In Cairo on June 4, President Obama promised “to work aggressively to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” This week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted that she has not been able to get Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to meet face-to-face.
Perhaps, when all else fails, the United States should commit itself to upholding the rule of law.
Since 1972 the U.S. has used its veto 41 times to shield Israel from criticism by the United Nations Security Council. These resolutions concerned military attacks, rights of Palestinian people to self-determination, airstrikes that killed civilians, and violation of human rights in occupied territories — major infractions of international law. Yet the U.S. veto is so predictable Israel has assumed it had permission to ignore recognized standards of behavior.
There is no better time than now for the U.S. to announce it will not use its veto power to defend Israeli crimes.
JERUSALEM (AFP) – Amnesty International on Tuesday accused Israel of denying Palestinians adequate access to water while allowing Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank almost unlimited supplies.
Israel, the human rights group said, restricts availability of water in the Palestinian territories “by maintaining total control over the shared resources and pursuing discriminatory policies.”
“Israel allows the Palestinians access to only a fraction of the shared water resources, which lie mostly in the occupied West Bank while the unlawful Israeli settlements there receive virtually unlimited supplies,” Amnesty researcher Donatella Rovera said in a report.
Israel consumes four times more water than Palestinians, who use an average of 70 litres (16 gallons) a day per person, according to the report entitled: “Troubled waters – Palestinians denied fair access to water.”
Amnesty said the “inequality” is even more pronounced in some areas of the West Bank where settlements use up to 20 times more water per capita than neighbouring Palestinian communities which survive on barely 20 litres (5.28 gallons) of water per capita a day.
Jerusalem – In the first ruling of its kind, Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the Israeli army on Thursday to allow Palestinians to travel on a West Bank road they had been banned from using.
The case, filed by the Association for Human Rights Israel (ACRI) on behalf of 22 Palestinian villages in the area south of Hebron, is being hailed by human rights activists as a victory in their battle against segregated roads in the occupied West Bank. While most West Bank roads are open to both Israelis and Palestinians, a few major ones are closed to Palestinian traffic, leading critics to decry them as “apartheid” roads.
A spokeswoman for ACRI said that it was the first time that the Supreme Court had ever ruled on road closures imposed by the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). Following the outbreak of violence in the second intifada in September 2000, the IDF closed roads in many areas in what it said was a move to protect Israeli citizens, including both Jewish settlers and passing Israeli motorists. Approximately 10 of these roads remain closed, ACRI says.
“The Supreme Court never made a decision before relating to a particular place where Palestinians are banned from driving on a road just for being Palestinians,” said Nirit Moskovich of ACRI. The group is disappointed, however, that the Supreme Court did not seize the opportunity to make a ruling on segregated roads in general, she added.
“In our petition, we put great emphasis on the fact that the entire notion of prohibiting public resources to people based on their ethnic or national identity is forbidden and should be outlawed,” Ms. Moskovich said. “But the Supreme Court did not refer to that at all in their decision. It was based on the circumstances of that particular case.”
A Joint Press Release from Adalah * Addameer * Aldameer * Al Haq * Al Mezan * Badil * Civic Coalition for Jerusalem * DCI-Palestine * ENSAN Centre * Independent Commission for Human Rights * Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre * Palestinian Centre for Human Rights * Ramallah Centre for Human Rights Studies * Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling *
Yesterday, 2 October 2009, the Palestinian leadership – under heavy international pressure lead by the United States – deferred the draft proposal at the Human Rights Council endorsing all the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission (the Goldstone Report). This deferral denies the Palestinian peoples’ right to an effective judicial remedy and the equal protection of the law. It represents the triumph of politics over human rights. It is an insult to all victims and a rejection of their rights.
The crimes documented in the report of the UN Fact Finding Mission represent the most serious violations of international law; Justice Goldstone concluded that there was evidence to indicate that crimes against humanity may have been committed in the Gaza Strip. Violations of international law continue to this day, inter alia, through the continuing Israeli-imposed illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip. The findings of the Mission confirmed earlier investigations conducted by independent Palestinian, Israeli and international organisations.
Madison Children’s Museum Warehouse
8830 N. Greenview Drive, Middleton [Map]
7:00 AM to 4:00 PM
A new Fair Trade Crafts sale has been added outdoors to the Madison Children’s Museum Annual Benefit Sale of American Girl Returns & Seconds. The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project and other local groups will be participating.
Annual Benefit Sale of American Girl Returns & Seconds
The presenters will be Nathan Beck and Sol Thea Kelley-Jones, solidarity workers and human rights activists who have worked on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of the West Bank.
President Obama has said that “the only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.” The Prairie program will report on current developments in Palestine, followed by a discussion of how a two state solution could be achieved.