The US-Sponsored “Peace Process”

For more than two decades, the United States has maintained a monopoly on mediating Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. During this time, the situation of most Palestinians living in the occupied territories has deteriorated steadily while Israel’s domination over their lives has become ever more entrenched. More than 20 years after the US-sponsored “peace process” began, the creation of an independent Palestinian state – the ostensible endgame of negotiations – is more distant than ever, and Israel’s nearly 47-year-old discriminatory occupation regime becomes more permanent by the day. The following fact sheet provides an overview of the US role in the “peace process” and the consequences it has had for the Palestinians

 

ACTING AS “ISRAEL’S ATTORNEY”
Over twenty years of peace talks, the United States has consistently sided with Israel on virtually every major issue while overlooking or downplaying illegal and provocative Israeli actions, even when they contradict official US policy and undermine the negotiations process.

In 2005, former State Department official Aaron David Miller, who advised six secretaries of state and played a key role in peace efforts under President Bill Clinton, published an op-ed in the Washington Post lamenting the biased way in which US officials handle negotiations. In the piece, entitled “Israel’s Lawyer,” Miller wrote:

“For far too long, many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel’s attorney, catering and coordinating with the Israelis at the expense of successful peace negotiations. If the United States wants to be an honest and effective broker on the Arab-Israeli issue, than surely it can have only one client: the pursuit of a solution that meets the needs and requirements of both sides.”

Individuals associated with the pro-Israel lobby group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the think tank it established, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), have played central roles overseeing the “peace process” for the US, including:

Martin Indyk: A former deputy director of research for AIPAC, Indyk co-founded WINEP and served as its Executive Director from 1985 to 1993. He served in several senior positions in the Clinton administration, including as ambassador to Israel, and played an important role in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as an advisor to the president. In 1992, then-president of AIPAC, David Steiner, was recorded during a phone conversation referring to Indyk as an asset within then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, stating:

“We gave two employees from AIPAC leave of absences to work on the campaign. I mean, we have a dozen people in that campaign, in the headquarters… In Little Rock, and they’re all going to get big jobs. We have friends AIPAC. I also work with a think tank, the Washington Institute [WINEP]. I have Michael Mandelbaum and Martin Indyk being foreign policy advisers. Steve Speigel—we’ve got friends—this is my business…”

Indyk also helped set up and served as the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, a think tank established by Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban. Saban has declared, “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel” and openly acknowledged his desire to influence American policy in favor of Israel.

In July 2013, US Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Indyk Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for the Obama administration. He currently serves as US mediator in the talks.
Dennis Ross: Co-founder of WINEP with Indyk, Ross played a major role in negotiations during the Clinton administration and is known as a strong supporter of Israel. According to one Palestinian negotiator, at times Ross was “more Israeli than the Israelis themselves.” In 2009, Obama appointed
Ross to a senior position at the State Department and then named him as his Special Assistant and a Senior Director for the Central Region (which includes the Middle East) at the National Security Council. During his time in the Obama administration, Ross clashed repeatedly with George Mitchell, Obama’s special envoy to Israel/Palestine. The two reportedly refused to speak to one another at times, “partly over Ross’ tendency to hold talks with Israeli officials behind Mitchell’s back,” according to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. Mitchell tendered his resignation in May 2011, while Ross left his position in November 2011 and returned to WINEP.

 

David Makovsky: A senior fellow and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at WINEP and a former executive editor of The Jerusalem Post, Makovsky took a leave of absence from WINEP after being appointed by President Obama to serve as an assistant to Indyk in November 2013. Makovsky is probably best known for creating a set of maps
of possible two-state solution scenarios, all of which allow Israel to keep most of its illegal settlements, including so-called “blocs” that effectively dissect the West Bank into cantons and sever it from occupied East Jerusalem. In exchange, the Palestinians would receive an equal amount of Israeli territory, most of it less valuable and strategically important land in the Negev (Naqab to Palestinians) desert. In an op-ed
in The New York Times in June 2013, Makovsky called on the European Union to “get tough” with the Palestinians and force them into talks with Israel, despite the fact that the current Israeli government is the most hardline right-wing in Israel’s history and is fundamentally opposed to the creation of a genuinely independent Palestinian state in the occupied territories.

FINANCING, ARMING, & SHIELDING ISRAEL DIPLOMATICALLY
The US gives Israel more than $3 billion (USD) in military aid annually. This huge US-taxpayer provided subsidy allows Israel to direct massive resources to its illegal settlement enterprise and repressive military occupation of Palestinian lands, the ending of which is supposed to be the goal of negotiations. Between 2009 and 2018, the US is scheduled to give Israel $30 billion in military aid.

The US provides vital diplomatic cover to Israel at the UN and other international forums, allowing Israel to evade legal consequences for its violations of international law and abuses of Palestinian rights. The US has used its Security Council veto 42 times since 1972 to protect Israel from censure over its illegal actions such as settlement building and the systematic use of disproportionate military force, most recently in February 2011 when the Obama administration vetoed a resolution condemning settlement construction.

EROSION OF PALESTINIAN RIGHTS & DISREGARD FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW

President Bill Clinton
Prior to 1992, successive US governments had voted at the United Nations to reaffirm Security Council Resolution 194, which calls for the right of return for Palestinian refugees to homes and lands they were expelled from during Israel’s creation in 1948. Under the Clinton administration, the US changed policy regarding the internationally recognized Palestinian right of return to something to be negotiated between the parties, at first abstaining from voting on 194, then voting against it beginning in 1998.

During President Clinton’s two terms in office (1993-2001), Israel almost doubled the number of Jewish settlers living illegally on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank (not including East Jerusalem), from 110,900 to 190,206, according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. Unlike his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, who applied significant pressure
to Israel to agree to a settlement freeze, Clinton took no action to slow the massive expansion of Israel’s settlement enterprise at a time when Israel was supposedly negotiating an end to its occupation, severely undermining Palestinian confidence in the political process and in America’s role as a peace maker.

In July 2000, in the waning months of his time in office, and after failing to stop Israel’s massive expansion of settlements on occupied Palestinian land and other violations of Palestinian rights over the previous seven years, Clinton convened the Camp David summit with PLO Chairman and PA President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Fearing that he was being lured into a trap where he would be pressured by the US and Israel into signing an unfair and unworkable agreement, Arafat sought and received assurances
from Clinton that if talks didn’t succeed responsibility for the failure wouldn’t be attributed to the Palestinians. When Palestinian concerns proved warranted and talks failed after Clinton and Barak attempted to corner Arafat into a bad deal, Clinton broke his word, publicly placing all blame on Arafat, thus helping to create the “no Palestinian partner for peace” myth propagated by Israeli and US politicians for much of the next decade. Former senior State Department official Aaron David Miller would later write: “What we ended up doing was advocating Israel’s positions before, during and after the summit.”

President George W. Bush
During his eight years in office (2001-2009) President George W. Bush continued Clinton’s strategy of appeasing Israel, the stronger party, rather than confronting the Israeli government over its violations of international law and flouting of US policy in regard to settlement construction, home demolitions, and other matters.

In 2004, Bush sent a letter to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in which he:
Began to support the idea that the Palestinians should formally recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” even though doing so would undermine the rights of Palestinian refugees and Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up about 20% of Israel’s population. Previously, the US and Israel had only demanded that Palestinians recognize Israel’s “right to exist” without reference to its ethnic or religious character, which they did in 1988 and again in 1993.

Implicitly recognized Israeli control over some Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, including so-called “blocs,” which divide Palestinian population centers in the occupied West Bank into isolated cantons and sever the West Bank from occupied East Jerusalem.

Declared that Palestinian refugees should be resettled in a future Palestinian state instead of being allowed to exercise their legal right of return to homes and lands inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders which they were ethnically cleansed from in 1948.

Referring to the “Road Map to Peace” put forward by his administration in 2002, Bush added, “the United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other [peace] plan.”

President Barack Obama
Although some critics have accused President Obama of being insufficiently supportive of Israel and the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu, or even outright hostile to them, a close examination of his record shows that, apart from briefly calling for a complete settlement freeze and then backing down, he has been extremely supportive of Israel both diplomatically and militarily while doing little to rein in Israeli human rights abuses.

In terms of the “peace process,” since assuming office in 2009, Obama has:
Appointed Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, and David Makovsky, all former employees of AIPAC and/or the think tank it created, WINEP, to senior positions in his administration and the US team overseeing negotiations. Indyk currently acts as US mediator between the two parties while Makovsky is his deputy.

Taken up Israel’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” thereby acquiescing in the permanent subjugation of Palestinian and other non-Jewish citizens of Israel as second-class citizens and implicitly negating the rights of Palestinian refugees. (In March 2014 Secretary of State Kerry began backing away from insisting on the demand after it had become a major obstacle in negotiations.)

Vocally and aggressively opposed the “delegitimization” of Israel in the international arena by human rights activists and others seeking to hold Israel to account for its human rights abuses by using nonviolent tools like boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

Vetoed a UN Security Council resolution in February 2011 condemning Israeli settlement construction, even though the resolution was in accordance with official US policy going back decades and even though Obama had himself previously called on Israel to freeze settlement construction.

Following the expiration of a 10-month partial slowdown in settlement construction in September 2010, the Obama administration offered the Israeli government a massive bribe to continue its “freeze” for just 90 more days. The offer reportedly
included giving the Israelis 20 F-35 fighter jets worth $3 billion and assurances that the US would continue to veto any UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel. It also reportedly included a promise not to demand any further cessation in settlement construction after the three months expired, meaning that if true the Obama administration would have effectively abandoned official American policy opposing settlements going back more than 40 years. The Netanyahu government turned down the offer, choosing instead to continue settlement construction without further delay.

Legitimizing Apartheid: The Kerry Peace Initiative
Shortly after taking up his post as Secretary of State in February 2013, John Kerry began a major push for a resumption of negotiations, applying pressure to both sides to return to the table. Refusing to freeze the construction of illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land, as the Palestinians had insisted, Israel instead chose to release 104 long-serving Palestinian prisoners (who were supposed to be freed years ago as part of the Oslo Accords) in four stages. In exchange, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas agreed to return to talks without a settlement freeze and not to advance the cause of Palestinian statehood or Israeli accountability by joining international organizations or treaties while negotiations were ongoing. Talks resumed in late July 2013 with Kerry setting out a nine-month deadline ending on April 29, 2014 for reaching a comprehensive peace agreement.

In late December 2013, following months of fruitless talks during which time Israel approved thousands of new settlement units and carried out numerous other provocations, reports began to surface that Kerry was lowering his expectations, from reaching a full peace agreement by the end of April 2014 to achieving a “framework” agreement that would allow the two parties to negotiate past the nine-month deadline. Although news reports varied on the details, the proposed framework agreement combined with the positions of previous US administrations provide a general picture of what the Obama administration’s vision of a final peace agreement might look like:
A demilitarized Palestinian “state” in the occupied territories based on the pre-1967 borders, with Israel annexing several settlement “blocs” containing
75-80% of Jewish settlers in the West Bank (excluding those in East Jerusalem), with land swaps to compensate Palestinians for the lost territory. So-called settlement “blocs” encompass a far greater amount of land than the currently existing settlement buildings within them cover and are strategically located to divide the occupied West Bank into easily controlled cantons. If Israel continues to control these areas under a peace agreement, the Palestinian “state” will consist of several isolated Bantustans, divided from one another and the outside world by walls and Israeli territory. Any land offered to the Palestinians in “swaps” is unlikely to be of the same quality as that of the land lost to the settlement blocs, which sit in strategically important
areas and on large aquifers.

At best, areas of occupied East Jerusalem that have yet to be colonized by Israel will become part of a Palestinian capital, while several hundred thousand Israeli settlers will remain in place under Israeli sovereignty.

If any at all, a small token number at most of the approximately seven million Palestinian refugees will be allowed to exercise their internationally-recognized legal right of return to lands they were expelled from during Israel’s creation, while Israel will refuse to acknowledge any responsibility for their displacement.

The Israeli state will continue to systematically privilege Jews and discriminate against its Palestinian and other non-Jewish citizens, who make up about 20% of the population, while economically and militarily dominating millions more Palestinians living in the Bantustan-like Palestinian “state.”

In return for a tiny Bantustan divided into several cantons, surrounded and dominated by Israel, Palestinians will be asked to formally end aclaims in the conflict, thereby formalizing the apartheid regime that Israel has instituted in the territories it controls between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea.”

 

http://imeu.net/news/article0025063.shtml

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‘After Latest Incident, Israel’s Future in FIFA Is Uncertain’

“Their names are Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17. They were once soccer players in the West Bank. Now they are never going to play sports again. Jawhar and Adam were on their way home from a training session in the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium on January 31 when Israeli forces fired upon them as they approached a checkpoint. After being shot repeatedly, they were mauled by checkpoint dogs and then beaten. Ten bullets were put into Jawhar’s feet. Adam took one bullet in each foot. After being transferred from a hospital in Ramallah to King Hussein Medical Center in Amman, they received the news that soccer would no longer be a part of their futures. (Israel’s border patrol maintains that the two young men were about to throw a bomb.)

This is only the latest instance of the targeting of Palestinian soccer players by the Israeli army and security forces. Death, injury or imprisonment has been a reality for several members of the Palestinian national team over the last five years. Just imagine if members of Spain’s top-flight World Cup team had been jailed, shot or killed by another country and imagine the international media outrage that would ensue. Imagine if prospective youth players for Brazil were shot in the feet by the military of another nation. But, tragically, these events along the checkpoints have received little attention on the sports page or beyond.

Much has been written about the psychological effect this kind of targeting has on the occupied territories. Sports represent escape, joy and community, and the Palestinian national soccer team, for a people without a recognized nation, is a source of tremendous pride. To attack the players is to attack the hope that the national team will ever truly have a home.

The Palestinian national football team, which formed in 1998, is currently ranked 144th in the world by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). They have never been higher than 115th. As Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril al-Rajoub commented bluntly, the problems are rooted in “the occupation’s insistence on destroying Palestinian sport.”

Over the last year, in response to this systematic targeting of Palestinian soccer, al-Rajoub has attempted to assemble forces to give Israel the ultimate sanction and, as he said, “demand the expulsion of Israel from FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.” Al-Rajoub claims the support of Jordan, Qatar, Iran, Oman, Algiers and Tunisia in favor of this move, and promises more countries, with an opportunity at a regional March 14 meeting of Arab states, to organize more support. He has also pledged to make the resolution formal when all the member nations of FIFA meet in Brazil.

Qatar’s place in this, as host of the 2022 World Cup, deserves particular scrutiny. As the first Arab state to host the tournament, they are under fire for the hundreds of construction deaths of Nepalese workers occurring on their watch. As the volume on these concerns rises, Qatar needs all the support in FIFA that they can assemble. Whether they eventually see the path to that support as one that involves confronting or accommodating Israel, will be fascinating to see.

As for Sepp Blatter, he clearly recognizes that there is a problem in the treatment of Palestinian athletes by the Israeli state. Over the last year, he has sought to mediate this issue by convening a committee of Israeli and Palestinian authorities to see if they can come to some kind of agreement about easing the checkpoints and restrictions that keep Palestinian athletes from leaving (and trainers, consultants and coaches from entering) the West Bank and Gaza. Yet al-Rajoub sees no progress. As he said, “This is the way the Israelis are behaving and I see no sign that they have recharged their mental batteries. There is no change on the ground. We are a full FIFA member and have the same rights as all other members.”

The shooting into the feet of Jawhar and Adam has taken a delicate situation and made it an impossible one. Sporting institutions like FIFA and the IOC are always wary about drawing lines in the sand when it comes to the conduct of member nations. But the deliberate targeting of players is seen, even in the corridors of power, as impossible to ignore. As long as Israel subjects Palestinian athletes to detention and violence, their seat at the table of international sports will be never be short of precarious.”

 

http://www.thenation.com/blog/178642/after-latest-incident-israels-future-fifa-uncertain#

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Israeli authorities urged to investigate abuse of Palestinian teenagers

“Defense for Children International Palestine submitted complaints to the Israeli Military Police Criminal Investigations Division this week over the ill treatment of Palestinian teenagers during arrest and transfer to Ariel police station in September.

In separate incidents, Israeli soldiers severely and repeatedly beat Ali S, 14, from Azzun, Hendi S, 17, from Salfit, and Mohammad A, 15, from Tulkarem after arresting them. One soldier extinguished a cigarette butt on Ali’s lip while another burned Hendi’s arm with a cigarette, according to the sworn testimonies of the two teenagers. Hendi and Mohammad were denied access to food, water and toilet facilities for a long period. All three of them were accused of stone throwing.

“Israeli soldiers conduct traumatic arrests of Palestinian children, often involving violence and humiliation, to prime them to quickly confess during interrogation,” said Iyad Misk, a lawyer at DCI-Palestine. “Burning children with cigarette butts raises particular alarm that demands a prompt, transparent and impartial investigation by the Military Police Criminal Investigations Division where the abusers are held accountable.”

Israeli authorities unconditionally released Hendi and sentenced Mohammad to time served during pretrial detention. Ali remains in Israeli custody.

This marks the second time Hendi endures ill treatment this year. In late February, DCI-Palestine submitted a complaint to the Police Internal Investigations Department over the abuse Hendi suffered during interrogation at Ariel police station in February.

DCI-Palestine has submitted a total of 10 complaints this year over the alleged ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers and police. In eight of the cases, Israeli authorities failed to notify DCI-Palestine whether they had opened an investigation. The remaining two cases resulted in the military advocate general’s decision to close the investigation due to insufficient evidence. Israeli authorities deem the refusal of victims to testify without the presence of a lawyer as insufficient evidence.

Since 2000, Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group, reports that only five percent of complaints submitted to the Military Police Criminal Investigations Division have led to an indictment.

Israel’s poor record of accountability, in practice, sends a loud message that grave human rights violations against Palestinians can be committed with total impunity.”

 

http://www.dci-palestine.org/documents/israeli-authorities-urged-investigate-abuse-palestinian-teenagers

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B’Tselem: Military appears to have served as security entourage for Hilltop Youth

“On the morning of Monday 6 January 2014, a group of masked settlers, coming from the direction of the settlement of Yitzhar, arrived at the village of ‘Urif, near Nablus. They reached the eastern outskirts of the village, going to the construction site of a water reservoir being built with USAID funding. The settlers smashed the electricity meter and threw stones at the home of the Safadi family, adjacent to the construction site. They also threw stones at the school, located about 100 meters away. The settlers were accompanied by soldiers as well as by at least one armed settler equipped with a two-way radio, who is apparently one of the settlement’s security guards.

 

 

Usama Safadi, a local villager, filmed the incident and gave the footage to B’Tselem. The footage he shot shows settlers throwing stones, while soldiers stand beside them. The soldiers took no measures to arrest the settlers, to remove them from the area, or at the very least to put an end to the stone-throwing. Several students at the school threw stones back at the settlers and the soldiers fired teargas at the students. At that point, the teachers called the students into the school building to keep them away from the confrontation.

The incident lasted approximately 50 minutes, at which point the settlers left, heading in the direction of the settlement of Yitzhar. The footage of the settlers as they head up the hill shows them passing several vehicles parked on the slope: two military jeeps, a white jeep and a pickup truck, probably belonging to the settlement’s security personnel. Two of the settlers who took part in the assault are seen heading over to the security vehicle and one of them is then seen taking a jacket from the back of the pickup truck. Even at this point, there appears to be no attempt by the military to arrest the assailants, or even to learn their identity. Later, five soldiers are seen heading up from the village in the direction of the settlement.

The filmed record of the incident indicates that the soldiers acted with disregard to their duty to protect the Palestinians: they did not put an end to the violent acts they witnessed, responding only when Palestinians threw stones back at the settlers. The soldiers also do not seem to have made any attempt to identify the masked individuals or detain them until the police arrived on the scene, so they could be charged appropriately. To the best of B’Tselem’s knowledge, the soldiers did not provide the police with their own accounts of the incident.

The filmed record indicates that the military, which is required to defend Palestinians in the West Bank, in actual fact served as a security entourage for violent settlers. During the incident, the military backed the settlers in their assault on Palestinians and their property.

In light of the footage it received, B’Tselem plans to apply to the relevant authorities, demanding that an investigation of the incident be launched immediately. The investigation must examine the conduct of the soldiers and officers on-site during the incident, of the assailants and of the settlement’s security personnel. B’Tselem also plans to demand that all security forces serving on the ground be informed of their duty to protect the local Palestinian population and their property against such attacks.”

 

http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20140108_settler_attack_in_urif

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Ariel Sharon, Architect Of The Sabra And Shatila Massacre, Dies

Ariel Sharon, the controversial self-styled “warrior” who dominated Israel’s military and political landscape for decades, has died eight years after a massive stroke left him in a vegetative state.

The former army general and prime minister suffered multiple organ failure over the new year. His sons were at his bedside at the Sheba Medical Centre, a long-term care facility near Tel Aviv, where Sharon has lain since May 2006.”

 

 

Sharon – known as “Arik” to his friends, “the Bulldozer” to his critics – was a giant figure, both literally and metaphorically, in Israel. He was accused of war crimes after between 800 and 2,000 Palestinians were butchered at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1982 in Lebanon by Phalangist Christians while Israeli forces stood by. Sharon was defence minister at the time.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/11/former-israeli-pm-ariel-sharon-dies

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What Kind Of People Write For FrontPageMag?

Sane, rational people, right? Wrong. Here’s what FPM’s Joe Kaufman had to say back in 2001,

The attacks on our World Trade Center and Pentagon took the lives of 5000 Americans, far greater a number than the attack on Pearl Harbor. Question: If the decimation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the right thing to do, in response to Pearl Harbor, then why the heck are we saving our nuclear weapons now? And furthermore, if we’re not using them, why do we have the nukes in the first place? After all, there is no more Soviet Union to compete with. If the attacks are not a good enough reason to use them, then what are we holding on to them for?!!!

So, who did the bold Joe want to nuke.

First stop, Syria! Over twenty terrorist organizations, including a handful of the major ones, have their home offices located in the city of Damascus, the capital of Syria. Instead of trying to woo Syria into our coalition against terrorism, as our Administration has been doing, by offering to take them off the “terrorist list,” we should nuke Damascus and send the members of each one of its housed terrorist organizations scurrying around like a chicken with its head chopped off. If we’re truly looking to eradicate terrorism, this is the first place I would have gone after.

Hmm, a city densely populated by civillians.

Who else would he like to see nuked,

Second, Osama bin Laden, Al Quaida and the Taliban. It seems that these were the guys responsible for our recent attacks, or at least they have been a decent scapegoat. Before wasting this last month bombing Taliban installations, while at the same time allowing members of the Taliban government to run free into Pakistan, we should have nuked the Afghanistan capital of Kabul. In addition, we should not be sending out our ground troops to their deathbeds by having them search for Enemy Number One in any mountainous caverns. A low level nuke will flatten any mountain out, and thereby flatten bin Laden and his evil band of not-so-merry men.

Third would be Iraq. Iraq could very well be to blame for the recent Anthrax attacks that have found their way to nearly every part of our country. But whether it is to blame or not, we know that Iraq is an enemy, and we know that its government is hiding and producing weapons of mass destruction. The answer to this? That’s right, nuke ‘em… every facility… every weapon… and Saddam, as well.

So one of the poorest cities in the world and Iraq based on non existent WMD’s and supposed Anthrax attacks. Yes, Joe, i think you are a madman!

Read Joe’s full throttle hate fest here,

http://www.floridajewish.com/speakout_display.php?title=Making+Friends+with+the+Enemy…+The+Nuclear+Way

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“Israel government ‘tortures’ Palestinian children by keeping them in cages, human rights group says”

“An Israeli human rights organisation has accused the government of torturing Palestinian children after it emerged some were kept in outdoor cages during winter.

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) published a report which claimed children suspected of minor crimes were subjected to “public caging”, threats and acts of sexual violence and military trials without representation.

It came as the government’s Public Petitions Committee held a hearing to discuss the issue, which the PCATI said must be addressed with a change to the law.

The country’s Public Defender’s Office (PDO) recently released details of one particularly shocking visit by its lawyers to a detention facility.

“During our visit, held during a fierce storm that hit the state, attorneys met detainees who described to them a shocking picture: in the middle of the night dozens of detainees were transferred to the external iron cages built outside the IPS transition facility in Ramla,” the PDO wrote on its website.

“It turns out that this procedure, under which prisoners waited outside in cages, lasted for several months, and was verified by other officials.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called for the practice of keeping children in cages to be stopped as soon as she learned of it, and the prison service issued a statement saying the situation had been improved following the “criticism”.

The PCATI said this was not enough, and called for the country’s relatively high threshold for what can be classed “acts of abuse” to be lowered in the case of children.

Their report argued: “Torture is a means of attacking an individual’s fundamental modes of psychological and social functioning” as described in the Istanbul Protocol. Furthermore, “torture can impact a child directly or indirectly. The impact can be due to the child’s having been tortured or detained, the torture of parents or close family members or witnessing torture and violence.”

It said the incident in Ramla was just one example of a broad range of abuses being suffered.

Yesterday the Knesset committee said Israeli law as it currently exists was being violated by the manner of arrest and detention conditions of Palestinian children, the Post reported.

The committee also took issue with the fact that the government appeared not to keep records of the frequency or scope of disputed practices like midnight arrests.

The PCATI quoted figures from the campaign group Defence for Children International’s Palestine section, saying: “The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones, and 74 per cent experience physical violence during arrest, transfer or interrogation.”

It said Israel was the only country to systematically prosecute children in its military courts, and added that “no Israeli children come into contact with the military court system”.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-government-tortures-palestinian-children-by-keeping-them-in-cages-human-rights-group-says-9032826.html

 

For further Information,

 

http://www.stoptorture.org.il/en/node/1951

 

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