After more than a year of turbulence, Syria is still facing both a violent internal opposition uprising and the threat of external intervention. NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council have backed the opposition, the Syrian Transitional Council, both politically and militarily. Calls for humanitarian intervention in the name of the “responsibility to protect” have been made by the same NGOs as those who acted over Libya last year. Russia and China have vetoed interventionist resolutions in the Security Council, backed by the US, France and the UK, and a chance for reconciliation has been offered with Kofi Annan’s mediation mission. But can it succeed? Will sovereignty remain respected, as provided for by the UN Charter? What are the real aims of NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council in Syria? Do they want peace and reconciliation or regime change and chaos?
What a clusterf*ck in the making, it’s truly a No-Win scenario for the Syrians, needless death and destruction for what exactly…? Reminds me of the age-old adage, that to ‘save’ the village we must bomb it into oblivion…!
UN investigation backs Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza
Report backs Israel’s right to defend itself but says assault on pro-Palestinian flotilla was ‘excessive and unreasonable’
A United Nations investigation has backed Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza as legal but said its military assault on a flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists last year, in which nine Turks were killed, was “excessive and unreasonable”.
The report notes that Israel has not satisfactorily explained how it is that most of the dead were shot multiple times, including in the back, and at close range. But it also said the organisers of the flotilla acted “recklessly” in attempting to breach the blockade.
The report is expected to be released on Friday after months of delay because of a dispute between Israel and Turkey over its contents and Ankara’s demand for an apology from Israel for the deaths of its citizens…
I will say that a UN report that states something is legal, does not make it necessarily so. Let’s put it before the World Court at The Hague. They’ve already taken a dim view on the earlier West Bank Barrier Wall…
Now, my favorite Knesset Member gave a great response to the Palmer report…
Arab politician unimpressed by UN report on flotilla incident, insists Gaza blockade illegal
“Those who sent the army to stop the flotilla should be persecuted and brought before international tribunals,” Zoabi said. “Breaching the blockade is the moral, political and humane obligation of anyone who believes people must not remain silent over the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.”
…Amid all the sound and fury, it is important to recall that none of the vessels involved in the 2010 flotilla incident ever reached either Israeli or Gazan territory. They were intercepted in international waters. At that point, the passengers and crews had done absolutely nothing, illegal or otherwise. When the boats were hauled into the port of Ashdod, no weapons were found on any vessel.
Defining the flotilla’s organizers as terrorism supporters is a cheap trick, but if it passes muster in Israel, all it takes is an American judge or prosecutor to buy into the argument and bring about an indictment of any American citizen who tries to break Israel’s Gaza blockade. Eric Holder would hardly object, and it is not unimaginable that the Justice Department would make criticism of Israel de facto and de jure a crime in the United States. Could the accused be convicted in an American court “of terrorism support” given that they had done nothing illegal, particularly in light of their First Amendment rights? Maybe not, but stranger things have happened in the past 10 years. Since lawfare as practiced by Shurat HaDin is little more than an instrument to intimidate and threaten, dragging flotilla participants into court and forcing them to pay for lawyers will be seen as a victory. More disturbing than the actions of obvious Israeli partisans like Nitsana Darshan-Leitner is the willingness of the Obama administration to go along with the charade and the enthusiasm of Republican governor and presidential wannabe Rick Perry to join in. When the U.S. criminal justice system falls in line and plays the Israeli game, we will all be in trouble.
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