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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

they could not stand silent

Kind of wish we were still clutching Mummy Britain's apron strings, rather than sucking on Daddy America's pacifier at times (ooh, I know it sounds a little rude). This is from Jews sans frontieres.
UK considers arms embargo against Israel

Britain says it will review all weapons exports to Israel following the country's recent war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The move comes amid pressure from British lawmakers who had demanded that the government ensure U.K. weapon parts were not used against Palestinians.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband told Parliament Tuesday that all export licenses would be reviewed "in light of recent events in Gaza." Israel's three-week offensive ended in mid-January.

He says all future applications to export arms to Israel will also be assessed with the Gaza conflict in mind.

Miliband says Britain supplies less than 1 percent of Israel's military imports.
That's not really the point though, is it?

That last bit was written by the original poster. And, this is one I've been meaning to post for a while Veolia loses another contract in Bordeaux. That's April 16, so again, a little slow. I'll let you read the article, but being terribly lazy, will pop in this paragraph, so you get some idea of why it is a big deal:
The Greater Bordeaux local government give a contract for the management of the biggest urban network in France to Keolis, a subsidiary of SNCF over Veolia. Veolia has been involved in the construction of a tramway in Jerusalem, designed to link West Jerusalem with illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Veolia has now lost contracts that are worth more than $7.5 Billion in Stockholm, West Midlands (UK) and Bordeaux.
See, the thing is, though, despite the very good bloggers and human rights groups that come out of the U.S., considering that Catholic universities in that country have not hosted Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the past due to his humanitarian views, and that certain church groups rallied against him speaking with other church members about his views, it is highly unlikely that any great change will come from the U.S. This of course, is the biggest problem, because the U.S. grants Israel virtual diplomatic immunity in everything it does, and also funds it with foreign and military aid. Ah well. Maybe all the little bits from the rest of the world will ultimately, one day, add up to something called justice.

Ooh, and how about this one?: Finally on the same page as the date for once, and I am going to lift the picture: Norwegian lawyers charge top Israeli officials with war crimes
A group of lawyers in Norway have filed charges with the nation's top prosecutor against former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, accusing them of war crimes...

The lawyers said they could not stand silent in the face of what they termed Israel's 'war crimes' in Gaza. They said in their statement, "There can be no doubt that these subjects knew about, ordered or approved the actions in Gaza and that they had considered the consequences of these actions."[My emphasis]

Similar charges filed in Spain last month were later revoked after pressure from the Israeli government and lobbyists threatened to change the very nature of the Spanish judiciary. Lawyers backed down from the charges after the campaign, saying that the 'universal jurisdiction' in that country did not apply if an investigation is ongoing within the offending country. Although Israel has claimed that their military conducted 'investigations' into the military's actions in Gaza, but no on-the-ground evidence was actually gathered during, leading many observers worldwide to question its legitimacy.

The Norwegian lawyers said that the potential for diplomatic problems between their government and Israel was outweighed by the severity of the crimes in the case
.[My emphasis].
I seem to recall a time when a lot of western countries were concerned with the above. Okay, so Spain did not go through with their charges, huh? Now, the news from this article explains why Dershowitz is saying that Norway is "one of the biggest offenders against Israel", along with the 'racist' Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Let's hope that their humanitarian resolve is strong. And let's hope that some of Norway's western neighbours, friends and allies (or all neighbours, friends and allies) rally around and support its just and moral decision in the face of the smear campaign and tactics that are sure to follow.

Update, April 24: Well, The Greater Bordeaux local government may not be dealing with Veolia. But, Iran is, though I thought the sanctions against Iran would have prevented even this.

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this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr