Archive for June 4th, 2015

04/06/2015

A Warning against Kaplan’s Argument That “It’s Time to Bring Imperialism Back to the Middle East”

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung and Naakow Hayford*

3 June 2015 (TRANSCEND Media Service) — There is much to agree with Robert D. Kaplan’s 25 May 2015 publication in Foreign Policy in his well-informed analysis.  And very much to disagree with, especially his wrong remedy.

Source: Arab League | Wikimedia Commons

Source: Arab League | Wikimedia Commons

Kaplan ascribes the present “chaos” –as if major changes can be orderly or take place under old much praised “order” and “stability”– to the break-down of imperialisms, in plural, starting with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918.

And he manages the incredible: not a single word about who gave them that death blow: Sykes-Picot, UK-France, helped by czarist Russia. Analysis?

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04/06/2015

The 2014 War on Gaza – ‘Not A Single Home Has Been Rebuilt’

Human Wrongs Watch

Nearly eight months after the ceasefire that ended the most recent hostilities in the Gaza Strip, not a single destroyed home has been rebuilt in the enclave, the United Nations agency mandated with ensuring the well-being of Palestine refugees reported six weeks ago. Now the United Nations has announced that UN-backed project is to provide hundreds of new housing units to Palestine refugees in Gaza.

UNRWA says almost eight months after the announcement of the ceasefire, not a single totally destroyed home has been rebuilt in Gaza. Photo: UNRWA Archives

UNRWA says almost eight months after the announcement of the ceasefire, not a single totally destroyed home has been rebuilt in Gaza. Photo: UNRWA Archives

“To date 9,161 Palestine refugee houses have been considered totally destroyed and 5,066 have suffered severe, 4,085 major and 124,782 minor damages,” on 23 April 2015 said Chris Gunness, spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).*

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04/06/2015

Non-Proliferation Treaty: Nuclear Weapons and Tension Areas

Human Wrongs Watch

By Rene Wadlow*

2 June 2015 (TRANSCEND Media Service) – As Winston Churchill once quipped “God so loved the world that he did not send a committee”.

nuclear symbol

The Drafting Committee of the Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was unable to draft an “outcome document” or as it is sometimes called “a final statement”.

Even with the last-days efforts of the President, Ambassador Taous Feroukhi of Algeria and the UN Disarmament Secretariat to smooth over the rough edges of the document by weakening all the controversial wording, there was no possible meeting of minds.

In the end, the USA, UK, and Canada refused to accept the final document citing the paragraph proposing a nuclear-weapon free zone in the Middle East.

Since there has been no visible progress on the reduction of nuclear weapons through negotiations among the nuclear-weapon States − the USA and the Russian Federation hold some 95% of them − efforts have been made to make legally-binding nuclear-weapon free zones.

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04/06/2015

Wikileaks Releases ‘Largest’ Trove of Docs Exposing Secret TiSA Trade Deal

Human Wrongs Watch

3 June 2015 (RT)* – WikiLeaks has published 17 secret documents related to a controversial trade agreement currently being negotiated behind closed doors between the US, EU and 23 WTO members. NGO Global Justice Now called the leak “a dark day for democracy.”

A screenshot from https://wikileaks.org/tisa/

A screenshot from https://wikileaks.org/tisa | Source: RT

The documents released by the transparency group are allegedly associated with TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) negotiations, which have been taking place in secret since early 2013.

The participants of the talks include 24 WTO members, such as the US, EU and other countries including Turkey, Mexico, Australia, Pakistan and Israel.

According to WikiLeaks, the economies of the member countries now comprise two-thirds of global GDP.

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04/06/2015

UK: National Union of Students Executive Committee Votes to Boycott Israeli Goods

Human Wrongs Watch

3 June 2015 (RT)*The National Union of Students (NUS) has passed a motion to boycott Israeli goods in solidarity with the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to exert economic pressure on Israel over its actions in Palestinian territory.

**Photo: Destroyed house in Gaza City, December 2012 | diario fotográfico 'desde Palestina', photographer | Source: http://www.desde-palestina.blogspot.de/2012/12/al-dalou.html https://menareport.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/b748b-_mg_5375.jpg | Wikimedia Commons

**Photo: Destroyed house in Gaza City, December 2012 | diario fotográfico ‘desde Palestina’, photographer | Wikimedia Commons

The motion – an amendment of an original titled “Solidarity with Palestine” – was passed Tuesday with 19 votes in favor, 14 against and 1 abstention by the union’s elected national executive committee.

The motion was scheduled to be debated at the NUS annual conference in April, but was postponed due to a shortage of conference time.

The Solidarity with Palestine movement is designed to put economic pressure on Israel to change its policy and acknowledge its actions in Gaza.

During the summer of 2014, Israel’s Operation Protective Edge caused the death of more than 2,000 Palestinians.

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04/06/2015

Anniversary of Sorrow Marked with Gaza’s Largest Mass wedding

‘Mass jubilation as 2,000 young couples are wed in a ceremony sponsored by the Turkish state agency, “Tika”‘

A total of 4000 men and women wed in a mass wedding ceremony in Gaza on 31st May 2015 (MEE/Mohammed Asad)

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It was not the typical sight of crowds setting out in a funeral procession to lay Gaza’s latest dead to rest, as has so often been the case in past years.

Nor was it an angry crowd demanding the end of the Israeli siege on the Strip. This crowd was celebrating a mass wedding involving 2000 brides and 2000 grooms, an event which dwarfed the mass wedding of 400 Palestinians that had taken place in Gaza just a month before and which had been funded by the UAE and supported by the wife of Mohammed Dahlan.

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