Bowen diary: A father’s loss

BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen is writing a diary of the conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Helmi al-Samouni kisses his son Mohammed goodbye

Helmi al-Samouni kissed his dead son Mohammed goodbye

Israelis should understand that Persecuting people does not weaken them, destroy them but gave them the impetus to survive and toughened

Israelis should understand that Persecuting people does not weaken them or destroy them but gave them the impetus to survive and toughened 

 

JAN 17 — There’s a memorable scene in the Stephen Spielberg film “Munich”. After the 1972 Munich Olympic Games killings of Israeli athletes, Prime Minister Golda Meir tells confidants she wants to show the plotters that killing Jews “is expensive”. She then organises for the assassination of each of the plotters.

Today, it is Israel itself that has become expensive. Most directly, it is very expensive to the US, which subsidises and arms it.

But Israel’s utter inability to transform the Palestinians from enemies into friends has imposed big costs on us all. We have paid for Israel’s failure with bombs on London public transport, bombs in bars in Bali, and even the loss of the World Trade Centre towers in New York.

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UK Jewish MP: Israel acting like the Nazis who forced my family to flee from Poland

A veteran British Jewish lawmaker, Sir Gerald Kaufman, has compared the Israeli offensive in Gaza to the Nazis who forced his family to flee from Poland.

 

Kaufman, who was brought up as an orthodox Jew and Zionist, said: “My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town a German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

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A statement on Israel by Professor Richard Falk, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA

A statement on Israel by Professor Richard Falk, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA

STATEMENT OF SPECIAL RAPORTEUR FOR THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES OCCUPIED SINCE 1967 FOR PRESENTATION TO THE SPECIAL SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ON GAZA, 9 JANUARY 2009

1. This statement focuses on the impact of Israel’s continuing Gaza military campaign, initiated on 27 December 2008, on the humanitarian situation confronting the 1.5 million Palestinians confined to the Gaza Strip. In accordance with the undertaking of the mandate, it confines its comments to issues associated with Israel’s obligations as occupying power to respect international humanitarian law (IHL), which refers mainly to the legal obligations contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which sets forth in some detail the legal duties of Israel as the occupying power. The essential obligations of IHL are also considered to be binding legal duties embedded in customary international law. This statement touches on issues of international human rights law (IHR), as well as the implications of severe and sustained violations of either IHL or IHR as raising issues of international criminal law (ICL). It is also necessary to assess the underlying Israeli security claims that the military incursion into Gaza was a ‘defensive’ operation consistent with international law and the United Nations Charter, and that no ‘humanitarian crisis’ existed making the scale and nature of the military force used allegedly ‘excessive’ and ‘disproportionate.’

 

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