US going from Police State, To Military State

Every America needs to know this.

Make sure you give a copy to all your friends out there.

The NDAA and the Death of the Democratic State

February 11, 2013 

On Wednesday a few hundred activists crowded into the courtroom of the Second Circuit, the spillover room with its faulty audio feed and dearth of chairs, and Foley Square outside the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in Manhattan where many huddled in the cold. The fate of the nation, we understood, could be decided by the three judges who will rule on our lawsuit against President Barack Obama for signing into law Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The section permits the military to detain anyone, including U.S. citizens, who “substantially support”—an undefined legal term—al-Qaida, the Taliban or “associated forces,” again a term that is legally undefined. Those detained can be imprisoned indefinitely by the military and denied due process until “the end of hostilities.” In an age of permanent war this is probably a lifetime. Anyone detained under the NDAA can be sent, according to Section (c)(4), to any “foreign country or entity.” This is, in essence, extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens. It empowers the government to ship detainees to the jails of some of the most repressive regimes on earth.

Section 1021(b)(2) was declared invalid in September after our first trial, in the Southern District Court of New York. The Obama administration appealed the Southern District Court ruling. The appeal was heard Wednesday in the Second Circuit Court with Judges Raymond J. Lohier, Lewis A. Kaplan and Amalya L. Kearse presiding. The judges might not make a decision until the spring when the Supreme Court rules in Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, another case in which I am a plaintiff. The Supreme Court case challenges the government’s use of electronic surveillance. If we are successful in the Clapper case, it will strengthen all the plaintiffs’ standing in Hedges v. Obama. The Supreme Court, if it rules against the government, will affirm that we as plaintiffs have a reasonable fear of being detained.

If we lose in Hedges v. Obama—and it seems certain that no matter the outcome of the appeal this case will reach the Supreme Court—electoral politics and our rights as citizens will be as empty as those of Nero’s Rome. If we lose, the power of the military to detain citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military prisons will become a terrifying reality. Democrat or Republican. Occupy activist or libertarian. Socialist or tea party stalwart. It does not matter. This is not a partisan fight. Once the state seizes this unchecked power, it will inevitably create a secret, lawless world of indiscriminate violence, terror and gulags. I lived under several military dictatorships during the two decades I was a foreign correspondent. I know the beast.

“The stakes are very high,” said attorney Carl Mayer, who with attorney Bruce Afran brought our case to trial, in addressing a Culture Project audience in Manhattan on Wednesday after the hearing. “What our case comes down to is: Are we going to have a civil justice system in the United States or a military justice system? The civil justice system is something that is ingrained in the Constitution. It was always very important in combating tyranny and building a democratic society. What the NDAA is trying to impose is a system of military justice that allows the military to police the streets of America to detain U.S. citizens, to detain residents in the United States in military prisons. Probably the most frightening aspect of the NDAA is that it allows for detention until ‘the end of hostilities.’

Five thousand years of human civilization has left behind innumerable ruins to remind us that the grand structures and complex societies we build, and foolishly venerate as immortal, crumble into dust. It is the descent that matters now. If the corporate state is handed the tools, as under Section 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA, to use deadly force and military power to criminalize dissent, then our decline will be one of repression, blood and suffering. No one, not least our corporate overlords, believes that our material conditions will improve with the impending collapse of globalization, the steady deterioration of the global economy, the decline of natural resources and the looming catastrophes of climate change.

But the global corporatists—who have created a new species of totalitarianism—demand, during our decay, total power to extract the last vestiges of profit from a degraded ecosystem and disempowered citizenry. The looming dystopia is visible in the skies of blighted postindustrial cities such as Flint, Mich., where drones circle like mechanical vultures. And in an era where the executive branch can draw up secret kill lists that include U.S. citizens, it would be naive to believe these domestic drones will remain unarmed.

Robert M. Loeb, the lead attorney for the government in Wednesday’s proceedings, took a tack very different from that of the government in the Southern District Court of New York before Judge Katherine B. Forrest. Forrest repeatedly asked the government attorneys if they could guarantee that the other plaintiffs and I would not be subject to detention under Section 1021(b)(2). The government attorneys in the first trial granted no such immunity. The government also claimed in the first trial that under the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act (AUMF), it already had the power to detain U.S. citizens. Section 1021(b)(2), the attorneys said, did not constitute a significant change in government power. Judge Forrest in September rejected the government’s arguments and ruled Section 1021(b)(2) invalid.

The government, however, argued Wednesday that as “independent journalists” we were exempt from the law and had no cause for concern. Loeb stated that if journalists used journalism as a cover to aid the enemy, they would be seized and treated as enemy combatants. But he assured the court that I would be untouched by the new law as long as “Mr. Hedges did not start driving black vans for people we don’t like.”

Loeb did not explain to the court who defines an “independent journalist.” I have interviewed members of al-Qaida as well as 16 other individuals or members of groups on the State Department’s terrorism list. When I convey these viewpoints, deeply hostile to the United States, am I considered by the government to be “independent”? Could I be seen by the security and surveillance state, because I challenge the official narrative, as a collaborator with the enemy? And although I do not drive black vans for people Loeb does not like, I have spent days, part of the time in vehicles, with armed units that are hostile to the United States. These include Hamas in Gaza and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey.

I traveled frequently with armed members of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front in El Salvador and the Sandinista army in Nicaragua during the five years I spent in Central America. Senior officials in the Reagan administration regularly denounced many of us in the press as fifth columnists and collaborators with terrorists. These officials did not view us as “independent.” They viewed us as propagandists for the enemy. Section 1021(b)(2) turns this linguistic condemnation into legal condemnation.

Alexa O’Brien, another plaintiff and a co-founder of the US Day of Rage, learned after WikiLeaks released 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private security firm that does work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency, that Stratfor operatives were trying to link her and her organization to Islamic radicals, including al-Qaida, and sympathetic websites as well as jihadist ideology. If that link were made, she and those in her organization would not be immune from detention.

Afran said at the Culture Project discussion that he once gave a donation at a fundraising dinner to the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic organization. A few months later, to his surprise, he received a note of thanks from Sinn Féin. “I didn’t expect to be giving money to a group that maintains a paramilitary terrorist organization, as some people say,” Afran said. “This is the danger. You can easily find yourself in a setting that the government deems worthy of incarceration. This is why people cease to speak out.”

The government attempted in court last week to smear Sami Al-Hajj, a journalist for the Al-Jazeera news network who was picked up by the U.S. military and imprisoned for nearly seven years in Guantanamo. This, for me, was one of the most chilling moments in the hearing.

“Just calling yourself a journalist doesn’t make you a journalist, like Al-Hajj,” Loeb told the court. “He used journalism as a cover. He was a member of al-Qaida and provided Stinger missiles to al-Qaida.”

Al-Hajj, despite Loeb’s assertions, was never charged with any crimes. And the slander by Loeb only highlighted the potential for misuse of this provision of the NDAA if it is not struck down.

The second central argument by the government was even more specious. Loeb claimed that Subsection 1021(e) of the NDAA exempts citizens from detention. Section 1021(e) states: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

Afran countered Loeb by saying that Subsection 1021(e) illustrated that the NDAA assumed that U.S. citizens would be detained by the military, overturning two centuries of domestic law that forbids the military to carry out domestic policing. And military detention of citizens, Afran noted, is not permitted under the Constitution.

Afran quoted the NDAA bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said on the floor of the Senate: “In the case where somebody is worried about being picked up by a rogue executive branch because they went to the wrong political rally, they don’t have to worry very long, because our federal courts have the right and the obligation to make sure the government proves their case that you are a member of al-Qaida and didn’t [just] go to a political rally.”

Afran told the court that Graham’s statement implicitly acknowledged that U.S. citizens could be detained by the military under 1021(b)(2). “There is no reason for the sponsor to make that statement if he does not realize that the statute causes that chilling fear,” Afran told the judges.

After the hearing Afran explained: “If the senator who sponsored and managed the bill believed people would be afraid of the law, then the plaintiffs obviously have a reasonably objective basis to fear the statute.”

In speaking to the court Afran said of 1021(e): “It says it is applied to people in the United States. It presumes that they are going to be detained under some law. The only law we know of is this law. What other laws, before this one, allowed the military to detain people in this country?”

This was a question Judge Lohier, at Afran’s urging, asked Loeb during the argument. Loeb concurred that the NDAA was the only law he knew of that permitted the military to detain and hold U.S. citizens.

Via Truth-Dig Source

Chris Hedges: NDAA Lawsuit Update

Bad enough Americans already have people being Entrapped.

Inside the FBI’s ‘Terror factory’

You could be sent to anyone of these Countries.

CIA used 54 countries for detaining prisoners for toture

The 54 governments identified in this report span the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, and include: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen,

and Zimbabwe. Must not forget Cuba. Cuba did not help, but did have the US prison there. Guantánamo Bay. Source

Now the Military can help with all of this.

You can bet many of those countries still help the CIA.

Like many who were sent to prison from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and other countries of course.

The Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program, administered by the United States Department of State offers monetary compensation for individuals who volunteer information that leads to the location, capture, and trial of suspected terrorists. The program also seeks information relevant to finances, assets, and plans of terrorist organizations. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) work closely with the Department of State to investigate all information garnered through the Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program. In 1998, after the bombing of United States embassies in East Africa, the Department of State raised the maximum reward for information to $5 million.

The rewards program not only offers monetary rewards for information aiding anti-terrorism operations, but also promises confidentiality and anonymity for the informant. The United States government further promises to aid and relocate informants whose disclosure of information places themselves, and their family, in jeopardy.

The Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program is now a part of a larger anti-terrorism operation, the Rewards for Justice Program. The program pays for information relevant to the arrest and capture of wanted terrorists, both domestic and foreign. As part of the Patriot Act of 2001, the secretary of state can pay rewards greater than $5 million for information leading to the arrest of suspected terrorists. To date, the program has paid $9.75 million to 24 individuals who aided government antiterror investigations.

The Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program, as part of Rewards for Justice, has had several key successes. Information received through the program led to the arrest and eventual conviction of the 1993 World Trade Center bomber, Ramzi Yousef. The highest current priority of the rewards program is information leading to the capture of al-Qaeda front man, Usama bin Laden, and others with suspected involvement in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Source

Have a beef with one of your neighbours.
Turn them in and get a reward. They will of course be tortured until they confess, not to worry.
By the way how do your neighbours feel about you?  You could be sent to a black hole never to return.
If the NDAA is accepted you will have  no rights at all.
This is what a witch hunt looks like.
Rather reminds me of what is done to Palestinians in Gaza and especially the West Bank. They live under the same rules as the NDAA.
Here is a must read Article.

Max Blumenthal: How Israeli Occupation Forces, Bahraini Monarchy Guards Trained U.S. Police For Coordinated Crackdown On “Occupy” Protests

New York – In October, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department turned parts of the campus of the University of California in Berkeley into an urban battlefield. The occasion was Urban Shield 2011, an annual SWAT team exposition organized to promote “mutual response,” collaboration and competition between heavily militarized police strike forces representing law enforcement departments across the United States and foreign nations.

At the time, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department was preparing for an imminent confrontation with the nascent “Occupy” movement that had set up camp in downtown Oakland, and would demonstrate the brunt of its repressive capacity against the demonstrators a month later when it attacked the encampment with teargas and rubber bullet rounds, leaving an Iraq war veteran in critical condition and dozens injured. According to Police Magazine, a law enforcement trade publication, “Law enforcement agencies responding to…Occupy protesters in northern California credit Urban Shield for their effective teamwork.”

Training alongside the American police departments at Urban Shield was the Yamam, an Israeli Border Police unit that claims to specialize in “counter-terror” operations but is better known for its extra-judicial assassinations of Palestinian militant leaders and long record of repression and abuses in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Urban Shield also featured a unit from the military of Bahrain, which had just crushed a largely non-violent democratic uprising by opening fire on protest camps and arresting wounded demonstrators when they attempted to enter hospitals. While the involvement of Bahraini soldiers in the drills was a novel phenomenon, the presence of quasi-military Israeli police – whose participation in Urban Shield was not reported anywhere in US media – reflected a disturbing but all-too-common feature of the post-9/11 American security landscape.

The Israelification of America’s security apparatus, recently unleashed in full force against the Occupy Wall Street Movement, has taken place at every level of law enforcement, and in areas that have yet to be exposed. The phenomenon has been documented in bits and pieces, through occasional news reports that typically highlight Israel’s national security prowess without examining the problematic nature of working with a country accused of grave human rights abuses. But it has never been the subject of a national discussion. And collaboration between American and Israeli cops is just the tip of the iceberg.

Having been schooled in Israeli tactics perfected during a 63 year experience of controlling, dispossessing, and occupying an indigenous population, local police forces have adapted them to monitor Muslim and immigrant neighborhoods in US cities. Meanwhile, former Israeli military officers have been hired to spearhead security operations at American airports and suburban shopping malls, leading to a wave of disturbing incidents of racial profiling, intimidation, and FBI interrogations of innocent, unsuspecting people. The New York Police Department’s disclosure that it deployed “counter-terror” measures against Occupy protesters encamped in downtown Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park is just the latest example of the so-called War on Terror creeping into every day life. Revelations like these have raised serious questions about the extent to which Israeli-inspired tactics are being used to suppress the Occupy movement.

The process of Israelification began in the immediate wake of 9/11, when national panic led federal and municipal law enforcement officials to beseech Israeli security honchos for advice and training. America’s Israel lobby exploited the climate of hysteria, providing thousands of top cops with all-expenses paid trips to Israel and stateside training sessions with Israeli military and intelligence officials. By now, police chiefs of major American cities who have not been on junkets to Israel are the exception.

“Israel is the Harvard of antiterrorism,” said former US Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer, who now serves as the US Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. Cathy Lanier, the Chief of the Washington DC Metropolitan Police, remarked, “No experience in my life has had more of an impact on doing my job than going to Israel.” “One would say it is the front line,” Barnett Jones, the police chief of Ann Arbor, Michigan, said of Israel. “We’re in a global war.”

Karen Greenberg, the director of Fordham School of Law’s Center on National Security and a leading expert on terror and civil liberties, said the Israeli influence on American law enforcement is so extensive it has bled into street-level police conduct. “After 9/11 we reached out to the Israelis on many fronts and one of those fronts was torture,” Greenberg told me. “The training in Iraq and Afghanistan on torture was Israeli training. There’s been a huge downside to taking our cue from the Israelis and now we’re going to spread that into the fabric of everyday American life? It’s counter-terrorism creep. And it’s exactly what you could have predicted would have happened.”

Changing the way we do business

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) is at the heart of American-Israeli law enforcement collaboration. JINSA is a Jerusalem and Washington DC-based think tank known for stridently neoconservative policy positions on Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians and its brinkmanship with Iran. The group’s board of directors boasts a Who’s Who of neocon ideologues. Two former JINSA advisors who have also consulted for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Douglas Feith and Richard Perle, went on to serve in the Department of Defense under President George W. Bush, playing influential roles in the push to invade and occupy Iraq.

Through its Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP), JINSA claims to have arranged Israeli-led training sessions for over 9000 American law enforcement officials at the federal, state and municipal level. “The Israelis changed the way we do business regarding homeland security in New Jersey,” Richard Fuentes, the NJ State Police Superintendent, said after attending a 2004 JINSA-sponsored Israel trip and a subsequent JINSA conference alongside 435 other law enforcement officers.

During a 2004 LEEP trip, JINSA brought 14 senior American law enforcement officials to Israel to receive instruction from their counterparts. The Americans were trained in “how to secure large venues, such as shopping malls, sporting events and concerts,” JINSA’s website reported. Escorted by Brigadier General Simon Perry, an Israeli police attaché and former Mossad official, the group toured the Israeli separation wall, now a mandatory stop for American cops on junkets to Israel. “American officials learned about the mindset of a suicide bomber and how to spot trouble signs,” according to JINSA. And they were schooled in Israeli killing methods. “Although the police are typically told to aim for the chest when shooting because it is the largest target, the Israelis are teaching [American] officers to aim for a suspect’s head so as not to detonate any explosives that might be strapped to his torso,” the New York Times reported.

Cathy Lanier, now the Chief of Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, was among the law enforcement officials junketed to Israel by JINSA. “I was with the bomb units and the SWAT team and all of those high profile specialized [Israeli] units and I learned a tremendous amount,” Lanier reflected. “I took 82 pages of notes while I was there which I later brought back and used to formulate a lot of what I later used to create and formulate the Homeland Security terrorism bureau in the DC Metropolitan Police department.”

Some of the police chiefs who have taken part in JINSA’s LEEP program have done so under the auspices of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a private non-governmental group with close ties to the Department of Homeland Security. Chuck Wexler, the executive director of PERF, was so enthusiastic about the program that by 2005 he had begun organizing trips to Israel sponsored by PERF, bringing numerous high-level American police officials to receive instruction from their Israeli counterparts.

PERF gained notoriety when Wexler confirmed that his group coordinated police raids in 16 cities across America against “Occupy” protest encampments. As many as 40 cities have sought PERF advice on suppressing the “Occupy” movement and other mass protest activities. Wexler did not respond to my requests for an interview.

Lessons from Israel to Auschwitz

Besides JINSA, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has positioned itself as an important liaison between American police forces and the Israeli security-intelligence apparatus. Though the ADL promotes itself as a Jewish civil rights group, it has provoked controversy by publishing a blacklist of organizations supporting Palestinian rights, and for condemning a proposal to construct an Islamic community center in downtown New York, several blocks from Ground Zero, on the basis that some opponents of the project were entitled to “positions that others would characterize as irrational or bigoted.”

Through the ADL’s Advanced Training School course on Extremist and Terrorist Threats, over 700 law enforcement personnel from 220 federal and local agencies including the FBI and CIA have been trained by Israeli police and intelligence commanders. This year, the ADL brought 15 high-level American police officials to Israel for instruction from the country’s security apparatus. According to the ADL, over 115 federal, state and local law enforcement executives have undergone ADL-organized training sessions in Israel since the program began in 2003. “I can honestly say that the training offered by ADL is by far the most useful and current training course I have ever attended,” Deputy Commissioner Thomas Wright of the Philadelphia Police Department commented after completing an ADL program this year. The ADL’s relationship with the Washington DC Police Department is so cozy its members are invited to accompany DC cops on “ride along” patrols.

The ADL claims to have trained over 45,000 American law enforcement officials through its Law Enforcement and Society program, which “draws on the history of the Holocaust to provide law enforcement professionals with an increased understanding of…their role as protectors of the Constitution,” the group’s website stated. All new FBI agents and intelligence analysts are required to attend the ADL program, which is incorporated into three FBI training programs. According to officialFBI recruitment material, “all new special agents must visit the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to see firsthand what can happen when law enforcement fails to protect individuals.”

Fighting “crimiterror”

Among the most prominent Israeli government figure to have influenced the practices of American law enforcement officials is Avi Dichter, a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service and current member of Knesset who recently introduced legislation widely criticized as anti-democratic. During the Second Intifada, Dichter ordered several bombings on densely populated Palestinian civilian areas, including one on the al-Daraj neighborhood of Gaza that resulted in the death of 15 innocent people, including 8 children, and 150 injuries. “After each success, the only thought is, ‘Okay, who’s next?’” Dichter said of the “targeted” assassinations he has ordered.

Despite his dubious human rights record and apparently dim view of democratic values, or perhaps because of them, Dichter has been a key figure in fostering cooperation between Israeli security forces and American law enforcement. In 2006, while Dichter was serving at the time as Israel’s Minister of Public Security, he spoke in Boston, Massachusetts before the annual convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Seated beside FBI Director Robert Mueller and then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Dichter told the 10,000 police officers in the crowd that there was an “intimate connection between fighting criminals and fighting terrorists.” Dichter declared that American cops were actually “fighting crimiterrorists.” The Jerusalem Post reported that Dichter was “greeted by a hail of applause, as he was hugged by Mueller, who described Dichter as his mentor in anti-terror tactics.”

A year after Dichter’s speech, he and then-Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff signed a joint memorandum pledging security collaboration between America and Israel on issues ranging from airport security to emergency planning. In 2010, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano authorized a new joint memorandum with Israeli Transport and Road Safety Minister Israel Katz shoring up cooperation between the US Transportation Security Agency – the agency in charge of day-to-day airport security – and Israel’s Security Department. The recent joint memorandum also consolidated the presence of US Homeland Security law enforcement personnel on Israeli soil. “The bond between the United States and Israel has never been stronger,” Napolitano remarked at a recent summit of AIPAC, the leading outfit of America’s Israel lobby, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Demographic Unit

For the New York Police Department, collaboration with Israel’s security and intelligence apparatus became a top priority after 9/11. Just months after the attacks on New York City, the NYPD assigned a permanent, taxpayer-funded liaison officerto Tel Aviv. Under the leadership of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, ties between the NYPD and Israel have deepened by the day. Kelly embarked on his first trip to Israel in early 2009 to demonstrate his support for Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip, a one-sided attack that left over 1400 Gaza residents dead in three weeks and led a United Nations fact-finding mission to conclude that Israeli military and government officials had committed war crimes.

Kelly returned to Israel the following year to speak at the Herziliya Conference, an annual gathering of neoconservative security and government officials who obsess over supposed “demographic threats.” After Kelly appeared on stage, the Herziliya crowd was addressed by the pro-Israel academic Martin Kramer, who claimed that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was helping to reduce the numbers of “superfluous young men of fighting age.” Kramer added, “If a state can’t control these young men, then someone else will.”

Back in New York, the NYPD set up a secret “Demographics Unit” designed to spy on and monitor Muslim communities around the city. The unit was developed with input and intensive involvement by the CIA, which still refuses to name the former Middle East station chief it has posted in the senior ranks of the NYPD’s intelligence division. Since 2002, the NYPD has dispatched undercover agents known as “rakers” and “mosque crawlers” into Pakistani-American bookstores and restaurants to gauge community anger over US drone strikes inside Pakistan, and into Palestinian hookah bars and mosques to search out signs of terror recruitment and clandestine funding. “If a raker noticed a customer looking at radical literature, he might chat up the store owner and see what he could learn,” the Associated Press reported. “The bookstore, or even the customer, might get further scrutiny.”

The Israeli imprimatur on the NYPD’s Demographics Unit is unmistakable. As a former police official told the Associated Press, the Demographics Unit has attempted to “map the city’s human terrain” through a program “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.”

Shop ‘til you’re stopped

At Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, security personnel target non-Jewish and non-white passengers, especially Arabs, as a matter of policy. The most routinely harassed passengers are Palestinian citizens of Israel, who must brace themselvesfor five-hour interrogation sessions and strip searches before flying. Those singled out for extra screening by Shin Bet officers are sent to what many Palestinians from Israel call the “Arab room,” where they are subjected to humiliating questioning sessions (former White House Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala encountered such mistreatment during a visit to Israel last year). Some Palestinians are forbidden from speaking to anyone until takeoff, and may be menaced by Israeli flight attendants during the flight. In one documented case, a six-month-old was awoken for a strip search by Israeli Shin Bet personnel. Instances of discrimination against Arabs at Ben Gurion International are too numerous to detail – several incidents occur each day – but a few of the more egregious instances were outlined in a 2007 petition the Association for Civil Rights in Israel filed with the country’s Supreme Court.

Though the Israeli system of airline security contains dubious benefits and clearly deleterious implications for civil liberties, it is quietly and rapidly migrating into major American airports. Security personnel at Boston’s Logan International Airport have undergone extensive training from Israeli intelligence personnel, learning to apply profiling and behavioral assessment techniques against American citizens that were initially tested on Palestinians. The new procedures began in August, when so-called Behavior Detection Officers were placed in security queues at Logan’s heavily trafficked Terminal A. Though the procedures have added to traveler stress while netting exactly zero terrorists, they are likely to spread to other cities. “I would like to see a lot more profiling” in American airports, said Yossi Sheffi, an Israeli-born risk analyst at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Transportation and Logistics.

Israeli techniques now dictate security procedures at the Mall of America, a gargantuan shopping mall in Bloomington, Minnesota that has become a major tourist attraction. The new methods took hold in 2005 when the mall hired a former Israeli army sergeant named Mike Rozin to lead a special new security unit. Rozin, who once worked with a canine unit at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, instructed his employees at the Mall of America to visually profile every shopper, examining their expressions for suspicious signs. His security team accosts and interrogates an average of 1200 shoppers a year, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.

One of the thousands who fell into Rozin’s dragnet was Najam Qureshi, a Pakistani-American mall vendor whose father accidentally left his cell phone on a table in the mall food court. A day after the incident, FBI agents appeared at Qureshi’s doorstep to ask if he knew anyone seeking to harm the United States. An army veteran interrogated for two hours by Rozin’s men for taking video inside the mall sobbed openly about his experience to reporters. Meanwhile, another man, Emile Khalil, was visited by FBI agents after mall security stopped him for taking photographs of the dazzling consumer haven.

“I think that the threat of terrorism in the United States is going to become an unfortunate part of American life,” Rozin remarked to American Jewish World. And as long as the threat persists in the public’s mind, Israeli securitocrats like Rozin will never have to worry about the next paycheck.

“Occupy” meets the Occupation

When a riot squad from the New York Police Department destroyed and evicted the “Occupy Wall Street” protest encampment at Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, department leadership drew on the anti-terror tactics they had refined since the 9/11 attacks. According to the New York Times, the NYPD deployed “counterterrorism measures” to mobilize large numbers of cops for the lightning raid on Zuccotti. The use of anti-terror techniques to suppress a civilian protest complemented harsh police measures demonstrated across the country against the nationwide “Occupy” movement, from firing tear gas canisters and rubber bullets into unarmed crowds to blasting demonstrators with the LRAD sound cannon.

Given the amount of training the NYPD and so many other police forces have received from Israel’s military-intelligence apparatus, and the profuse levels of gratitude American police chiefs have expressed to their Israeli mentors, it is worth asking how much Israeli instruction has influenced the way the police have attempted to suppress the Occupy movement, and how much it will inform police repression of future upsurges of street protest. But already, the Israelification of American law enforcement appears to have intensified police hostility towards the civilian population, blurring the lines between protesters, common criminals, and terrorists. As Dichter said, they are all just “crimiterrorists.”

“After 9/11 we had to react very quickly,” Greenberg remarked, “but now we’re in 2011 and we’re not talking about people who want to fly planes into buildings. We’re talking about young American citizens who feel that their birthright has been sold. If we’re using Israeli style tactics on them and this stuff bleeds into the way we do business at large, were in big trouble.”

This article is cross-posted from Al-Akhbar.com with permission from the author Max Blumenthal.

You can read more of Max Blumenthal at MaxBlumenthal.com. He is the author of Republican Gomorrah, published by Nation Books.

Source

 

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World Wide Occupy Wall Street Protests

Wall Street Tsunami: OWS grows in force Oct 22 2011

‘OWS ain’t a war zone’ – One marine vs 30 cops in NYC Oct 22 2011

If you don’t understand the Occupy Wall Street Movement check out this Video

Occupy Wall Street Spells It Out

Updated Photos: Occupy Vancouver – global movement

Photos at link below

Thousands participated in the Vancouver leg of the financial protests.

Video on the protest in Vancover

Video Occupy Toronto protesters settle in at St. James Park 

Occupy Montreal

Close to 3000 people have joined up to Occupy Montreal

Occupy Ottawa Confederation Park Ottawa

There are numerous other videos for Occupy Ottawa on youtube

‘Occupy’ protest takes root in downtown Edmonton

There are numerous other videos on Occupy Edmonton on youtube

Occupy Calgary

There are more Occupy Calgary Videos on youtube

Occupy Winnipeg Day 1

More Videos on Occupy Winnipeg on youtube

Occupy Regina

Occupy Quebec City Short video

Rome not so peaceful

Demonstrators march past a burning car in downtown Rome on October 15, 2011. Tens of thousands marched in Rome as part of a global day of protests inspired by the “Occupy Wall Street” and “Indignant” movements, with the Italian capital under a security lockdown.
Photograph by: ALBERTO PIZZOLI, AFP/Getty Images

RAW VIDEO – Italy – Riots in Rome – Italian Indignados Protest Turns Violent.

ITALY. Riots in Milan. Students Protest Turns Violent. Assaulted Goldman Sachs Office.

ROME: Protesters torched cars, smashed up banks and set fire to a military building in Rome on Saturday in the worst violence of worldwide demonstrations against corporate greed and government cutbacks.

Tens of thousands took to the streets of the Italian capital for a march that turned violent and equal numbers rallied in Madrid and Lisbon while WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange joined angry demonstrators in London.

The protests were inspired by the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in the United States and the “Indignants” in Spain, targeting 951 cities in 82 countries across the planet in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

It was the biggest show of power yet by a movement born on May 15 when a rally in Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square sparked a worldwide movement that focused anger over unemployment and opposition to the financial elite.

“I think it is very moving that the movement that was born here has extended throughout the world. It was about time for people to rise up,” said 24-year-old Carmen Martin as she marched towards Puerta del Sol.

In the Portuguese capital, where some 50,000 rallied, 25-year-old Mathieu Rego said: “We are victims of financial speculation and this austerity programme is going to ruin us. We have to change this rotten system.”

The protests received unexpected support from Italian central bank governor Mario Draghi, a former executive at Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs set to take over as president of the European Central Bank.

“Young people are right to be indignant,” Draghi was reported as saying on the sidelines of talks among G20 financial powers in Paris.

“They’re angry against the world of finance. I understand them,” he added, though expressing regrets at reports of violence.

More protests were staged in Amsterdam, Athens, Brussels, Geneva, Paris, Sarajevo and Zurich. Thousands also rallied across Canada and in New York and Washington, where they protested outside the White House and the US Treasury.

Scuffles broke out in London, where about 800 people rallied in the financial district by St Paul’s Cathedral, raising banners saying: “Strike back!” “No cuts!” and “Goldman Sachs is the work of the devil!”

Five people were arrested, three for assaulting police officers and two for public order offences, Scotland Yard said.

Three lines of police, and one line at the rear on horseback, blocked them from heading to the London Stock Exchange and pushed back against lead marchers, some wearing masks.

“One of the reasons why we support what is happening here in ‘Occupy London’ is because the banking system in London is the recipient of corrupt money,” Assange said from the steps of St Paul’s, flanked by bodyguards.


A protestor holds a placard on the steps of Saint Paul’s cathedral in central London on October 15, 2011.
Photograph by: AFP, Getty

Occupy London clashes: Fighting erupts at UK protest

Occupy IRELAND-Dame Street, Dublin. Day 3 -4-5-AND CONTINUE 15th of October OCCUPY WORLD 2011


Police arrested 24 protesters at a bank as thousands marched in New York, where the Occupy Wall Street movement that sparked the global demos began on September 17 with activists taking up residence in the heart of the Financial District.

In Miami, a city that rarely hosts mass demonstrations, at least 1,000 people marched downtown. The crowd included youth and retirees standing up against corporations, banks and war. No police could be seen as the group approached government buildings.

Over 10,000 Canadians blew bubbles, strummed guitars and chanted anti-corporate slogans at peaceful protests in cities across the country.

“I believe a revolution is happening,” said 30-year-old Annabell Chapa, who brought her one-year-old son Jaydn along in a stroller.

The European Union also became a target for anger as the eurozone debt crisis continues, with some 9,000 protesters marching to the EU’s headquarters in Brussels and rallying outside the ECB’s headquarters in Frankfurt.

In Rome, the march quickly degenerated into running street battles between groups of hooded protesters and riot police who fired tear gas and water jets into the crowd amid a security lockdown in the Italian capital.

“Today is only the beginning. We hope to move forward with a global movement. There are many of us and we want the same things,” said one protester, Andrea Muraro, a 24-year-old engineering student from Padua.

“Only One Solution: Revolution!” read a placard. One group carried a cardboard coffin with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s name on it.

Berlusconi later condemned the “incredible level of violence” at the march.

He said the clashes were “a very worrying signal for civil coexistence.”

Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno said “we’ve seen the worst of Europe today in Rome.”

Seventy people were injured in the clashes and treated by medics, including three in a serious condition, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Backing from Italy’s main trade unions and student movements boosted the numbers at the protest in Rome — in contrast to most of the other rallies.

As the day began, around 500 people gathered in the heart of Hong Kong’s financial district to vent their anger. About 100 demonstrators in Tokyo also voiced fury at the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Another 600 demonstrators in Sydney set up camp outside Australia’s central bank, where the plight of refugees and Aboriginal Australians was added to the financial concerns. Source

Occupy Wall Street Spain

Occupy Tokyo 2011

Violence erupts as general strike shuts down Greece

Wall Street and Greek protests spread to Brussels

Wall Street/Washington Protesters an Inspiration to Behold

Recent

Pentagon Insider Says Green Light On Israel/USA To Strike Iran Within 2 Weeks

Jewish ‘Heroes’ Contest: “self-loving” Jew VS “self-destructive.

UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former NYPD detective testifies

Published in: on October 16, 2011 at 9:23 am  Comments Off on World Wide Occupy Wall Street Protests  
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Israel attacks Gaza Flotilla in International Waters

June 4, 2010 updates added at bottom. Updates of upcoming protests and a petition to the United Nations have been added. Will be adding more as I find them.

Israel is violating international law.  UN Security Council resolution 1860, passed in January 2009,  calls for an end to the Gaza blockade and to allow the unimpeded flow of aid into the region.

Reports on deaths of victims of the Israeli attack varies from 9 to 19 depending on which reports you read.

Israelis opened fire before boarding Gaza flotilla, say released activists:

First eyewitness accounts of raid contradict version put out by Israeli officials

By Dorian Jones in Istanbul and Helena Smith

June 01, 2010

Survivors of the Israeli assault on a flotilla carrying relief supplies to Gaza returned to Greece and Turkey today, giving the first eyewitness accounts of the raid in which at least 10 people died.

Arriving at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport with her one-year-old baby, Turkish activist Nilufer Cetin said Israeli troops opened fire before boarding the Turkish-flagged ferry Mavi Marmara, which was the scene of the worst clashes and all the fatalities. Israeli officials have said that the use of armed force began when its boarding party was attacked.

“It was extremely bad and very tough clashes took place. The Mavi Marmara is filled with blood,” said Cetin, whose husband is the Mavi Marmara’s chief engineer.

She told reporters that she and her child hid in the bathroom of their cabin during the confrontation. “The operation started immediately with firing. First it was warning shots, but when the Mavi Marmara wouldn’t stop these warnings turned into an attack,” she said.

“There were sound and smoke bombs and later they used gas bombs. Following the bombings they started to come on board from helicopters.”

Cetin is among a handful of Turkish activists to be released; more than 300 remain in Israeli custody. She said she agreed to extradition from Israel after she was warned that conditions in jail would be too harsh for her child.

“I am one of the first passengers to be sent home, just because I have baby. When we arrived at the Israeli port of Ashdod we were met by the Israeli interior and foreign ministry officials and police; there were no soldiers. They asked me only a few questions. But they took everything – cameras, laptops, cellphones, personal belongings including our clothes,” she said.

Kutlu Tiryaki was a captain of another vessel in the flotilla. “We continuously told them we did not have weapons, we came here to bring humanitarian help and not to fight,” he said.

“The attack on the Mavi Marmara came in an instant: they attacked it with 12 or 13 attack boats and also with commandos from helicopters. We heard the gunshots over our portable radio handsets, which we used to communicate with the Mavi Marmara, because our ship communication system was disrupted. There were three or four helicopters also used in the attack. We were told by Mavi Marmara their crew and civilians were being shot at and windows and doors were being broken by Israelis.”

Six Greek activists who returned to Athens accused Israeli commandos of using electric shocks during the raid.

Dimitris Gielalis, who had been aboard the Sfendoni, told reporters: “Suddenly from everywhere we saw inflatables coming at us, and within seconds fully equipped commandos came up on the boat. They came up and used plastic bullets, we had beatings, we had electric shocks, any method we can think of, they used.”

Michalis Grigoropoulos, who was at the wheel of the Free Mediterranean, said: “We were in international waters. The Israelis acted like pirates, completely out of the normal way that they conduct nautical exercises, and seized our ship. They took us hostage, pointing guns at our heads; they descended from helicopters and fired tear gas and bullets. There was absolutely nothing we could do … Those who tried to resist forming a human ring on the bridge were given electric shocks.”

Grigoropoulos, who insisted the ship was full of humanitarian aid bound for Gaza “and nothing more”, said that, once detained, the human rights activists were not allowed to contact a lawyer or the Greek embassy in Tel Aviv. “They didn’t let us go to the toilet, eat or drink water and throughout they videoed us. They confiscated everything, mobile phones, laptops, cameras and personal effects. They only allowed us to keep our papers.”

Turkey said it was sending three ambulance planes to Israel to pick up 20 more Turkish activists injured in the operation.

Three Turkish Airlines planes were on standby, waiting to fly back other activists, the prime minister’s office said. “Source

Israeli Murders, NATO and Afghanistan

By Craig Murray

June 02, 2010

I was in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over 20 years and a member of its senior management structure for six years, I served in five countries and took part in 13 formal international negotiations, including the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea and a whole series of maritime boundary treaties. I headed the FCO section of a multidepartmental organisation monitoring the arms embargo on Iraq.

I am an instinctively friendly, open but unassuming person who always found it easy to get on with people, I think because I make fun of myself a lot. I have in consequence a great many friends among ex-colleagues in both British and foregin diplomatic services, security services and militaries.

I lost very few friends when I left the FCO over torture and rendition. In fact I seemed to gain several degrees of warmth with a great many acquantances still on the inside. And I have become known as a reliable outlet for grumbles, who as an ex-insider knows how to handle a discreet and unintercepted conversation.

What I was being told last night was very interesting indeed. NATO HQ in Brussels is today a very unhappy place. There is a strong understanding among the various national militaries that an attack by Israel on a NATO member flagged ship in international waters is an event to which NATO is obliged – legally obliged, as a matter of treaty – to react.

I must be plain – nobody wants or expects military action against Israel. But there is an uneasy recognition that in theory that ought to be on the table, and that NATO is obliged to do something robust to defend Turkey.

Mutual military support of each other is the entire raison d’etre of NATO. You must also remember that to the NATO military the freedom of the high seas guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is a vital alliance interest which officers have been conditioned to uphold their whole career.

That is why Turkey was extremely shrewd in reacting immediately to the Israeli attack by calling an emergency NATO meeting. It is why, after the appalling US reaction to the attack with its refusal to name Israel, President Obama has now made a point of phoning President Erdogan to condole.

But the unhappiness in NATO HQ runs much deeper than that, I spoke separately to two friends there, from two different nations. One of them said NATO HQ was “a very unhappy place”. The other described the situation as “Tense – much more strained than at the invasion of Iraq”.

Why? There is a tendency of outsiders to regard the senior workings of governments and international organisations as monolithic. In fact there are plenty of highly intelligent – and competitive – people and diverse interests involved.

There are already deep misgivings, especially amongst the military, over the Afghan mission. There is no sign of a diminution in Afghan resistance attacks and no evidence of a clear gameplan. The military are not stupid and they can see that the Karzai government is deeply corrupt and the Afghan “national” army comprised almost exclusively of tribal enemies of the Pashtuns.

You might be surprised by just how high in Nato scepticism runs at the line that in some way occupying Afghanistan helps protect the west, as opposed to stoking dangerous Islamic anger worldwide.

So this is what is causing frost and stress inside NATO. The organisation is tied up in a massive, expensive and ill-defined mission in Afghanistan that many whisper is counter-productive in terms of the alliance aim of mutual defence. Every European military is facing financial problems as a public deficit financing crisis sweeps the continent. The only glue holding the Afghan mission together is loyalty to and support for the United States.

But what kind of mutual support organisation is NATO when members must make decades long commitments, at huge expense and some loss of life, to support the Unted States, but cannot make even a gesture to support Turkey when Turkey is attacked by a non-member?

Even the Eastern Europeans have not been backing the US line on the Israeli attack. The atmosphere in NATO on the issue has been very much the US against the rest, with the US attitude inside NATO described to me by a senior NATO officer as “amazingly arrogant – they don’t seem to think it matters what anybody else thinks”.

Therefore what is troubling the hearts and souls of non-Americans in NATO HQ is this fundamental question. Is NATO genuinely a mutual defence organisation, or is it just an instrument to carry out US foreign policy? With its unthinking defence of Israel and military occupation of Afghanistan, is US foreign policy really defending Europe, or is it making the World less safe by causing Islamic militancy?

I leave the last word to one of the senior NATO officers – who incidentally is not British:
“Nobody but the Americans doubts the US position on the Gaza attack is wrong and insensitve. But everyone already quietly thought the same about wider American policy. This incident has allowed people to start saying that now privately to each other.”

Craig Murray is a human rights activist, writer, former British Ambassador, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Lancaster School of Law. Visit his blog http://www.craigmurray.org.uk

Source

Israel‘s Moral Superiority?
Netanyahu: World ‘Hypocritical’ for Condemning Gaza Flotilla Raid

In first address to nation, Netanyahu says had Turkish-flagged ship breached blockade, so could hundreds of vessels carrying weapons.

By Barak Ravid

June 02, 2010

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday defended the Israel Navy’s raid of a pro-Palestinian convoy en route to the Gaza Strip earlier this week, in his first address to the nation regarding the botched operation which left nine people dead and several more wounded.

Netanyahu accused international critics of “hypocrisy” and declared that Israel would continue to blockade the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, saying that to lift the embargo would turn it into a base for Iranian missiles that would threaten both Israel and Europe.

“Iran is continuing to smuggle weapons into Gaza,” said Netanyahu in a televised address. “It is our obligation to prevent these weapons from being brought in by land and sea. The previous government understood this and imposed a closure.”

“The goal of the flotilla was to breach [the closure] and not to bring goods, as we would have allowed them to do,” said Netanyahu. “If the blockade had been broken, dozens and hundreds more ships carrying weapons could have come.”

Netanyahu, who canceled his trip to Washington and a meeting with President Barack Obama due to the raid, declared that Israel had no opposition to seeing humanitarian aid brought into the Gaza Strip.

But Hamas’ growing armament was a cause for concern and a crucial reason to leave the blockade in place, said the prime minister. Without a blockade and intense inspection of every ship nearing the area, said Netanyahu, “Gaza will turn into an Iranian port.”

Nanyahu told his political-security cabinet during a special session on Tuesday that international condemnation would not stop Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The raid of the Turkish-flagged ship awakened a storm of criticism among Israel’s friends and foes alike, leading many members of the United Nations Security Council – including Britain – to call on Israel to lift its years-long siege of the Hamas-ruled coastal territory.

At a special meeting convened in the wake of the raid, Netanyahu told his ministers that the blockade was still necessary to prevent weapons from being smuggled into the Gaza Strip.

“We know from the experience of Operation Cast Lead that the weapons entering Gaza are being turned against our civilians,” Netanyahu said, referring to Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip that ended in January 2009.

“Gaza is a terror state funded by the Iranians, and therefore we must try to prevent any weapons from being brought into Gaza by air, sea and land,” he said.

Netanyahu acknowledged that militants were still capable of smuggling weapons in via tunnels from Egypt, but emphasized that the large amounts of weapons that could be brought by sea made the threat a completely different affair.

“On the Francop ship alone we confiscated some 200 tons of weapons being smuggled to Hezbollah,” the prime minister said, in reference to the Antiguan-flagged ship Israel intercepted off the coast of Cyprus in November 2009.

“Opening a naval route to Gaza will present an enormous danger to the security of our citizens,” said Netanyahu. “Therefore, we will stand firm on our policy of a naval blockade and of inspecting incoming ships.”

“It’s true that there is international pressure and criticism of this policy, but [the world] must understand that it is crucial to preserving Israel’s security and the right of the State of Israel to defend itself.”

Source
The Flotilla was not a threat to anyone in Israel.
What a BS. If anyone believes the Flotilla was a threat quick go find a Psychiatrist. You need one obviously.
Self defense against defenseless people delivering Humanitarian Aid??? Who is Netanyahu trying to kid?
Does he think everyone on the planet has “Complete Idiot” written across their foreheads. He is really pushing the Gullibility factor.

I for one am completely and utterly insulted, if thinks I am that stupid.

Israel is the perpetrator of the crimes in this case.

Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country’s siege on Gaza.

At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km (or just over 35 Nautical miles) off the Gaza coast.

Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: “This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves.”

Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

The Israeli military said four soldiers had been wounded and claimed troops opened fire after “demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs”.

Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the convoy.

Our correspondent said that a white surrender flag was raised from the ship and there was no live fire coming from the passengers.

Before losing communication with our correspondent, a voice in Hebrew was clearly heard saying: “Everyone shut up”.

Israeli intervention

Earlier, the Israeli navy had contacted the captain of the Mavi Marmara, asking him to identify himself and say where the ship was headed.

Shortly after, two Israeli naval vessels had flanked the flotilla on either side, but at a distance.

Organisers of the flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid then diverted their ships and slowed down to avoid a confrontation during the night.

They also issued all passengers life jackets and asked them to remain below deck.

Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli action was surprising.

“All the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical supplies on board. So it will surprise many in the international community to learn what could have possibly led to this type of confrontation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Israeli police have been put on a heightened state of alert across the country to prevent any civil disturbances.

Sheikh Raed Salah, a leading member of the Islamic Movement who was on board the ship, was reported to have been seriously injured. He was being treated in Israel’s Tal Hasharon hospital.

In Um Al Faham, the stronghold of the Islamic movement in Israel and the birth place of Salah, preparations for mass demonstrations were under way.

Protests

Condemnation has been quick to pour in after the Israeli action.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, officially declared a three-day state of mourning over Monday’s deaths.

Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Sweden have all summoned the Israeli ambassador’s in their respective countries to protest against the deadly assault.

Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news of the operation broke. The protesters shouted “Damn Israel” as police blocked them.

“(The interception on the convoy) is unacceptable … Israel will have to endure the consequences of this behaviour,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has also dubbed the Israeli action as “barbaric”.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, including a Nobel laureate and several European legislators, were with the flotilla, aiming to reach Gaza in defiance of an Israeli embargo.

The convoy came from the UK, Ireland, Algeria, Kuwait, Greece and Turkey, and was comprised of about 700 people from 50 nationalities.

But Israel had said it would not allow the flotilla to reach the Gaza Strip and vowed to stop the six ships from reaching the coastal Palestinian territory.

The flotilla had set sail from a port in Cyprus on Sunday and aimed to reach Gaza by Monday morning.

Israel said the boats were embarking on “an act of provocation” against the Israeli military, rather than providing aid, and that it had issued warrants to prohibit their entrance to Gaza.

It asserted that the flotilla would be breaking international law by landing in Gaza, a claim the organisers rejected. Source

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

SECTION 2. LIMITS OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA

Article 3

Breadth of the territorial sea

Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km = over 35 nautical miles off the Gaza coast.

For all the Israeli’s knew the Flotilla could have been headed to Egypt to dock and have the goods transported to Gaza via the Egyptian boarder as well.

Either way what Israel did was a violation of International Law of the Sea. The Flotilla was under no obligation to stop for the Israelis as they were over the 12 Nautical miles out to sea at the time Israel attacked them..

Israel has no legal right to arrest anyone or hold any ships hostage. Israel committed an act of deliberate, premeditated, murder and piracy. Other crimes also include assault and battery, kidnapping and imprisonment of innocent civilians, and theft.

The people in the Flotilla  had committed absolutely no crime what so ever.

If I thought about it for a while I could come up with a few more charges that should be laid against the Israelis.

It could be a long list of violations. Murder, kidnapping, assault and battery,theft on land or sea are crimes and those responsible should be charged and imprisoned for their crimes, as any of us would be, if we committed these crimes.

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed this and he did, he is as guilty of these crimes as those who committed them. He is responsible and should be tried for these crimes as well, as any other Government Representative or other Official who ordered or allowed  these crimes to be committed.

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

SECTION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 86

Application of the provisions of this Part

The provisions of this Part apply to all parts of the sea that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic State. This article does not entail any abridgement of the freedoms enjoyed by all States in the exclusive economic zone in accordance with article 58.

Article 87

Freedom of the high seas

1. The high seas are open to all States, whether coastal or land-locked. Freedom of the high seas is exercised under the conditions laid down by this Convention and by other rules of international law. It comprises, inter alia, both for coastal and land-locked States:

(a) freedom of navigation;

(b) freedom of overflight;

(c) freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines, subject to Part VI;

(d) freedom to construct artificial islands and other installations permitted under international law, subject to Part VI;

(e) freedom of fishing, subject to the conditions laid down in section 2;

(f) freedom of scientific research, subject to Parts VI and XIII.

2. These freedoms shall be exercised by all States with due regard for the interests of other States in their exercise of the freedom of the high seas, and also with due regard for the rights under this Convention with respect to activities in the Area.

Article 88

Reservation of the high seas for peaceful purposes

The high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes.

Article 89

Invalidity of claims of sovereignty over the high seas

No State may validly purport to subject any part of the high seas to its sovereignty.

Article 90

Right of navigation

Every State, whether coastal or land-locked, has the right to sail ships flying its flag on the high seas.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

Article 101

Definition of piracy

Piracy consists of any of the following acts:

(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:

(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;

(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;

(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;

(c) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).

Article 102

Piracy by a warship, government ship or government aircraft

whose crew has mutinied

The acts of piracy, as defined in article 101, committed by a warship, government ship or government aircraft whose crew has mutinied and taken control of the ship or aircraft are assimilated to acts committed by a private ship or aircraft.

Article 103

Definition of a pirate ship or aircraft

A ship or aircraft is considered a pirate ship or aircraft if it is intended by the persons in dominant control to be used for the purpose of committing one of the acts referred to in article 101. The same applies if the ship or aircraft has been used to commit any such act, so long as it remains under the control of the persons guilty of that act.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

Egypt opened its border with the Gaza Strip for an unlimited amount of time. Seems Egypt is not pleased with Israel over this attack.

Turkey is calling for Israel to be severely punished for it’s acts of violence against innocent civilians.

Protests have broken out in many countries over the incident.

Jordanians protest Israeli raid on Gaza-bound flotilla

Jordanians took to the streets in Amman on Monday, protesting the Israeli raid on a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza Strip.

During a march from the Jordanian professional associations’ headquarters to the Prime Ministry, the demonstrators chanted slogans against Israel, calling for closing the Israeli embassy in Amman.

The demonstrators urged the government to expel the Israeli ambassador in Amman and annul the Wadi Arabia peace treaty Jordan and Israel signed in 1994. Source

Thousands in Istanbul protest against Israeli attack on flotilla


East Bay Citizens Condemn Israel Attack on Gaza Aid Flotilla

Minneapolis Demonstration Against Israeli Attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla

US citizen Emily Henochowicz was shot directly in the face with a tear gas canister as she non-violently demonstrated against the Flotilla massacre she lost her left eye. Source

Photos of Protests from: Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Greece, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Cyprus, Britain, West Bank,  France, Indonesia, US, Lebanon

America Complicit In Israel’s Crimes

As I write at 5pm on Monday, May 31, all day has passed since the early morning reports of the Israeli commando attack on the unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, and there has been no response from President Obama except to say that he needed to learn “all the facts about this morning’s tragic events” and that Israeli prime minister Netanyahu had canceled his plans to meet with him at the White House.

Obama’s 12-hour silence in the face of extreme barbarity is his signal to the controlled corporate media to remain on the sidelines until Israeli propaganda sets the story. Source

Related

Gaza Flotilla Drives Israel Into a Sea of Stupidity

Remember  to add this when you protests or write to a Government officials.

Israel is violating international law.  UN Security Council resolution 1860, passed in January 2009,  calls for an end to the Gaza blockade and to allow the unimpeded flow of aid into the region. The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km (or just over 35 Nautical miles) off the Gaza coast. Israel had no legal right to stop them.

Keep up the pressure – End the siege of Gaza
Call on Canadian politicians to condemn the murder of the Gaza flotilla activists.
Global Day of Action – Saturday, June 5

International pressure is growing to end the siege of Gaza. The murder of the flotilla activists has thrust the issue into the mainstream, forcing governments around the world to speak out against the blockade.

Not surprisingly, Stephen Harper has not condemned the attacks and supported the U.S. initiative to water down the UN security council resolution on an investigation into the crimes. Both the U.S. and Canada have said that, rather than have the UN hold an independent investigation, Israel should investigate itself. This self-examination will be a smokescreen designed to hide the truth.

We in Canada have to speak out and demand that Harper stop being silent on war crimes, whether in Afghanistan or Palestine.

What can you do?

  • Join the events this week. Events are posed on the CPA website.

Palestinian groups are urging people to organize a global day of protest this Saturday, June 5. Many CPA members groups are already organizing events on Saturday and we are calling on peace activists to either join events already organized or, where there is no event, to try and organize one in your city. If you are organizing an event send the details to cpa@web.ca so we can post the information. Please feel free to contact the CPA for materials and information about the day of action.
To read the global call for action check the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) website.

There are also events each day in Canada condemning the attacks. Please keep checking the CPA website for the most up-to-date events listings for Canada. For global event listings check out the Gaza Freedom March website.

  • Send a letter to your MP

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East have put out a call for you to write letters to Canadian MP’s urging them to condemn the attacks. Click here to go to the website and send your letter.

Event Listings
Halifax
Israeli Attack on Humanitarian Aid Shipment
No to Israeli War Crimes! Support Gaza and the Palestinian People!
Join the Daily Mass Informational Pickets and Vigil

4 – 5 p.m. Wednesday (June 2), Thursday (June 3), Friday (June 4)

Maritime Mall (Aliant Bldg., where the passport office is)
Barrington Street and foot of Spring Garden Road

We call on everyone to join the people of the world in condemning the murderous attack on the Freedom Flotilla

Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Palestine
e-mail: shunpike@shunpiking.com
Hamilton
Bring this Message to Harper:
Lift the Siege of Gaza NOW!
Stop the killing of innocents!
Demand the release of Canadian prisoners!

Friday, June 4th
Federal Government Building in Hamilton – 55 Bay St. North
Across the Street from Copps Colosseum – 5:00 p.m.

Ample parking is available

NO TO PIRACY!!!
NO TO WAR CRIMES!!
Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War

Montreal
Samedi 5 Juin 13h30
coin Peel et St-Catherine
Place Dorchester
métro Peel

Apportez vos drapeaux, vos pancartes originales, vos instruments de musique!

http://www.tadamon.ca/post/6961

Appel pour une action de solidarité à Montréal avec les victimes du massacre de la flottille humanitaire “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” et le peuple palestinien. Manifestons au centre-ville de Montréal pour appeler à la fin du siège israélien sur Gaza et la fin de la complicité du Canada dans l’apartheid israélien. Cette manifestation sera coordonnée avec plusieurs d’autres à travers le monde ce samedi, en réponse à l’appel de la société civile palestinien pour des manifestations globales.

Ottawa:
Gaza Freedom Flotilla Global Day of Action in Ottawa – Rally and March
3:00pm.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Human Rights Monument
Organized by the Ottawa Palestine Solidarity Network
http://notowarcrimes.blogspot.com | ottawa.palestine@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122130111158157

Penticton, BC
Rally at Stockwell Day’s Office

The Penticton Peace Groups believes that the Israeli government has committed new war crimes in an act of piracy and murder against the flotilla of small ships delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.

We are calling on the people of the south Okanagan to take this message to MP Stockwell Day’s office, this Saturday, June 5, 2010 at noon, meeting at Nanaimo Square.
For more information contact: Brigid Kemp at: bridiekemp@gmail.com

Toronto:
Gaza Freedom Flotilla
Global Day of Action: Saturday, June 5

Rally and March
Date: Saturday, June 5
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Israeli Consulate, 180 Bloor Street West

June 5 also marks the 43rd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Our action aims to draw the world’s attention to Israel’s continuing illegal occupation, its refusal to abide by international law, and its massacre of innocent humanitarian workers.

Organized by:
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Palestine House Community Centre, Canadian Arab Federation, Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, Canadian Peace Alliance

Find us on Facebook: http://bit.ly/dBPiGY
To endorse, please email endapartheid@riseup.net.

Waterloo
Protest: Israel`s Flotilla Raid, Tuesday June 8

We would like to invite you to join us at 1pm on Tuesday, June 8th in the SLC courtyard for a march around campus to bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis involving Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla. We feel is is extremely important to bring as much awareness of this issue at this time and express our deepest disapproval of the actions committed by the Israeli Defense Forces. We hope to see you there! Should you have any questions, comments,or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For more information please see: Students for Palestinian Rights

Winnipeg
Peace Alliance Winnipeg, Independent Jewish Voices and CanPalNet, will be holding a demonstration to show our solidarity with the people of Gaza, to express our sorrow at the murder of peaceful activists, and to join hands with people around the world in expressing our outrage at Israel’s actions.

Please join us.

Friday, June 4, 2010
4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Broadway Avenue and Osborne Street in Winnipeg. For more information please see: Peace Alliance Winnipeg

From the Jewish Voice for Peace

When I got the news about Israel’s armed attack on the Gaza Flotilla at 2:30 am on the morning of May 31, I felt sick. I immediately called a dear friend in Jerusalem, one of the most committed activists I know.  Across the ocean, I could hear in her voice that she was in tears. “The worst part about it, ” she said, “is that nothing will change.”

“No,” I replied. “I can’t believe that can be true.  Things have to change.””Well,” she said, “then it is up to you, the internationals.”

She’s right. It is up to us, the internationals both here in the United States and abroad.

That is why I want you to send a message to US President Obama if you live outside of the United States, and to Obama and the US Congress if you are a U.S. resident, demanding the immediate release of the detained human rights activists, an end to the siege on Gaza, an impartial investigation of the attack on the flotilla, and a suspension of US aid until Israel abides by international law.We still don’t know a lot about what happened to the flotilla of boats carrying some 700 human rights activists from around the world and over 10 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza– Israel has kept the activists under a near total media blackout while sharing only its implausible narrative of events. What we do know is that Israeli commandos boarded a ship in international waters and killed at least ten activists, injuring dozens of others.

Israel insists that highly trained commandos were forced to lethally fire on activists, creating a new definition of self-defense. In the first alternative accounts to appear, an Israeli Knesset member and an Al Jazeera cameraman who were on board the ship at the time each described something different, a scene of chaos with civilians waving white flags and commandos using stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas. Regardless of what actually happened when armed soldiers landed, Israel’s wanton killing of civilians is unacceptable.

We still don’t know th
e names of those who were killed or injured, or where they are from. And we don’t know the whereabouts or well-being of more than 400 activists still being held by Israel.

These deaths, and the attacks on the boats, have hit all of us around the world particularly hard. There were people from 40 different countries on board the ships, including Israelis and Palestinians. Israel sent armed commandos onto a civilian ship in international waters, a brazenly illegal act to enforce Israel’s nearly 3-year illegal siege of Gaza – a siege that has left 1.5 million men, women and children living like prisoners on substandard diets, deprived of the simplest things like potato chips, musical instruments, and toys. The flotilla wasn’t just about this one delivery of aid. It was about the right of Palestinians to have sea, land and air routes to the rest of the world and for the need to end the blockade.

I know that there comes a point in one’s life when you simply have to take a stand. You cannot sit by silently and watch ongoing and wholly unjustified destruction of life, tacitly supported by governments around the world, and simply do nothing.

The flotilla was filled with people just like you and me who finally decided it was time to risk life and limb to take a stand, to break through those prison walls, and we thank them for it.

Now, as citizens of the world, we owe it to the people of Palestine, and the people of Israel who want to live in peace, and the brave people on that flotilla, to build the movement to make Israel accountable to international law and standards of simple human decency – especially because our governments have failed us.

he response of the U.S. government thus far has been wholly inadequate, with a mild statement “regretting the loss of life,” without assigning any blame for the fiasco, let alone applying any sanctions for Israel’s acts.  Please, join me in telling President Obama and Congress enough is enough

. US taxpayer dollars fund Israel’s occupation, and together with wall to wall uncritical diplomatic support have sent the message that any Israeli action, no matter how foolhardy, will be backed by the full might of the United States.

It’s time for that to stop.

We must also continue to build the already massive global people’s movement for justice, which has undeniably found its greatest impact in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. This is about all of the ways, big and small, people can bypass their often ineffective governments to use economic pressure to make the Israeli government accountable to international law. After launching our energetic support for campus efforts to divest from the occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace will let you know soon about our own divestment campaign to help bring pressure on Israel to reach a just solution.It is time for the United States, as Israel’s closest ally and most powerful nation in the world, to stop unconditional support for the Israeli government.Doing so will protect Israelis and Palestinians, American citizens, and internationals alike.

Click here to demand that President Obama and Congress call for an immediate lifting of the siege of Gaza,

An international and impartial investigation into the tragic killing of civilians in a humanitarian mission, and the suspension of military aid to Israel until he can assure the American public that our aid is not used to commit similar abuses.
Rebecca Vilkomerson,
Executive Director,
Jewish Voice for Peace

PS, We’ve prepared posters in PDF format that you can use at protests, in your car window or on bulletin boards. Download them here.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Also a Petition to the UN

Israel’s deadly raid on a flotilla of aid ships headed for Gaza has shocked the world.

Israel, like any other state, has the right to self-defence, but this was an outrageous use of lethal force to defend an outrageous and lethal policy — Israel’s blockade of Gaza, where two thirds of families don’t know where they’ll find their next meal.

The UN, EU, and nearly every other government and multilateral organization have called on Israel to lift the blockade and, now, launch a full investigation of the flotilla raid. But without massive pressure from their citizens, world leaders might limit their response to mere words — as they have so many times before.

Let’s make the world’s outcry too loud to ignore. Join the petition for an independent investigation into the raid, accountability for those responsible, and an immediate end to the blockade in Gaza — click to sign the petition, and then forward this message to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_flotilla_1/?vl

The petition will be delivered to the UN and world leaders, as soon as it reaches 200,000 names — and again at every opportunity as it grows and leaders choose their responses. A massive petition at a moment of crisis like this one can demonstrate to those in power that sound bites and press releases aren’t enough — that citizens are paying attention and demanding action.

As the EU decides whether to expand its special trade relationship with Israel, as Obama and the US Congress set next year’s budget for Israeli military aid, and as neighbours like Turkey and Egypt decide their next diplomatic steps — let’s make the world’s voice unignorable: it’s time for truth and accountability on the flotilla raid, and it’s time for Israel to comply with international law and end the siege of Gaza. Sign now and pass this message along:

Recent

Most Jerusalem Palestinians Live in Poverty

Why won’t Israel allow Gazan’s to import coriander?

What I Learned in Afghanistan – About the United States

Total number of suspected Mossad agents involved in Dubai assassination reaches 32

Foreign Arms Supplies To Israel/Gaza

Israel get weapons from everyone and their dog.

This is unbelievable. All of the countries are also violating International Laws as well.

Hamas has little to nothing in comparison to Israel.

The difference is staggering.

Shame on those who supply grossly, massive, amounts of Weapons of Mass Destruction to Israel.

Foreign Arms Supplies To Israel/Gaza Fueling Conflict

Both Israel and Hamas used weapons supplied from abroad to carry out attacks on civilians. This briefing contains fresh evidence on the munitions used during the three-week conflict in Gaza and southern Israel and includes information on the supplies of arms to all parties to the conflict. It explains why Amnesty International is calling for a cessation of arms supplies to the parties to the conflict and calling on the United Nations to impose a comprehensive arms embargo.

Introduction

With fragile ceasefires now in place in Gaza and southern Israel, the full extent of the devastation caused in recent weeks is becoming increasingly clear. Amnesty International researchers visiting Gaza and southern Israel during and after the fighting found evidence of war crimes and other serious violations of international law by all parties to the conflict.

In the three weeks following the start of the Israeli military offensive on 27 December, Israeli forces killed more than 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza, including more than 300 children and many other civilians, and injured over 5,000 other Palestinians, again including many civilians. Israeli forces also destroyed thousands of homes and other property and caused significant damage to the infrastructure of Gaza, causing a worsening of the humanitarian crisis arising from the 18-month blockade maintained by Israel. Some of the Israeli bombardments and other attacks were directed at civilians or civilian buildings in the Gaza Strip; others were disproportionate or indiscriminate. Amnesty International has found indisputable evidence that Israeli forces used white phosphorus, which has a highly incendiary effect, in densely populated residential areas in Gaza, putting the Palestinian civilian population at high risk. Israeli forces’ use of artillery and other non-precision weapons in densely-populated residential areas increased the risk, and the harm done, to the civilian population.

During the same period, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups continued to fire indiscriminate rockets into residential areas of southern Israel, killing three civilians.

Direct attacks on civilians and civilian objects, disproportionate attacks and indiscriminate attacks are war crimes.

Amnesty International is calling on the United Nations, and the Security Council (SC) in particular, to establish an immediate independent investigation into allegations of war crimes and other serious violations of international law committed by all sides to the conflict and for those found responsible to be brought to justice in order to ensure accountability. The organization notes and welcomes the investigation established by the UN Secretary-General into attacks on UN installations in Gaza but considers this insufficient, and that an independent international investigation must be held into all allegations of war crimes and other violations of international law by all the parties to the conflict in Gaza and southern Israel. As well, Amnesty International is calling on the UN, notably the Security Council, to impose an immediate, comprehensive arms embargo on all parties to the conflict, and on all states to take action individually to impose national embargoes on any arms or weapons transfers to the parties to the conflict until there is no longer a substantial risk that such arms or weapons could be used to commit serious violations of international law.

Amnesty International is deeply concerned that weaponry, munitions and other military equipment supplied to Israel have been used by Israeli armed forces to carry out direct attacks on civilians and civilian objects in Gaza, and attacks which were disproportionate or indiscriminate. Amnesty International is also concerned that Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups have been firing indiscriminate rockets, supplied or constructed of materials supplied from outside Gaza, at civilian population centres in southern Israel.

Misuse of conventional arms by Israeli forces

Hundreds of civilians taking no part in the hostilities, including over 300 children and more than 100 civilian police cadets who were not directly participating in the hostilities, were killed in attacks by Israeli forces against the Gaza Strip. Civilian homes and other buildings, including medical facilities, schools and a university, were also damaged or destroyed by Israeli air strikes and artillery and other attacks — artillery is an area weapon, not one that can be used with pinpoint accuracy, and so should never be used in densely-populated civilian areas.

Amnesty International researchers, including a weapons expert, found various fragments and components from munitions used by the Israeli army during the three-week military offensive launched on 27 December. They include fragments of artillery shells (white phosphorus, high explosive and illuminating), tank shells, mortar fins, highly incendiary white phosphorus-impregnated felt wedges, anti-tank mines and a range of live and spent bullets casings of various calibres – including 7.62 mm, 5.56 mm and the larger .50 calibre.

The information below describes the types of munitions and military equipment used during the conflict that Amnesty International has documented, including in circumstances which violate international humanitarian law and, in some cases, may amount to war crimes.Amnesty International called on the Israeli authorities to disclose the weapons used by their forces in Gaza so that medical staff would be adequately informed to treat victims of the conflict.

Air delivered munitions

Amnesty International found remnants of air-delivered munitions — ranging from fragments of 20mm cannon and Hellfire and other missiles fired from helicopters and unmanned drones, to large fragments of large laser-guided and other bombs dropped from F-16 warplanes, as well as pieces of rocket motors, circuit boards and other electrical components of the missiles. Fragments from these bombardments are all over Gaza – on the streets, in school playgrounds, in hospitals and in people’s homes. Fragments from one 500lb bomb contained the inscription ‘For use on MK-82 fin guided bomb’ and the markings 96214 ASSY 837760-4. The cage code 96214 indicates that this fin was produced by the US company Raytheon. A US government solicitation notice dated 22 October 2001 for ‘bomb spare parts’ included AFG Fin, Raytheon part number 837760-4.

Fragments from a MK-82 bomb ©Amnesty International

By the rubble of the American School in Gaza, Amnesty International delegates spoke to the father of the school guard, Mahmoud Mohammed Selmi Abu Qleiq, who was killed when Israeli F16 aircraft bombed the school campus. Hundreds of homes were completely destroyed as a result of bombardments by F-16 aircraft.

At the northern end of the al-Shati (Beach) refugee camp in Gaza City, Amnesty International visited the Abu ‘Eisha family. Five members of the family – three children and their parents – were killed on the night of 5 January, when an Israeli aircraft dropped a bomb which struck and partially destroyed the house. The following day, 6 January, another Israeli F-16 bombardment killed 23 members of the al-Daya family, most of them children and women, as they slept in their home in the Zaytoun district of Gaza City. When Amnesty International delegates visited the ruins of the house two weeks later, several of the dead were still trapped under the huge pile of rubble.

Anti-Tank Mines

An Israeli anti-tank mine with Hebrew markings ©Amnesty International

On Wednesday 28 January, at the home of the Mardi family in Atatra, where 20 members of the family lived, Amnesty International delegates found one of the anti-tank mines that was used by Israeli soldiers to blow up the family’s house on 4 January. The mine was damaged but had failed to explode. The family said that they had found another such mine, wholly unexploded, which had been removed by the local police. The mine, like others – exploded and unexploded – found by AI delegates in the rubble of other destroyed houses, bore Hebrew writing and serial numbers. Though designed for use against tanks, these mines are easily adapted to other purposes through the addition of an explosive charge and fuse. Israeli soldiers have previously confirmed to Amnesty International that these anti-tank mines have long been used to destroy Palestinian houses, most often in the West Bank but also in Gaza.

Artillery and Mortars

During the three-week military campaign Israeli forces made extensive use of artillery including 155mm white phosphorus shells (see below White Phosphorus) in residential areas, causing death and injuries to civilians. Homes, schools, medical facilities and UN buildings — all civilian objects – took direct hits from Israeli artillery shelling. Artillery shells are for use on conventional battlefields and are not capable of pinpoint targeting. Yet in Gaza they were fired into densely-populated civilian residential areas.

In an UNRWA primary school in Beit Lahia, where 1,600 people were sheltering from the fighting, an artillery carrier shell hit a classroom on the second floor where 35 people were sleeping at 6am on 17 January. Two brothers, aged five and seven, were killed and 14 others were injured, including the boys’ mother, whose leg had to be amputated. Two days after the incident Amnesty International delegates found remains of 155 mm white phosphorus artillery shells and still smouldering remains of white phosphorus at the school.

Eleven days earlier, on 6 January, mortar shells fired by Israeli forces had landed in the street outside another UNRWA school in Jabalia, killing at least 41 people, among them 10 members of one family.

White Phosphorus

There is evidence that white phosphorus was used by Israeli forces across Gaza. Amnesty International came across many white phosphorus 155mm artillery carrier shells throughout Gaza with markings M825 A1 — a US-made munition. These are the same markings of the 155mm white phosphorus shells photographed in Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) stockpiles (see section Arms supplies to Israel below).

Several white phosphorus artillery shells hit the UNRWA field operations headquarters in Gaza City on 15 January, causing a large fire which destroyed tens of tons of humanitarian aid, including, medicines, food and other non-food items.Amnesty International delegates who visited the site found the marking PB-91K018-035 on the fragments of one of the artillery shells which is the lot number and indicates that they were assembled by Pine Bluff Arsenal (PB) in 1991 (91) in October (K).

A white phosphorus carrier shell ©Amnesty International

Amnesty International found that the Israeli army used white phosphorus, a weapon with a highly incendiary effect, in densely-populated civilian residential areas in and around Gaza City, and in the north and south of the Gaza Strip. The organization’s delegates found white phosphorus still burning in residential areas throughout Gaza days after the ceasefire came into effect on 18 January – that is, up to three weeks after the white phosphorus artillery shells had been fired by Israeli forces. Amnesty International considers that the repeated use of white phosphorus in this way in densely-populated civilian areas constitutes a form of indiscriminate attack, and amounts to a war crime.

White phosphorus is a weapon intended to provide a smokescreen for troop movements on the battlefield. When each 155mm artillery shell bursts, it releases 116 wedges impregnated with white phosphorus which ignite on contact with oxygen and can scatter, depending on the height at which it is burst (and wind conditions), over an area at least the size of a football pitch. In addition to the indiscriminate effect of air-bursting such a weapon, firing such shells as artillery exacerbates the likelihood that civilians will be affected. When white phosphorus lands on skin it burns deeply through muscle and into the bone, continuing to burn until deprived of oxygen. It can contaminate other parts of the patient’s body or even those treating the injuries.
A 16-year-old girl, Samia Salman Al-Manay’a, was asleep in her home in the Jabalia refugee camp, north of Gaza City, when a phosphorus shell landed on the first floor of the house at 8pm on 10 January. Ten days later, from her hospital bed, she told Amnesty International that she was still experiencing intense pain due to the burns to her face and legs. “The pain is piercing. It’s as though a fire is burning in my body. It’s too much for me to bear. In spite of all the medicine they are giving me the pain is still so strong.”

Amnesty International has seen documents written during the Israeli military offensive on Gaza by the office of the Israeli army Chief Medical Officer and Medical Field Operations headquarters.A document signed by Colonel Dr Gil Hirschorn, head of trauma in the office of the army’s Chief Medical Officer, states: “When the phosphorus comes in contact with living tissue it causes its damage by ‘eating’ away at it. Characteristics of a phosphorus wound are: chemical burns accompanied by extreme pain, damage to tissue … the phosphorus may seep into the body and damage internal organs. In the long run, kidney failure and the spread of infection are characteristic … In conclusion: a wound by an ordnance containing explosive phosphorus is inherently dangerous and has the potential to cause serious damage to tissue.”

Another document entitled “Exposure to White Phosphorus,” prepared by Medical Field Operations HQ and sent from the Health Ministry, notes that “most of the data on phosphorus wounds stems from animal testing and accidents. Exposure to white phosphorus is highly poisonous, according to many lab experiments. Burns covering a small area of the body, 12-15 percent in lab animals and less than 10 percent in humans, may be lethal as a result of its effects, mostly on the liver, heart and kidneys.”

In addition to the danger posed by the incendiary effect of white phosphorus, the artillery shells themselves continued to pose lethal threat after they dispersed the white phosphorus, as they continued on their trajectory and in many cases smashed into home full of civilians.

In Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, in the south of Gaza, Amnesty International delegates found white phosphorus artillery carrier shells, both whole and in fragments, in several homes in a densely-populated residential area. In one home, they found the fragments of another 155mm artillery carrier shell which had killed 47-year-old Hanan al-Najjar, a mother of four. She and her family had fled their home and were staying with relatives in a residential area well inside the town. On the evening of 10 January an artillery shell penetrated the roof of the house and travelled through two rooms, breaking up in the hall, where a large fragment hit Hanan in the chest, almost severing the upper part of her body. She was killed instantly. In the patio of the house, Amnesty International delegates found an artillery shell (illuminating round) and in a nearby house they found another whole artillery carrier shell which had crashed through the wall and landed on the young couple’s bed, where a baby had been sleeping only minutes earlier.

Illuminating artillery shells

Amnesty International delegates encountered 155mm M485 A2 illuminating shells used by the IDF which had landed in built up residential areas in Gaza. These eject a phosphorus canister, which floats down under a parachute. At least three of these carrier shells were found which had landed in people’s homes. These shells are yellow and one had the following markings: TZ 1-81 155-M 485 A2. TZ is a known marking on Israeli ammunition.

An artillery carrier shell which ejects a canister for illumination ©Amnesty International

At the home of journalist Samir Khalifa, in the Zaitoun district of Gaza City, Amnesty International delegates found a 155mm artillery shell which had smashed into his fourth floor apartment at 6am on 10 January, striking the room next to where he and his wife and children usually slept The family escaped harm as they were sleeping downstairs with the grandparents.

Flechettes

Flechettes are not specifically prohibited under international humanitarian law. However, their use in densely-populated civilian areas in Gaza contributed to unlawful killings of and injuries to civilians. Flechettes are 4cm long metal darts that are sharply pointed at the front, with four fins at the rear. Between 5,000 and 8,000 of these darts are packed into 120mm shells which are generally fired from tanks. The shells explode in the air and scatter the flechettes in a conical pattern over an area about 300m long and 100m wide.Flechette rounds are designed to be used against massed infantry attacks or squads of troops in the open and obviously pose a very high risk to civilians when fired in densely-populated civilian residential areas, as deployed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.

Amnesty International investigated several deaths and injuries of civilians in Gaza caused by flechettes in January.In one case, on 4 January 2009, an ambulance arrived about 15 minutes after a missile strike in Beit Lahiya that apparently targeted five unarmed young men. The ambulance was hit a few minutes later by a tank shell filled with flechettes. Two paramedics were seriously wounded in the incident and one of them, Arafa Hani Abd-al-Dayem, later died.

The following morning, Israeli forces fired several flechette shells into the main road near the Abd al-Dayem family home in ‘Izbet Beit Hanoun, to the south-west of the town of Beit Hanoun. Two people, a child and a woman, were killed and several others were injured. Sixteen-year-old Islam Jaber Abd-al-Dayem was struck in the neck by a flechette. He was taken to the hospital’s intensive care unit but died three days later. Mizar, his brother, was injured in the same attack and still has a flechette lodged in his back. Nearby, 21-year-old Wafa’ Abu Jarad, who was pregnant, her two-year-old son, her husband, and her father and brother-in-law were all injured by flechettes in the courtyard of their home. Wafa’ Abu Jarad died of her injuries two days later.

Amnesty International has previously documented Israeli forces use of flechette rounds in Gaza resulting in the killing of children. The manner in which shells containing flechettes were used by Israeli forces in Gaza — fired in densely populated civilian areas – violates the international law prohibition on indiscriminate attack. Prior to their use during the recent military offensive, the last known incident when flechettes were used in Gaza was on 16 April 2008, when Israeli soldiers fired a flechette tank shell at Reuters journalist Fadel Shana, while he was filming the tank, killing him and three other unarmed civilians, including two children.

In 2001, Jane’s defense publication quoted an Israeli military source, who stated: “The Israeli military obtained these weapons from the USA after the 1973 war and we have thousands of old shells in warehouses…The weapon is not regarded as reliable or effective and gunners have a difficult time in aiming this properly.”
Tank Ammunition

The markings on the base of one tank round found by Amnesty International delegates in Gaza at the destroyed house of the Abu ‘Ida family indicated that it was a 120mm M830 High Explosive Multi Purpose Cartridge made in the USA.

Base of tank cartridge found by Abu Abdullah Abu ‘Ida outside his house ©Amnesty International

Amnesty International delegates found fragments from 120mm tank rounds all over Gaza, including in homes where these munitions had killed children and other civilians. Tank rounds are precision munitions. The killings of so many civilians, many in their homes, indicates that these munitions were — at best — used in a reckless or indiscriminate manner. In Jabaliya, north Gaza, at the home of Dr Izz al-Din Abu al-‘Eish, a gynaecologist who works in an Israeli hospital, Amnesty International delegates found fragments of the two 120mm tank shells which were fired by Israeli soldiers into the bedroom of Dr Abu al-‘Eish’s daughters on the afternoon of 16 January. Three of the doctor’s daughters and his niece were killed on the spot and another daughter and niece were seriously injured.

Missiles from UAVs — or “drones”, helicopters and aircraft

Three paramedics in their mid 20s — Anas Fadhel Na’im, Yaser Kamal Shbeir, and Raf’at Abd al-‘Al — were killed in the early afternoon of 4 January in Gaza City as they walked through a small field on their way to rescue two wounded men in a nearby orchard. A 12-year-old boy, Omar Ahmad al-Barade’e, who was standing near his home indicating to the paramedic the place where the wounded were, was also killed in the same strike.

Amnesty International went to the scene of the incident with the two ambulance drivers who had accompanied the paramedics and who had witnessed the attack and met the child’s distraught mother and found the remains of the missile that killed the three paramedics and the child. The label read “guided missile, surface attack” and the USA is mentioned as the weapon’s country of origin.This AGM 114 Hellfire missile, usually launched from Apache helicopters, was produced by Hellfire Systems of Orlando,a Lockheed Martin/Boeing joint venture, under a contract with the US Army’s Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama which uses the number DAAH01-03-C-0106 on its contracts.

Label on the remains of a missile that killed three paramedics and a child ©Amnesty International

Amnesty International found evidence of missile components, including Hellfire AGM 114, from the air attack on the police cadet parade that took place on 27 December 2008. One of the electrical components had “made in France” written on it.

Cube-shaped shrapnel

Amnesty International delegates in Gaza also found evidence of the use of a new type of missile, seemingly launched from unmanned drones, which explodes large numbers of tiny sharp-edged metal cubes, each between 2 and 4 mm square in size. This purpose-made shrapnel can penetrate even thick metal doors and many were seen by Amnesty International’s delegates embedded deep in concrete walls. They appear designed to cause maximum injury and, in some respects, seem to be a more sophisticated version of the ball-bearings or nails and bolts which armed groups often pack into crude rockets and suicide bombs. The signature of these new missiles, in addition to the deadly tiny metal cubes, is a small and deep hole in the ground (about 10 cm or less in diameter and up to several metres in depth) and a small quantity of shrapnel made of very thin metal, seemingly from the missile’s casing.

An X-ray of a young man who had been injured in one of these missile attacks, which killed a dozen youths and injured several others, showed the tiny metal pellets still embedded in his thigh.

A 13-year-old girl who was asleep in her bed; three primary school-age boys who were carrying sugar canes; two young women on their way to a shelter in search of safety; a 13-year-old boy on his bicycle; eight secondary school students who were waiting for the school bus to take them home; an entire family sitting in the courtyard of their home, and many others were all killed in attacks with these missiles.

Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME)

There have been reports of the use by Israeli forces of DIME munitions in Gaza. Amnesty International researchers in Gaza were not able to confirm the use of such weapons but they interviewed doctors who described treating patients with injuries that could be consistent with the use of DIME weapons.

According to the military publication, Jane’s Intelligence Defence Review, DIME munitions contain high explosives mixed with a powdered, high-density metal such as tungsten, a design which reportedly”improves the blast impulse and lethality near the detonation point (near field) but reduces the more distant (far field) effects.”

DIME munitions are not specifically prohibited under international law. However, as a relatively new weapon, there are questions about their long-term health consequences, which require further study. It is suspected by some scientists that embedded weapons-grade tungsten alloy shrapnel rapidly causes cancer in rats and, while it is not known whether the rate of inducement would be equivalent in human beings, further studies are required into the effects, and risks posed to humans exposed to it, of weaponsgrade tungsten shrapnel.

Some medical doctors in Gaza described attending victims who had unusual wounds that might have been caused by DIME weapons. Patterns of injury include limbs severed in a sharp amputation-like manner, with wounds looking as if cauterized and with little or no bleeding; very deep burns; and unexplained deterioration and deaths of patients with seemingly light injuries. Doctors are finding it difficult to treat these patients because of uncertainty about the nature of the munitions which caused the injuries.

Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities to disclose the weapons and munitions used by their forces in Gaza, in order to facilitate treatment of the injured. The organization believes further studies are required before it can be determined whether the use of DIME munitions is lawful under international law. If it were determined that such weapons cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering, or if they violate the provisions of the Protocol on Non-Detectable Fragments (Protocol I to the Convention on Conventional Weapons) of 10 October 1980, then their use even against combatants, not only civilians, would be prohibited.

Unlawful use of indiscriminate rockets by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups

Palestinian armed groups affiliated to Hamas and to other Palestinian factions (including the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s party) have been launching rockets into towns and villages in south Israel. Although most of these rockets fall in empty areas, they have caused the deaths of several Israeli civilians, injured scores and caused damage to civilian property. In some cases these rockets have failed to reach Israel and have fallen inside Gaza, and some have killed and injured Palestinian civilians. In January 2009, as an increasing number of Palestinian rockets hit Ashkelon, Israeli officials reported that up to 40 percent of the city’s 122,000 inhabitants had left their homes temporarily to stay in other parts of Israel. Sderot and villages in the area have also been similarly affected.

The rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups cannot accurately be directed at specific targets especially at longer distances. They include rockets described as Grads (Russian generic names which may indicate specific (Grad 122mm) calibres, or generically describe multiple-launched rockets) which have a range of about 35km, and home-made short range “Qassam” rockets (another generic name).The military publication Jane’s Terrorism and Security Monitor has described the “Qassam” rockets as: “inaccurate, short-range and rarely lethal”. According to Jane’s the “Qassam” is a Palestinian improvised artillery weapon.Amnesty International delegates visited Sderot and Ashkelon police stations, where they saw the rockets which have struck the towns and surrounding areas, including Grads, Qassams and Quds. The latter two are very crude, rusty 60, 90, or 120mm pipes about 1.5 metres long with fins welded onto them. They can hold about five kilograms of explosives as well as shrapnel in the form of nails, bolts, or round metal sheets which rip into pieces on impact. They have a range of up to 20km, but cannot be aimed accurately. Grad rockets are more professionally built and according to Israeli Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld are smuggled into Gaza, not produced locally there.

According to the Israeli army, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups launched 643 rocket attacks on Israel between 27 December 2008 and 11 January 2009. See the table for more information:

Fueled IDF Reports of Number of rocket attacks by Hamas

27 December 2008 — 11 January 2009

TOTAL: 643

Seven Israeli civilians were killed in 2008 by rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups from Gaza into communities in south Israel. Three of the victims were killed in separate attacks on three consecutive days, on 27, 28 and 29 December 2008.

Fifty-eight-year-old Beber Vaknin was killed when a rocket fired from Gaza hit his apartment building in Netivot on 27 December 2008. The following day, on 28 December a 27-year-old Bedouin, Hani al-Mahdi, was killed and 16 of his co-workers were injured when a Grad rocket missile launched by Hamas militias from Gaza exploded at a construction site in the town of Ashkelon, where the group worked. A third Israeli, Irit Sheetrit, aged 39, was killed the following day, on 29 December 2008 when another Grad rocket hit the centre of the town of Ashdod. As with the attack of the previous day, Hamas also claimed responsibility for the attack.

Amnesty International has repeatedly called on Hamas and all other Palestinian armed groups in Gaza to stop firing indiscriminate rockets against towns and villages in southern Israel, and continues to do so.2

Arms supplies to Israel

Israel is a significant manufacturer of conventional arms, falling within the top 10 of arms exporters in the world, but also relies on imports of military equipment, parts and technologies. For example, Merkava-4 tanks produced in Israel have used diesel engines assembled in the USA incorporating components produced in Germany.

Since 2001, the USA has been by far the major supplier of conventional arms to Israel based on the value of export deliveries of all conventional arms including government to government as well as private commercial sales. US foreign military sales to Israel have continued on a large scale (see Appendix 1). The US authorities reported to the UN that the USA commercially traded $1,313 million in “arms and ammunition” to Israel in the years from 2004 to 2007, of which $447 million was traded in 2007. Israel did not report this trade to the UN. These figures for US trade would normally exclude gifts of military equipment and associated or “dual use” equipment and technologies. In addition to this trade, the USA has provided large funding each year for Israel to procure arms despite US legislation that restricts such aid to consistently gross human rights violators.

Since 2002, during the Bush administration, Israel received over $21 billion in US military and security assistance, including $19 billion in direct military aid under the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program. Put simply, Israel’s military intervention in the Gaza Strip has been equipped to a large extent by US-supplied weapons, munitions and military equipment paid for with US taxpayers’ money.

Section 502B of the Foreign Assistance Act stipulates that “no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights” which includes “acts of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges and trial, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, and other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of person.” Section 4 of the Arms Export Control Act authorizes the supply of US military equipment and training only for lawful purposes of internal security, “legitimate self-defense,” or participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations or other operations consistent with the U.N. Charter. However, under the US Export Administration Act, security assistance may be provided if the President certifies that “extraordinary circumstances” exist, so Section 502B is circumvented. The Leahy Law, named after the senator who introduced the amendment to US legislation, prohibits the USA from providing most forms of security assistance to any military or police unit when there is “credible evidence” that members of the unit are committing gross human rights violations. Assistance can resume if the government in question takes “effective measures” and, under the Pentagon’s interpretation of the law, if the foreign government filters out the “few bad apples” in that particular unit, security assistance can continue.

On 16 August 2007, the US and Israeli governments signed a 10-year agreement for the provision of $30 billion in US military aid. Full details of the package were not disclosed; however, it is reported to include a new generation of F-35 fighter jets, advanced bombs, and laser-guided missiles. This military aid package, amounting to $3 billion per year, represented a 25 percent increase of the US annual military aid appropriation to Israel of $2.4 billion. Israel was already the largest recipient in the world of US military aid before the proposed increase. Even after the start of the current conflict and reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law by the IDF in Gaza, the US authorities continued to authorize large consignments of US munitions, including white phosphorus munitions, to Israel.

Other major arms exporting states such as France, Germany and the UK have been exporting far less to Israel than the US since 2004 but nevertheless these exports appear significant. According to the EU’s 2008 report on arms export licences, published in December for the 2007 calendar year and consolidating the accounts that Member States must annually submit, 18 EU Member States authorised a total of 1,018 such licences to Israel worth €199,409,348. France, Germany and Romania were the top three exporters. France issued export licences worth €126 million, Germany authorised €28 million and Romania €17 million. Export authorisations from states do not necessarily correspond to actual arms export data in any one year for a variety of reasons, but licence authorisations do show the willingness of governments of exporting States to equip Israel’s armed forces. Actual annual arms export data from the EU to Israel until the end of 2007 are shown in the table below.

Under Criterion 2 of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, Member States are supposed to “deny an export licence if there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression” or “be used in the commission of serious violations of international humanitarian law”. The term “internal repression” “includes, inter alia, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, summary or arbitrary executions, disappearances, arbitrary detentions and other major violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms as set out in relevant international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” Across the EU, only 28 export licences were refused as a result of human rights, internal security or regional stability reasons.

As a result of political pressure in some EU countries concerned about the conflict in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, nine EU states including Sweden now claim not to export any arms to Israel and states such as Italy and the UK have claimed to restrict their exports of conventional arms overall, but sometimes such exports to Israel consist of components or transit trade. Nonetheless export data show that such states have exported infantry weapons, military vehicles and components for arms sent to Israel.

Other significant suppliers of military equipment to Israel since 2001 are (in alphabetical order) Austria, Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia-Montenegro, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea and Spain. The Netherlands and Greece have been major transit countries for military equipment sent to Israel. Albania, Bosnia-Herzogovina, Brazil, Colombia, and India are reported to have been in the top 20 commercial suppliers of arms and ammunition.

International obligations regarding conventional arms transfers

The UN Security Council, in Operative Provision 6 of Resolution 1860 (2009), of 8 January 2009, called on Member States “to intensify efforts to provide arrangements and guarantees in Gaza in order to … prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition…” According to the 1996 United Nations Guidelines for International Arms Transfers, the term “illicit arms trafficking is understood to cover that international trade in conventional arms, which is contrary to the laws of States and/or international law.”

The responsibility of all states to prohibit international arms transfers that will facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights derives from their obligation not to participate in the internationally wrongful acts of another state. The principle is stated in Article 16 of the International Law Commission’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts in terms which reflect customary international law, binding on all States. Article 16 states: “A State which aids or assists another State in the commission of an internationally wrongful act by the latter is internationally responsible for doing so if: (a) that State does so with knowledge of the circumstances of the internationally wrongful act; and (b) the act would be internationally wrongful if committed by that State.” General international law prohibits conduct that involves patterns of blatant abuse and complicity in such a pattern of blatant abuse. The expression “gross” or “serious” violation of human rights is commonly used to convey a sense of scale, evoking both the number of violations and the gravity of their consequences for the victims. It also suggests a measure of intent.

The table below shows the USA and EU suppliers of conventional arms to Israel, including government to government transfers and commercial sales — up to the most recent period publicly available.

Actual Export of US and EU conventional military equipment to Israel for the period 2004 to 2007:

USA USD
2004 1,204,413,883
2005 2,634,108,000
2006 2,487,285,000
2007 1,529,306,000
Total 7,855,112,883
FMS USD
2004 1,203,995,000
2005 1,523,885,000
2006 1,285,861,000
2007 1,269,031,000
Total 5,282,772,000
DCS USD
2004 418,883,000
2005 1,110,223,000
2006 1,201,424,000
2007 260,275,000
Total 2,990,805,000

Bulgaria EUR
2006 249,445
Total 249,445

Czech Republic EUR
2004 821,000
2005 1,289,000
2006 261,000
2007 2,442,820
Total 4,813,820

France EUR
2004 17,300,000
2005 12,808,032
2006 21,358,751
2007 7,998,720
Total 59,465,503

Germany EUR
2004 417,000
2005 477,000
2006 14,000
2007 770,000
Total 1,678,000

Greece EUR
2005 558,858
2006 88,606
2007 29,640
Total 677,104

Italy EUR
2004 161,780
2005 220,095
2006 42,588
2007 444,670
Total 869,133

Netherlands EUR
2005 3,253,083
Total 3,253,083

Poland EUR
2005 508,819
Total 508,819

Romania EUR
2004 3,154,943
2005 3,395,240
2006 6,809,454
2007 7,631,156
Total 20,990,793

Slovakia EUR
2005 304,656
2006 205,506
Total 510,162

Slovenia EUR
2004 435,818
2005 233,544
2006 492,150
2007 1,138,180
Total 2,299,692

Spain EUR
2004 35,257
2005 273,728
2006 441,335
2007 1,515,934
Total 2,266,254

UK GBP
2005 582,071
2006 3,572,788
2007 6,315,960
Total 10,470,819

This shows actual exports of military equipment as reported by the USA and EU governments. The value of the deliveries is shown in the different currencies as reported. Statistics are compiled differently by states. There is no available data for 2008. The above has been compiled, with the exception of the USA, in alphabetical order of the countries named.

Major commercial suppliers of infantry weapons, munitions and armoured vehicles, and aircraft to Israel

Based upon customs data submitted by states to the UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade) the US accounted for 95 percent of all commercial sales – which are those sales made directly to Israel by manufacturers to foreign recipients falling within the broad UN customs category 891 of “arms and ammunition” between 2004 and 2007 amounting to a total recorded value of over US$1.3 billion. Other major suppliers in this category were Serbia and Montenegro (in 2004), Poland, Romania, Serbia (since 2005), South Korea, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Finland and Austria.

The table below shows the top 20 arms suppliers to Israel by value in US$ according to this UN customs category of “arms and ammunition”, code 891. UN data is not yet available for 2008.

Top 20 Arms and Ammunition Deliveries to Israel between2004-2007 measured in US$
USA 1,312,909,556
Serbia and Montenegro (2004 only) 8,626,560
Poland 7,455,679
Romania 6,757,241
Serbia 6,331,138
Korea, South 5,864,486
Slovakia 5,415,005
Czech Republic 4,491,753
Finland 4,138,731
Austria 4,015,987
Italy 3,187,896
Brazil 1,983,166
Bosnia-Herzogovina 1,880,499
Germany 1,531,000
Colombia 1,496,192
Albania 1,255,415
India 1,052,680
Spain 952,725
Netherlands 784,714
UK 754,367
Canada 707,384

A note on UN Comtrade data

No useful information is submitted by States to the UN Comtrade database on the quantity or exact types of military equipment or munitions transferred. The only indicator of the size of the shipment(s) is the value in US$. Also, not all States report or report reliably to the UN and do not necessarily report their trade statistics for each and every year. However, UN Comtrade data can be used to ask governments about the exact nature of these deliveries, what equipment they exactly covered, what quantity, who the end-user is and what is the intended end-use. Nonetheless, the UN data does show which States are the main suppliers of arms to Israel.

Aircraft and Helicopters

Over the years, the US has also supplied Israel with US-made F-16 combat aircraft, Apache AH-64 helicopters and Black Hawk UH-60 combat helicopters.

According to the most recent data available submitted to the UN Register on Conventional Arms by the US government, during 2007 the US exported to Israel one M577A2 Command armoured combat vehicle; 18 F-16D combat aircraft; and 50 LAU-129 A/A launcher missile launchers. In 2006, the USA exported to Israel 21 F16 aircraft in 2006 and 42 Bell AH-1F Cobra. The Bell AH-1F Cobra gunship incorporates the 2.75 inch rockets fired from 7-tube M158, 19-tube M200, 7-tube M-260, or 19-tube M261 rocket pods, the M65 TOWmissile system and the M197 20mm gun.

Tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles

According to the UN Comtrade database the following countries are the top five suppliers of equipment under the category of ‘tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles’ code 89111.

Top 5 suppliers of armoured fighting vehicles between 2004-2007 in US$
USA 540,900,776
Romania 5,819,346
Slovakia 901,676
Korea, South 530,775
Kazakhstan 197,861
Ammunition

According to the UN Comtrade database, the US was the largest commercial supplier of “munitions of war” under the code 89129 to Israel between 2004-2007 with US$480 million – 98% of all commercial sales in this category.

Top 10 deliveries of ‘munitions’ 2004-2007 in US$
USA 480,814,850
Finland 4,093,348
Korea, South 4,048,761
Germany 823,000
Serbia30 760,635
Poland 393,587
Albania 387,169
Serbia and Montenegro (2004 only) 376,681
Romania 329,150
Estonia 185,772
UK 8,048

According to research by Amnesty International and International Peace Information Service (a NGO based in Antwerp), Serbian and Bosnian companies have in recent years exported large quantities of small arms ammunition and components, as well as artillery shell and mortar components to Israeli companies that supply such weapons to the IDF. Such exports have been sanctioned by the governments of Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzogovina.

The primary Israeli importer of small arms ammunition components and finished products from the Balkans is the company Israeli Military Industries (IMI). During 2005 and 2006, IMI imported millions of rounds of 5.56 calibre ammunition from the Prvi Partizan factory in Serbia. IMI also ordered 45 million rounds of 5.56 calibre ammunition compatible with IDF assault rifles from a Bosnian factory in September 2005. IMI continued to import massive quantities of IDF compatible ammunition from Serbia. IMI is the leading small arms supplier to the IDF. See below for information on small arms and light weapons.

Rockets and Missiles

Israel typically uses the AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles which are fired from the Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. The armament of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter consists of the 2.75 inch (70mm) Hydra rockets carried in 19-tube rocket pods and the M230 30mm chain gun.The US supplies these to Israel as the table below shows.

Proposed US Foreign Military Sales notified to Congress 2005-2008 (DSCA)

Date

Source

Quantity

Description

30/10/07

Transmittal 08-07

2,000

14

1,000

200

500

100

Radio Frequency (RF) TOW 2A Missiles

TOW 2A Fly-to-buy Missiles

AGM-114K3 HELLFIRE II Missiles

AGM-114L3 HELLFIRE II Longbow Missiles

AGM-114M3 HELLFIRE II Missiles

PATRIOT Guidance Enhanced Missile Plus (GEM+)

09/09/08

Transmittal 08-87

28,000

60,000

M72A7 66mm Light Anti-Armor Weapons (LAAWs),M72AS 21mm Sub-Caliber Training Rockets.
Bombs

The table below shows proposed US supplies of the GBU-28 ‘bunker buster’ and other bombs to Israel between 2005 and 2008.

Proposed US Foreign Military Sales notified to Congress 2005-2008 (DSCA)

Date

Source

Quantity

Description

29/04/05

Transmittal 05-10

100

GBU-28 bombs that include: BLU-113A/B penetration warhead, WGU-36A/B guidance control unit, FMU-143H/B bomb fuze, and BSG-92/B airfoil group guide. Also included are: support equipment; testing, spare and repair parts; supply support; publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and

other related elements of logistics support.

20/04/07

Transmittal 07-21

3,500

MK-84 (Tritonal) general purpose bomb units

03/08/07

Transmittal 07-32

10,000

1,500

2,000

50

MK-84 live bombs;

MK- 82 live bombs;

BLU-109 live bombs;

GBU-28 guided live bombs

09/09/08

Transmittal 08-82

1,000

GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB1)

The US Department of Defense contracted Boeing in September 2006 to incorporate focused lethality munition (FLM) technology into small diameter bombs.According to the table above 1000 GBU-39s were ordered in September 2008 by Israel. There are reports that the FLM uses DIME technology.

Artillery shells including white phosphorus shells

During the Gaza conflict, photographic evidence emerged of the Israeli army using stocks of white phosphorus smoke shells. Amnesty International has identified the pale blue 155mm rounds, clearly marked with the designation M825A1, as an American-made white phosphorus munition.White phosphorus is also marked in the US list of munitions due to be carried on a ‘ship of shame’ from the USA to Israel — see section on “US arms ships” below.

The table below shows government-to-government sales’ notices for the shipment of artillery munitions from the US to Israel:

Proposed US Foreign Military Sales notified to Congress 2005-2008 (DSCA)

Date

Source

Quantity

Description

30/10/07

Transmittal 08-07

150,048

8,000

30,003

100,000

5,000

M433 40MM High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP) CartridgesM930 120MM Illuminating CartridgesM889A1 81MM High Explosive Cartridges with M935 FuzesM107 155MM High Explosive Artillery RoundsM141 83MM Bunker Defeat Munitions

Israeli companies such as Soltam Systems have also purchased large quantities of key mortar and artillery shell components from Bosnia & Herzegovina.Soltam Systems is a leading supplier of artillery and mortar shells to the IDF.

Small Arms and Light Weapons

Israel makes its own pistols, assault rifles (Galil and Tavor), machines guns and other light weapons, while such items in the hands of Hamas and other Palestinian groups are usually former USSR types smuggled in from unknown sources.

The US has been a large supplier of firearms and light weapons to Israel. Many Israeli soldiers can be seen carrying M4 carbine assault rifles. According to EU reports for exports to Israel during 2007, Bulgaria and Poland issued licences for small arms and/or light weapons worth over €2 million, with Germany, Spain, Slovenia and the UK approving small amounts of less than €500,000.

The top five suppliers to Israel of ‘military weapons’ (under the code 89112 in the UN Comtrade database) have been:

Top 5: 2004-2007In US$
USA 31,181,225
Albania 868,246
Netherlands 420,360
Mexico 115,080
Croatia 47,342
Electronic Equipment

The EU’s 2008 consolidated report on arms exports lists “electronic equipment specifically designed or modified for military use” with licences for export to Israel approved by France (€89 million) and Germany (€5 million) during 2007. In addition, France approved the export of €22 million of “imaging or countermeasure equipment for military use”. The US is also thought to be a major supplier of such equipment.

Components

According to the UN Comtrade data, the US was the largest commercial supplier of “parts and accessories for military weapons and non-military weapons” to Israel. Between 2004 and 2007 the US exported US$151 million-worth of such parts and accessories – 97% of all commercial sales in this category. Other suppliers include: Austria which shipped $3,045,131 worth during the same period; the Netherlands $361,841; the UK $279,565 and the Czech Republic $116,304. The table below shows proposed government to government transfers from the US to Israel:

Proposed US Foreign Military Sales notified to Congress 2005-2008 (DSCA)

Date

Source

Quantity

Description

03/08/07

Transmittal 07-32

10,000

2,500

500

1,000

10,000

10,000

Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) tail kits;

PAVEWAY II full kits for the MK-82 warhead;

PAVEWAY II full kits for the MK-83 warhead;

PAVEWAY II full kits for the MK- 84 warhead;

FMU-139 live fuze components; and

FMU-152 live fuze components.

The UK is also coming under increasing scrutiny about the export of components. Amnesty International remains particularly concerned about the exports of UK components that may have been incorporated into military systems used by the IDF. The introduction in 2002 of revised UK guidelines for the control of exports of components for incorporation in military systems were specifically intended to allow the export of UK components to the USA for incorporation in military equipment such as F-16 combat aircraft and Apache combat helicopters which were known be exported to the Israel. The UK has also licensed components for a wide variety of military equipment directly to Israel. Details contained within UK government reports do not allow for a meaningful assessment of the end-user of this equipment, but Amnesty International has concerns that some of this equipment, particularly components for UAVs and naval equipment, may have been exported to Israeli military forces and used for serious violations.

In addition, numerous credible sources, including company promotional literature, established defence industry journals and sources from within the Israeli military have stated that a UK company provides the engines for the Hermes 450 pilotless “drone” UAV aircraft manufactured in Israel by Elbit systems. The Hermes 450 UAVs are currently operated by the IDF as well as other armed forces. It has been widely reported that the Hermes 450 UAV uses a ‘UEL AR-80-1010’ engine manufactured by a company based in Lichfield. The initial version of the aircraft was reportedly powered by an ‘AR741’ engine, also produced by the Lichfield company, when at the time the IDF were the only users of the Hermes 450.

A spokesperson for Elbit Systems has denied these claims, stating that whilst the UK company does provide engines for Hermes 450s that are destined for export, the UK company does not provide the engines for any of the drones used by the Israeli armed forces. Amnesty International is not alleging any illegality on the part of UK companies, nor suggesting that any of its exports have not been authorised by the necessary export licenses from the UK government.

UAVs have been extensively used in combat operations by the IDF in Lebanon and Gaza. The claims have been strongly Denied by Elbit systems, the Israeli manufacturer of the Hermes 450, who have stated that UK engines are only used in variants manufactured for export and not used by the IDF. Amnesty International-UK has written to the UK government to seek assurances that it has not licensed components for use in UAVs and that it has undertaken sufficient end-use monitoring to ascertain that UK engines are not and have not been used in UAVs operated by the IDF. Government officialshave admitted that they are unable to say whether UK engines have been incorporated into drones used by the IDF. MPs are calling for a full account into arms exports to Israel. The lack of a robust end-use monitoring and verification system hampers public and parliamentary scrutiny of UK arms supplies, especially where it concerns the transfer of components that are incorporated into military equipment.

According to the Canadian NGO Ploughshares, Canadian-built components are also included in many US weapons systems that are exported to Israel.

Special Fuels

Under the Foreign Military Sales program the US government regularly provides the Israeli government with various fuels: EN590 diesel fuel and JP-8 jet fuel. Because of its properties JP-8 is also used in ground-based operations, for example armoured vehicles.See appendix two for a table showing fuel contracts for the Israeli government between 2002 and 2008.

Current US arms ships

Since early December 2008, the US Military Sealift Command has been organizing three large deliveries by sea of military ammunition and high explosives, including explosives with white phosphorus, from the US base at Sunny Hill, North Carolina, to an Israeli port near Gaza.

On 4 December 2008, the USA’s military shipping service, Military Sealift Command, issued a request to charter a commercial cargo vessel to move a very large consignment of “containerized ammunition and other containerized ammunition supplies” from Sunny Point, North Carolina — the location of a US Military Ocean Terminal – to Ashdod in Israel. The contract was awarded on 8 December 2008 to a German shipping company, Oskar Wehr KG GmbH, and the cargo was due to be loaded in North Carolina on 13 December 2008.

The US military tender request indicated an extremely large quantity of ammunition and associated supplies: the first planned shipment consisted of the equivalent of 989 standard (20ft) shipping containers of cargo, and required the ship to carry at least 5.8 million lbs (around 2600 metric tons) of ‘net explosive weight’, a measure of the explosive content of the cargo. The ship was placed under the tactical control of the US Sealift Logistics Command for the duration of the voyage, and was required to have up to 12 US armed forces personnel on board.

On 31 December 2008, just four days after the start of Israel’s attacks on targets in Gaza, a second request was issued by the US Military Sealift Command for a ship to transport two further shipments of ammunition from Astakos in Greece to Ashdod, Israel. These shipments were to comprise 157 and 168 standard shipping containers of ammunition with a net explosive weight of nearly 1 million lbs. The ‘Hazard Codes’ of the cargo indicate that the cargo would include articles containing white phosphorus.

Planned US munitions shipments to Ashdod (Israel), according to US tender documents:

From Loading date Latest Arrival Date in Ashdod Cargo Size (equivalent no. of 20ft shipping containers) Net Explosive Weight (lbs)
Shipment 1 Sunny Point, NC, USA 13 Dec 2008 ?? (42 day charter) 989 containers 5,800,000
Shipment 2 Astakos, Greece 18-19 Jan 2009 22 Jan 2009 157 containers 971,575.9
Shipment 3 Astakos, Greece 25 Jan 2009? [latest arrival date in Astakos] 29 Jan 2009 168 containers 973,164.3

Transport tenders for these second and third shipments were cancelled on 9 January. However, a US military spokesperson confirmed on 12 January that they were still seeking a way to deliver these shipments, likewise destined for the Israel stockpile. US forces have also previously transferred ammunition consignments between vessels at sea around the Greek mainland and Crete.

According to Amnesty International research with the NGOs TransArms and the Omega Research Foundation, on 20 December 2008, the first delivery of 989 containers was taken from North Carolina in a container ship, the Wehr Elbe, owned by Oskar Wehr KG. This arms ship entered Gibraltar on 28 December, but the German firm told Amnesty International that its ship did not unload the arms in Israel. According to maritime tracking facilities, the Wehr Elbe sailed off the coast of Greece near Astakos for several days then disappeared off the radar on 12 January reportedly after the Greek Government refused to grant permission to tranship the munitions to Israel. The Wehr Elbe has a capacity of over 2,500 20 ft shipping containers and thus has the capacity to load the first shipment of ammunition in North Carolina, load the other shipments in Astakos, and sail on to Ashdod. As of 27 January, according to maritime tracking facilities, the ship’s last port of call was Augusta, Italy. As of 17 February, the ship has not subsequently docked anywhere.

According to a report from Reuters on 9 January 2009, a US naval spokesperson stated that the delivery was “to a pre-positioned U.S. munitions stockpile in Israel in accordance with a congressionally authorized 1990 agreement between the U.S. and Israel…This previously scheduled shipment is routine and not in support of the current situation in Gaza.” However, the portion of US Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS) maintained in Israel is the War Reserve Stocks for Allies — Israel (WRSA-I) stockpile. According to information provided to Congress in 2003 by the US Department of Defense, this is a “separate stockpile of U.S.–owned munitions and equipment set aside, reserved, or intended for use as war reserve stocks by the U.S. and which may be transferred to the Government of Israel in an emergency, subject to reimbursement.”

Arms supplies to Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups

Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups have smuggled small arms, light weapons, rockets and rocket components into Gaza, using tunnels from Egypt into Gaza; this weaponry has been acquired from clandestine sources. “Katyusha” rockets are originally Russian-made, but those being used by Palestinian fighters are unlikely to have been acquired directly from Russia. Such imports and holdings are on a very small scale compared to those of Israel. A rocket arsenal that provides an offensive or deterrent capability similar to that fielded by the Lebanese group Hizbullah during the 2006 war with Israel is beyond the reach of Palestinian militant groups.

It is reported by Jane’s Defence Weekly that Hamas has an estimated rocket arsenal of 3,000, primarily locally made, short-range rockets: the Qassam 1, 2 and 3. The longer-range rockets are purchased abroad and smuggled into Gaza via Egypt. These include the 122mm Grad rocket, originally Russian-made, the Iranian-made 220mm Fadjr-3, and allegedly also Chinese-made rockets smuggled from Sudan. The explosives used in the warheads is either manufactured locally from fertilizer or smuggled into Gaza through tunnels or from the sea.

Over the years several arms shipments allegedly en route to Gaza are reported to have been intercepted by Israeli or Egyptian security forces. In May 2006 the Israeli Navy said it had intercepted a Palestinian fishing boat with 500kg of weapons grade TNT.The Egyptian police said they recovered 1,000 kg of explosives in Sinai — 30 km from Gaza – in October 2006.Also, in 2008, several large caches were reportedly recovered: Egyptian police uncovered a cache in May 2008 containing 500kg of TNT500 metres from the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza.In late May 2008, an Egyptian police official told the Associated Press news agency that the Egyptian authorities had found ammunition boxes, RPGs and anti-aircraft missiles apparently bound for Gaza some 80 km south of Rafah.

The table below estimates the Hamas rocket arsenal:

Type

Range

Warhead Payload

Origin

Qassam-1

3 km

0.5 kg

Locally made

Qassam-2

6-10 km

5-7 kg

Locally made

Qassam-3

10 km

10 kg

Locally made

122mm Grad

20 km

USSR/Russia, various

220mm Fadjr-3

40 km

45 kg

Iran

122mm

40 km

China

According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, Hamas is in the possession of several home-made anti-armour rockets: the Al-Battar, the Banna 1 and Banna 2.

There have been several reports that Iran has provided military equipment and munitions, including rockets, to Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups but Amnesty International has not seen any evidence to verify these allegations.

Recommendations

  • Impose UN SC arms embargo – Impose immediately a comprehensive UN Security Council arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups until effective mechanisms are in place to ensure that weapons or munitions and other military equipment will not be used to commit serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. This must include ensuring that alleged violations are thoroughly and impartially investigated and accountability, with any persons who are found responsible being brought to justice in fair trials.
  • Suspend All Arms Transfers – Act immediately to unilaterally suspend all transfers of military equipment, assistance and munitions, as well as those which may be diverted, to Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups until there is no longer a substantial risk that such equipment will be used for serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses. The suspension should include all indirect exports via other countries, the transfer of military components and technologies and any brokering, financial or logistical activities that would facilitate such transfers.
  • Accountability – Establish without delay thorough, independent and impartial investigation of violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the Israeli attacks which have been directed at civilians or civilian buildings in the Gaza Strip, or which are disproportionate, and Palestinian armed groups’ indiscriminate rocket attacks against civilian centres in southern Israel. Amnesty International has collected evidence of possible war crimes and other serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law. There must be full accountability for such crimes. Where appropriate states must be ready to initiate criminal investigations and carry out prosecutions before their own courts if the evidence warrants it.
  • Support for the Golden Rule on Human Rights – Actively support the establishment of an effective global Arms Trade Treaty that includes the “Golden Rule” on human rights and international humanitarian law to avoid and minimise the recurrence of arms supplies contributing to such serious violations — the Golden Rule promoted by Amnesty International and other NGOs is that all States will prevent the transfer of arms, including military weapons, ammunition and equipment, where there is a substantial risk that the arms are likely to be used for serious violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.

Public Document

International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK

Appendix One: Proposed US Foreign Military Sales notified to Congress 2005-2008

Date

Source

Quantity

Description

29/04/05

Transmittal 05-10

100

GBU-28 bombs that include: BLU-113A/B penetration warhead, WGU-36A/B guidance control unit, FMU-143H/B bomb fuze, and BSG-92/B airfoil group guide. Also included are: support equipment; testing, spare and repair parts; supply support; publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and

other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is US$30 million.

20/04/07

Transmittal 07-21

3,500

MK-84 (Tritonal) general purpose bomb units, testing, support equipment, spares and repair parts, supply support, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is US$65 million.

03/08/07

Transmittal 07-32

10,000

2,500

500

1,000

10,000

1,500

2,000

50

10,000

10,000

Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) tail kits;

PAVEWAY II full kits for the MK-82 warhead;

PAVEWAY II full kits for the MK-83 warhead;

PAVEWAY II full kits for the MK- 84 warhead;

MK-84 live bombs;

MK- 82 live bombs;

BLU-109 live bombs;

GBU-28 guided live bombs;

FMU-139 live fuze components; and

FMU-152 live fuze components.

Also included: Containers, bomb components, spare/repair parts, publications, documentation, personnel training, training equipment, contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related support elements. Total value could be US$465 million

24/08/07

Transmittal 07-37

30

500

RGM-84L BLOCK II HARPOON Anti-Ship missiles with containers andAIM-9M SIDEWINDER Short Range Air-to-Air Infrared Guided missiles, spares and repair parts for support equipment, training, publications and technical documents, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is US$163 million.

24/08/07

Transmittal 07-43

200

AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air (AMRAAM) missiles, containers, components, spare/repair parts, publications, documentation, personnel training, training equipment, contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related support elements. The estimated cost is US$171 million.

30/10/07

Transmittal 08-07

2,000

14

1,000

200

500

100

150,048

8,000

30,003

100,000

5,000

Radio Frequency (RF) TOW 2A Missiles

TOW 2A Fly-to-buy Missiles

AGM-114K3 HELLFIRE II Missiles

AGM-114L3 HELLFIRE II Longbow Missiles

AGM-114M3 HELLFIRE II Missiles

PATRIOT Guidance Enhanced Missile Plus (GEM+)

M433 40MM High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP) Cartridges

M930 120MM Illuminating Cartridges

M889A1 81MM HE Cartridges with M935 Fuzes

M107 155MM HE Projectiles

M141 83MM Bunker Defeat Munitions

Also, includes non-MDE cartridges, projectiles, charges, fuzes, containers, spare and repair parts, test and tool sets, personnel training and equipment, publications, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, Quality Assurance Team support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is US$1.329 billion.

09/06/08

Transmittal 08-42

25

T-6A Texan aircraft, Global Positioning System (GPS) with CMA-4124 GNSSA card and Embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation System (INS) spares, ferry maintenance, tanker support, aircraft ferry services, site survey, unit level trainer, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is US$190 million.

09/09/08

Transmittal 08-62

3

PATRIOT System Configuration 3 Modification kits to upgrade 3 PATRIOT fire units to Radar Enhancement Phase 3 (REP-3) and Classification, Discrimination and Identification Phase 3 (CDI-3). Non-MDE includes: communication support equipment, tools and test equipment, integration and checkout, spares and repair parts, installation and training, publications and technical documents, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is US$164 million.

15/07/08

Transmittal 06-63

4

Littoral Combat Ships (LCS-I variant): Hull, and all mechanical and electrical functions. Each ship will be equipped with: 2 MK-41 Vertical Launch Systems, 8 cells for each system; 1 Close-In-Weapon System, Block 1A, 1 Enhanced HARPOON Launching System with launchers; 2 MK-32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes; Communications and Sensors; Link 16; COMBATSS-21 with SPY-1F(V) and MK-99 Fire Control System; or Ship Self-Defense System. Also includes design and integration services, hardware and software, spare and repair parts, test and tool sets, personnel training and equipment, publications, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is US$1.9 billion.

30/07/08

Transmittal 08-76

9

6

9

9

9

9

4

10

4

3

1

2

10

5

Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 United States Air Force (USAF) baseline aircraft including USAF baseline equipment and Block 7.0 Software;Rolls Royce AE 2100D3 spare engines;AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems (includes three spares) ;AN/ALR-56M Advanced Radar Warning Receivers (includes three spares);AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing Systems (includes three spares) ;AN/AAQ-22 Star SAFIRE III Special Operations Suites (includes three spares) ;spare AN/ARC-210 Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS);spare Secure Voice Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency Radios ;spare Secure Voice High Frequency Radios ;

spare AN/AAR-222 SINCGARS and Key Gen (KV-10) Systems ;

KIV-119 Non-standard Communication/COMSEC equipment ;

ARC-210 Non-standard Communication/COMSEC equipment ;

External Pylons and Fuel Tanks ;

Internal Israeli Tank Modification Kits ;

Also included are spare and repair parts, configurations updates, communications security equipment and radios, integration studies, support equipment, aircraft ferry and tanker support, repair and return, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logisticis US$1.9 billion.

09/09/08

Transmittal 08-82

1,000

150

30

2

7

1

2

12

3

2

GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB1),

BRU-61/A SDB1 Mounting Carriages,

Guided Test Vehicles,

BRU-61/A SDB Instrumented Carriages,

Jettison Test Vehicles,

Separation Test Vehicle,

Reliability and Assessment Vehicles,

Common Munitions BIT and Reprogramming Equipment with Test Equipment and Adapters,

SDB1 Weapons Simulators, and

Load Crew Trainers.

Also includes containers, flight test integration, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is US$77 million.

29/09/08

Transmittal 08-83

25

(+50 optional)

25 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft with an option to purchase at a later date an additional 50 F-35 CTOL or Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft. All aircraft will be configured with either the Pratt and Whitney F-135 engines or General Electric-Rolls Royce F-136 engines. Other aircraft equipment includes: Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence/Communication, Navigational and Identification (C4I/CNI); Autonomic Logistics Global Support System (ALGS); Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS); Flight Mission Trainer; Weapons Employment Capability, and other Subsystems, Features, and Capabilities; F-35 unique infrared flares; unique systems or sovereign requirements; reprogramming center, Hardware/Software In-the-Loop Laboratory Capability; External Fuel Tanks; and F-35 Performance Based Logistics. Also includes: software development/integration, flight test instrumentation, aircraft ferry and tanker support, support equipment, tools and test equipment, spares and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documents, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is US$15.2 billion.

09/09/08

Transmittal 08-87

28,000

60,000

M72A7 66mm Light Anti-Armor Weapons (LAAWs),M72AS 21mm Sub-Caliber Training Rockets, spare and repair parts, support equipment,publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is US$89 million.

Appendix Two: US Foreign Military Sales Fuel Contracts for Israeli government 2002-2008

Award No.

Awardee

Description

Source

SP0600-08-D-0495

Valero Marketing & Supply Co., San Antonio, Texas

$45,978,408.00 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for fuel. Using service is the Government of Israel. The date of performance completion is Aug. 13, 2008

Defense Contracts, No. 562-08

(3 July 2008)

SP0600-06-D-0506 Refinery Associates of Texas, Inc., New Braunfels, Texas, a maximum $22,556,374 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for diesel fuel. The using service is foreign military sales — Israel. The other location of performance is Compagnie Industrielle Maritime SNC, Le Harve, France. This is an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity type contract. The date of performance completion is July 31, 2006.

Defense Contracts, No. 707-06

(25 July 2006)

SP0600-06-D-0542 Valero Marketing & Supply Co., San Antonio, Texas a maximum $36,781,780 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for JP8 jet fuel for the government of Israel. The date of performance completion is Jan. 30, 2007.

Defense Contracts, No. 669-06

(14 July 2006)

SP0600-05-D-0453

Valero Marketing & Supply Co., San Antonio, Texas

A $103,331,200 fixed price with economic price adjustment type contract for fuel for the government of Israel. Performance completion date is expected to be December 31, 2005.

Defense Contracts, No. 1216-04

(29 November 2004)

SP0600-05-D-0451

ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing, Fairfax, Va.

A maximum $32,306,080 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for USG of EN590 and EN 228 for Foreign Military Sale to Israel. Performance completion date is Dec. 31, 2005.

Defense Contracts, No. 229-05

(4 March 2005)

SP0600-04-D-0452

ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing, Fairfax, Va.

A $24,314,094 fixed price with economic price adjustment for fuel for Foreign Military Sale (Israel). Performance completion date is expected to be March 1, 2005.

Defense Contracts, No. 965-03

(19 December 2003)

SP0600-04-D-0454

Valero Marketing and Supply Company, San Antonio, Texas

A $7,093,519 fixed price with economic price adjustment type of contract for fuel for the government of Israel. Performance completion date is expected to be November 30, 2003.

Defense Contracts, No. 817-03

(4 November 2003)

SP0600-03-D-0457

Valero Marketing and Supply Co., San Antonio, Texas

A $87,199,890 fixed-price with economic-price adjustment type contract for JP8 and EN590 fuel for the government of Israel. The performance completion date is January 30, 2004.

Defense Contracts, No. 618-02

(5 December 2002)

SP0600-02-R-0552

Valero Marketing and Supply Co., San Antonio, Texas

A $6,922,338 fixed price with economic price adjustment type contract for JP8 jet Fuel for the Government of Israel. Performance completion date is scheduled for October 2002.

Defense Contracts, No. 464-02

(12 September 2002)

SP0600-02-D-0502

Valero Marketing and Supply Company, San Antonio, Texas

A $8,744,537 fixed-price with economic price adjustment type contract for 10,500,000 USG of EN590 for the Government of Israel. Performance completion is expected to be April 30, 2002.

Defense Contracts, No. 164-02

(5 April 2002)

Source

Plus Israel also possesses over 200 Nuclear Bombs.

Early next week the report heads to the floor of the US Congress and the UN General Assembly, and we’re expecting continued pressure to have this important document roundly dismissed.

The continued attacks on the Goldstone Report prevent accountability for the civilian victims before, during and after the attack on Gaza — both Palestinians and Israelis — and shred the rule of law.

Israel decided not to cooperate with the investigation and now claims that the report and its results are biased. Worse yet, Israel claims that the report negates its right to defend its population, when in reality, all the report does is insist that such a defense take place within the bounds of international law.

The truth is that the Goldstone Report is a well-researched, fair-minded report. It accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the attack on Gaza, and it calls on Israel and Hamas to conduct credible, independent investigations or face the International Criminal Court.

The United States and other countries are repeating the same lines, and have exerted great diplomatic pressure to kill the report.

The US Congress is getting ready to pass a resolution next week calling on President Obama to do everything he can to bury the Goldstone Report. The UN General Assembly will vote on it. Israel might launch its own investigation, if it is pressured enough to do so. And if it does, our task will be to ensure that the investigation is comprehensive, impartial, and aimed towards addressing, punishing and preventing future human rights abused – and not at changing the laws of war such that another blatant assault on civilian life and property as the Gaza war will ever become acceptable under international law.

The UN Goldstone report is a well-researched, fair-minded report. Israel and Hamas must conduct credible, independent investigations on war crimes and possible crimes against humanity or face the International Criminal Court. We demand accountability for all victims, respect for the rule of law, international law and human rights.

Go HERE To Sign Petition

Or contact Representative Directly.

The Goldstone report must not be shoved aside. It is important to all of us. If these kind of crimes can be perpetrated on those in Gaza and disregarded it can be perpetrated on anyone in any country including ours.
This is a crime against all of us not just those in Gaza. The International Laws must be respected for all our sakes.
Scream at your representatives.
Senators of the 111th Congress
http://www.senate.gov/general/ co…enators_cfm.cfm
Contact the White house
http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/
Pass it on. War Crimes and Crimes against humanity must not go unpunished.

Depleted uranium was found in Gaza victims by Norwegian Doctors.

LEGALITY TEST FOR WEAPONS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW
Weapons must pass four tests in order to determine that they are legal under international law. The tests are:
(1)TEMPORAL TEST. Weapons must not continue to act after the battle is over.
(2)ENVIRONMENTAL TEST. Weapons must not be unduly harmful to the environment.
(3)TERRITORIAL TEST. Weapons must not act off of the battlefield.
(4)HUMANENESS TEST. Weapons must not kill or wound inhumanely. Depleted uranium weaponry fails all four tests. For that reason it is illegal under all Treaties, all agreements and all war conventions.

At least 18 countries are thought to have weapon systems with DU in their arsenals. These include: UK, US, France, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Pakistan, Thailand, China, India and Taiwan. Many of them were sold DU ammunition by the US while others, Including France, China,Russia, Pakistan ,UK and India are thought to have developed it independently.

April 2011 Report

US Weapons Sales to Israel

The SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies, 2010

The Arms Trade is Big Business

Who’s Arming Israel? Report 2001-2007

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Rabbi’s are just as abusive as those from any other Religions/ a list of offenders many are child molesters

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New report highlights Israeli exploitation of migrant workers

South Africans who fought for Israel in war on Gaza can be prosecuted for War Crimes

A Palestinian student has been handcuffed, blindfolded and forcibly expelled to the Gaza

Israel: True Cost to U.S. Taxpayers

Spanish judge resumes torture case against six senior Bush lawyers

September 9 2009

By Andy Worthington

The Spanish newspaper Público reported exclusively on Saturday that Judge Baltasar Garzón is pressing ahead with a case against six senior Bush administration lawyers for implementing torture at Guantánamo.

Back in March, Judge Garzón announced that he was planning to investigate the six prime architects of the Bush administration’s torture policies — former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; John Yoo, a former lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, who played a major role in the preparation of the OLC’s notorious “torture memos”; Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defense for policy; William J. Haynes II, the Defense Department’s former general counsel; Jay S. Bybee, Yoo’s superior in the OLC, who signed off on the August 2002 “torture memos”; and David Addington, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff.

In April, on the advice of the Spanish Attorney General Cándido Conde-Pumpido, who believes that an American tribunal should judge the case (or dismiss it) before a Spanish court even thinks about becoming involved, prosecutors recommended that Judge Garzón should drop his investigation. As CNN reported, Mr. Conde-Pumpido told reporters that Judge Garzón’s plans threatened to turn the court “into a toy in the hands of people who are trying to do a political action.”

On Saturday, however, Público reported that Judge Garzón had accepted a lawsuit presented by a number of Spanish organizations — the Asociación Pro Dignidad de los Presos y Presas de España (Organization for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners), Asociación Libre de Abogados (Free Lawyers Association), the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España (Association for Human Rights in Spain) and Izquierda Unida (a left-wing political party) — and three former Guantánamo prisoners (the British residents Jamil El-Banna and Omar Deghayes, and Sami El-Laithi, an Egyptian freed in 2005, who was paralyzed during an incident involving guards at Guantánamo).

The newspaper reported that all these groups and individuals would take part in any trial, which is somewhat ironic, as, although Judge Garzón has been involved in high-profile cases that have delighted human rights advocates — his pursuit of General Pinochet, for example — he has been severely criticized for his heavy-handed approach to terrorism-related cases in Spain (as in the cases of Mohammed Farsi and Farid Hilali, amongst others), and, in fact, aggressively pursued an extradition request for both Jamil El-Banna and Omar Deghayes on their return from Guantánamo to the UK in December 2007, in connection with spurious and long-refuted claims about activities related to terrorism, which he was only persuaded to drop in March 2008.

It is, at present, uncertain whether another attempt to stifle Judge Garzón will derail him from his pursuit of the Bush administration’s lawyers, as he is not known for letting adversaries stand in his way. At the end of June, the Spanish Parliament pointedly passed legislation aimed at “ending the practice of letting its magistrates seek war-crime indictments against officials from any foreign country, including the United States,” on the basis that no Spanish Court should be able to judge officials of foreign countries except when the victims are Spanish or the crimes were committed in Spain.

However, on Sunday, when Público spoke to Philippe Sands, the British lawyer, and author of Torture Team, which provided much of the first-hand evidence for Garzón’s case, Sands explicitly stated that there was “no legal barrier” to prevent Judge Garzón’s prosecution from proceeding. He explained that he believed the recent decision by US Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special investigator to investigate cases of torture by the CIA is related to the Spanish lawsuit and the importance it has acquired because of its instigation by Judge Garzón. Sands told Público, “The recent decision by Eric Holder emphasizes how appropriate the Spanish investigation is. Many commentators believe that this decision has had a significant and direct impact in the United States, reminding people that there is an obligation to investigate torture.”

He added, “Judge Garzón’s actions have acted like a catalyst, and are supported by many people in the United States, including some members of Congress. He has reminded everybody that a blind eye cannot be turned to these actions and that there are people who are not going to let that happen.” He also explained that Eric Holder’s gesture is only a first step, “limited to cases in which interrogators may have exceeded the limits formally approved by lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel,” that the architects of the “legal decisions that purported to justify the use of torture are not in immediate danger in the United States,” and that there is, therefore, “no legal barrier to the continuation of the Spanish investigation.”

He concluded by stating that it was “important” that Judge Garzón proceeds with the case in Spain, because, although Eric Holder “has confirmed the importance of the Convention Against Torture, he has taken only a first step that “does not really address the actions of those who were truly responsible for its violation.”

Source

Well I think  criminals should be prosecuted too. No one should be above the law. Especially in this case.

Published in: on September 10, 2009 at 5:45 am  Comments Off on Spanish judge resumes torture case against six senior Bush lawyers  
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Boycotts on Israel are Growing/Unions, Academics

South African Dock Workers to Boycott Israel

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
February 5 2009

Israel faces a new boycott as the huge Cosatu trade union of South Africa vowed to refuse “apartheid Israeli” goods due to arrive in the port of Durban on Thursday and Sunday. The union previously has refused to unload goods from countries it calls “dictatorial and oppressive.”

The local Palestine Solidarity Committee and Young Communist League announced a series of protests starting on Thursday in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and the city of Benoni, according to the South African Daily News website. “This follows the decision by Cosatu to strengthen the campaign in South Africa for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel,” they explained.

The union also revealed that western Australian workers refused to handle Israeli goods.

“We call on other workers and unions to follow suit and to do all that is necessary to ensure that they boycott all goods to and from Israel until Palestine is free,” said the joint statement by Cosatu and the Palestinian and Communist committees.

The union called on workers all over the world to follow suit in an effort to strangle Israel economically. A boycott by dockworkers “should shockwaves to [Israel’s] arrogant patrons in the United States who foot the bill for Israel’s killing machine.”

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies charged that the union’s is a political action intended “to show its muscle” towards upcoming national elections. “It is a pity Cosatu cannot show the same solidarity with its own brothers in the African continent,” Board chairman Zev Krengel told the Daily News. “More than 3,000 people in Zimbabwe have died of cholera, yet we do not see any protest about that.”

Foreign Minister spokesman Yigal Palmor said responded, “If these people think that by refusing to unload shipments from Israel they are promoting peace, they should go back to school because they have misread the situation in the Middle East big time.”

In Turkey, the Consumers Association has urged a boycott on Israeli products, and the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia is calling for a boycott of products by several large United States companies to protest the American government’s not denouncing Israel for the Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign in Gaza.

Among the companies whose products consumers are urged to avoid are Colgate-Palmolive Co., Coca-Cola and the Starbucks coffee chain. A similar boycott in the country aganist McDonalds’s has proven ineffective.

Source
SAPA: Workers to boycott Israeli ship

South African Transport & Allied Workers Union

South African Transport & Allied Workers Union

Durban dock workers are expected to refuse to off-load an Israeli ship as part of a week of action against “apartheid” Israel, Cosatu and the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) said on Tuesday.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven and PSC spokesperson Salim Vally said dock workers would refuse to off-load the ship arriving on Sunday, February 8, as part of a refusal to support oppression and exploitation across the globe.

SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) general secretary Randall Howard said the union’s members were committed to not handling Israeli goods.

Last year, Durban dock workers refused to off-load a shipment of arms from China that was destined for Zimbabwe.

The arms would have been used to “prop up the Mugabe regime and to intensify the repression against the Zimbabwean people”, Craven said.

“In 1963, just four years after the Anti-Apartheid Movement was formed, Danish dock workers refused to off-load a ship with South African goods.

“When the ship docked in Sweden, Swedish workers followed suit. Dock workers in Liverpool and, later, in the San Francisco Bay Area also refused to off-load South African goods,” he said.

Western Australian members of the Maritime Union of Australia supported the “campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions” against Israel and had called for a boycott of all Israeli vessels and all vessels bearing goods arriving from or going to Israel.

“This is the legacy and the tradition that South African dock workers have inherited, and it is a legacy they are determined to honour, by ensuring that South African ports of entry will not be used as transit points for goods bound for or emanating from certain dictatorial and oppressive states such as Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Israel.”

Cosatu called on other workers and unions across the globe to follow suit and to do all that is necessary to ensure that they boycott all goods to and from Israel until Palestine was free.

The week of action would include a protest in front of the South African Zionist Federation and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies in Johannesburg on Friday, a rally on the same day in Actonville on the East Rand and a picket in front of Parliament in Cape Town.

The protest would be addressed by Howard and former Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils, Craven said.

The rally on Friday would be addressed by Vally, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, South African Council of Churches general secretary Eddie Makue and Kasrils.

A protest at Durban harbour and a rally in Cape Town were planned for Sunday February 8, Craven said.

Source

Anti-Apartheid Talk a Hit at UCLA
By Pat McDonnell Twair

(L-r) Diana Buttu, Rev. Makue, and Katherine Fuchs (S. Twair photo).

AS PART OF a national U.S. tour entitled “Separate Is Never Equal: Stories of Apartheid,” sponsored by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, South African Rev. Eddie Makue and international law advocate Diana Buttu spoke Nov. 19 at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“As a black person, I was essentially born guilty in apartheid South Africa.” explained Reverend Makue, who has been an activist for three decades. He stated that the implementation of separation laws is more severe in Palestine than it was in his homeland. “My liberation will not be complete until the people of Palestine are free,” he vowed.

Buttu, who was born in Canada to Palestinian Israeli citizens and holds a master’s degree in law from Stanford University, worked on litigation at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, which decreed Israel’s apartheid wall to be illegal.

“Instead of implementing the World Court’s ruling and dismantling the wall, Israel said ‘so what?’” stated Buttu. She noted how Israel cuts off Jews from Palestinians with a separate Jews-only highway system, checkpoints to cripple Palestinian movement, curfews and economic controls. Gaza has been blockaded into a walled open air prison.

Campaign national organizer Katherine Fuchs advised the rapt audience that the best means to stop Israeli apartheid is to follow the South African tools of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

The Campaign has focused on boycotting two U.S. corporations which sell equipment to Israel: Motorola and Caterpillar.

Motorola manufactures fuses used in Israeli MK-84 bombs, mountain roads security systems Israel uses in its truck-mounted checkpoints, and Wide Area Surveillance Systems (WASS).

“Write letters to Motorola protesting this and let it know you will boycott all its products,” Fuchs urged.

A national campaign targeting Caterpillar shareholders is making inroads, she added. Increasingly at each annual meeting, shareholders complain about Caterpillar selling mammoth D-9 bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes.

“Check if your university endowment funds include Motorola and Caterpillar and insist that it divests them,” Fuch said.

During the question-and-answer session, the audience groaned when a coed asserted that Israel strives for peace.

“If Israel wanted peace, it would stop building settlements,” Buttu responded. “The fourth largest Israeli political party is calling for the expulsion of Arab citizens.”

The coed then directed a question to Reverend Makue: “Blacks never bombed whites in South Africa like Palestinians do Jews in Israel.”

Makue replied: “Show me any Palestinian who is implementing apartheid laws. The word terror is being abused. Apartheid created terror against blacks.

“Apartheid laws were drawn up in South Africa and in Israel in 1948. Nelson Mandela recognized the similarities and cooperation of these two systems. In 2007, when the United Nations asked Nobel Peace Laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu to see firsthand conditions in Gaza, the Israeli government barred him from entering.”

Buttu concluded to the protesting coed: “You are implying only Palestinians commit terrorist acts. Dropping bombs on civilians, targeting children is terrorism. Focus on the disease of occupation and lack of freedom rather than on their symptom of violence.”

Irish Civil Society Calls For Boycott of Israel

January 31 2009

The following letter was published in a full-page advertisement in The Irish Times on 31 January 2009:

The original ad, including signatures may be downloaded here. [PDF]

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza killed over 1,300 Palestinians, a third of them children. Thousands have been wounded. Many victims had been taking refuge in clearly marked UN facilities.

This assault came in the wake of years of economic blockade by Israel. This blockade, which is illegal under international humanitarian law, has destroyed the Gaza economy and condemned its population to poverty. According to a World Bank report last September, “98 percent of Gaza’s industrial operations are now inactive.”

The most recent attack on Gaza is only the latest phase in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and appropriation of their land.

Israel has never declared its borders. Instead, it has continuously expanded at the expense of the Palestinians. In 1948, it took over 78 percent of Palestine, an area much larger than that suggested for a Jewish state by the UN General Assembly in 1947. Contrary to international law, Israel expelled over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes. These refugees and their descendants, who now number millions, are still dispersed throughout the region. They have the right, under international law, to return to their homes. This right has been underlined by the UN General Assembly many times, starting with Resolution 194 in 1948.

In 1967, Israel occupied the remaining 22 percent of Palestine: the West Bank and Gaza. Contrary to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has built, and continues to build, settlements in these occupied territories. Today, nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the illegal settlements in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and the number grows daily as Israel expands its settler program.

Israel has resisted pressure from the international community to abide by the human rights provisions of international law. It has refused to comply with UN Security Council demands to cease building settlements and remove those it has built (Resolutions 446, 452 and 465) and to reverse its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem (252, 267, 271, 298, 476 and 478). Since September 2000, over 5,000 Palestinians, almost 1,000 of them minors, have been killed by the Israeli military.

Eleven-thousand Palestinians, including hundreds of minors, languish in Israel jails. Hundreds are detained without trial. In addition, Israel is breaking international law by imprisoning them outside the occupied territories, thereby making it almost impossible for their families to visit them. Every year, hundreds of Palestinian homes are demolished. The Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza livesw imprisoned by walls, barriers and checkpoints that prevent or impede access to shops, schools, workplaces, hospitals and places of worship. They are subjected to restrictions of every kind and to daily ritual humiliation at the hands of occupation soldiers and checkpoint guards.

Source

Invasion, occupation and plantation of their land is the reality that Palestinians have faced for decades and still face on a daily basis, as their country is reduced remorselessly. Unless, and until, this Israeli aggression is halted, and the democratic rights of the Palestinian people are vindicated, there will be no justice or peace in the Middle East. Israel’s 40-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza must be ended.

The occupation can end if political and economic pressure is placed on Israel by the international community. Recognizing this, the Palestinian people continually call on the international community to intervene.

We, the signatories, call for the following:

  • The Irish Government to cease its purchase of Israeli military products and services and call publicly for an arms embargo against Israel.
  • The Irish Government to demand publicly that Israel reverse its settlement construction, illegal occupation and annexation of land in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and to use its influence in international fora to bring this about.
  • The Irish Government to demand publicly that the Euro-Med Agreement under which Israel has privileged access to the EU market be suspended until Israel complies with international law.
  • The Irish Government to veto any proposed upgrade in EU relations with Israel.
  • The Irish people to boycott all Israeli goods and services until Israel abides by international law.

Source

Academic boycott of the Israeli terrorist state spreads to US, Canada, & Al-Quds University

Academic boycott of Israel spreads to US & Jerusalem universities

Monday February 02, 2009 03:18 by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News

Hundreds of professors and scholars in the US have, for the first time, joined in an academic boycott of the terrorist state of Israel, in an effort to pressure the Zionist racist Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian land, and disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people. In addition, Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, a Palestinian-run university, has joined the call for boycott.

The US boycott comes in the wake of dozens of similar boycotts launched in various parts of the world, including in England, Spain, Canada and Australia.

The Canadian boycott began in Quebec when academics signed a letter stating:

“We are a group of teachers and employees at Quebec colleges and universities who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and with the people of Gaza who have suffered through the Israeli siege as targets of Israel’s brutal military attack. It will take more than ceasefires to bring a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel. We are acting in response to an appeal for support issued January 2, 2009 by the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees. In the wake of the Israeli bombing of the Islamic University of Gaza, the Federation of Unions has urged academics around the world to support a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.” The Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario proposed, “Israeli academics be barred from speaking, teaching or conducting research at the province’s universities unless they condemn Israel’s actions in Gaza.”

In the US, professors and scholars declared, “As educators of conscience, we have been unable to stand by and watch in silence Israel’s indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions.” They launched the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel after Israel’s 3-week long assault on the Gaza Strip which ended on January 18th, in which 1400 Palestinians were killed, many of them civilians. The professors call for divestment initiatives and boycotts of Israeli academic institutions and joint educational and cultural initiatives. They make a comparison between the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the apartheid policies of South Africa, which ended in 1993.

al-Quds University in Jerusalem, with branches in the West Bank, has stated that it will phase out all cooperation with Israeli universities. In a statement issued by the University, officials stated:

“If the two-state solution is as far away today as it was ten years ago, there is no justification for continued academic cooperation based on reaching that solution. And there is no justification for continued official and non-official cooperation in other fields, foremost security coordination between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel. Ending academic cooperation is aimed at, first of all, pressuring Israel to abide by a solution that ends the occupation, a solution that has been needed for far too long and that the international community has stopped demanding.”

The University Board of Directors also noted that the decision to cut ties came “in response to the prior Israeli onslaught [on Gaza]; the acts and policies of Israeli governments over the past ten years, including settlement construction in East Jerusalem, the tightening of the siege on the occupied territories and thwarting any negotiated peace process that will lead to an independent Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel.”

Source

The UN is unable to get Israel to abide by the law. One has to wonder if they really even try. For About 60 years  Zionists in Israel have terrorized Palestinians and still no solution.

Boycotting Israel is the way to go.

Anyone who supports Israel in any way, is supporting their Genocide.

They are supporting Criminal activity including War Crimes. They are also supporting Apartheid. Israel is a threat to all  neighbouring countries as well. Israels weapons of mass destruction must be taken from them. They are more dangerous then any other country in the Middle East. They are the problem. They threaten everyone continually.

Israel is the terrorists in my opinion. They terrorize everyone with their threats.

The US must stop all Aid to Israel as well. They need 6.5 million a day for what? To bomb their neighbours maybe?

Zionists are nothing but warmongers just as George Bush and company were. Over the years they are and always have been the problem.

Jews in Syria get along just find.  Jews in Iran get along just fine. They are treated with respect and allowed to practice their religion freely. The  problem is Israeli  Zionists. They are fanatics. They use the propaganda machine to try and make themselves look so sweet and innocent. It is just that propaganda and lies.

Zionists betrayed their own people and still do. Reading this might give you an idea of how far they will go. The Holocaust Victims Accuse

For links to the “conventions, treaties”  go to “ICC stats analysis of Gaza war crimes allegations”

ICC starts analysis of Gaza war crimes allegations

Israel still Bombing Gaza/Petition To EU

What an Aid Worker Saw in Gaza, Then and Now

About Israel: “Did You Know?”

Israel abducted over 5,000 people and put them in prison

Interview: Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the ISM/UN Reports Gaza/ US Aid to Israel

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on February 5, 2009 at 3:28 am  Comments Off on Boycotts on Israel are Growing/Unions, Academics  
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Spain: Judicial probe looks at 2002 Gaza War Crimes Claims

Spain: Judicial probe looks at 2002 Gaza war crime claims

Spain’s Audiencia Nacional, or National Audience, is a senior court which considers charges related to terrorism and organised crime.

January 29 2009

Madrid,

A Spanish judge on Thursday began an official inquiry into seven former and current Israeli officials alleged to have committed war crimes after a 2002 attack in the Gaza Strip. A top Hamas militant and 14 civilians including nine children were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

A court document released by the judge, Fernando Andreu Merelles, outlined the charges to be considered by the Madrid court.

“As a consequence of the explosion caused by the bomb, 15 people died, mostly children and babies, 150 people were injured – some of them severely – with permanent after affects, eight houses were completely destroyed, nine houses were partially destroyed and 21 others had moderate damage,” said the document issued by the Audiencia Nacional court.

The Spanish lawsuit was brought by members of the families who lost relatives in the attack – the Mattar, al-Seadi, el-Houweit and al-Sahhwa families.

Merelles is expected to investigate former Israeli minister of defence and current minister of infrastructure Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, former Israel Defence Forces chief of staff Dan Halutz, Likud politician and former IDF chief of staff Moshe Yaalon, as well as Doron Almog, Giora Eiland and Michael Herzog.

In the attack, Hamas militant Salah Shehadeh was killed by an air strike in an extrajudicial assassination by Israeli forces.

“The day of 22 July 2002, between 23:30 and 24:00, an Israeli F16 warplane dropped a one-tonne bomb on the neighbourhood of al-Daraj in Gaza City,” said the report by the specialised court.

“The main target of the attack was the house of Salah Shehadeh, who was suspected to be a Hamas commander, thus the aim of the mission was to assassinate him. Shehadeh’s house was located in a residential area with one of the highest population densities in the world.”

“Near the house of Salah Shehadeh there was a house which belonged and was occupied by the Mattar family. There was less than two metres of distance between both houses. As a result of the bombing, his house was completely destroyed and seven members of his family were killed.”

Andreu is acting under a doctrine that allows prosecution in Spain of such an offence or crimes like terrorism or genocide even if they were allegedly committed in another country.

Referring to the fourth Geneva convention of 1949, the court said the accused could face from 10 to 15 years in jail.

Recently Israeli ministers publicly expressed concerns about the possibility of a wave of war crime lawsuits against Israeli military commanders and soldiers after the three-week long Operation Cast Lead which ended with separate ceasefires on 18 January.

Israel’s offensive against the coastal territory resulted in the death of 1,330 Palestinians, 400 of those were women and children. At least 5,400 others were injured, according to Palestinian medical sources and rights groups.

Source

Letting AP in on the Secret: Israeli Strip Searches are Torture

Why Americans get a distorted View of the Conflict between Israel and Palestinians

Gaza detainee treatment ‘inhuman’

Israeli troops fire warning shots at European diplomats

Israel Broke Ceasefire From Day One

Information Wanted by the International Criminal Court/ UN: Falk Likens Gaza to Warsaw Ghetto

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 9:04 am  Comments Off on Spain: Judicial probe looks at 2002 Gaza War Crimes Claims  
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Ship with Medical Aid supplies for Gaza Needs “Your” Help.

January 12 2009

Cyprus

The Free Gaza Movement ship, “SPIRIT OF HUMANITY,” left Larnaca Port at 3:00 pm, Monday, 12 January, on an emergency mission to besieged Gaza .

It is expected to arrive in Gaza at approximately 11am (UST) Tuesday morning. Aboard the ship are 36 passengers and crew, representing 17 different nations. They are doctors, journalists, human rights workers, and five European parliamentarians representing Belgium , Greece , Italy , and Spain (see below for a complete passenger list). The mercy ship also carries desperately needed medical supplies meant for hospitals in the Gaza Strip.

This voyage marks Free Gaza’s second attempt to break through the blockade since Israel began attacking Gaza on 27 December. Between August and December 2008, the Free Gaza Movement successfully challenged the Israeli blockade five times, landing the first international ships in the port of Gaza since 1967.

The Israeli military violently attacked an earlier attempt by the Free Gaza Movement to send an emergency boat filled with doctors and medical supplies to Gaza . In the early hours of Tuesday, 30 December, the Israeli navy deliberately, repeatedly, and without warning rammed the unarmed ship, the DIGNITY, causing significant structural damage and endangering the lives of its passengers and crew. The DIGNITY found safe harbor in Lebanon , and is currently awaiting repairs.

Shortly before the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY left Cyprus today, the Cypriot authorities informed the Free Gaza Movement that the Israeli government had officially contacted their embassy in Tel Aviv, and warned them that they felt “justified” in using “any means available” to forcibly prevent the mercy ship from arriving in Gaza. At the request of the ship’s organizers, the Cypriot authorities searched the ship prior to its departure to certify that it only carried medical supplies.

Fouad Ahidar, a member of the Belgian Parliament sailing to Gaza aboard the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, responded to concerns that Israel may attack the unarmed ship by saying, “I have five children that are very worried about me, but I told them: ‘you can sit on your couch and watch these atrocities on the television, or you can choose to take action to make them stop.'”

Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have injured thousands of civilians and killed over 900 people, including hundreds of women and children. This ongoing Israeli massacre severely and massively violates international humanitarian law defined by the Geneva Conventions, especially the obligations of an Occupying Power and the requirements of the laws of war.

The United Nations has failed to protect the Palestinian civilian population from Israel ‘s massive violations of international humanitarian law. Israel has closed off Gaza from the international community and demanded that all foreigners leave. But Huwaida Arraf, an organizer with the Free Gaza Movements, stated that, “We cannot just sit by and wait for Israel to decide to stop the killing and open the borders for relief workers to pick up the pieces. We are coming in. There is an urgent need for this mission as Palestinian civilians in Gaza are being terrorized and slaughtered by Israel, and access to humanitarian relief denied to them. When states and the international bodies responsible for taking action to stop such atrocities chose to be impotent, then we–the citizens of the world–must act. Our common humanity demands nothing less.”

Israel has been notified that we are coming. A copy of the notification to the Israeli Authorities is attached. The Free Gaza Movement will hold Israel responsible for any harm that may be done to the ship or its passengers.

###

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Take Action! CALL the Israeli Government and let them know that the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY is coming to Gaza . DEMAND that Israel immediately STOP slaughtering civilians in Gaza and STOP using violence to prevent human rights and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.

CALL:

Mark Regev in the Prime Minister’s officeat +972 2670 5354 or +972 5 0620 3264

mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il

Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at +972 3697 5339 or +972 50629 8148

mediasar@mod.gov.il

Major Liebovitz from the Israeli Navy:

+ 972 5 781 86248

###

Official Notification of Intent to Enter

January 11, 2009

To: The Israeli Ministry of Defense, Fax: 972-3-697-6717

To: The Israeli Navy

To: The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fax 972-2-5303367

From: The Free Gaza Movement

This letter serves as a formal notification to you as the Occupying Power and belligerent force in the Gaza Strip that on Monday, January 12 we are navigating the motor vessel, Spirit of Humanity, from the Port of Larnaca to the port of Gaza City. Our vessel will be flying the Greek flag, and, as such, falls under the jurisdiction Greece .

We will be sailing from Cypriot waters into international waters, then directly into the territorial waters of the Gaza Strip without entering or nearing Israeli territorial waters. We expect to arrive at the Gaza Port on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.

We will be carrying urgently needed medical supplies in sealed boxes, cleared by customs at the Larnaca International Airport and the Port of Larnaca . There will be a total of 30 passengers and crew on board, among them members of various European Parliaments and several physicians. Our boat and cargo will also have received security clearance from the Port Authorities in Cyprus before we depart.

As it will be confirmed that neither we, the cargo, any of the boat’s contents, nor the boat itself constitute any threat to the security of Israel or its armed forces, we do not expect any interference with our voyage by Israel ‘s authorities.

On Tuesday, December 30, an Israeli Navy vessel violently, and without warning, attacked our motor vessel Dignity, disabling the vessel and endangering the lives of the 16 civilians on board. This notice serves as clear notification to you of our approach. Any attack on the motor vessel, Spirit of Humanity, will be premeditated and any harm inflicted on the 30 civilians on board will be considered the result of a deliberate attack on unarmed civilians.

The Steering Committee of the Free Gaza Movement

###

PASSENGERS & CREW OF THE SPIRIT OF HUMANITY

– Abufalah, Othman Mohammad, Journalist with Al Jazeera Television ( Jordan )

– Ahidar, Fouad, Member of Parliament ( Belgium )

– Arraf, Huwaida, human rights lawyer and Delegation Leader (Palestine/USA)

– Bitsanis, Konstantinos, human rights worker and crew ( Greece )

– Bolos, Nikolas, human rights worker and crew ( Greece )

– Bowden, David, Journalist with SKY TV ( UK )

– Caruso, Francesco, former Member of Parliament ( Italy )

– Dabbagh, Ali, Doctor ( UK )

– Dritsas, Theodoros, Member of Parliament ( Greece )

– Gentile, Alessandro, Journalist with CNN ( Italy )

– Gezelius, Mats, Journalist (Sweden/Finland)

– Giannopolis, Nikolaos, human rights worker ( Greece )

– Jacquier, Gilles, Journalist with France Channel 2 ( France )

– Kampani, Chalent, Orthopedic Surgeon ( Greece )

– Kanellakis, Yiannis, Journalist with Greek Mega TV ( Greece )

– Karatzias, Petros, Journalist with the Associated Press ( Cyprus )

– Kawkuby, Jasir, Doctor and Pediatric Intensive Care specialist ( Germany )

– Klontzas, George, Ship’s Captain ( Greece )

– Muncie , Andrew, human rights worker and crew ( Scotland )

– McLuckie, Garwen, Journalist with SKY TV ( UK )

– Mourad, Maimouni ( Belgium )

– Muir, Alistair, Journalist with the BBC ( UK )

– Nuet, Joan Josef, Member of Parliament ( Spain )

– Papachristopoulos, Athanasios, Surgeon ( Greece )

– Pissias, Vangelis, Univeristy Professor ( Greece )

– Pratt, David, Journalist with the Sunday Herald ( UK )

– Prieto, Monica, Journalist with El Mundo ( Spain )

– Rahali, Hassan, Journalist ( Belgium )

– Robbins, Sonia, Surgeon ( UK )

– Sakorafa, Sofia, Member of Parliament ( Greece )

– Shakir, Thair, Journalist with Al Jazeera television ( Iraq )

– Synodynou, Melina, Journalist with Ethnos ( Greece )

– Tsatsis, Angelos, Journalist with MEGA TV ( Greece )

– Vinci, Alessio, Journalist with CNN ( Italy )

– Yvon, Xavier, Journalist with RTL Radio ( France )

– Zdoukos, Theodoros, Doctor ( Greece )

Source

In December Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

This one must get through. Israel is continually committing violations on human rights and their war crimes are adding up. They need to be told clearly this ship must get through.

They have no right to stop the “SPIRIT OF HUMANITY” .

Only a terrorist state would do all the horrendous atrocities they have.

Voice your opinion. Break the sound barrier, if you must, but do everything thing you can to get this ship through.

Fax, Phone ,E-mail. Sit on their doorstep if you must but do everything possible to assure this much need Medical Aid gets through. Is there a government out there that will give this ship a ” Police Escort”.

How about every country on the Planet.

Give them a  “Police Escort”.

Get “Your Politicians”, to “Call those in Israel” and make it perfectly clear this ship, is to be let through. Would they ram this one to sure they would. The have blown up hospitals, UN schools, medical clinics, homes, places of worship, homes, and anything else they can think of.

They even Kill those who work for the UN. They kill children, men woman, anyone they feel like. The prevented the Red Cross from getting to injured victims for 4 days. They Herded over a 100 people into a house and then shelled it. Their intent was mass murder. Then they proceed to lie to all of us as to why they did it. They are a rogue state,  a terrorist state, war criminals,  and should be treated as such. They are polluting the area for thousands of miles around with Toxic slop that will kill future generations for years to come. The aftermath will be horrifying.

They are not to be trusted. They have proved “beyond a shadow of a doubt” they are criminals. We the people of the world are the jury.

I find them guilty as charged.  What about you?

With “evidence” I have before me, I find them “guilty of all the crimes ” and those responsible should be “jailed for life”. No parole ever.

That is what you do to murderers is it not?

They are just as guilty as the “Hitler Regime”.

Let them know the World is Watching them.

If any ship should be stopped from Getting anywhere, it would be this one.  US delivering more “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to Israel

Israel Violating Egyptian Airspace to attack Gaza

Israel continues to attack Hospitals, Clinics and Public Buildings in Gaza

UK firm blasted for arming Israeli military

79 % of the time: Israel caused conflicts not Hamas

Israel Violating Egyptian Airspace to attack Gaza

Israel continues to attack Hospitals, Clinics and Public Buildings in Gaza

UK firm blasted for arming Israeli military

Embargo against Israel: Spreading Willingness in the Middle East

Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 13, 2009 at 12:54 am  Comments Off on Ship with Medical Aid supplies for Gaza Needs “Your” Help.  
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Saturday Jan 3 Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009

New Reports on Sundays protests at bottom of the page

Demonstrators hurl shoes at Downing Street in day of global protest against Israeli attacks
January 3 2009

Demonstrators demanding an end to Israeli airstrikes on Gaza hurled their shoes at the gates of Downing Street today during a wave of global protests.

Around 12,000 people took to the streets of the London, including singer Annie Lennox, former model Bianca Jagger and former mayor Ken Livingstone.

Elsewhere in Britain, 2,000 demonstrators marched through Manchester and 500 braved the cold in Edinburgh.

London protest

London: 1,000 pairs of shoes litter the protest route near Downing Street

Paris held the world’s biggest protest, with 25,000 people showing up to condemn the Israeli offensive, which has killed at least 436 Palestinians since December 27th.

The death toll includes 75 children, according to Gaza medics. And almost 2,300 people have been wounded inside the territory.

Four Israelis have been killed by rocket attacks by Hamas, Islamist militants who took over Gaza three years ago.

In Britain, many people were angry at Gordon Brown refusal to condemn Israel’s attacks.

Hundreds of protesters threw shoes at the iron gates of Downing Street residence, in the spirit of an Iraqi journalist who hurled his footware President George Bush with his shoes last year.

Protest

Crowds: at least 12,000 people marched up Whitehall

Around 1,000 pairs littered the streets outside Number 10 with demonstrating singing: ‘Shame on you, have my shoe.’

Zac Sommer, an 18-year-old British-Palestinian student from Essex, said: ‘Britain is quick to condemn Robert Mugabe, but where is the condemnation of Israel? Israel is killing hundreds of people.’

Also outside Downing Street, a firework exploded yards from the gates.

The Metropolitan Police later said they had been forced to contain one group of around 5,000 protesters who left the agreed route between protest between Embankment and Trafalgar Square to the march to head for the Israeli Embassy in Kensington.

Many clashed with officers wearing riot hear and armed with truncheons and gas canisters.

London

Clash: Riot police deal with protesters trying to raid the Israeli Embassy in London

London

Focus point: Around 5,000 people went to the embassy after the march

The demonstrators were kept at a distance of about 20 yards from the entrance of the Embassy but several hurdled the barriers and attempted to make for the entrance.

The atmosphere as darkness fell was noticeably more heated, vocal, and aggressive than the earlier march through central London.

The demonstration in the capital was the biggest of at least 18 organised across the country.

Other rallies were taking place in Glasgow, Exeter, Bristol, Liverpool, Norwich, Hull, Tunbridge Wells, Leeds, Newcastle, Swansea, York, Caernarfon, Bradford and Sheffield.

London

Anger: Protesters gather in Trafalgar Square at the end of the march

London

Support: Annie Lennox, centre, is flanked by George Galloway and Bianca Jagger

Brian Eno

Condemnation: Musician Brian Eno speaks out against the Israeli attacks

Former model Bianca Jagger and singer Lennox have backed the protests, calling on American president-elect Barack Obama to speak up against the bombardment.

Speaking at a press conference in central London, Ms Jagger said: ‘I would like to make an appeal to president-elect Obama to speak up.

‘People throughout the world were hopeful when he was elected and we must appeal to him to ask for the immediate cessation of the bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.’

Lennox spoke of her shock at watching scenes of the bombing on television.

She said: ‘A few days after Christmas I came downstairs, put the television on, and saw smoke pyres coming from buildings and I was shocked to the core because I was thinking as a mother and as a human being.

Madrid

Madrid: Protesters burn an Israeli flag in the Spanish capital

Paris

Paris: Demonstrators burned cars after a march by 25,000 people

Berlin

Berlin: Some 7000 Palestinian supporters outside the city’s cathedral

‘How was this going to be the solution to peace?’

She said the intervention from Bush blaming Hamas for starting the violence, had not helped the situation.

‘The problem is, from my perspective, they are pouring petrol onto the fire,’ she said.

‘They have to sit down. This is a small window of opportunity just before things kick off.

‘For every one person killed in Gaza, they are creating 100 suicide bombers. It’s not just about Gaza, it’s about all of us.’

Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather said Israel’s military response to the firing of Hamas rockets had been ‘disproportionate’.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam: A man holds up a blood smeared doll

Milan

Milan: Demonstrators carry a simulated body of a Palestinian

‘Anyway, what Israel is doing is counter-productive. No terrorist organisation has ever been bombed into submission,’ the Liberal Democrat MP said.

Police said 8,000 people demonstrated in the central French city of Lyon, 3,000 people protested in the southern city of Nice and 3,800 in Mulhouse in the east.

Two people were arrested as more than 1,000 marched through Amsterdam, condemning the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and calling for a boycott of Israeli goods, police said.

Hundreds protested in Madrid, carrying signs saying ‘This is not a war but a genocide’.

More than 2,000 people also demonstrated in the Austrian city of Salzburg.

Athens Athens: A woman walks in front of burning barricades during riots after a rally

Source
Photos: ‘Britain – Gaza Siege Demoonstation’
By James Wray
January 3, 2009,

Singer Annie Lennox (C), social and human rights advocate Bianca Jagger (formerly married to Mick Jagger) (2nd R) and British politician George Galloway (L) march through London with thousands of protestors in London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Singer Annie Lennox (C), social and human rights advocate Bianca Jagger (formerly married to Mick Jagger) (2nd R) and British politician George Galloway (L) march through London with thousands of protestors in London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN
epa01589872 Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally  in central London,   03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,.  EPA/ANDY RAIN  EPA/ANDY RAIN

epa01589872 Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally in central London, 03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,. EPA/ANDY RAIN EPA/ANDY RAIN
Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally  in central London,   03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally in central London, 03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,. EPA/ANDY RAIN
Pro-Palestinian protestors demonstrate in central London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Pro-Palestinian protestors demonstrate in central London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN
Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.  The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben EPA/ANDY RAIN
Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.  The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben EPA/ANDY RAIN
Thousands of protestors bathed in bright sunshine, march through central London,   03 January 2009 as part of a series of demonstrations across the country to protest against  Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands of protestors bathed in bright sunshine, march through central London, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of demonstrations across the country to protest against Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands in Europe Protest Gaza Offensive

January 3 2008

LONDON—Thousands of chanting, banner-waving demonstrators marched in cities across Europe on Saturday to demand a halt to Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip.

Protests were held in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain as the Israeli offensive entered its second week.

Israeli Arabs held a protest march and Kuwaitis also took to the streets, a day after bigger Middle East rallies.

In Paris, police said more than 20,000 demonstrators, many wearing Palestinian keffiyeh headscarves, marched through the city centre chanting slogans like “Israel murderer!” and waving banners demanding an end to the air attacks.

Similar protests were planned in some 30 other towns.

London police said more than 10,000 people staged a noisy march and rally to urge an end to an Israeli offensive against Hamas militants that has killed at least 435 Palestinians.

In many European cities people waved shoes—recalling the action of an Iraqi journalist who hurled footwear at U.S. President George W. Bush in Baghdad last month in a symbolic insult.

British demonstrators threw dozens of shoes into the street as they passed the gated entrance to Downing Street, where Prime Minister Gordon Brown lives, and shouted angrily at a line of 40 police officers on guard there.

“Come to get your shoes Gordon,” one woman shouted as other marchers directed chants of “Shame on you” at Brown.

A spokesman said Brown had spoken again to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Saturday and was pressing hard for an immediate ceasefire.

Leading the march were singer Annie Lennox, politicians Tony Benn and George Galloway and comic Alexei Sayle. Demonstrators carried Palestinian flags and placards with slogans such as “End the siege on Gaza” and “Stop the massacre”.

Israel says rocket attacks from Gaza by Hamas Islamists must stop before it halts operations, but the attacks continued on Saturday. Four Israelis have been killed by Hamas rockets since the offensive began.

Anger at Western Reaction

Paul Mukerji, 42, from Birmingham, acknowledged Israel had security reasons but called its action disproportionate.

“The best way for peace for Palestinians and Israelis is to end the occupation,” said Mukerji, who said he had spent six months working with Jewish and Palestinian peace groups.

Ali Saeed, 24, from Luton, said Western governments had failed to condemn Israel’s actions.

“What’s going on in Gaza is not right … It’s not a coincidence that it’s going on Iraq, in Chechnya, in Kashmir. It’s just about going on everywhere. It’s almost a direct insult to every single Muslim,” he said.

Protests were scheduled in a score of other British cities.

Greek police said they fired teargas at protesters outside the Israeli embassy in Athens. Protesters burnt flags and effigies, hurled stones at the embassy and clashed with police during a march by about 5,000 people, they said.

Tens of thousands of people marched in the town of Sakhnin, northern Israel, on Saturday in one of the biggest rallies held by Israeli Arabs in recent years, Israeli media reported. Calling Israeli leaders “war criminals”, the demonstrators demanded an end to the onslaught on Gaza, they said.

Around 3,500 people marched in Berlin and 4,000 in the western city of Duesseldorf, police said.

In the German capital, demonstrators carried pictures of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and one small girl cradled a doll smeared in blood.

Hundreds joined a protest in central Dublin.

“I just thought the fact that 300-400 people would’ve been bombed, would’ve been killed, was extremely wrong,” said Andy Defaoite, a 27-year-old teacher in the Irish capital.

More than 1,000 demonstrators marched through Kuwait City, with banners reading “Gaza will not die” and “We want a free Gaza”.

Another 1,000 marched in Madrid, some calling for sanctions against Israel, equating Zionism with Nazism and chanting slogans like “Israel kills, the world just stands by”.

Police said about 1,500 people marched through Amsterdam.

About 1,000 demonstrators marched through the Italian city of Milan on Saturday, some burning Israeli flags, with a smaller rally in Turin.

People destroy a French policeman’s car, during a demonstration against the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip on January 3, 2009, in Paris. (Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP/Getty Images)

Protestors stand behind an over-turned car during a demonstration against the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip on January 3, 2009, in Paris. (Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP/Getty Images)

Some of the thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters fight to get to the Israeli embassy in Athens as Greek riot police stand guard on January 3, 2009, during a demonstration against the Israeli attacks in Gaza. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters opposed to Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip gather near the Israeli Embassy following a demonstration in Trafalgar Square in London, on January 3, 2009. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

Source

Another excellent report on the Demonstration in London Here the estimated turnout is 50-60 thousand people.

Israeli ground-forces finally invade Gaza strip after day of increased air strikes

PETER HITCHENS: Will Israel never learn? Each bomb is a gift to its enemies

The World Demonstrated in protest against the war in Iraq and the politicians did not listen.  The War in Iraq is in fact illegal, based on lies.  Will they listen to us now as we say NO AGAIN to Israel killing innocent people in Gaza?

Israel is committing many crimes and we Say NO MORE.

Are they still deaf?

Defending the criminals in the US and Israel who kill innocent people has gone on far to long.

We are fed up with war mongering,  murdering, power hungry, profiteers.

There are a large number of Demonstrations in the US and I will post them if they magically appear anywhere. I can only hope to have a busy evening.
Reports on protests

Sunday Jan 4 Reports: Protests in Canada against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Jan 4 Reports: US protests against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Jan 4  Reports: Protests around the World Against Gaza assault

Reports on Canadian protests below. Approximately  3000 came out to protest in Toronto.

Just added Jan 4th 2009

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza

Friday Jan 2 Reports:Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault

December Reports

December 29 Reports:Global protests against Israel

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza


Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 10:13 pm  Comments Off on Saturday Jan 3 Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009  
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Madoff victims threaten legal action

Banks and investment firms blamed for introducing clients to ‘$50bn fraudster’

By Stephen Foley in New York
December 17 2008

The victims of the world’s biggest fraud are raising harsh questions about how Bernard Madoff was able to run his $50bn (£33bn) scam for so long without his staff, the authorities or his trading partners noticing.

A firestorm of legal action is gathering as individuals who lost their life savings and charities threatened to pursue the banks and investment firms that made their ill-fated introduction to Mr Madoff.

“If this were a traditional bank robbery, the eyewitness reports would say Mr Madoff walked out with billions of dollars as someone held the door open for him,” said Jeffrey Zwerling, a lawyer representing some of the victims. “There is just no way that this happens without help of some kind.”

The fall-out from Mr Madoff’s arrest on Thursday is being felt around the world as banks, hedge funds, charitable organisations and thousands of well-to-do individuals tot up their losses. With each passing hour, new victims come to light, often in the tight-knit world of Jewish philanthropy, where Mr Madoff managed cash for numerous charities and for many of their biggest donors.

Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US financial regulator, said last night that he was “gravely concerned by the apparent multiple failures over at least a decade” and that he had ordered “full and immediate review of the past allegations regarding Mr Madoff and his firm and the reasons they were not found credible”.

More European finance houses confessed to losses, including Crédit Mutuel, France’s second-largest bank. Regulators in Spain said 224 investment funds in the country had been exposed and faced losses of €107m (£97m). Among the celebrity victims revealed yesterday is Uma Thurman. Her husband, Arpad Busson, had £145m invested with Mr Madoff through his hedge fund. A charity connected to Steven Spielberg, the Hollywood director, was already among the list of victims. UK banks HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander – owner of Abbey and Alliance & Leicester – have previously admitted exposure of more than $5bn between them.

The breathtaking fraud, committed over many years by one of Wall Street’s best-respected investment managers, was uncovered only when Mr Madoff confessed to his two sons a week ago that he was “finished”. In a criminal lawsuit filed the next day, public claims that Madoff Investment Securities was managing $17bn of client money and had made double-digit returns every year for almost a decade were “all just one big lie”, he had told them.

Mr Madoff was running a giant pyramid scheme, paying out to existing investors with money coming in from new ones. But as the credit crunch began to bite, investment dwindled and there was a surge in requests to cash out. It proved to be his undoing.

Lawyers said the investment managers who recommended that their clients invest with Mr Madoff should have investigated his methods, which he had shrouded in mystery. They pointed to red flags going back as far as 1999, when Harry Markopolos, a securities industry executive, urged the SEC to investigate Madoff Investment Securities. Last year, investigators hired by potential investors urged them not to invest because they were suspicious.

The New York Law School – which fears losing $3m of its endowment fund – launched a lawsuit against one of its financial managers, Ascot Partners, Ascot’s boss, Ezra Merkin, and the auditor, BDO Seidman. The defendants “recklessly or with gross negligence caused and permitted $1.8bn, virtually the entire investment capital of Ascot” to be handed over to Mr Madoff, according to the suit. Separately, Yeshiva University said it was considering its options after it lost about $110m.

Mr Madoff is due in court today for a bail hearing. He was released on a $10bn bond last week but has failed to find the required three co-guarantors. Meanwhile, details are emerging of the two separate sets of books he kept: ones showing the real losses, the other detailing the fictitious trading and profits, which he would mail to investors.

Mr Madoff has told the FBI he acted alone. His sons, Andrew and Mark, work in a different part of the business and the Massachusetts Secretary of State, William Galvin, did not suggest his brother Peter was involved.

The victim: A charity devoted to the poor

As well as the super-rich circling Mr Madoff in his playgrounds of Palm Beach, Florida, and Long Island, New York, there are scores of philanthropic victims of his record-breaking fraud, the JEHT Foundation among them. Since it was formed in 2000, it has given away $62m to fund research, to lobby for progressive reforms, and to prop up projects in some of the most deprived areas of the US. It harnessed the fortune of the late real estate mogul Norman Levy, but the family’s money was invested with Mr Madoff, and is probably now gone.

Source

Bank billions at risk from Wall Street Fraud

Workers protest massive wave of job cuts

Holding a banner reading, “Destruction of employment,” Japanese workers shout slogans during a protest rally against job cuts by top Japanese companies in front of the headquarters of Nippon Keidanren, Japan’s largest business federation, in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec . 16, 2008. About 200 protesters accused Japanese corporate leaders of sacrificing their jobs to protect their profits amid the global slowdown. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Holding a banner reading, “Destruction of employment,” Japanese workers shout slogans during a protest rally against job cuts by top Japanese companies in front of the headquarters of Nippon Keidanren, Japan’s largest business federation, in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec . 16, 2008. About 200 protesters accused Japanese corporate leaders of sacrificing their jobs to protect their profits amid the global slowdown. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

A group of Japanese women workers participate in a protest rally against job cuts by top Japanese companies with banners and placards in front of the headquarters of Nippon Keidanren, Japan’s largest business federation, in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec . 16, 2008. About 200 protesters accused Japanese corporate leaders of sacrificing their jobs to protect their profits amid the global slowdown. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

TOKYO

Hundreds of unionized workers rallied in Tokyo on Tuesday to protest massive job cuts, accusing the country’s biggest companies of sacrificing jobs to protect profits.

The global financial crisis has forced some of Japan’s corporate giants to take drastic measures including job cuts, suspending production, postponing projects and closing factories. Sony Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. are among the major employers to trim thousands of workers from their payrolls.

About 200 protesters waved banners and shouted slogans through loudspeakers outside the headquarters of the Nippon Keidanren — Japan’s largest business lobby group — in Tokyo’s main business district.

“Toyota, stop cutting seasonal workers! We workers are not disposable!” they chanted. “Sony, stop massive firing!”

Most of the job cuts have targeted temporary contract workers, but lately they have included full-time salaried workers.

Speakers at the protest said some newly unemployed contract workers also lost their company-owned housing, leaving them jobless and homeless.

“We do not accept job cuts in the name of the economic crisis,” said Kazuko Furuta, a representative of New Japan Women’s Association, a women’s rights group that organized the rally with dozens of labor unions. “Shame on the Japanese companies that dump their workers like objects.”

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshihiro Nikai told reporters Tuesday that the government was doing its “utmost to support small businesses and ensure job security.”

Fujio Mitarai, head of Keidanren and also chairman of Canon Inc., said the influential lobby “will cooperate with the government” to implement job security measures.

Japanese exporters have been hit hard by slowing consumer demand from abroad and the yen’s appreciation, which erodes their overseas earnings.

Sony announced plans to slash 8,000 jobs around the world — about 5 percent of its work force — and lowered its full-year earnings projection 59 percent from the previous year.

Major automakers including Toyota and Nissan have terminated contracts with thousands of seasonal workers at their factories and parts makers.

Citing their own tally, union members say more than 18,800 people, mostly contract workers, have lost their jobs in recent months.

The government last week announced a 23 trillion yen ($256 billion) stimulus package to shore up the economy, including measures to encourage employment.

Source

Renault workers in Spain protest work reduction plan

December 13 2008

MADRID

Thousands of Renault workers braved heavy rain to march through the central Spanish city of Valladolid Saturday to protest a work reduction plan by the French automaker at its four plants in the country.

Renault management in Spain on December 3 proposed the 2009 cuts at its two factories in Valladolid, one in the nearby town of Palencia and another in the southern city of Sevilla.

Workers at one of the Valladolid plants are also waiting for Renault to assign it a new vehicle for production that would ensure its survival.

The protesters, who numbered 25,000 according to unions and 16,000 according to police, marched through the city in driving rain before a statement was read out calling on Renault to guarantee staff levels, Spanish media said.

“If this isn’t resolved, war, war and war,” the protesters chanted.

Renault employs around 11,000 people in Spain, Europe’s third-largest automaker, of whom 9,800 work in its four factories.

The company proposed a 60-day work reduction plan at one Valladolid plant and a 30-day cut at the other three factories.

The company blamed “the strong and continued fall in European markets, the main destinations of Renault Spain products” for its decision.

The auto manufacturing sector accounts for just under 10 percent of Spain’s economic output and 15 percent of exports.

Several large automakers in the country have already taken measures to cut their workforce, such as Japan’s Nissan and US group Ford.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero late last month announced an 800-million-euro cash injection for the country’s auto sector, part of an 11-billion-euro (14.3-billion-dollar) stimulus package to help the country cope with the global financial crisis.

Source

Did being part of the EU protect them from the Financial Crisis

Turmoil Spurs US Plant Closures, EU Layoffs At ArcelorMittal

December 10th, 2008

By Alex MacDonald

In a sign of the severity of the economic downturn, ArcelorMittal (MT), the world’s largest steelmaker, announced plans to close two U.S. steel processing plants and lay off several hundred workers in the European Union.

ArcelorMittal plans to close its finished steel processing plant in Lackawanna, N.Y., by the end of April and plans to close its finished steel processing plant in Hennepin, Ill., sometime in the future, although no date was disclosed. The two closures will result in 545 job losses, 260 of which are located at the N.Y. plant and 285 of which are located at the Illinois plant.

Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal rolled out voluntary redundancy programs in Europe over the past week or so that would eliminate 3,550 mostly white-collar jobs through voluntary layoffs. The company is eyeing 6,000 job cuts in Europe out of 9,000 job cuts globally.

The closures and layoffs are in line with the company’s plans to cut 35% of its global steel production capacity during the fourth quarter and saving $1 billion annually by cutting 3% of its global workforce.

Both steel plants supply the auto market, where demand has slumped so dramatically that the U.S.’s three largest car manufacturers are now seeking federal government funds to avert bankruptcy.

The closures are part of ArcelorMittal’s global restructuring program to weather the economic downturn.

The decision to close ArcelorMittal Lackawanna was “purely an economic business decision based on the extraordinary economic conditions we face today,” the company said in a statement.

The Lackawanna plant has inherent disadvantages due to its location that lead to higher costs, longer customer lead times, and higher inventory levels than other ArcelorMittal finishing facilities in the US, the company said.

Meanwhile, at Hennepin, “the company had to make the tough decision to close the…facility, consolidate operations and move production to other ArcelorMittal facilities in the U.S.” in order to remain competitive.

ArcelorMittal now has announced plans to lay off 19% of its U.S. salaried workforce of 15,543 people and has announced more than half of its planned job cuts in Europe.

The United Steelworkers union and other relevant stakeholders were notified about the plant closures and job layoffs. They are now negotiating with the Luxembourg-based company to arrive at a compromise.

Jim Robinson, the director of USW’s District 7 said the union was aware that ArcelorMittal faced operational issues at the two plants but was surprised by the company’s decision to close the plants.

“They called us before they announced but we did not know this specifically” beforehand, he said.

Robinson dismissed views that ArcelorMittal has underinvested in the plants. “I don’t think the issue is lack of investment over time, I think it’s an issue of the company’s overall strategy.” He declined to elaborate further.

ArcelorMittal is one of many steelmakers globally that have announced production cuts and layoffs. U.S. Steel Corporation (X), the world’s tenth-largest steelmaker by volume, announced last week it would temporarily idle an iron ore mining facility and two steel works. The move will affect 3,500 employees.

Corus, Europe’s second largest steelmaker by volume and the European arm of India-based Tata Steel Ltd (500470.BY) has cut production by 30% and has shed about 500 jobs from the U.K.

In Europe, ArcelorMittal is seeking voluntary redundancies equal to 1,400 jobs in France, 800 in Belgium, 750 in Germany, and 600 in Spain. Most of them are white collar jobs. ArcelorMittal’s American depositary shares recently traded up 8.9% to $25.99 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Company Web site: http://www.arcelormittal.com

Source

EU businesses expect 1 million job losses in 2009

Brussels – European Union businesses called Monday for a cut in interest rates amid predictions that the bloc’s economic slowdown could lead to more than 1 million jobs being lost in 2009.

BusinessEurope, which groups national business federations from 34 European countries, also called on governments to ensure a continued flow of credit and to approve structural reforms aimed at improving the continent’s competitiveness.

According to its latest Economic Outlook, EU gross domestic product (GDP) is predicted to grow by just 0.4 per cent in 2009, compared to 1.4 per cent this year, with exports, imports and private consumption levels all slowing.

Unemployment is predicted to increase from 7 per cent to 7.8 per cent, with the loss of 1.1 million jobs, compared to a net job creation of more than 2 million in 2008.

“The most fundamental preoccupation of the business community is obviously the way in which the impact of the financial market turmoil will play out,” the paper said.

“Even though a fully-fledged credit crunch has not yet appeared in Europe, uncertainty about the impact for companies and consumer markets has increased tremendously.”

Source

SEMI Europe calls for investment to avoid mass job losses in semiconductor industry

December 10 2008

During the third SEMI Brussels forum, SEMI Europe declared that the decline in the European semiconductor industry could potentially put half a million European jobs at risk. SEMI Europe presented its White Paper to EU officials and urgently appealed for the EU and national policymakers to invest to support the European semiconductor industry citing the industries importance to the health and global competitiveness of the EU economy.

The equipment/materials producers and the semiconductor device manufacturers contribute around €29 billion to the EU economy and provide around 215,000 jobs. The European semiconductor industry is also a significant contributor to the GDP in EU countries such as France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK.

“If semiconductor manufacturers leave Europe, indigenous equipment & materials producers will face an uncertain future”, said Franz Richter, Chairman of the SEMI European Advisory Board. “The current economic crisis and rising unemployment underscore the urgent need to safeguard jobs in the European semiconductor industry. Supporting a robust and competitive semiconductor industry in Europe is critical to keeping jobs in Europe across all industries and supporting key European economies.”

The decline of the market share even during the increase in total volumes sold reflects that manufacturing is changing and moving away from Europe because of the unfavourable global level playing field conditions. The European equipment and materials manufacturers that supply the semiconductor industry with machinery and parts are for the most part small or medium-sized European businesses that heavily rely on the future European semiconductor industry to guarantee their own future and the 105,000 jobs they embody.

Further information on the Brussels forum is available here.

Source

Spanish auto sector highly exposed to global crisis

December 11 2008

By Robert Hetz

MADRID,

Spain’s car industry, which became Europe’s third largest, thanks to a cheap workforce, has lost cost advantage and could shrink as companies slash costs at foreign plants and save politically-sensitive jobs at home.

As executives at multinational manufacturers weigh up Spain’s ageing factories, relatively high wage costs and weak competitiveness against their own domestic markets and cheaper alternatives, the country’s plants are clear targets as the credit crunch saps demand all over the world.

“The big decisions are being taken abroad, not here, and managers in London, Paris and Detroit prefer to close a plant here and not in their home market,” said the director of one Spanish parts plant, who asked not to be named.

Unlike Germany, France or Italy, Spain’s auto industry has no nationally-owned car maker and little control over decisions on the future of its 18 foreign-owned plants, which employ around 70,000 people.

And unlike the case of Britain, Spain’s plants are older and less productive, and the country lacks a more skilled workforce or much tradition of home-grown research and development.

Global car makers, also including Peugeot, Opel and Volkswagen, built most of their Spanish plants in the 1970s when Spain was a low-cost backwater, well placed to serve Northern European markets.

Since the 70s, Spain has lost its price advantage as living standards have caught up with the European average. In 2007, per capita income overtook that of Italy. At the same time, new competitors have emerged as low-cost manufacturing centres.

Spain’s auto-sector salaries averaged 22.83 euros ($29.64) an hour last year, above the European average and around three times the 6.93 euros in Poland and 8.83 euros in the Czech Republic, Europe’s new manufacturing hubs, alongside North Africa.

NORTH AFRICA PASSES SPAIN FOR RENAULT

Renault plans to make 200,000 cars at its plants in North Africa in 2010 and double that within a couple of years, overtaking production from its Spanish operations.

The global credit crunch has hurt demand for new cars across Europe, with new car registrations in November falling 36.8 percent in the UK, 18 percent in Germany, 30 percent in Italy and 50 percent in Spain.

With some 84 percent of cars built in Spanish plants for export, manufacturers are finding fewer financial or political reasons for remaining in the country as international competition rises.

Spanish plants are ideal candidates for the inevitable cuts across Europe, head of Ford Espana Jose Manuel Machado said, as salaries rise and productivity fails to rise at a similar rate.

Machado’s comments came before the U.S. company announced production cuts of 120,000 units at its Almussafes plant in Valencia, and the temporary layoff of 5,200 workers.

Job cuts are expected from most of the major manufacturers, with more than 60 filings listing potential layoffs by private companies made to the government, which may affect up to 40,000 workers, Spain’s main union UGT said.

As Spain’s unemployment rate soars to the highest in the European Union and the economy nears recession, the government is keen to keep the industry, which accounts for around 5 percent of gross domestic product, in the country.

Spain has earmarked 800 million euros for the sector as part of measures worth a total of around 50 billion euros to stimulate the economy.

But this aid may not be enough.

“It’s a good gesture from the government, but obviously the amount of money is insufficient. It would be less than 80 million euros per manufacturer,” said Jose Antonio Bueno of consultancy Europraxis.

The sharp fall in new car sales in Spain has also affected the manufacturers’ showrooms and spare parts centres throughout the country.

Concessions for new and second-hand cars and garages employ around 278,000 people in Spain, and 16,000 of those jobs are at risk, the association for the sector, Ganvam, estimates.

“Four years ago we sold two or three cars a day, but now its not even two a week,” said Adela Benito, who has worked in a Madrid-based Renault showroom for 20 years. (Reporting by Robert Hetz; Additional reporting by Tomas Gonzalez; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Rupert Winchester)

Source

Swedes want government bailout for Volvo

In a new survey just released, 68 percent of Swedes want to see the Swedish government bail out its beleaguered carmaker Volvo. Although Volvo is owned by US carmaker Ford, Swedes would like its government to temporarily take control of the nation’s iconic firm, as many residents fear Volvo may disappear entirely from Sweden in the near future.

The Local newspaper reports that support for government intervention is piling in from all sides of the political arena. Some 65 percent of those polled who support the bailout side with one of the governing Alliance parties, and 73 percent of all left bloc voters approve of a government bailout.

Peter Larsson of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers points out that Volvo’s current crisis is not minor. “One thing is certain, there are no dollars on their way over the Atlantic,” Larsson said, referring to the massive problems currently faced by the “Big Three” US carmakers – Ford, Chrysler, and (Saab-owner) General Motors.

Rolf Wolff, dean of the school of business at Gothenburg University, told The Local: “If Volvo Cars disappears as a base for industrial knowledge and skills, then Sweden will never again be a part of the auto industry. All the knowledge and skills would be lost, and with it all future associated development potential would be gone.”

Maud Olofsson, Sweden’s minister of trade and industry, has expressed doubts whether the government would be able to better manage Volvo than the car firm itself. For now, the issue has been placed on the political back burner, but the crisis at Volvo and Ford goes on.

Source

This is just the tip of the iceburg.  Seems no one is safe from the Financial Crisis. Not even EU members.

There are 27 member of the European Union.

austria 1. Austria
belgium 2. Belgium
UK 3. UK
denmark 4. Denmark
germany 5. Germany
greece 6. Greece
ireland 7. Ireland
spain 8. Spain
italy 9. Italy
luxembourg 10. Luxembourg
netherlands 11. Netherlands
portugal 12. Portugal
finland 13. Finland
france 14. France
sweden 15. Sweden
cyprus 16. Cyprus
czech 17. Czech Republic
estonia 18. Estonia
hungary 19. Hungary
latvia 20. Latvia
lithuania 21. Lithuania
malta 22. Malta
poland 23. Poland
slovakia 24. Slovakia
slovenia 25. Slovenia
bulgaria 26. Bulgaria
romania 27. Romania

EU members and when they joined.

1952 Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands

1973 Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom

1981 Greece

1986 Portugal, Spain

1995 Austria, Finland, Sweden

2004 Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia

2007 Bulgaria, Romania

Source

Hungary’s Letter of Intent to the IMF

World Bank lends to Bulgaria to tackle poverty, jobless

Latvia mulling IMF loan as crisis sweeps Nordic region

EU, Iceland, Canada Suffering Fall Out, Caused By US Crisis

Europeans Angry at their Money being Used for Bailouts

The £2trillion question for British economy

Europe catches America’s financial disease

How Britain’s banks will never be the same again

Economist, deregulation and loose fiscal policies lead to Meltdown

World Leaders Must Roll Back Radical WTO Financial Service Deregulation

Ryanair to appeal EU’s ‘corrupt’ support of Alitalia takeover

Ashley Mote Revealing European Union Corruption

The EU budget is necessarily corrupt

EU leaders tear up rules of Eurozone

Starting to remind me of the Corruption in the US where the Crisis started.

Legal Scholars Outraged by Talk of Blanket Pardons

Whether Bush Can Grant His Administration Pre-emptive Pardons on Torture, a Dicey Area of the Law
By Daphne Eviatar

December 8 2008

In his Nov. 16 interview on CBS’s “60 minutes,” President-elect Barack Obama reiterated his pledge to shut down Guantanamo Bay and end U.S.-sponsored torture. Both actions would be “part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world,” he said.

Obama’s advisers are similarly encouraging him to look to the future and avoid the appearance of seeking vengeance for past practices. But many legal experts insist it’s as important not to let those responsible for diminishing America’s moral stature get away scot-free.

“When we speak about accountability, we’re not talking about vengeance,” lawyer and writer Scott Horton told at a packed forum on torture at New York University School of Law last week. “We’re really talking about the future.” President George W. Bush “has set a precedent that we cannot let stand.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who also attended the forum, added: “Accountability is one of the most important questions before the country. It’s critical to preventing a recurrence of the lawbreaking that clearly has been done [by this administration].”

Liberal lawyers and civil rights advocates have been calling for prosecutions, even impeachment, of Bush officials tied to torture for years. Elizabeth Holtzman, a former Democratic congresswoman, published “The Impeachment of George W. Bush” in 2006. Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, published his book, “The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by Book,” in September. Others have published volumes of evidence implicating Bush officials in potentially criminal conduct . Among the most influential are Jane Mayer’s “The Dark Side,” Phillipe Sands’ “Torture Team” and “The Torture Papers,” a collection of administration documents on detainee abuses edited by Karen Greenberg, executive director of the Center on Law and Security at NYU, and Joshua Dratel, a prominent defense attorney who represents detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

But as the administration nears its end, the debate over what Obama should do about officials who authorized torture, humiliation or systematic abuse of detainees as part of the “war on terror” has become more urgent. (The NYU forum attracted so much interest that hundreds of vociferous supporters of prosecution were denied entry into the auditorium because of fire-code restrictions.)

Even as the pressure on Obama to take action grows, some prominent legal experts are urging restraint.

In a Nov. 26 Op-Ed in the Washington Post, Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith, director of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Dept. from 2003-2004, urged the incoming administration to let bygones be bygones. The decisions to use waterboarding or other forms of torture on terrorist suspects should not be prosecuted as criminal actions, he argued. Instead, they were wartime policy decisions that shouldn’t be second-guessed by lawyers. “[T]he greater danger now is that lawyers will become excessively cautious in giving advice and will substitute predictions of political palatability for careful legal judgment,” he wrote.

But what if President Bush pardoned himself and all other officials who authorized abusive interrogations of prisoners? Would that render the torture-accountability debate moot?

In August, Stuart Taylor Jr., a Brookings Institute fellow and columnist for Newsweek and the National Journal, argued that the president should issue a blanket pardon — and leave it to a non-prosecutorial truth commission to set the record straight for posterity.

Atty. Gen Michael Mukasey, however, has insisted repeatedly that neither investigations nor pardons are needed, because everyone in the administration was acting on the advice of Justice Dept. lawyers — and thus did nothing wrong.

As the debate over accountability heats up, the possibility of Bush issuing a blanket pardon increases — and that outrages lawyers and legislators who would see such a move as a flagrant abuse of executive power.

In November, Nadler, the congressman, introduced a House resolution urging the president not to pardon officials who authorized torture and potential lawbreaking. Since then, Democrats.com has been circulating a petition on the Internet to collect signatures of those who support the resolution. So far, almost 50,000 have signed it.

But legal experts say that neither the resolution nor the petition would have any legal effect on the matter.

“Congress can’t control the pardon power,” said New York University law professor David Golove, an expert on executive power. “For practical purposes, there are no clear limits.”

The breadth of the president’s pardon power has been challenged before, particularly after President Abraham Lincoln pardoned former confederate officials who swore an oath of loyalty to the Union. But in Ex Parte Garland, the Supreme Court spelled out just how far-reaching the president’s power is.

The pardon power “clothe[s] the president with the power to pardon all offenses, and thereby to wash away the legal stain and extinguish all the legal consequences of treason — all penalties, all punishments, and everything in the nature of punishment,” the court ruled.

Accordingly, if Bush pardoned administration officials accused of authorizing torture — say, Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, former Cheney chief of staff Richard Addington or former Justice Dept. lawyer John Yoo, to name a few frequently mentioned possibilities — legal experts say the pardons would be extremely difficult to challenge in court. The fact that none of these men have been convicted of anything makes no difference.

The Confederates pardoned by Lincoln hadn’t been indicted or tried, either. Similarly, President Jimmy Carter preemptively pardoned draft evaders during the Vietnam War when he took office in 1976. Even the Watergate-plagued Richard Nixon, pardoned by Gerald Ford in 1974, was never convicted of a crime.

Could Bush pardon himself?

That’s legally dicey. Although it’s never been done before, nothing in the Constitution specifically prevents it.

“I do not believe that a president can issue a pardon of himself,” said Holtzman, a panelist at the NYU forum. “I believe that would be an abuse of the pardon power.”

Some say that pardoning administration officials whose actions you signed off on would also be an abuse of power. Allowing a president to do that may set a precedent that’s even more destructive, say some legal experts, because it would remove any incentive for future presidents to follow the law.

“One of the most effective potential weapons to assure that a runaway executive does not violate the rule of law is that the people who carry out the president’s wishes are themselves subject to legal jeopardy,” said Golove.

In that regard, the U.S. presidency is similar to the British system. Although by law the English king could do no wrong, his ministers could, explained Golove. “So the way you controlled the crown was by threatening to bring criminal prosecutions against those who carry out his orders.”

That’s been the case in the United States as well. “So to allow the president to pardon those people is to remove to a considerable extent the incentive for the executive branch to follow the law,” contended Golove. “I see this as a terrible problem.”

Carolyn Patty Blum, emeritus professor at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, agrees. “Bush doesn’t really need to pardon himself if he preemptively pardons others, because then no one has an incentive to talk about his role.”

Some commentators, such as Taylor, have argued that a blanket pardon would still allow for the appointment of a truth commission along the lines of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It could be easier for such a body to learn what really happened because participants wouldn’t face jail for participating.

But Blum, a consultant to the International Center for Transitional Justice, which specializes in accountability for human-rights abuses, disagrees. “[Our] institutional experience working with truth commissions around the world is that the opposite happens. Once people feel they are already protected, they don’t have any incentive to come forward.”

In South Africa, she noted, people were pardoned only after they testified truthfully about their crimes.

Pardons for administration officials would not necessarily close down the inquiry, however. A pardon wouldn’t stop victims of torture from suing U.S. officials, for example, and revealing the truth — although federal government officials can claim all sorts of immunities that would make such cases difficult to pursue in the United States. And a pardon would not prevent another country, or an international tribunal, from investigating and prosecuting war crimes and other violations of international law.

“Hitler could not pardon himself and the Nazi general staff for war crimes committed during World War II,” said Golove. “Even if he could have pardoned them under German law, that wouldn’t have had any effect at the Nuremberg Tribunal.”

As Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights noted at the NYU forum, “You cannot pardon war crimes and torture. Maybe here, but they’re not going to walk so freely in Europe.”

The center and prosecutors abroad have already sought to bring administration officials to trial in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, among other countries. Although charges probably wouldn’t land any U.S. officials behind bars, it could at least put a crimp in their travel plans — and prompt investigations that might further tarnish the Bush legacy.

Source

141 states support Depleted Uranium Ban

Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

Sign Petition to Ban DU

What is DU?

  • Depleted Uranium is a waste product of the nuclear enrichment process.
  • After natural uranium has been ‘enriched’ to concentrate the isotope U235 for use in nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons, what remains is DU.
  • The process produces about 7 times more DU than enriched uranium.

Despite claims that DU is much less radioactive than natural uranium, it actually emits about 75% as much radioactivity. It is very dense and when it strikes armour it burns (it is ‘pyrophoric’). As a waste product, it is stockpiled by nuclear states, which then have an interest in finding uses for it.

DU is used as the ‘penetrator’ – a long dart at the core of the weapon – in armour piercing tank rounds and bullets. It is usually alloyed with another metal. When DU munitions strike a hard target the penetrator sheds around 20% of its mass, creating a fine dust of DU, burning at extremely high temperatures.

This dust can spread 400 metres from the site immediately after an impact. It can be resuspended by human activity, or by the wind, and has been reported to have travelled twenty-five miles on air currents. The heat of the DU impact and secondary fires means that much of the dust produced is ceramic, and can remain in the lungs for years if inhaled.

Who uses it?
At least 18 countries are known to have DU in their arsenals:

  • UK
  • US
  • France
  • Russia
  • China
  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan
  • Israel
  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • Kuwait
  • Saudi Arabia
  • India
  • Belarus
  • Pakistan
  • Oman

Most of these countries were sold DU by the US, although the UK, France and Pakistan developed it independently.

Only the US and the UK are known to have fired it in warfare. It was used in the 1991 Gulf War, in the 2003 Iraq War, and also in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s and during the NATO war with Serbia in 1999. While its use has been claimed in a number of other conflicts, this has not been confirmed.

Health Problems

  • DU is both chemically toxic and radioactive. In laboratory tests it damages human cells, causing DNA mutations and other carcinogenic effects.
  • Reports of increased rates of cancer and birth defects have consistently followed DU usage.
  • Representatives from both the Serbian and Iraqi governments have linked its use with health problems amongst civilians.
  • Many veterans remain convinced DU is responsible for health problems they have experienced since combat

Information from animal studies suggests DU may cause several different kinds of cancer. In rats, DU in the blood-stream builds up in the kidneys, bone, muscles, liver, spleen, and brain. In other studies it has been shown to cross both the blood-brain barrier and the placenta, with obvious implications for the health of the foetus. In general, the effects of DU will be more severe for women and children than for healthy men.

In 2008 a study by the Institute of Medicine in the US listed medical conditions that were a high priority to study for possible links with DU exposure: cancers of the lung, testes and kidney; lung disease; nervous system disorders; and reproductive and developmental problems.


Epidemiology

What is missing from the picture is large-scale epidemiological studies on the effects of DU – where negative health effects match individuals with exposure to DU. None of the studies done on the effects on soldiers have been large enough to make meaningful conclusions. No large scale studies have been done on civilian populations.

In the case of Iraq, where the largest volume of DU has been fired, the UK and US governments are largely responsible for the conditions which have made studies of the type required impossible. Despite this, these same governments use the scientific uncertainties to maintain that it is safe, and that concerns about it are misplaced.

However, in cases where human health is in jeopardy, a precautionary approach should prevail. Scientific scepticism should prevent a hazardous course of action from being taken until safety is assured. To allow it to continue until the danger has been proved beyond dispute is an abuse of the principle of scientific caution.

Environmental Impacts
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has studied some of the sites contaminated by DU in the Balkans, but it has only been able to produce a desk study on Iraq. Bullets and penetrators made of DU that do not hit armour become embedded in the ground and corrode away, releasing material into the environment.

It is not known what will happen to DU in the long term in such circumstances. The UNEP mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina found DU in drinking water, and could still detect it in the air after seven years – the longest period of time a study has been done after the end of a conflict.

Uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, so DU released into the environment will be a hazard for unimaginable timescales.

Decontaminating sites where DU has been used requires detailed scrutiny and monitoring, followed by the removal and reburial of large amounts of soil and other materials. Monitoring of groundwater for contamination is also advised by UNEP. CADU calls for the cost of cleaning up and decontaminating DU affected sites to be met by the countries responsible for the contamination.

The Campaign
CADU is a founder member of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) – now comprising over 102 member organisations in 27 countries.

CADU and ICBUW campaign for a precautionary approach: there is significant evidence that DU is dangerous, and faced with scientific uncertainty the responsible course of action is for it not to be used. To this end CADU and ICBUW are working towards an international treaty that bans the use of uranium in weapons akin to those banning cluster bombs and landmines.

Through the efforts of campaigners worldwide the use of DU has been condemned by four resolutions in the European Parliament, been the subject of an outright ban in Belgium, and brought onto the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly.

Source

Sign Petition to Ban DU

International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons

141 states support second uranium weapons resolution in UN General Assembly vote

The United Nations General Assembly has passed, by a huge majority, a resolution requesting its agencies to update their positions on the health and environmental effects of uranium weapons.
December 2 2008

The resolution, which had passed the First Committee stage on October 31st by 127 states to four, calls on three UN agencies – the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to update their positions on uranium weapons. The overwhelming support for the text reflects increasing international concern over the long-term impact of uranium contamination in post-conflict environments and military ranges.

In the 17 years since uranium weapons were first used on a large scale in the 1991 Gulf War, a huge volume of peer-reviewed research has highlighted previously unknown pathways through which exposure to uranium’s heavy metal toxicity and radioactivity may damage human health.
Throughout the world, parliamentarians have responded by supporting calls for a moratorium and ban, urging governments and the military to take a precautionary approach. However the WHO and IAEA have been slow to react to this wealth of new evidence and it is hoped that this resolution will go some way to resolving this situation.

In a welcome move, the text requests that all three agencies work closely with countries affected by the use of uranium weapons in compiling their research. Until now, most research by UN member states has focused on exposure in veterans and not on the civilian populations living in contaminated areas. Furthermore, recent investigations into US veteran studies have found them to be wholly incapable of producing useful data.

The text also repeats the request for states to submit reports and opinions on uranium weapons to the UN Secretary General in the process that was started by last year’s resolution. Thus far, 19 states have submitted reports to the Secretary General; many of them call for action on uranium weapons and back a precautionary approach. It also places the issue on the agenda of the General Assembly’s 65th Session; this will begin in September 2010.

The First Committee vote saw significant voting changes in comparison to the previous year’s resolution, with key EU and NATO members such as the Netherlands, Finland, Norway and Iceland changing position to support calls for further action on the issue. These changes were echoed at the General Assembly vote. Once again Japan, which has been under considerable pressure from campaigners, supported the resolution.

Of the permanent five Security Council members, the US, UK and France voted against. They were joined by Israel. Russia abstained and China refused to vote.

The list of states abstaining from the vote, while shorter than in 2007, still contains Belgium, the only state to have implemented a domestic ban on uranium weapons, a fact that continues to anger Belgian campaigners. It is suspected that the Belgian government is wary of becoming isolated on the issue internationally. Two Nordic states, Denmark and Sweden continue to blow cold, elsewhere in Europe Poland, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain are also dragging their feet, in spite of a call for a moratorium and ban by 94% of MEPs earlier this year. Many of the abstainers are recent EU/NATO accession states or ex-Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan.

Australia and Canada, both of whom have extensive uranium mining interests and close ties to US foreign policy also abstained.

The resolution was submitted by Cuba and Indonesia on behalf of the League of Non-Aligned States.

Voting results in full

In favour:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States.

Abstain:

Albania, Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine.

Absent: Central African Republic, Chad, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Kiribati, Monaco, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia.

Source

Honor Vets by Learning About Depleted Uranium

November 11, 2008

by Barbara Bellows

As Europe mourns in Verdun today for those lost in “The War to End All Wars”, World War I, we could look to another moment in European history to shed light on the most aggressively silenced story of the Bush administration.

In late 2000 and January 2001, reports were exploding across Europe about the rise in cancer amongst NATO soldiers who had served in the “peacekeeping missions” in Bosnia and Kosovo. The effects of the depleted uranium in the U.S. and U.K. weapons could not be ignored.

But history shows that the United Nations and the World Health Organization could be intimidated. The report from the WHO – that detailed how the DU vaporized upon impact into tiny particles that were breathed in, or consumed through the mouth or entered through open wounds, where the irradiating bits attacked cells all the way through the body, causing mutations along the way – was shelved under pressure from the U.S.

Even now, the major U.S. news organizations do not touch the subject, though the international press cannot ignore it. Even last month, a Middle Eastern Reuters reporter discussed the health damages because of the contaminated environment with Iraqi En Iraqi Environment Minister Nermeen Othman,

“When we talk about it, people may think we are overreacting. But in fact the environmental catastrophe that we inherited in Iraq is even worse than it sounds.”

And The Tehran Times further endangers their country by continuing to report on the problem, calling it a war crime.

And across the internet, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Roger Helbig seeks to intimidate anyone who dares to bring up the subject.

But we evolve, and the United Nations First Committee has overwhelmingly passed a resolution, on October 31st, calling for “relevant UN agencies, in this case the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to update and complete their research into the possible health and environmental impact of the use of uranium weapons by 2010.” The only countries that voted against it were the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and France.

Meanwhile, to help the reader get to the point, I’ve put together the following.  Although the facts, for the most part, do not contain links, there is a list of the references at the end.

Ten Essential Facts:

1. Depleted uranium, the nuclear waste of uranium enrichment, is not actually “depleted” of radiation; 99.3% of it is Uranium238, which still emits radioactive alpha particles at the rate 12,400/second, with an estimated half life of 4.5 billion years.

2. Depleted uranium is plentiful – there are 7 pounds remaining for every pound of enriched uranium – and requires expensive and often politically-contentious hazardous waste storage.

3. Depleted uranium is less of a problem for the nuclear industry when it is cheaply passed on to U.S. weapons manufacturers for warheads, penetrators, bunker-busters, missiles, armor and other ammunition used by the U.S. military in the Middle East and elsewhere, and sold to other countries and political factions.

4. Depleted uranium is “pyrophoric”, which makes it uniquely effective at piercing hard targets, because upon impact, it immediately burns, vaporizing the majority of its bulk and leaving a hard, thin, sharpened tip – and large amounts of radioactive particles suspended in the atmosphere.

5. Depleted uranium weaponry was first used in the U.S. bombing of Iraq in 1991, under President George H. W. Bush and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.

6. Depleted uranium weaponry was later used by President Bill Clinton in the NATO “peace-keeping” bombing missions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia. By January 2001, as the 2nd President Bush and Dick Cheney were moving in to the White House, there was a furor in Europe over the news of an alarming increase in leukemia and other cancers amongst the NATO troops who’d served in the Balkans.

7. The World Health Organization suppressed a November 2001 report on the health hazards of depleted uranium by Dr. Keith Baverstock, Head of the WHO’s Radiation Protection Division and his team, commissioned by the United Nations. Baverstock’s report, “Radiological Toxicity of Depleted Uranium”, detailed the significant danger of airborne vaporized depleted uranium particles, already considerably more prevalent in Iraq than the Balkans due to the difference in military tactics, because they are taken into the body by inhaling and ingesting, and then their size and solubility determines how quickly they move through the respiratory, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems, attacking and poisoning from within as they travel, and where the damages occur. In addition, the report warns that the particles tend to settle in the soft tissue of the testes, and may cause mutations in sperm. In 2004 Dr. Baverstock, no longer at the WHO, released the report through Rob Edwards at Scotland’s Sunday Herald.

8. The George W. Bush/Dick Cheney administration twisted the meaning of the failure of the World Health Organization to produce evidence of depleted uranium’s health hazards, turning it into evidence that there was no link between exposure to depleted uranium and the increases in cancer in Europe and Iraq; instead, as presented in the January 20, 2003 report by the new Office of Global Communications, ironically titled Apparatus of Lies: Saddam’s Disinformation and Propaganda 1990 – 2003, the depleted uranium uproar was only an exploitation of fear and suffering. Two months later, Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Rice began to “Shock and Awe” Baghdad by again dropping tons of depleted uranium bombs on densely populated areas.

9. On March 27, 2003, significant increases in depleted uranium particles in the atmosphere were detected by the air sampler filter systems of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at 8 different sites near Aldermaston Berkshire, Great Britain, and continued at 4-5 times the previous norm until the end of April 2003, after the Coalition forces declared the war over. This information only came to light in a report on January 6, 2006 by Dr. Chris Busby, due to his diligent fight for access to the data through Britain’s Freedom of Information law.

10. We have a new, intelligent President, who is willing to listen.  It is up to us to bring this to his attention.  THIS IS HOW WE CAN HONOR VETERANS.

VALUABLE REFERENCES:

Department of Defense description of self-sharpening depleted uranium: click here

Dr. Keith Baverstock’s November 2001 report, suppressed by the World Health Organization:
Rob Edwards article on Baverstock:

Karen Parker, a Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Lawyer:  Scroll down on the page and you’ll find her documents on DU.

January 2003 White House Report – Apparatus of Lies:

January 2006 Chris Busby report: click here

Source

Depleated Uranium Information

Or Google it there is tons of information out there.

Be sure to encourage those who are still not supporting the ban,  that it  is something that needs to be banned.

This is an extremely dangerous form of Pollution.

We, the people, need to let governments and the United Nations know that these weapons can have no part in a humane and caring world. Every signature counts!

  1. An immediate end to the use of uranium weapons.
  2. Disclosure of all locations where uranium weapons have been used and immediate removal of the remnants and contaminated materials from the sites under strict control.
  3. Health surveys of the ‘depleted’ uranium victims and environmental investigations at the affected sites.
  4. Medical treatment and compensation for the ‘depleted’ uranium victims.
  5. An end to the development, production, stockpiling, testing, trade of uranium weapons.
  6. A Convention for a Total Ban on Uranium Weapons.

The life you save may be your own.

Sign Petition to Ban DU

Published in: on December 4, 2008 at 1:10 pm  Comments Off on 141 states support Depleted Uranium Ban  
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Stock Markets Recovering

Oct 13 2008

Japan’s stock market soared in early trading Tuesday, leading a second-day rally in Asian stocks after Wall Street staged a dramatic comeback from its worst week ever.

Sparked by global efforts to fix the world’s crippled financial system, Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped 1,079 points, or 13 per cent, to 9,355. The Japanese financial markets were playing catch-up because they were closed Monday for a public holiday.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 index traded more than five per cent higher after the government announced plans to inject $10.4 billion Australian ($8.4 billion Cdn) to strengthen the country’s economy.

Markets in South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and Taiwan also climbed five per cent or more.

The advance came after the Dow Jones industrial averages on Monday jumped more than 930 points, its biggest single-day point gain yet.

Traders reacted with relief to moves by the U.S. government to inject capital into major banks and get lending flowing again among companies. That followed signals that European governments were putting up nearly $2 trillion to safeguard their own banks.

“The governments are ensuring that no matter what happens, they’re not going to allow another major institution to fail,” said Nicole Sze, an investment analyst at asset manager Bank Julius Baer & Co. in Singapore. “…You’re seeing a reversal of the panic selling, and we think a temporary bottom has been found.”

Source

U.S. stock indexes closed up more than 11 per cent Monday as governments around the world committed trillions to easing the global credit freeze.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 936.42 points, or 11.1 per cent, at 9,387.61

It was the Dow’s biggest single-day point gain yet, a stunning turnaround after its worst week on record. The blue-chip index recovered nearly half of the 1,874 points it lost last week.

The Nasdaq composite closed up 11.8 per cent and the S&P 500 advanced 11.6 per cent.

Canadian markets were closed Monday for Thanksgiving.

The U.S. markets were responding to injections of billions of taxpayer dollars, pounds and euros into the Western world’s leading banks.

European governments — Britain, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria and Portugal — have committed up to $2.3 trillion to support banks.

The British government said Monday it will inject nearly $75 billion into three of the country’s largest banks to prevent the institutions from collapsing. The move means the government is effectively taking over the Royal Bank of Scotland and will also hold a large share of Lloyds/TSB and the Halifax Bank of Scotland, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.

A German government spokesman said Monday that Berlin had put together a package worth $780 billion to provide fresh capital for banks, guarantee loans between banks and cover potential losses.

In the U.S., the government is working on its $700-billion US financial rescue plan, consulting with six private law firms to determine the best way to buy stakes in a number of banks.

The plan to buy shares, announced by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson late Friday, is intended to get capital quickly into financial institutions. It’s seen as a faster way to do that than the original plan, which involved buying bad mortgage-related derivatives.

The European countries and the U.S. are trying to get capital into banks quickly so they will start lending again, providing credit to people and companies on which the economy depends. The freeze in lending, the result of banks’ fears that they won’t be repaid, could tip the Western economies — and the world — into a recession.

Stock prices also rebounded in Europe and Asia on Monday after a week that saw huge losses on markets all over the world.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 10.2 per cent Monday. Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 8.3 per cent, Germany’s DAX 11.4 per cent and France’s CAC-40 11.2 per cent.

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

Source

Markets fight back around the world

October14 2008

London’s leading share index jumped more than 4 per cent today as markets continued to rally in the wake of efforts to shore up the global financial system.

The FTSE 100 Index was up more than 190 point after an hour, with the banks taking part in the Government’s £37 billion rescue plan clawing back some hefty losses seen yesterday.

Royal Bank of Scotland, which is in line to receive £20 billion, was up 12 per cent, while merger partners HBOS and Lloyds TSB were up 11 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

Trading was boosted by surging global markets overnight as investors cheered co-ordinated efforts to stabilise the financial sector.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 soared 14 per cent, its biggest one day rise, while New York’s Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 11 per cent, the index’s biggest daily jump since the Great Depression.

Australian shares finished up 3.7 per cent in the wake of a government package was announced to boost the economy via one-off cash hand-outs to families and pensioners.

In Hong Kong, shares rose 3.2 per cent. The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed 520 points higher at 16,832, after earlier soaring to 17,141.

In London, energy-facing stocks were making good progress as oil prices ticked up on commodity markets. BP was nearly 7 per cent up, with rival Royal Dutch Shell 6 per cent higher.

Retailers were also edging ahead despite data from the high street showing like-for-like sales fell 1.5 per cent in September.

Marks & Spencer was up more than 1 per cent, with Sainsbury’s enjoying a 3 per cent rise.

There were mixed fortunes for Barclays and HSBC, two banks not turning to the Government for extra funds. Barclays was 6 per cent higher while First Direct owner HSBC was steady.

ETX Capital broker Manoj Ladwa said: “Everyone is relieved that the market is up.

“We have probably seen the short-term lows in the market, with some of the volatility also calming down.

“After the recent falls, some of the stocks out there do look fairly interesting now.”

European indices were also firmly on the front foot, with Germany’s Dax up nearly 4 per cent, and France’s CAC 40 also up 4.6 per cent.

European governments have said they are allocating more than 1 trillion euro (£780bn) to protect the region’s banks through guarantees and other emergency measures.

So far Germany has approved a bank rescue plan worth up to 500 billion euro (£391bn), with France spending about 350 billion euros (£273bn).

The US is also expected to unveil details of a plan to take stakes in banks, following steps by the UK and European leaders.

Yesterday executives from leading US banks were summoned by the Bush administration to Washington to work out a plan to get loans moving again

London’s Footsie leapt more than 8 per cent yesterday, its second biggest one-day gain, as investors digested the banking rescue package.

Shares in RBS, HBOS and Lloyds TSB – in which the Government is set to be a major shareholder – fell heavily despite the surge as investors faced the prospect of seeing their stakes diluted. The banks will also not be paying any dividends until their taxpayer loans are repaid.

Source

Published in: on October 14, 2008 at 7:04 am  Comments Off on Stock Markets Recovering  
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