Zio-Watch News Round-up

Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup, January 6, 2015



From The Independent

When will Palestinians learn? Turning to international law isn’t the answer — just ask America and Israel


Sunday 4 January 2015

If Palestine’s request is ‘entirely counterproductive’, what does that make Israel’s slaughtering of civilians last summer?

Throw an old dog a bone and sure enough, he’ll go chasing after it. So it is with “Palestine’s” request to join the International Criminal Court. An obvious attempt by Mahmoud Abbas to try Israel for war crimes in Gaza this year, we are told.
Or maybe a “two-edged sword” – yawns are permitted for such clichés – which could also put Hamas “in the dock”. Israel was outraged. The US was “strongly opposed” to such a dastardly request by the elderly potentate who thinks he rules a state which doesn’t even exist.

But hold on a moment. That isn’t the story, is it? Surely the real narrative is totally different. The BBC didn’t get this. Nor CNN. Nor even Al Jazeera. But surely the most significant event of all is that the descendants of the PLO – excoriated only a quarter of a century ago as the most dangerous “terrorist” organisation in the world, its mendacious leader Yasser Arafat branded “our Bin Laden” by Israel’s mendacious leader Ariel Sharon – actually wants TO ABIDE BY INTERNATIONAL LAW!

Heavens preserve us from such a thought, but these chappies – after all their past calls for Israel’s extinction, after all the suicide bombings and intifadas – are asking to join one of the most prestigious judicial bodies on earth. For years, the Palestinians have demanded justice. They went to the international court in The Hague to have Israel’s apartheid wall dismantled – they even won, and Israel didn’t give a hoot. Any sane Palestinian, you might think, would long ago have turned his or her back on such peaceful initiatives.

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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

Abbas: Palestinians will resubmit statehood resolution

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians will resubmit a statehood resolution to the United Nations Security Council.

“We will go back to the Security Council until it recognizes our rights,” Abbas said Sunday in Ramallah, in the West Bank, Reuters reported. “We are determined to join international conventions and treaties despite the pressure.

“We didn’t fail, the U.N. Security Council failed us. We’ll go again to the Security Council, why not? Perhaps after a week.”

Jordan, which submitted the resolution that was defeated last week in the Security Council, will remain a member of the council. Several countries seen as more sympathetic to the resolution were rotated on to the body at the beginning of the year.
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From PressTV

President Mahmoud Abbas signs Palestine’s document for joining the ICC.

The International Criminal Court says Palestinian officials have formally recognized the court’s jurisdiction.

Herman von Herbel, who serves as ICC registrar, confirmed Monday that the body has received documents by Palestine declaring its acceptance of the body’s jurisdiction. This paves the way for the court’s investigation of Israeli crimes committed during the recent war on Gaza.

However, the move differs from accession to the Court’s founding treaty and Palestine has yet to trigger an automatic investigation into Israeli crimes.

When Palestine accedes to the Rome Statute, The Hague-based court would be able to prosecute Israeli officials for crimes they have committed over the past months in Gaza and the West Bank.
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From PressTV

Palestinian prisoners inside an Israeli jail (file photo)

The health condition of several Palestinian prisoners held inside Israeli jails is failing, says the Palestinian Authority Department of Prisoners Affairs.

Palestinian prisoners residing in Israeli jails are suffering from serious health problems, yet they are not receiving proper medical treatment, the department said in a statement on Monday, Palestine’s Ma’an News Agency reported.

A 75-year-old prisoner, Fouad Shweiki, who suffers from weak eyesight, elevated blood pressure, and prostate problems, was among thoses not receiving proper medical treatment.

In 2006, Shweiki, the oldest Palestinian prisoner currently held in Israeli jails, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars.

Another prisoner,  Khaled Hassan al-Qadi, contracted Hepatitis B after being jailed in 2003, but has not received any manner of medical treatment.

Via a separate statement, the department said that the health conditions of 16 prisoners currently being held in al-Ramla hospital were deteriorating due to being treated inhumanely.
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From PressTV

An Israeli construction site in East al-Quds (file photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to provide 70 million shekels ($17.8 million) for the construction of the infrastructure for 300 more settler units in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu and Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Moshe Ya’alon came to an agreement to allocate the fund from the military budget to the Beit El settlement.

Israel’s former Finance Minister Yair Lapid had blocked the move last year, saying that the cabinet could decide on such expenditure.  However, his dismissal from the cabinet when the coalition collapsed paved the way for the launch of the project.

On December 24, 2014, the Israeli regime gave the green light to the construction of 380 new settler units in two areas of East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Despite widespread global condemnation of Israel’s land grab policies, Tel Aviv has approved a series of plans for new settler units in East al-Quds in recent months.

The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

U.S. raps Israel’s decision to freeze Palestinian tax revenues

(JTA) — The Obama administration came out against Israel’s decision to freeze some $125 million in Palestinian tax revenues in response to the Palestinian Authority’s request to join the International Criminal Court.

“We oppose any actions that raise tensions and we call on both sides to avoid it,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Monday at a regular daily briefing.

Psaki said Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke over the weekend and discussed the P.A.’s recent moves to join the court, along with nearly 20 other international treaties and conventions, after the United Nations Security Council failed to pass a Palestinian statehood proposal.

The United States would “like to prevent” the Palestinians’ bid to join the ICC “from moving forward,” she said, adding that the effort could cause “implications on our assistance.”
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From PressTV

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Israel has threatened to ask the US Congress to halt Washington’s funding to Palestinians if they initiate any action against Tel Aviv at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

An Israeli official, whose name was not mentioned in the reports, said Sunday that Israel would turn to the US pro-Israel Congress members to make sure of the enforcement of a law that stipulates banning funds to the Palestinians in case of any move against the Israelis at The Hague-based criminal court, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Monday.

The comments came after Palestinian officials formally submitted Palestine’s ICC membership documents to the United Nations.

The stop-gap funding bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in December 2014 specifies that no State Department economic support funding may be given to the Palestinian Authority if “the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.”

According to the daily, the US annual aid to the Palestinians amounts to some USD 400 million.
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From PressTV

An American labor union stages an anti-Israeli rally in California, the US. (File photo)

A political commentator says the world must boycott Israel in order to halt the ongoing crimes by the Tel Aviv regime against Palestinians, Press TV reports.

Jim W. Dean, the managing editor of Veterans Today, said in an interview with Press TV from Atlanta that the international community and the world public must impose “a widespread boycott of Israel.”

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has taken some concrete steps to boycott Israeli institutions over the constant crimes against Palestinians, Dean said.

He said a large number of civil society organizations and universities around the world are joining the BDS, as are a number of states.
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From the Jewish Daily Forward

1 Billion Chinese. 1 Jew. So Many Questions.

By Steven Windmueller

One month ago, I returned from China, where I was the guest of the Guilford and Diane Glazer Center for Jewish and Israeli Studies at Nanjing University. The Glazers are not the only Jewish philanthropic connection — many American Jews have made commitments in support of China’s ten academic centers of Jewish study. Yes, you read that right — there are no less than ten centers for studying Judaism in China.

The Chinese have a fascination with Jews, you see. It’s partly because of mythologies related to perceived notions of “Jewish political influence” in America, but it’s also connected to the significance of Jews in Western history and culture. As the “other” great ancient civilization, Jews enjoy a level of respect and admiration among the Chinese.
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From the Jewish Daily Forward

James Palmer Gets Looted Art Back

By Michael Kaminer

When The New York Times broke the story of a lawsuit over misdirected proceeds of Nazi-looted art, it dedicated a couple of lines to Mondex Corporation, a low-profile outfit whose research brought the case to light.

But Mondex, which operates out of Toronto and London, has played a headline role in helping heirs navigate the murky world of looted-art restitution.
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