Thursday, May 15 marked Nakba Day, Yawm an-Nakba, “Day of Catastrophe”, the onset of the displacement of up to 800,000 Palestinians, at the time 67% of the population, followed by the destruction of over 500 villages since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, under the commitment agreed to by the then British Foreign Secretary, Lord Arthur Balfour, in November 1917.Read the rest here.
This week: “Figures released by the Ramallah-based Central Bureau of Statistics … put the number of registered Palestinian refugees at 5.3 million. Those refugees live in 58 United Nations-run camps in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.” Tragedy on a scale near unimaginable – ongoing.
Hardly the day to plan another one. However, undaunted, Britain’s current Foreign Secretary, William Hague (“I have been a Conservative Friend of Israel since I was sixteen”) hosted a meeting of the “Friends of Syria” group (Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US) to continue plotting to further decimate another Middle East country and overthrow yet another sovereign head of State.
As increasingly chilling, verified images appear of “opposition” – read insurgent – atrocities in Syria: beheadings, behandings, crucifixions, summary executions and, of course, cannibalism, Hague announced that: “the Syrian opposition would have its diplomatic status in the UK upgraded”, according to the BBC.
The Foreign Secretary was clearly following in his master’s footsteps since last week the Obama regime granted diplomatic foreign mission status to the “Syrian National Coalition” offices in New York and Washington, with a welcome present of a further promised $27 million increase in “non-lethal assistance to rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.” This brings the total US support for the above crimes to $287 million.
Strangely, two days before the London meeting, it was announced that Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni was awarded “special mission” temporary diplomatic status to visit London, “to protect her against arrest and potential prosecution for alleged breaches of international law, including war crimes” relating to Israel’s attack on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009.
In December 2009 Livni cancelled a visit to Britain after an arrest warrant was issued by a London Court. “The British government subsequently changed the law on universal jurisdiction … in connection with international war crimes … Previously, citizens could apply directly to a Judge for an arrest warrant.”
Currently, London lawyers Hickman Rose working with Gaza’s Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) had again been seeking a warrant for Livni’s arrest, Hickman Rose requesting that the Crown Prosecution Service advise the police to apprehend her: “for suspected war crimes and to liaise with the Attorney General to approve criminal charges.”
PCHR Director Raja Sourani commented of the Foreign Office’s stunt: “As lawyers for the victims of widespread suspected Israeli war crimes, PCHR is very concerned that these kind of political acts endorse the ‘rule of the jungle’ rather than the ‘rule of law.’” Indeed.
The Foreign Office is remarkably selective when it comes to alleged war criminals. Livni’s visit met “all the essential elements for a special mission, and for avoidance of any doubt on the matter, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has confirmed consent to the visit as a special mission”, they commented.
The reason for Livni’s visit was shrouded in secrecy. What is known that the evening of the “Friends of Syria” meeting, she was to address a fund- raising dinner for the Jewish National Fund at London’s luxury Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel ($725 a night current lowest available rate, no wonder funds are needed.) But all those Foreign Office diplomatic sleights of hand to enable something she could have done by video-link?
Well, here’s a thought. Two days before Ms Livni’s arrival in London aided by the Foreign Office’s diplomatic goal post displacements, Major General Amos Yadlin, former Deputy Commander of the Israeli Air Force, who headed military intelligence between 2006-2010 said that “ Israel should weigh launching a military strike at Syria if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons against his civilian population …”
Preferable, though, mooted the General, would be a NATO led action led by the US, with Turkey the key country, establishing a no fly zone over Syria “at the very minimum.” Libya revisited. There should also be “standoff strikes” by NATO aircraft at strategic government targets.
“If Israel discovers that Assad is using chemical weapons against his people in mass attacks, it should intervene militarily”, said the representative of a regime who has used chemical weapons – not alone white phosphorous but also depleted uranium, both a chemical and radioactive weapon – against the Palestinians. Ironically, the article is headed: “Israel should punish Assad for killing civilians”, an expertise Israel has honed with impunity over sixty-six years.
Right on cue, on May 13th, in the lead to the London Conference, Human Rights Watch produced a report of “strong evidence” that Syrian government forces were using chlorine bombs. Coincidentally, the previous day a letter had been sent to Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, querying the organization’s seemingly extraordinarily partisan relationship with the US government.
*****Comment: Human Rights Watch is a front for western governments and their interests. No thinking analyst or observer should take what they say to be serious human rights lobbying.
Syria is being set up for an invasion - with the help of Human Rights Watch - by forces allied to Israel's genocidal interests in the region.