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International Relations Council accuses U.S congress of ‘consolidating’ Israeli illegal occupation

The Palestinian Council on International Relations accused the U.S Congress of encouraging “Israel” in its violations and disregard for International law after approving a $38 billion package of military aid for Israel over the next 10 years.

In a press statement issued today, the Council said that such a decision is in the interest of the steps taken by U.S President Trump aimed at consolidation of “Israel”’s illegal occupation and crushing the Palestinians’ dream of self- determination and building their own independent and sovereign State.

The Council warned of the devastating consequences over this decision on the region’s stability, noting that U.S continued support encourages the occupation to continue its savage aggression against regional countries, which could lead to endless crisis.

The Palestinian Council on International Relations urged the U.S congress to listen to all of “the wise voices” calling upon keeping up the pressure on “Israel” to abide by the international law and stop their continuing violations against the Palestinian people.

The U.S Senate moved on Friday $38 billion to “Israel” in military assistance for a whole decade. The decision also included a million dollars fund for the State Department’s ant-Semitism observer office, which is double the current amount.

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: Saunders statements confirm UNRWA crisis political, not just financial

Council on International Relations – Palestine said that the statements of the UNRWA Acting Commissioner-General, Christian Saunders, confirm what the council went before that the crisis is political, not financial.

The Council noted in a brief statement Monday that Saunders’ statements demonstrate beyond any doubt that the United States and the Israeli occupation are striving to liquidate UNRWA and end the Palestinian refugee issue.

In its statement, the CIR called on the international community, especially the UN, the European Union and foreign parliaments, not to surrender to this attack and to mobilize support for the agency, and not to give the American administration and the Israeli occupation the opportunity to implement their plans that aim to liquidate the agency.

The Acting Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Christian Saunders, has accused the United States and “Israel” of working against the agency and pressuring foreign parliaments to stop donations.

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.

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.

 

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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

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.

CIR: Carter Stance on BDS major gain for freedom of opinion, anti-occupation movement

Council on International Relations – Palestine welcomed the statement by former US President Jimmy Carter, in which he called on the US House of Representatives to reject a bill against BDS, describing it unconstitutional.

The Council said in a statement issued Thursday that Carter’s stance is a major gain for all who defend the freedom of opinion and expression, as well as for all activists who exercise their right to pressure the occupation through its boycott to force it to end the occupation and give the Palestinian people their rights.

“In the midst of a wave of attacks against BDS, especially in the United States, President Carter’s stance is an important position to repel this attack and allow the BDS to put more pressure on the Israeli occupation,” the council said.

Former US President said in a statement yesterday: ““Under our Constitution, people and legal entities have the right to express political views without fear of consequences,” stated former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. “U.S. courts have protected the right of individuals to participate in boycotts as a form of political protest. The same protection applies to the right to advocate or oppose BDS. The House of Representatives should reject this unconstitutional bill.”

The Council called upon the international community, parliaments in particular, to ensure the right of peoples to express their views and solidarity with the oppressed peoples, who are subjected to occupation and injustice anywhere, and even to enact laws to isolate and hold criminals accountable.

CIR: Bolton visit to Jerusalem will not legitimize its occupation

Council on International Relations – Palestine denounced the visit of US national security adviser John Bolton to Jerusalem, considering it an attempt to legitimize its decades-old occupation.

The council said in a statement on Monday that Bolton’s visit to the Western Wall and tunnels under the Al-Aqsa Mosque was to encourage and legitimize the plans of the Israeli occupation aimed at demolishing Al-Aqsa Mosque, warning of dire consequences.

“The visit contravenes international law and is a clear indication of the continuation of the American policy, which is biased to the Israeli occupation and is in violation of international norms and laws”, the CIR said.

The Council pointed out that Trump’s policy only leads to greater tension and instability in the region, stressing that his policy will not push the Palestinian people to relinquish their legitimate rights, especially their right to Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

The CIR called on the international community to take practical steps to address this policy, and pressure the US administration to retreat from its destructive policy in the region.

The President of the US National Council John Bolton visited “Israel” on Sunday and arrived at the scene opposite Al Buraq Wall, which is located on the ruins of “The Moroccan Quarter,” and also visited the tunnels along Al Buraq Wall and the Old Town.