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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Obama to press-gang PA into caving in

Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:18AM GMT

The US President Barack Obama
The US President Barack Obama is set to meet the acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Mahmoud Abbas as a new Middle East Quartet plot has emerged to dissuade the Palestinians from seeking recognition by the UN.
The PA is set to present its membership bid at the world body’s General Assembly, which is set to congregate in New York.
The Quartet, comprised of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia, however, are reportedly solidifying efforts to put a potential vote on the matter on hold, British newspaper The Guardian reported on Wednesday.
Washington has already warned it would veto the statehood bid.
The US commander-in-chief will meet Abbas on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN session in line with the Quartet’s plot, which is expected to have the UN Security Council adjourn action on the matter.
Simultaneously, the group would present a framework for renewal of talks between Israel and the PA that would include a so-called timeline for the birth of a Palestinian state.
On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and French President Nicolas Sarkozy also met the PA official, pressing him to accept the compromise.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is, meanwhile, slated to arrive in New York on Wednesday and hold a meeting with Obama before the US president’s scheduled meeting with Abbas.

Audacity to Change: Open Letter to President Obama

16:10 09/21/2011

Why Mr. President give new credits to anti-American sentiment? (UN Photo)
By Ahmed Yousef - Gaza

Mr. President,

The Arab world is experiencing a time of epic transformation. Few believed the streets of Tunis would rebel in their lifetimes, let alone simultaneously with Tripoli, Cairo, Damascus, Sana’a and all the smaller cities known more to the citizenry than the media. Not so exciting, perhaps, are the daily demonstrations in Palestine where we have struggled against Israeli occupation for over 60 years; and humanity has become accustomed to our stone-throwing youth. Yet that familiarity, and in some cases apathy, does not make us any less determined to free ourselves of tyranny.

America’s Israeli ally assassinates, bulldozes, seizes, jails and kills with impunity. It has little if any regard for the sanctity of life, let alone other nations’ borders, passports, or laws. It has faced no actionable censure since its inception; and its impudence grows with each measure of appeasement believing, before and during your presidency, it is above the law.

The United States has played an important role in our subjugation and virtual slavery. American politicians may recoil in horror at this suggestion as quickly as they’d reject the view that Israel controls Congress, the Senate or even the Presidency; yet true or not that is what much of the planet believes. More importantly, it is what Israeli leaders believe. And the standing ovation Benjamin Netanyahu received following what sounded like a State of the Union address reinforces these perceptions. He is even reported to have said a decade ago: “America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won't get in the way." It was in an Israeli Channel 10 report, so you don’t need to take this Palestinian’s word on it.

Yet words in and of themselves are inconsequential. It is the actions of its politicians that determine a nation’s integrity. And, thus far, the United States has said much but done little to engender confidence in its moral leadership.

You took the stage in Ankara and Cairo; and told a billion and a half Muslims that change was afoot. That the United States respected their concerns; and that equity not iniquity drove your nation’s policies. This improved America’s standing; and we believed in you. We dared to hope. Yet by September last year, a Gallup Worldview report declared: “U.S. Approval Gains Nearly Erased in Middle East/North Africa,” citing 6 out of 10 markets where support fell “significantly” between 2009 and 2010. Tellingly, ratings fell below 20% in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and the Palestinian Territories.

There is an absence of logic between much of what America says and does when it comes to Israeli interests. Stated US policy opposes settlements; and yet America vetoes United Nations resolutions criticizing colonization. Stated US policy is that occupation is illegal; yet a previous administration moved the American embassy to a disputed, occupied Jerusalem. Stated US policy is to foment democracy; yet America supports a boycott and embargo of the entire Gaza Strip simply because Islamists won an election. Stated US policy is to encourage negotiations; yet America called reconciliation among Palestinian political parties a hurdle to peace.

Mr. President,

We have neither lobby groups in Washington nor public relations firms in New York; and we do not have the nuclear, chemical or biological arsenals your ally does in Dimona and Ness Ziona. We are a nation of 12 million people, only a quarter of who still reside in Palestine due to decades of humiliation, expulsion, incarceration, deprivation and extra-judiciary execution.

Those of us who remain do so because this is our land; and because we have no desire to live in refugee camps or as second class citizens elsewhere. We want self-determination with strong economic and infrastructural institutions; yet we cannot understand why the United States would deny us the freedom to prosper. Our people are in dire need of the free-flow of medicines, fertilizers, fuel, spare parts, building materials and consumables; and yet an embargo continues on Gaza and any assistance comes with crippling conditions.

An entire generation of Palestinians has grown up since the Oslo Accord; and yet they are no closer to freedom than their parents were. You have an opportunity to allow at least their children to know what it means to live in liberty.  We do not ask the impossible, only that all members of the United Nations are held accountable for their actions; that piracy is classed a crime whether committed by countries or criminals; that killing families is terrorism whether by a group or a government; and that no nation can consistently flaunt international law without bearing serious consequences.

You have stated that peace should be based on pre-1967 borders; and we welcome the words. Yet sooner or later the United States must take action that will test your resolve. America will have to choose between Netanyahu’s inane “indefensible borders” rhetoric and independence for a nation living under siege. We hope when you are faced with a decision of substance, you will have the audacity to change what others would not.
The countdown to September 23 UN Palestinian statehood has begun. It is obvious that the UN Security Council, which must approve such request, will not do so, because the American administration will act upon its consistent vows to exercise its veto.

As the world will be observing, how could you Mr. President deliver speech after speech endorsing Palestinian statehood in principles and then block it in practice? The American credibility as an honest peace broker will under scrutiny as the embarrassment to the White House will be enough to make the point. The United States vetoes the Palestinian request for statehood will damage its opposition in the Islamic world – not merely the Arab world for years to come. As revolution for genuine changes sweeping the Middle East, the American objection to the UN bid will make America to appear as the object of retribution throughout the Muslim world, as it will give new energy for extremism.

After a great speech in Cairo, Why Mr. President you would want to give new credits to anti-American sentiment across the Arab/Muslim world?

- Dr. Ahmed Yousef is the former Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister Ismail Hanniya in Gaza. He contributed this article to

What Exactly Do Israeli Leaders Want?

18:19 09/21/2011

By Ahmed E. Souaiaia

A year ago, President Obama addressed the UNGA where he told world leaders that "when we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations - an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel." He was back today but there was no agreement.

The Palestinians and the Israelis have signed an interim agreement on September 13, 1993 in Washington DC known as the Oslo Accords. The document stipulated that this arrangement is temporary, and that the two parties should negotiate and produce a permanent agreement and that the negotiations must start no later than May 1996. It is now September 21, 2012. Nearly 20 years since signing that accord and there is no permanent agreement, no negotiations. Consequently, the head of the Palestinian Authority decided to ask the world community to end the deadlock by recognizing a Palestinians state over the 1967 borders. The Israelis are opposed and they are asking the US to use its veto to deny the Palestinians statehood.

The pro-Israel commentator Thomas Friedman once said, to paraphrase, that Israel wants three things: A democratic Israel, a Jewish Israel, and more land. He then rightly argued that Israel cannot have all three. Israel cannot have all three, not because the Arabs will deny them, but because the three things that Israel wants are logically and practically incompatible elements.

If Israel wants to grab more land, the land will necessarily come with inhabitants who are not Jews. That will necessarily dilute the Jewish character of the state. If Israel wants to be a democratic state, it cannot absorb more non-Jewish people and expect them to be second class citizens. If Israel wants to be a Jewish state, it must give up the claim that it is a democracy where all citizens, including non-Jews are equal.

Of course, there are ways around these mutually exclusive elements but that would require violation of domestic and international laws. For instance, Israel could re-conquer all the land it wants, kill anyone who resists and then forcefully transfer those who survive, including non-Jewish Israelis, to other lands. That could happen… if the world would tolerate war crimes, crimes against humanity, forceful population transfer, ethnic cleansing, and murder all happening at once.

If the current Israeli rulers really want to embrace the two-state solution and settle this conflict that dragged for too long, they should vote to recognize the Palestinian state over the 1967 borders. If the world community, including the Arabs and the Palestinians, recognize Palestine at the 1967 borders, the world and the Arabs will be automatically recognizing Israel as occupying the remainder of the land—something the Arab and most Muslim countries have not done in 63 years. Such a vote will achieve what the UN, the UNSC, numerous US administrations, and the Oslo agreement have failed to achieve. This vote will give Israel an internationally recognizable border over which they can establish a Jewish state or a Martian state, a democratic state or a tyrannical state… whatever designation they want.

Israel has been demanding that the Arabs recognize Israel and normalize their relations with it for years. This vote for Palestinian statehood is a sure prescription for both: Israel will be recognized at once and, in due time, relations could be normalized. Through negotiations, they can reach agreements not only over the status of refugees and settlements but also over natural resources and trade. But current Israeli leadership is squandering what may be the last opportunity to gain recognition. Not only that, but the leadership is undoing whatever little achievement there was: they lost Egypt to the Arab Spring, they lost Turkey to Gaza War, and they will soon lose Jordan due to democratic transformation on the horizon. The current Israeli rulers are freefalling and dragging the US down with them.

The US worked hard to position itself on the side of the Arab peoples by giving up on dictators. This precious political capital will dissipate fast should the US administration use its veto to block the Palestinian statehood application. A US veto of the Palestinians’ application for statehood could mark the end of the two-state solution; that is how significant this moment is for all concerned parties. This is not just speculative analysis, even the most ardent supporters of Israel have concluded this much: “Israel today does not have a leader or a cabinet for such subtle diplomacy. One can only hope that the Israeli people will recognize this before this government plunges Israel into deeper global isolation and drags America along with it.” (Thomas Friedman, NYT, September 17, 2011).

- Professor Ahmed E. Souaiaia teaches at the University of Iowa. He is the author of the book, Contesting Justice. Opinions expressed herein are the author’s, speaking as a citizen on matters of public interest; not speaking for the university or any other organization with which he is affiliated. He contributed this article to

Another 'Symbolic Victory': Abbas' New Political Gambit

Palestinians are fed up with symbolic victories. (UN Photo/file)
By Ramzy Baroud

When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas decided to go to the United Nations to request the admission of Palestine as a full member, he appeared to have had an epiphany. Had he finally realized that for the past two decades he and his party, Fatah, have gone down a road to nowhere?

That Israel was only interested in him as a conduit to achieve its colonial endeavor in the remaining 22 percent of historical Palestine? That his national project — predicated on the ever elusive “peace process” — achieved neither peace nor justice?

Abbas claims to be serious this time. Despite all US attempts at intimidation (for example, by threatening to withhold funds), and despite the intensifying of Israeli tactics (including the further arming of illegal Jewish settlers to combat possible Palestinian mobilization in the West Bank), Abbas simply could not be persuaded against seeking a UN membership this September.

“We are going to the Security Council. We need to have full membership in the United Nations... we need a state, and we need a seat at the UN,” Abbas told Palestinians in a televised speech on Sept. 16.

For months, Palestinian intellectuals, historians, legal experts and academicians have warned against Abbas’s haphazard, understudied move. Some have argued that if Abbas’ UN adventure is a tactical maneuver, its legal repercussions are too grave a price to pay for little or no returns. If “Palestine” replaces the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) — currently recognized by the UN as the sole representative of the Palestinian people — then Palestinians risk losing the only unifying body they all have in common (its replacement representing only two million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank).

“Most damaging is that this initiative changes our ability as a people to represent the totality of our inalienable rights,” said Abdel Razzaq Takriti, activist and political historian at Oxford University (according to Ma’an news agency, Sept. 3).  “The simple act of replacing the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people with a state removes the claims of the PLO to sovereign status as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”
The PLO, which for decades served as a bulwark of the Palestinian national struggle, continues to exist today, but only in theory. The PA, which was founded in 1994 as a temporary authority to oversee a Palestinian transition to statehood has slowly but decidedly hijacked and undercut PLO institutions.

More, the PA itself has neither legitimacy nor credibility. Whatever remained of the latter was lost during the Israeli war on Gaza and the publishing of the Palestine Papers by Al Jazeera and the Guardian. The papers showed that the very individuals now championing a Palestinian statehood bid at the UN once regularly collaborated with Israel to crack down on Palestinian resistance. They helped Israel undermine Palestinian democracy, isolate democratically-elected Hamas, give away the refugees’ right of return, and worse, deprive Palestinians from any meaningful sovereignty in occupied East Jerusalem. 

As for its lack of legitimacy, the matter requires no leaked documents. In fact, Fatah’s refusal to concede to 2006 election results led to the circumstances that exasperated a civil war in Gaza. Gaza’s besiegement (a direct consequence of the elections and the civil war) continues to serve both Israel and the PA equally. The latter is functioning in the West Bank with no popular mandate, surviving on international handouts and “security coordination” with the Israeli Army. Even Abbas’s term as a president of the PA has expired.

All of this summons an urgent question: How can an authority that lacks the legal legitimacy as a representative of the Palestinian people take on a role that could change the course of the entire Palestinian national project?
A leaked legal opinion by Oxford University law professor Guy Goodwin-Gill warned of the legal consequences of Abbas’ bid, including the sidelining of the PLO. Goodwin-Gill intended to “flag the matters requiring attention, if a substantial proportion of the people are not to be accidentally disenfranchised.” An equally worrisome issue is the PA’s history of acting in ways that contradict the interests of the Palestinian people. Years of such experience left most Palestinians with significantly less land and greatly reduced rights. On the other hand, a small segment of the Palestinian population prospered. Evidently, the “new rich” of Palestine were all affiliated with the PA, Fatah and the very few on top.

This iniquitous situation would have easily continued were it not for the so-called Arab Spring, which began demolishing the status quo governing Arab countries. Abbas’ corrupt regime was also a member of the ailing Arab political apparatus. Its existence, like others, was propped by American or other Western support. In order to avoid brewing anger in Palestine and the region, the Palestinian leadership was forced to present itself as breaking away from the old paradigm

More, the “the PA feels abandoned by the US which assigned it the role of collaborator with the Israeli occupation, and feels frozen in a “peace process” that does not seek an end goal,” according to Joseph Massad in Al Jazeera.

“PA politicians opted for the UN vote to force the hand of the Americans and the Israelis, in the hope that a positive vote will grant the PA more political power and leverage to maximize its domination of the West Bank.”
The reasons behind the PA bid for statehood range between tactical politics (involving Israel and the US) and diverting attention from the PA’s own failures. The elitist politics almost complete discount the Palestinian people.
 If Palestinians truly mattered to Abbas, he would have started by unifying Palestinian factions, reenergizing (as opposed to stifling) civil society, and setting in motion the process needed to reform the PLO (as opposed to destroying its hard-earned international legitimacy).

“It is evident that Palestine needs newly elected leadership through an inclusive democratic process encompassing all Palestinians, not just those in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” wrote leading Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta in the Middle East Monitor (July 10, 2011). This, in fact, should be the task at hand, not wasting time and energy pursing political gambits, which, at best will only yield symbolic victories.

Indeed, the Palestinian people are fed up with symbolic victories. They may have guaranteed Abbas and his men all the trappings of power, but they have failed to reclaim even one inch of occupied Palestine.

- Ramzy Baroud ( is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story (Pluto Press, London), available on

Paradigm Shift: One-sided US Veto

This might be the last chance for salvaging 2 state solution. (UN Photo/file)
By Neve Gordon and Yinon Cohen

US President Barack Obama's decision to use the US' veto prerogative if the United Nations votes to recognise a Palestinian state will constitute a blow to those seeking peace in the Middle East.

His administration's claim that peace can only be achieved through dialogue and consent rather than through unilateral moves ignores the complex power relations that constitute peace-making between Israelis and Palestinians. History teaches that peace is achieved only when the conflicting sides believe that they have too much to lose by sustaining the conflict. And, at this point in history, the price Israel is paying for continuing the occupation is extremely small.

But if, for the sake of argument, one were to accept the view expressed by President Obama - that unilateralism is a flawed political approach - then one should survey the history of unilateral moves within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and examine the US response towards them.

A logical place to begin is 1991, when Israelis and Palestinians met for the first time in Madrid to negotiate a peace agreement. United Nations Resolutions 242 and 338, which call for Israel's withdrawal from the land it occupied during the 1967 War in exchange for peace, served as the basis for the Madrid Conference.

Ever since that conference, Israel has carried out numerous unilateral moves that have undermined efforts to reach a peace agreement based on land for peace. These include the confiscation of Palestinian land, the construction of settlements and the transfer of Jewish citizenry to occupied territories, actions that every US administration regarded as an obstruction to the peace process.

Settlement Expansion

Consider, for example, the Jewish settler population. At the end of 1991, there were 132,000 Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem and 89,800 settlers in the West Bank. Two decades later, the numbers of settlers in East Jerusalem has increased by about 40 per cent, while the settlers in the West Bank, according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, have increased by over 300 per cent. Currently, there are about half a million Jewish settlers.
If Israel had arrested its unilateral transfer of Jewish citizens to Palestinian land in 1991 once it had embarked upon a peace process based on the return of occupied territory, the number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank would have been less than 50 per cent of what it is today.

Indeed, estimations based on the natural growth rate of the West Bank settler population suggest that this population would have been less than 150,000 people in 2011, while today it is actually over 300,000.

An analysis of settler movement to the West Bank also reveals that settler population growth has not been substantially different when left-of-centre parties have been in power. During periods in which the Labour Party formed the governing coalition, the numbers have been just as high, if not higher, than periods during which Likud or Kadima have been in power. This, in turn, underscores the fact that all Israeli governments have unilaterally populated the contested West Bank with more Jewish settlers while simultaneously carrying out negotiations based on land for peace.

Seeing that the settlers are undermining any future two-state solution, the Palestinians have decided not to wait any longer and are asking the United Nations to recognise a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. This, they intimate, is their last attempt to salvage the two-state route before abandoning it to the dustbin of history.

Their argument is straightforward: If the idea behind a two-state solution is dividing land among the two peoples, how can Israel unilaterally continue to settle the contested land while carrying out negotiations? Israeli unilateralism, in other words, has driven the Palestinians to choose the unilateral path. The only difference is that the latter's unilateralism is aimed at advancing a peace agreement, while the former's is aimed at destroying it.

One-sided US Veto

The US has never considered using its veto power to stop Israel from carrying out unilateral moves aimed at undermining peace.

Instead, the US has frequently used its veto to prevent the condemnation of Israeli policies that breach international law. Now the Obama Administration wants to use the veto again, with the moral justification that unilateralism is misguided. But the real question is: Why is unilateralism bad when it attempts to advance a solution, yet warrants no response when unilateralism threatens to undermine a solution?

President Obama should keep in mind that the Palestinian appeal to the international community might very well be the last chance for salvaging the two-state solution.

If the Palestinian demand for recognition falls through due to a US veto, then the necessary conditions for a paradigm shift will be in place: The two-state solution will be even less feasible, and the one-state formula will emerge as the only alternative. 

- Neve Gordon is the author of Israel's Occupation. Contact him through his And Yinon Cohen is Yerushalmi Professor of Israel and Jewish Studies, Department of Sociology, Columbia University, New York. (Gordon contributed this article to

Ban Ki-moon: A Record of Failure and Betrayal

United Nations Secretary general designate Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Secretary general designate Ban Ki-moon
The UN Charter's Preamble states:
  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom...."
The body affirms international support for tolerance, peace and security, and resolve to promote universal economic and social advancement.
However, since its 1945 founding, it's failed on all counts, even though some of its agencies (like UNICEF, WFP, UNHCR and UNESCO) at times provide aid in areas of health, education, food assistance, refugees, social development and more.
It's never enough though, timely, or with resolve to support troubled people adequately in times of need.
Moreover, global wars raged every year post-WW II to the present. The UN's been unable or disinterested in stopping them. One of its fatal flaws is structure, hamstrung by its dominant member, America. It can and does veto measures other member states support, notably when contrary to its imperial interests.
As a result, no action was taken when Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975. Hundreds of thousands were slaughtered in a secretly US-authorized aggression. Its TNI forces were armed, funded and supported by Washington.
In 1999, it was impotent again after East Timor voted for independence, after which TNI forces attacked and slaughtered thousands more.
During South Africa's border wars and invasion of Namibia in the 1960s and 70s, it was sidelined, as well as during a 36-year Guatemala state-sponsored genocide against its indigenous Mayan majority, following the CIA's ouster of democratically elected Jacobo Arbenz Guzman.
Dozens of other examples reveal a dismal record of failure and betrayal of its high-sounding principles and mandate to enforce them. It didn't earlier or now, including by deploying Blue Helmets as peacekeepers.
In fact, they're hostile occupiers, serving imperial interests in Haiti, South Lebanon, Rwanda, Kosovo, Bosnia, DRC Congo, Sudan, Somalia, various other countries, and its initial UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) since 1948, failing to bring peace to Palestine. Yet it's still there, performing no active role, opposing the interests of people they're sworn to protect.
During his tenure as Secretary-General, Kofi Annan (January 1, 1997 - December 31, 2006) was little more than an imperial tool, never achieving or working for peace anywhere.
He never condemned or acted to end the devastating economic sanctions against Iraqis that killed up to 1.5 million defenseless men, women and children.
He didn't use his mandate to denounce Washington's lawless 2003 war. No matter that it's based on lies to permit slaughtering hundreds of thousands more and be able to plunder another occupied country.
He was silent while war raged in Afghanistan and still does without end.
He backed or failed to act against Israel's illegal occupation, its worst crimes against Palestine, and its illegal 2006 Lebanon war.
He took no action to denounce Washington's failed attempts to oust Hugo Chavez, and showed a disturbing indifference to the pain and suffering of his own people throughout the continent of his birth.
Instead, he dutifully served Washington, other dominant powers, and corporate predation of Africa's riches and elsewhere.
His entire tenure was a testimony to failure and betrayal. So is Ban Ki-moon's since becoming Secretary-General on January 1, 2007. Ever since, he's been a co-conspirator in war crimes and other abuses.
In fact, one of his first acts was to reverse the UN's longstanding opposition to capital punishment. It's a barbaric practice often sentencing innocent people to death, notably in America.
At the time, he dismissively said whether or not to enforce it "is for each and every member State to decide," instead of forthrightly condemning it.
Nor did his restructuring plan address the Security Council's illegitimate veto power, giving one nation like America authority over all others. It's abused the practice ever since.
Instead, it's high time the body reflected majority rule, giving all nations equal say on issues affecting everyone. Ban's overall silence, inaction, and support for wrong over right speak volumes.
In fact, despite its own often deplorable record, Human Rights Watch (HRW) acknowledged Ban's shamelessness. Its "World Report 2011: A Facade of Action" included criticism of his "quiet diplomacy facade of (in)action" for not taking forceful steps when needed.
HRW's executive director Kenneth Roth criticized his "use of dialogue and cooperation in lieu of public pressure....on abusive governments," notably America and its imperial partners.
In fact, said Roth, "(f)ar from condemning repression, Ban sometimes (goes) out of his way to portray repressive governments in a positive light."
He meant third world despots, not the world's leading human rights abuser, waging lawless imperial wars and engaging in other scandalous actions.
In response, Ban's office disagreed, despite clear evidence of his complicity in grievous crimes of war and against humanity by indifference, silence, and support for Western aggression. Putting lipstick on that pig doesn't wash.
Nor have his spineless measures protected whistleblowers or prevented peacekeeper killings, rape, sexual exploitation, corruption and other crimes.
In addition, he hasn't defended human rights or condemned violations against them, notably by Western countries. Nor has he denounced aggressive wars and other lawless acts.

How can he when he supports them, including Washington's ouster of democratically elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009.
Or the Obama administration's militarization of Haiti and complicity in rigging the electoral process to install stealth Duvalierist Michel ("Sweet Micky) Martelly, an anti-populist former Kompa singer supporter of powerful corrupt corporatist interests.
Moreover, Ban backed regime change in Ivory Coast. He authorized a lawless French-backed military operation against Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, killing hundreds of civilians.
He also echoed Washington's call for Gaddafi's ouster, saying he lost all legitimacy. At the same time, he backs cutthroat rebel paramilitaries, and supports lawless air strikes.
They've laid waste to large parts of Libya and still do, killing and injuring tens of thousands. They also transformed Libya into a charnel house human rights disaster.
Instead of condemning, stopping, or preventing wars, he authorized and cheerled them, betraying his mandate to support peace and human rights.
Shamelessly serving Israel, not Palestine, he caused great harm in the process, including besieged Gaza denied flotilla aid from arriving.
He even petitioned world leaders to back Israel's demand to direct what it permits "through legitimate crossings and established channels" to prevent vital aid getting through or enough of it.
By appointing his own commission to investigate Israel's May 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre, he tried to whitewash his own Human Rights Council's condemnation, as well as independent ones denouncing Israel's cold-blooded murder of nine civilians and injuring dozens more in international waters.
These were high crimes - piracy he should have forthrightly condemned, but he didn't. Instead, he dutifully paid homage to Israel as he always does.
Despite representing 193 member states, Ban only serves Washington, Israel, and other dominant powers. He thumbs his nose at the rest, including majority General Assembly positions on numerous human rights and other vital issues.
In other words, in derogation of his sworn mandate, he solely represents dominant interests. Notably they're those of Washington, Israel, and their imperial partners, ravaging targeted countries to carve up their corpses for profit.
As a result, he shares culpability with lawless predator states, harming billions worldwide by his contempt for human rights. In fact, the very notion's not in his vocabulary, let alone concern for people in dire need.
They're on their own because Ban won't observe his sworn mandate to help them. It's a testimony to his deplorable record.
It's appalling enough to have earned him a second term last June, representing wealth and power for another five years at the expense of billions worldwide he scorns.
It's the mettle of a failed Secretary-General, a legacy history won't let him forget or expunge.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon.

Supporting Palestinian-UN Bid, Protest Held In Front of U.S Embassy In Tel Aviv

author Tuesday September 20, 2011 21:27author by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies 
Dozens of members and supporters of the National Democratic Assembly held on Tuesday evening a protest in front of the American Embassy in Tel Aviv, demanding the U.S. not to veto the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations, the Arabs48 news website reported.
US Embassy Protest In Tel Aviv - Image Arabs48
US Embassy Protest In Tel Aviv - Image Arabs48
The protesters carried signs that read, “America - Israeli Puppet”, “Yes for Palestine, No for American veto”, “America, the mask fell from the mask”, “Down with the last fortress of colonization”, “No for abandoning the Right of Return”, and other posters calling for liberty and independence.

They also chanted slogans affirming the legitimate Palestinian demands for statehood and independence.

The Arabs48 said that the head of the National Democratic Assembly (NDA), Wasel Taha, NDA Secretary-General, Awad Abdul-Fattah, his deputy Mustafa Taha, and dozens of members and supporters participated in the protest.

Taha stated that this protest is just the beginning of national activities to protest the American-Israeli policies that reject the legitimate Palestinian right of establishing an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

“We believe that heading to the United Nations is a step in the right direction, we call on the Palestinian leadership to go ahead, isolate Israel and its anti-peace policies”, Taha stated, “This move also exposes the American policies that reject the legitimate Palestinian rights, while at the same time, Washington claims supporting the Arab Spring”.

Arab Member of Knesset, Hanin Zo’by, stated that this protest is a protest against the American veto, and a message to the Arab world that the time has come to remove the U.S from its mediation role.

“This veto end the American role as a mediator in the Middle East”, she said.

She also stated that what is needed now is more determination to achieve international legitimacy, and that any country that wants to mediate in peace talks, must base its mediation on International Law, Human Rights, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
category israel | non-violent action | news report author email saed at imemc dot org
US Embassy Protest In Tel Aviv - Image Arabs48
US Embassy Protest In Tel Aviv - Image Arabs48

Israelis Attack Bus of Prisoners' Families

Date : 21/9/2011   Time : 16:39

JENIN, September 21, 2011 (WAFA) – A group of Israelis attacked on Wednesday a bus carrying families of Palestinian prisoners on their way to visit their detained relatives in the Naqab prison, south of Israel, according to family members.
They said the Israelis threw stones at the bus after they prevented it from continuing on the road.
The bus was prevented from moving for more than an hour until Israeli police arrived and allowed the bus to continue.
No one was hurt in the incident.