Wednesday, February 1, 2017

ISRAEL'S VIOLATIONS OF PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS

While the focus has appropriately been on Israel's continuing illegal 50 year occupation and its 50 year policy of building and maintaining illegal settlements, we sometimes do not make supporters and opponents of Palestinian human rights aware of the many other actions taken by Israel in violation of international law. 

THE OCCUPATION
The occupation of the West Bank began in 1967.  Israel has been in violation of the United Nations Charter Article 2 and Resolution 242 since 1967. The year 2017 will mark 50th anniversary of the longest occupation in the world

THE SETTLEMENTS
The Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 1949: Article 49 states “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” From 2 by 1968 there are now 123 settlements where approximately 350,000 Jewish Israeli squatters live. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the first illegal transfer of Jewish Israeli squatters into the West Bank.

THEFT OF PALESTINIAN LAND
The use of extrajudicial process (theft and questionable military necessity) to take control of over 60% of the West Bank has been thoroughly documented in B’Tselem’s “Land Grab”.

DESTRUCTION OF HOMES AND OTHER STRUCTURES
Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian houses – about 27,000 in the Occupied Territories since 1967.  In only 2% of the 27,000 houses demolished were done for security reasons related to terrorism.

THE WALL
According to B’Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories as of 2011:Eighty-five percent of the amended route is within the West Bank itself, not along the Green Line. In areas where the Separation Barrier has already been built, the extensive violations of human rights of Palestinians living nearby are evident.

OLIVE TREE DESTRUCTION
Jewish squatters and the IDF have destroyed 800,000 olive trees (equal to destroying all the trees in Central Park 33 times). Olive trees are the source of income for many Palestinians and Israel has not taken action to arrest, try and punish, or otherwise hold them responsible.

NON-ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS
Israel has failed to charge Jewish settlers for criminal acts including personal injury, deaths and property damage. Many reports from B’Tselem document cases where squatters have stabbed and killed children and adults and destroyed homes and property of Palestinians.

APARTHEID
What does apartheid mean, in Israeli terms? separate, segregated roads and highways for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank; hundreds of attacks by settlers targeting Palestinian property, livelihoods, and lives, without convictions, charges, or even suspects; uncounted Palestinians jailed without trial, shot dead without trial, shot dead in the back while fleeing and without just cause.

RESTRICTION ON MOVEMENT
Israel has created massive restrictions on the movement of Palestinians by the establishment of checkpoints (99 fixed and 174 surprise flying ones as of 2013) most not for security purpose but simply to harass and humiliate Palestinians by having them have to have a long wait to cross into Israel for work or medical treatment or to simply get from one West Bank town to another for family or business reasons.

UNEQUAL ACCESS TO WATER
In its report entitled Troubled Waters – Palestinians Denied Fair Access to Water, Amnesty International concludes: Israel’s actions and policies have greatly diminished existing water sources and restricted the availability of water for the Palestinian population in the OPT in breach of Israel’s obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.

ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION AND TORTURE
Over the years, Israel has placed thousands of Palestinians in administrative detention for prolonged periods of time, without trying them, without informing them of the charges against them, and without allowing them or their counsel to examine the evidence. As of the end of July 2014, Israel was holding about 446 Palestinians in administrative detention. 

INVASIONS OF GAZA AND COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT
Most devastating is that since 2006, Gaza has been subjected to four massive Israeli attacks that deliberately targeted and destroyed its civilian infrastructure (power plants, water and sewage treatment plants, hospitals and schools) and leveled entire residential neighborhoods. In the 2014 Israeli attack between 2,125 and 2,310 Gazans were killed and between 10,626 and 10,895were wounded (including 3,374 children, of whom over 1,000 were left permanently disabled). The UN calculated that more than 7,000 homes for 10,000 families were razed, together with an additional 89,000 homes damaged, of which roughly 10,000 were severely affected by the bombing. Rebuilding costs were calculated to run from 4-6 billion dollars, over 20 years.

DEATH OF A TWO STATE SOLUTION AND RISE OF THE ONE STATE SOLUTION
Today, all knowledgeable observers recognize that Israel’s aggressive Settlement expansion policies have made establishment of a separate Palestinian state physically and politically impossible. There now are just too many Jewish Settlers— what Israelis call “facts on the ground” scattered throughout the West Bank.

BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS (BDS)
There is a growing movement of actions under an umbrella called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Millions of dollars have been donated and raised by Sheldon Adelson and others in an attempt to paint these actions as anti-Semitic, whereas for reasons outlined above, I refer to his efforts as “Pro-Apartheid”. These actions follow a long history in the United States of attempts to peacefully bring pressure on states and other entities to act in accordance with international human rights laws. The deliberate campaign to try to discredit anyone who objects to Israel’s continuous violations of UN actions and international human and civil rights by accusing them of anti-Semitism and to do the same to those Jewish individuals and organizations who provide evidence that the actions of Israel are brutally in conflict with the core fundamental values of Judaism is disingenuous and serves not only to support the continued brutal oppression of Palestinians but to enable the inexorable push by Israel to drive Palestinians out of the West Bank so Israel can annex “Judea and Samaria”.

These actions would be unthinkable and abhorrent and illegal in the United State (substitute Native Americans and Blacks for Palestinians) and yet the US not only fails to pressureIsrael in the UN but has now passed a 10 year $38 billion military aid deal..

Such racist, demonizing, discriminatory, brutal, violent and hateful actions violate not only international human rights laws, international criminal laws, hundreds of UN actions but also the fundamental and core values of Judaism.

It is incumbent upon those who want to hold to the highest standards of Judaism to condemn the actions of Israel and its oppression of the Palestinian people and to support: actions to end the longest occupation in the world now in its 50th year; calls to dismantle the illegal settlements many of which are close to 50 years old; and efforts aimed at bringing not only peace but justice for Palestinians through the establishment of one state with equal rights for all.

FOR FURTHER RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION

There have accumulated since 1967 thousands of reports, articles, witness statements, videos, books, laws, resolutions and court records to prove that Israel’s has not just mistreated Palestinians but has been brutal, unjust, immoral, discriminatory, inhumane, barbaric and racist.  For anyone wishing to learn more about Israel’s violations of human and civil rights, please visit the websites of these organizations promoting peace with justice including B’Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, ICAHD  -  Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and Jewish Voice for Peace


Israel's Violations of the Core Values of Judaism

Israel is a state and it may be a Jewish state but that does not make it a state based on the core values of Judaism. It, in fact, violates many of those core values.


VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM I
The Government of Israel, its military, its civil authority and Jewish squatters have, for close to half a century, regularly violated not only UN actions, international civil and human rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also many of the fundamental and core values of Judaism:

Israel has violated one of the 10 Commandments, You Shall Not Steal, by transferring Jewish Israelis into occupied territory, by stealing the land of Palestinians in the West Bank, and by taking a myriad of actions aimed at making life so miserable for Palestinians that they

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM II
Israel has violated Exodus 22:20-21 - You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” by demolishing Palestinian homes and structures and by the building of the wall.

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUES OF JUDAISM III
Israel has violated Deuteronomy 20:19 “When you besiege a city … you shall not destroy its (fruit) trees .. for you may eat from them, and you shall not cut them down”.

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM IV
Israel has violated Exodus 12:49 saying there shall be one law for the citizen and for the stranger who dwells among you by meting out justice unfairly and more harshly for Palestinians than for squatters, by  often arbitrarily restricting movement for Palestinians but not for squatters, by creating separate and unequal legal systems including apartheid roads in the West Bank, by grossly unequal distribution of water and also by killing those “suspected” but not charged with crimes by assassination when capital punishment is banned in Israel.

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM V
Israel has violated Micah.6:8 “He has told you, O man, Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God” by allowing the daily restrictions on movement and by allowing limited access to water and electricity provided amply to Jewish settlements.

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM VI
Israel has violated Isaiah 1:17,27 “Learn to do well – seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow .. Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and they that return of her with righteousness” by arbitrarily arresting over the years thousands of Palestinians and holding them in administrative detention often for more than a year without being charged or brought to trial for any crime.

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM VII
Israel has violated the basic definition of Judaism “What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor” through its 48 year brutal oppression and occupation of the West Bank and Gaza;

One might wonder what Jewish people who attend Yom Kippur services at Temples and Synagogues think when they read this Haftarah called Acharey Mos which includes the following from Ezekiel XXII, 3-8

“O city that sheddest blood in the midst of thee, that thy time may come and that makest idols unto thyself to defile thee. …therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the nations, and a mocking to all the countries.  Those that are near and those that are far from thee, shall mock thee, thou defiled of name and full of tumult. Behold the princes of Israel, every one according to his might, have been in thee to shed blood.  In  thee have they made light of father and mother; in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger; in thee have they wronged the fatherless and the widow… thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by oppression, and hast forgotten Me, saith the Lord God… And I will scatter thee among the nations, and disperse thee through the countries; and I will consume thy filthiness out of three. And thou shalt be profaned in thyself in the sight of the nations and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.”  

VIOLATION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL VALUE OF JUDAISM
Taken together the illegal, immoral, demonizing, dehumanizing, racist, humiliating actions of the Government of Israel and those acting on its behalf can best be summarized as a gross violation of perhaps the most fundamental value of Judaism

Deuteronomy 16:20 “Justice, Justice shall you pursue, that thou may live and inherit the land which the Lord has given you.

Here are excerpts from the extensive footnoted material to this section in Pentateuch & Haftorahs, edited by J.H. Hertz, The Soncino Press, Second Edition, 1980:

Justice is not the only ethical quality in God and man, nor is it the highest quality; but it is the bases for all the others. Where there is no justice, no proper and practical appreciation of the human rights of every human being as sons of the one and only God of righteousness – there we have a negation of religion. The oppressor, the man who tramples on others, and especially on those like the orphan and the stranger who are too weak to defend themselves, is throughout Scripture held forth as the enemy of God and man.

Nor is justice limited to the relation between individuals.  It extends to the relation between group and group, and it asserts the claims of the poor upon the rich, of the helpless upon them who possess the means to help. And even as there is social justice, prescribing the duties of class to class, so there is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of each and every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage. The pure administration of justice is thus one of the conditions of Israel’s existence as a nation. Our teachers, from the first of them to the last, brand the perversion of the course of justice as the most alarming sign of national decay.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gross Hypocrisy by the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council

How striking the hypocrisy in this statement by the JCRC in this morning's Boston Globe.

The statement, issued by the Jewish Community Relations Council on behalf of 17 organizations, said Jews have a religious obligation to help “the stranger,” beginning with their experience in ancient times as slaves in Egypt. “Why should you not hate the stranger? — asks the Torah,” the statement said, quoting Jonathan Sacks, the chief rabbi of Britain. “Because you once stood where the stranger stands now.”

Well, of course, the definition of “stranger” for the JCRC apparently does not include Palestinians or else the JCRC would not have filed the unconstitutional, undemocratic, un-American pro-apartheid anti-BDS bill that would punish anyone who supports a movement that DOES believe that a core value of Judaism is set forth in Exodus 22:20-21 “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

Be careful not to point this out to a lawyer supporter of the JCRC. He or she would likely say that the Palestinians are not strangers. We know them quite well and they are all terrorists..

More on the JCRC from my last Memorandum

JCRC IS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF JUDAISM

I read the following statements of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) the organization responsible for pushing this proposed law:

November 4 “Our commitment to justice and equality in our nation remain steadfast”;

On the election of Donald Trump “We ..remain vigilant in promoting our nation’s commitment to civil liberties, equality under the law, and social justice, the mighty pillars on which our nation stands” and

Regarding the Trump nominee for Ambassador to Israel “Whether President-Elect Trump supports a two-state solution, or believes that an ambassador who does not share his commitment to same can still carry out U.S. policy, is a matter of vital concern.”

O, Hypocrisy, where is thy sting?

Have I shared with you some of the other violations of the core values of Judaism the JCRC condones when they file the unconstitutional, undemocratic, un-American pro-apartheid anti-BDS bill?

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM I
The Government of Israel, its military, its civil authority and Jewish squatters have, for close to half a century, regularly violated not only UN actions, international civil and human rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also many of the fundamental and core values of Judaism:

Israel has violated one of the 10 Commandments, You Shall Not Steal, by transferring Jewish Israelis into occupied territory, by stealing the land of Palestinians in the West Bank, and by taking a myriad of actions aimed at making life so miserable for Palestinians that they

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM II
Israel has violated Exodus 22:20-21 - You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” by demolishing Palestinian homes and structures and by the building of the wall.

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUES OF JUDAISM III
Israel has violated Deuteronomy 20:19 “When you besiege a city … you shall not destroy its (fruit) trees .. for you may eat from them, and you shall not cut them down”.

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM IV
Israel has violated Exodus 12:49 saying there shall be one law for the citizen and for the stranger who dwells among you by meting out justice unfairly and more harshly for Palestinians than for squatters, by  often arbitrarily restricting movement for Palestinians but not for squatters, by creating separate and unequal legal systems including apartheid roads in the West Bank, by grossly unequal distribution of water and also by killing those “suspected” but not charged with crimes by assassination when capital punishment is banned in Israel.

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM V
Israel has violated Micah.6:8 “He has told you, O man, Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God” by allowing the daily restrictions on movement and by allowing limited access to water and electricity provided amply to Jewish settlements.

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM VI
Israel has violated Isaiah 1:17,27 “Learn to do well – seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow .. Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and they that return of her with righteousness” by arbitrarily arresting over the years thousands of Palestinians and holding them in administrative detention often for more than a year without being charged or brought to trial for any crime.

VIOLATION OF CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM VII
Israel has violated the basic definition of Judaism “What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor” through its 48 year brutal oppression and occupation of the West Bank and Gaza;

One might wonder what Jewish people who attend Yom Kippur services at Temples and Synagogues think when they read this Haftarah called Acharey Mos which includes the following from Ezekiel XXII, 3-8

“O city that sheddest blood in the midst of thee, that thy time may come and that makest idols unto thyself to defile thee. …therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the nations, and a mocking to all the countries.  Those that are near and those that are far from thee, shall mock thee, thou defiled of name and full of tumult. Behold the princes of Israel, every one according to his might, have been in thee to shed blood.  In  thee have they made light of father and mother; in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger; in thee have they wronged the fatherless and the widow… thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by oppression, and hast forgotten Me, saith the Lord God… And I will scatter thee among the nations, and disperse thee through the countries; and I will consume thy filthiness out of three. And thou shalt be profaned in thyself in the sight of the nations and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.”  

VIOLATION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL VALUE OF JUDAISM
Taken together the illegal, immoral, demonizing, dehumanizing, racist, humiliating actions of the Government of Israel and those acting on its behalf can best be summarized as a gross violation of perhaps the most fundamental value of Judaism

Deuteronomy 16:20 “Justice, Justice shall you pursue, that thou may live and inherit the land which the Lord has given you.

Here are excerpts from the extensive footnoted material to this section in Pentateuch & Haftorahs, edited by J.H. Hertz, The Soncino Press, Second Edition, 1980:

Justice is not the only ethical quality in God and man, nor is it the highest quality; but it is the bases for all the others. Where there is no justice, no proper and practical appreciation of the human rights of every human being as sons of the one and only God of righteousness – there we have a negation of religion. The oppressor, the man who tramples on others, and especially on those like the orphan and the stranger who are too weak to defend themselves, is throughout Scripture held forth as the enemy of God and man.

Nor is justice limited to the relation between individuals.  It extends to the relation between group and group, and it asserts the claims of the poor upon the rich, of the helpless upon them who possess the means to help. And even as there is social justice, prescribing the duties of class to class, so there is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of each and every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage. The pure administration of justice is thus one of the conditions of Israel’s existence as a nation. Our teachers, from the first of them to the last, brand the perversion of the course of justice as the most alarming sign of national decay.




Monday, January 30, 2017

UN Resolutions VETOED by the United States 1972-2015

Year
Resolutions vetoed
by the United States
1972-2015

1972
Condemning Israel for the death of hundreds of people in Syria and Lebanon in air raids and the violation of the cease-fire of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

1976
Condemning Israel for attacking Lebanese civilians.

1976
Condemning Israel for building settlements in the occupied territories.

1976
Calling for self-determination for the Palestinians

1976
Affirming the rights of the Palestinians .

1978
Condemning the Israeli human rights record in the occupied territories

1979
Calling for the return of all inhabitants expelled by Israel

1979
Demanding that Israel desists from human rights violations.

1979
Providing assistance to the Palestinian  people.

1979
Discussing sovereignty over national resources in the occupied Arab territories.

1979
For the inclusion of Palestinian women in the United Nations conference on Women

1980
Condemning Israeli human rights practices in the occupied territories.

1981
Demanding that Israel cease excavations in areas of East Jerusalem considered by the UN to be part of the occupied territories

1981
Condemning the Israeli policy on the living conditions of the Palestinian people.

1981
In favour of establishing  nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East.

1981
To clarify the status of Jerusalem

1981
To discuss the issue of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza strip.

1981
To grant the rights of displaced Palestinians to return home.

1981
Regarding the revenues from the property of Palestinian refugees

1981
Creating the University of Jerusalem for Palestinian refugees.

1981
Regarding Israeli human rights violations in the occupied territories

1981
Condemning the closure of Palestinian universities in the occupied territory.

1981
Opposing the Israeli decision to build a canal linking the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

1981
Discussing sovereignty over national resources in the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories.

1981
Affirming the non-applicability of  Israeli law on the Golan Heights

1982
Condemning the Israeli invasion of Lebanon

1982
Condemning the shooting of 11 Muslims at a shrine in Jerusalem by an Israeli soldier.

1982
Calling on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights occupied in 1967.

1982
Situation in the Middle East (Mayors of Nablus and Ramallah Dismissal.

1982
Situation in the Middle East (Golan Heights).

1984
International action to eliminate apartheid

1984
Condemning the Israeli occupation and attack of the south of Lebanon.

1984
Condemning the Israeli attack on Iraq's nuclear facilities

1984
Affirming the rights of the Palestinian people.

1984
For convening a peace conference in the Middle East.

1984
With regards to the Israeli human rights violations in the occupied territories.

1984
Condemning the assassination attempts against Palestinian mayors.

1984
Condemning Israel for not putting its nuclear facilities under international safeguards.

1984
On the prohibition of nuclear tests

1984
Offering economic assistance to the Palestinian people.

1985
Condemning the Israeli occupation of and attack on the south of Lebanon.

1985
Condemning Israel for using excessive force in the occupied territories

1986
Condemning Israel for its actions against Lebanese civilians.

1986
Calling on Israel to respect Muslim hoy places

1987
Urging Israel to stop deporting Palestinians

1987
Condemning Israel for its actions in Lebanon.

1987
Calling on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon

1988
Condemning Israeli practices against Palestinians in the occupied territories.]

1989
Situation in the Occupied Arab Territories.

1989
Calling for a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict based on previous UN resolutions

1990
To send three observers of the UN Security Council to the Arab occupied territories.

1995
Stating that land in East Jerusalem annexed by Israel is occupied territory.
1997
Urging Israel to halt the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories.
2001
To send unarmed monitors to the West Bank and the Gaza strip
2001
Condemning Israel for acts of terror against civilians in the occupied territories
2003
Condemning the decision of the Israeli parliament to "eliminate" Palestinian President-elect Yasser Arafat.
2003
Condemning the construction of a wall by Israel on Palestinian land.
2004
Condemning the assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
2004
Condemning the Israeli incursion and assassinations in Gaza.
2007
Calling for the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people. Other resolutions on the Palestinians and their rights.
2008
Affirming the sovereignty of the Palestinians in the occupied territories and their resources.
2008
Affirming the right of Palestinians to self-determination.
2008
Urging Israel to pay the cost of cleaning up an oil slick on the coast of Lebanon caused by its bombing.
2008
Resolutions on Palestine, its people, their property and Israeli practices in Palestine, including settlements.
2009
Call for an end to the 22-day Israeli attack on Gaza.
2011
Call for a stop to the Israeli settlements in the West Bank
2011
Call on Israel to cease obstructing the movement and access of personnel, vehicles and assets of the Agency of the United Nations Relief and Works for Palestine Refugees.
2011
To request the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem and the the occupied Syrian Golan
2011
It integrates the Palestinian Authority to the United Nations as an observer member.
2015
Condemns Israel for its massive violations of international law in Gaza and the West Bank.