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Rights Group Fires Back at Israel

Posted on Nov 14, 2009
AP / Abdel Kareem Hana

Fire and smoke light up the night sky over Gaza City during Israel’s military offensive in early 2009.

Human Rights Watch is accusing Israel and its backers of waging a campaign of misinformation in an effort to discredit the group. HRW has been a leading voice in condemning alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip.  —JCL

The Guardian:

America’s leading human rights organisation has accused Israel and its supporters of an “organised campaign” of false allegations and misinformation, including “extremely personal attacks” on its staff, in an attempt to discredit the group over its reports of war crimes in Gaza.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) ties the campaign – which has included accusations that the group’s reports on the Jewish state are written by “anti-Israel ideologues” and that it has sought funds from Saudi Arabia – to a statement by a senior official in the Israeli prime minister’s office in June pledging to “dedicate time and manpower to combating” human rights organisations.

The criticism began with Israeli pressure groups and rightwing blogs, but in recent weeks it has drawn the support of influential individuals such as Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel peace prize winner, and HRW’s own founder, Robert Bernstein, who said the organisation’s reports were “helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state”. He called on HRW to focus more on abuses by Arab governments.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, November 15, 2009 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

Silent And Inactive

By George Galloway

Speech by George Galloway MP at the War Crimes Conference & Exhibition that took place at the Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 28th October 2009.

Video - Posted November 15, 2009

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By gerard, November 15, 2009 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

EDD’s phrase “killing their own souls” is something that has occurred to me recently also, applied to the U.S. as well, however.  Evidence of massive suicidal drives are:  fear, aggression, “end of the worldism”, lack of ability to organize effective resistance, hatred, desire for revenge, increase in all kinds of abusive behavior and intolerance—no need to go farther. It’s a time when “keep hope alive” is no idle mantra if the human spirit is to survive.  We need to take steps (through the UN maybe) to establish a code of minimal human rights worldwide and do the job of convincement to support it.  Huge!  But just a different kind of “climate change.”  Every last intelligent person is needed now, not to give way to screaming fits but to support organizations already established that need money, input and help with specific goals and campaigns.  Injecting the positive energies of thousands would help a great deal.

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By Robert, November 15, 2009 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

Debate On The U.N. Gaza War Crimes Report

“Packed house hears Justice Richard Goldstone, whose name has become synonymous with the U.N. Human Rights Council’s fact-finding report on the conflict, engage in a public forum with a senior Israeli political figure over widespread criticism of the report among supporters of Israel.”

Click link to watch video(s) of debate “questions & answers session” ...Hmmm…there is NO Palestinian side representative(s) and as one can see, Israel’s representatives are out there in full force with their…Zionism’s propaganda:

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By fwdpost, November 15, 2009 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

The jew haters are out in force tonight.

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By Robert, November 15, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

How To Create A Terrorist
Palestine Monitor

4 November 2009

“Going from Ramallah to Jerusalem by bus should only take about twenty minutes, but since Israel constructed the separation wall it usually takes up to one hour. In addition to the wall one has to negotiate Kalandia checkpoint, a hi-tech airport/border security style military facility. Everyone has to disembark from the bus, pass through the checkpoint and, assuming that everything went as planned, get back on the bus on the other side of the wall and continue on their journey to Jerusalem.

Qalandya checkpoint
  Photo by Lazar Simeonov

The last Sunday of October 2009 it took me and a friend who was accompanying me more than three hours because of a dramatic incident that is going to change one girl’s life forever.

After getting out of the bus, we arrived at the checkpoint’s entrance and went through a narrow, barred passageway that could be the entrance to hell. Then we passed through the first turnstile under the watch of a bored looking Israeli security guard and several sophisticated video cameras, and entered the heart of the checkpoint, it’s security area—where you are trapped until the Israeli soldiers allow you to exit.”

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By nefertiti, November 15, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

“they dared to speak out” is Brilliant , I read it and I recommend it too . it has many sources and names to prove how anyone who dares to speak is hounded and his career ends or is paralyzed .

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By diamond, November 15, 2009 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

You can tell who a country is by who its enemies are. Israel’s enemies include the Rec Cross, the United Nations and now they’ve added Human Rights Watch to their list. Of course, it’s easy to understand why:

In 1948 Rihab Charida’s father was nine and lived in the Palestinian village of Safsaf. It was attacked by Israeli forces. Her father witnessed a massacre where men from the village were lined up and shot. Her father’s account is backed up by diary entries from an Israeli officer, Yosef Nahmani, who wrote:
‘In Safsaf, after the inhabitants had raised a white flag, the soldiers collected and separated the men and women, tied the hands of 50-60 fellahin(peasants) and shot and killed them and buried them in a pit. Also they raped several women.’
If your entire history was a litany of such events why would you want the United Nations or the Red Cross or Human Rights Watch sniffing around and writing reports on your appalling behaviour? Goldstone is telling the truth. Israel is lying.

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By edd, November 15, 2009 at 11:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

American Jewry needs to think of its own interest.  They might not want to tie their fate to the fate of Israel.  Sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost, Israel’s evil is too vast. It is as though they have destroyed their own souls.

Shouting “Never Again” while killing women and children won’t protect them.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 15, 2009 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Simply read the editorial in the Washington Post condemning the Goldstone Report and it becomes obvious whose bread is being buttered.

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By FRTothus, November 15, 2009 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Israel is a key component in the projection of US dominance in the region that stores perhaps the greatest strategic asset there is: oil.  These are the realities, no matter the rhetoric.  Whoever controls the oil, controls policy.  The euro and the GW Bush’s “old Europe” plus China, Russia, and their need for this resource is the opportunity and the threat.  People will not die so that ExxonMobil/BP gains monopoly over Total/Fina/Elf, so the facts must be layered over with edifice and lies, distractions and mythologies.  This is fodder to fill the spaces in-between corporate ad spots.
More to the point, however… When has an act of state violence ever been plead by its supporters as other than an act of self-defense?  Why the Arab world has had to suffer a Jewish State when it was industrialized, democratic Christian Europe that slaughtered them is beyond me, and probably beyond most Arabs.  I don’t care about the Jews one way or the other, but to have the Arabs pay for the crimes of Western Europeans seems to me to be the principle injustice.  Continued crucial US support for Israeli State-sponsored terrorism shows how easily the Empire dismisses notions of justice or law.
“The United States supports right-wing dictatorships in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East ... because these are the rulers who have tied their personal political destiny to the fortunes of the American corporations in their countries… Revolutionary or nationalist leaders have radically different political constituencies and interests. For them creating “a good investment climate” for the United States and developing their own country are fundamentally conflicting goals. Therefore, the United States has a strong economic interest in keeping such men from coming to power or arranging for their removal if they do.”
(Richard Barnet, Intervention and Revolution)
” There is ...a huge tacit conspiracy between the U.S. government, its agencies and its multinational corporations, on the one hand, and local business and military cliques in the Third World, on the other, to assume complete control of these countries and “develop” them on a joint venture basis. The military leaders of the Third World were carefully nurtured by the U.S. security establishment to serve as the “enforcers” of this joint venture partnership, and they have been duly supplied with machine guns and the latest data on methods of interrogation of subversives.”
(Edward S. Herman)
“If the U.S. really believes that supporting terrorists makes you as guilty as the terrorists themselves, then it would have to put on trial most of its military and political leadership over the last handful of administrations, and more.”
(Peter McClaren)
“U.S. leaders have striven with much success to repress (1) the emergence of competing forms of production (socialist, collectivist, communitarian); and (2) competing capital formations (prosperous autonomous capitalist economies, or mixed ones, in emerging nations, and with FTAA and GATS, all public sector services except police and military in all capitalist countries. The goal is the Third World-ization of the entire world, including Europe and North America, a world in which capital rules supreme with no public sector services; no labor unions to speak of; no prosperous, literate, effectively organized working class with rising expectations; no pension funds or environmental, consumer, and occupational protections, or medical plans, or any of the other insufferable things that cut into profit rates.”
(Michael Parenti)

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By Bert, November 15, 2009 at 4:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The photo caption is misleading: the white streamers descending are
  the unmistakable signature of white phosphorus: Google image search helps

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By NZDoug, November 14, 2009 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

Im with Chomsky
USA/Izy same gang of thugs.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, November 14, 2009 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

We all know that Israel tries to control what we’re all allowed to say and even think
in all matters concerning the Holy State. What is so much harder to know is
precisely why Israel is so successful at keeping us all in line. I confess, I still can’t
quite understand it, after years of observing this maddening phenomenon.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, November 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

America’s Dismal Future

By Paul Craig Roberts

“November 12, 2009 “Information Clearing House”—-It did not take the Israel Lobby long to make mincemeat out of the Obama administration’s “no new settlements” position. Israeli prime minister Netanyahu is bragging about Israel’s latest victory over the US government as Israel continues to build illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

In May President Obama read the Israelis the riot act, telling the Israeli government that he was serious about ending the Israeli conflict with the Palestinians and that a lasting peace agreement required the Israeli government to abandon all construction of new settlements in the occupied West Bank.

On November 10 Obama’s White House chief of staff, Rahm Israel Emanuel, surrendered for his boss at the annual conference of the United Jewish Communities. The ongoing Israeli settlements, he said, should not be a “distraction” to a peace agreement.

Allegedly, the US is a superpower and Israel is a client state whose very existence depends entirely on US military and economic aid and diplomatic protection. Yet, in the real world it works the other way. Israel is the superpower and the US is its client state.

This true fact is proved to us at least once every week and sometimes two or three times in one week. A few days ago the US House of Representatives voted 344 to 36 in favor of disavowing the UN report by the distinguished Jewish judge Richard Goldstone that found that Israel had committed war crimes in its attack on the civilian population in the Gaza Ghetto. The Israel Lobby demanded that the House repudiate the fact-filled report, and the servile House did as its master ordered.

US Rep. Dennis Kucinich spoke to his colleagues for 2 minutes in an effort to make them see that their vote against the Goldstone report would be a great embarrassment to the US government and demean the House in the eyes of the world. But none of that matters when Israel gives its servants an order. The US House of Representatives preferred to demean itself and to embarrass the US Government rather than to cross the Israel Lobby.

Retribution quickly fell upon Kucinich for his 2 minute speech. On November 9, Kucinich was forced to withdraw as the keynote speaker for the Palm Beach County (Florida) Democratic Party’s annual fundraising dinner. The Israel Lobby gave the order—dump Kucinich or there’s no money and no one is coming to the dinner. County Commissioner Burt Aaronson called Kucinich “an absolute horror.”

Kucinich is the rare Democrat who stands up for his party’s principles, the working class, and tried to get health care for those Americans the corporations have thrown out on the street. But helping Americans doesn’t count. Israel uber alles.”

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By PatrickHenry, November 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

Gotta send these guys a check.

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By Charlie H. Ettinson, November 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This really isn’t very new.  The effort by Israel to fight back against what it perceives as bias was started some time ago and is really no different than the public relations carried out by any other country.

To suggest that HRW is being unfairly targeted seems a silly suggestion.  Israel has a wide range and number of domestic human rights groups that routinley criticize Israel and its policies.  These groups are totally legitimate and their criticism is valid.  In fact, I think I remmeber reading that the IDF was enlisting one of them (B’Tselem I think) to assist Gazans who wish to testify against Israel to come forward.  These groups are certainly not attacked.

For it’s part, HRW has fundraised by suggesting that their efforts will go to help the fight against Israel supproters, has a member who routinley criticizes Israel who is just a little too enthralled with Nazis for comfort, and publishes so many reports against Israel—in proportion to other countries—that it’s hard to blame Israel and Israelis for wanting to defend themselves against accusations and set the record straight.  Unfortunatley, HRW is extremely resistant to admitting to its own mistakes and false accusations, even when these are proven.

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By montanawildhack, November 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

None of this is new or surprising….  A great book that spells out how Israel and her powerful lobbies intiminate and threaten people is “they dared to speak out” by Rep. Paul Findley….. It is a real eye opener…

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