Saturday, August 18, 2012

For first time, US State Department defines settler violence as terrorism

“A report by the U.S. State Department defines, for the first time, violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers in the West Bank as acts of terrorism.
The Country Reports on Terrorism, which under U.S. law is produced annually by the State Department and presented to the U.S. Congress, was published two weeks ago. It contained a chapter on Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. 
A section of the report entitled "Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism" addressed so-called "price-tag" attacks, which are committed primarily against Palestinians and their property by West Bank settlers.”

Sunday, August 12, 2012

حقوق الإنسان

خطأ كبير أن نقول: أن تعطينا الدولة حقوقنا. الدولة لا "تعطي" أو "تمنح" حقوق. بل، إن الدولة يجب عليها أن تكون حامية أو ضامنة لحقوق الإنسان.

حقوق الإنسان هي عبارة عن قيم ملازمة لشخص الإنسان لكونه إنسان. أي تلازمه منذ لحظة ولادته حياً، بصفته إنسان. فالدولة لا تعطي أو تمنح حقوق الإنسان للإنسان، وإنما يقتصر دورها فقط على ضمانها وحمايتها وتجريم انتهاكها بالقانون - وسواء أُنتُهِكت من قِبل الدولة نفسها أو من قِبل الأفراد.
ضمن حقوق الإنسان، توجد حقوق يمكن تقييد ممارستها لأسباب شرعية معينة. في حين، توجد حقوق لا يمكن ولا يجوز أن يتم تقييدها تحت أي ظرف من الظروف، مثل الحق في الحياة والحق في الحرية من التعذيب وغيره من أشكال المعاملة أو العقوبة القاسية أو الحاطة من الكرامة الإنسانية.

بالرغم من الخلاف حول مدى الزاميته القانونية، إلا أن الاعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان كان من أكثر الوثائق صعوبة من حيث الوصول إلى الشكل الذي رسى عليه بسبب اختلاف الايديولوجيات حول مفهوم حقوق الإنسان بين المعسكرين الغربي والشرقي.

حتى الشركات متعددة الجنسيات تلعب دور كبير في انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان، ومعظمها تذهب بدون عقاب. عليها مسؤولية أن تحترم حقوق الإنسان وتعززها.

Twitter: @GabrielHelou

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olmert refused 2007 invite to address Arab League

“During his term as prime minister, Ehud Olmert rejected an invitation by former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and other Arab leaders to address an Arab League convention…”

الدول الديمقراطية تعاني من انفصام شخصية

لاحظوا أن معظم الدول القوية هي ديمقراطية، وهي قوية لأنها ديمقراطية. لكن في نفس الوقت، هي ديكتاتورية خارجياً - أي في علاقاتها الدولية. فديمقراطيتها تقتصر على الداخل فقط. لديها شخصيتين.

Twitter: @GabrielHelou

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Polls Underline Stubborn Splits in 3 Key States

Election 2012: Polls Underline Stubborn Splits in 3 Key States: Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin

“The latest polls underscore just how tight the race continues to be, with the candidates running closely in Virginia and Colorado and Mr. Obama leading in Wisconsin, though not by his double-digit margin of victory in 2008. Mr. Obama won all three states in 2008.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

USA: Texas man due to be executed despite evidence of mental disability

“The Texas authorities should commute the death sentence of a prisoner assessed as having a mental disability but facing execution in under a week, Amnesty International said today. 

Marvin Wilson, a 54-year-old African American man, is due to be put to death by lethal injection on 7 August for a murder committed in 1992. A clinical neuropsychologist has concluded that he has “mental retardation”. 

A decade ago, in Atkins v. Virginia, the US Supreme Court prohibited the execution of offenders with “mental retardation”, but left it up to the individual states as to how to comply with the ruling.”

النظام الحاكم والدولة والشعب

يجب أن نميّز دائماً بين النظام الحاكم من جهة، وبين الدولة والشعب من جهة أخرى. النظام شيء، والدولة والشعب شيء آخر. وفي أي تحرك دولي، يجب أن نفرق أو نميّز دائماً اذا ما كان يستهدف النظام بعينه، أو الدولة والشعب. إن أخطر شيء هو عندما يستهدف التحرك الدولي الدولة والشعب بذريعة استهداف أو الوقوف ضد نظام معين.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Israeli Settlements under the Rome Statute of the ICC

Israeli Settlements under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Since the beginning of its occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967, Israel, the Occupying Power, has officially adopted, supported and financed a policy of settling parts of its civilian population in those areas, under the pretext of maintaining its security.

Moreover, it has encouraged the “unofficial” building of settlements, in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, through what it refers to as “illegal outposts”. Those outposts are built by Jewish groups without the prior consent or permission of the Israeli Government. However, they eventually obtain retro-active permits as well as all sort of facilities.

This direct and indirect settling of Jews in the abovementioned areas is in breach of the international law, because the occupation itself is at the outset illegal under Article 2/4 of the Charter of the United Nations, and it further constitutes a war crime according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC)[*]. Article 8/2/b/viii of the Statute states: “The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own population into the territory it occupies…”

These facts give rise to two questions: How to hold the perpetrators – as war criminals – accountable before the ICC? Who can refer this situation to the ICC?

This situation is worthy of a careful scrutiny as Israel, the Occupying Power, is not Party to the Statute and thus, in principle, is not bound by it. Consequently, the International Criminal Court cannot exercise jurisdiction over Israeli nationals.

In order to answer the raised the questions, we first must specify the competent parties to refer situations before the ICC. Pursuant to Article 13 of the Rome Statute, a State Party, the Security Council or the Prosecutor is empowered to bring cases before the Court.

However, in the case of a referral by a State Party or the Prosecutor initiates an investigation, the conduct in question must have occurred on the territory of a State Party or the State of the accused person must be a State Party, in compliance with Article 12/2 of the Statute, or otherwise, each can accept the jurisdiction of the Court, on an ad hoc basis, in accordance with Article 12/3 of the Statute.

As a matter of fact, neither Palestine, nor Israel, is a State Party. Palestine cannot accede to the Rome Statute, nor accept the jurisdiction of the Court, since it is not a State. Therefore, it cannot refer the situation of settlements – as a war crime – to the ICC. Israel has only signed the Statute but has not yet ratified it. However, Israel can accept the jurisdiction of the Court, in conformity with Article 12/3, but it is not expected to do so, so as to give the Court jurisdiction over its own nationals.

Some may invoke the power of all States Parties to the Statute to refer situations to the ICC, even if the crime was not committed on their territories or the accused person is not one of their nationals. This is true. But in the case before us, the Israeli settlements – as a war crime – it would have been possible only if either Palestine or Israel were a State Party.

The only exception to this situation is a referral by the United Nations Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, in accordance with Article 13/b of the Rome Statute, whether the State where the conduct was committed or of the accused person is a State Party or not. In other words, the Security Council has the power to refer any situation to the Court without any restrictions, i.e.: the limitations set forth by Article 12/2 of the Statute.

In conclusion, it is impossible for Palestine or the Prosecutor to bring the situation of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank – as a war crime – before the International Criminal Court. The only and last resort is therefore the Security Council, by a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, according to the Rome Statute.

Gabriel Helou

Twitter: @GabrielHelou    

[*] Rome Statute is a multilateral treaty establishing the International Criminal Court, adopted and signed on 17 July 1998, and came into force on 1 July 2002.

"إجراءات إحالة المتهمين إلى المحكمة الجنائية الدولية" (الاستيطان = جريمة حرب)

دراسة: "إجراءات إحالة المتهمين إلى المحكمة الجنائية الدولية" (الاستيطان = جريمة حرب)

إعداد: جابي حلو
سنة: 2009

Twitter: @GabrielHelou

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

النائب العام يأمر بالتحقيق فى بلاغ يكشف تفاصيل اغتيال عمر سليمان

"أحال النائب العام المستشار الدكتور عبد المجيد محمود بلاغاً تقدم به محمد فريد زكريا، رئيس حزب أحرار الثورة، إلى المكتب الفنى، للتحقيق فيه، والذى يتهم فيه الرئيس الأمريكى باراك أوباما والسفيرة الأمريكية فى القاهرة ورئيس المخابرات الأمريكية، ويتهم الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية باغتيال اللواء عمرسليمان، نائب رئيس الجمهورية ورئيس جهاز المخابرات العامة السابق، فى أمريكا."

Pro-Palestinian Ads Ignite Firestorm Of Controversy

Pro-Palestinian ads ignite firestorm of controversy

US and human rights

For the United States, criticizing its allies for human rights violations is a taboo.