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Irish writer: Europe will not be honest mediator for its hypocrite, duplicate policy towards Palestinian cause

During a meeting held by CIR

Irish writer: Europe will not be honest mediator for its hypocrite, duplicate policy towards Palestinian cause

Entitled “As the American position gets along with Israeli one, will be Europe an honest alternative to the American mediator?”, Council on International Relations – Palestine held a meeting via Skype with the Irish writer, journalist and activist David Cronin in which he addressed the position of European countries on the Palestinian issue.

Taysir Muhaisen, a diplomatic counselor and member of the Council, pointed out that this meeting comes in the context of highlighting important issues that concern to the Palestinian cause at the international level.

For his part, head of the Council, Dr. Basem Naim, said that Europe was the reason for creating the problem of the Palestinians and the establishment of “Israel”.

“At a time everyone believes that” Israel “is taking unilateral actions to make the two-state solution impossible, will Europe be able to rein in the Zionist extremism in light of the American bias toward “Israel”?” Naim wondered.

Cronin began his speech by disclosing his belief that Trump is more impartial than the Europeans because he does what he says.

“He does not claim to abide by international law and then contravene, and he publicly supports the occupation and its actions and does not do so in a lined manner”, Cronon said.

Despite the Israeli violations that undermine the two-state solution, Cronin has pointed out, the European Union is actively engaged in projects and activities in which Israel participates, and it provides great support such as the Horizon 2020 project and the weapons exhibitions, especially the drones that proved how much dangerous it is after the Israeli wars on Gaza.

“All this is happening at a time representatives and leaders in Europe are still hoping to see a two-state solution, which is false remarks”, Cronin added, “the truth is that the EU accepts and turns a blind eye to the occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem, but it does so in a veiled way.”

Cronin has recalled the European Union’s position on the massacres in Gaza. The EU neither condemned it nor demanded “Israel” to stop the killing of Palestinians, rather it called on “Israel” to use the appropriate force. The EU considered such crimes as self-defense which is a rude response as the Irish writer described it.

Cronin talked about the term of anti-Semitism, and how the European Union has stifled solidarity movements with Palestine under the pretext of combating anti-Semitism, using the definition of the International Coalition for the Remembrance of the Holocaust (IHRA) as a weapon to attack anyone who advocates Palestinians and exposes Israel.

Cronin praised the Palestinians who showed great courage in the face of Israeli aggression every week. “Their courageous actions inspire European writers and journalists to continue their defense of the Palestinian cause.” The Irish writer added.

Regarding what is required, Cronin pointed to strengthening the solidarity movement with the Palestinians and supporting the BDS. “The change in Europe will not come from politicians but the ordinary people, he stressed. He also called on the European Union to work to end the Israeli occupation if they are serious to abide by international law.

 

Watch:

CIR denounces Ukraine violation of int’l law by decision to open office in occupied Jerusalem

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) denounced the Ukraine move to open a diplomatic office in the occupied Jerusalem in violation of international law and consensus.

Such a move encourages the Israeli occupation to continue its racist policies against the Palestinian people and destroy any horizon to resolve the conflict, especially after the Israeli government announced recently its intention to expand settlements and annex the West Bank, the council said in a brief statement on Saturday.

The Council called on Ukraine to reverse its decision and abide by the international consensus that refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of “Israel” and to open embassies or any diplomatic activities there.

The Ukrainian government announced on Friday that will open a hi-tech innovation and investment office in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

CIR: Attack on synagogue in Germany confirms terrorism not belong to religion or nation

Council on International Relations – Palestine condemned the terrorist attack on a synagogue in the German city of Halle on Wednesday.

“Terrorism is a threat to all of us, and everyone must stand together against it,” the council said in a statement issued on Thursday.

The Council said that this terrorist attack shows that terrorism does not belong to a religion, a nation or a state, but it’s an abnormal behavior aimed at humanity and security.

The CIR added: “We Palestinians as a victim of terrorism of the Israeli occupation most knows the meaning of terrorism and its devastating effects”.

A heavily armed assailant has killed two people Wednesday in eastern Germany after trying to enter a synagogue in the city of Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, eastern Germany.

Israelis just voted for occupation – stop pretending they want peace

Israelis have just voted in favour of continuing to deny all Palestinians, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, equal rights.

September 28, 2019

Asa Winstanley

Israel’s election results are in. In terms of narrow party-focused politics, the results were inconclusive. The two main electoral lists resulted in a near draw.

According to the final vote tally, the Blue and White electoral alliance – led by two former Israeli generals and an ex-TV news presenter – ended narrowly ahead with 33 seats in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

But they were only a single seat ahead of the ruling Likud Party of the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who won 32 seats.

Nonetheless, the Israeli president has just provided Netanyahu with the first opportunity to form a government, since the incumbent obtained more recommendations from incoming lawmakers overall.

But in terms of what the elections mean for the indigenous people of Palestine, this vote concluded with an emphatic result. Israelis have just voted to continue to permanently impose their racist military occupation regime upon millions of Palestinians.

Liberal Zionists in the UK and the US, when criticised for their support for Israel, quite often take a defensive posture claiming that they oppose “the Netanyahu government.”

Many have been on social media in recent weeks, praying for the downfall of Netanyahu. They also sometimes claim to oppose “the occupation” stating that they work for a “two-state solution” to “the conflict.”

But all that is just so much sophistry.

It is to ignore the reality of the Zionist regime and what it means for Palestinian lives.

The truth is that Israelis have overwhelmingly just voted in favour of continuing the occupation forever.

Israelis have just voted profoundly in favour of continuing the violent, racist, military dictatorship that the Israeli military imposes on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, indefinitely.

Israelis have just voted in favour of continuing to deny all Palestinians, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, equal rights.

And Israelis have just voted unquestionably in favour of continuing to permanently deny Palestinian refugees their internationally recognised legal rights to return to their homes, in present day Israel.

These are the cold hard facts of this most recent Israeli election – as indeed, in every Israeli election.

All Zionist parties in the Knesset, oppose ending the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Only the Joint List – an alliance of parties led by politicians who are mostly Palestinian Arabs – called for an end to the occupation. Even the so-called “left wing” Zionist party Meretz (now part of the Democratic Union list), did not issue a statement claiming that they would end the occupation.

The Joint List did reasonably well, winning 13 seats. But even that means that only almost 11 per cent of citizens of Israel voted to end the occupation of any Palestinians at all.

It means that more than 89 per cent of Israeli citizens voted to keep 5.3 million Palestinians living under the boot of their military dictatorship, forever denying them the most basic human and political rights.

For all the cant of the Western liberal Zionists about “Israeli democracy,” the fact is that none of those 5.3 million people have a vote in the elections for the only government that really controls every aspect of their daily lives – purely, and simply, because they are not Jewish.

None of these are the actions of a democracy. This is an apartheid regime – an ethnocracy.

As the Palestinian intellectual, Diana Buttu, put it this week (in an interview which you can watch in the video above), there is no real difference for Palestinians between Netanyahu and the leader of the Blue and White list – former Israeli general, Benny Gantz.

As Buttu explained, the latter is “a man who even when individuals said that all that they were demanding was equality, came out and said very succinctly he does not at all believe in equality. On the issue of Gantz versus Netanyahu, when it comes to Palestinians, they are exactly identical.”

In his election campaign this year, Gantz repeatedly boasted of how many Palestinians he has killed during wars he has led. His election videos gloated that in the 2014 war, he had bombed parts of Gaza back to the “stone ages”.

When Netanyahu unveiled his plan to annex large swathes of the West Bank this month, rather than condemning him, Gantz too explained that the Jordan Valley would forever remain under Israeli military occupation.

All of this means that anyone campaigning in favour of Palestinian rights, has to face up to a stark reality – the vast majority of Israelis support the occupation. They do not oppose it, as is often claimed.

The figure of 89 per cent of Israelis in support of the occupation, is extremely conservative. A majority of the less than 11 per cent, who voted for the Joint List, will have been Palestinian citizens of Israel.

It is true, that a small minority of dissident Israeli Jews are against the occupation and for equality – just as how in apartheid South Africa, there was a small dissident minority of the white settler population who opposed – and even fought against – the white supremacist regime there.

But we have to face up to this simple fact. Just as was the case with white South Africans – the vast majority of Israelis are never going to vote away their privileges under Israel’s racist system.

Full equality will have to be imposed upon them.

That means isolating Israel’s apartheid regime, by supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom, equality and return using boycott, divestment and sanctions.

 

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our policy.

 

Source: Middle East Monitor

CIR: Israel fears unveiling its racist reality by banning US reps. entry to Palestinian territories

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) said that Israeli banning the American representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entry to the Palestinian territories reveals its fear of unveiling its reality as a racist occupation state.

The council said in a statement issued on Friday that this step reveals the falsity of the claim of the Israeli democracy and its refusal to accept the other for fear of exposing its crimes.

The Council noted that blocking the reps entry will not change anything from the reality of the escalating position against the occupation internationally, especially in the United States, in which the falsity of the occupation and its crimes unfolds day after day among the American people.

The council said that the support of US President Donald Trump and the US ambassador to the occupation state David Friedman to prevent the visit reflects the falsity of their democracy when it comes to the Israeli occupation.

In its statement, the CIR called on the Democratic Party in the United States and its President Nancy Pelosi to take a bold stand towards this Israeli move and respond by preventing the reception of occupation leaders in the party forums and also to introduce laws in Congress to prevent support to the Israeli occupation.

At the same time, the council called on other US lawmakers to insist on visiting the Palestinian territories, exposing human rights violations and exposing the state of criminality practiced by the Israeli occupation state against the Palestinian people.

The Israeli occupation has decided to prevent the US reps Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting the Palestinian territories, as part of a tour they were planning to do in August.

Trump, Kushner and Netanyahu are hellbent on destroying the two-state solution – the EU must not let them

Beth Oppenheim and Luigi Scazzieri

August 2, 2019

This week, Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his team have been touring the Middle East to push his new $50bn economic plan, unveiled in Bahrain last month. The proposals aim to open the West Bank and Gaza to regional and global markets, developing the Palestinian economy. The US administration claims that within 10 years this strategy would double Palestinian economic output.

While the US maintained the launch of the plan was a success, it received scathing press coverage and little recognition by the international community. Crucially, neither the Palestinian Authority (PA) nor the Israeli government were represented, and other important players like the EU, Egypt and Jordan only sent low-level delegations.

Trump has promised the “deal of the century” to solve the Israel-Palestinian question, but so far only Kushner’s economic plan has emerged. None of Kushner’s proposals can work without knowing the outlines of a political settlement. His plan deliberately ignores the realities on the ground, failing to mention Israel’s occupation of the West Bank or its blockade of Gaza.

The Israeli occupation is the main obstacle to Palestinian economic development. In 2013, the World Bank found that restrictions in the Israeli-controlled parts of the West Bank cost the Palestinian economy $3.4bn per year, or 35 per cent of gross domestic product in 2011. Little has changed since. And the blockade of Gaza has left the strip in a permanent humanitarian crisis.

US policy is already eroding the prospects for the two-state solution, which is enshrined in several UN resolutions. Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, have made clear they are not committed to the international consensus. Instead, US policy under Trump has overtly favoured Israel while turning the screws on the Palestinians: the US has recognised the whole of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved its embassy there from Tel Aviv, and recognised Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

At the same time, Trump has ended US support for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), cut US bilateral aid to the Palestinian Authority, and closed the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s office in Washington. As a result, the US has lost credibility with the Palestinians as a neutral broker of peace.

The US’s silence on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank could embolden right-wing Israeli politicians to annex parts of the West Bank. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already promised to pursue annexation, in order to win support from the hard-right. This would permanently fragment Palestinian territory – making a viable, contiguous Palestinian state impossible – inflame tensions across the region, and fan extremism in both the West Bank and Gaza.

 

The EU should limit the potential for Kushner’s economic package to further undermine the two-state solution, which remains the most realistic, mutually acceptable resolution to the conflict. The EU operates a “differentiation” policy towards Israel: settlement entities are excluded from its research programme, and member-states are supposed to label goods produced in settlements. But these measures are weak and poorly implemented. Netanyahu’s threats of annexation should prompt the EU to strengthen its differentiation measures, for example by barring European banks from carrying out financial transactions with people or businesses in the occupied territories.

Full Article here

EU now funds Israel’s war ministry

David Cronin

Two years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu was heard complaining that the European Union was “crazy” for attaching “political conditions” to its relations with Israel. By the prime minister’s yardstick, matters have become less “crazy” since then: the EU has quietly expanded the financial support it gives to Israeli government bodies directly responsible for oppressing Palestinians.

Israel’s defense ministry has just begun drawing down European Union cash for the first time.

It is among the beneficiaries of a new $9 million research scheme on using drones during disasters. Known as Respondrone, the scheme is being financed under the EU’s science program Horizon 2020.

The “political conditions” of which Netanyahu complained are respect for basic human rights. By providing money to Israel’s defense ministry, the EU is helping out a major human rights abuser.

If the English language was used accurately, the defense ministry would be called the ministry for war crimes and occupation.

It is tasked with strengthening Israel’s army. In other words, the ministry is dedicated to making an extremely aggressive army even more lethal.

Not content with occupying the West Bank and Gaza, Israel’s army has bombed Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Sudan since the beginning of this millennium – when the EU supposedly began applying those “crazy” conditions. Israel has also killed Turkish humanitarian activists in international waters.

Subsidizing the ministry which oversees that army is tantamount to approving its crimes.

The Respondrone project kicked off in May. The following month the EU’s embassy in Tel Aviv held a ceremony to celebrate how Israel’s researchers have received more than $820 million from Horizon 2020.

Curiously, the material for the event posted on the embassy’s website does not mention that the EU is now funding Israel’s defense ministry.

Read the full article here.

CIR: UN should take practical steps to punish “Israel” for its crimes against Palestinian children

Council on International Relations – Palestine called on the United Nations to take practical steps to punish the Israeli occupation for its crimes and to go beyond characterizing and criticizing the situation.

The Council appreciated in a statement issued on Monday the report of the United Nations, which criticized “Israel” after it killed and wounded last year the highest number of Palestinian children since 2014.

In its statement, the Council noted that the United Nations, as an international body that includes all countries of the world, should go beyond criticizing and penalize “Israel” that violates the human rights and commits crimes on a daily basis without fear of international punishment.

The CIR called on the United Nations and the international community to impose a comprehensive ban on the Israeli occupation, as was the case with South Africa’s apartheid regime, to prohibit arm sales to it and to call on all countries to boycott it.

Reuters reported that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterich’s report said the number of Palestinian children killed or wounded last year by Israeli forces was the highest since 2014.

The report found that last year 56 Palestinian children were killed by Israeli forces. The report found as well that 2,674 Palestinian children were injured by Israeli forces “in the context of demonstrations, clashes, searches and arrests.”

 

CIR slams Friedman participation in Jerusalem tunnel opening

Council for International Relations – Palestine condemned the participation of the US ambassador to “Israel” in opening an Israeli tunnel under neighborhood of Silwan in the occupied east Jerusalem.

The United States, represented by its administration and envoys in the region, continues to violate and ignore international law and UNESCO resolutions, which explicitly state the right of the Palestinian people to Jerusalem and its holy sites, the council said in a statement on Monday.

The council accused David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, the US president’s envoy to the Middle East, of being Zionist settlers who are no different from the settlers who occupy the Palestinian territories and wreak havoc.

The Council expressed its deep regret over the silence showed by the Muslim and Arab countries. It called upon the American wise politicians and people to pressure the American administration to stop such acts, which only lead to further deterioration and instability in the region.

The CIR called on the international community and the United Nations to take effective measures to pressure the Israeli occupation to stop these American-backed excavations, which are contrary to international law and UN resolutions.

US officials attended the opening, organized by an Israeli settler-linked group in East Jerusalem on Sunday, their latest move breaking with precedent and angering Palestinians. White House Adviser Jason Greenblatt and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman were among the US officials present at the event.

CIR Condemns handing over of Ashqar by American authorities to Israeli occupation

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) condemned the American authorities handing over the Palestinian scholar and former presidential candidate Abdelhaleem Ashqar to the Israeli occupation authorities.

The council said in a statement issued Thursday that the US authorities bear full responsibility for Ashqar, whose fate is now in the hands of the criminal Israeli occupation.

This American step emphasizes the hostile policy of the American administration toward the Palestinian people, stability and peace in the region through its blatant bias towards the unjust occupation and its ongoing crimes, the council noted.

The CIR said that the American administration had unfairly sentenced Ashqar to 11 years in prison after being abducted and placed under house arrest for nearly two years, in a charge not exceeding six months in prison, in clear reference to the targeting of Palestinian activists and scientists by the US authorities.

The council called on the international community, human rights groups and organizations around the world to press for the release of Ashqar, stressing the need for the US administration to review its policies in the region that contradict its claim to be an honest broker to achieve the peace process.

Palestinian scholar and former presidential candidate Abdelhaleem Ashqar was reportedly delivered on Wednesday night by the US authorities to the Israeli occupation, after serving 11 years inside the US prisons.