‘Boycott them!’ UN rapporteur slams companies aiding Israeli settlements

The illegal Ulpana outpost, adjacent to the Beit El Jewish settlement. (AFP Photo / Gali Tibbon)

A special rapporteur for the UN’s Human Rights Council has called for a boycott on all companies involved with Israeli settlements until they adhere to international rights standards. Israel and the US have condemned the move.

In a report presented to the UN General Assembly, American professor Richard Falk said that many US, European and Mexican companies appeared to be violating international human rights and humanitarian laws. The companies are allegedly exploiting Palestinian resources, helping Israel construct illegal settlements and providing security for settlers.

Falk said the call for a boycott is an effort to take infractions of international law seriously. He said the pace of Israeli settlement building has accelerated and that Israel has ignored UN resolutions condemning the practice, so “there is a sense that what the UN says doesn’t count.”

Although Falk admitted that further investigations were necessary to determine severity of the violations, the US and Israel were quick to condemn the report, accusing the UN special rapporteur of bias against Israel and calling for his removal.

US Ambassador Susan Rice stated, “Mr. Falk’s recommendations do nothing to further a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and indeed poison the environment for peace. His continued service in the role of a UN Special Rapporteur is deeply regrettable and only damages the credibility of the UN.”

Spokesperson for the Israeli Mission Karaen Peretz added that, “Israel is deeply committed to advancing human rights and firmly believes that this cause will be better served without Falk and his distasteful sideshow. While he spends pages and pages attacking Israel, Falk fails to mention even once the horrific human rights violations and ongoing terrorist attacks by Hamas.”

The Anti-Defamation League urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to rescind his preliminary endorsement of the report. Ki-moon has previously said that settlement activity is illegal, and “runs contrary to Israel’s obligations under the Road Map and repeated Quartet calls for the parties to refrain from provocations.” Continue reading

Italian Peace Movement Criticizes Report of International Commission on Syria

Marinella Correggia of the Italian “No-War Network – Roma“, criticizes the recent report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry (CoI), mandated by the UN Human Rights Council for lacking evidence and for being one-sided.

Corregia and the No-War Network – Roma (NWNR) are warning against using the flawed and strongly biased report as a basis for decisions at the meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 17 September. According to Corregia, the report offers many conclusions but does not contain much evidence to justify them.

Corregia and the No-War network are calling for a negotiated solution to the conflict in Syria, beginning with a cease fire. The Syrian people, she states, should have the possibility of expressing themselves on their future, in conditions of peace and without foreign interference.

The NWNR points out that such a plan has previously been agreed upon, but that the implementation has been deliberately thwarted by a number of foreign powers who are determined to exacerbate the conflict by supplying even greater amounts of arms and money to those opposition forces who are striving to gain control of the country through violence. Continue reading

Syria’s Bashar Al Assad Speaks to Western Press

Syria’s President Al Bashar Assad Sets ABC News Senior Propagandist Barbra Walters Straight. 
by Tony Cartalucci

December 11, 2011 – Before watching this full 46 minute interview by ABC News with Syrian President Bashar Assad, and the disgraceful behavior of ABC’s Barbra Walters it would useful to note several facts completely dispelling the false premises from which Walters is operating from.

1. The UN human rights report on Syria consisted of no evidence, simply interviews of alleged witnesses produced by Syria’s opposition and interviewed in Geneva. The report itself was compiled in part by Karen Koning AbuZayd, a director of the US Washington-based corporate think-tank, Middle East Policy Council, that includes Exxon men, CIA agents, US military and government representatives, and even the president of the US-Qatar Business Council, which includes amongst its membership, AlJazeera, Chevron, Exxon, munitions manufacturer Raytheon (who supplied the opening salvos during NATO’s operations against Libya), and Boeing.

2. Violence amongst protests was confirmed and documented by even the mainstream press as early as April 2011, where protesters were committing arson on public buildings including administrative centers and police stations. Reports of snipers attacking protesters and troops simultaneously were also reported. These gunmen are now claimed to be working amongst the “Free Syrian Army.” As early as June, hundreds of Syrian troops had already been reported dead.

3. It is confirmed that Libya’s Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG, listed by the US State Department as a foreign terrorist organization, #26) led by Abdulhakim Belhaj is on the Turkey-Syrian border preparing militants to fight the Syrian government with the assistance of Turkey’s government. This hardly constitutes a “Syrian uprising,” but rather a foreign funded and facilitated invasion by proxy led by NATO and consisting of a very real terrorist threat.

4. Regime change in Syria was a foregone conclusion as early as 1991. General Wesley Clark in a 2007 speech in California relayed a 1991 conversation between himself and then Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz indicated that America had 5-10 years to clean up old Soviet “client regimes,” namely Syria, Iran, and Iraq, before the next super power rose up to challenge western hegemony.

5. The unrest in Syria from the beginning was entirely backed by Western corporate-financier interests and part of a long-planned agenda for region-wide regime change. Syria has been slated for regime change since as early as 1991. In 2002, then US Under Secretary of State John Bolton added Syria to the growing “Axis of Evil.” It would be later revealed that Bolton’s threats against Syria manifested themselves as covert funding and support for opposition groups inside of Syria spanning both the Bush and Obama administrations.

In an April 2011 CNN article, acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner stated, “We’re not working to undermine that [Syrian] government. What we are trying to do in Syria, through our civil society support, is to build the kind of democratic institutions, frankly, that we’re trying to do in countries around the globe. What’s different, I think, in this situation is that the Syrian government perceives this kind of assistance as a threat to its control over the Syrian people.”

Toner’s remarks came after the Washington Post released cables indicating the US has been funding Syrian opposition groups since at least 2005 and continued until today.

In an April AFP report, Michael Posner, the assistant US Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labor, stated that the “US government has budgeted $50 million in the last two years to develop new technologies to help activists protect themselves from arrest and prosecution by authoritarian governments.” The report went on to explain that the US “organized training sessions for 5,000 activists in different parts of the world. A session held in the Middle East about six weeks ago gathered activists from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon who returned to their countries with the aim of training their colleagues there.” Posner would add, “They went back and there’s a ripple effect.” That ripple effect of course is the “Arab Spring,” and in Syria’s case, the impetus for the current unrest threatening to unhinge the nation and invite in foreign intervention.
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With these facts in mind, viewers can fully appreciate the frothing duplicity, discourtesy, and intellectual depravity displayed by Barbra Walters who “saw pictures,” read a fraudulent UN report written by authors with ties to US corporate-financier interests, and listened to an Obama speech and therefore is an expert on the premeditated, US-facilitated chaos sweeping across parts of Syria. And even as she sits in Syria’s calm capital of Damascus, invited in by Assad who has been accused of barring foreign reporters (foreign journalist Dr. Webster Tarpley’s interview while in Syria can be found here), she still insists the nation is in utter chaos, irrationally closing itself off from the world, and with a population completely turned against the Syrian government.

For the record: Assad’s reference (at 33:30) to the 1992 LA Riots and the US using troops to restore order, it should be noted that indeed the US Army and Marines were deployed, and between military and police, they killed 10 during operations to restore order throughout the city. Barbra Walters either out of ignorance or additional duplicity, claims the US didn’t kill anyone.

Source: Land Destroyer

Syria: NATO Genocide Approaches, UN Syria Report Co-Authored by Director of US Corporate Think-Tank

by Tony Cartalucci

November 30, 2011

Blatant lies told by alleged “human rights activists” led to ignominious NATO-sanctioned brutality and ultimately brought BP, Shell, Total-sponsored Petroleum Institute representative, Abdurrahim el-Keib, into power in Libya. Now, these same corporate-financier interests, through their same networks of propaganda, duplicity and deception, are laying the ground work for a repeat performance in Syria.

It was just recently revealed that the UN Human Rights Council report regarding Syrian “crimes against humanity” was actually co-authored by Karen Koning AbuZayd, a director of the US Washington-based corporate think-tank, Middle East Policy Council, that includes Exxon men, CIA agents, US military and government representatives, and even the president of the US-Qatar Business Council, which includes amongst its membership, AlJazeera, Chevron, Exxon, munitions manufacturer Raytheon (who supplied the opening salvos during NATO’s operations against Libya), and Boeing. The conflict of interest is so monumental it is only outdone by the corporate media’s eager acceptance of the report and their complete negligence in airing the compromised backgrounds of those responsible for compiling it.

The UN report itself (.pdf) contained no verifiable evidence, but rather hearsay accounts recorded in Geneva by alleged “victims” “witnesses,” and “defectors,” put forth Continue reading