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CIR praises US senators letter calling for helping Palestinians fighting Corona

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) welcomed the letter by US senators demanding the US administration to assist the Palestinians in fighting Coronavirus.

The Council said in a statement issued Sunday: “We highly appreciate the step of the eight senators in which they refused to link humanitarian aid to political situations. We appreciate these honest human feelings, especially their referring to the tragic conditions in the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli siege imposed for 14 years.”

In its statement, the CIR stressed that this step comes in the right time, as the Palestinians are facing an extremist American administration whose position is identical to the racist Israeli government, which seeks in every way to liquidate the Palestinian cause and remove the rights of the Palestinians.

The CIR called on the rest of the members of Congress to support this letter and pressure the US administration to resume UNRWA allocations and stop any steps that would support the occupation and steal the rights of the Palestinians.

Eight members of the American Senate had appealed to the American administration to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to help them overcome the Coronavirus pandemic.

CIR: Rachel Corrie is distinguished example of global solidarity in face of Israeli occupation

Council of International Relations – Palestine said that the 17th anniversary marking the killing of American activist Rachel Corrie at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces comes at a time when attempts to write off the Palestinian issue with the support of the American administration are increasing.

The council said that Corrie, who paid her life to protest the crimes of the occupation, is an honest and inspiring example of the solidarity of activists from all countries with the Palestinian cause, those countries that some of their governments support the policy of the Israeli occupation.

The Council affirmed that the young generation around the world believes in truth, justice and humanitarian support for the Palestinian people, their struggle, resilience and their rejection to give up their land and rights, despite the great sacrifices.

“We see a contradictory picture of a US administration that supports the occupation, and American activists who shed light on the reality of the Palestinian people. This confirms that people of conscience in the American people reject this occupation and its crimes,” the CIR said.

Despite 17 years have passed since the killing of Corrie, as stated in the statement, the occupation and its supporters have not and will not be able to liquidate the Palestinian cause and stop international activists from supporting it.

The CIR appreciated the activists of the world for their ongoing standing alongside the Palestinian people, calling on all countries to listen to the voice of the human conscience and reject the crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people.

Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American peace activist from Olympia, Washington, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer on 16 March 2003, while undertaking nonviolent direct action to protect the home of a Palestinian family from demolition.

CIR: US ditching ‘Palestinian residents’ term for Jerusalem Palestinians will never obliterate their identity

Council on International Relations – Palestine condemned the US State Department’s removal of “Palestinian residents” term for the Palestinians living in the occupied east Jerusalem.

“The US step is an attack on the Palestinian identity and blatant bias in favor of the occupation seeking to Judaize the Holy City”, the CIR said.

The council said in a statement issued Thursday that this step will not obliterate the identity of the Palestinians of Jerusalem who have lived there for centuries, and will not erase the fact that they are the original inhabitants.

“The US move comes in the context of the continuous American attempts to give legitimacy to the occupation of Jerusalem, in violation of international law and international legitimacy resolutions, which still considers Jerusalem, both east and west, occupied”, the CIR noted.

The Council said: “The American steps biased towards the Israeli occupation will not bring peace and stability to any party and will lead the region to more violence and instability.”

It called on the Palestinian residents of the city to continue to stand steadfast, the Arab and Islamic nation to continue to support the residents of Jerusalem, calling on the international community not to bow to the American steps and to take steps confirming the illegality of the US steps.

The State Department referred to Palestinians living in east Jerusalem as “Arab residents” and “non-Israeli citizens,” ditching the traditional term “Palestinian residents” in a move that continues the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as “Israel”’s capital.

 

CIR condemns Germany position supporting Israeli war crimes in ICC

Council on International Relations condemned the German position, that expressed support for “Israel” in the International Criminal Court and Germany’s claim that the court’s jurisdiction did not extend to the Palestinian territories.

The Council said in a statement Thursday, that the position of Germany and other European countries indicate a significant inequity in the balance of justice, democracy and humanity those countries claim to protect and, at the same time, seek to protect Israeli war criminals.

The Council affirmed that Palestine has been a member of the International Criminal Court for five years and has fulfilled the conditions for membership in this organization.

The Council noted that the United Nations recognized Palestine as an observer. “Palestine is an existing state, and is eligible to authorize the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate “Israel’s” criminal acts”, the CIR said.

The Council called on Germany and all member states of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Criminal Court to work to protect peoples from war criminals and to give their opinion to the Prosecutor on the authority of the court to operate in Palestine.

Brazil, Hungary, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and Australia have asked the court to let them file “amicus brief” opinions on the case, ICC records show.

Some, including Germany, said they would argue the court’s jurisdiction did not extend to the Palestinian territories.

CIR hails UN list of firms linked to Israeli settlements

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) hailed the United Nations Human Rights Office report, which lists firms linked to illegal Israeli settlements.

The Council said in a statement Thursday that releasing this list comes after a long wait and a great effort by the human rights institutions that have worked tirelessly to hold these firms complicit in war crimes.

The Council stressed that adherence to international law is the best response to the attempts of the United States and the Israeli occupation in violation of this law and human rights and their pursuit to enforce the law of the jungle.

This step, according to the CIR, indicates the importance of the United Nations role in facing apartheid regimes and holding perpetrators of war crimes and human rights violations accountable and reminds us of the United Nations’ oversight role in eliminating apartheid in South Africa.

The Council stressed that publishing the list is a strong message to all firms complicit in human rights violations and benefiting from the apartheid regime, that they should not enjoy any immunity under such an unjust system.

In its statement, the Council called on the United Nations to implement what was stated in resolution 31/36 and not to submit to any pressure from any party, notably the Israeli occupation, and even to update this list whenever the need arises.

The UN body said it identified 112 business entities – 94 based in “Israel” and 18 in six other countries – which it has reasonable grounds to conclude have ties with Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.

CIR: whilst supporting Israeli terrorism, EU fights Palestinian civil organizations with new conditions

Council on International Relations – Palestine said that the new conditions by the European Union for funding Palestinian civil society organizations are inconsistent with international laws.

The Council indicated in a statement issued Wednesday that these conditions are consistent with the occupation narrative, which labels the Palestinian people as terrorism because of their resistance, steadfastness, and adherence to their legitimate rights.

The council considered the new conditions a restriction on the Palestinian people, who are suffering under long-term military occupation, and who have the right to struggle to gain their independence and freedom from this occupation under international law and United Nations resolutions.

The Council accused the European Union of double standards.

“While strangling the Palestinian people under the pretext of fighting terrorism, the EU participates in supporting state terrorism practiced by “Israel” and finances its violations of human rights. The EU has funded Israeli organizations that practice organized terrorism and violate the rights of the Palestinian people, with $ 872 million, in Horizon 2020 project”, the CIR explained.

The Council said that the EU practices political hypocrisy and is subject to the pressure of the Zionist lobby in dealing with the Israeli occupation, as it considers the occupation and settlement illegal and at the same time funds Israeli institutions that contribute to the strengthening of settlements and occupation.

It called on the European Union to reconsider these conditions, and even to hold European officials accountable for funding the occupation organizations that violate international law.

“We call on the EU to strengthen support for our Palestinian people at all political, legal and financial levels, to achieve their aspirations for freedom and independence, otherwise the alternative would be continued chaos, instability and the disappearance of any opportunity to resolve the conflict permanently.

The European Union informed the Palestinian civil organizations by setting new conditions to continue their funding. Those conditions include labelling Palestinian parties and organizations on the list of terrorism and checking the names of the beneficiaries of the services provided by these institutions.

CIR: US Ambassador statements on West Bank new crime against Palestinians

Council on International Relations considered the statements of the US ambassador “Israel” on the West Bank a crime and a new aggression added to the ongoing American administration’s crimes against the Palestinian people.

The Council said in a statement issued Thursday that Friedman statements reflect the US administration’s continued hostility to the Palestinians and support for the presence of the Israeli occupation on their land, and contradicts the administration’s commitment to adhere to international laws.

In its statement, the council called on the international community to break the silence it controls over the Trump administration’s actions, calling on the world to recognize the Palestinian state and its sovereignty over all Palestinian lands.

The Council made a special appeal to the Democratic Party of the United States to publicly condemn these steps and press through Congress for the American administration to retract this racist policy against our people, and to work immediately to enact laws and legislation to support our people’s struggle for freedom and stability.

These Israeli plans to annex the remainder of our lands, supported by an extremist American administration, threaten any hope for stability in an explosive region boiled by conflicts, the Council stressed in its statement.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said yesterday that America’s next step, after recognising Jerusalem as “Israel”’s capital and “Israel”’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, is the annexation of the occupied West Bank.

CIR: Celebrating this day requires more solidarity and support for our people from the whole world

In a press conference regarding the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,

CIR: Celebrating this day requires more solidarity and support for our people from the whole world

Council on International relations – Palestine (CIR) said Thursday that celebrating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People requires more solidarity and support from the whole world for our people and their causes and rights.

In a press conference held in Gaza Thursday before UNSCO headquarter, the Council said the Palestinian people continue to live under the Israeli occupation, which continues to intensify its criminal policies that target everything related to the rights of our people, foremost of which is their right to live in dignity on their national soil and their independent state.

“We celebrate the occasion this year in light of an aggressive campaign that aims to settle the Palestinian cause and end the dream of an independent Palestine State”, the CIR member Tayseer Mehaisen said during the conference.

“The American administration has recently taken several devastating decisions such as moving the American embassy to occupied Jerusalem, drastic cuts of the United Nations’ funds, and shutting down the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s office in Washington. The American administration has recognized the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, claiming that their establishment does not violate the international law.  By this step, it violates the International consensus to continue backing the ongoing Israeli crimes in Palestine.” The CIR explained.

The CIR expressed its appreciation to the friends of the Palestinian people, calling upon them to strengthen their positions to form a pressing power on the occupation in all international forums, especially the United Nations and its organs, the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court in particular until a clear message is sent to the occupation that its criminal policies are no longer unknown to anyone.

Speaking of the Normalization issue, the Council condemned some juggling in the normalization of relations between some governments in the Arab region and the state of the Israeli occupation, with the knowledge of the reality of the popular position in these countries.

The CIR called on the vital forces of the Arab and Islamic nations to express their positions on what is happening and condemn this strange behavior. In the same context, the council highly appreciated the positions of countries that refused to deal with the infiltration attempts by the occupation and demanded more steadfastness on the road to support the Palestinian people and cause.

The Council called on the international community to condemn the occupation policies and actions, on top of which to condemn the transfer of embassies to Jerusalem, the continued settlement expansion, the siege on Gaza and the crimes against peaceful Return Marches. The council called upon them to boycott everything related to the Israeli occupation on the political, cultural, economic and diplomatic levels. The siege of Gaza and the crimes of the occupation against peaceful return marches.

Following the conference, A CIR delegate passes along a letter to the UN Secretary General through the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

How Western media bias allows Israel to getaway with murder in Gaza

Ramzy Baroud

November 16, 2019

An Israeli attack on Gaza was imminent, and not because of any provocations by Palestinian groups in the besieged, impoverished Gaza Strip. The Israeli military escalation was foreseeable because it factors neatly in Israel’s contentious political scene. The war was not a question of “if”, but “when”.

The answer came on November 12, when the Israeli military launched a major strike against Gaza, killing an Islamic Jihad Commander, Bahaa Abu al-Ata, along with his wife Asma.

More strikes followed, targeting what the Israeli military described as Islamic Jihad installations. However, the identities of the victims, along with damning social media footage, pictures, and eyewitness accounts indicate that civilians and civilian infrastructure were bombed and destroyed as well

As of November 14, when a truce was announced, 32 Palestinians have been killed and over 80 wounded in the Israeli aggression.

What truly frustrates any meaningful discussion on the horrific situation in Gaza is the feeble response, whether by international organisations that exist with the sole purpose of ensuring world peace or by Western mainstream media, that ceaselessly celebrates its own accuracy and impartiality.

A most disappointing response to the Israeli violence was offered by Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

Mladenov, whose job should have long been deemed pointless considering that no “peace process” actually exists, expressed his “concern” about the “ongoing and serious escalation between Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Israel”.

Not only Mladenov’s statement creates a moral equivalence between an occupying power, which instigated the war in the first place, and a small group of a few hundred armed men, it is also dishonest.

“The indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars against population centres is absolutely unacceptable and must stop immediately,” Mladenov elaborated, putting great emphasis on the fact that, “there can be no justification for any attacks against civilians”.

Shockingly, Mladenov was referring to Israeli, not Palestinian civilians. At the time that his statement was released to the media, there were already dozens of Palestinian civilians that had been killed and wounded, while Israeli media reports spoke of few Israelis who had been treated for “anxiety”.

The European Union did not fare any better. The EU parroted the same American knee-jerk response by condemning “the barrage of rocket attacks reaching deep into Israel”.

“The firing of rockets on civilian populations is totally unacceptable and must immediately stop,” a statement by the European bloc read.

Is it not possible that Mladenov and top EU foreign policymakers do not truly comprehend the political context of the latest Israeli onslaught  –  that embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using military escalation as a way of fortifying his weakening grip on power.

Considering this, what is one to make of the poor media coverage, the inept analyses and the absence of balanced reports in major Western news media?

In a report published by the BBC on November 13, the British broadcaster referred to “cross-border violence between Israel and militants in Gaza”.

But Gaza is not an independent country and, per international law, it is still under Israeli occupation. Israel declared Gaza a “hostile territory” in September 2007, arbitrarily establishing a “border” between it and the besieged Palestinian territory. For some reason, the BBC finds this designation acceptable.

CNN, on the other hand, reported on November 13 that “Israel’s military campaign against Islamic Jihad” is entering its second day, while emphasizing the UN condemnation of the rocket attacks.

CNN, like most of its American mainstream counterparts, reports on Israeli military campaigns as a part and parcel of some imagined “war on terror”. Therefore, analyzing the language of US mainstream media with the purpose of underlining and emphasizing its failures and biases, is a useless exercise.

Sadly, US bias regarding Palestine has extended to mainstream media in European countries that were, to some degree, fairer, if not somewhat sympathetic, with the Palestinian peoples’ situation.

El Mundo of Spain, for example, spoke of a number of Palestinians – making sure to emphasize that they were “mostly militants”, – who “died” as opposed to “were killed” by the Israeli military.

 

“The escalation followed the death of Gaza’s armed branch leader,” El Mundo reported, failing once more to pinpoint the culprits in these seemingly mysterious deaths.

La Repubblica, which is perceived in Italy as a “leftist” outlet, sounded more like a rightwing Israeli newspaper, in its description of the events that led to the death and wounding of many Palestinians. The Italian newspaper used a fabricated timeline that only exists in the mind of Israeli military and decision-makers.

“Violence continued. Several rockets were thrown towards Israel by Gaza’s Islamic Jihad (militants), breaking the brief truce, according to (rightwing Israeli newspaper) The Jerusalem Post and to the Israeli army”.

It remains unclear what “truce” La Repubblica was referring to.

France’s Le Monde followed suit, reporting the same deceptive and cliched Israeli lines and emphasizing statements by the Israeli military and government. Interestingly, the death and wounding of many Palestinians in Gaza did not deserve a place on the French newspaper’s homepage. Instead, it chose to highlight a comparatively irrelevant news item where Israel denounced the labeling of illegal settlement products as “discriminatory”.

Maybe, one could have excused these across-the-board journalistic and moral failings if it were not for the fact that the Gaza story has been one of the most covered news topics anywhere in the world for over a decade.

It is obvious that the West’s “newspapers of record” have maintained their blindspot on fairly reporting on Gaza and intentionally kept the truth from their readers for many years so as not to offend the sensibilities of the Israeli government and its powerful allies and lobbies.

While one cannot help but bemoan the death of good journalism in the West, it is also important to acknowledge with much appreciation the courage and sacrifices of Gaza’s young journalists and bloggers who, at times, are targeted and killed by the Israeli army for conveying the truth on the plight of the besieged but tenacious Strip.

Original Article Link

 

 

CIR: extending UNRWA mandate victory for refugee issue, slap to Washington and occupation

Council on International Relations – Palestine, praised the decision of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday to extend the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), considering it a victory for the Palestinian cause and a slap to Washington and the Israeli occupation.

The council considered in a statement issued on Saturday that the resolution is a failure for the Israeli occupation diplomacy, which has worked hard during the past period to liquidate and marginalize the refugee issue.

“The General Assembly’s decision is a slap to Trump and his administration, which attacked the agency with unfair measures to liquidate it, cutting off funding and seeking to redefine the refugee,” the statement said.

The CIR thanked the countries that voted in favor of the resolution, noting that this absolute majority is evidence that the world still believes that the Palestinian issue is a just cause and that Palestinian refugees have the right to return to their homes.

Based on this resolution, the Council called on the international community to continue to support UNRWA to cover the deficits left by attempts to liquidate them, as well as to pressure the occupation to allow refugees to return to their homes.

Contrary to what “Israel” and the administration of US President Donald Trump had hoped, the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to renew the mandate of UNRWA until 2023, with 170 countries voting in favor, two against the United States and “Israel”, and seven abstaining.