Displaying items by tag: Israel
KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today lambasted “powerful nations” for their silence over the prolonged Israeli war crimes on Palestinian land.
In expressing his anger towards such atrocities, the interim prime minister said sufferings of the Palestinian people persist despite demands for justice against the oppression.
“I am also angry that powerful nations and self-proclaimed defenders of justice, freedom and democracy are keeping silent or worse, a party to the perpetrations of injustices and cruelties inflicted on the Palestinians, wantonly by the Tel Aviv regime.
“Most hurtful is at times when despair creeps in, and the sense of helplessness overwhelms us. Everyone speaks of justice and freedom but turns a blind eye when friends and allies commit all these wrong deeds. But I hope that such feelings are fleeting.
“While Malaysia wants to be friends with all countries and respect their sovereignty regardless of their ideological beliefs, we must continue to speak against injustices and in defending the rights of the oppressed,” he said in his keynote address at the opening session of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, themed ‘Southeast Asian Support for the Rights of the Palestinian People’ at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here today.
He said Malaysia reaffirmed its commitment to the cause until the Palestinians were provided with the justice, freedom, peace and security they deserve.
Dr Mahathir also urged Asean member states to continue the pursuit of justice and peace for the oppressed.
“Our collective voice regionally should espouse more than just economic development. We should also extend a united front in supporting the rights of the Palestinians. This is the primary purpose of this peace conference.
“This conference today is a congregation of global representatives – individually and collectively we can utilise all the platforms available, both Asean and non-Asean, for us to continue voicing our concerns and register our outrage over the inhumane and barbaric acts that the Tel Aviv regime has inflicted on the Palestinians.
“We are duty-bound and this responsibility is further amplified when powerful nations that had styled themselves as defenders of justice and freedom choose to be silent while the atrocities are being committed.
“And we cannot afford to practise double standards where gross injustice is concerned.”
Dr Mahathir reiterated Malaysia’s stand against the United States President Donald Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan, dubbed by proponents as “the deal of the century”, which was announced on Jan 28.
Malaysia, he said, stands by its position for the creation of an independent State of Palestine through a two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
“The unilateral announcement endorsed and instigated by the Israelis without any attempts for dialogue or negotiation with Palestinian representatives from the West Bank or Gaza is a mockery of international efforts to find a solution to the Palestinian – Israeli ongoing crisis.
“Furthermore, to call it the Deal of the Century bespeaks of the ultimate in dishonest brokerage.
“The deal foregoes key issues at stake for a just solution. The plan would abolish the right of return for Palestinian refugees displaced by the 1948 war and their descendants, a key Palestinian stand.”
The deal, he said, is contrary to Security Council resolutions and the principle of a permanent two-State solution based on the 1967 borders, the realisation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the right of all States in the region to live in peace and security.
It does not respect previously signed agreements and commitments, he said.
“To suggest East Jerusalem as Israel’s national capital would grant Palestine limited autonomy in parts of the West Bank, if at all. At the same time, it would allow Israel to annex all its settlements there and keep nearly all of East Jerusalem. Thankfully, this has been deemed illegal by the international community.
“Israel will get Washington’s permission to annex all of its illegal settlements, now littered across the West Bank, as well as the vast agricultural basin of the Jordan Valley. I believe that under international law, the annexation of an occupied territory is considered a War Crime!
“Israel will continue to have military control over the entire West Bank. In the proposed agreement, Palestine would not be allowed an army, whereas Israel will control its security, borders, coastal waters and airspace. The occupied state would be forced to accept the plan within four years. Otherwise, Israel will have a free hand to start plundering yet more Palestinian territory.
“Malaysia finds the proposal utterly unacceptable and grossly unjust.
“Let us not forget that the international community back then was responsible for the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and drowning the existing state of Palestine into anonymity and oblivion.”
He said it was on May 14, 1948, that Israel came into being through a bloody forcible seizure of villages and land from the Palestinians who had lived there from historical times.
The declaration of independence by Israel, he said, contrasts with the fate of Palestinians so much that the latter deems the date as the day of catastrophe.
“The Holocaust lasted six years and the Nakba (catastrophe) has been going on for more than 70 years! The pro-Israel nations were quick to hold a tribunal at Nuremberg to try Nazi war criminals but have any tribunal been established for the Palestinian victims?
“Palestinians have always been advised to forget the past and start anew wherever they may be. The paradox is that they live out the consequences of the past every day as oppressed people under a violent military occupation; as a powerless minority in Israel, or as marginalised exiles in refugee camps in neighbouring countries.
“Yet the Israelis will not allow the world to forget the Holocaust and ironically it is the Palestinians who have been made to pay a heavy price.
“Some of you may recall that in November 2013 the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War held a tribunal against the state of Israel for war crimes and crimes of genocide.
“Along with other civil society initiatives across the world, we hope that the International Criminal Court will take note of this blatant case of the injustice of the century and institute proceedings against Israel.”
Published in: The New Straits Times, Satruday 29 February 2020
Kamila Shamsie has said that it is a “matter of outrage” that the Israel boycott campaign Kamila Shamsie has said that it is a “matter of outrage” that the Israel boycott campaign should be held up as something shameful after a German jury reversed its decision to awardher the €15,000 (£13,000) Nelly Sachs prize over her support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
The eight-member jury had decided on 6 September to make the British-Pakistani author their latest winner, citing writing that “builds bridges between societies”. But when they learned of Shamsie’s support for the BDS movement, they announced that they would cancel their original vote and withdraw the award.
“With its vote for the British writer Kamila Shamsie … the jury honoured the author’s outstanding literary work,” they said. “At that time, despite prior research, the members of the jury were not aware that the author has been participating in the boycott measures against theIsraeli government for its Palestinian policies since 2014.”
The prize, named for the German-Jewish Nobel laureate Nelly Sachs, is awarded by the German city of Dortmund to a writer promoting “tolerance and reconciliation” who has worked to improve cultural relations between people. Previous winners including Milan Kundera and Margaret Atwood. Its statutes stipulate that the life and work of an author should be included in the jury’s reasoning.
“Shamsie’s political positioning to actively participate in the cultural boycott as part of the BDS campaign a … is clearly in contradiction to the statutory objectives of the award,” said the jury. “The cultural boycott does not transcend borders, but affects the whole of Israeli society regardless of its actual political and cultural heterogeneity. Kamila Shamsie’s work is also withheld from the Israeli population in this way. This contrasts with the claim of the Nelly Sachs prize to proclaim and exemplify reconciliation among peoples and cultures. The jury regrets the situation in every respect.”
In May, the German parliament passed a motion labelling the BDS movement as antisemitic, calling it “reminiscent of the most terrible chapter in German history”. The motion was criticised by 60 Jewish and Israeli academics, who said in an open letter that it was part of a trend “labelling supporters of Palestinian human rights as antisemitic”. Shamsie, who has put her name to the cultural boycott of Israel, said it was a matter of great sadness to her “that a jury should bow to pressure and withdraw a prize from a writer who is exercising her freedom of conscience and freedom of expression”.
She described it as a “matter of outrage that the BDS movement (modelled on the South African boycott) that campaigns against the government of Israel for its acts of discrimination and brutality against Palestinians should be held up as something shameful and unjust”.
“In the just-concluded Israeli elections, Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to annex up to one third of the West Bank, in contravention of international law,” Shamsie said, “and his political opponent Benny Gantz’s objection to this was that Netanyahu had stolen his idea; this closely followed the killing of two Palestinian teenagers by Israeli forces – which was condemned as ‘appalling’ by the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process. In this political context, the jury has chosen to withdraw the award from me on the basis of my support for a non-violent campaign to bring pressure on the Israeli government.”
Shamsie, who won the Women’s prize for fiction last year, said the city of Dortmund had refused to publish her statement with their press release. She clarified that she will not allow her work to be published in Israel “on the basis that there is no Israeli publisher who is completely unentangled from the state … If a BDS-compliant Israeli publisher existed (as was formerly the case before the publishing house Andalus closed down) I would be happy to have them publish my work,” she said.
The novelist Ahdaf Soueif said the withdrawal of the award was “a manifestation of a new McCarthyism – on an international scale”.
“What we need to note, however, is that even in Germany there’s still a struggle going on,” Soueif said. “So it really is up to each individual and each organisation to choose whether they’re on the side of freedom of conscience and expression or on the side of a reactionary political censorship. Attempting to shut down a conversation on the issue of Palestinian political and human rights – an issue which so many have taken to their hearts – is simply not going to work.”
Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of Index on Censorship, said that it was deeply disturbing that Shamsie had been stripped of the honour “for her personal opinions. “An award meant to recognise a writer for ‘outstanding literary contributions to the promotion of understanding between peoples’ has been withdrawn because the writer personally supports a non-violent movement that is intended to focus attention on respect for universal human rights,” said Ginsberg.
“Increasingly we are seeing fiction writers being policed for their political opinions and books cancelled as a result. The result will be the very opposite of what the prize organisers seek to achieve: a narrowing of voices and therefore fewer opportunities to promote understanding between people.”
Published in: The Guardian, Friday 20 September 2019
Six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel's secretive internal security service, have spoken out as a group for the first time and are making stunning revelations. The men who were responsible for keeping Israel safe from terrorists now say they are afraid for Israel's future as a democratic and Jewish state............. Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)
I DON'T know whether it has been reported in Malaysian papers but the Israelis bombed an arms factory in Khartoum two weeks ago. This outrageous act is an example of Israeli disregard of international laws.There is no war declared between Sudan and Israel. But that does not prevent Israel from bombing Sudan. As with the bombings of the Egyptian airbase, Iraqi nuclear facilities, again without war being declared, Israel feels entitled to bomb other countries in the pursuit of its own security........... Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)
Whatever you may think progress looks like — a rebounding stock market, a new house, a good raise — the governments of the world have long held the view that only one statistic, the measure of gross domestic product, can really show whether things seem to be getting better or getting worse. G.D.P. is an index of a country’s entire economic output — a tally of, among many other things, manufacturers’ shipments, farmers’ harvests, retail sales and construction spending. It’s a figure that compresses the immensity of a national economy into a single data point of surpassing density. The conventional feeling about G.D.P. is that the more it grows, the better a country and its citizens are doing. In the U.S., economic activity plummeted at the start of 2009 and only started moving up during the second half of the year. Apparently things are moving in that direction still. In the first quarter of this year, the economy again expanded, this time by an annual rate of about 3.2 percent........ Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)
Until recently, the “special relationship” between Israel and Turkey appeared unbreakable. Underpinned by shared perceptions of the threats and opportunities in their regional environment and cemented by an extensive web of joint initiatives in trade, intelligence, and defense, the Turkish-Israeli alliance blossomed in the 1990s. Any differences that arose between these two regional heavyweights paled in comparison to the overarching affinity and mutuality of interests that existed between them.
At least that’s the way it seemed at the time. Beneath the apparent façade of goodwill between the two countries lay a growing gap in values and political cultures that set the stage for a deterioration of relations as two major crises transpired. The first of these was Israel’s offensive against the Gaza Strip in the winter of 2008/2009, followed a year and a half later by Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-flagged ship attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to the still-besieged Gazans. The divergence in values between the two countries began to take shape at the turn of the twenty-first century, and accelerated after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came to power in 2003—a period that coincided with significant strides toward democracy in Turkey ....... Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)