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A Brief History Of Arctic Angst

Until the noise of a century of media hype and unscientific speculation about the Arctic has been removed from the public debate, science will be unable to explain what, if anything, the signal from the Arctic is telling us.

GWPF Climate Briefing – 21/11/16

In the last days of the Northern hemisphere’s summer, the sea ice that covers part of the Arctic Ocean reaches its minimum extent.

The annual change, recorded by satellites, has come to be seen as evidence of anthropogenic global warming, and a warning of what is to come.

It features in the global news every Summer. One journalist has called it the planet’s ‘white flag of surrender’, others the ‘Arctic Death Spiral’.

The lowest sea ice extent ever recorded was in 2012, and previous to that in 2007.

In the 2000s, a new trend of decreasing sea ice minimums seemed to be emerging. Whereas computer models had predicted that Arctic summer sea ice wouldn’t disappear until the middle of the century, the rate of decline seemed to be much faster.

The story of rapid, unnatural change and the plight of the polar bear became powerful symbols of climate change happening in real time. Campaigners launched high profile, swimming, kayaking and evidence-gathering missions to the North Pole to draw the media’s attention to the issue.

In 2007, media stories featured the claims of Prof. Wieslaw Maslowski, who claimed that the ice would be gone by 2013.

The following year, Mark Serreze, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) predicted that 2008 could be “become ice free at the North Pole this year.”

And in 2009, Al Gore announced ‘there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years.’

But the missions to the Arctic were hampered by bad weather, not open sea. And the dates by which climate scientists and politicians said the ice would disappear have come and gone, while the ice has remained.

Undaunted, fresh predictions have been made in every subsequent year.

2016 was no exception. In June, one scientist claimed that his prediction of an ice-free Arctic ocean might finally come true. The story made headlines throughout the world. But rather than disappearing, the joint-second lowest sea ice extent since 1978 was recorded.

This has caused controversy within climate science. A decade of failed predictions has signalled that science does not yet understand what drives variation in the Arctic. Some scientists have urged more caution. But the story of the Arctic’s ‘death spiral’ featured in news reports, in spite of these warnings.

And the story has a very long history.

In the 1950s, newspapers report the findings of an international panel of scientists. They predicted that the Arctic could be ice-free by the end of the 1970s.

Even as far back as the early 1920s, newspapers carried stories of a ‘great thaw’. One journalist wrote that ‘the giant ice cap has retreated as though in a flash’, adding that ‘the man of science breathes in our ear that outside of what has been described in Genesis there has been nothing like it in all history’.

By the 1970s concerns returned to the possibility of a new ice age, that would see the Arctic sea ice grow, making the Northern hemisphere inhospitable to agriculture.

One problem that persists is that there is still only a relatively short series of direct measurements on which to base our understanding of the Arctic.

Satellite monitoring of the Arctic only began in 1978, giving us less than forty years of reliable data. This may not be enough to establish what is normal – or abnormal – for the region.

The beginning of the satellite data starts at the end of a 40-year cooling phase, which may mean that our record of Arctic sea ice begins from an unusually high point.

Recent analysis of sea ice area shows that, although the last decade may have seen the most dramatic minimum extents, the decade that shows the greatest rate of decline occurred between 1998 and 2008 and that data since then shows significantly less decline.

And other explanations may better account for these observed changes than global warming.

One explanation for the more stable sea ice conditions seen since 2007 might be the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation, or AMO – a natural cycle of warming and cooling. AMO peaked in 2008, and has recently entered a negative phase. The decline of summer sea ice may at least in part be a response to this and other natural cycles.

Rather than being based on an understanding of the Arctic’s climate, estimates of rapid sea ice decline have been made by simply drawing a straight line through the data. This may not be a safe way of making predictions, or of attributing sea ice decline to anthropogenic global warming.

As soon as the 2016 Arctic sea ice minimum was reached, it began its recovery, as it does every year. Even if we were to see an ice free summer Arctic, the significance of this event might be only symbolic.

Until the noise of a century of media hype and unscientific speculation about the Arctic has been removed from the public debate, science will be unable to explain what, if anything, the signal from the Arctic is telling us.

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

The Genocide of the Palestinian People: An International Law and Human Rights Perspective

Center for Constitutional Rights | August 25, 2016

While there has been recent criticism of those taking the position that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians, there is a long history of human rights scholarship and legal analysis that supports the assertion. Prominent scholars of the international law crime of genocide and human rights authorities take the position that Israel’s policies toward the Palestinian people could constitute a form of genocide. Those policies range from the 1948 mass killing and displacement of Palestinians to a half-century of military occupation and, correspondingly, the discriminatory legal regime governing Palestinians, repeated military assaults on Gaza, and official Israeli statements expressly favoring the elimination of Palestinians.

Genocide is a term that has both sociological and legal meaning. The term genocide was coined in 1944 by a Jewish Polish legal scholar, Raphael Lemkin. For Lemkin, “the term does not necessarily signify mass killings.” He explained:

More often [genocide] refers to a coordinated plan aimed at destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups so that these groups wither and die like plants that have suffered a blight. The end may be accomplished by the forced disintegration of political and social institutions, of the culture of the people, of their language, their national feelings and their religion. It may be accomplished by wiping out all basis of personal security, liberty, health and dignity. When these means fail the machine gun can always be utilized as a last resort. Genocide is directed against a national group as an entity and the attack on individuals is only secondary to the annihilation of the national group to which they belong.[1]

Since Lemkin’s first invocation of the term, it has gained political, social, and legal meaning. For political scientists, historians, and sociologists, genocide is “understood as a major type of collective violence, with a distinctive place in the spectrum of political violence, armed conflict, and war, of which it is usually seen as a part.”[2]

From a legal perspective, genocide, like the crime against humanity of persecution, is an international crime distinguished by the specific intent to discriminate against a group on recognized grounds through a series of acts or omissions often reflected in and achieved through State policies. While different in degree, both genocide and persecution “[reduce] a person to their identification with or membership in a group,” but also “[attack] the group itself.”[3]  Persecution criminalizes the denial of fundamental rights for members of the group, and genocide criminalizes the most extreme stage of discrimination: efforts to actually destroy the group.

According to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,[4] genocide includes various acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” as such, including:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.[5]

This definition is reflected in Article 6 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has jurisdiction over crimes occurring on the territory of the State of Palestine since June 13, 2014.[6]

The Genocide Convention was written in the aftermath of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust, especially to deter and prevent such horrors in the future and, failing that, to punish those responsible. The Convention thus provided a legal framework that clearly identifies the essence of the crime of genocide, regardless of the political, social, or cultural permutations in which the crime may be attempted or carried out and regardless of the specific qualities, stage, or scale of the genocidal process. The Holocaust set the terms by which a form of general or pervasive violence against a group might be legitimately termed “genocide” as a general sociological concept as it need not “imply a comparison to any other specific case.”[7]

Scholars of genocide have distinguished it as a crime different from other forms of war, killing, violence, discrimination, and repression. “Genocidal action aims not just to contain, control, or subordinate a population, but to shatter and break up its social existence. Thus genocide is defined, not by a particular form of violence, but by general and pervasive violence.”[8] They note that settler colonial regimes are structurally prone to genocide, and may indulge in “genocidal moments” when they become frustrated by the resistance of a colonized or occupied people.[9]

The term “genocide” has been used to describe the mass murder of Armenians by the Ottomans, Stalin’s expulsion of Chechens, Ingush Tartars, and Jews from the U.S.S.R., the removal of Jews and Hungarians from Romania, and Italy’s efforts to clear Slovenes and Croats from the Dalmatian coast.[10] There have been successful prosecutions of individuals for genocide arising out of efforts to destroy the Tutsi population in Rwanda in 1994[11] and Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995.[12]

Numerous prominent human rights authorities, advocates, and scholars have claimed that Israel’s policies and actions with respect to the Palestinian people have amounted to a form of genocide.

Expulsion and Killing of Palestinians in 1948

With respect to the creation of the Israeli state in 1948, there has been a robust scholarly debate about whether the settlement of Jews and the expulsion of Palestinians in Mandate Palestine could be described as genocide. Sociologist Martin Shaw, one of the most distinguished modern scholars of genocide, has written, “We can conclude that pre-war Zionism included the development of an incipiently genocidal mentality towards Arab society.”[13] “Israel entered without an overarching plan, so that its specific genocidal thrusts developed situationally and incrementally, through local as well as national decisions. On this account, this was a partly decentred, networked genocide, developing in interaction with the Palestinian and Arab enemy, in the context of war.”[14]

In 2010, the Journal of Genocide Studies hosted a conversation between Martin Shaw and another prominent scholar of genocide, Omer Bartov, on whether the term “genocide” could be reasonably applied to the Israeli treatment of Palestinians, particularly the expulsion and killing of Arabs in 1948.[15] The two scholars took very different positions on the question, but the journal rejected complaints from some quarters that it was an illegitimate, or worse, a bigoted question to pose and debate at all.[16]

Francis Boyle, a professor of international law, testified in 2013 that “The Palestinians have been the victims of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”[17] He argued that:

For over the past six and one-half decades, the Israeli government and its predecessors in law – the Zionist agencies, forces, and terrorist gangs – have ruthlessly implemented a systematic and comprehensive military, political, religious, economic, and cultural campaign with the intent to destroy in substantial part the national, ethnical, racial, and different religious group (Jews versus Muslims and Christians) constituting the Palestinian people.[18]

Long-Term Military Occupation of Palestinian People

When the international community ratified legal rules that would regulate the actions of occupying powers while also protecting the rights of occupied peoples and nations/states, it was understood that military occupation would be a short-lived necessity attendant to armed conflict, and that occupying forces would be withdrawn at the end of the conflict.[19] Israel’s prolonged belligerent occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza for 50 years far exceeds the kind of occupation that animated the creation of legal rules of occupation contained in international law. Given the seemingly permanent nature of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, some human rights experts, including Israeli historian Ilan Pappé, have warned of an “incremental genocide” of Palestinians and the ultimate destruction of Palestinians as a national group.[20] This “incremental genocide” through the policies and practices that have both sustained and served as the hallmarks of Israel’s occupation is accomplished, they argue, by a normalization of the Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory and the exile or absorption of the national group of people who identify as Palestinian. International law is clear that an occupying power may not annex the people or territory it occupies.[21]

The late human rights lawyer and Center for Constitutional Rights Board President Michael Ratner also charged Israel with committing “incremental genocide” against the Palestinian people: “There’s no doubt again here this is ‘incremental genocide,’ as Ilan Pappé says. It’s been going on for a long time, the killings, the incredibly awful conditions of life, the expulsions that have gone on from Lydda in 1947 and ‘48, when 700 or more villages in Palestine were destroyed, and in the expulsions that continued from that time until today. It’s correct and important to label it for what it is.”[22] He argued further, “I want to emphasize today [that] these killings are part of a broader set of inhuman acts by Israel constituting international crimes, carried out by Israel over many years, going back to at least 1947 and 1948. They include crimes that aren’t talked about that much in the media or the press, the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and apartheid. These crimes can be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court and are defined there.”[23]

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a nongovernmental “people’s body” made up of prominent international human rights experts and advocates, convened between November 2010 and September 2014 to investigate the question of human rights violations in the context of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.[24] It took testimony and deliberated specifically on the question of whether Israel may have committed genocide in relation to the Palestinian people. The jury concluded that some Israeli citizens and leaders may have been guilty in several instances of the separate crime of incitement to genocide, which is specified in Article 3(c) of the Genocide Convention. “The cumulative effect of the long-standing regime of collective punishment in Gaza appears to inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the incremental destruction of the Palestinians as a group in Gaza. The Tribunal emphasises the potential for a regime of persecution to become genocidal in effect.”[25]

Military Assaults on Gazan Population

With respect to Israel’s most recent military offensive, the so-called “Operation Protective Edge” launched against Gaza in the summer of 2014, prominent human rights authorities expressed concern that the campaign constituted a violation of international humanitarian law as contained in the Geneva Conventions:

  • Amnesty International issued a statement proclaiming “an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation is essential to break the culture of impunity which perpetuates the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The case for such action is made all the more compelling in the light of the ongoing serious violations of international humanitarian law being committed by all parties to the current hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel.”[26]
  • The ICC has jurisdiction over genocide, and the U.N. Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide issued a statement two weeks into the 2014 offensive that they were “disturbed by the flagrant use of hate speech in the social media, particularly against the Palestinian population,” finding that “individuals have disseminated messages that could be dehumanising to the Palestinians and have called for the killing of members of this group,” while “remind[ing] all that incitement to commit atrocity crimes is prohibited under international law.”[27]
  • Al-Haq, the oldest Palestinian Human Rights organization, found that serious violations of international law were committed in the course of the 2014 Israeli offensive against Gaza.[28] Al-Haq, along with other Palestinian human rights organizations the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al-Mezan, and Aldameer, submitted a legal file to the International Criminal Court urging it to open an investigation and prosecution into the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the course of Israel’s 2014 Gaza offensive.[29] The crimes suggested for prosecution by these human rights organizations include genocide.
  • Dozens of Holocaust survivors, together with hundreds of descendants of Holocaust survivors and victims, accused Israel of “genocide” for the deaths of more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza during the 2014 Israeli military offensive against Gaza, “Operation Protective Edge”. [30]
  • Others who have charged that Israel committed genocide during Operation Cast Lead include Bolivian President Evo Morales, who recalled that country’s ambassador from Israel. He stated, “What is happening in Palestine is genocide.”[31]
  • Author and activist Naomi Wolf wrote, “I mourn genocide in Gaza because I am the granddaughter of a family half wiped out in a holocaust and I know genocide when I see it.”[32]

Israeli Government Statements Targeting Palestinians

Finally, prominent Israeli politicians have publicly called for action against the Palestinian people that unequivocally meets the definition of genocide under the 1948 Convention. For instance, in February 2008, Matan Vilnai, Israel’s deputy defense minister, declared that increasing tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip could bring on themselves what he called a shoah, or holocaust, “The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.”[33]

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked posted a statement on Facebook in June 2014 claiming that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and called for the destruction of Palestine, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” Her post also called for the killing of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”[34]

In August 2014, Moshe Feiglin, then-deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, called for the destruction of Palestinian life in Gaza and offered a detailed plan for shipping Palestinians living in Gaza across the world. Specifically, he envisioned a scenario where the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) would find areas on the Sinai border to establish “tent encampments… until relevant emigration destinations are determined.” He further suggested that the IDF would then “exterminate nests of resistance, in the event that any should remain.”[35] He subsequently wrote in an op-ed, “After the IDF completes the ‘softening’ of the targets with its fire-power, the IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations.”[36] He continued, “Gaza is part of our Land and we will remain there forever. Liberation of parts of our land forever is the only thing that justifies endangering our soldiers in battle to capture land. Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel. The coastal train line will be extended, as soon as possible, to reach the entire length of Gaza.”

Conclusion

Prominent human rights advocates and scholars have argued that the killings of Palestinians and their forceful expulsion from mandate Palestine in 1948, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and the violence and discrimination directed at Palestinians by the Israeli government have violated a number of human rights protections contained in international human rights law, genocide being among them.

Download a PDF of this document here.


[1] Raphael Lemkin, Genocide – A Modern Crime, 4 Free World 39 (1945), available at: http://www.preventgenocide.org/lemkin/freeworld1945.htm (emphasis added).

[2] Martin Shaw, Genocide, Oxford Bibliography, September 30, 2013, available at: http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199756384/obo-9780199756384-0029.xml.

[3] Helen Brady and Ryan Liss. Historical Origins of International Law Vol. 3, “The Evolution of Persecution as a Crime Against Humanity,”FICHL Publication Series No. 22 (2015) p. 554, available at https://www.fichl.org/fileadmin/fichl/FICHL_PS_22_web.pdf. Notably, “some scholars suggest[ ] that any distinction [between genocide and persecution] has effectively disappeared,” with the two crimes “offer[ing] two different but related visions of the same harm: in short, a crime against the individual as a member of a group (persecution) or a crime against the group itself (genocide).” Id. at 491.

[4] Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1948 as General Assembly Resolution 260, and entered into force on 12 January 1951, available at: https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%2078/volume-78-I-1021-English.pdf.  The Genocide Convention has 147 signatories, including the United States, Israel and Palestine.

[5] Genocide Convention, Article II.

[6] Declaration Accepting the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, Dec. 31, 2014, available at http://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/PIDS/press/Palestine_A_12-3.pdf. On January 6, 2015, the United Nations Secretary General, acting in his capacity as depository for the Rome Statute, accepted Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute. United Nations, Depository Notification, Ref: C.N.13.2015.TREATIES-XVIII.10, 6 Jan. 2015, available at https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/CN/2015/CN.13.2015-Eng.pdf. On January 16, 2015, the Prosecutor of the ICC, Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, opened a preliminary examination into the situation of Palestine.

[7] Martin Shaw in Martin Shaw & Omer Bartov, The Question Of Genocide In Palestine, 1948: An Exchange Between Martin Shaw And Omer Bartov, 12 Journal of Genocide Research 243, 244 (2010).

[8] Martin Shaw, Palestine In An International Historical Perspective On Genocide, 9 Holy Land Studies 1, 5 (2010).

[9] A. Dirk Moses, An Antipodean Genocide? The Origins Of The Genocidal Moment In The Colonization Of Australia, 2 J. of Genocide Research 89, 90 (2010).

[10] Martin Shaw, Palestine In An International Historical Perspective On Genocide, 9 Holy Land Studies 1, 9 (2010).

[11] See, e.g., Prosecutor v. Jean-Paul Akayesu, ICTR, http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/tjug/en/160324_judgement.pdf.

[12] See, e.g., Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžić, ICTY, http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/tjug/en/160324_judgement.pdf.

[13] Martin Shaw, Palestine In An International Historical Perspective On Genocide, 9 Holy Land Studies 1, 13 (2010), noting the comments of the President of the Zionist Organization Chaim Weizmann’s comment in 1941 “if half a million Arabs could be transferred, two million Jews could be put in their place.”

[14] Id. at 19.

[15] Martin Shaw in Martin Shaw & Omer Bartov, The Question Of Genocide In Palestine, 1948: An Exchange Between Martin Shaw And Omer Bartov, 12 Journal of Genocide Research 243, 244 (2010).

[16] See Gal Beckerman, Top Genocide Scholars Battle Over How To Characterize Israel’s Actions, Forward, February 16, 2011, available at: http://forward.com/news/135484/top-genocide-scholars-battle-over-how-to-character/.

[17] Professor Francis A. Boyle, The Palestinian Genocide by Israel Before

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, August 21-24, 2013, available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2339254.

[18] Id. at 3.

[19] See Geneva Convention III: Articles 1-4; Geneva Convention IV 1907: Section Three – Occupied Territories – Articles 47-56; Geneva Convention IV 1949: Section Three – Occupied Territories – Articles 47-78; Additional Protocols I and II.

[20] Ilan Pappé, A Brief History of Israel’s Incremental Genocide, in ON PALESTINE (Noam Chompsky and Ilan Pappé ed.; Haymarket 2015) pp. 147-154.  See also, Steve Lendman, Israel’s Slow-Motion Genocide in Occupied Palestine, in THE PLIGHT OF THE PALESTINIANS (William A. Cook ed., Palgrave 2010)

[21]  Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter states that “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”  See also: Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949 Section III, Art. 47, “Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.”

[22] Michael Ratner, UN’s Investigation of Israel Should Go Beyond War Crimes to Genocide, The Real News, July 27, 2013, available at: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=12155.

[23] IdSee also Saree Makdisi, Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation (Norton 2010) for the notion of a “slow motion” extension and consolidation of the genocidal aspects of 1948.

[24] Russell Tribunal On Palestine, “About,” http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/about-rtop.

[25] http://www.russfound.org/RToP/RToP.htm.

[26] Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories: The International Criminal Court must investigate war crimes, August 1, 2014 http://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/MDE15/019/2014/en/.

[27] UN, Department of Public Information, Statement by the Special Advisers of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Adama Dieng, and on the Responsibility to Protect, Ms. Jennifer Welsh, on the Situation in Israel and in the Palestinian Occupied Territory of Gaza Strip, July 24, 2014, available at

www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/adviser/pdf/24.07.2014%20Special%20Advisers’%20Statement%20on%20the%20situation%20in%20Israel%20and%20the%20occupied%20Gaza%20strip.pdf.

[28] See, Divide and Conquer: A Legal Analysis of Israel’s 2014 Military Offensive Against the Gaza Strip, 2015, available at: http://www.alhaq.org/publications/publications-index/item/divide-and-conquer.

[29] Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Deliver Submission to the International Criminal Court on Alleged Israeli War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity during 2014 Gaza offensive, Nov. 23, 2015, available at: http://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/targets/international-criminal-court-icc/998-palestinian-human-rights-organisations-deliver-submission-to-the-international-criminal-court-on-alleged-israeli-war-crimes-and-crimes-against-humanity-during-2014-gaza-offensive.

[30] Zachary Davies Boren, Holocaust survivors and their descendants accuse Israel of ‘genocide’, The Independent, August 24, 2014, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/holocaust-survivors-and-their-descendants-accuse-israel-of-genocide-9687994.html.

[31] Bolivian president: Israel air strikes on Gaza is ‘genocide’, July 16, 2014, http://www.itv.com/news/update/2014-07-16/bolivian-president-israel-air-strikes-of-gaza-is-genocide.

[32] Naomi Wolf walked out of synagogue when they had nothing to say about Gaza massacre, July 22, 2014, http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/synagogue-nothing-massacre.html.

[33] Israeli minister warns of Palestinian ‘holocaust’, The Guardian, February 29, 2008, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/feb/29/israelandthepalestinians1.

[34] Text of Shaked’s Facebook post (in Hebrew), since deleted, is available here: https://electronicintifada.net/sites/default/files/styles/original_800w/public/2014-07/ayelet-shaked-facebook-post-30-june-2014-genocide.jpg?itok=k5yvVqQp&timestamp=1448949295.

[35] Jill Reilly, Israeli official calls for concentration camps in Gaza and ‘the conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters’, Daily Mail, August 4, 2014, available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2715466/Israeli-official-calls-concentration-camps-Gaza-conquest-entire-Gaza-Strip-annihilation-fighting-forces-supporters.html.

[36] Moshe Feiglin, My Outline for a Solution in Gaza, Arutz Sheve, August 15, 2014, available here: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15326#.VCLljPldXTo.

Attachments

PDF icon Background on the term genocide in Israel Palestine Context.pdf

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Not business as usual: colonial settlers in al-Khalil for Jewish festival

International Solidarity Movement | November 27, 2016

Hebron, occupied Palestine – The Jewish holiday/celebration of Chayei Sarah and the reading of the Torah regarding Sarah took place in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron) on 25th and 26th November 2016.

Beginning of Friday hundreds of Jews from illegal colonial settlements within the West Bank as well as Jews from Israel began arriving. It was estimated there may be as many as 1500 coming for their festivities. Huge tents and designated camping areas were set up (some in areas owned by Palestinians). They were also staying with families and friends in the existing illegal settlements here in al-Khalil.

This lot was the play area for the Palestinian elementary and secondary school. Now it's being used for The Sarah event.

This lot was the play area for the Palestinian elementary and secondary school. Now it’s being used for The Sarah event.

This automatically meant more Israeli occupation forces, more border police, much more “security” at checkpoints that Palestinians need to pass through on a regular basis as part of their normal daily routines (going to work, shopping, etc.) It also meant a complete closure of many of the checkpoints, not allowing anyone who was not here for the festival (that is a colonial settler) to go through.

Young soldiers leading the event

Israeli Occupation Forces preparing for the "Settler Tour" with their guns and dogs

Israeli Occupation Forces preparing for the “Settler Tour” with their guns and dogs

On Saturday “security” was at its peak. Every Saturday afternoon there is a tour of the Palestinian Old City by settlers from the illegal settlements. This usually consists of around 20 to 150 settlers. With about as many Israeli occupation force soldiers to “protect” them. This weekend the tour consisted of nearly 2700 settlers. This obviously meant more soldiers, on roof tops, police dogs sniffing out the route before the tour began, soldiers positioned approximately every 50 meters along the entire route and at the beginning and end of the group. Many shop owners closed early for fear of trouble by the settlers parading through the Old City.

Sniffing for bombs on the parade route before it starts.

Sniffing for bombs on the parade route before it starts

Soldiers and settlers parading through the Palestinian market where some shops closed early

Soldiers and settlers parading through the Palestinian market where some shops closed early

The settlers who participated were singing, dancing, acting provocatively aggressive towards the Palestinians and internationals who were trying to mind their own business or observing the events. There were many “shouts of “welcome to Israel” by the settlers as well as “f*ck you’s” and “this is our home not yours, we will never leave” at the Palestinians. An observer witnessed a number of incidents of harassment by the settlers toward anyone who was not Jewish and part of the group.

An obvious "welcome" from one of the settler youth

An obvious “welcome” from one of the settler youth

One Palestinian family in the Tel Rumeida area had their home invaded for approximately 10 hours by soldiers who set up observation on the roof and using their bathroom and kitchen as if it were their own place to do as they wished. An international who was invited to the home by the family to observe the goings on was forced to leave after an hour by the soldiers. The family was frightened by these events, but to the best of this writers knowledge there was no real damage done in the home by the soldiers.

An observer witnessed at least two Palestinian youth who were detained by the Israeli occupation forces for one reason or another. A third Palestinian was detained for trying to defend himself after a settler spit on him.

This is life in illegally settler occupied al-Khalil. The Israelis pretty much do as they wish and the Palestinian residents pay the consequences.

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fake News Alert: CNN Finally Admits White Helmets Staged Fake Video

By Tony Cartalucci – Land Destroyer – November 27, 2016

CNN, among many other establishment media platforms, has long promoted the US-European funded “Syrian Civil Defence” also known as the “White Helmets.”

Yet on November 25, they published an article titled, “Syria’s White Helmets apologize for Mannequin Challenge video,” in which they admit:

It’s a familiar scene: Syria Civil Defence, also known as the “White Helmets,” rushing to rescue a man covered in rubble, but unlike thousands of other videos from Aleppo, this one is staged.

CNN would continue by claiming:

The nearly one-minute long video has been the subject of criticism on social media. On Wednesday Syria Civil Defence released a statement calling it an “error of judgment”.

“This video and the related posts were recorded by RFS media with Syria Civil Defence volunteers, who hoped to create a connection between the horror of Syria and the outside world using the viral ‘Mannequin challenge.’ This was an error of judgment, and we apologize on behalf of the volunteers involved,” the statement read.

Ignored by both the “White Helmets'” and RFS’ as well as CNN’s explanation of the video is the fact that the now admittedly staged video – besides the “mannequin challenge” style – is virtually indistinguishable from the “thousands of other videos from Aleppo” cited by CNN.

Just like “thousands of other videos from Aleppo” cited by CNN, the “victim” being “rescued” by the “White Helmets” is covered in dust and what appears to be blood, but otherwise uninjured. Unlike in a real bombing, those “rescued” by the “White Helmet” have their limbs intact, no deep, visible wounds, and lack any of the burns or trauma associated with weaponry used in modern combat.

It is unlikely that out of  the “thousands of other videos from Aleppo” cited by CNN, none of them would feature actual trauma, and instead feature only the dust and fake “blood” covered “victims” as seen in the recent, admittedly staged video, as well as during recently staged protests in Europe.

Would CNN Have Covered “White Helmet” Deceit Without Alternative Media’s Coverage? 

Of course, the alternative media has been exposing the “White Helmets” for years as perhaps one of the largest, most complex war propaganda operations conceived thus far by Western powers in their bid to sway public opinion amid regime change efforts in Syria.

Image: RSF’s “apology” lacks conviction, but is full of excuses and blame.

When the recent “mannequin challenge” video was uploaded, it was the alternative media that caught it, reported on it, and brought viral attention to it. It was the alternative media that exposed the fact that a supposed “rescue organization” was staging fake videos for war propaganda value – in possible violation of the Geneva Convention, and certainly in violation of basic ethical concerns.

It was only after the alternative media raised these concerns and cornered RFS and the “White Helmets” that establishment media platforms like CNN finally reacted to a story it likely would have otherwise ignored.

It is no wonder then, why establishment media platforms like CNN, the Washington Post, and others are so passionately opposed to the alternative media – they are no longer setting the agenda, and are instead forced to react. Real journalism equates to reporting and honestly analyzing world events rather than contriving and spinning them – for CNN and others, they no longer possess the freedom to do the latter without consequence.

For the alternative media, successes like this, and the fact that establishment Western media has all but declared war on the alternative media should highlight the value of honest journalism and analysis. It should also be a constant reminder that fact-driven media will always win out over agenda-driven media. For the alternative media to continue to grow and be successful, it must reaffirm its dedication to fact-driven media no matter how tempting it is to do otherwise.

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour equates climate ‘deniers’ with proponents of ‘ethnic cleansing and genocide’

By Marc Morano – Climate Depot – November 25, 2016

Amanpour: Press Faces ‘Existential Crisis’ Under Trump; ‘I Believe In Being Truthful, Not Neutral’

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour has equated climate change skeptics with the purveyors of “ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia” and “unspeakable crimes.” She also declared that the media should not give voice to those who reject the alleged “consensus” of man-made climate fears. Amanpour warned of a “Tsunami of fake news.”

Amanpour was honored with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), for her extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom on November 22, 2016. (Email: press@cpj.org) She is the Chief International Correspondent for CNN and host of CNN International’s nightly interview program Amanpour.

Amanpour said the following about “global warming” and “press freedom” at 4:35 into the video: Note: The transcript at the Real Clear Politics link (slightly different from what she actually says in the video) includes the following:

Key Excerpt of Christiane Amanpour speech:

“It appeared much of the media got itself into knots trying to differentiate between balance, objectivity, neutrality, and crucially, truth. We cannot continue the old paradigm–let’s say like over global warming, where 99.9 percent of the empirical scientific evidence is given equal play with the tiny minority of deniers.

I learned a long, long time ago, covering the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia, never to equate victim with aggressor, never to create a false moral or factual equivalence, because then if you do, particularly in situations like that, you are party and an accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences.

So I believe in being truthful, not neutral.”

End excerpt.

Wikipedia states that “The CPJ International Press Freedom Awards honor journalists or their publications around the world who show courage in defending press freedom despite facing attacks, threats, or imprisonment.”

As  Climate Depot reader Tony Kondaks noted: Neither Amanpour or the CPJ “was aware of the irony that an award for ‘press freedom’ is going to an individual who feels that defending press freedom means that journalists must self-censor and RESTRICT their readers’ access to countering and opposing views.”

Amanpour also noted the oft repeated incorrect claim of a 97% consensus about “global warming” but she even juiced that number to 99.6%.

For the truth about the 97% “consensus” claims, see below.

97% Climate Consensus?

The claim that “97% of scientists agree” is in part based on 77 anonymous scientists who [participated] in a survey. The survey started by seeking opinions from 10,257 scientists. However, it was then whittled down to 77. So the 97% “consensus” claim is not based on thousands of scientists or even hundreds of scientists – but only on 77 scientists. Out of those 77 scientists, 75 answered the survey to form the mythical 97% ‘consensus.’

In 2013 and 2014, other claims of an alleged 97% climate ‘consensus’ emerged, prompting UN IPCC lead author Dr. Richard Tol to publish a critique and declare: “The 97% is essentially pulled from thin air, it is not based on any credible research whatsoever.” The new 97% claim by climate activist John Cook was so “so broad that it incorporates the views of most prominent climate skeptics.” Another researcher, Andrew Montford, commented: “The [97%] consensus as described by the survey is virtually meaningless and tells us nothing about the current state of scientific opinion beyond the trivial observation that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that human activities have warmed the planet to some unspecified extent.”

Lord Christopher Monckton’s analysis found that “only 41 papers – 0.3% of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0% of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1%” actually endorsed the claim that “more than half of recent global warming was anthropogenic.”

Bjorn Lomborg wrote: “Do you remember the ‘97% consensus,’ which even Obama tweeted? Turns out the authors don’t want to reveal their data. It has always been a dodgy paper. Virtually everyone I know in the debate would automatically be included in the 97%.”

UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol: The 97‰ ‘consensus’ is a ‘bogus number’ – Some of the mistakes in the study should be obvious to all. There are hundreds of papers on the causes of climate change, and thousands of papers on the impacts of climate change and climate policy. Cook focused on the latter. A paper on the impact of a carbon tax on emissions was taken as evidence that the world is warming. A paper on the impact of climate change on the Red Panda was taken as evidence that humans caused this warming. And even a paper on the television coverage of climate change was seen by Cook as proof that carbon dioxide is to blame.

Cook and Co. analysed somewhere between 11,944 and 12,876 papers – they can’t get their story straight on the sample size – but only 64 of these explicitly state that humans are the primary cause of recent global warming. A reexamination of their data brought that number down to 41. That is half a per cent or less of the total, rather than 97 percent.

MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen Mocks 97% Consensus: ‘It is propaganda’ – 97 Consensus? Dr. Lindzen: ‘They never really tell you what they agree on. It is propaganda. So all scientists agree it’s probably warmer now than it was at the end of the Little Ice Age. Almost all Scientists agree that if you add CO2 you will have some warming. Maybe very little warming. But it is propaganda to translate that into it is dangerous and we must reduce co2 etc. If you can make an ambiguous remark and you have people who will amplify it ‘they said it not me’ and he response of the political system is to increase your funding, what’s not to like?’

November 27, 2016 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment