Hypocrisies About Refugees

July 05, 2019

Hypocrisies About Refugees

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

Here are two visuals from the latest annual U.N. report about the world’s refugee situation, “UNHCR Global Trends 2018”, and though these images don’t pack the emotional punch of a child’s corpse that has just been washed upon a beach after drowning when his family had attempted to escape from a country that the U.S. and its allies were ‘trying to make free’ by bombing it to hell, each of these two pictures below contains a much bigger and more important message than does any such tear-jerking image or anecdote, but each of these pictures requires a bit of intelligence in order to understand it:

The first picture shows the result of the U.S. regime’s regime-change wars under Obama and Trump, in Syria and Venezuela especially. (Syria by using Al Qaeda in Syria to lead jihadists to bring down the Government, and Venezuela by strangulating sanctions that have produced an economic blockade which prohibits food and medicine from being able to reach the population). The 9-year earlier “UNHCR Global Trends 2009”, which covered the end of the George W. Bush Presidency, had reported that “There were 43.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide at the end of 2009,” and that this was up from 42.0 million in 2008. The “UNHCR Global Trends 2007” said only that “available information suggests that a total of 67 million people had been forcibly displaced at the end of 2007”, and so there might have been a reduction during the later years of Bush’s Presidency. In any case, the number of “forcibly displaced people” was stable during the final years of Bush’s second term and the entirety of Barack Obama’s first term, until 2012. 2011 was the first year of the Arab Spring uprisings, which were a CIA production, as was documented by two books from Ahmed Bensada, each of which was well reviewed by Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, in her two articles, one on 18 January 2014, and the other on 25 October 2015. Of course, the impression that the American public was presented about the Arab Spring uprisings is that those were spontaneous. Actually, Obama came into office in 2009 hoping to overthrow Syria’s Government.

So, whereas the numbers had been stable for Obama’s first term of office, all hell broke loose throughout his second term, with his invasions of Libya and Syria, plus his continuation of George W. Bush’s occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq. And, now, under Trump, the number is back again to GWB’s peak level and rising.

As I noted on June 30th under the headline “U.S. Government Tops All For Creating Refugees”, “the U.S. regime’s regime-change operations produce around half of the entire world’s refugee-problem.” That fact is shown in the second visual here. (Just look at Syria and Venezuela there.) What the first visual shows is that the U.S. regime’s attempts to overthrow the Governments of Syria and of Venezuela caused those global totals to soar. Those two nations alone accounted for nearly half of the global total, and part of the rest was from America’s prior invasions: Afghanistan, Iraq, the U.S.-backed coup in Honduras in 2009, etc. America’s invasions and attempted coups (such as in Venezuela) provided the dynamos that drove those rising numbers of refugees.

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton at The Gray Zone headlined on June 19th, “This celebrated Western-funded nonprofit collaborated with al-Qaeda to wage lawfare on Syria” and documented how U.S.-and-allied billionaires and the U.S. Government fund “lawfare,” a war in international courts, and not only a huge international propaganda campaign to demonize Bashar al-Assad, in order to overthrow him. I had previously documented that “U.S. Protects Al Qaeda in Syria”. Actually, Obama bombed Syria’s army at the oil center city of Deir Ezzor on 17 September 2016 in order to enable both Al Qaeda and ISIS to take over that city. The U.S. team talk a storm against “terrorism” but quietly (along with the monarchs of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar) sponsor it as being “boots-on-the-ground” fighters — proxies there, instead of U.S. troops — to bring down leaders such as Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad.

So, when the U.S. and its allies complain about the refugee crisis, and pontificate against “dictators,” and assert international law when they are the worst violators of international law, maybe they enjoy fooling their own public, but outside the U.S. alliance, their lying and evil are obvious. It even shows up clearly in the UNHCR’s statistics (such as those visuals). Obviously, China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and other nations that the U.S. regime labels as ‘enemies’, are not to blame for those tens of millions of refugees. The U.S. and its allies definitely are to blame for it. This isn’t a situation where the pot is calling the kettle black, but instead it’s one where the pot is calling the fresh-fallen snow black, and in which only propagandistic ’news’ media refuse to reveal this to their audiences. The snow is white, and the U.S. regime and its allies are red, covered with their tens of millions of victims’ blood and flaming misery.

International poll after international poll finds that the country which is considered to be “the greatest threat to peace in the world today” by the most people worldwide is the U.S., but that Americans don’t think it’s true. So: who is right? Americans? Or the rest of the world? Now, why would people outside the U.S. believe that way? Maybe it’s because of “communist propaganda”? The most important thing to recognize is that the U.S. is a dictatorship. That scientifically demonstrated fact explains a lot. None of these sanctions and coups and invasions against countries that had never invaded nor in any way endangered the U.S. could exist otherwise than this, because any dictatorship is based upon lies. Invading Iraq was based upon lies. Invading Afghanistan was based upon lies. Invading Syria was based upon lies. Invading Libya was based upon lies. The economic sanctions against Russia are based upon lies.American foreign policies are based upon lies. It’s no wonder, then, why Americans are so misinformed.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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A Peek into the Horrific Findings of the UN Report on israel’s (apartheid state) Massacre of Gaza Protesters

A Peek into the Horrific Findings of the UN Report on Israel’s Massacre of Gaza Protesters

The commission found serious human rights violations that may constitute crimes against humanity and called on Israel to “Lift the blockade on Gaza with immediate effect.

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council have released a powerful report, on the Gaza ‘Great Return March’ demonstrations, stating that they have grounds to believe Israel committed International War Crimes against demonstrators during “large-scale civilian protests”.The 22-page document has been condemned by the Israeli government, as there is talk of Israel being brought to the International Court of Justice and tried for war crimes and violations of International Law against demonstrations that “were civilian in nature”.

The commission conducted 325 interviews and meetings with victims, witnesses, government officials and members of civil society, from all sides, and gathered more than 8,000 documents, including affidavits, medical reports, open source reports, social media content, written submissions and expert legal opinions, video and drone footage, and photographs.”

Here are the most important points concluded in the report:

  • The commission found in the killings of 189 demonstrators between 30 March and 31 December 2018, 183 were killed with live ammunition, including 35 children, 3 health workers and 2 members of the Press. Only 29 of those killed were members of Palestinian armed groups.
  • Only 4 Israeli snipers were lightly injured, none were killed by demonstrators.
  • 23,313 Palestinian demonstrators were injured during the 2018 demonstrations, 6106 with live ammunition, “contributing to the highest toll of injuries recorded in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 2005.
  • On the killing of child demonstrators, the commission found “reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot them intentionally, knowing that they were children”.
  • On the killing of health workers, “the commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers intentionally shot health workers, despite seeing that they were clearly marked as such”.
  • On the killings of journalists, “the commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot journalists intentionally, despite seeing that they were clearly marked as such”.
  • The commission found that both male and female protestors were shot in the groin. The female victims told the commission they are now “unlikely to be able to have children”.
  • The policy of the Israeli Minister of Defense, was to deny passage to any person injured during demonstrations, causing unnecessary deaths and life changing injuries.
  • According to the commission, except in two possible cases, “the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces against demonstrators was unlawful”.
  • Israel used a “disproportionate use of force”.
  • The “demonstrators were shot in violation of their right to life or of the principle of distinction under international humanitarian law”.
  • The commission found “reasonable grounds to believe that the excessive use of force by Israeli security forces violated the rights” of thousands of demonstrators who were peaceful.
  • The commission found “reasonable grounds” to believe that Israel violated “The Convention on the Rights of the Child”.
  • “Violations of international law, such as those committed by Israeli security forces and set out in this report, give rise to State responsibility…”.

The commission found serious human rights violations that may constitute crimes against humanity and called on Israel to “Lift the blockade on Gaza with immediate effect.

The often repeated Israeli claims of the protests being inspired and organized by “Hamas terrorists”, were also addressed in the report, which stated that the demonstrations were inspired by the internet posts of 34-year-old Palestinian poet and journalist, Ahmed Abu Artema, with the demonstrations being organized by “A higher national committee and 12 subcommittees.”

The report went on to say, that “while the members of the committee held diverse political views, they stated that their unifying element was the principle that the march was to be “fully peaceful from beginning to end” and demonstrators would be unarmed”.

Activities such as the use of incendiary kites, cutting barbed wire or tire burning were organized by “self-declared” units. The report further states “the commission found no evidence to suggest that they were directed or coordinated by armed groups”.

The commission interviewed what it called an international journalist who said, “I have covered wars in Syria, Yemen, Libya. I have never seen anything like this. The slow methodical shooting. It was just shocking…”

The commission also noted that Israel refused to assist with the UN investigation and did not “cooperate or provide information.”

The following is a sample of the cases investigated by the commission.

 

March 30 demonstrations

Palestine Israel | Gaza Protest<img class=”size-full wp-image-256004″ src=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited.jpg” alt=”Palestine Israel | Gaza Protest” width=”1400″ height=”942″ srcset=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited.jpg 1400w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-300×202.jpg 300w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-768×517.jpg 768w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-800×538.jpg 800w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-1145×770.jpg 1145w” sizes=”(max-width: 1400px) 100vw, 1400px” />

Palestinian protesters carry a wounded youth who was shot by Israeli troops during a March 30, 2018 demonstration on the Gaza Israel border. Khalil Hamra | AP

Injury of 17 Mohammed Ajouri (17 years old)

      • “Israeli forces shot Mohammad, a student-athlete, in the back of his right leg as he gave onions to demonstrators to relieve tear-gas symptoms, approximately 300 m from the fence. His leg had to be amputated.”

The murder of Abdel Fatah Nabi (18 years old)

      • “Israeli forces killed Abed, from Beit Lahia, when they shot him in the back of the head as he ran, carrying a tyre, away from and about 400 m from the separation fence.”

The murder of Bader Sabagh (19 years old)

      • “Bader, from Jabaliya, was killed by Israeli forces when they shot him in the head as he stood smoking a cigarette 300 m from the separation fence.”

Injury and murder of schoolgirl (13 years old) and Marwan Qudieh (45 years old)

      • “Israeli forces injured a schoolgirl with bullet fragmentation. As she lay on the ground, four men attempted to evacuate her. The forces shot three of them, killing Marwan Qudieh (45) from Khuzaa village and injuring a potato seller and another man in the legs. One of the rescuers had to have a leg amputated.”

Injury of Alaa Dali (21 years old)

      • “Alaa, a member of the Palestinian cycling team, was shot by Israeli forces in the leg as he stood holding his bicycle, wearing his cycling kit, watching the demonstrations, approximately 300 m from the separation fence. His right leg had to be amputated, ending his cycling career.”

 

May 14 demonstration, seven children killed

Israel Palestine | Gaza Protest<img class=”size-full wp-image-241991″ src=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988.jpg” alt=”Israel Palestine | Gaza Protest” width=”1600″ height=”901″ srcset=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988.jpg 1600w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-300×169.jpg 300w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-768×432.jpg 768w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-800×451.jpg 800w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-1145×645.jpg 1145w” sizes=”(max-width: 1600px) 100vw, 1600px” />

Palestinian children suffering from teargas inhalation recover in a medical tent during a protest near Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, May 14, 2018. Dusan Vranic | AP

      • “On 14 May, Israeli security forces shot and killed seven children: a girl, Wisal Khalil (14), and six boys: Izzedine al-Samak (13); Said al-Kheir (15); Ahmad al-Sha’ar (15); Talal Matar (15); Saadi Abu Salah (16); and Ibrahim al-Zarqa (17).”

The murder of Mohammad Najar (33 years old)

      • “Israeli forces shot Mohammad, a naval police officer, in the chest, killing him, as he sat on a hill with a friend, around 500 m from the separation fence.”

The murder of Yasser Abu Naja (11 years old)

      • “On 29 June, Israeli forces killed Yasser from Khan Younis with a shot to the head as he was hiding with two friends behind a bin, approximately 200 m from the separation fence. The children had been chanting national slogans at Israeli forces.”

The murder of Nasser Mosabeh (11 years old)

      • “Nasser was from Khan Younis. On 28 September, Israeli forces shot him in the back of the head as he stood 250 m from the separation fence. He died the same day.”

The murder of Razan Al-Najar (20 years old)

      • “On 1 June, an Israeli sniper bullet hit Razan, of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society and who at the time was wearing a white paramedic vest and standing with other volunteer paramedics approximately 110 m from the separation fence, in the chest at the Khuzaa site, east of Khan Younis. She died in hospital.”

The murder of Yasser Murtaja (30 years old)

      • “On 6 April, Yasser, a journalist from Gaza City, was shot in the lower abdomen by Israeli forces at the Khan Younis site while he was filming the demonstrations for a documentary. He was wearing a blue helmet and a dark blue bulletproof vest clearly marked “Press”. He died the following day.”

Amputation of Abed Nofal (11 years old)

      • “On 17 April, Abed, a schoolboy from the Bureij refugee camp, was shot by Israeli forces while he was playing football near the separation fence. His leg had to be amputated.”

The extended version of the report is set to be released on March 18, 2019. The commission recommended that UN members consider imposing individual sanctions, such as travel bans or an asset freezes on those responsible.

Top Photo | A relative reacts to the lifeless body 15-year old Palestinian boy, Azzam Hillal (Owidah), at the family home during his funeral in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, April 28, 2018. The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza says a boy has died a day after being shot in the head by Israeli soldiers. Khalil Hamra | AP

Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, political analyst and human rights activist who specializes in delivering insight into the geopolitical scene of the Middle East, specializing in the political and humanitarian situation in Palestine.

‘israel (apartheid state) must abide by international humanitarian law,’ insists Red Cross

‘Israel must abide by international humanitarian law,’ insists Red Cross

international-committee-red-cross-icrc-2

The International Committee of the Red Cross has insisted that, as the occupying power in the West Bank, Israel is bound by international humanitarian law.

“It has a duty to ensure the protection, security and welfare of the people living under occupation and to guarantee that they can live as normal a life as possible, in accordance with their own laws, culture and traditions,” explained David Quesne, the head of the ICRC mission in Jerusalem.

The ICRC official also expressed concern that Israel is to demolish the Palestinian West Bank village of Khan Al-Ahmar and called for the state to respect the law. “The International Committee of the Red Cross is deeply concerned by Israel’s decision to demolish private houses and other structures in Khan Al-Ahmar village in Area C of the West Bank,” he said. “The planned demolitions will dramatically affect the lives and dignity of this community.”

In his statement, Quesne pointed out that, “As long as zoning and planning policies in the West Bank fail to serve the population living under occupation, they cannot be used as justification for destruction of property.”

Good riddance: Russia welcomes US pullout from UNHRC, says council can work better now

Source

Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative at the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva (file photo)Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative at the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva (file photo)

Russia has welcomed the United States’ pullout from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), saying the body has lost nothing and can operate more freely now.

“I cannot say that the council lost anything,” Russia’s permanent representative at the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, said Wednesday.

“Moreover, I hope that in the wake of the United States’ walkout there will be less politicization, double standards and confrontation,” he added.

The comments came a day after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Washington’s withdrawal over what they called the body’s entrenched bias against Israel.

Speaking at the US State Department in Washington, Haley called the UNHRC a “cesspool of political bias” and accused it of protecting “human rights abusers.”

Pompeo was also scathing in his remarks, blasting the UNHRC for its “shameless hypocrisy” in allowing “some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself.”

Shortly after the UNHRC’s formation in 2006, the administration of then-US President George Bush announced that it would not seek a seat on the council. The boycott continued until 2009, when under President Barack Obama the White House announced willingness to join the council.

Referring to the first US boycott, Gatilov said Wednesday that the UNHRC pushed ahead with no problem back then.

“And I believe it will lose nothing this time,” he argued.

The US administration has long pressured the UNHRC to end its scrutiny of Israel’s widespread human rights abuses against Palestinians.

In May, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said Israel has systematically deprived Palestinians of their human rights, with 1.9 million in Gaza “caged in a toxic slum from birth to death.”

Scores of Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli forces in Gaza since March 30, when they began protests for their right to return to their homelands in the occupied territories.

‘Boorish cynicism’

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also reacted to the US pullout on Wednesday and said it only confirmed Washington’s long-running double standards.

“Our US counterparts have shown boorish cynicism – they are reluctant to admit that they have human rights issues themselves but at the same time, they continue attempts to reshape the council to make it serve their needs, stressing that there was no place for persistent violators of human rights in the council,” Zakharova pointed out.

Calling it a “mistake,” she said the decision only “dealt a powerful blow” to Washington’s own claims of human rights protection reputation.

Good riddance, immigrant children in cages says it all. US Withdraws From UN Human Rights Council

US Withdraws From UN Human Rights Council

US Withdraws From UN Human Rights Council, Citing Approach to Israel

Top UN official says ‘US should be stepping up, not stepping back’

After months of threats, the Trump Administration announced Tuesday that they are withdrawing the United States from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Officials said the move was because the body is too often critical of Israel’s human rights record.

Israel has long agitated for the US to withdraw from the body, and ratchets that up every time the UN starts investigating a new round of killings in the occupied territories. The US has been talking up this move for awhile.

The outgoing UNHRC leader, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said it was “disappointing, if not really surprising.” He also said the “US should be stepping up, not stepping back.” Zeid’s last address to the forum as leader came Monday, during which he criticized the US over its treatment of undocumented migrants at the border.

That’s probably not the direct reason for the US withdrawal, given how long they’ve threatened to do so. Distancing the US from UN bodies over Israel is a long-standing policy across several administrations, and was likely just a matter of timing.

Bernie Sanders Talks Out of Both Sides of His Mouth, Tries to Justify Signing onto UN Letter


Last week all 100 members of the US Senate signed onto a letter criticizing the UN, and particularly the UN Human Rights Council, for seeking to “advance an anti-Israel agenda.” In the above video, Bernie Sanders, probably beloved by more liberals than any other member of the Senate, attempts to justify his decision to add his signature to the letter.

“The thrust of that letter is not to say that Israel does not have have human rights issues. It does,” he says in his defense.

One of course would not know this from reading the letter (the full text of which can be found here ). If Sanders and the other senators truly feel that Israel indeed has “human rights issues,” they evidently don’t regard these as serious enough to merit mentioning.  Israel in the letter is portrayed as nothing more than a victim of persecution.

The first paragraph accuses UN agencies and member states of seeking to exploit the UN as “a vehicle for targeting Israel,” and goes on to assert that such actions have “at times reinforced the broader scourge of anti-Semitism.”

So let’s see…if you criticize Israel at the UN you are helping to advance “the broader scourge of anti-Semitism,” this despite the fact that Israel maintains an illegal occupation “that has no end in sight,” as the interviewer in the above video puts it.

The letter is addressed to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who actually gets cudos from the senators for axing a recent report on Israeli apartheid that had been compiled by the Economic and  Social Commission for Western Asia. Guterres’ deletion of the report from the UN’s website was an act of censorship that prompted the resignation of Rima Khalaf, the ESCWA’s director, as I discussed in a previous post.

But adulation for Guterres notwithstanding, the senators, as mentioned above, particularly have it in for the UNHRC. They grouse that the body “even maintains a permanent item on its agenda–‘Agenda Item VII’–to assess Israel…” Heaven forbid!

Israel is an apartheid state (as the ESCWA report makes abundantly clear) whose policies toward the Palestinians probably even meet the legal definition of genocide, as I have pointed out a number of times previously. The UNHRC would be derelict if it did not have a separate agenda item to discuss such matters. Yet Sanders and the other 99 senators accuse the UNHRC of an “imbalanced focus on Israel.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a big fan of the UN, which more often than not has been used as a tool to advance US foreign policy goals, and Guterres seems well on his way to following in his predecessor Ban Ki-moon’s footsteps in that regard. Occasionally, however, one or another member of the UN will work up the nerve to criticize Israel or oppose a US war. This is one of the UN’s redeeming qualities.

As for Sanders, he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth to such an extent in the above video that I almost feel embarrassed for him. Welllll…I–I–didn’t write the letter, I only signed onto it! Yes, yes I’m a lifetime proponent of nonviolent protests…uh…but no, I don’t support the BDS movement. Well then what is left for the Palestinians to do, Senator Sanders?—change the subject.

 photo ckpnt_zpsejhzkyf1.jpg

If there were a country somewhere in the world where Jews were forced into an apartheid ghetto surrounded by walls and checkpoints would Sanders, who is Jewish, be opposed to a boycott of that nation? The answer probably is yes–because instead of a boycott, the senator from Vermont would be too busy advocating a military invasion.

This is Jewish hypocrisy from the liberal end of the Zionist spectrum. Hardly any wonder, then, that Sanders, in the video’s closing segment, expresses opposition to a one-state solution–in which Palestinians and Israelis would enjoy equal rights and equal citizenship–because, as he puts it, “that would be the end of the state of Israel.”

In saying this, is Sanders not in effect admitting that Israel is an ethno-theocratic state rather than a democracy? It would seem so, but apparently Sanders has a fondness for ethno-theocratic states provided they are Jewish.

“And I support Israel’s right to exist,” he reminds us.

Given that the left in America so often tends to elevate such “luminaries” as Sanders as its leaders and role models, it is no wonder that the American left has been such a colossal failure.

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