August 2012 Archives

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Father Roy writes:   This is precisely the kind of publicity Israel’s present government needs.  The following article was published in an Israeli newspaper.  The highlights are mine.  How likely are we to find this information in US newspapers?   Peace, Roy 

Netanyahu’s arrogance strengthened Ban’s resolve to visit Iran, UN officials say

Israeli PM requested that the UN chief cancel the trip, then proceeded to launch a social media campaign to that effect; Foreign Ministry official: If we had kept it quiet, it’s possible we would have achieved better results.

by Barak Ravid

The pressure exercised by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to cancel his trip to the Non-Aligned Movement meeting in Tehran apparently boomeranged. According to blogger Colum Lynch, who provides reports and analysis on the United Nations for the Foreign Policy website, the Prime Minister’s Office campaign only convinced Ban that it was vital for him to fly to Tehran and present a peace initiative related to the nuclear crisis.

According to Lynch, senior UN officials “said that Netanyahu’s public appeal to Ban — delivered in what staffers viewed as a condescending tone – backfired, fortifying Ban’s resolve to go.”

About a week ago, Netanyahu called Ban to ask him to cancel his appearance at the conference in Iran. But instead of exercising discretion about his conversation with the UN secretary-general, after the call Netanyahu hurried to issue a lengthy press release, in which he detailed everything he had said to Ban on the phone.

Ban’s office was furious that Netanyahu had “leaked” the contents of the conversation, and Ban’s fury only increased when he discovered that within days their conversation had morphed into an entire campaign. The Prime Minister’s Office initiated a social media drive, calling on Web surfers to send e-mails to the UN secretary-general asking him not to fly to Tehran. At the same time, a series of Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the World Jewish Congress issued press statements harshly criticizing Ban’s plan to travel to the conference in Iran. Ban’s associates were convinced that the attacks by Jewish groups had also been directed by the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. A senior Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem said that Netanyahu’s behavior in this instance had been mistaken, and his attack on the UN secretary-general had been totally superfluous.

“If we had continued making quiet contacts with Ban’s people it’s possible we would have achieved better results,” the official said.

Ban will arrive in Tehran on Wednesday to attend the opening ceremony of the Non-Aligned Movement meeting. At this stage it looks as if the conference will turn into an unprecedented public diplomacy effort by Iran regarding its nuclear program. In front of the building in which the conference is to be held, the Iranians have placed the cars of Iranian nuclear scientists who have been assassinated over the past two years, killings for which Iran blames Israel.

In addition, the Iranians announced that it will offer to take foreign leaders who come to the conference on a tour of the nuclear reactor at Bushehr, and also to visit other nuclear installations in an effort to prove that Iran’s nuclear program is meant solely for civilian purposes.

The Iranians are also looking into organizing a tour of the suspicious military base at Parchin, where the International Atomic Energy Agency has said Iran is conducting nuclear activities with military characteristics.

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Father Roy writes:   The highlights in the following article are mine.  My allies and I do not find Iran’s government to be as threatening to the world’s security as Benjamin Netanyahu does.  Actually, we consider Netanyahu’s government to be the really dangerous one.   Peace, Roy

source: Iran Opens Nonaligned Summit with Call for Nuclear Arms Ban | Common Dreams 

Iranian diplomatic leaders called for an international ban on nuclear arms by the year 2025 on Sunday, as the nation kicked off this year’s Non-Aligned Nations Movement (NAM) Summit. Over 120 nations met in Tehran this weekend beginning a week-long gathering aimed at tackling global issues ranging from the conflict in Syria to nuclear proliferation.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi opened the gathering with a speech reminding NAM nations of a goal to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

“We believe that the timetable for ultimate removal of nuclear weapons by 2025, which was proposed by NAM, will only be realized if we follow it up decisively,” he told delegates.

The Non-Aligned Movement is comprised of states which do not consider themselves aligned formally with any major power bloc. The group was founded in 1961 as a stand against cold war power struggles and meets every three years.

Outside the summit, Iran displayed three cars damaged by bomb blasts, which Iran suggests were orchestrated by Britain, the U.S. and Israel, that resulted in the deaths of five Iranian scientists, including nuclear experts.

Iran called on Non-Aligned Movement leaders to take a stand against Western sanctions, and once again insisted that it’s nuclear program was solely for energy purposes.

“Regarding our peaceful nuclear program… we have always said that we are only seeking our legitimate rights” to nuclear energy as permitted under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Salehi said.

“The NAM… should seriously confront unilateral sanctions of certain nations against some members of the NAM,” Salehi said in a speech opening days of preparatory meetings for the summit on Thursday and Friday.

Iran says its hosting of the summit is evidence it is not as internationally isolated as the US and Israel portray.

 

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According to this report, the Israeli government has designated roughly 18% of the West Bank as ‘closed military zones’ to be used by the IDF for training and military exercises!

The idea that this confiscation of land and the consequent abuse of its inhabitants can somehow be excused as a military necessity is outrageous!

This report was aired on RT – the Russian 24/7 English-language news channel which offers a Russian view on global news. I wonder how much coverage this news received in the mainline Western media?

Go on! Share this video! Get the word out!

Father Dave

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The parents of Rachel Corrie have been working tirelessly since 2003 to see that somebody was held accountable for her tragic death.  It is hard to believe that after such a long journey the case was simply dismissed and that Rachel was blamed for her own death!

This response just in from the International Solidarity Movement – a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli Occupation by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.

Source: palsolidarity.org…

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is deeply concerned by the verdict of Judge Oded Gershon that absolved Israel’s military and state of the 2003 murder of American ISM activist Rachel Corrie. Rachel was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer while protesting the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.

Despite the American administration stating that the Israeli military investigation had not been “thorough, credible and transparent” and the Israeli government withholding key video and audio evidence, Judge Gershon found no fault in the investigation or in the conclusion that the military and state were not responsible for Rachel’s death. Judge Gershon ruled  that Rachel was to blame for her own murder and classifies her non-violent attempt to prevent war crimes as proof that Rachel was not a “thinking person”.

By disregarding international law and granting Israeli war criminals impunity Judge Gershon’s verdict exemplifies the fact that Israel’s legal system cannot be trusted to administer justice according to international standards.The ISM calls on the international community to hold Israel accountable by supporting the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and continuing to join the Palestinian struggle in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Describing the situation in Gaza 2 days before she was killed, Rachel said, “I’m witnessing the systematic destruction of a people’s ability to survive. It’s horrifying.” Rachel’s analysis holds true today, confirmed by the United Nations a day before this ruling, which reported that Gaza would not be “liveable” by 2020 barring urgent action.

The verdict is a green light for Israeli soldiers to use lethal force against human rights defenders and puts Palestinian and International human rights defenders in mortal danger.

This will not deter us. As long as our Palestinian sisters and brothers want our presence, the ISM will continue to find ways to break Israel’s siege, and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. As Rachel’s mother Cindy put it, “There were children behind the walls of the home Rachel was trying to protect…We should have all been there”.

Judge Gershon’s verdict is a travesty of justice but it is not exceptional.  As a rule the Israeli legal system provides Israeli soldiers impunity to commit murder. The only Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter since the outbreak of the second Intifada in 2000 was Taysir Hayb, a Bedouin citizen of Israel for shooting British ISM volunteer Tom Hurndall in the back of the head with a sniper rifle as Tom was carrying a child to safety. At least 6,444 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupation forces in this period, with no justice for them or their families.

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Father Roy writes:   This article was published today in a leading Israeli newspaper.  I’ve done a bit of highlighting.  Let’s notice that Iran is not calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map”.  Iran is presenting itself as “an effective partner for settling global problems”.   Peace, Roy

Iran calls on Non-Aligned movement to push for Israel war tribunal

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi quoted as saying such an initiative would also stop Israel from committing further alleged war crimes against Palestine.

Iran called on member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Wednesday to push for opening a war tribunal against Israel, the news network Khabar reported.

The network quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi as saying that such an initiative would also stop Israel from committing further alleged war crimes against Palestine.

Salehi further called on NAM for formation of a committee for securing the rights of the Palestinians.

Iran also announced plans to propose the formation of a Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) troika, plus two neighbor states, to help settle the Syria crisis.

“Our specific proposal to the NAM is formation of a troika committee for Syria consisting of Egypt, Iran and Venezuela,” a head of the parliament’s foreign policy commission, Alaeddin Bouroujerdi said. Also on the committee would be Iraq and Lebanon – both neighbors of Syria – Boroujerdi said.

“During my visit to Damascus last week, President (Bashar) Assad said he would welcome any Iranian plan in this regard,” the lawmaker added.

Iran is a staunch supporter of Assad, and has called for negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition

The Iranian foreign minister had earlier said at the ongoing NAM conference in Tehran that Middle East peace could not be secured “by blind and discriminatory support by world powers for Israel’s state terrorism and its policies of occupation, aggression, threats, torture and devastation.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was also in Tehran for the summit on Wednesday, and was set to meet Iranian lawmakers in the parliament. A luncheon with Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani was also scheduled. Ban will also meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and chief nuclear negotiator Saeid Jalili.

During his visit to Tehran, which had caused some criticism in the United States and Israel, the UN chief is supposed to talk with the Iranian leaders both about the country’s controversial nuclear projects and alleged human rights violations.

Iran, in return, hopes to persuade Ban that Western accusations against the Islamic state on Iran’s nuclear programs were unjustified. It also plans to again present itself as an effective partner for settling global problems.

Iran also plans take the UN chief to the historic city of Isfahan in central Iran and avail its of the occasion to also show him the two uranium conversion and enrichment sites, both located near Isfahan.

A UN spokesman in New York, however, said that Ban would not inspect any nuclear sites during his Iran visit.

North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, also arrived in Tehran on Wednesday for the summit.