Benjamin Netanyahu says Germany’s foreign minister wouldn’t take his call after the Israeli prime minister canceled talks

@flipboard | Official Flipboard account

Source: Benjamin Netanyahu says Germany’s foreign minister wouldn’t take his call after the Israeli prime minister canceled talks HE IS A RIGHT THICKO NETANYAHU.HE CANCELS THE TALKS THEN HE RINGS TO TALK!GOD BLESS YOU NETANYAHU TALK TO YOUR GOD MAYBE HE ,SHE ,OR IT ,CAN TALK AND EXPLAIN THE SIMPLE LOGIC OF NOT TALKING MEANS NOT TALKING .

Thousands Of Israelis Take To The Streets Calling For Palestinian Genocide:”Ignore Courts, Just Kill Palestinians all! – News

Source: Thousands Of Israelis Take To The Streets Calling For Palestinian Genocide:”Ignore Courts, Just Kill Palestinians all! –  News NOT TRUE, I MEAN OUR SELFCONFESSED ZIONIST JEWISH BLOGGER IS FOREVER TELLING US THAT THE ISRAELI ZIONISTS ARE COMPASSIONATE CARING PEOPLE AND THE PALESTNIANS ARE A BUNCH OF NASTY MUSLIMS 

WHY JEREMY CORBYN WILL BE THE UK,S NEXT PRIME MINISTER.

Roger Cole: Why Jeremy Corbyn will be the UK’s next prime minister

Labour leader will displace Theresa May because he leads a movement, not just a party

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “A Corbyn-led Labour is now far closer to the values of Connolly than the current Irish Labour Party.” Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “A Corbyn-led Labour is now far closer to the values of Connolly than the current Irish Labour Party.” Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

The last time British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn Ireland visited Ireland was 2009, to attend an international peace conference in Shannon organised by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (Pana). The Irish Times agreed to publish an article by the alliance, but due to production constraints it left out the closing paragraph, which stated: “Pana has, over the last 20 years, developed strong links with British CND, Scottish CND and CND Cymru. They represent all that is best among the British, Scottish and Welsh people. It is their values and their vision that gives hope for the possibility of a great future for the UK shorn of its imperial culture either in what remains of the British empire or the emerging European empire.”

Corbyn has, for his entire political life, been a supporter of CND and its values. He was re-elected Labour leader not because he is a decent, honest and humble man (which he is) but because he leads a movement, not just a political party.

It is a movement that wants, among other things, a real national health service (the greatest achievement of the historic 1945 Labour government), rather than the continuation of Britain’s imperial tradition of a commitment to perpetual war and the renewal of the Trident nuclear programme as advocated by the current ruling parties of Tories and New Labour. If Corbyn becomes prime minister it will be because of a deep and fundamental change in the values of the British people.

Neoliberal corporate media

So can that happen? The prime minster, Theresa May, has made it clear she is prepared to kill millions of people with the Trident missile system. She will no doubt have the total support of the war-loving neoliberal corporate media. Current polls show that in an election she would win relatively easily. So what would Corbyn have to do to defeat the Tories?

First, he has to become the undisputed leader of Labour and his second victory will go a long way to achieving that. The Blairites will split, some will retire, some will accept the result, some will join the Tories or the Liberal Democrats and some might even form a new party. Whatever happens, Corbyn’s party, already 600,000 strong (the Tories have 150,000 members) will continue to grow, creating a major door-knocking organisation that will, along with social media, undermine the power of the war-loving neoliberal corporate media.

While the internal attacks on Corbyn will not end, the marginalisation of the Blairites will accelerate and consolidate the unification of Labour under Corbyn in its fight against the Tories.

Corbyn’s decision to accept the democratic decision of the British people to reject membership of the emerging European empire and its emerging European army has been crystal clear. It is a decision that will go a long way to regaining the support of those voters who shifted to Ukip.

In Scotland, the SNP will more than likely continue to dominate, but would be far less antagonistic to a Corbyn-led Labour. If they work together in the first-past-the-post system, they could put the final nail in the coffin of Tory Scotland and maximise the number of MPs for both parties. After all, with a Corbyn-led government, the SNP understand that it is their best chance of a second independence referendum.

Concentration of wealth

While there is no doubt that decades of Thatcher/Blair senseless warmongering and neoliberalism remains popular, especially among those that benefited from it imperial values, the sustained attacks on the social system, the massive and growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a small number of billionaires is losing its appeal among a growing number of ordinary people. They would prefer a more equitable taxation system, a better-funded NHS and an end to perpetual war. And why not?

These are the values of people throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland, Labour membership has increased from 300 to 3,000. It would be ironic if it now had more members than the Labour Party in the Republic. A Corbyn-led Labour is now far closer to the values of Connolly than the current Irish Labour Party. Perhaps under leader Brendan Howlin, the latter might consider returning to its roots. Let us hope so.

So, will Corbyn become the next British prime minister? It is now a realistic option. The Tories and their grammar-school prime minister (who supported the Iraq war) have been around long enough. The British people may decide that even if they do not support everything Corbyn stands for, they will agree to a change – in practice more of a Harold Wilson than a Clement Atlee transformation.

Anyway, I put a bet on that the Brexit side would triumph in the recent referendum. My only regret now is that I did not put more money on it. Come the British election I will not make that mistake again: my money is on Corbyn.

Roger Cole is chair of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance

HOW THE BIBLE BELT LOST GOD AND FOUND TRUMP

Add to myFT

How the Bible Belt lost God and found Trump, Oh and how maurice finds this man to be a winner,they have so much in common.

He’s a divorced adulterer who ran a gambling empire, so how did America’s Moral Majority get so evangelical about Donald Trump?

I went down to Alabama a few weeks ago and had a religious experience. A man of God welcomed me into his home, poured us both cups of English tea and talked about what has been happening to Jesus Christ in the land of Donald Tr.

My host was Wayne Flynt, an Alabaman who has made the people of the southern US his life’s work. A 76-year-old emeritus professor of history at Auburn University, he has written empathetically about his region in books such as Poor But Proud. A Baptist minister, he still teaches Sunday school at his church and delivered the eulogy at last year’s funeral of his friend Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

I took my place in the book-lined study of Flynt’s redwood house in Auburn, Alabama, to hear his thoughts on the local economy, but the conversation turned to a central mystery of US politics. Trump would not be president without the strong support of the folks Flynt has chronicled — white residents of the Bible Belt, raised in the do-it-yourself religious traditions that distinguish the US from Europe. I wondered how a thrice-married former casino owner — who had been recorded bragging about grabbing women by the genitals — had won over the faithful.

Flynt’s answer is that his people are changing. The words of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, are less central to their thinking and behaviour, he says. Church is less compelling. Marriage is less important. Reading from a severely abridged Bible, their political concerns have narrowed down to abortion and issues involving homosexuality. Their faith, he says, has been put in a president who embodies an unholy trinity of materialism, hedonism and narcissism. Trump’s victory, in this sense, is less an expression of the old-time religion than evidence of a move away from it.

“The 2016 election laid out graphically what is in essence the loss of Christian America,” Flynt says, delivering his verdict with a calm assurance that reminded me of Lee’s hero, Atticus Finch, as played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 film of her novel.

“Arguably, what has constituted white evangelical Christian morality for 200 years no longer matters, which is to say we’re now a lot like Germany, a lot like France, a lot like England, a lot like the Netherlands, and what we have is a sort of late-stage Christian afterglow.”

Wayne Flynt photographed by Cary Norton for the FT

The irony is that evangelicals turned to politics to prevent that very outcome. Fearing that so-called secular humanists would impose a moral order of their own through government action, born-again Christians began flocking to the polls in the late 1970s. Their impact was undeniable. They were the shock troops of the Reagan Revolution of 1980. They rescued Trump last year after many political analysts had counted him out, reckoning that the changing demographics of the US had made a white conservative like him unelectable.

When the Christian right burst to prominence, its calls to defend the unborn were a rallying cry. But unyielding opposition to abortion was not a traditional evangelical position. In 1971 — two years before the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision legalising abortion — the evangelical Southern Baptist Convention, the largest US Protestant denomination, endorsed abortion in cases of rape, incest, “severe” foetal deformity or where there was “the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental and physical health of the mother”. As recently as 1976, it said it believed government should play a “limited role” on abortion matters.

Abortion only became a leading concern of the religious right when the late firebrand Jerry Falwell and other leaders of the Moral Majority seized upon the issue towards the end of the 1970s. In the decades that followed it became a sure-fire way to mobilise conservatives unmoored by a variety of political and social changes that followed from the 1960s — ranging from federal efforts to take away tax breaks from racially segregated Christian schools to movements promoting the rights of women and homosexuals. (“God made Adam and Eve,” Falwell liked to say, “not Adam and Steve.”)

By any measure, Trump was an odd vessel for evangelical hopes. He had described himself in the past as pro-choice. When he was growing up, his parents took him to church in New York, but it was one presided over by Norman Vincent Peale, a non-traditional pastor who wrote the 1952 bestseller, The Power of Positive Thinking. Before he married any of his three wives, all of whom are still alive, Trump spent the early years of the culture wars taking in the scene at the Studio 54 disco in Manhattan, where he told a biographer he once watched seven “well-known supermodels getting screwed on a bench in the middle of the room”.

Trump supporters © Getty

Trump also had a long history — before business reversals prompted his exit — in casino gambling, an industry that evangelicals ostensibly abhor. As recently as 2014, the Southern Baptists condemned government-sponsored casinos and lotteries, saying they “promote and perpetuate the mentality of getting something for nothing, which is contrary to scripture and replaces biblical teachings of working for a living”.

Trump’s efforts to reach evangelicals during the campaign were marred by technical difficulties. After an appearance at Liberty University in Virginia, which was founded by Falwell, Trump was lampooned for quoting from a section of the Bible he called “Two Corinthians”, rather than “Second Corinthians”, as would customarily be done. Ultimately, Liberty University split over Trump. Its current president, Jerry Falwell Jr, endorsed his candidacy. But Mark DeMoss, a member of the university’s board of trustees and a former chief of staff for the elder Falwell, objected and resigned as a trustee. In a Washington Post interview last year, DeMoss described Trump’s rhetoric as antithetical to Christian values.

“Donald Trump is the only candidate who has dealt almost exclusively in the politics of personal insult,” DeMoss said. “The bullying tactics of personal insult have no defence — and certainly not for anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ. That’s what’s disturbing to so many people. It’s not [the] Christ-like behaviour that Liberty has spent 40 years promoting with its students.”

Nonetheless, Trump was backed by 81 per cent of white voters who identified themselves as evangelical Christians, more than recent Republican candidates such as Mitt Romney and John McCain, according to the Pew Research Center, and more even than George W Bush, whose strategist Karl Rove made wooing them a priority of the campaign. Analysts say Trump made evangelicals an offer that they could not refuse. Unlike his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton — who was both disliked by conservatives and uncompromising in her support of a woman’s right to choose — Trump pledged to appoint an anti-abortion justice to fill the vacancy on a Supreme Court that was split between conservatives and liberals.

The white evangelical flight to Trump has caused “deep heartbreak” for “evangelicals of colour” who see him as a bigot, says Jim Wallis, a progressive evangelical leader in Washington. “It’s the most painful divide I have seen in the churches since the beginning of the civil rights movement.”

© Bloomberg

But white evangelicals appear to be getting what they wanted from their man in the White House. President Trump quickly filled the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of conservative Antonin Scalia with Neil Gorsuch, a jurist revered on the religious right who was confirmed by the Senate this month. Even as Trump’s approval ratings were falling below 50 per cent in national surveys, 74 per cent of white evangelical Protestants viewed him favourably in a poll conducted in mid-February by a PRRI, a non-partisan group that specialises on research on religious matters.

One such admirer is David Jeremiah, a Southern Baptist pastor in El Cajon, California, who hosts a 30-minute radio programme, called Turning Point, heard on 2,200 stations around the world. “It’s still all about the Supreme Court,” he wrote recently. “President Trump told the American people that he would nominate a Supreme Court justice in the mould of Scalia. In Judge Gorsuch, a strict originalist, he has succeeded marvellously and honoured his promise to evangelicals.”

But that’s not the way things look at the house on a hill in Auburn, Alabama, where Wayne Flynt lives with his wife of 55 years, Dorothy. As evangelical Christianity has grown more successful in the political realm, Flynt fears that it has been reduced to a sum of its slogans. Lost in the transition, he says, is the traditional evangelical standard for sizing up candidates — “personal moral character”, which includes such criteria as marital fidelity, church attendance and kindness.

“No one I know of would argue that Donald Trump inculcates moral character,” Flynt says. “What has happened to American Christianity is there is this afterglow of what a candidate is supposed to represent. It’s no longer moral character. It’s policy positions on things that bother evangelicals.”

Flynt says evangelical Christians are mainly mobilising against the sins they either do not want to commit (homosexual acts) or cannot commit (undergoing an abortion, in the case of men). They turn a blind eye toward temptations such as adultery and divorce that interest them. In 2010, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution calling the rising incidence of divorce among its members a “scandal”. A Pew Research Center study in 2015 found that evangelical Protestants in the US were more likely to be divorced or separated than Catholics, Jews, Muslims or atheists.

Pastor Joshua Nink (right) prays for Donald Trump as Melania watches © AP

“Jesus says four times in four different places: do not divorce,” Flynt says. “Does divorce bother evangelicals? No, absolutely not. Does adultery bother evangelicals? No, not really, because if so they wouldn’t have voted for Donald Trump. So what bothers them? Abortion and same-sex marriage. Beyond that, there’s no longer an agenda.”

Flynt, who left the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979 to protest its turn to the right, notes ruefully that his former denomination has lost members for nine years in a row.

Into this religious void, he believes, stepped Trump, an unabashed materialist and hedonist — “What is right to Donald Trump is what gives him pleasure,” Flynt says — who thinks that he alone can make America great again.

“To be sure, every politician has some element of narcissism, but he has perfected narcissism, he has made it the supreme element of his life, and not only that, evangelicals have responded in an almost messianic way that he is the saviour, which makes him feel really good because he does believe he is the saviour,” Flynt says. “It is kind of curious evangelicals would not be offended by this. I am as an American Christian. I’m offended because I already thought following Jesus was going to make us great again.”

I did not have much to offer in response because I am not a Christian, or a religious person in a formal sense. My paternal grandfather used to call my father a “cardiac Jew”, meaning he felt the religion in his heart, but did not follow its rules, and the same could be said of me. If we do need help to become great again, I’m not sure who, or what, is going to get it done.

But I do know that it felt good to spend some time with Flynt. For all his talk about the loss of Christian America, I came away from our conversation with the faith that I had found at least a little piece of it in the Flynt home in eastern Alabama.

Even the design of the room where we met left me with that impression. When Flynt and his wife decided to add a study to their house a few years ago, he wanted as much space as possible for his books. But Dorothy dreamt of a spot where she could look at her wild flower garden in the backyard. A compromise was reached, and a floor-to-ceiling window now bisects the shelves.

While Mr Flynt spoke, I sat in Mrs Flynt’s seat, in the sun.

HOW MANY OF JEREMY CORBYN,S POLICIES DO YOU DISAGREE WITH

JEREMY CORBYN CAN WIN THIS ELECTION AND MAKE BRITAIN A STRONG ,CARING MEMBER OF EUROPE. BUT HE CAN ONLY ACHIEVE THIS WITH YOUR SUPPORT .HE IS NOT THE BOOGIE MAN BUT HE IS THE BEST MAN FOR THE JOB.

THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2017

How many of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies do you actually disagree with?

A London School of Economics study into how Jeremy Corbyn is represented in the media found that only a paltry 11% of all newspaper articles about him bothered to accurately state a single one of his actual policies. In the hard-wing Daily Mail and Express that figure was 0%.

Given this lack of unbiased political coverage it’s not difficult to understand why so many people are so unfamiliar with Jeremy Corbyn’s actual policies, and tend to judge him as if politics is some kind of vapid personality contest.

So here are some of the Jeremy Corbyn policies that the mainstream media really don’t want to tell you about, so you can judge for yourself whether you like them or not.

Labour Party policies

Ban companies based in tax havens bidding for government contracts
It’s astounding that this isn’t the case already. How on earth could anyone even attempt to justify taxpayers’ cash being paid to companies based in tax havens for the purpose of dodging tax?

£10 minimum wage for all workers over the age of 18
The UK is the only country in the developed world where workers’ wages are declining in real terms, while the economy is actually growing. A £10 minimum wage would help to reverse this scenario, and it would also significantly reduce the cost of in-work benefits like tax credits and housing benefit (most of which goes to working families these days).

All rented accommodation to be fit for human habitation
Again, astounding that this isn’t the case already, but in January 2016 the Tories (over 1/3 of whom are landlords) deliberately voted down a Labour Party amendment to their housing bill to ensure that all rented accommodation is fit for human habitation.

Renationalise the railways
This is a very popular policy that is supported by an overwhelming majority of the public. Do you support rail renationalisation too, or are you one of the minority who think that the current shambles is acceptable?

Renationalise the NHS
The Tory party have been carving up the English NHS and distributing the pieces to the private sector, Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to reverse this process. Are you one of the 84% of people who thinks the NHS should be run as a not for profit public service, or the 7% who agree with the ongoing Tory privatisation agenda?

Free school meals
The policy of providing free school meals to all school children between the ages of 4 and 11 is based on evidence based research showing that universal free school meals lead to significantly improved grades. It will be paid for by ending the generous tax breaks (public subsidies) for the 7% of kids who go to private fee-paying schools.

Create a National Education Service
Jeremy Corbyn believes that education is a right, not a commodity. He wants to create an integrated National Education Service to ensure that education is freely available to anyone who needs it.

Scrap tuition fees
Thanks to the Tories (and their Lib-Dem enablers) UK students now face the most expensive tuition fees in the industrialised world for study at public universities, meaning students typically leave university with £50,000 of debt, and two thirds of them will never pay off their student debts. Labour would end this lunacy by getting rid of student fees.

Restore NHS Bursaries
One of the first things Theresa My did when she came to power was to scrap NHS bursaries for nurses and other NHS workers. This removal of financial support for nurses has caused a huge 10,000 decline in the number of applicants to nursing courses. This collapse in nursing recruitment would be bad enough in its own right, but in combination with a record increase in the number of EU nurses quitting the NHS and a mind-boggling 92% fall in nursing recruitment from EU countries, the UK is clearly facing a massive NHS recruitment crisis. Labour would reverse this calamitous state of affairs by restoring NHS Bursaries for trainee nurses.

Increase the carers allowance
Labour are proposing to increase the Carers Allowance for the 1 million unpaid carers in the UK. This would be paid for by scrapping the Tories’ Inheritance Tax cut for millionaires. Unpaid carers save the UK economy an estimated £132 million a year, and they’re doing ever more work as a result of the £4.6 billion in Tory cuts to the social care budget.

Create a National Investment Bank
This is actually one of Jeremy Corbyn’s best policies, but few people actually understand it. It’s absolutely clear that allowing private banks to determine where money is invested ends up in huge speculative bubbles in housing and financial derivatives, while the real economy is starved of cash. A National Investment Bank would work by investing in things like infrastructure, services, businesses and regional development projects, and would end up becoming a kind of sovereign wealth fund for the UK.

End the public sector pay freeze
Under Tory rule UK workers suffered the longest sustained decline in real wages since records began. The public sector pay freeze contributed massively to this. You’d have to be economically illiterate to imagine that repressing public sector wages with below inflation pay rises for year after year would not exert downwards pressure on private sector wages too. Ending the public sector pay freeze would actually boost the economy by putting more money in people’s pockets, meaning an increase in aggregate demand.

End sweetheart tax deals between HMRC and massive corporations

David Cameron (the son of a tax-dodger) repeatedly lied through his teeth about how serious he was about confronting tax-dodging, whilst allowing HMRC to concoct sweetheart deals with corporations like Google, Vodafone and Starbucks. One of the main reasons the corporate press are so strongly opposed to Jeremy Corbyn is that they know that unlike David Cameron, he’s serious when he talks about clamping down on tax-dodging.

Stop major corporations ripping off their suppliers
Major corporations are withholding an astounding £26 billion through late payment, which is responsible for an estimated 50,000 small businesses going bust every year. The scale of this problem is so massive that it should be a national scandal, and Jeremy Corbyn is absolutely right to align himself with small businesses to defend their interests.

Reverse the Tory corporation tax cuts
Since 2010 the Tories have cut the rate of corporation tax for major multinational corporations from 28% to just 17% (by 2020) meaning the UK has one of the lowest corporation tax rates in the developed world. The global average is 27% and the G7 average is 32.3%. Theresa May has already threatened to lower the corporation tax even further to turn post-brexit Britiain into a tax haven economy, Corbyn is proposing to do the opposite and increase corporation tax rates so they’re more in line with the rest of the developed world.

Defend Human Rights
Theresa May has repeatedly expressed her intention to tear up Winston Churchill’s finest legacy, the European Convention on Human Rights. Labour would oppose this Tory attack on our human rights.

Zero Hours Contracts ban
Almost a million UK workers are now on exploitative Zero Hours Contracts. Last year the New Zealand parliament voted to ban them, and Labour is proposing to do the same. Long-term employees and workers doing regular hours would be protected from Zero Hours Contract exploitation.

Holding the Tories to account over Brexit

Labour have said that they won’t block Brexit, but they will seek to hold the Tories to account over it. A landslide Tory victory would be a disaster for the UK because it would allow Theresa May to pursue the most right-wing pro-corporate anti-worker Brexit possible with almost no democratic scrutiny. The only way to make sure the Tories don’t push a fanatically right-wing Brexit on the nation is to ensure that there are plenty of opposition MPs to hold them to account.

Housebuilding
Under the Tory government the level of UK housebuilding has slumped to the lowest levels since the 1920s, even though demand for housing is extremely high. Labour are guaranteeing to invest in a programme of housebuilding, and committing to ensure that half of the new houses are social housing. This wouldn’t just alleviate the housing crisis, it would also stimulate the economy by increasing aggregate demand.

Combat inequality
George Osborne’s ideological austerity agenda resulted in the longest sustained decline in workers’ wages since records began and condemned an additional 400,000 children to growing up in poverty, meanwhile the tiny super-rich majority literally doubled their wealth. Labour is pledging to reduce the inequality gap and introduce progressive policies to reduce the gap between the incomes of the highest and lowest paid. There is plenty of evidence to show that the least unequal societies are more economically successful places where the people are happier.

Conclusion

So out of these 20 Labour Party policies, how many do you actually strongly disagree with?

Footnote

This article attracted rather a lot more interest than I’d imagined (well over 1 million hits in 3 days!). One of the big questions people have been asking is how all of this would be paid for.

The answer is that quite a lot of the policies are actually investments that would pay for themselves in the long-term because they would stimulate more economic activity than the investment cost (see my articles on fiscal multiplication and the marginal propensity to consume to get a better idea of how). Other policies could easily be funded if we had a government that was actually serious about cracking down on tax-dodging, which costs the country vast amounts per year. Just ending sweetheart deals between HMRC and major multinationals would generate £billions, which would pay for stuff like restoring the NHS bursary many times over.

If anyone is genuinely worried about how stuff is going to be paid for, the first thing on their mind should of course be the impending threat of “no deal” Tory strop away from the Brexit negotiating table that Theresa May has made the centrepiece of her so-called “negotiating strategy”. If that happens the IFS have estimated a 6.3% -9.5% collapse in GDP, which would be a much more significant economic meltdown than the one that was caused by the 2007-08 global financial sector insolvency crisis (that our economy and our wages have still nowhere near recovered from). What do you think would happen to the tax take and the budget deficit if the economy tanked even worse than it did in 2009 thanks to Theresa May’s alarmingly woeful threat-based Brexit negotiation strategy resulting in the chaos of an economically ruinous cliff edge Brexit?

 Another Angry Voice  is a “Pay As You Feel” website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.

Watch Dennis Skinner force Theresa May to admit that ‘election fraud MPs’ will stand in the general election | The Canary

Go Dennis!

Source: Watch Dennis Skinner force Theresa May to admit that ‘election fraud MPs’ will stand in the general election | The Canary go for the jugular Dennis mp for bolsover  one of many good and true labour mps.let us get the labour party back in power and then commit ourselves to the european union united we stand divided we fall .

GAZA STRIP IS NOT OCCUPIED SAYS ISRAEL,S SUPREME COURT

“Gaza Strip is not occupied,” says Israel’s Supreme Court, as Gaza is thrown into darkness

by Lora Lucero

I just read the Ahmed decision by the Supreme Court of Israel. This case involves a petition filed in 2007 by the Palestinians against the State of Israel regarding the reduction of fuel supplies and electricity to the Gaza Strip.  Recently, the American Friends Service Committee prepared a short description of the problem here.

In 2005, Israel removed its settlers and soldiers from the Gaza Strip. The Supreme Court concluded that “Israel no longer has effective control over what happens in the Gaza Strip” and so “Israel does not have a general duty to ensure the welfare of the residents of the Gaza Strip or to maintain public order in the Gaza Strip according to the laws of belligerent occupation in international law.”

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Israel, in part because

(1) Israel asserts it is monitoring the fuel supplies and electricity delivery to the Gaza Strip to meet the humanitarian needs of the people in Gaza;

(2) Israel says that the Palestinian officials have the capability to manage the load reduction;

(3) it’s better that the parties negotiate between themselves regarding the issue of fuel delivery and electricity; and

(4) there is a big distinction between the parties — one is fighting in the name of the law (Israel) and the other is fighting against the law (terrorists = Hamas).

Quick Facts • Less than half–only 45 percent—of Gaza’s power needs are now being met. Rolling blackouts leave residents with only six to eight hours of power each day. • Since 2013, the Gaza power plant has operated at less than half capacity. The plant regularly has to shut down, due to fuel shortages caused by Israeli restrictions on importing fuel. • Since 2010, at least 29 people—24 of them children— have died in Gaza from fires or suffocation directly linked to power outages. • Over 70 percent of Gaza households have access to piped water for only six to eight hours once every two to four days, because of the limited power supply.

I find the Ahmed decision troubling for several reasons:

(1) The Supreme Court’s rather cursory conclusion that Israel does not occupy the Gaza Strip. No occupation = no duty under the international laws of belligerent occupation. This conclusion appears to have been reached without arguments proffered by the parties on this very important issue, and almost as a side note to the court’s decision.

(2) The Supreme Court’s characterization of the parties in the case — one is law-abiding and fighting to preserve the law, while the other is a terrorist organization fighting against the law — demonstrates the inherent bias and lack of judicial neutrality that permeates the decision. The Supreme Court also demonstrates its lack of objectivity when it cites with approval Israel’s statement that the Palestinians are capable of managing the load reduction so as not to harm hospitals, etc., while dismissing without discussion the contrary arguments made by the Palestinians.

(3) While the Supreme Court acknowledges that Israel has a responsibility to meet the “essential humanitarian needs of the civilian population” in Gaza, it doesn’t provide any guidance about what constitutes “essential humanitarian needs” and appears to defer to Israel’s assertion that the State recognizes its responsibility and will monitor the delivery of electricity and fuel so as to meet its responsibility. (That must be cold comfort to the civilians sitting in the dark on a cold winter night in Gaza, or to the children who have died in house fires due to the candles.)

(4) The issue of the nexus between Israel’s rationale for reducing the electricity and fuel to Gaza seems to be accepted carte blanche by the Court without any critical examination. Israel says its “decision to limit the supply of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip was made in the framework of the State’s operations against the ongoing terrorism.” Doesn’t Israel have a duty to show the Court a nexus —- that the reduction of electricity and fuel has some measurable impact on reducing the terrorism (rockets)? If there is no nexus, then isn’t it fair to say that Israel’s actions, in fact, constitute collective punishment against the civilian population?

• Hospitals provide only limited services because they rely on generators, which produce insufficient and unstable electrical supplies that can damage sensitive equipment. • Up to 90 million liters of untreated sewage are discharged into the Mediterranean Sea each day in part due to electrical and fuel shortages. • Schools often function without electricity, leaving students in the dark, making many educational activities impossible, and negatively affecting students’ learning environments. • Businesses and industry can’t function without reliable electrical supplies, increasing unemployment and further destabilizing the Gaza economy.

“Gaza Strip is not occupied,” says Israel’s Supreme Court, as Gaza is thrown into darkness

by Lora Lucero

I just read the Ahmed decision by the Supreme Court of Israel. This case involves a petition filed in 2007 by the Palestinians against the State of Israel regarding the reduction of fuel supplies and electricity to the Gaza Strip.  Recently, the American Friends Service Committee prepared a short description of the problem here.

In 2005, Israel removed its settlers and soldiers from the Gaza Strip. The Supreme Court concluded that “Israel no longer has effective control over what happens in the Gaza Strip” and so “Israel does not have a general duty to ensure the welfare of the residents of the Gaza Strip or to maintain public order in the Gaza Strip according to the laws of belligerent occupation in international law.”

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Israel, in part because

(1) Israel asserts it is monitoring the fuel supplies and electricity delivery to the Gaza Strip to meet the humanitarian needs of the people in Gaza;

(2) Israel says that the Palestinian officials have the capability to manage the load reduction;

(3) it’s better that the parties negotiate between themselves regarding the issue of fuel delivery and electricity; and

(4) there is a big distinction between the parties — one is fighting in the name of the law (Israel) and the other is fighting against the law (terrorists = Hamas).

Quick Facts • Less than half–only 45 percent—of Gaza’s power needs are now being met. Rolling blackouts leave residents with only six to eight hours of power each day. • Since 2013, the Gaza power plant has operated at less than half capacity. The plant regularly has to shut down, due to fuel shortages caused by Israeli restrictions on importing fuel. • Since 2010, at least 29 people—24 of them children— have died in Gaza from fires or suffocation directly linked to power outages. • Over 70 percent of Gaza households have access to piped water for only six to eight hours once every two to four days, because of the limited power supply.

I find the Ahmed decision troubling for several reasons:

(1) The Supreme Court’s rather cursory conclusion that Israel does not occupy the Gaza Strip. No occupation = no duty under the international laws of belligerent occupation. This conclusion appears to have been reached without arguments proffered by the parties on this very important issue, and almost as a side note to the court’s decision.

(2) The Supreme Court’s characterization of the parties in the case — one is law-abiding and fighting to preserve the law, while the other is a terrorist organization fighting against the law — demonstrates the inherent bias and lack of judicial neutrality that permeates the decision. The Supreme Court also demonstrates its lack of objectivity when it cites with approval Israel’s statement that the Palestinians are capable of managing the load reduction so as not to harm hospitals, etc., while dismissing without discussion the contrary arguments made by the Palestinians.

(3) While the Supreme Court acknowledges that Israel has a responsibility to meet the “essential humanitarian needs of the civilian population” in Gaza, it doesn’t provide any guidance about what constitutes “essential humanitarian needs” and appears to defer to Israel’s assertion that the State recognizes its responsibility and will monitor the delivery of electricity and fuel so as to meet its responsibility. (That must be cold comfort to the civilians sitting in the dark on a cold winter night in Gaza, or to the children who have died in house fires due to the candles.)

(4) The issue of the nexus between Israel’s rationale for reducing the electricity and fuel to Gaza seems to be accepted carte blanche by the Court without any critical examination. Israel says its “decision to limit the supply of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip was made in the framework of the State’s operations against the ongoing terrorism.” Doesn’t Israel have a duty to show the Court a nexus —- that the reduction of electricity and fuel has some measurable impact on reducing the terrorism (rockets)? If there is no nexus, then isn’t it fair to say that Israel’s actions, in fact, constitute collective punishment against the civilian population?

• Hospitals provide only limited services because they rely on generators, which produce insufficient and unstable electrical supplies that can damage sensitive equipment. • Up to 90 million liters of untreated sewage are discharged into the Mediterranean Sea each day in part due to electrical and fuel shortages. • Schools often function without electricity, leaving students in the dark, making many educational activities impossible, and negatively affecting students’ learning environments. • Businesses and industry can’t function without reliable electrical supplies, increasing unemployment and further destabilizing the Gaza economy.