaced Palestinians gather at a United Nations school in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 26, 2014. Families found refuge after fleeing their homes in an area under heavy aerial bombardment in the besieged Palestinian territory. Credit: UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 13 2014 (IPS) - When the international pledging conference to rebuild a devastated Gaza ended in Cairo over the weekend – the third such conference in less than six years – the lingering question among donors was: is this the last of it or are there more assaults to come?

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon implicitly warned of the futility of the continuing exercise when he said: “We cannot continue to build and destroy – and build and destroy – like this. This should be the last reconstruction conference”.

“Donors who keep footing the bill to rebuild Gaza should insist that Israel lift unjustified restrictions that are worsening a grim humanitarian situation and needlessly punishing civilians.” — Sarah Leah Whitson

But will it?

The total amount pledged at the Cairo conference was around 5.4 billion dollars.

The funds came mostly from the European Union (568 million dollars) and oil-blessed Gulf nations, including Qatar (1.0 billion dollars), Saudi Arabia (500 million dollars, pledged before the conference), United Arab Emirates and Kuwait (200 million dollars each) and the United States (212 million dollars).

Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director, Middle East & North Africa Division at Human Rights Watch (HRW), told IPS many of the participants in the Gaza reconstruction have proclaimed their understanding that money is not enough to Israel’s never-ending cycle of death and destruction in Gaza.

“What’s still missing is the international community’s commitment to opening the borders of Gaza so that people there can have a basis of normal life, develop their economy, and take one step away from poverty and handouts,” she added.

Nadia Hijab, executive director of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, told IPS Ban Ki-moon is right that reconstruction followed by destruction is an exercise in futility, but he appears to feel no responsibility in making sure the destruction doesn’t happen.

“The United Nations was set up to avoid the gross violation of rights that Israel has repeatedly visited upon Gaza – and upon the Palestinian people over nearly seven decades.”

Ban, in particular, is well-placed to hold Israel accountable under many legal instruments, she pointed out.

“But for decades the U.N. secretary-general has never acted until world powers asked him to do so. And world powers only act in their own interests,” she said.

Hijab also said the reconstruction conference on Gaza is an attempt by these same world powers to be seen to be dealing with the aftermath of an Israeli assault that provoked worldwide outrage. But if the “international community” really cared about the Palestinians of Gaza, they would order Israel to lift its blockade without delay, she declared.

“And follow that by cutting back on their trade and military ties with Israel until it quits the occupied Palestinian territory,” said Hijab.

When the 54-day conflict between Hamas and Israel ended last August, there were over 2,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 73 Israelis killed.

The hostilities in July-August significantly worsened a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, according to HRW. They left 108,000 people homeless, completely destroyed 26 schools and four primary health centres, and destroyed or damaged 350 businesses and 17,000 hectares of agricultural land, according to a U.N. assessment.

Unemployment in Gaza, already at 45 percent, climbed even higher since the fighting, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reported.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who participated in the pledging conference, was constrained to remark, “This is the third time in less than six years that together with the people of Gaza, we have been forced to confront a reconstruction effort.

“[And] this is the third time in less than six years that we’ve seen war break out and Gaza left in rubble. This is the third time in less than six years that we’ve had to rely on a ceasefire, a temporary measure, to halt the violence,” he said.

“Now, I don’t think there’s any person here who wants to come yet again to rebuild Gaza only to think that two years from now or less were going to be back at the same table talking about rebuilding Gaza again because the fundamental issues have not been dealt with,” Kerry declared, taking a passing shot at Israel.

Ban said “whatever we may reconstruct this may not be sustainable if it is not supported by political dialogue. That is why peace talks are the most important. There is no alternative to dialogue and resolving all these underlying issues through political negotiations,” he noted.

He said this must be the last Gaza reconstruction conference.

“The cycle of building and destroying must end. Donors may be fatigued but the people of Gaza are bruised and bloody. Enough is enough,” he added.

In a statement released here, HRW said blanket Israeli restrictions unconnected or disproportionate to security considerations unnecessarily harm people’s access to food, water, education, and other fundamental rights in Gaza.

Israel’s unwillingness to lift such restrictions will seriously hinder a sustainable recovery after a seven-year blockade and the July-August fighting that damaged much of Gaza.

“The U.N. Security Council should reinforce previous resolutions ignored by Israel calling for the removal of unjustified restrictions,” HRW said.

Meanwhile, Israel’s blockade of Gaza, reinforced by Egypt, has largely prevented the export and import of commercial and agricultural goods, crippling Gaza’s economy, as well as travel for personal, educational, and health reasons, according to HRW.

“Donors who keep footing the bill to rebuild Gaza should insist that Israel lift unjustified restrictions that are worsening a grim humanitarian situation and needlessly punishing civilians,” HRW’s Whitson said.

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