Unanimous Security Council Vote A Crucial Moment for International Justice

Saturday’s Security Council referral of Libya to the International Criminal Court marks a historic moment in accountability for crimes under international law.

The Security Council’s vote came after a plea for action from Libya’s own UN delegation, which had announced that it no longer represented Col al-Gaddafi.

Amnesty’s director of international advocacy Steve Crawshaw said it best:

“This is a welcome and historic precedent. Libyan leaders and all others who may commit crimes under international law must now take heed that they will be called to account.”

For the people of Libya, this decision is a signal that the international community will not avert its eyes from the human rights abuses that they continue to suffer.

Amnesty International urged the UN Human Rights Council, the Arab League and the African Union, all of which have announced investigative missions to Libya, to urgently proceed with their missions and to hand over their findings to the ICC prosecutor as soon as possible.

The organization also called on the Security Council to consider similar action elsewhere.

The Security Council must build on the strong action it took yesterday. It must address situations in other parts of the world that at the moment have less public profile but are no less serious.

The vote follows a strong condemnation of human rights abuses in Libya by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday and the announcement of actions to ensure accountability.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

22 thoughts on “Unanimous Security Council Vote A Crucial Moment for International Justice

  1. I only hope the sanctions will contribute to the final resignation of Gaddafi instead of deteriorating the conditions in which the Libyan people have to live today as was the case of the people in Iraq under the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein.

  2. I only hope the sanctions will contribute to the final resignation of Gaddafi instead of deteriorating the conditions in which the Libyan people have to live today as was the case of the people in Iraq under the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein.

  3. Somewhat ironic when the security counsel veto by the US was to hold Israel accountable for "illegal settlement building", Guess there really isn't justice in this world.

  4. Somewhat ironic when the security counsel veto by the US was to hold Israel accountable for “illegal settlement building”, Guess there really isn’t justice in this world.

  5. After a long period of apparent and enforced peace, the world is facing a big change, started by a large mass of people that are rebelling against the system.
    The great social crisis in what Arab society has been exposed for decades is showing its dissatisfaction with the inequality and lack of freedom.
    But we should not deceive ourselves when we talk about war or revolution. Weapons, bombs and tanks always fall on the same victims, innocent citizens, without exception.
    Unfortunately all wars have their own casualties. Somehow all Western countries have been complicit in the war, manufacturing and selling arms to defend economic interests.
    The great XXI century hypocrisy is coming to end, Our political system is broken and dysfunctional, for this reason a multitude of human beings are accumulating to millions in search of refuge, and inadvertently, they exhibit the lies of war and the abuse by corporate profiteers that have not done anything to prevent massacres.
    Those who refuse to act, who are being passive, are agent of injustice and are complicit in murders. I wonder if now anyone is guiltless
    Our rule of law both the EU as Europe remains the belief on organized sadism of war and on militarism repugnant who seek to protect, fight and die for the country
    But the reality is that all these protesters are our true allies in order to build a new social, economic and cultural order.
    How many millions of dollars are we losing every day, to keep the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan?
    How many deaths, wounded and refugees are causing these wars?
    War have left young men and women severely crippled and maimed.
    We can not fueling the terrorism we are seeking to defeat. The sooner NATO leave Iraq and Afghanistan the sooner will save others and finally the world.
    . The state can not seek to silence anyone who practices moral courage. It is necessary heard the truth. It is necessary see the reality. If these greed and war forces win, we will live in darkness.

    No one can control the mental health level of our leaders, and no one can forget at this time, that the most countries in conflict have the atomic bomb.
    Is time to decide which path we take, if the self-destruction or human progress.

  6. Donna : what an astonishingly silly comment you made, comparing the US veto against the racist bigoted fascist nazi UN resolution last week which proposed to declared it illegal for Jews, only because of their religion, to purchase land from Arabs in the West Bank, to the UN resolution yesterday against crazy man Kadaffi in control of a huge army and hired killers from all over Africa slaughtering men women and children by the thousands.

    If you think a Jew buying a house in the eastern side of Jerusalem from its Arab owner who decides to sell it freely for a lot of money is a comparable human rights abuse in any way to thousands of Libyan women and children being murdered by Kaddafi then you are truly mental ill.

  7. After a long period of apparent and enforced peace, the world is facing a big change, started by a large mass of people that are rebelling against the system.
    The great social crisis in what Arab society has been exposed for decades is showing its dissatisfaction with the inequality and lack of freedom.
    But we should not deceive ourselves when we talk about war or revolution. Weapons, bombs and tanks always fall on the same victims, innocent citizens, without exception.
    Unfortunately all wars have their own casualties. Somehow all Western countries have been complicit in the war, manufacturing and selling arms to defend economic interests.
    The great XXI century hypocrisy is coming to end, Our political system is broken and dysfunctional, for this reason a multitude of human beings are accumulating to millions in search of refuge, and inadvertently, they exhibit the lies of war and the abuse by corporate profiteers that have not done anything to prevent massacres.
    Those who refuse to act, who are being passive, are agent of injustice and are complicit in murders. I wonder if now anyone is guiltless
    Our rule of law both the EU as Europe remains the belief on organized sadism of war and on militarism repugnant who seek to protect, fight and die for the country
    But the reality is that all these protesters are our true allies in order to build a new social, economic and cultural order.
    How many millions of dollars are we losing every day, to keep the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan?
    How many deaths, wounded and refugees are causing these wars?
    War have left young men and women severely crippled and maimed.
    We can not fueling the terrorism we are seeking to defeat. The sooner NATO leave Iraq and Afghanistan the sooner will save others and finally the world.
    . The state can not seek to silence anyone who practices moral courage. It is necessary heard the truth. It is necessary see the reality. If these greed and war forces win, we will live in darkness.

    No one can control the mental health level of our leaders, and no one can forget at this time, that the most countries in conflict have the atomic bomb.
    Is time to decide which path we take, if the self-destruction or human progress.

  8. Donna : what an astonishingly silly comment you made, comparing the US veto against the racist bigoted fascist nazi UN resolution last week which proposed to declared it illegal for Jews, only because of their religion, to purchase land from Arabs in the West Bank, to the UN resolution yesterday against crazy man Kadaffi in control of a huge army and hired killers from all over Africa slaughtering men women and children by the thousands.

    If you think a Jew buying a house in the eastern side of Jerusalem from its Arab owner who decides to sell it freely for a lot of money is a comparable human rights abuse in any way to thousands of Libyan women and children being murdered by Kaddafi then you are truly mental ill.

  9. Dear Simon Naim,

    Truly spoken, truly spoken !

    You have come to the heart of the problem, free from their myths !

    donna rips the truth from the husk of myth as well … & for that, Judonimh call her "mental ill".

    He also calls Qaddafi "crazy man" .

    But why blame isolated Qaddafi alone for living his illusions of Libya as a "contented" land of "contented" subjects ?

    Judonimh mirrors this mirage with his own myth of the contented "Arab".

    In Judonimh's mythical world of illusions, the Palestinians' dispossession itself becomes a lucrative process for them .

    The wrenching loss of Palestinian ancestral family homes in Jerusalem becomes the profitable sale of those homes by contented "Arabs" to fairminded, generous handed israelis giving "a lot of money" in return, leaving both parties in a state of bliss.

    In this city of illusions these supposed "sellers" are not even Palestinians anymore !

    Note Judonimh avoids use the name "Palestinian" here, which will only remind us too much of that UTTERLY dispossessed people.

    He uses instead the soothing, lulling, disconnecting, generalizing & effacing name of "Arab".

    That's also part of the dePalestinianization of Jerusalem…. the completion of a cityscape of illusions.

    Why then blame Qaddafi alone for taking refuge in Tripoli in his tent of illusions of a contented Libya ?

  10. Dear Simon Naim,

    Truly spoken, truly spoken !

    You have come to the heart of the problem, free from their myths !

    donna rips the truth from the husk of myth as well … & for that, Judonimh call her “mental ill”.

    He also calls Qaddafi “crazy man” .

    But why blame isolated Qaddafi alone for living his illusions of Libya as a “contented” land of “contented” subjects ?

    Judonimh mirrors this mirage with his own myth of the contented “Arab”.

    In Judonimh’s mythical world of illusions, the Palestinians’ dispossession itself becomes a lucrative process for them .

    The wrenching loss of Palestinian ancestral family homes in Jerusalem becomes the profitable sale of those homes by contented “Arabs” to fairminded, generous handed israelis giving “a lot of money” in return, leaving both parties in a state of bliss.

    In this city of illusions these supposed “sellers” are not even Palestinians anymore !

    Note Judonimh avoids use the name “Palestinian” here, which will only remind us too much of that UTTERLY dispossessed people.

    He uses instead the soothing, lulling, disconnecting, generalizing & effacing name of “Arab”.

    That’s also part of the dePalestinianization of Jerusalem…. the completion of a cityscape of illusions.

    Why then blame Qaddafi alone for taking refuge in Tripoli in his tent of illusions of a contented Libya ?

  11. Dear A. Savage,

    My job is not to judge others or discuss their views. I am just a simple and humble person and surely with an intellectual level infinitely inferior to yours.
    Despite this, nothing and no one will prevent to share my views; I will never give up my will to live in a more just and egalitarian world and find answers to fundamental questions of this world.
    All I can say is that I respect your opinion and other colleagues, because I never believed to be in possession of an absolute truth.
    Let me say, yet, that as a human being who believes in equality and peoples fundamental rights. I'll never be satisfied with a political system that worships power, which is enriched through his status and that puts economic and patriotic interests before those of his people. Political corruption is an attack against its own people. Political terrorism must end.
    I care little about the others opinions. I will always be alongside to those who are suffering, the marginalized and poor. And right now I would rather be in the UNHCR refugee camp in Tunisia, working on food distribution, that wasting time in discussions.

  12. Dear A. Savage,

    My job is not to judge others or discuss their views. I am just a simple and humble person and surely with an intellectual level infinitely inferior to yours.
    Despite this, nothing and no one will prevent to share my views; I will never give up my will to live in a more just and egalitarian world and find answers to fundamental questions of this world.
    All I can say is that I respect your opinion and other colleagues, because I never believed to be in possession of an absolute truth.
    Let me say, yet, that as a human being who believes in equality and peoples fundamental rights. I’ll never be satisfied with a political system that worships power, which is enriched through his status and that puts economic and patriotic interests before those of his people. Political corruption is an attack against its own people. Political terrorism must end.
    I care little about the others opinions. I will always be alongside to those who are suffering, the marginalized and poor. And right now I would rather be in the UNHCR refugee camp in Tunisia, working on food distribution, that wasting time in discussions.

  13. Savage:

    First of all, if you are criticizing me for using the term Arab and Palestinian as synonyms then I am sure you feel that same way when every Arab newspaper and Arab TV station in the world and virtually all Arabs just talking on the street typically refer in Arabic to Israelis as the "Yehudi", i.e. the Jews, and never use the word Israel or Israelis ever at all.

    You expended tons of verbiage but failed completely to defend the racist fascist bigoted Nazi UN resolution that the US vetoed which would have made it illegal for Jews, only because of their because of religion, to buy land in the eastern side of from Arabs. As long as Jerusalem Arabs can legaly buy land in the western side then Jerusalem Jews should be allowed to buy land in the eastern side and any UN resolution that would forbid Jews only from doing this is an example of extreme Nazi racist hatred against Jews because of their religion, pure and simple.

    The fact is, that according to BtSelem, approximately 11,000 people, (last time I added up the figures) total have been killed in the Israel/Palestine conflict since 1987, 24 years, from when the first Intifada broke out, around 1/3 of them Jews, the vast majority of Jewish casualties being unarmed civilians, and about 2/3 of them Palestinian, the majority of Palestinians deaths being either armed fighters or else murdered by other Palestinians for such crimes as selling land to a Jew. That is total for the last 24 years, both sides.

    This Jew/Arab death toll is sad of course and I do hope peace puts an end to suffering on both sides asap, but I note these figures because in the last 2 months alone, Arab governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya have murdered in far larger numbers their own Arab civilians, women, children, than the total causalities from both sides, Arab and Jew combined, of the Israel/Palestine conflict has over the last 24 years.

    As was the case when the Muslim Brotherhood rose in revolt in Hama, Syria in 1982 and the currently ruling Syrian regime suppressed this revolution by killing over 20,000 Syrian Arab civilians in a space of 2 weeks, as eye witnessed by British journalist Robert Fisk.

    As was the case in September 1970, when Palestinians, who make up the vast majority of the population in Jordan rebelled against the phony supposedly royal family that was placed on the throne of Jordan by British colonialists and still rules as absolute monarchs by terror, torture and force to this day.The still to this day in power corrupt Jordanian regime, none of whom have ever been charged with war crimes or brought to justice of any kind, murdered 10,000 Palestinian civilians in the space of THREE DAYS, during Black September 1970.

    These are just a few of many such examples. Over 1 million civilians were killed during the Iran Iraq war in the 80's, with of course no war crimes investigations or international justice of any kind.

    etc. etc, the list goes on and on.

    So the total death toll, both sides combined, of 24 years of Jewish/Palestinian fighting, sad as it is, is like a few weeks work for the typical Arab dictator.

    Your typical murderous satanic corrupt dictator ruling by force and terror alone with zero legitimacy like Kadaffi in Libya or so-called King Hussein of Jordan would not even break a sweat killing this many of their own civilians in a few weeks if they felt their billions of looted stolen money in Swiss banks were ever threatened.

    So comparing the Palestine/Israel conflict to what these sadistic Arab murderers are doing and have done to to their own people is insane and ridiculous and you should be ashamed to even make the comparison.

  14. Savage:

    First of all, if you are criticizing me for using the term Arab and Palestinian as synonyms then I am sure you feel that same way when every Arab newspaper and Arab TV station in the world and virtually all Arabs just talking on the street typically refer in Arabic to Israelis as the “Yehudi”, i.e. the Jews, and never use the word Israel or Israelis ever at all.

    You expended tons of verbiage but failed completely to defend the racist fascist bigoted Nazi UN resolution that the US vetoed which would have made it illegal for Jews, only because of their because of religion, to buy land in the eastern side of from Arabs. As long as Jerusalem Arabs can legaly buy land in the western side then Jerusalem Jews should be allowed to buy land in the eastern side and any UN resolution that would forbid Jews only from doing this is an example of extreme Nazi racist hatred against Jews because of their religion, pure and simple.

    The fact is, that according to BtSelem, approximately 11,000 people, (last time I added up the figures) total have been killed in the Israel/Palestine conflict since 1987, 24 years, from when the first Intifada broke out, around 1/3 of them Jews, the vast majority of Jewish casualties being unarmed civilians, and about 2/3 of them Palestinian, the majority of Palestinians deaths being either armed fighters or else murdered by other Palestinians for such crimes as selling land to a Jew. That is total for the last 24 years, both sides.

    This Jew/Arab death toll is sad of course and I do hope peace puts an end to suffering on both sides asap, but I note these figures because in the last 2 months alone, Arab governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya have murdered in far larger numbers their own Arab civilians, women, children, than the total causalities from both sides, Arab and Jew combined, of the Israel/Palestine conflict has over the last 24 years.

    As was the case when the Muslim Brotherhood rose in revolt in Hama, Syria in 1982 and the currently ruling Syrian regime suppressed this revolution by killing over 20,000 Syrian Arab civilians in a space of 2 weeks, as eye witnessed by British journalist Robert Fisk.

    As was the case in September 1970, when Palestinians, who make up the vast majority of the population in Jordan rebelled against the phony supposedly royal family that was placed on the throne of Jordan by British colonialists and still rules as absolute monarchs by terror, torture and force to this day.The still to this day in power corrupt Jordanian regime, none of whom have ever been charged with war crimes or brought to justice of any kind, murdered 10,000 Palestinian civilians in the space of THREE DAYS, during Black September 1970.

    These are just a few of many such examples. Over 1 million civilians were killed during the Iran Iraq war in the 80′s, with of course no war crimes investigations or international justice of any kind.

    etc. etc, the list goes on and on.

    So the total death toll, both sides combined, of 24 years of Jewish/Palestinian fighting, sad as it is, is like a few weeks work for the typical Arab dictator.

    Your typical murderous satanic corrupt dictator ruling by force and terror alone with zero legitimacy like Kadaffi in Libya or so-called King Hussein of Jordan would not even break a sweat killing this many of their own civilians in a few weeks if they felt their billions of looted stolen money in Swiss banks were ever threatened.

    So comparing the Palestine/Israel conflict to what these sadistic Arab murderers are doing and have done to to their own people is insane and ridiculous and you should be ashamed to even make the comparison.

  15. re: Judo Nimh's repeated comment, "… the racist bigoted fascist nazi UN resolution last week which proposed to declared it illegal for Jews, only because of their religion, to purchase land from Arabs in the West Bank…"

    I just felt his comment should not go un-challenged. The opposition to forced evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem and the settlement of Jewish Israelis into them or the building of Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank is not based on race and bigotry, but international law.

    International law is not based on a person’s race, religion, ethnicity, color, language, sexual orientation or any other personalized attribute.

    Those who would like to know in detail how Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law, please refer to the AI document at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/085/… ‘Israel and the Occupied Territories: The issue of settlements must be addressed according to international law’.

    The conventions and regulations which make it illegal for the State of Israel to manipulate or change the demography or ‘condition’ of occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank or allow it’s private citizens to do so is not based on race or religion so would not say anywhere within the text that ‘a Jew, only because of his religion cannot buy land in eastern Jerusalem’.

    It is legal for someone who is Jewish to buy land within Israel itself, but buying land within territory occupied by Israel is NOT – it is ‘occupied’. While military occupation is legal under int’l law, there are specific rules governing the actions of an occupying power.

    • An occupying power, in this case – Israel, cannot transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies either directly or indirectly (Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention). Statements by different Israeli administrations have stated it is necessary both strategically and security-wise to hold onto the territories and government agencies have been organized to support settlements.

    Government run programs have long provided wide-ranging support for settlements both deemed ‘legal’ and some even deemed ‘illegal’ under domestic Israeli law (‘New support for West Bank outpost’ at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7965503.st… ‘How the state helped right-wing groups settle East Jerusalem’ at http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/ful….

    Israel provides subsidies for housing construction and loans/grants to Israeli citizens to settle in what Israel calls ‘Judea and Samaria’ as well as supporting the requisite infrastructure for water, electricity and transportation (roads). The government also supports settlement education, healthcare and security measures. This is in addition to the protection offered by the Israeli military itself.

    • These actions also violate the provision that an occupying power cannot change the demography or condition of the occupied territory except for the benefit of the population living under that occupation (Article 55 of the Hague Regulations).

    The settlement system, as well as the subsequent population growth within the occupied territories, changes the character, state, demography and nature of the whole area.

    • The 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court includes the transfer of an occupying power’s civilian population, either directly or indirectly, as a war crime.

    These provisos outline how settlement building is illegal under international law, but then there are a slew of additional violations of human rights created by this unequal system in the occupied territories due to discriminatory laws and policies in force.

    Palestinians must follow a confusing, multi-layered system of laws that date back to the Ottoman and British Mandate periods with layers of Israeli military orders added while under occupation. Israeli settlers continue to come under Israel’s legal jurisdiction and a separate set of preferential policies set up for the OPT. For instance, Israeli settlers are allowed to dig wells to a much deeper depth than their Palestinian neighbours. This favours one party over the other for access to water and contributes to the problem of unequal distribution of natural resources based on nationality, religion or ethnicity. That is only one example.

    NOTE: Israel disputes the status of ‘Judea and Samaria’ as occupied territory and believes East and West Jerusalem make up the undivided capital of Israel. No other country, with the exception of Micronesia, supports this view. It is international consensus that East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are occupied territories and Israel is the occupying power and must observe these legal obligations. The international community also does not recognize Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem. ‘Official’ U.S. policy supports this position.

    Also, all members of the United Nations recognize international customary law and principles including the fact that member nations cannot acquire territory through force. The U.S. went to war in 1991 on this principle on behalf of Kuwait against Iraq. I thought it important to make this clear as I repeatedly hear people saying that Israel ‘captured’ or ‘won’ these areas in 1967, completely ignoring this principle. This principle has been repeatedly reaffirmed in various UN Security Council resolutions and the General Assembly’s ‘Friendly Relations Declaration’.

    Israel has the right to take reasonable, necessary and proportionate measures to protect the security of its citizens and its borders and to make changes on the ground in the OPT for the benefit of the inhabitants (Palestinians), but it does not have the right to build settlements and other infrastructure there that not only infringe on Palestinian human rights, but serve as an obstacle to peace negotiations.

    These laws seek to protect those living under occupation, but also to maintain and stabilize areas under occupation until a final negotiation can take place to the satisfaction of both parties. Military occupation, while legal, was intended solely as a temporary military imperative during a time of conflict – a temporary measure, not one that would drag on for decades allowing facts on the ground to be created that would pre-determine a negotiated conclusion.

    Thus, based on int'l law, the character and demography of East Jerusalem should be maintained until negotiations determine it's final status. Facts on the ground should not be created which will predetermine the outcome of the negotiations because it is illegal, not because people are just being bigoted or racist.

  16. re: Judo Nimh's repeated comment, "… the racist bigoted fascist nazi UN resolution last week which proposed to declared it illegal for Jews, only because of their religion, to purchase land from Arabs in the West Bank…"

    I just felt his comment should not go un-challenged. The opposition to forced evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem and the settlement of Jewish Israelis into them or the building of Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank is not based on race and bigotry, but international law.

    International law is not based on a person’s race, religion, ethnicity, color, language, sexual orientation or any other personalized attribute.

    Those who would like to know in detail how Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law, please refer to the AI document at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/085/… ‘Israel and the Occupied Territories: The issue of settlements must be addressed according to international law’.

    The conventions and regulations which make it illegal for the State of Israel to manipulate or change the demography or ‘condition’ of occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank or allow it’s private citizens to do so is not based on race or religion so would not say anywhere within the text that ‘a Jew, only because of his religion cannot buy land in eastern Jerusalem’.

    It is legal for someone who is Jewish to buy land within Israel itself, but buying land within territory occupied by Israel is NOT – it is ‘occupied’. While military occupation is legal under int’l law, there are specific rules governing the actions of an occupying power.

    • An occupying power, in this case – Israel, cannot transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies either directly or indirectly (Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention). Statements by different Israeli administrations have stated it is necessary both strategically and security-wise to hold onto the territories and government agencies have been organized to support settlements.

    Government run programs have long provided wide-ranging support for settlements both deemed ‘legal’ and some even deemed ‘illegal’ under domestic Israeli law (‘New support for West Bank outpost’ at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7965503.st… ‘How the state helped right-wing groups settle East Jerusalem’ at http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/ful….

    Israel provides subsidies for housing construction and loans/grants to Israeli citizens to settle in what Israel calls ‘Judea and Samaria’ as well as supporting the requisite infrastructure for water, electricity and transportation (roads). The government also supports settlement education, healthcare and security measures. This is in addition to the protection offered by the Israeli military itself.

    • These actions also violate the provision that an occupying power cannot change the demography or condition of the occupied territory except for the benefit of the population living under that occupation (Article 55 of the Hague Regulations).

    The settlement system, as well as the subsequent population growth within the occupied territories, changes the character, state, demography and nature of the whole area.

    • The 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court includes the transfer of an occupying power’s civilian population, either directly or indirectly, as a war crime.

    These provisos outline how settlement building is illegal under international law, but then there are a slew of additional violations of human rights created by this unequal system in the occupied territories due to discriminatory laws and policies in force.

    Palestinians must follow a confusing, multi-layered system of laws that date back to the Ottoman and British Mandate periods with layers of Israeli military orders added while under occupation. Israeli settlers continue to come under Israel’s legal jurisdiction and a separate set of preferential policies set up for the OPT. For instance, Israeli settlers are allowed to dig wells to a much deeper depth than their Palestinian neighbours. This favours one party over the other for access to water and contributes to the problem of unequal distribution of natural resources based on nationality, religion or ethnicity. That is only one example.

    NOTE: Israel disputes the status of ‘Judea and Samaria’ as occupied territory and believes East and West Jerusalem make up the undivided capital of Israel. No other country, with the exception of Micronesia, supports this view. It is international consensus that East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are occupied territories and Israel is the occupying power and must observe these legal obligations. The international community also does not recognize Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem. ‘Official’ U.S. policy supports this position.

    Also, all members of the United Nations recognize international customary law and principles including the fact that member nations cannot acquire territory through force. The U.S. went to war in 1991 on this principle on behalf of Kuwait against Iraq. I thought it important to make this clear as I repeatedly hear people saying that Israel ‘captured’ or ‘won’ these areas in 1967, completely ignoring this principle. This principle has been repeatedly reaffirmed in various UN Security Council resolutions and the General Assembly’s ‘Friendly Relations Declaration’.

    Israel has the right to take reasonable, necessary and proportionate measures to protect the security of its citizens and its borders and to make changes on the ground in the OPT for the benefit of the inhabitants (Palestinians), but it does not have the right to build settlements and other infrastructure there that not only infringe on Palestinian human rights, but serve as an obstacle to peace negotiations.

    These laws seek to protect those living under occupation, but also to maintain and stabilize areas under occupation until a final negotiation can take place to the satisfaction of both parties. Military occupation, while legal, was intended solely as a temporary military imperative during a time of conflict – a temporary measure, not one that would drag on for decades allowing facts on the ground to be created that would pre-determine a negotiated conclusion.

    Thus, based on int'l law, the character and demography of East Jerusalem should be maintained until negotiations determine it's final status. Facts on the ground should not be created which will predetermine the outcome of the negotiations because it is illegal, not because people are just being bigoted or racist.

  17. re: Judo Nimh's repeated comment, "… the racist bigoted fascist nazi UN resolution last week which proposed to declared it illegal for Jews, only because of their religion, to purchase land from Arabs in the West Bank…"

    I just felt his comment should not go un-challenged. The opposition to forced evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem and the settlement of Jewish Israelis into them or the building of Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank is not based on race and bigotry, but international law.

    International law is not based on a person’s race, religion, ethnicity, color, language, sexual orientation or any other personalized attribute.

    Those who would like to know in detail how Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law, please refer to the AI document at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/085/… ‘Israel and the Occupied Territories: The issue of settlements must be addressed according to international law’.

    The conventions and regulations which make it illegal for the State of Israel to manipulate or change the demography or ‘condition’ of occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank or allow it’s private citizens to do so is not based on race or religion so would not say anywhere within the text that ‘a Jew, only because of his religion cannot buy land in eastern Jerusalem’.

    It is legal for someone who is Jewish to buy land within Israel itself, but buying land within territory occupied by Israel is NOT – it is ‘occupied’. While military occupation is legal under int’l law, there are specific rules governing the actions of an occupying power.

    • An occupying power, in this case – Israel, cannot transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies either directly or indirectly (Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention). Statements by different Israeli administrations have stated it is necessary both strategically and security-wise to hold onto the territories and government agencies have been organized to support settlements.

    Government run programs have long provided wide-ranging support for settlements both deemed ‘legal’ and some even deemed ‘illegal’ under domestic Israeli law (‘New support for West Bank outpost’ at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7965503.st… ‘How the state helped right-wing groups settle East Jerusalem’ at http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/ful….

    Israel provides subsidies for housing construction and loans/grants to Israeli citizens to settle in what Israel calls ‘Judea and Samaria’ as well as supporting the requisite infrastructure for water, electricity and transportation (roads). The government also supports settlement education, healthcare and security measures. This is in addition to the protection offered by the Israeli military itself.

    • These actions also violate the provision that an occupying power cannot change the demography or condition of the occupied territory except for the benefit of the population living under that occupation (Article 55 of the Hague Regulations).

    The settlement system, as well as the subsequent population growth within the occupied territories, changes the character, state, demography and nature of the whole area.

    • The 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court includes the transfer of an occupying power’s civilian population, either directly or indirectly, as a war crime.

    These provisos outline how settlement building is illegal under international law, but then there are a slew of additional violations of human rights created by this unequal system in the occupied territories due to discriminatory laws and policies in force.

    Palestinians must follow a confusing, multi-layered system of laws that date back to the Ottoman and British Mandate periods with layers of Israeli military orders added while under occupation. Israeli settlers continue to come under Israel’s legal jurisdiction and a separate set of preferential policies set up for the OPT. For instance, Israeli settlers are allowed to dig wells to a much deeper depth than their Palestinian neighbours. This favours one party over the other for access to water and contributes to the problem of unequal distribution of natural resources based on nationality, religion or ethnicity. That is only one example.

    NOTE: Israel disputes the status of ‘Judea and Samaria’ as occupied territory and believes East and West Jerusalem make up the undivided capital of Israel. No other country, with the exception of Micronesia, supports this view. It is international consensus that East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are occupied territories and Israel is the occupying power and must observe these legal obligations. The international community also does not recognize Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem. ‘Official’ U.S. policy supports this position.

    Also, all members of the United Nations recognize international customary law and principles including the fact that member nations cannot acquire territory through force. The U.S. went to war in 1991 on this principle on behalf of Kuwait against Iraq. I thought it important to make this clear as I repeatedly hear people saying that Israel ‘captured’ or ‘won’ these areas in 1967, completely ignoring this principle. This principle has been repeatedly reaffirmed in various UN Security Council resolutions and the General Assembly’s ‘Friendly Relations Declaration’.

    Israel has the right to take reasonable, necessary and proportionate measures to protect the security of its citizens and its borders and to make changes on the ground in the OPT for the benefit of the inhabitants (Palestinians), but it does not have the right to build settlements and other infrastructure there that not only infringe on Palestinian human rights, but serve as an obstacle to peace negotiations.

    These laws seek to protect those living under occupation, but also to maintain and stabilize areas under occupation until a final negotiation can take place to the satisfaction of both parties. Military occupation, while legal, was intended solely as a temporary military imperative during a time of conflict – a temporary measure, not one that would drag on for decades allowing facts on the ground to be created that would pre-determine a negotiated conclusion.

    Thus, based on int'l law, the character and demography of East Jerusalem should be maintained until negotiations determine it's final status. Facts on the ground should not be created which will predetermine the outcome of the negotiations because it is illegal, not because people are just being bigoted or racist.

  18. re: Judo Nimh’s repeated comment, “… the racist bigoted fascist nazi UN resolution last week which proposed to declared it illegal for Jews, only because of their religion, to purchase land from Arabs in the West Bank…”

    I just felt his comment should not go un-challenged. The opposition to forced evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem and the settlement of Jewish Israelis into them or the building of Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank is not based on race and bigotry, but international law.

    International law is not based on a person’s race, religion, ethnicity, color, language, sexual orientation or any other personalized attribute.

    Those who would like to know in detail how Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law, please refer to the AI document at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/085/2003/en, ‘Israel and the Occupied Territories: The issue of settlements must be addressed according to international law’.

    The conventions and regulations which make it illegal for the State of Israel to manipulate or change the demography or ‘condition’ of occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank or allow it’s private citizens to do so is not based on race or religion so would not say anywhere within the text that ‘a Jew, only because of his religion cannot buy land in eastern Jerusalem’.

    It is legal for someone who is Jewish to buy land within Israel itself, but buying land within territory occupied by Israel is NOT – it is ‘occupied’. While military occupation is legal under int’l law, there are specific rules governing the actions of an occupying power.

    • An occupying power, in this case – Israel, cannot transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies either directly or indirectly (Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention). Statements by different Israeli administrations have stated it is necessary both strategically and security-wise to hold onto the territories and government agencies have been organized to support settlements.

    Government run programs have long provided wide-ranging support for settlements both deemed ‘legal’ and some even deemed ‘illegal’ under domestic Israeli law (‘New support for West Bank outpost’ at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7965503.stm; ‘How the state helped right-wing groups settle East Jerusalem’ at http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/full-haaretz-expose-how-the-state-helped-right-wing-groups-settle-east-jerusalem-1.323312).

    Israel provides subsidies for housing construction and loans/grants to Israeli citizens to settle in what Israel calls ‘Judea and Samaria’ as well as supporting the requisite infrastructure for water, electricity and transportation (roads). The government also supports settlement education, healthcare and security measures. This is in addition to the protection offered by the Israeli military itself.

    • These actions also violate the provision that an occupying power cannot change the demography or condition of the occupied territory except for the benefit of the population living under that occupation (Article 55 of the Hague Regulations).

    The settlement system, as well as the subsequent population growth within the occupied territories, changes the character, state, demography and nature of the whole area.

    • The 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court includes the transfer of an occupying power’s civilian population, either directly or indirectly, as a war crime.

    These provisos outline how settlement building is illegal under international law, but then there are a slew of additional violations of human rights created by this unequal system in the occupied territories due to discriminatory laws and policies in force.

    Palestinians must follow a confusing, multi-layered system of laws that date back to the Ottoman and British Mandate periods with layers of Israeli military orders added while under occupation. Israeli settlers continue to come under Israel’s legal jurisdiction and a separate set of preferential policies set up for the OPT. For instance, Israeli settlers are allowed to dig wells to a much deeper depth than their Palestinian neighbours. This favours one party over the other for access to water and contributes to the problem of unequal distribution of natural resources based on nationality, religion or ethnicity. That is only one example.

    NOTE: Israel disputes the status of ‘Judea and Samaria’ as occupied territory and believes East and West Jerusalem make up the undivided capital of Israel. No other country, with the exception of Micronesia, supports this view. It is international consensus that East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are occupied territories and Israel is the occupying power and must observe these legal obligations. The international community also does not recognize Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem. ‘Official’ U.S. policy supports this position.

    Also, all members of the United Nations recognize international customary law and principles including the fact that member nations cannot acquire territory through force. The U.S. went to war in 1991 on this principle on behalf of Kuwait against Iraq. I thought it important to make this clear as I repeatedly hear people saying that Israel ‘captured’ or ‘won’ these areas in 1967, completely ignoring this principle. This principle has been repeatedly reaffirmed in various UN Security Council resolutions and the General Assembly’s ‘Friendly Relations Declaration’.

    Israel has the right to take reasonable, necessary and proportionate measures to protect the security of its citizens and its borders and to make changes on the ground in the OPT for the benefit of the inhabitants (Palestinians), but it does not have the right to build settlements and other infrastructure there that not only infringe on Palestinian human rights, but serve as an obstacle to peace negotiations.

    These laws seek to protect those living under occupation, but also to maintain and stabilize areas under occupation until a final negotiation can take place to the satisfaction of both parties. Military occupation, while legal, was intended solely as a temporary military imperative during a time of conflict – a temporary measure, not one that would drag on for decades allowing facts on the ground to be created that would pre-determine a negotiated conclusion.

    Thus, based on int’l law, the character and demography of East Jerusalem should be maintained until negotiations determine it’s final status. Facts on the ground should not be created which will predetermine the outcome of the negotiations because it is illegal, not because people are just being bigoted or racist.