Archive | Human Rights

RELEASE US – a short film on police brutality ‘VIDEO’

NOVANEWS

Image result for police brutality photos

 

By Charles Shaw

500 innocent Americans are murdered by police every year (USDOJ). 5,000 since 9/11, equal to the number of US soldiers lost in Iraq.

In 1994 the US Government passed a law authorizing the Pentagon to donate surplus Cold War era military equipment to local police departments.

In the 20 years since, weaponry designed for use on a foreign battlefield, has been handed over for use on American streets… against American citizens.

The “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terror” replaced the Cold War with billions in funding and dozens of laws geared towards this new “war” against its own citizens.

This militarization of the police force has created what is being called an “epidemic of police brutality” sweeping the nation.

RELEASE US
a short film by Charles Shaw featuring the track ‘RELEASE” by Random Rab
and excerpts from the films “THE EXILE NATION PROJECT” by Charles Shaw

& “NO JUSTICE , NO PEACE” by Krissana Limlamai & Brett Huff
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSHuW…
http://www.LiberationNews.org

P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act I, II & III (2001, 2004, 2010)
Homeland Security Act (2002)
Enhanced Border Security, Visa Entry Reform and
Immigrant Deportation Act (2002)
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention
Act (2004)
Military Commissions Act (2006, 2009)
The FISA Amendments Act (2008)
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

 

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Nazi Peres, Apologize for I$raHell Enablement of the Rwandan and Serbian Genocides

NOVANEWS

Image result for Shimon Peres, CARTOON

Shimon Peres, Apologize for Israel’s Enablement of the Rwandan and Serbian Genocides
It is still not too late to admit theses crimes, that will be remembered forever, were committed in the name of the citizens of Israel.

Yair Auron
Serbian-Israeli relations flourish, as if the 1990s never happened

The world is silent, and so are we

The Israeli guns that took part in the Rwanda genocide

UN’s top court rules Serbia, Croatia did not commit genocide in the 1990s

The history of the State of Israel will remember you, Shimon Peres, as a leader with a great deal to his credit – one of the major contributors to the building of the country in its first 70 years. Yet several debts are recorded next to your name on the fringes of that same history. While they may seem insignificant next to the enterprise of establishing the state, they are of utmost importance.
In the early 1990s, you and the late Yitzhak Rabin stood at the head of the country’s leadership.
Those years were full of hope – hope that was cut off with Prime Minister Rabin’s assassination – and the government that you led was the most open in the country’s history.
Yet you and Rabin sinned in all your actions concerning the acts of genocide that were perpetrated in Rwanda and Serbia.

You approved the transfer of arms from the State of Israel – and not only through arms dealers – to Rwanda, and the Serbia of Slobodan Miloševic and the Serbian forces while the genocide was in progress.

The whole world knew about it in real time, and both of you also definitely knew.
Attorney Itai Mack and I have been working to uncover the facts about the arms deals that were carried out while the genocide was in progress, and when the United Nations had imposed an embargo on such sales.
It is clear that what the State of Israel did is nothing less than participation in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Image result for Rwandan survivor PHOTO

A Rwandan survivor of the 1994 Genocide prays over the bones of genocide victims at a mass grave in Nyamata, Rwanda, April 6, 2004. (Credit: AP)

Rabin and you led this policy. In the early 1990s, you refused to condemn the crimes of Miloševic, who led the first genocide in Europe after the Holocaust. The government you led did not utter even the weakest of condemnations against the Serbs.

The massacre in the Sarajevo market in February 1994 – in which 69 people were killed and hundreds injured while they were waiting in line, taking advantage of the hours during which the curfew was lifted – shocked the world.

Gazdas grandson

A group of Bosnian Muslims, refugees from Srebrenica, walk to be transported from the eastern Bosnian village of Potocari to Muslim-held Kladanj, July 13, 1995. (Credit: Reuters)
The Israeli government statement – for which the foreign minister is directly responsible – included a “theoretical” condemnation that did not differentiate between the crimes and their victims:

“Israel expects that the wave of violence … which reached its peak in the Sarejevo market, will quickly reach an end. Israel expresses its sorrow over the deaths of innocent civilians, and expresses hope that the efforts made to resolve the conflict by peaceful means will soon bear fruit.”
You expressed sorrow over the events – as if these were not crimes but a natural disaster. There is almost no doubt that the shells that fell in the market were manufactured by Israel.

When Miloševic was tried for genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, you expressed neither regret nor apology. In so doing, you also transformed me – as a citizen of Israel – into an accomplice to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Attorney Mack and I demand that the documents be made public that prove these crimes (and we have solid proof).

But the justice system does everything to prevent this. In a hearing on the matter, the judge decided to accede to the Defense Ministry request not to release the documents that the Defense Ministry conceded it had found – for security reasons.

However, there are no security reasons to hide the crimes to which you were party – only moral reasons.

Thus, you add insult to injury. You defile the memory of the Holocaust and its victims, which no one – certainly not we – have the right to do.

On May 22, 1994, at the height of the genocide in Rwanda, in which the rate of killing was the fastest in history (about a million people in 100 days!), and after weapons shipments had already left Israel with your approval and that of Prime Minister Rabin, the government released a statement:

“The government of Israel is shocked at the genocide taking place in Rwanda, and the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. The Jewish people, who have experienced the bitterest of events, the Nazi Holocaust, and its country, the State of Israel, cannot remain indifferent to the horrors in Rwanda,” it read.

You are also directly responsible for that cynical and shameful statement. Perhaps you should have written: “The Jewish people, who have experienced the bitterest of events, the Nazi Holocaust, and its country, the State of Israel, cannot remain indifferent to the horrors in Rwanda, and so we are sending weapons to the murderers.”

U.S. President Bill Clinton, who did not try to stop the genocide in Rwanda – although he could have very easily prevented it – said at the 2013 event in honor of your 90th birthday, that he was to blame for what had happened in Rwanda 20 years earlier.

The arms we sent to the murderous government in Rwanda are responsible – along with the arms that arrived from other countries that breached the embargo – for the murder of many people.
Among the incontrovertible evidence of Israeli arms sales is the testimony of then-Environmental Protection Minister Yossi Sarid, who headed a delegation numbering more than 100 medical personnel, an act deserving the greatest admiration. Sarid saw Israeli weapons before and after use. There are photographs showing this.

Mr. Peres, it is still not too late to ask for forgiveness and admit the crimes committed also in the name of the citizens of Israel – that is, in my name. These crimes will be remembered forever.
The author is a genocide scholar, researching, among other subjects, the attitude of the State of Israel toward instances of genocides of other peoples.

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Gitmo guard: CIA staged suicides to cover up Guantanamo prison deaths

NOVANEWS

© www.salon.com
Guantanamo Bay prison facility
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has staged suicides to cover up inmate deaths at the notorious US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, says a former guard. Nearly 10 years ago, the Pentagon announced that three Guantanamo inmates “killed themselves in an apparent suicide pact.”“Two Saudis and one Yemeni, each located in Camp 1, were found unresponsive and not breathing in their cells by guards,” Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF) said June 10, 2006, adding that “all lifesaving measures had been exhausted.” The camp was quickly shuttered the next day.

However, former Guantanamo guard Joseph Hickman says the alleged suicides were in fact staged by the CIA, saying the US government might have had an interest in silencing the prisoners who “caused a lot of problems.” In an interview with Russia Today, which was published on Saturday, Hickman unveiled what he saw in the few hours leading up to the deaths.

He said he witnessed hunger strike “leaders” being brought to a secret CIA “black site,” where CIA agents would make their deaths look like suicide by hanging. “I witnessed a van – we used to call it paddy wagon – it was a detainee transport van,” he said. “The van came into the gate, backed up to Camp 1 and took a detainee out of Camp 1 Alpha Block and put him into the paddy wagon and drove [him away].”

This happened two more times over 20 minutes, he said, suggesting that there were “a total of three out of Camp 1 Alpha Block.” Hickman said that the unusual transfer became more suspicious when the van went to a facility called “Camp No, which is a CIA black site on Guantanamo at the time.”

© indykids.org

At the time, the JTF command interrogated up to 200 prisoners per week, according to Hickman. However, detainees made this difficult as they knew Washington-approved Guantanamo interrogation policies would prohibit questioning inmates if they were on a hunger strike. Consequently, starting from 2005, detainees held long-term hunger strikes.

“All three of those detainees that went to that CIA black site that night were all leaders of the hunger strikes, massive hunger strikes,” Hickman said. “There were constant hunger strikes since they arrived. They caused a lot of problems for the command.”

The US Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) claimed then that all three were preparing for the suicide and hanged themselves with torn sheets and T-shirts, while their hands were tied.

“After those three deaths, there were two other detainees that committed suicide,” Hickman told RT. “I wasn’t there to say exactly what happened, but I knew from my experience. Those men did not commit a suicide. It brought up questions, which brought up nightmares. It just haunted me until I came forward.”

Guantanamo was established by former president George W. Bush’s administration in 2002 as a prison for alleged foreign terrorism suspects following the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US. A Senate report in December 2014 revealed that the CIA has used a wide array of torture as part of its interrogation methods against Guantanamo prisoners.

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Video captures Turkish troops firing on Kurdish civilians waving white flag

NOVANEWS

© imctv.com.tr

An incident in which several civilians with a white flag came under fire has been caught on camera. The victims are reported to be Kurds in the town of Cizre, where they were allegedly shot at by Turkish troops.

The series of short video clips published on social media shows a procession of people going along a street, pushing a cart with what appears to be two covered bodies. The walls of the buildings are dotted with holes, possibly from bullets. A tank is shown in the distance.

Other footage shows several people lying motionless on the ground with blood spilling from them, as gasps and screams of horror come from the background.

The stated location is the Kurdish city of Cizre, which appears consistent with the Turkish-language graffiti shown in the video and the ice cream shop of the ‘Algida’ brand – which is only sold in Italy, Eastern Europe and Turkey.

RT could not immediately verify the circumstances of the shooting. One version claims that the Kurdish civilians were shot at by Turkish troops involved in a crackdown that Ankara is currently conducting in the south and south-east of the country.

Another version suggests that Kurdish militants were among the ranks of the civilians and opened fire at the Turks, provoking a response. The footage doesn’t appear to show any armed people in the crowd.

The Turkish government in August launched a military operation in Kurd-majority areas, imposing curfews and clashing with fighters of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey. At least 150 civilians and hundreds of fighters on both sides are thought to have died in the conflict.

The crackdown was criticized by international human rights organizations as disproportionate and a form of collective punishment against the Kurds. This week Amnesty International said Ankara is imperiling 200,000 people living in the areas affected by disrupting basic services, blocking their freedom of movement, and conducting firefights in residential areas.

 

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Guantanamo detainee held for 13 years on mistaken identity cleared for release

NOVANEWS

© wikipedia.org
Mustafa Abdul Oowi Abdul al-Shamiri

The Pentagon has approved the release of a prisoner who was held at the Guantanamo Bay facility for 13 years due a case of mistaken identity.

Mustafa al Shamiri, 37, had been detained under the pretenses of being a senior Al-Qaeda trainer in Afghanistan.

The so-called Periodic Review Board (PRB), however, came to a much different conclusion on December 1 when they heard his case. The board found that “most of the derogatory prior assessments … have been discredited and the current information shows that the detainee has low level military capability,” according to The Washington Post.

Shamiri, who is only in fact a “run-of-the-mill jihadist,” was linked to the more high-profile activities of other extremists because of their similar names, and spent 13 years in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

The Yemeni’s 2008 profile called him a high-risk threat who possessed medium intelligence valued. He was called “a senior trainer at the Al-Faruq Training Camp as well as an Al-Qaeda guesthouse logistician.” But his September 2015 profile had a much new assessment, which concluded that the activities that Shamiri was accused of being involved in were actually “carried out by other known extremists with names or aliases similar to” his own.

The parole board said in a short statement that he was cleared for transfer, “preferably to an Arabic-speaking country,” and noted that “most derogatory prior assessments regarding the detainee’s activities before detention have been discredited.”

Counsel appointed by the US government to represent Shamiri before the Periodic Review Board said in December that their client is willing to go to any country that will accept him.

“He has vocalized to us that while he cannot change the past, he would definitely have chosen a different path,” the representatives said in a written statement to the PRB. “He wants to make a life for himself.”

Shamiri was detained in Guantanamo since June 2002, and his latest assessment by US intelligence said that he fought in Bosnia in 1995 at age 16 or 17.

Also announced was the release of two additional detainees on Wednesday. Tariq Mahmoud Ahed al Sawah, born in Egypt, was transferred to Bosnia. Abdul Aziz Abdullah Ali al Suadi, born in Yemen, was sent on a place to Montenegro, another former Yugoslav republic.

Sawah is a former Muslim Brotherhood member who had fought in Bosnia and later Afghanistan, where he was captured.

Suadi was originally thought to be an explosives trainer for Osama bin Laden, and also fought in Afghanistan before he was captured there. Since 2010, he has only been considered to pose a negligible threat.

A third detainee, Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir of Yemen, refused an offer for release. He said that he was “frightened” of leaving the prison he had called home for 14 years to go to an unidentified country where he had no family.

“Can you imagine being there for 14 years, and going to a plane where you could finally leave, and saying ‘No, take me back to my cell?’” His lawyer, John Chandler said, according to The New York Times. “This is one of the saddest days of my life.”

The approval of the detainees’ release comes at a time when Guantanamo is being phased out of operation by President Obama. The prison’s population is now down to 91, making January 2016 the first time since its inception that it’s held fewer than 100 inmates.

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Nazi forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

NOVANEWS 

(14 – 20 January 2016) 

Nazi Forces Demolish Number of Civilian Facilities in Hebron.

 

  • ·Nazi forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt

-         5 Palestinian civilians were killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

-         A Palestinian civilian was killed and his brother was wounded in a deliberate run-over attack by settlers in the West Bank.

-         23 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and a female journalist, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

  • ·Nazi forces continued to open fire at border areas along the Gaza Strip border area and a Palestinian civilian was wounded in the east of al-Shuja’iya neighbourhood.

 

  • ·Nazi forces conducted 127 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 limited ones in the southern Gaza Strip.

-         77 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were arrested.

-         6 of them were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

 

  • ·Nazi forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip sea.

-         2 fishermen were arrested and their fishing boat was confiscated.

 

  • ·Jewish majority efforts continued in occupied East Jerusalem.

-         Nazi forces demolished a house in Beit Hanina and obliged a civilian to demolish a livestock barrack on his own.

-         Nazi Jewish Settlers wrote racist slogans on the walls of a church.

  • ·Illegal Nazi Jewish Settlement activities continued in the West Bank.

-         7 houses and 9 livestock and poultry barracks were demolished, and 47 fruitful trees were cut off.

 

  • ·Nazi forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 9th year.

-         Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and other were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.

-         4 Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints.

-         An elderly woman from the Gaza Strip was detained and prevented from praying in al-Aqsa Mosque.

Summary

Nazi violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (14 – 20 January 2016).

Shooting:

Nazi forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. Occupied East Jerusalem witnessed similar attacks. During the reporting period, Nazi forces killed five Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; three of them were in the West Bank and the two others were in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, a Palestinian civilian was killed and his little brother was wounded in a deliberate run-over attack by a settler.

Nazi forces also wounded 24 Palestinian civilians, including seven children and a female journalist. 11 of them, including three children, were in the Gaza Strip and the reminaing others were in the West Bank. Concerning the nature of injuries, 11 civilians were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 11 others were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets and two were hit with tear gas canisters.

 

In the West Bank, Nazi forces killed three Palestinian civilians and wounded 13 others, including four children and a female journalist.    

The full report is available online at:

http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=7757

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Jerusalem church defaced with anti-Christian graffiti

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‘Christians to Hell’ and ‘Death to the heathen Christians’ among slogans scrawled on the walls of Dormition Abbey

ed note–the painting above depicts the stoning to death of the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen, by a mob of insane, bloodthirsty Jews as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles, to wit– 

‘And Stephen full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people…But some men from the Synagogue rose up against him and argued with Stephen, but yet were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes against him, and they came upon him and dragged him away, and brought him before the Council…And they put forward false witnesses who said, “This man incessantly speaks against this holy place, and the Law; for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us.” And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel. And Stephen responded “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”

Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.’

It is important to note a few things here–

(1) This, along with the murder of Jesus Christ, is what set the tone for ‘Christian/Jewish relations,’ not the ‘2,000 years of Christian persecution against the po’ lil’ Jooz’, as we are incessantly told. Jews hated Jesus Christ and his anti-Judaic revolution literally from the moment of his birth and have hated Him and His followers ever since.

(2) there were no Khazars present at Stephen’s stoning, and there was no ‘Talmud’, only Jews and the infernal written madness known as the Torah.

Times of Israel

The Domition Abbey in Jerusalem was vandalized with anti-Christian graffiti overnight Saturday, the latest in a series of hate crimes against Christians and churches in Israel in recent years, police said. 

“Christians to Hell,” and “Death to the heathen Christians, the enemies of Israel,” were among the slogans painted on the walls of the Benedictine monastery, which lies just outside the walls of the capital’s Old City. “The revenge of the people of Israel is yet to come,” read another epithet written next to a depiction of a bloody sword.

Israel Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said an investigation into the incident had been opened.“Despite promises by the government, these incidents continue to happen,” Wadia Abu Nasser, the executive director of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops in the Holy Land, railed Sunday morning. “If we were to actually count all of these incidents, they’d be in the hundreds.

“We have limited resources at our disposal. It’s the state’s responsibility to not only apprehend these perpetrators, but to make the necessary changes in the education system to educate against this sort of thing,” he told Army Radio.

Nasser also called on rabbis to speak out against the reoccurring hate crimes. “It’s time they stopped hiding behind politics,” he said.Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan vowed to “respond with zero tolerance against anyone attempting to harm the democratic foundations of the State of Israel and its religious freedom.”Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack.Dormition Abbey, which is located right next to the Cenacle — which Jews revere as the site of King David’s Tomb and Christians as the room of the Last Supper — outside Zion Gate, was the site of graffiti attacks in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, hours after Pope Francis celebrated mass at the abbey, arsonists set fire to the compound, causing minor damage to its structure.

Joint (Arab) List MK Ahmad Tibi condemned the graffiti as a religious hate crime, and slammed the “inadequate” response by Israeli authorities. In a statement Sunday morning, he warned against underestimating the impact of such attacks and called on police to put an end to them.In recent years, Israeli nationalist vandals have targeted mosques and churches, in addition to Palestinian private property, on dozens of occasions — including the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, in northern Israel, which was badly damaged in a fire when arsonists set it ablaze in 2015.

Christian monastery in Jerusalem vandalized by Jewish terrorists

Father Nikodemus Schnabel spokesperson of the Dormition Abbey points towards anti-Christian graffiti in Hebrew, daubed on the Church of the Dormition, January 17, 2016. © Ahmad Gharabli
Father Nikodemus Schnabel spokesperson of the Dormition Abbey points towards anti-Christian graffiti in Hebrew, daubed on the Church of the Dormition, January 17, 2016. © Ahmad Gharabli / AFP
A Christian monastery in Jerusalem has been vandalized after extremist graffiti was daubed on its walls. Messages such as “Christians Go to Hell” were written, while Israel says it has ordered an immediate police investigation into the crimes committed.

The messages written in Hebrew on the walls and doors of the monastery included “erase the name and the memory of the bastard,” and “death to the heretic Christians, enemies of Israel.”

“Idols will be extirpated,” a line lifted from the Jewish prayer service, and “Christians Go to Hell” were among the graffiti written with felt-tip pens, Reuters reports. It is believed that the vandalism was carried out by a number of people, due to the different handwriting, which was visible.

The Dormition Abbey outside of Jerusalem’s Old City walls on Mount Zion was affected by the vandals. Many Christians believe that Jesus held the Last Supper near the site, while it is also believed to be located near to the tomb of the biblical King David.

The vandalism brought a stinging response from the Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who said that extra police efforts would be put into making sure those responsible were caught for “this despicable act.”

“We will not let anyone undermine religious coexistence in Israel,” he added, as cited by Reuters.

Ayman Odeh, head of of the Joint List, the alliance of Palestinian parties in the Israeli parliament, said that the vandalism amounted to a hate crime, while also saying that the government was partly responsible for ignoring extremism against Arabs.

“Harassment and harming of places that are holy to Islam and Christianity have become almost constant and no one is held accountable,” Odeh said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

“In Jerusalem members of the clergy have been harassed for years but lately this phenomenon has become worse, more common, and more violent,” he added.

A relative of 18-month-old Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh, who was killed after his family's house was set to fire in a suspected attack by Jewish extremists, shows his picture at the burnt house in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus July 31, 2015 © Abed Omar Qusini

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem described the Dormition Abbey as “a significant place for interreligious dialogue between Judaism and Christianity” and voiced “hope that the perpetrators (of the vandalism) will be arrested before they put proposed threats into action.”

Last month, vandals toppled dozens of crosses at a Catholic cemetery, belonging to the Salesian monastery of Beit Jamal, located in the town of Beit Shamesh, about 30 kilometers west of Jerusalem, according to the local Latin Patriarchate.

“Salesian fathers responsible for the monastery in Beit Jamal reported that unknown persons desecrated their monastery’s cemetery,” The Times of Israel quoted the patriarchate as saying Saturday.

In April 2014, vandals scrawled hate graffiti on the Deir Rafat Catholic monastery in response to peace talks between Israel and Palestine, while disparaging graffiti referring to Jesus and Mary was also daubed on the walls.

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A Drone Protestor Heads to Jail

NOVANEWS
Reporting by Gail Ablow and John Light

Image result for Drone CARTOON

Mary Anne Grady Flores is in jail today and American citizens everywhere can surely breathe a sigh of relief that we are safe from her criminal behavior at least for the next six months.

That’s the length of the sentence this 59-year-old peace activist in upstate New York began on Tuesday — one day after the United States honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for his commitment to nonviolent civil disobedience. If he were here today, the martyred Dr. King would surely be shaking his head that America still has a problem with peaceful dissenters of conscience.

And what exactly did Grady Flores do to warrant spending the next six months in jail? She photographed a peaceful protest outside Hancock Field Air National Guard Base near Syracuse, New York. The base is where the US trains pilots to launch drone strikes in the Middle East, particularly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. It wasn’t a crime for her to be taking pictures of the demonstration, but when she briefly and unintentionally — yes, unintentionally — stepped onto a road that belongs to the base, she violated what authorities called “an order of protection,” which had been issued in 2012 to forbid protesters from approaching the home or workplace of Col. Earl Evans, a commander of the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard. She had never met Evans, never threatened him, never showed any intention of harming him.

Nonetheless, a town justice, David Gideon, issued the order to “protect” the Colonel from the activists. That’s right — the commander of a major military operation, piloting drones on lethal missions half-way around the world, requested a court order of protection against a group of mostly gray-haired demonstrators whom he had never met. In stepping briefly on the roadway at the base, Grady Flores violated that order, despite the fact that, as she says, “We weren’t at the security gate. We were out at the roadway.”

Now get this: The order issued by Judge Gideon was of the sort commonly used against victims of sexual or domestic abuse. “The legal terms ‘victim’ and ‘witness’ have been expanded in this case in a way that’s new and unique in the state of New York,” said attorney Lance Salisbury at a press conference yesterday before Grady Flores was hauled off to jail.

Grady Flores had protested outside the base before. She belongs to The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, which has criticized the drone program since 2010, calling for a change in policy to uphold life and law.

President Obama and the Pentagon insist that using drones in pursuit of terrorists causes minimal civilian casualties and protects American troops, but Grady Flores takes issue with that justification. She told us she had been moved, in particular, by reports of the staggering numbers of civilians killed by US drones, and she says her fears were confirmed by documents recently leaked to journalists at The Intercept revealing that during one five-month stretch, 90 percent of those killed in one part of Northeastern Afghanistan were not the intended target.

Grady Flores says she was also shaken by the 2013 testimony before Congress of a family from Pakistan that had suffered a drone strike in North Waziristan. A grandmother of three herself, Grady Flores listened as Rafiq ur Rehman recounted his mother’s death in the presence of her grandchildren. “She was out in the fields picking okra with the kids around and a drone strike happened, and she was sent to four winds… now the kids live in terror,” Grady Flores recalls.

“That’s why citizens are at the gates of Hancock,” says Grady Flores. “That’s why we’re there.”

Grady Flores was arrested in 2012, when she and 16 others blocked the entrance to the base, prompting the request from the military for the order of protection. When she was arrested again a year later — not for protesting herself but for stepping on the road outside the base and taking pictures of others who were protesting — she was found to be in violation of that protection order. And the protestors she was photographing? They were acquitted.

Justice David Gideon threw the book at her. He sentenced her to a year, claiming in his five-page ruling that he didn’t buy her First Amendment argument. Instead, he thought she “was willing to ‘break the law’ to seek publicity for her cause.” After an appeal, her sentence was shortened to six months.

Before she went to jail yesterday she told us: “I asked my grandchildren, ‘Do you know where I’m going?’ and they said, ‘yeah, you’re going to jail, Nana.’” She told us that it is difficult to leave her 88-year-old mother who is ailing, but that her mother appreciates her carrying on in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King and the iconic Catholic activist Dorothy Day, with whom her mother once worked. Day famously said, “No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”

Grady Flores says her mother’s good-bye shared that sentiment, “Mom said to me, ‘I’ll pray for you, I’ll be with you in that cell.’ She said it in a whisper, but she’s grateful that I’m continuing the work.”

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‘Voluntary’ International Law and the Paris Agreement

NOVANEWS

 by Dr: Richard Falk

Now that the celebrations by the diplomats have ended, it is time to take a hard look at what was and was not accomplished by the Paris Agreement. No one can deny that it was impressive to obtain agreement from all 195 participating countries, an outcome many doubted. A further achievement was the acceptance of the scientific consensus that global warming was an unprecedentedly severe global challenge that needed to be addressed with a sense of urgency and commitment by the world as a whole. Further, it was important that the agreement set forth in its text the ambitious goal of 1.5C degrees as the prudent ceiling for tolerable warming, while seeking to avoid an increase of 2C degrees, even while being aware that this latter would still result in serious additional harm but would be far less likely to be catastrophic than if emissions are allowed to increase without a global cap.

 

Worrisome Concerns

 Closer examination reveals several worrisome concerns. It is widely understood that international law is often ineffective because it lacks adequate means of enforcement when it prescribes behavior that obligates the parties. That is, international law is inherently weak because unable to enforce what is agreed to, but Paris carried this weakness further, by raising serious question as to whether anything at all had even been agreed. The Paris Agreement went to great lengths to avoid obligating the parties, making compliance with pledged reductions in carbon emissions an unmistakablyvoluntary undertaking. This is the core cause for doubt about what was agreed upon, raising the haunting question as to what emerged from Paris is even worth the paper upon which it is written. Only time will tell.

Prior to the Paris Agreement there were two models of an agreement process to address climate change. Both of these are now viewed as failures. There was the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 in which a mandatory treaty framework was negotiated resting on a sharply delineated division between developed countries that were required to make enumerated reductions in carbon emissions and the rest of the world that was under no obligation because their right to unrestricted development was affirmed. Then there was the Copenhagen Accord contrived on an ad hoc basis in 2009 mainly at the behest of the United States, a loose agreement reflecting American post-Kyoto concerns that the only viable international response to the threat of global warming was by way of obtaining a series of unverified voluntary pledges from national governments.

It is evident that in its central endeavor the Paris Agreement seeks to improve upon the Copenhagen model while rejecting the Kyoto model. In effect, the stability of an obligatory framework has been exchanged for the benefits of an inclusive arrangement that involves all countries, that is, weak on substance, strong on participation. What makes Paris seem a success whereas Copenhagen was written off as a dismal failure is partly atmospherics, or put more concretely, the skillful French management of the proceedings so as to create an impression of genuine collaboration and transparency. Also helpful was the American adoption of a low profile, operating behind the scenes, exerting the kinds of influence that did not create the sort of resentment that so badly marred the Copenhagen outcome.

This repudiation of the Kyoto approach is disturbing in some respects, but understandable, and even laudable, in others. Kyoto, although legally authoritative, only managed to gain the participation of states accounting for 12% of total emissions. This tradeoff between the two agreement models parallels the experience of the League of Nations that respected the sovereign equality of states, contrasting with the United Nations that privileges the five states that prevailed in World War II. The more idealistic League was a total failure because several crucial states, including the United States, refused to join, while the UN, although disappointing in relation to its war prevention record, has managed throughout its entire existence to achieve near universal participation. Even alienated and isolated states have valued the benefits of their UN membership and refrained over the decades from opting out of the UN. This experience supports the significant generalization that international lawmaking often does better when it is procedurally ambitious than when it tries to override and constrain sovereign discretion to act in areas perceived as matters of vital national interest by leading states. In the climate change context this choice can be further rationalized by an acknowledgement that the US Congress has the capacity to block any legally binding agreement, and without the United States as a participant the whole effort is wasted. It should be appreciated that the US Congress may be the only governmental site of influence in the world where a majority of its members reject the scientific consensus on climate change and gives aid and comfort to the deniers.

Can International Law Effective When Adherence is Voluntary?

 Although this voluntariness is problematic, it may not doom the Paris Agreement. Some non-obligatory international norms have produced important results, managing to obtain voluntary compliance, and even exceeding the original expectations of their supporters. Among many examples in international law, upholding the diplomatic immunity of ambassadors is a clear example of where the norm is unenforceable yet diplomats from small countries have almost always received the same protection over the centuries as those from the largest and most powerful countries. Why? It better serves the interests of the powerful to sustain a reliable framework of diplomatic interaction than to diminish the status of diplomats from weak states. From a different domain of international concern, we can point to rules of the road on the ocean designed to promote maritime safety. International law tends to be effective whenever compliance is more or less automatic. This can happen either because there is no significant incentive to violate what has been agreed upon or there are reciprocal gains achieved by maintaining reliable standards.

There are additional settings where international law is effective. One of the most prominent instances, although controversial, is the selective implementation of international norms prohibiting the acquisition of nuclear weapons. The United States acts as a geopolitical enforcer, and has been relatively successful in preventing those governments that it distrusts or opposes from acquiring the weaponry. The nonproliferation regime is defective from a rule of law perspective to the extent it is not applied equally to all non-nuclear states. Israel’s secret acquisition of nuclear weapons has been overlooked, while Iran’a nuclear program has received unprecedented scrutiny with a commitment to enforce nonproliferation by recourse to war if necessary. Beyond this the NPT regime became negotiable in 1968 only because the nuclear weapons states formally committed themselves to seek in good faith nuclear disarmament. Their failure to do so should have undermined the treaty from an international law point of view, but so far this refusal of compliance has been rhetorically noticed by non-nuclear states, but without producing a challenge to the agreement itself.

 

Paris Vulnerabilities

Part of the reason to be skeptical about the Paris Agreement is that the United States is unable to play the role of being a credible enforcer, and this means that there is no robust informal extra-legal pressure to comply. This weakness of the Paris arrangement is accentuated by several other factors:

            –the challenge of global warming is truly global in scope, yet the agreement reflects the aggregation of national interests. Its voluntary nature reflects the ethos of the lowest common denominator. International society can often cooperate to solve transnational problems, but it falters when the problem is truly global, especially as here where the various states have vastly different policy priorities, material circumstances, and divergent perceptions as to how fairly to apportion national responsibility for emission reductions and financial transfers;

            –many governments are constrained by mass poverty and low levels of development and seem likely to give priority to jobs and economic growth if facing economic pressures, making them also susceptible to manipulation by the private sector and international financial pressures;

            –the Paris Agreement seems particularly vulnerable to ‘the free rider problem,’ creating incentives for states to make minimum contributions while benefitting from the contributions of others; this is especially true in the climate change context since the problems are not correlated with international boundaries and the causal connections between emissions and harm are notoriously difficult to establish. This means that a state will benefit from systemic responses even if it fails to do its agreed part, while being only marginally protected by its own emission curbs;

            –often the success of a negotiated complex agreement is a result of diplomatic leadership, which has been a role that the United States Government has played in the period since 1945. The elaborate treaty establishing the public order of the oceans, one of the great success stories of international law, came about only after a decade of negotiations that were shaped by American leverage, persuading groups of states to accept concessions in exchange for benefits. For instance, the territorial sea off the coast of countries was expanded, and an exclusive economic zone was established, in exchange for preserving the freedom of the high seas for naval vessels. Because of the unevenness of national circumstances in relation to climate change the need for this kind of leadership would undoubtedly have led to a more robust agreement. This was politically impossible because the US Congress is opposed to any US national commitment with respect to climate change that results in any economic burden or commitment relating to energy policy, and the Executive Branch, despite its acceptance of the scientific consensus as to the severity of the climate change challenge, could not ignore this weakness of domestic support without suffering a humiliating rebuff as happened after Kyoto that seems more damaging to regulatory efforts than giving up an insistence on binding legal obligations;

            –without enforcement or even an obligation to comply, there are some circumstances where ‘naming and shaming’ create pressures can induce a fairly high level of compliance. The Paris Agreement by emphasizing the transparency of commitment, the monitoring of pledge fulfillment, and the reset opportunities given at five-year intervals would seem to create a situation where naming and shaming could partially compensate for the absence of formal compliance mechanisms. Unfortunately, governments of sovereign states are normally very reluctant to criticize each other in public space, absent hostile relations. The UN also refrains except in extreme cases from voicing criticism of the behavior of its members that names and shames.

 

The Waiting Game

Against this background, it becomes evident that the Paris Agreement should neither be celebrated nor rejected. It is a process that is only scheduled to go into effect in 2020, with an assessment period of five years, meaning that there will be no official audit as to the adequacy of the pledging approach until 2025. Even should the pledges on record be upheld, which seems unlikely, the trajectory relating to climate change points toward an increase in global warming by over 3C by the end of the century, far above the 1.5C recommended by experts, and exceeding the 2C degree ceiling that the Paris Agreement sets forth as a goal. This gap needs to be made visible to the peoples of the world, and steps taken to raise pledging expectations to a level of problem-solving credibility.

There are two perspectives that are each useful in evaluating the Paris Agreement. First, there is the problem-solving perspective that views the essential issue as adjusting energy policies to global warming prospects through cuts in carbon emissions and increased reliance on renewable forms of energy. The discussion above, as well as the inter-governmental text emerging from Paris, viewed climate change as a problem to be solved, with success or failure measured by reference to the rising of global mean average temperatures throughout the planet.

Secondly, there is the climate justice perspective that focuses on the fairness of the negotiated arrangement from the distribution of burdens and benefits, and by reference to those who are most vulnerable to global warming. Those most vulnerable are societies and regions that seem likely to become hotter than the average or have low-lying, heavily populated coastlines and lack the financial resources and technical knowhow to prevent and react in ways that minimize the damage. It is also the case that the 350 million indigenous peoples were unrepresented in Paris, and for various reasons are particularly exposed to the harmful effects of climate change. Issues related to pre-2020 ambition involving financing and control of emissions are also mentioned in the Preamble. Also Finally, Paris did not make any serious effort to represent, worry about, and take account of the rights of future generations.

Due to pressures mounted by the governments of vulnerable states and by the civil society groups, climate justice concerns were not totally ignored, being enumerated as a laundry list in the Preamble. These concerns focusing on human rights are not addressed in the operational provisions that are the heart of the Paris undertaking. Their relevance is, however, acknowledged in the Preamble to the Paris Agreement. Normally, the language of the Preamble of an international agreement is window-dressing, without substantive relevance. Here it is different. NGOs can invoke the language of the Preamble to hold governments accountable.

In the end, the fate of the planet will be decided by people, and not by governments. It is only by populist mechanisms of mobilization that the human and global interest will be articulated and protected. Governments can cooperate to promote common or overlapping shared interests, but where these national interests are so diverse and often contradictory, the aggregation of national interests is not capable of generating an agreement that adequately serves the human and global interest. This limitation of state-centric world order is magnified in relation to climate change because of the numerous disconnects between the locus of emissions and the locus of harm; only a globally constituted framing of the climate change challenge could produce an outcome that was satisfactory from both problem-solving and climate justice perspectives, and this will never be achieved by way of a Paris style meeting.

A responsible and equitable response to climate change after Paris depends on militant civil society activism that builds a transnational movement that both monitors the harms and the behavior of governments, but also focuses attention on the root causes of global warming: the capitalist drive for consumption, the militarist drive for dominance, and modernist drive toward

Technological solutions. Beyond this what is at stake is the recovery of the humane wisdom and spiritual consciousness of indigenous peoples that survival and happiness depended on respect for the natural surroundings. Of course, we should not romanticize the pre-modern or demonize the modern. What we need and should seek is amoral epistemology that reconnects knowledge with human values configured so as to achieve justice, sustainability, and the pleasures of ‘a good life’ (community, material needs, humane governance, spiritual alertness, opportunity and enlightenment). Such is the knowledge background needed to launch the revolution of our time.

Posted in Human Rights0 Comments

Nazi forces continue systematic crimes in Palestinian

NOVANEWS 

Nazi forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

(07 – 13 January 2016)

Nazi cartoons, Nazi cartoon, funny, Nazi picture, Nazi pictures, Nazi image, Nazi images, Nazi illustration, Nazi illustrations

 Zio-Nazi Leader Naziyahu

  • ·Nazi forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt

-         9 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were killed in the West Bank and a member of a Palestinian armed group.

-         21 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

  • ·House demolitions on grounds of collective punishment.

-         A house belonging to al-Halabi family in Sarda village, north of Ramallah, was demolished.

  • ·Nazi forces conducted 72 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one in the southern Gaza Strip.

-         64 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, were arrested.

-         12 of them, including 4 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

-         Nazi forces raided Birzeit University and confiscated contents of student blocs’ offices and the Student Council.

 

  • ·Nazi forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip sea.

 

  • ·Jewish majority efforts continued in occupied East Jerusalem.

-         2 under-construction houses in Silwan village and parts of a restaurant in Sour Baher village were demolished.

-         Allocations (National Insurance) of a number of civilians were suspended as part of the collective punishment policy.

  • ·Settlement activities continued in the West Bank.

-         A plant nursery, south of Nablus, was demolished, and illegal Nazi Jewish “Mevo Dotan” settlement’s checkpoint, south West of Jenin, was expanded.

 

  • ·Nazi forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 9th year.

-         Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and other were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.

-         5 Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints.

Summary

Nazi violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (07 – 13 January 2016).

 

Shooting:

Nazi forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters.

Occupied East Jerusalem witnessed similar attacks. During the reporting period, Nazi forces killed nine Palestinian civilians, including two children, in the West Bank and a member of a Palestinian armed group in the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, they wounded 21 civilians, including four children; 14 of whom, including a child, were in the Gaza Strip and the remaining others were in the West Bank. Concerning the nature of injuries, 17 civilians were hit with live bullets and shell shrapnel and four others were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets.

 

The full report is available online at:

http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=7746

 

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

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