Smuggling, Surrender and Sovereignty

Where is the Federal Bureau of Investigation? The global smuggling network includes the U.S. southern border and then has many elements within cities throughout the America.

Under the Department of Homeland Security and with the wink of approval by the Department of Justice and the White House, surrender of security at the Southern border is real. Lines of sovereignty have disappeared.

The world is a very messy place especially when it comes to human rights, dignity and law enforcement. The question is why? Does it come down to resources, money and indifference?

The United States has a history of a forward-leaning country that puts emphasis on stopping festering criminal and terror networks but given failed policy domestically and internationally, America has fallen silent. There are good people that do good work within government and they earn our recognition and praise yet sadly that work and success is being lost due in part to the sheer volume of a hidden and robust war caused by people, money and greed. The notion of paying any consequence for criminal activity has fallen silent, there are few consequences.

 

If people can be successfully smuggled throughout a global network and reach our Southern border only to be moved again inside our cities then anything can be smuggled without notice and successful smuggling is winning over prosecution.

Human Smuggling Case Evokes South America’s Terror-Linked History

‘A Somali man used Brazil as a staging ground to smuggle people, including members of a terrorist group into the United States, witnesses are expected to testify during a sentencing hearing Thursday in San Antonio.

Ahmed Mohammed Dhakane pleaded guilty in November to two counts of making false statements on his 2008 asylum application. He failed to disclose his terrorist affiliations and that he had acted as an alien smuggler.

The U.S. didn’t charge Dhakane with smuggling or terrorism counts, but prosecutors are hoping that testimony will convince the court that a terrorism enhancement, combined with several others, should be applied to Dhakane’s sentence to give him the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.’ More here.

 

Armenians Smuggled Through U.S.-Mexico Border

‘This past Saturday, 44 year-old Grigor Chatalyan of North Hollywood was arrested for smuggling Armenians through the U.S.-Mexico border. The Armenians were reportedly first sent to Moscow to obtain fraudulent Russian passports. The next stop on the journey was Cancun, Mexico where they received permanent resident or passport cards in order to cross into the U.S., reported the Union-Tribune.

The costs paid by the Armenian nationals are reportedly up to $18,000 per person according to federal officials.

Overwhelmed agents trying to monitor and patrol America’s borders are constantly challenged with smugglers bringing unlawful travelers from many countries in addition to Armenia and Mexico. Breitbart’s Brandon Darby wrote about a UN report last July that “identifies both Mexican cartels and street gangs as conduits for individuals from Africa and Asia entering the U.S illegally.” More here.

EXCLUSIVE: Documents Detail Heinous Crimes Committed by Gang Members Being Housed in Nogales Processing Center

‘By U.S. legal standards many gang members operating in Central American countries and traveling north are classified as minors due to being under the age of 18. However, many young males are actively engaged in violent cartel and criminal activity, yet are treated as children when processed through the Department of Health and Human Services or Department of Homeland Security systems. Due to current policy, these “minor” gang members cannot be separated by Border Patrol agents from the rest of the general population of children. According to the FBI, MS-13 regularly targets middle and high school students for recruitment. The FBI also lists 18th Street as one of the most violent gangs in the country. Business Insider describes 18th Street as having special focus on document fraud and homicide.

According to sources inside the processing center, these unaccompanied MS-13 and 18th Street minors are being held for placement inside the United States.’ Read more here including documents.

MS-13 gang labeled transnational criminal group, a first for US street gang

MS-13 gang is a violent group engaged in the drug, sex, and human trafficking trades in the US. Designating MS-13 gang a transnational criminal organization helps US officials target it more aggressively.

By Howard LaFranchi, Staff writer

‘For the first time, a street gang operating in the United States has been officially designated a transnational criminal organization, empowering officials to more aggressively target the group, Mara Salvatrucha MS-13, which engages in the drug, sex, and human trafficking trades.

MS-13 is an El Salvador-based gang that over three decades has developed into a violent criminal force from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

But what countries are cooperating with the United States? Mexico is not cooperating and in fact is making conditions more severe and all their plans and operations are ill conceived.

FBI investigating gunfire on U.S. agents by Mexican authorities

A Mexican law enforcement helicopter crossed into U.S. airspace and fired two shots, just missing American Border Patrol agents and prompting a quick apology from Mexican authorities in what is the second incursion this year of Mexican forces into United States territory, U.S. law enforcement officials said Friday.

The incident, now the subject of an FBI criminal investigation, occurred about 5:45 a.m. Thursday in southern Arizona, about 100 yards north of the U.S.-Mexico border, as Mexican law enforcement officers were chasing kidnapping suspects trying to escape into the United States, U.S. officials said.

It is time to admit failure, it is time to challenge our State Department, it is time to confront the Department of Justice it is time that we force protections for our own safety and national security. It is a matter of time before something much more tragic is in our future.

Posted in Citizens Duty, common core education, Cyber War, DOJ, DC and inside the Beltway, Drug Cartels, Health Disease, History, Industry Jobs Oil Economics, Insurgency, Libya Benghazi Muslim Brotherhood murder, Middle East, NSA Spying | Leave a comment  

ISIS, Genital Mutilation and Kerry Cool

Yesterday, the United Nations ordered a full investigation into Israel for war crimes as defined by the International Criminal Court. Yet, where is the United Nations or any nation calling out Islam for beheadings, theft, extortion, genocide or even female genital mutilation? The United Nations is a twisted organization and our own U.S. Ambassador, Samantha Power ignores it as did the previous ambassador Susan Rice.

 

Isis ‘orders female genital mutilation’ for women in Mosul

UN official Jacqueline Badcock said the fatwa, or religious edict, applied to females between the ages of 11 and 46.

She said the unprecedented decree issued by the Islamists in control of the city was of grave concern. Iraq is facing a radical Isis-led Sunni insurgency, with cities in the north-west under militant control.

The ritual cutting of girls’ genitals is practised by some African, Middle Eastern and Asian communities in the belief it prepares them for adulthood or marriage. FGM poses many health risks to women, including severe bleeding, problems urinating, infections, infertility and increased risk of newborn deaths in childbirth.

‘Four million’

The UN General Assembly approved a resolution in December 2012 calling for all member states to ban the practice. The Isis edict could affect nearly four million women and girls in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the UN warns.   Read more here.

In Jordan, there another militia group that is allying with ISIS where others already have.

Local jihadist group pledges allegiance to Islamic State

A local jihadist group on Wednesday denounced Al Qaeda leaders as illegitimate and pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).

In a statement, the Sons of the Call for Tawhid and Jihad, the youth wing of Jordan’s hard-line Salafist movement, denounced leading Al Qaeda clerics Abu Mohammad Al Maqdissi and Abu Qatada as “illegitimate”, pledging heir full support for the Islamic State and its recently announced caliphate.

In the statement, the jihadists rebuked Maqdissi and Abu Qatada for their criticism of the IS and refusal to recognise their Islamic caliphate. The group went on to threaten Maqdissi — former head of the Jordanian Salafist movement and vocal critic of IS — urging him to “return to righteousness”. The statement, posted on jihadist web sites and forums, stressed “the right and duty of all to support IS”. The Sons of the Call for Tawhid and Jihad coalition of young jihadists reportedly represent over 70 per cent of Jordan’s 6,000-strong Jihadi Salafist movement.   More here.

While war crimes are escalating in Iraq, we cannot forget Bashir al Assad in Syria whose name and civil war has left the world stage. But he still has his own playbook and it appears it may soon fit nicely with ISIS.

Inside Assad’s Playbook: Time and Terror

By Bassam Barabandi and Tyler Jess Thompson

The announcement of ISIS’s caliphate is most helpful in draining time and distracting the world from Assad’s destruction of Syrian society. Now that ISIS has fully matured, the Assad regime and Iran offer themselves as partners to the United States. For the first time, Assad is striking ISIS in Raqqa and locations inside Iraq, in a perverse harvest of the terrorist seeds he planted to quash the civilian-led reform movement. Assad will continue to make himself appear helpful by offering intermittent air strikes, details of fighters released from prison, and intelligence.

The rise of ISIS in Iraq and events in Gaza and Ukraine have placed Assad’s war safely outside the headlines. Once again, the world is convinced it has higher priorities and may again conclude that Assad is a problematic, yet stabilizing dictator in a troubled region. Safe from public scrutiny, he can go back to his hidden room, manipulating various players. US coordination with Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, or the Assad government in the fight against ISIS will play directly into the Assad plan. It will prove to Assad that his manipulation of time and terror has once again worked.

In summary, it is important to know that the intelligence officials knew 3 days ahead of time that ISIS was taking on Mosul, what is worse however, al Maliki also knew and begged Barack Obama for air-strikes countless times as a pro-active measure and each time Barack Obama refused each request.

It is stunning what Obama’s administration is keeping from Congress who under the War Powers Act must approved any intervention in a war zone. Not until there have been a few Congressional hearings is the truth being revealed on the dismissal by Barack Obama of Iraq calling for help which could have saved Iraq from ISIS.

Obama refused ‘repeated requests’ since August 2013 for drone strikes against ISIS

“Breaking on Capitol Hill is the news that Iraqi officials began requesting almost a year ago for the US to carry out drone strikes against ISIS – but the requests were shot down by the White House. That stunning revelation came during a hearing on the situation in Iraq this morning.”  More here.

The failures of Barack Obama’s National Security Council, his Joint Chiefs and most especially his State Department under John Kerry mount exponentially while he himself continues to fund-raise across the country as an implied Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Wonder what Debbie Wasserman Schultz is really thinking.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Citizens Duty, DOJ, DC and inside the Beltway, History, Insurgency, Middle East, Terror | Leave a comment  

U.S. Blacklist and NSA model Used by Putin

Databases abound in the United States and they are all inter-connected where they are sold for countless purposes. Social media is the first location where user information is gathered without your knowledge or approval. Your information is scored and profiled. This same model has been included in a law that Vladimir Putin signed into a law in Russia. So Putin is doing the same thing that the Barack Obama has been doing. But for America, it is actually worse from what we know so far.

 

 

Vladimir Putin signs law requiring mass storage of Russians’ personal Internet data

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a law requiring Internet companies to store all personal data of Russian users at data centres in Russia, a move which could chill criticism on foreign social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

These companies, which do not have offices in Russia, have become a vital resource for opposition groups and refuse to hand over user data to governments. The use of Russian data centres would make them and other Internet companies subject to Russian laws on government access to information.

The Kremlin said the law was aimed at “improving the management of personal data of Russian citizens on computer networks” and that companies which do not comply with the legislation would be blocked.

Lawmakers who introduced the bill had complained that data stored abroad was at risk of being hacked and stolen by criminals.

The law could also cause problems for Russian companies such as tourism websites and airlines that rely on foreign-based online booking services.

Russia’s Association of Electronic Communication (RAEC), a group that lobbies on behalf of Internet companies, warned earlier this month that “many global Internet services would be impossible” under the new law. Internet companies have also warned that the two years before the measures come into force is not sufficient time for them to find or build data centres on which to store the data.

The Internet data law comes amid a number of measures cracking down on public dissent in Russia, including introducing jail terms of up to five years for repeated participation in unsanctioned protests and restrictions on the activities of non-governmental organisations.

It is also in line with other recent Internet restrictions, including a requirement for bloggers to register as media if they have more than 3,000 followers and a law directed against “extremist” language that could see Russians go to jail for up to five years for retweeting “offensive” information.

 

__________

The use of your information in the United States each day is becoming more disturbing. The White House has established a Blacklist and you could be on it again without your knowledge or approval. The criteria to get on the list is chilling such even taking your pet to the vet can add your name. Even if you die you may not be removed. The White House authorized this Blacklist and appears to be one of many entities in full authority of the Blacklist.

The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

By and

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.

Read more here.

Posted in Citizens Duty, common core education, Cyber War, DOJ, DC and inside the Beltway, History, NSA Spying, Terror | Leave a comment  

The United Nations is a Marxist SpyHive

DISGUSTING, UNITED STATES MUST SUSPEND DUES IMMEDIATELY
http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpPages)/3A2E7F28C6F779E7C1257D1E005C8F02?OpenDocument
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ESTABLISHES INDEPENDENT, INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY FOR THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
23 July 2014

The Human Rights Council this afternoon concluded its Special Session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, after adopting a resolution in which it decided to establish an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

In the resolution, adopted by a vote of 29 States in favour, 1 against and 17 abstentions, the Council strongly condemned the failure of Israel, the occupying Power, to end its prolonged occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; and condemned in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 13 June 2014 that may amount to international crimes, directly resulting in the killing of more than 650 Palestinians, most of them civilians and more than 170 of whom were children, the injury of more than 4,000 people and the wanton destruction of homes, vital infrastructure and public properties.

The Council further condemned all violence against civilians wherever it occurred, including the killing of two Israeli civilians as a result of rocket fire.  It called for an immediate cessation of Israeli military assaults throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and an end to attacks against all civilians, including Israeli civilians.  The Council demanded that Israel immediately and fully end its illegal closure of the occupied Gaza Strip and called upon the international community to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance and services to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

In the resolution, the Council decided to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014, and to report to the Council at its twenty-eighth session.
It also recommended that the Government of Switzerland, in its capacity as depositary of the Fourth Geneva Convention, promptly reconvene the conference of High Contracting Parties to the Convention.

In the general debate, speakers continued to call for the immediate halt of Israeli operations against civilians and civilian targets in Gaza. Some spoke in support of Israel’s right to defend its population against terrorist attacks, and condemned reprehensible acts, including indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas and other armed groups.  Others called attention to the fact that children were bearing the brunt of the escalating violence.  Israel’s attempts to warn Palestinian civilians to flee areas where terrorist military installations were noted by some speakers, while others said this meant nothing as the inhabitants of Gaza had no place to flee.  Many speakers supported the establishment of an independent international commission of inquiry, and some called for a meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Speaking during this afternoon’s debate were representatives of Syria, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Malaysia, Canada, Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania, Iceland  Holy See, Sudan, Thailand, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Bahrain, Uruguay, Iran, Switzerland, Malta, Australia, United Nations Children’s Fund, New Zealand, Spain, Niger, Bolivia, Oman, Sri Lanka, African Union, Denmark, Lebanon, Mauritius, Portugal, Norway, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chad, Iraq, Guinea, Djibouti and Angola.

The Independent Human Rights Commission of Palestine spoke and the following non-governmental organizations took the floor: Independent Human Rights Commission of Palestine, Action Contre la Faim International, Norwegian Refugee Council, BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugees Rights, Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development, International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights,
Union of Arab Jurists, World Jewish Congress, Defence for Children International,
Human Rights Watch, Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations B’nai B’rith, Save the Children International, International Federation for Human Rights Leagues, UN Watch,
Caritas International, International Commission of Jurists, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, CIVICUS – World Alliance for Citizen Participation, European Union of Jewish Students, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme, General Arab Women Federation, International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Amnesty International, Amuta for NGO Responsibility and Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights.

Pakistan introduced the resolution on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Israel and Palestine took the floor as concerned countries.  The United States, Italy on behalf of the European Union, Brazil and Peru spoke in explanations of the vote before the vote.  Gabon, Chile and Japan spoke in explanation of the vote after the vote.

This was the twenty-first Special Session of the Human Rights Council. A summary of the first part of the meeting can be found here.  Documentation relating to the Special Session, including the resolution, is available on the Human Rights Council webpage.  The twenty-seventh regular session of the Human Rights Council will take place from 8 to 26 September 2014.

General Debate

Syria said that extremist gangs of settlers had been allowed to abduct a Palestinian child and burn him alive, which had led to further massacres of the innocent, particularly women and children.  Israel had continuously shown utter disregard for international law. The international community had to ensure that such crimes did not go unpunished.  Syria supported the legitimate resistance of the Palestinian people.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation stated that the murderous and blind attacks of the Israeli army had led to hundreds of civilian deaths, flouting international law and gravely violating human rights.  The Council should set up an independent investigative commission to look into those severe breaches of international law.  No country, no matter how powerful it was, should be allowed to massacre civilians with impunity.

Malaysia condemned in the strongest terms the ongoing barbaric and military aggression by Israel on Gaza.  Israel’s so-called self-defence had in fact killed thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians over the years.  Israel had to be held fully accountable, and no room should be left for its disrespect of the United Nations Charter.   Israel should fully halt its military assault on Gaza and end its illegal occupation of the Gaza Strip.

Canada said the Council should call for calm and an end to the hostilities, not establish a new mechanism.  Canada supported Israel’s right to defend its population against terrorist attacks, and condemned reprehensible acts by Hamas and other armed groups.  The Council should not embolden them by agreeing a resolution that did not even condemn such acts.

Tunisia condemned in the strongest possible terms the barbaric terrorist attacks by Israel in Gaza, and asked the Council to demand that the Israelis responsible were brought before the International Criminal Court.  Tunisia quoted testimonies from various world leaders that Israel was a terrorist State acting like the Nazis, committing war crimes and establishing apartheid.

Jordan said Israel was acting in blatant violation of international human rights law.  Some 100,000 Palestinians had been internally displaced.  The targeting of civilians, no matter which side they were on, forced the Council to fulfil its reason for existence.  The Council should establish a commission of inquiry and call for a meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Libya strongly condemned the barbaric invasion by the Israeli occupying power, which had led to the deaths of more than 600 Palestinians, many of them children.  The disastrous situation could not be justified by self-defence, but was rather a collective punishment of the Palestinian people, in contravention of international law.  An independent commission of inquiry ought to be sent to Palestine as soon as possible.

Mauritania condemned in the strongest terms the Israeli aggression, which was an affront to human conscience and constituted collective punishment and genocide.  Israel’s actions would have negative repercussions on the situation in the entire region.  Israel, as the occupying power, was blatantly responsible for the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the occupied territories.

Iceland said that, once again, it was Palestinian civilians, innocent women and children, who suffered most.  Iceland strongly condemned the violations of international humanitarian law by both sides, and called on Israel to cease all military operations in Gaza without delay.  Attacks on Israel also had to stop without delay.  Iceland commended the Secretary-General for going to the region and providing his good offices.

Holy See said the voice of reason seemed submerged by the blast of arms.  The perpetration of injustices and the violation of human rights, especially the right to life and to live in peace and security, sowed fresh seeds of hatred and resentment.  In his pilgrimage to the Holy Land Pope Francois demanded that the present unacceptable situation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be brought to an end.

Sudan said with 650 dead, thousands wounded and many thousands more displaced, the violations committed by Israel represented a policy of racial and ethnic cleansing, a massacre and genocide at a time when mankind had rejected the racist law of the jungle and moved into a time of human dignity.  The Council must recognize that Israel was an occupying power supported by a superpower that could do whatever it wanted.

Thailand said the right to life should be protected at all times and in all circumstances, even in the course of hostilities.  Thailand supported the Security Council call for the immediate cessation of hostilities, including allowing unfettered access to provide humanitarian access to innocent civilians in a timely and sustained manner.  Violence only perpetuated a vicious cycle of violence and greater insecurity in the region.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea condemned, in the strongest terms, Israel’s reckless military actions, which had caused bloodshed again in Palestine.  Israel’s brutal killings of over 600 defenceless Palestinians through indiscriminate military attacks on peaceful residential areas were particularly denounced.  Israel should immediately stop all illegal military actions against Palestine.

Ecuador believed in peaceful coexistence of peoples, and recognized the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians to enjoy security and well-being.  Unlimited humanitarian and medical aid to the Gaza Strip had to be guaranteed.  Israel, as the occupying power, had to respect the human rights of the Palestinians, and to abide by its human rights obligations, in accordance with the treaties it had ratified.

Bahrain stated that the barbaric aggression by the Israeli occupying forces was a blatant violation of all international laws and customs.  Israel’s aggression was completely unacceptable, as it completely disregarded the 2012 ceasefire agreement.  Palestinian territories should be placed under international protection until Israel evacuated all the occupied lands.  Israel was called upon to comply with international law.

Uruguay said the political issues underlying the conflict did not fall strictly within the remit of the Council, as other areas of the United Nations dealt with them, but it was clear that the Council could not remain silent given the escalating violence and loss of life in Gaza.  Uruguay condemned any hostilities against civilians, and said the violence must end and international humanitarian law must prevail.

Iran said the brutal use of force by Israel against the Palestinian people, including in residential areas, hospitals and schools, added to the long list of violations by Israel over the past 60 years, in systematic and flagrant breach of international law.  The international community must not repeat previous mistakes; it must take some responsibly for the situation.  The Council must also identify the Israeli officials who had perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Switzerland recalled that reprisals against civilians and indiscriminate attacks were prohibited by international law, and said it supported the establishment of an international commission of inquiry to investigate all human rights allegations.  It called on all parties concerned to agree to a ceasefire, paving the way to the lifting of the blockade and lasting improvement to the security of both the Israeli and Palestinian people.

Malta said that there had been international calls to end attacks by Hamas and retaliatory actions by Israel.  Schools and hospitals in Gaza had been targeted, which meant that children bore the brunt of the ongoing hostilities.  Israeli children were also living in the shadow of rockets, while far too many Palestinian children had died or lost family members.  There were clear European Union parameters for future negotiations, which Malta supported.

Australia was deeply concerned about the growing number of casualties on both sides, including many Palestinian civilians.  The draft resolution was unbalanced, did not mention Hamas’ role in the current situation, and Australia could not support it in its current form.  Australia supported Israel’s right to defend itself, but, in doing so, it should take all necessary steps to prevent civilian casualties.

United Nations Children’s Fund called attention to the fact that children were bearing the brunt of the escalating violence.  As of 22 July, 146 children had been killed.  Protection was needed to ensure the safety of shelters and refuges, and for families trying to relocate to safer areas.   Eighty-five schools had been damaged since the beginning of the emergency.  More than 72,000 were currently in need of emergency psycho-social support, and the number was expected to rise.

New Zealand called for an end to a conflict that could and should have been avoided, saying the tragic events of the past two weeks had led to an appalling degree of human suffering and its ongoing repercussions.  Parties on both sides continued to fall short of their obligations to protect civilians.  It was vital that a meaningful and permanent two-State solution be found, including a sustainable end to the blockade of Gaza.  The pattern of conflict had gone on too long and the cost to innocent civilians was too high.

Spain said while Israel had the right to protect its population it also had a duty to protect civilians and respect the principles of proportionality and international law.  The main priority was to achieve a ceasefire, said Spain, but the need to achieve a negotiated two-State solution – a stable Palestine and a secure Israel – could only be achieved through talking, and Spain urged both sides to return to the negotiating table.

Niger said the seriousness of the events in Gaza had left the international community indifferent, although Israel was responsible for huge violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.  The United Nations Secretary-General was urged to continue his efforts to achieve a ceasefire and bring the parties back to the negotiating table, in recognition of the Palestinians’ right to live in their own land.

Bolivia said that hundreds of Palestinian civilians were victims of the Israeli aggression.  The international community should provide for the urgent convening of a dialogue between Palestine and Israel.  Israel’s violations of human rights were grave and systematic, and should be investigated in the context of international law.  Palestine could count on the support of Bolivia.

Oman stated that it did not seek confrontation, but instead condemned all kinds of violence, which had escalated to the degree that a child had been torched alive.  Practices described by the High Commissioner in the morning were tantamount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.  An independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, along the 1967 borders, had to be established.

Sri Lanka was deeply concerned at the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, resulting in the tragic loss of civilian lives and extensive damage of property.  Sri Lanka was convinced that dialogue remained the only feasible option.  All parties were called upon to exercise the utmost restraint in a bid to halt the violence.  The Egyptian ceasefire initiative would be a meaningful starting point in that regard.

African Union said a recent declaration issued by the African Union, in a spirit of solidarity between Africa and Palestine, deplored the recent violence in the Gaza Strip.  Both parties were called upon to end the aggression with a view to removing all the blockades against Gaza and work on establishing a climate for negotiations.  Africa wanted peace, nothing less, for the people of the region.

Denmark regretted that once again the civilian populations were bearing the brunt of the hostilities during the confrontation between Hamas and Israel.  It strongly condemned the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Hamas and other militant groups, and condemned the loss of hundreds of civilian lives.  Denmark supported calls for a swift and impartial international investigation into the civilian deaths on both sides.

Lebanon asked why the Council had waited for yet more destruction and death in Gaza before convening this Special Session.  The media showed images of children dying indiscriminately in their beds, elderly people and women being killed for no other reason than being inhabitants of Gaza, and bombs raining down on the city.  If those were they not sufficient reasons to hold the session, when should the Council meet?

Mauritius expressed grave concern at the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and strongly condemned the killing of civilians, among them children and the elderly and the destruction of the civilian infrastructure.  Mauritius appealed to the international community to spare no effort in preventing the escalation of the conflict.  Mauritius also condemned Israel’s illegal colonial settlement campaign.

Portugal was appalled by the continuing escalation of violence in Gaza which had resulted in the loss of hundreds of civilian lives.  While Israel had the right to defend its civilian population from attacks from militant groups, the response had to be proportionate and respect international humanitarian law.  Portugal called for the full implementation of the Security Council resolution 1860 on opening the crossings.

Norway condemned the rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, but being the stronger part and operating in very densely populated areas strengthened Israel’s responsibility.  Norway supported the efforts and leadership by Egypt to facilitate a ceasefire, which had to be followed up by measures that could substantially improve the living conditions in Gaza.

Afghanistan strongly condemned Israel’s assaults on Gaza and the rising numbers of civilian lives lost, and urged the occupying power, international community and United Nations to exert every possible effort to secure a ceasefire.  Afghanistan had announced an assistance package in humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza and urged the international community to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza.

Bangladesh said the massacres of civilians in Gaza, particularly of children and women, were appalling and had shocked the world’s conscience.  There was no legal, political or moral justification for such actions, which were illegal and in continuous breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  Bangladesh supported Palestine’s call to establish a commission of inquiry.

Chad called upon Israel to immediately cease its air raids and land offensive which mainly targeted civilians, schools and hospitals.  Chad also called upon the Palestinians to end their attacks against Israel, including the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip.  Chad called on all parties to show restraint and achieve a ceasefire, as well as to lift the blockade on Gaza.

Iraq paid tribute to the proud Arab people of Palestine who remained steadfast in face of one of the most brutal attacks by Israel.  The Arab world would never fail to stand with the Palestinian people and would continue to support the two-State solution.  Israel continued to enjoy seeming immunity for its crimes; Palestinians had the right to defend themselves against such blatant aggression.

Guinea congratulated the High Commissioner for her powerful statement.  The indiscriminate use of force by Israel in one of the most populated areas in the world was unacceptable, and had further worsened the already dire situation in the Gaza Strip.  The blockade against Gaza had to come to an end.  Guinea totally supported the Palestinian people in their legitimate aspirations to have an independent State.

Djibouti was seriously concerned by the grave situation, which was, unfortunately, not a new scenario.  In violation of international human rights law, Israel had ignored the principles of proportionality and had targeted Palestinian civilians in Gaza.  Perpetrators of any such heinous crimes had to be held accountable.  Djibouti supported Egypt’s proposal for a ceasefire and called upon parties to cooperate.

Angola said it was deeply outraged and appalled by the unacceptable situation prevailing in Gaza, which it considered to be excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate and in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.  Angola joined the calls of the international community for an immediate ceasefire in order to deliver assistance to the victims of the conflict.

Independent Human Rights Commission of Palestine said Israel’s disproportionate and indiscriminate actions had killed 650 Palestinians, injured more than 4,000 and displaced over 150,000 from their homes.  There was no safe haven in Gaza.  The bombardment came from land, air and sea.  An immediate investigation should be carried out by an independent and impartial fact-finding mission and impunity should be ended.

Action Contre la Faim International said in the past week it had successfully delivered aid to thousands of recipients in Gaza, but the intensity of hostilities had seriously impeded the provision of emergency humanitarian aid.  It was extremely concerned about the viability of helping people recover from yet another crisis amidst restrictions that drastically limited Gaza’s economic and social development.

Norwegian Refugee Council said that 44 per cent of the Gaza Strip had been declared a no-go area, making Gaza even more of an open-air prison than before.  In Gaza, the internally displaced persons could not find safety as they were not allowed to leave, and no place in Gaza was safe.  Returning to the status quo ante was not enough.

Al-Haq stated that what they were witnessing in the Gaza Strip was a manifestation of Israel’s prolonged and belligerent occupation of Palestine.  The current situation was an embodiment of the international community’s failure to hold Israel accountable for war crimes in the occupied territory.  The status quo was not sustainable.

BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugees Rights said that 76 per cent of the Palestinians killed by Israel were civilians.  Testimonies from the ground described attacks by Israel as indiscriminate and disproportionate and directly aimed at civilians.  In the past seven years, the Council had failed to act decisively to ensure that Israel abided by international law.

Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development said the Council was today considering a catastrophic situation which was a result of Israel’s reaction to the kidnapping of three Israeli citizens; this was collective punishment against the citizens of the Gaza Strip.  More than 83 per cent of victims were civilians, killed in an area where there was no option to flee death as the aggression of Israel was all encompassing.

International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights said the Special Session took place three weeks after the execution, torture and murder of a Palestinian teenager in East Jerusalem, and three weeks of Israeli aggression against Gaza.  The Institute condemned the attacks against the Palestinian people, their hospitals, and their schools, and made several recommendations for a fact-finding mission.

Union of Arab Jurists said despite calls from the United Nations and other international bodies, Israel’s aggression in the occupied Palestinian territories continued.  Israel considered itself to be above United Nations resolutions and above the law.  Those countries which supported Israel equated the victim and the aggressor, knowing full well of the inalienable right to self-determination and legitimate resistance.   

World Jewish Congress said that by firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians, Hamas had launched an armed attack against a United Nations Member State.  Hamas was the violator of human rights, as it used children as human shields and violated the sanctity of mosques, hospitals and schools.  The Council should reject the resolution and sanction Hamas for its wanton violation of human rights.

Defence for Children International said that thus far more children had been killed by Israeli fire than Palestinian militants.  Eighty-five schools had been damaged by shelling by Israeli forces.  International law was clear in stating that civilians, including children, should never be targeted.  An immediate ceasefire, which should also end the blockade on the Gaza Strip, was called for.

Human Rights Watch had documented eight airstrikes on civilian targets before the ground offensive had begun on 17 July.  Neither the Israeli nor Palestinian authorities had taken the necessary steps to prosecute violators, who existed on both sides.  The Council should mandate the Office of the High Commissioner to form a fact-finding mission, which should establish accountability and issue recommendations to the United Nations and the parties.

Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations; B’nai B’rith said Hamas had fired some 1,700 rockets at Israel, and it used its own people as human shields.  Israel made attempts to warn Palestinian civilians to flee areas where terrorist military installations were, by sending text and telephone messages.  The Coordinating Board said they were here today for peace.

Save the Children International said the number of casualties in the Gaza Strip was unprecedented.  One out of every five people killed by the recent strikes was a child.  Around 80,000 children had experienced death or injury in their families, or lost a home.  Children were being denied access to healthcare and schooling.  Save the Children International called for the protection of school facilities and respect for their integrity.

International Federation for Human Rights Leagues said since the launch of ‘Operation Protective Edge’ on 7 July Israel had killed at least 650 people in the occupied Gaza Strip.  At the same time, thousands of rockets had been fired at Israel from within the Gaza Strip causing the death of two Israeli civilians.  The imbalance of power could not be overlooked.  Israel and Palestine should ratify the Rome Statute to help ensure accountability.

UN Watch said that the draft resolution denied Israel’s right to self-defence.  If in the past year, the Council had not cried out when thousands had been killed in street protests in Turkey, Egypt, Libya and Afghanistan, why did it hold a Special Session on Israel now?  The Assad regime in Syria had killed 1,800 Palestinians, yet the Council had remained silent over that.

Caritas International expressed deep concern about the renewed tension in the Holy Land and the grave violations reported in the Gaza Strip.  During the special prayers for peace in Israel and Palestine, convened in the Vatican on 8 June, Pope Francis had asked for courage, strength and tenacity to say no to conflict.  Caritas called on both parties to the conflict to agree to an immediate ceasefire to enable humanitarian relief.

International Commission of Jurists called for an immediate end to the Palestinian military operations in Gaza and the unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli military from Gaza.   All of Gaza’s crossings had to be opened to allow for unrestricted humanitarian access.  There had been attacks by both parties which constituted crimes under international law and their perpetrators had to be held criminally accountable.

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies said as an occupying power Israel had obligations under international humanitarian law, as compelled by the Fourth Geneva Convention, under which it was also bound to refrain from collective punishment.  The practice to warn civilians to leave their houses before the shelling starts should not be seen as an act of morality; with the current blockade on Gaza the civilians had nowhere to go.

CIVICUS – World Alliance for Citizen Participation said it was appalled by the nightmare of rocket bombings of civilians, including children and soldiers alike, during the third war in Gaza in less than six years.  Above all, CIVICUS was appalled that Israel, after its Holocaust history, had turned from a victim into a victimizer.  Authorities in Gaza must recognize that they would lose support if they used Palestinians cynically as human shields.

European Union of Jewish Students said an entire nation, towns, villages and cities, was under brutal and relentless attack from over 2,000 rockets and long-range missiles fired from Gaza across the holy land.  Israelis were forced to run for shelter, day and night, when air-raid sirens went off.  The world should salute the terrorized and embattled nation of Israel which was showing such strength of spirit in resisting such massive aggression.

Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme was concerned by the systematic violations of international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Israel, as the occupying power, had to protect civilians during its offensive security operations against Hamas.  Both parties were invited to declare an unconditional ceasefire in order to save human lives.

General Arab Women Federation said that it was the Israeli Prime Minister’s public call for revenge along with his openly declared goal to destroy the newly formed Palestinian unity Government that had set off the recent avalanche of violence.  Israel’s policy against the Palestinians in Gaza violated the fundamental rules of international law, and such atrocities had to be prosecuted as crimes against humanity.

International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists believed that the draft resolution was contrary to the Council’s mandate and did great injustice to Israel.  It made no reference to violations of humanitarian law perpetrated by terror organizations.  Hamas had declared on several occasions that any Israeli was a legitimate target to its attacks.  The Council should condemn Hamas and its terrorist methods.

Amnesty International regretted that once more the Council was intervening after the catastrophe, and said the United Nations must find ways to intervene in crises sooner.  The Council was recommended to build on the analysis and findings of the Goldstone report and back measures to find accountability for victims.

Amuta for NGO Responsibility regretted the rockets being fired at Israel’s main airport, an artery for the nation, which had led to its partial shut-down and many major airlines suspending their flights to Israel.  The representative said that cement given to Gaza to help Palestinians build hospitals and schools was instead used to build kilometres of ‘tunnels of terror’ to murder Israeli civilians.

Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights said the failure of the international community to ensure the protection of civilians had led them to this dark day, this Special Session.  It urged the Council to take swift action to protect the civilians and to prosecute actions that amounted to war crimes.  The international community’s disgrace was the result of world leaders putting political gain ahead of the responsibility laid out in the United Nations Charter.

Action on the Draft Resolution

In a resolution (A/HRC/S-21/L.1) on ensuring respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, adopted by a vote of 29 States in favour, 1 against and 17 abstentions, the Council strongly condemns the failure of Israel, the occupying Power, to end its prolonged occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; and condemns in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 13 June 2014 that may amount to international crimes, directly resulting in the killing of more than 650 Palestinians, most of them civilians and more than 170 of whom are children, the injury of more than 4,000 people and the wanton destruction of homes, vital infrastructure and public properties.  The Council condemns all violence against civilians wherever it occurs, including the killing of two Israeli civilians as a result of rocket fire; calls for an immediate cessation of Israeli military assaults throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and an end to attacks against all civilians, including Israeli civilians; demands that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately and fully end its illegal closure of the occupied Gaza Strip; calls upon the international community to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance and services to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip; and expresses deep concern at the condition of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails and detention centres.  The Council also recommends that the Government of Switzerland, in its capacity as depositary of the Fourth Geneva Convention, promptly reconvene the conference of High Contracting Parties to the Convention; and decides to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014, and to report to the Council at its twenty-eighth session.


The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (29): Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.

Against (1): United States of America.

Abstentions (17): Austria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Republic of Korea, Romania, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and United Kingdom.

Pakistan, speaking on the behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, presenting the draft resolution, said that barbaric acts of violence by Israel were deplorable and had led to the suffering of innocent Palestinian civilians.  The draft resolution underlined the importance of providing humanitarian assistance, and called for the immediate protection of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.  The draft resolution also asked for an immediate dispatch of an independent commission of inquiry into human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the Gaza Strip.  Pakistan hoped that the resolution would be adopted by consensus.

The President said that there were six additional co-sponsors of the resolution.

Israel, speaking as a concerned country, asked again why the Council believed that naming and shaming of Israel would achieve anything.  Israel had shown its utmost restraint and agreed to a number of ceasefire arrangements, but then had no choice but to start the current operation.  Israel had no interest to be in Gaza, from which it had withdrawn in 2005.  Israel’s attacks in Gaza targeted exclusively Hamas military targets and did what it could to avoid any collateral damage.  A special commission of inquiry had been established by Israel to look into possible violations of human rights, well beyond the requirements of international law.  Hamas was the aggressor, the one committing war crimes – the Council should open its eyes to the truth.

Palestine thanked the States which had supported the convening of the current Special Session, and all those who had supported the draft resolution as presented.  There was a flagrant violation of human rights occurring in Palestine, which the occupying power seemed to have forgotten.  The current operation was the fifth such attack against Gaza.  Palestine was always prepared to find a solution, but the occupying power and those who supported it were asking Palestine to accept the occupation, which would never be accepted.  Palestine was hoping for minimal justice for killed civilians, including numerous exterminated families.  A commission of inquiry should identify those responsible so that they could be brought to justice.  Twenty five Palestinians had been killed for every Israeli.  The occupying power needed to protect civilians, which was not currently the case.  Palestine would like to see an end to the bloodletting immediately.  Palestine asked for all States to support the draft resolution and come to its aid.

United States, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it remained gravely concerned about the recent violence which had impacted Palestinian and Israeli civilians, and was working intensively to achieve an end to the hostilities.  The resolution today would not help achieve that goal.  It was destructive, not constructive.  The United States was deeply troubled by the resolution and would vote against it.  Once again the Council had failed to address the situation in Israel and occupied Palestinian territories with any semblance of balance.  The resolution did not mention rockets fired from Gaza, or the tunnels made by terrorists.  It would create another one-sided mechanism targeting Israel; the commission of inquiry it called for would be a needless, duplicative effort, the fourth such body established since 2006.  The resolution was a political and biased instrument.  The Council already had a standing agenda item focused solely on Israel, and a Special Rapporteur with a wide mandate.  Furthermore, the resolution took steps outside of Council’s mandate by attempting to convene a meeting of Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention.  The United States called for a vote and urged States not to vote for the resolution.

Italy, speaking on behalf of the European Union in an explanation of the vote before the vote, appreciated efforts by the sponsors of the draft resolution to consult with all members of the Council.  The European Union was convinced that the most effective way to react was to use the existing mechanisms, such as through a swift deployment of a mission by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  It was regrettable that the European Union’s suggestions had not been taken aboard by the resolution’s sponsors.  The final draft text continued to be unbalanced and prejudged the findings of the commission of inquiry even  before it was formed.  It also did not condemn the firing of rockets into Israel, which was why the European Union would abstain.  It would have been a far better outcome if there had been a united position of the Council on the issue.

Brazil, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it would vote in favour of the draft resolution.  The gravity of the situation, in particular the alarming number of casualties, warranted a timely and strong response by the international community.  There were some elements in the draft which did not fully reflect Brazil’s position; Brazil would have preferred a resolution reflecting in a more balanced manner the developments on the ground.  The Council had an important role to play in investigating violations of the human rights and international humanitarian law.  Brazil stood ready to contribute to all international efforts to reach a peaceful solution.

Peru, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote,  said it energetically condemned Israel’s incursions into the Gaza Strip as well as the launching of rockets by Hamas into Israeli territory.  It would vote in favour of the resolution.

Gabon, in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said that it attached high importance to the resolution of disputes through dialogue and negotiations.  Gabon strongly urged all the parties to cease hostilities and commence talks as soon as possible.  An immediate ceasefire was needed to allow for the salvation of the civilians, especially children, the elderly and the disabled.

Chile, in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said that violence was causing suffering of civilians.  Chile supported the intervention of the good offices of Egypt.  Chile would have also liked to see inclusion of condemnation of Hamas rockets in the adopted resolution.

Japan, in an explanation of the vote after the vote, appreciated the readiness of Palestine and some co-sponsors to include some changes in the draft resolution.  The Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister was in the region at the moment, trying to help resolve the conflict.  The necessity of the establishment of a new commission of inquiry should have been further considered, and the approach which could lead to further prosecutions at the International Criminal Court was questionable.  That was why Japan had abstained in the vote.

For use of the information media; not an official record

This is what Israel had to say in Geneva. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kWwc-GgaiIk

Text of the Ambassador is here.

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The Militia Terrorists Next Door

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By Adam Housley

Members of the Islamist extremist militia blamed for the Benghazi terror attack had moved in next door to the U.S. consulate months before the strike but “nothing was done” despite concerns about the dangerous neighbors, sources tell Fox News.

Sources say members of Ansar al-Sharia moved to the house just outside the east wall of the compound within three weeks of American personnel renting the facility, and later used the location to help plan and take part in the attack on the American consulate on Sept. 11, 2012.

The neighbors prompted multiple security requests — including repeated requests up until the day of the attack — for more weapons and personnel.

“We warned D.C. about the guys who moved in next door, but nobody knew what to do and nothing was done,” a U.S. intelligence source said.

According to one intelligence source, American security personnel specifically asked for an M240 machine gun to mount on the roof at the consulate for added protection, but were turned down repeatedly.

A State Department source also confirmed to Fox News that “they asked for a belt-fed mounted machine gun, but were specifically denied by the State Department because they said it would upset the locals.”

Asked about these assertions at Monday’s press briefing, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf called the claims “dubious.”

But a senior State Department official acknowledged Tuesday that there was a request of some kind from the Benghazi post on Aug. 22. “It was being considered in Tripoli on the day of the attack. It was contained in a list of security requests, so to say that the request was rejected is inaccurate,” the official said.

The official said the department, though, has “no record” at this point of Ansar al-Sharia moving in next door.

Fox News is told that American personnel also requested sandbags to help fortify positions at the compound because “the only thing in between us and the neighbors was grass and a couple of trees and a wall.”

“The State Department knew it. Everyone on the ground knew it,” one source with direct knowledge of the attack said.

Another source said the sandbags were denied because “making shooting positions was too aesthetically unpleasing.”

The threat was so well-known that on the night of the attack, as rescuers from the nearby annex were facing heavy fire while leaving the consulate, they “made sure to make a left turn out of the consulate and not a right turn” where the Ansar al-Sharia house was located.

The revelations continue to raise questions about the State Department response and training of agents, ahead of the attack which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, as well as Americans Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Others were also injured.

Further, leaders of the local Libyan militia known as “‘The February 17 Martyrs Brigade” — which was tapped to provide security at the U.S. compound in Benghazi — not only didn’t respond to help save American lives, but may have directly participated in the 2012 attack on Americans. This has prompted criticism of the State Department for its original decision to contract with the powerful militia.

According to multiple sources, the department selected the militia over multiple other militia groups, private companies and even U.S. Marines to protect and secure the American consulate in Benghazi, despite the fact that those on the ground questioned the decision. As one special operator noted, “They may have been sold as the best option … but it was a terrible option. Only D.C. trusted them.”

Sources also say militia leaders may have helped orchestrate and directly participated in the attack — even though they were being paid, being fed, given automobiles and even allowed to swim in the consulate pool by the U.S. State Department. Fox News also has learned that the leader of the brigade, Fawzi Bukhatif, left Benghazi the day the attack ended on Sept. 12, even as the consulate and annex were still smoldering and Americans were standing on the Benghazi tarmac waiting to get out.

“It is truly one of the worst outsourcing decisions of all time,” said another source with direct knowledge of the attack.

Adam Housley joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 2001 and currently serves as a Los Angeles-based senior correspondent.

But there is more.

We knew about Ansar al Sharia long before the attack on the U.S. mission post in Benghazi. The intelligence community sounded the warnings all through 2011-2012 but Barack Obama chose not to get his Presidential Daily Briefings and the State Department under Hillary Clinton had/has a division at Foggy Bottom that knew too.

For a complete summary of who is in Ansar al Sharia, what they are and where they are go here.

 

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Soviet/Russia, What Needs to be Defined

Glasnost and Perestroika

During an interview in 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev is quoted as saying “I detest lies” (1.). It was this yearning for the truth that lead him to introduce the policy of glasnost literally openness in English. The liberal press exploited this leeway and continuously challenged its boundaries. Glasnost. Hardliners tried to retain their grip on people’s minds by frequent attacks on the radicals in the conservative press. Prada the flagship Communist Party newspaper thundered “that extremists and nationalists were hiding their true face behind a mask of commitment to perestroika (2.).

Today, Russia is full of contradictions and this is precisely what Vladimir Putin demands.

There is very little change from the previous Soviet Union to Russia today. The former USSR suffered financially and brought down the Kremlin while the remake of Russia is full of starts and stops. World leaders know very well that Russia today operates with the old KGB model while straddling two governing standards, that of communism and that of controlled capitalism.

This is where the Russian mafia, collusion by oligarchs and the Kremlin as well as countries that are forced to interact with Russia get caught up in the web of thuggish and deadly scandals including Europe, the Baltics and the West.

Spending time with those pesky Wikileaks cables tells us some proven histories. In one cable from January 2010, Spanish prosecutor Jose “Pepe” Grinda Gonzales claimed that in Russia, Belarus and Chechnya “one cannot differentiate between the activities of the Government and OC (organised crime) groups”.

On the heels of the Soviet loyalists shooting a commercial aircraft out of the sky killing all on board over the Russian/Ukrainian borders, Putin still refuses to come clean with any explanation as evidence mounts his people under his orders are guilty. This leads to foreign state leaders seeking tangible consequences for this action against Russia and Putin. To date, many Russian oligarchs have fled the country due to selective prosecution and prison by the Kremlin and those that have remained in Russia are pressing the panic button for what sanctions are still to come as a result of the downed aircraft.

Countries are boxed in by having to do business with Russia for obvious reasons that included existing agreements like in the case of France already in the pipeline and most especially for oil and gas energy resources but most of all will Putin continue his threatening annexing of other Baltic States?

The British government set up a judicial inquiry Tuesday into the strange death eight years ago of former KGB officer and Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who authorities believe was slipped a lethal dose of radioactive polonium in his tea at a London hotel, possibly at the behest of the Kremlin.

Litvinenko was not the only person in the old KGB who was publically blowing the whistle but he was the most aggressive. If anyone within the Kremlin, any businessman, any dissenter challenges Putin, the thug personality comes out and the result is prison or even deadlier.

Then there is the case of money laundering and how Putin controls the oligarchs, his loyalists and his adversaries. Yet, Putin himself is well known among elitist circles are being a money-launderer himself and all global leaders just look the other way. Very little is written about Putin’s own secret money-laundering schemes for obvious reasons. So one only need to investigate SPAG. There is even a documentary on how Putin was up to his chin in money laundering where the road to Germany began in Columbia.

 

 

‘PUTIN, it turns out, may be a less than perfect pitchman for his anticorruption campaign. New revelations are focusing attention on a murky episode from his past in St. Petersburg, a city known to many Russians as the country’s “criminal capital.” The indictment of a onetime business associate in Western Europe on charges of money laundering and fraud is raising serious questions about Putin’s former role in the affairs of a mysterious Russo-German property-development firm. The company, called the St. Petersburg Real Estate Holding Company (known by its German acronym, SPAG), has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing, but U.S. and European intelligence officials suspect it is linked to the laundering operations of Russian mobsters and Colombian drug dealers. Until he was inaugurated as president, Putin was on SPAG’s advisory board and, according to U.S. and European intelligence officials as well as a SPAG director, he spent more time on its affairs than the Kremlin will now admit. Since then Putin has also maintained a close relationship with the onetime head of SPAG’s Russian operations, Vladimir Smirnov.’

In summary, the Russian mafia, the thug network is world-wide by design and even includes our Southern border and it even goes into Chicago, at least.

More than 200 years ago, the renowned Russian historian Nikolai Karamzin summed up the situation in his country in two words: “They steal.”

They still do, and the news in Russia lately has been dominated by one high-profile corruption scandal after another. Allegations of wrongdoing have reached high into the defense and agriculture ministries and the Russian space program, among other institutions. Nearly nine in 10 Russians say corruption is the nation’s biggest problem.

All the theft, corruption, lies ad fraud has a leader that approves, Vladimir Putin. Glasnost and Perestroika be damned.

 

 

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Illegal Alien Process, Background and Military Component

I have read countless documents, court rulings, studies and interviews as the matter of the incursion at the Southern border has many moving parts. I will make this easy for the reader.

CRS Insights Unaccompanied Alien Children: A Processing Flow Chart

Lisa Seghetti, Section Research Manager (lseghetti@crs.loc.gov, 7-4669)

July 16, 2014 (IN10107)

Within the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, several agencies are involved in apprehending, processing, placing, and repatriating unaccompanied alien children (UAC). Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehends, processes, and detains the majority of UAC arrested along U.S. borders. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) physically transports UAC from CBP to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) custody. ORR is responsible for detaining and sheltering UAC who are from non-contiguous countries and those from contiguous countries (i.e., Canada and Mexico) for whom there is a concern that they may be victims of trafficking or have an asylum claim, or who do not desire to return to their country voluntarily, while they wait for their claim to be processed or for an immigration hearing. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is responsible for the initial adjudication of asylum applications and processes trafficking petitions filed by UAC. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (i.e., immigration courts) in the U.S. Department of Justice conducts the immigration proceedings that determine whether the UAC is allowed to remain in the United States or is deported to his or her home country. If a UAC is ordered removed or chooses to voluntarily depart from the United States, ICE is responsible for returning the alien to his/her home country. For an overview on this topic, see CRS Report R43599, Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview.

Figure 1.Unaccompanied Alien Children

A Processing Flow Chart  Full graphic can be seen here.

ICE flow chart

But as Governor Perry deploys 1000 National Guard on parts of the Texas border, what does that mean and what will/can they do?

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is charged with preventing the entry of terrorists, securing the borders, and carrying out immigration enforcement functions. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of DHS, has primary responsibility for securing the borders of the United States, preventing terrorists and their weapons from entering the United States, and enforcing hundreds of U.S. trade and immigration laws. Within CBP, the U.S. Border Patrol’s mission is to detect and prevent the illegal entry of aliens across the nearly 7,000 miles of Mexican and Canadian international borders and 2,000 miles of coastal borders surrounding Florida and Puerto Rico.

Although the military does not have primary responsibility to secure the borders, the Armed Forces generally provide support to law enforcement and immigration authorities along the southern border. Reported escalations in criminal activity and illegal immigration, however, have prompted some lawmakers to reevaluate the extent and type of military support that occurs in the border region. On May 25, 2010, President Obama announced that up to 1,200 National Guard troops would be sent to the border to support the Border Patrol. Addressing domestic laws and activities with the military, however, might run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA), which prohibits use of the Armed Forces to perform the tasks of civilian law enforcement unless explicitly authorized. There are alternative legal authorities for deploying the National Guard, and the precise scope of permitted activities and funds may vary with the authority exercised.

 Justice Scalia wrote the opinion in the case of Flores v. Reno the basis for where we are today with processing, shelters, detention and deportation.

The Flores-Reno settlement agreement, Homeland Security Act of 2002, and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) are the guiding principles when dealing with UACs.

 The number of UACs in the Rio Grande Valley/Harlingen Field Office geographical area has seen an increase of 367.6 percent since fiscal year 2011.

 Most UACs are Other Than Mexican (OTM) nationals, which causes significant increases in processing time (administrative/criminal casework) and requirements for long term detention.

 The amount of time and resources needed to provide humanitarian care is extensive and increases with escalating UAC numbers.

 ORR tries to place apprehended UACs as close to the referring location as possible to minimize travel requirements for CBP and ICE.

 The HHS ORR Intake Center operates 24-7 but makes UAC referral placements from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. each day.

 Each morning the HHS ORR Intake Center has approximately 30-90 initial placement referral requests pending from the previous night.

 The national discharge rate of UACs is approximately 80-90 per day.

 There are approximately 5,000 beds available in the HHS ORR network that service approximately 25,000 UACs annually.

 Each agency uses different data systems to manage UACs.

 

 

 

 

 

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Netanyahu Continues to Prove the Reality

First, a must watch video here.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 22 July 2014), at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, made the following remarks at his meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:

“Mr. Secretary, I appreciate the fact that you came here and that you took time to see what we’ve just shown you. I think it’s clear that Israel is doing what any country would do if terrorists rained down rockets on its cities and towns – hundreds of rockets, day after day, week after week. In addition, as I’ve shown you, Hamas has dug terrorist tunnels under hospitals, mosques, schools, homes, to penetrate our territory, to kidnap and kill Israelis.

Now, in the face of such wanton terrorism, no country could sit idly by. It would exercise its right, inherent and legitimate right of self-defense as we are doing, and act decisively to end the threat to its citizens. This is what Israel is doing. We did not seek this escalation, Mr. Secretary. We accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal. I don’t need to remind you it was a proposal that was supported by the UN, by the Arab League, by the United States, by Europe. Hamas rejected it. We accepted the humanitarian ceasefire proposal that the UN proposed afterward. Hamas rejected that. We accepted the ceasefire proposal of the Red Cross in Shejaia. Hamas rejected that, twice. I think the international community must take a clear stand; it must hold Hamas accountable for consistently rejecting the ceasefire proposals and for starting and prolonging this conflict. The international community must hold Hamas accountable for its increasing and indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians. And the international community must hold Hamas accountable for using Palestinian civilians as human shields deliberately putting them in harm’s way, deliberately keeping them in harm’s way.

Mr. Secretary, we have made every effort and will continue to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. We are targeting Hamas terrorist targets. We’ve just shown you these targets, embedded in civilian areas, embedded in mosques, embedded in hospitals, embedded in agricultural schools. Hamas is embedded in there in order to sustain civilian casualties, because they know that we will have to protect our citizens; that we have to act against their targets. So they are committing a double war crime: both targeting our civilians and hiding behind their civilians. And they want, I repeat: They want more civilian casualties, whereas we want no civilian casualties at all, and we’re taking the utmost pain to minimize that. I think the people of Gaza, and that’s become absolutely clear to the world, are the victims of the brutal Hamas regime. They are holding them hostage and they are hiding behind them.

You know, Mr. Secretary, the international community has pressed us to give cement to Gaza to build schools, hospitals, homes. And now we see what has happened to those deliveries of cement. They have been used to dig tunnels next to a kindergarten, not to build a kindergarten but to build a tunnel that penetrates our territory so that Hamas can blow up our kindergartens and murder our children. They’ve used for a long time our willingness to try to keep civilians at a minimum. They’ve been using them to keep on firing at us. We have even opened up a field hospital, Mr. Secretary, to help Hamas civilians, and Hamas is preventing civilians of Gaza from going to our hospital. I believe that you understand this. I believe that you understand that it is the right of every state to defend itself. And Israel will continue to do what it needs to do to defend its people.

Mr. Secretary, this is not only our right; this is our duty.”

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon Meets with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (Communicated by the Defense Ministry International Media Advisor)

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, today (Tuesday, 22 July 2014), made the following remarks at the start of his meeting with UN Secretary General Ban

Ki-moon:

“Welcome Secretary General. You’re most welcome in our country Israel. We very much appreciate your sincere intentions to put an end to the violence in the region.

As you know, we are engaged now in the 15th day of Operation Protective Edge which was actually initiated by Hamas, its provocations of rocket launches on our civilians and it has been deteriorated and now we are trying to stop it by all means – to stop the violence. Unfortunately we have here in the Gaza Strip a terror entity led by Hamas with other terror factions, violating international law and order and international law, by using rockets and all kinds of terror targeting deliberately our civilians and using their own civilians as human shield. This is a challenge for us, myself as the Defense Minister and the Israel Defense Forces how to confront and stop this kind of terror.

We do our utmost to avoid civilian casualties, but it is almost impossible in this populated area in Gaza which is used by Hamas as a launching pad for rockets and of course as a base for the terror offensive.

We will show you later on all kinds of tools used by Hamas; how they launch rockets from schools, mosques, neighborhoods and so forth, and the way that they use now underground tunnels trying to attack our civilians and communities around the Gaza Strip, which is a relatively new challenge, which we have to stop as well.

I hope in this visit you will have a better understanding of the challenges ahead of us. Israel is a democracy and a member of the United Nations and we look forward to the international support in the way that we believe that this threat should be confronted. We are ready and determined to continue this operation until we stop this wave of violence against our civilians.

Thank you.”

___________

So what else has the media missed as the reality on the ground? Well the Palestinians cut the power supply to Israeli settlements.

As Hamas continues to launch missiles into Israel, Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement expresses its support for the murder of Israelis by posting a video praising nine female terrorists, among them eight suicide bombers.

 

The nine murderers whom Fatah chose to glorify killed 75 and wounded over 350 people in total. They were:

Dalal Mughrabi, bus hijacker (37 killed)

Hanadi Jaradat, suicide bomber (21 killed)

Andalib Takatka, suicide bomber (6 killed)

Hiba Daraghmeh, suicide bomber (3 killed)

Ayyat Al-Akhras, suicide bomber (2 killed)

Zainab Abu Salem, suicide bomber (2 killed)

Wafa Idris, suicide bomber (1 killed)

Mirfat Mas’oud suicide bomber (1 wounded)

Darin Abu Aisheh, suicide bomber (3 wounded)

The background of these people are:

Dalal Mughrabi – led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel’s Coastal Highway, killing 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.

Ayyat Al-Akhras – The youngest female Palestinian suicide bomber (aged 17). Belonging to Fatah, she blew herself up near a Jerusalem supermarket on March 29, 2002, killing 2 and wounding 28. Israel transferred the terrorist’s body to the PA on Feb. 2, 2014.

Wafa Idris – The first Palestinian female suicide bomber. Belonging to Fatah, she blew herself up on Jaffa Road in central Jerusalem on Jan. 27, 2002, killing 1 and wounding over 100. As a volunteer for the Palestinian Red Crescent she was able to bypass Israeli security and enter Jerusalem in a Palestinian ambulance.

Darin Abu Aisheh – Female suicide bomber from Fatah who blew herself up at the Makkabim checkpoint between Modiin and Jerusalem on Feb. 27, 2002 after she was asked to get out her car for inspection, wounding 3 police officers.

Andalib Takatka – Female suicide bomber from Fatah who blew herself up on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem on April 12, 2002, killing 6 and wounding more than 80.

Zainab Abu Salem – Female suicide bomber from Fatah who blew herself up at the French Hill junction in Jerusalem on Sept. 22, 2004, killing 2 Israeli border policemen and wounding approximately 30.

Hiba Daraghmeh – Female suicide bomber from the Islamic Jihad who blew herself up at the Amakim shopping mall in Afula on May 19, 2003, killing 3.

Hanadi Jaradat – Female suicide bomber from the Islamic Jihad who blew herself up at the Maksim restaurant in Haifa on Oct. 4, 2003, killing 21 people and wounding over 50.

Mirfat Mas’oud – Female suicide bomber from the Islamic Jihad who blew herself up near Israeli soldiers in Beit Hanoun on Nov. 6, 2006, wounding 1 soldier.

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Hamas, the Manipulation Mission

Hamas Interior Ministry To Social Media Activists: Always Call The Dead ‘Innocent Civilians’; Don’t Post Photos Of Rockets Being Fired From Civilian Population Centers

Courtesy of MEMRI

In light of the recent round of fighting in Gaza, the Hamas interior ministry has issued guidelines to Gaza Strip social media users for reporting events and discussing them with outsiders.

The ministry’s guidelines, which it is calling the “Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign,” were issued via an instructional video posted on its official website and via posters published on its Twitter and Facebook pages. Both the video and the posters were also posted on the ministry’s social media accounts and forums.[1]

The guidelines are aimed at ensuring preservation of the line of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations; preventing the leaking of information that would be of military value to Israel; bolstering Hamas’s propaganda efforts outside the Gaza Strip, in both the Arab world and the West; and preventing damage to Hamas’s image. Hamas particularly seeks to cement the perceptions that its actions are a response to Israeli aggression and that all Gaza casualties are “innocent civilians,” and to ensure that there is no evidence of rockets being fired from Gaza population centers.

The Hamas interior ministry website included the following text along with its instructional video: “The Information Department of the Ministry of the Interior and National Security has instructed activists on social media websites, particularly Facebook, to correct some of the commonly used terms as they cover the aggression taking place in the Gaza Strip. The following Information Department video calls on all activists to use the proper terminology, in order to play their part in strengthening the home front and in properly conveying information worldwide.”[2]


“Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign” instructional video posted on official Hamas interior ministry Facebook page


Message to Facebook activists on Hamas interior ministry website

Following are excerpts from the guidelines:

“Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to always add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.

“Begin [your reports of] news of resistance actions with the phrase ‘In response to the cruel Israeli attack,’ and conclude with the phrase ‘This many people have been martyred since Israel launched its aggression against Gaza.’ Be sure to always perpetuate the principle of ‘the role of the occupation is attack, and we in Palestine are fulfilling [the role of] the reaction.’

“Beware of spreading rumors from Israeli spokesmen, particularly those that harm the home front. Be wary regarding accepting the occupation’s version [of events]. You must always cast doubts on this [version], disprove it, and treat it as false.

“Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from [Gaza] city centers. This [would] provide a pretext for attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza.

“To the administrators of news pages on Facebook: Do not publish close-ups of masked men with heavy weapons, so that your page will not be shut down [by Facebook] on the claim that you are inciting violence. In your coverage, be sure that you say: ‘The locally manufactured shells fired by the resistance are a natural response to the Israeli occupation that deliberately fires rockets against civilians in the West Bank and Gaza’…”

Additionally, the interior ministry prepared a series of suggestions specifically for Palestinian activists who speak to Westerners via social media. The ministry emphasizes that conversations with them should be conducted differently from conversations with other Arabs. It stated:

  • “When speaking to the West, you must use political, rational, and persuasive discourse, and avoid emotional discourse aimed at begging for sympathy. There are elements with a conscience in the world; you must maintain contact with them and activate them for the benefit of Palestine. Their role is to shame the occupation and expose its violations.
  • “Avoid entering into a political argument with a Westerner aimed at convincing him that the Holocaust is a lie and deceit; instead, equate it with Israel’s crimes against Palestinian civilians.
  • “The narrative of life vs. the narrative of blood: [When speaking] to an Arab friend, start with the number of martyrs. [But when speaking] to a Western friend, start with the number of wounded and dead. Be sure to humanize the Palestinian suffering. Try to paint a picture of the suffering of the civilians in Gaza and the West Bank during the occupation’s operations and its bombings of cities and villages.
  • “Do not publish photos of military commanders. Do not mention their names in public, and do not praise their achievements in conversations with foreign friends!”


Posters on the Hamas interior ministry Facebook page

Endnotes:

[1] Facebook.com/moigovps, July 9, 2014.

[2] Moi.gov.ps, July 11, 2014. The video was also uploaded to the ministry’s YouTube channel,  Youtube.com/channel/UCR_ij9aO3tu4kdAV4mdEYPg.

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Clinton, Gaza, Palestinians, Islam and an Airport

At this moment in time, Israel has been forced into an operation to stop rockets, weapons smuggling via tunnels and to finally establish some quiet where those inside Israel don’t have to seek shelter from rocket fire several times a day.

The lasting phrase ‘Pray for Peace, Prepare for War’ has been a daily objective by Israel as the hostilities from four sides must stop. Israel has since really never enjoyed the full scope of the promise in a signed agreement that included President Bill Clinton.

Let us go back and remember what Bill Clinton did and said and how shallow and fleeting it later became.

Remarks to the Palestine National Council and Other Palestinian Organizations in Gaza City
December 14, 1998

Thank you. Mr. Speaker—Mr. Za’anoun, Chairman Arafat, Mrs. Arafat; members of the Palestinian National Council, the Palestinian Central Council, the Palestinian Executive Committee, Palestinian Council heads of ministries; leaders of business and religion; to all members of the Palestinian community; and to my fellow Americans who come here from many walks of life, Arab-American, Jewish-American: This is a remarkable day. Today the eyes of the world are on you.

I am profoundly honored to be the first American President to address the Palestinian people in a city governed by Palestinians.

I have listened carefully to all that has been said. I have watched carefully the reactions of all of you to what has been said. I know that the Palestinian people stand at a crossroads: behind you a history of dispossession and dispersal, before you the opportunity to shape a new Palestinian future on your own land.

I know the way is often difficult and frustrating, but you have come to this point through a commitment to peace and negotiations. You reaffirmed that commitment today. I believe it is the only way to fulfill the aspirations of your people. And I am profoundly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Chairman Arafat for the cause of peace, to come here as a friend of peace and a friend of your future, and to witness you raising your hands, standing up tall, standing up not only against what you believe is wrong but for what you believe is right in the future.

I was sitting here thinking that this moment would have been inconceivable a decade ago: no Palestinian Authority; no elections in Gaza and the West Bank; no relations between the United States and Palestinians; no Israeli troop redeployments from the West Bank and Gaza; no Palestinians in charge in Gaza, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Tulkarem, Jenin, Nablus, Jericho, and so many other places; there was no Gaza International Airport.

Today I had the privilege of cutting the ribbon on the international airport. Hillary and I, along with Chairman and Mrs. Arafat, celebrated a place that will become a magnet for planes from throughout the Middle East and beyond, bringing you a future in which Palestinians can travel directly to the far corners of the world; a future in which it is easier and cheaper to bring materials, technology, and expertise in and out of Gaza; a future in which tourists and traders can flock here, to this beautiful place on the Mediterranean; a future, in short, in which the Palestinian people are connected to the world.

I am told that just a few months ago, at a time of profound pessimism in the peace process, your largest exporter of fruit and flowers was prepared to plow under a field of roses, convinced the airport would never open. But Israelis and Palestinians came to agreement at Wye River, the airport has opened, and now I am told that company plans to export roses and carnations to Europe and throughout the Gulf, a true flowering of Palestinian promise.

I come here today to talk about that promise, to ask you to rededicate yourselves to it, to ask you to think for a moment about how we can get beyond the present state of things where every step forward is like, as we say in America, pulling teeth. Where there is still, in spite of the agreement at Wye—achieved because we don’t need much sleep, and we worked so hard, and Mr. Netanyahu worked with us, and we made this agreement. But I want to talk to you about how we can get beyond this moment, where there is still so much mistrust and misunderstanding and quite a few missteps.

You did a good thing today in raising your hands. You know why? It has nothing to do with the government in Israel. You will touch the people of Israel.

I want the people of Israel to know that for many Palestinians, 5 years after Oslo, the benefits of this process remain remote; that for too many Palestinians lives are hard, jobs are scarce, prospects are uncertain, and personal grief is great. I know that tremendous pain remains as a result of losses suffered from violence, the separation of families, the restrictions on the movement of people and goods. I understand your concerns about settlement activity, land confiscation, and home demolitions. I understand your concerns and theirs about unilateral statements that could prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations. I understand, in short, that there’s still a good deal of misunderstanding 5 years after the beginning of this remarkable process.

It takes time to change things and still more time for change to benefit everyone. It takes determination and courage to make peace and sometimes even more to persevere for peace. But slowly but surely, the peace agreements are turning into concrete progress: the transfer of territories, the Gaza industrial estate, and the airport. These changes will make a difference in many Palestinian lives.

I thank you—I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your leadership for peace and your perseverance, for enduring all the criticism from all sides, for being willing to change course, and for being strong enough to stay with what is right. You have done a remarkable thing for your people.

America is determined to do what we can to bring tangible benefits of peace. I am proud that the roads we traveled on to get here were paved, in part, with our assistance, as were hundreds of miles of roads that knit together towns and villages throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

Two weeks ago in Washington, we joined with other nations to pledge hundreds of millions of dollars toward your development, including health care and clean water, education for your children, rule of law projects that nurture democracy. Today I am pleased to announce we will also fund the training of Palestinian health care providers and airport administrators, increase our support to Palestinian refugees. And next year I will ask the Congress for another several hundred million dollars to support the development of the Palestinian people.

But make no mistake about it, all this was made possible because of what you did, because 5 years ago you made a choice for peace, and because through all the tough times since, when in your own mind you had a hundred good reasons to walk away, you didn’t. Because you still harbor the wisdom that led to the Oslo accords, that led to the signing in Washington in September of ’93, you still can raise your hand and stand and lift your voice for peace.

Mr. Chairman, you said some profound words today in embracing the idea that Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace as neighbors. Again I say, you have led the way, and we would not be here without you.

I say to all of you, I can come here and work; I can bring you to America, and we can work; but in the end, this is up to you—you and the Israelis—for you have to live with the consequences of what you do. I can help because I believe it is my job to do so; I believe it is my duty to do so; because America has Palestinian-Americans, Jewish-Americans, other Arab-Americans who desperately want us to be helpful. But in the end, you have to decide what the understanding will be, and you have to decide whether we can get beyond the present moment where there is still, for all the progress we have made, so much mistrust. And the people who are listening to us today in Israel, they have to make the same decisions.

Peace must mean many things: legitimate rights for Palestinians—[applause]—thank you— legitimate rights for Palestinians, real security for Israel. But it must begin with something even more basic: mutual recognition, seeing people who are different, with whom there have been profound differences, as people.

I’ve had two profoundly emotional experiences in the last less than 24 hours. I was with Chairman Arafat, and four little children came to see me whose fathers are in Israeli prisons. Last night, I met some little children whose fathers had been killed in conflict with Palestinians, at the dinner that Prime Minister Netanyahu had for me. Those children brought tears to my eyes. We have to find a way for both sets of children to get their lives back and to go forward.

Palestinians must recognize the right of Israel and its people to live safe and secure lives today, tomorrow, and forever. Israel must recognize the right of Palestinians to aspire to live free today, tomorrow, and forever.

And I ask you to remember these experiences I had with these two groups of children. If I had met them in reverse order, I would not have known which ones were Israeli and which Palestinian. If they had all been lined up in a row and I had seen their tears, I could not tell whose father was dead and whose father was in prison or what the story of their lives were, making up the grief that they bore. We must acknowledge that neither side has a monopoly on pain or virtue.

At the end of America’s Civil War, in my home State, a man was elected Governor who had fought with President Lincoln’s forces, even though most of the people in my home State fought with the secessionist forces. And he made his inaugural speech after 4 years of unbelievable bloodshed in America, in which he had been on the winning side but in the minority in our home. And everyone wondered what kind of leader he would be. His first sentence was, “We have all done wrong.” I say that because I think the beginning of mutual respect, after so much pain, is to recognize not only the positive characteristics of people on both sides but the fact that there has been a lot—a lot—of hurt and harm.

The fulfillment of one side’s aspirations must not come at the expense of the other. We must believe that everyone can win in the new Middle East. It does not hurt Israelis to hear Palestinians peacefully and pridefully asserting their identity, as we saw today. That is not a bad thing. And it does not hurt Palestinians to acknowledge the profound desire of Israelis to live without fear. It is in this spirit that I ask you to consider where we go from here.

I thank you for your rejection fully, finally, and forever of the passages in the Palestinian Charter calling for the destruction of Israel, for they were the ideological underpinnings of a struggle renounced at Oslo. By revoking them once and for all, you have sent, I say again, a powerful message not to the Government but to the people of Israel. You will touch people on the street there. You will reach their hearts there.

I know how profoundly important this is to Israelis. I have been there four times as President. I have spent a lot of time with people other than the political leaders, Israeli schoolchildren who heard about you only as someone who thought they should be driven into the sea. They did not know what their parents or grandparents did that you thought was so bad; they were just children, too. Is it surprising that all this has led to the hardening of hearts on both sides, that they refused to acknowledge your existence as a people and that led to a terrible reaction by you?

By turning this page on the past, you are taking the lead in writing a new story for the future. And you have issued a challenge to the Government and the leaders of Israel to walk down that path with you. I thank you for doing that. The children of all the Middle East thank you.

But declaring a change of heart still won’t be enough. Let’s be realistic here. First of all, there are real differences. And secondly, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge, as we used to say at home. An American poet has written, “Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart.” Palestinians and Israelis in their pasts both share a history of oppression and dispossession; both have felt their hearts turn to stone for living too long in fear and seeing loved ones die too young. You are two great people of strong talent and soaring ambition, sharing such a small piece of sacred land.

The time has come to sanctify your holy ground with genuine forgiveness and reconciliation. Every influential Palestinian, from teacher to journalist, from politician to community leader, must make this a mission to banish from the minds of children glorifying suicide bombers, to end the practice of speaking peace in one place and preaching hatred in another, to teach schoolchildren the value of peace and the waste of war, to break the cycle of violence. Our great American prophet Martin Luther King once said, “The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.”

I believe you have gained more in 5 years of peace than in 45 years of war. I believe that what we are doing today, working together for security, will lead to further gains and changes in the heart. I believe that our work against terrorism, if you stand strong, will be rewarded, for that must become a fact of the past. It must never be a part of your future.

Let me say this as clearly as I can: No matter how sharp a grievance or how deep a hurt, there is no justification for killing innocents.

Mr. Chairman, you said at the White House that no Israeli mother should have to worry if her son or daughter is late coming home. Your words touched many people. You said much the same thing today. We must invest those words with the weight of reality in the minds of every person in Israel and every Palestinian.

I feel this all the more strongly because the act of a few can falsify the image of the many. How many times have we seen it? How many times has it happened to us? We both know it is profoundly wrong to equate Palestinians, in particular, and Islam, in general, with terrorism or to see a fundamental conflict between Islam and the West. For the vast majority of the more than one billion Muslims in the world, tolerance is an article of faith and terrorism a travesty of faith.

I know that in my own country, where Islam is one of the fastest growing religions, we share the same devotion to family and hard work and community. When it comes to relations between the United States and Palestinians, we have come far to overcome our misperceptions of each other. Americans have come to appreciate the strength of your identity and the depth of your aspirations. And we have learned to listen to your grievances as well.

I hope you have begun to see America as your friend. I have tried to speak plainly to you about the need to reach out to the people of Israel, to understand the pain of their children, to understand the history of their fear and mistrust, their yearning, gnawing desire for security, because that is the only way friends can speak and the only way we can move forward.

I took the same liberty yesterday in Israel. I talked there about the need to see one’s own mistakes, not just those of others; to recognize the steps others have taken for peace, not just one’s own; to break out of the politics of absolutes; to treat one’s neighbors with respect and dignity. I talked about the profound courage of both peoples and their leaders which must continue in order for a secure, just, and lasting peace to occur: the courage of Israelis to continue turning over territory for peace and security; the courage of Palestinians to take action against all those who resort to and support violence and terrorism; the courage of Israelis to guarantee safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza and allow for greater trade and development; the courage of Palestinians to confiscate illegal weapons of war and terror; the courage of Israelis to curtail closures and curfews that remain a daily hardship; the courage of Palestinians to resolve all differences at the negotiating table; the courage of both peoples to abandon the rhetoric of hate that still poisons public discourse and limits the vision of your children; and the courage to move ahead to final status negotiations together, without either side taking unilateral steps or making unilateral statements that could prejudice the outcome, whether governing refugee settlements, borders, Jerusalem, or any other issues encompassed by the Oslo accord.

Now, it will take good faith, mutual respect, and compromise to forge a final agreement. I think there will be more breakdowns, frankly, but I think there will be more breakthroughs, as well. There will be more challenges to peace from its enemies. And so I ask you today never to lose sight of how far you have come. With Chairman Arafat’s leadership, already you have accomplished what many said was impossible. The seemingly intractable problems of the past can clearly find practical solutions in the future. But it requires a consistent commitment and a genuine willingness to change heart.

As we approach this new century, think of this, think of all the conflicts in the 20th century that many people thought were permanent that have been healed or are healing: two great World Wars between the French and the Germans—they’re best friends; the Americans and the Russians, the whole cold war—now we have a constructive partnership; the Irish Catholics and Protestants; the Chinese and the Japanese; the black and white South Africans; the Serbs, the Croats, and the Muslims in Bosnia—all have turned from conflict to cooperation. Yes, there is still some distrust; yes, there’s still some difficulty; but they are walking down the right road together. And when they see each other’s children, increasingly they only see children, together. When they see the children crying, they realize the pain is real, whatever the child’s story. In each case there was a vision of greater peace and prosperity and security.

In Biblical times, Jews and Arabs lived side by side. They contributed to the flowering of Alexandria. During the Golden Age of Spain, Jews, Muslims, and Christians came together in an era of remarkable tolerance and learning. A third of the population laid down its tools on Friday, a third on Saturday, a third on Sunday. They were scholars and scientists, poets, musicians, merchants, and statesmen setting an example of peaceful coexistence that we can make a model for the future. There is no guarantee of success or failure today, but the challenge of this generation of Palestinians is to wage an historic and heroic struggle for peace.

Again I say this is an historic day. I thank you for coming. I thank you for raising your hands. I thank you for standing up. I thank you for your voices. I thank you for clapping every time I said what you were really doing was reaching deep into the heart of the people of Israel.

Chairman Arafat said he and Mrs. Arafat are taking Hillary and Chelsea and me—we’re going to Bethlehem tomorrow. For a Christian family to light the Christmas tree in Bethlehem is a great honor. It is an interesting thing to contemplate that in this small place, the home of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, the embodiment of my faith was born a Jew and is still recognized by Muslims as a prophet. He said a lot of very interesting things, but in the end, He was known as the Prince of Peace. And we celebrate at Christmastime the birth of the Prince of Peace. One reason He is known as the Prince of Peace is He knew something about what it takes to make peace. And one of the wisest things He ever said was, “We will be judged by the same standard by which we judge, but mercy triumphs over judgment.”

In this Christmas season, in this Hanukkah season, on the edge of Ramadan, this is a time for mercy and vision and looking at all of our children together. You have reaffirmed the fact that you now intend to share this piece of land, without war, with your neighbors, forever. They have heard you. They have heard you.

Now, you and they must now determine what kind of peace you will have. Will it be grudging and mean-spirited and confining, or will it be generous and open? Will you begin to judge each other in the way you would like to be judged? Will you begin to see each other’s children in the way you see your own? Will they feel your pain, and will you understand theirs?

Surely to goodness, after 5 years of this peace process and decades of suffering and after you have come here today and done what you have done, we can say, “Enough of this gnashing of teeth. Let us join hands and proudly go forward together.”

Thank you very much.

Note: Rocket attacks on Israel history here.

Israel bombed the airport in 2001 due to 2nd Intifada.

 


NOTE: The President spoke at 5:30 p.m. in the Main Hall at the Shawwa Center. In his remarks, he referred to Speaker Salim Za’anoun of the Palestine National Council; Chairman Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Authority, and his wife Shua; and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Israel.

 

 

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