#BentBritain: #UK admits unlawfully monitoring legally privileged communications!

UK admits unlawfully monitoring legally privileged communications ~ and , The Guardian, Wednesday 18 February 2015.

Intelligence agencies have been monitoring conversations between lawyers and their clients for past five years, government admits

Abdul Hakim Belhaj and Sami al Saadi
The admission comes ahead of a legal challenge brought on behalf of two Libyans, Abdel-Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi, over allegations that security services unlawfully intercepted their communications with lawyers.  Photograph: PA & AFP

The regime under which UK intelligence agencies, including MI5 and MI6, have been monitoring conversations between lawyers and their clients for the past five years is unlawful, the British government has admitted.

The admission that the activities of the security services have failed to comply fully with human rights laws in a second major area – this time highly sensitive legally privileged communications – is a severe embarrassment for the government.

It follows hard on the heels of the British court ruling on 6 February declaring that the regime surrounding the sharing of mass personal intelligence data between America’s national security agency and Britain’s GCHQ was unlawful for seven years.

The admission that the regime surrounding state snooping on legally privileged communications has also failed to comply with the European convention on human rights comes in advance of a legal challenge, to be heard early next month, in which the security services are alleged to have unlawfully intercepted conversations between lawyers and their clients to provide the government with an advantage in court.

The case is due to be heard before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT). It is being brought by lawyers on behalf of two Libyans, Abdel-Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi, who, along with their families, were abducted in a joint MI6-CIA operation and sent back to Tripoli to be tortured by Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2004.

A government spokesman said: “The concession the government has made today relates to the agencies’ policies and procedures governing the handling of legally privileged communications and whether they are compatible with the European convention on human rights.

“In view of recent IPT judgments, we acknowledge that the policies adopted since [January] 2010 have not fully met the requirements of the ECHR, specifically article 8 (right to privacy). This includes a requirement that safeguards are made sufficiently public.

“It does not mean that there was any deliberate wrongdoing on their part of the security and intelligence agencies, which have always taken their obligations to protect legally privileged material extremely seriously. Nor does it mean that any of the agencies’ activities have prejudiced or in any way resulted in an abuse of process in any civil or criminal proceedings.”

He said that the intelligence agencies would now work with the interception of communications commissioner to ensure their policies satisfy all of the UK’s human rights obligations.

Cori Crider, a director at Reprieve and one of the Belhaj family’s lawyers said: “By allowing the intelligence agencies free reign to spy on communications between lawyers and their clients, the government has endangered the fundamental British right to a fair trial.

“Reprieve has been warning for months that the security services’ policies on lawyer-client snooping have been shot through with loopholes big enough to drive a bus through.

“For too long, the security services have been allowed to snoop on those bringing cases against them when they speak to their lawyers. In doing so, they have violated a right that is centuries old in British common law. Today they have finally admitted they have been acting unlawfully for years.

“Worryingly, it looks very much like they have collected the private lawyer-client communications of two victims of rendition and torture, and possibly misused them. While the government says there was no ‘deliberate’ collection of material, it’s abundantly clear that private material was collected and may well have been passed on to lawyers or ministers involved in the civil case brought by Abdel hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar, who were ‘rendered’ to Libya in 2004 by British intelligence.

“Only time will tell how badly their case was tainted. But right now, the government needs urgently to investigate how things went wrong and come clean about what it is doing to repair the damage.”

Government sources, in line with all such cases, refuse to confirm or deny whether the two Libyans were the subject of an interception operation. They insist the concession does not concern the allegation that actual interception took place and say it will be for the investigatory powers tribunal hearing to determine the issue.

An updated draft interception code of practice spelling out the the rules for the first time was quietly published at the same time as the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruling against GCHQ earlier this month in the case brought by Privacy International and Liberty.

The government spokesman said the draft code set out enhanced safeguards and provided more detail than previously on the protections that had to be applied in the security agencies handling of legally privileged communications.

The draft code makes clear that warrants for snooping on legally privileged conversations, emails and other communications between suspects and their lawyers can be granted if there are exceptional and compelling circumstances. They have to however ensure that they are not available to lawyers or policy officials who are conducting legal cases against those suspects.

Exchanges between lawyers and their clients enjoy a special protected status under UK law. Following exposure of widespread monitoring by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, Belhaj’s lawyers feared that their exchanges with their clients could have been compromised by GCHQ’s interception of phone conversations and emails.

To demonstrate that its policies satisfy legal safeguards, MI6 were required in advance of Wednesday’s concession to disclose internal guidance on how intelligence staff should deal with material protected by legal professional privilege.

The MI6 papers noted: “Undertaking interception in such circumstances would be extremely rare and would require strong justification and robust safeguards. It is essential that such intercepted material is not acquired or used for the purpose of conferring an unfair or improper advantage on SIS or HMG [Her Majesty’s government] in any such litigation, legal proceedings or criminal investigation.”

The internal documents also refer to a visit by the interception commissioner, Sir Anthony May, last summer to examine interception warrants, where it was discovered that regulations were not being observed. “In relation to one of the warrants,” the document explained, “the commissioner identified a number of concerns with regard to the handling of [legal professional privilege] material”.

Amnesty UK’s legal programme director, Rachel Logan, said: “We are talking about nothing less than the violation of a fundamental principle of the rule of law – that communications between a lawyer and their client must be confidential.

“The government has been caught red-handed. The security agencies have been illegally intercepting privileged material and are continuing to do so – this could mean they’ve been spying on the very people challenging them in court.

“This is the second time in as many weeks that government spies have been rumbled breaking the law.”

#Obama’s ‘Crusaders’ analogy veils the #West’s modern crimes!

Obama’s ‘Crusaders’ analogy veils the West’s modern crimes ~ Ben White, The Nation, February 14, 2015.

Like many children, 13-year-old Mohammed Tuaiman suffered from nightmares. In his dreams, he would see flying “death machines” that turned family and friends into burning charcoal. No one could stop them, and they struck any place, at any time.

Unlike most children, Mohammed’s nightmares killed him.

Three weeks ago, a CIA drone operating over Yemen fired a missile at a car carrying the teenager, and two others. They were all incinerated. Nor was Mohammed the first in his family to be targeted: drones had already killed his father and brother.

Since president Barack Obama took office in 2009, the US has killed at least 2,464 people through drone strikes outside the country’s declared war zones. The figure is courtesy of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which says that at least 314 of the dead, one in seven, were civilians.

Recall that for Obama, as The New York Times reported in May 2012, “all military-age males in a strike zone” are counted “as combatants” – unless “there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent”.

It sounds like the stuff of nightmares.

The week after Mohammed’s death, on February 5, Mr Obama addressed the National Prayer Breakfast, and discussed the violence of ISIL.

“Lest we get on our high horses”, said the commander-in-chief, “remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

These comments prompted a (brief) media storm, with Mr Obama accused of insulting Christians, pandering to the terrorist enemy, or just bad history.

In fact, the president was simply repeating a point often made by liberals since September 11, namely, that all religions have blots on their copy book through the deeds of their followers.

One of the consequences, however, of this invocation of the Crusades – unintended, and all the more significant for it – is to seal away the West’s “sins”, particularly vis-à-vis its relationship to the Middle East, in events that took place a thousand years ago.

The Crusades were, in one sense, a demonstration of raw military power, and a collective trauma for the peoples of the regions they marched through and invaded.

In the siege of Jerusalem in 1099, a witness described how the Europeans ordered “all the Saracen dead to be cast outside because of the great stench, since the whole city was filled with their corpses”.

He added: “No one ever saw or heard of such slaughter of pagan people, for funeral pyres were formed from them like pyramids.”

Or take the Third Crusade, when, on August 20, 1191, England’s King Richard I oversaw the beheading of 3,000 Muslim prisoners at Acre in full view of Saladin’s army.

Just “ancient history”? In 1920, when the French had besieged and captured Damascus, their commander Henri Gourard reportedly went to the grave of Saladin, kicked it, and uttered: “Awake Saladin, we have returned! My presence here consecrates the victory of the Cross over the Crescent.”

But the US president need not cite the Crusades or even the colonial rule of the early 20th century: more relevant reference points would be Bagram and Fallujah.

Bagram base in Afghanistan is where US soldiers tortured prisoners to death – like 22-year-old taxi driver and farmer Dilawar. Before he was killed in custody, Dilawar was beaten by soldiers just to make him scream “Allah!”

Five months after September 11, The Guardian reported that US missiles had killed anywhere between 1,300 and 8,000 in Afghanistan. Months later, the paper suggested that “as many as 20,000 Afghans may have lost their lives as an indirect consequence of the US intervention”.

When it was Iraq’s turn, the people of Fallujah discovered that US forces gave them funerals, not democracy. On April 28, 2003, US soldiers massacred civilian protesters, shooting to death 17 during a demonstration.

When that city revolted against the occupation, the residents paid a price. As Marines tried to quell resistance in the city, wrote The New York Times on April 14, 2004, they had “orders to shoot any male of military age on the streets after dark, armed or not”.Months later, as the Marines launched their November assault on the city, CNN reported that “the sky…seems to explode”.

In their bombardment and invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US and UK armed forces rained fiery death down on men, women and children. Prisoners were tortured and sexually abused. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died. No one was held to account.

It is one thing to apologise for the brutality of western Crusaders a thousand years ago. It is quite another to look at the corpses of the victims of the imperialist present, or hear the screams of the bereaved.

In his excellent book The Muslims Are Coming, Arun Kundnani analysed the “politics of anti-extremism”, and describes the two approaches developed by policymakers and analysts during the “war on terror”.

The first approach, which he refers to as “culturalism”, emphasises “what adherents regard as inherent features of Islamic culture”. The second approach, “reformism”, is when “extremism is viewed as a perversion of Islam’s message”, rather than “a clash of civilisations between the West’s modern values and Islam’s fanaticism”.

Thus the American Right was angry with Mr Obama, because for them, it is about religion – or specifically, Islam. Liberals, meanwhile, want to locate the problem in terms of culture.

Both want to avoid a discussion about imperialism, massacres, coups, brutalities, disappearances, dictatorships – in other words, politics.

As Kundnani writes: when “the concept of ideology” is made central, whether understood as “Islam itself or as Islamist extremism”, then “the role of western states in co-producing the terror war is obscured”.

The problem with Mr Obama’s comments on the Crusades was not, as hysterical conservatives claimed, that he was making offensive and inaccurate analogies with ISIL; rather, that in the comfort of condemning the past, he could mask the violence of his own government in the present.

The echoes of collective trauma remain for a long time, and especially when new wounds are still being inflicted. Think it is farfetched that Muslims would still care about a 1,000-year-old European invasion? Then try asking them about Guantanamo and Camp Bucca instead.

Ben White is a journalist and author of Israeli Apartheid

Obama’s ‘Crusaders’ analogy veils the West’s modern crimes
Pep Montserrat for The National

Wag the dog: Kerry calls Netanyahu to apologize for official’s ‘chickenshit’ comment!

Kerry calls Netanyahu to apologize for official’s ‘chickenshit’ comment ~ RT.

US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to apologize for the remarks of an anonymous senior government official who called the PM “chickeshit.”

Kerry and Netanyahu had a “good conversation” that included a discussion of ways to improve relations between US and Israeli leaders, American officials told the Times of Israel. The two men also discussed other regional issues, including efforts to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“The thing about Bibi [Netanyahu] is, he’s a chickenshit,” a senior Obama administration official told the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who published the quote in an article Tuesday on the “crisis in US-Israeli relations.

“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars. The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states,” the anonymous source continued.

The White House and Kerry quickly moved to distance themselves from the quotes.

The president’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, said the anonymous official’s remarks do not reflect the US position or President Barack Obama’s views.

“We condemn anybody who uses language such as was used in this article. That does not reflect the president, it does not reflect me,” Kerry said at the Sixth Annual Washington Ideas Forum on Thursday.“It is disgraceful, unacceptable, damaging, and I think neither President Obama nor I – I’ve never heard that word around me in the White House or anywhere – I don’t know who these anonymous people are who keep getting quoted in things. But they make life much more difficult, and we are proud of what we have done to help Israel through a very difficult time.”

On Wednesday, Netanyahu made the unusual move of responding directly to the quotes, using them to his political advantage, according to Newsweek. Israeli leaders do not usually acknowledge comments made anonymously.

“Our supreme interests, chiefly the security and unity of Jerusalem, are not the main concern of those anonymous officials who attack us and me personally, as the assault on me comes only because I defend the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said while opening a memorial ceremony in parliament for an Israeli cabinet minister assassinated by a Palestinian in 2001.

“Despite all of the attacks I suffer, I will continue to defend our country. I will continue to defend the citizens of Israel,” he added.

Regardless of the crassness of the comments in the Atlantic, many Israelis agree with the characterization of the country’s leader, as he is considered to be one of the most risk-averse Israeli prime ministers in history, Newsweek reported.

On Thursday, left-leaning paper Haaretz published a political cartoon that depicted Netanyahu flying a plane labeled “Israel” into New York City’s Twin Towers, which is flying the American flag. Cartoonist Amos Biderman offered no caption to explain the drawing.

In a phone interview with the Times of Israel, Biderman explained that the cartoon implied Netanyahu was leading to “a disaster in Israel-US relations on the scale of 9/11,” pointing to the prime minister’s“arrogance” and unchecked settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

| War-monger Netanyahu visits Russia to lobby against Iran deal!

Netanyahu visits Russia to lobby against Iran deal ~ DAN WILLIAMSJERUSALEM, Reuters.

(Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Russia on Wednesday to appeal for tougher terms in a nuclear accord with Iran after failing to convince the United States that world powers are pursuing a bad deal.

Netanyahu was due to meet President Vladimir Putin as envoys from Russia, the United States, ChinaFrance, Britain and Germany began a third and possibly conclusive round of talks with Iran in Geneva on easing economic sanctions in return for curbs on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.

Israel, thought to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, sees a nuclear-armed Iran as a mortal threat and wants its uranium enrichment capabilities dismantled and its enriched uranium removed. Tehran denies seeking atomic weapons.

Netanyahu says the deal now under negotiation, the exact details of which have not been disclosed, would still enable Tehran to build an atomic bomb quickly if it chose to do so.

The right-wing Israeli leader, locked in his most serious dispute yet with U.S. PresidentBarack Obama, has made veiled threats of Israeli military action against Iran if negotiators sign what he has called an “exceedingly bad deal” in Geneva.

He has dismissed widespread skepticism over Israel’s ability to cause lasting damage to Iran’s distant, dispersed and well-defended facilities.

Israel’s military chief, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, told reporters his task was “to ensure we retain and continue to strengthen relevant capabilities” to tackle Iran if necessary.

Russia, which built Iran’s first nuclear power plant and remains on better terms with Tehran than Western powers, has expressed less suspicion than them about Iran’s nuclear work.

“Our job is to try to sway the Russians, as we have been doing with all the players,” said Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who accompanied Netanyahu to Moscow.

“Russia is not going to adopt Israeli positions wholesale. But any movement, even small, in the Russian position can affect the negotiations,” Elkin told Israel Radio.


Moscow is hopeful the Geneva talks will produce a preliminary deal this week to ease the nuclear standoff, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Without mentioning Netanyahu by name, Lavrov referred to his warnings of a “historic mistake” that would win time for Iran to make a nuclear bomb, which he said were “removed from reality”.

Lavrov has also suggested Iran was prepared to produce less enriched uranium and halt production of uranium enriched to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, a relatively short step from weapons-grade material. Those are two of the concessions Western powers want Iran to take, but they fall far short of Netanyahu’s demands for shutting certain Iranian nuclear sites.

“We are addressing the sorts of problems which Israel has raised with us consistently and forcefully over a very long period of time,” said a European diplomat involved in the Iran discussions who declined to be named.

“You know, speaking honestly, I don’t think that there is a deal that we could remotely have done which would have Netanyahu coming up and saying, ‘hmm, that’s pretty good'”.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande (not pictured) at his residence in Jerusalem November 17, 2013. REUTERS/Alain Jocard/Pool

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande (not pictured) at his residence in Jerusalem November 17, 2013.

The Moscow trip has stirred little optimism in Israel, where Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, a member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet, wondered how much leverage he could apply.

“Russia and China were the ones that, until now, did not take action to increase sanctions. It was very hard to enlist them to impose sanctions on Iran,” she told Israel Radio.

“Therefore it is hard for me to see how, suddenly today, they could be the ones to demand that the world be firmer with the Iranians.”

(Additional reporting by Steve Gutterman in Moscow; Writing by Dan Williams, Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Alistair Lyon)



| Over-privileged war-mongers: Majority of Israelis support military strike on Iran: poll!

Majority of Israelis support military strike on Iran: poll ~ Al Akhbar.

A majority of Israelis would support unilateral military strike against Iran, according to a poll published Friday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government was ready to act alone.

Some 65.6 percent of 500 Jewish Israelis surveyed by the pro-government Israel HaYom newspaper said they would support military strikes to halt Iran’s nuclear program, and 84 percent believed the Islamic republic had no intention of reining in its alleged drive to build a bomb.

Israel and many Western countries accuse Tehran of trying to develop a nuclear warhead, a charge Iran denies. Russia has said there is no evidence to suggest Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday said Israel was ready to act alone to stop Iran making a bomb, in a warning against rushing into deals with Tehran’s new leaders.

“Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone,” the combative Netanyahu told a UN summit, in an attack on overtures made by Iran’s President Hassan Rohani.

Israel has repeatedly advocated military force and has threatened unilateral strikes against the Islamic republic.

A nuclear-armed Iran would be a bigger threat than North Korea, Netanyahu added, in an alarmist speech designed to counter Rohani’s recent diplomatic offensive, which has included a direct phone call with US President Barack Obama.

“As dangerous as a nuclear-armed North Korea is, it pales in comparison to the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran,” he said.

“A nuclear-armed Iran in the Middle East wouldn’t be another North Korea – it would be another 50 North Koreas.”

North Korea, which like Iran faces wide-ranging UN sanctions over its nuclear program, is believed to have several nuclear bombs and to have shared technology with Iran.

Some 51.4 percent of respondents in HaYom survey said Netanyahu had given a “good speech” at the UN, with only 10.9 percent disagreeing.

HaYom conducted the opinion poll on Wednesday. The margin of error was 4.4 percent.



Zio Mafia IsraeliCW1

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| Former EU leaders urge Ashton: Stand firm on Israeli settlement guidelines!

Former EU leaders urge Ashton: Stand firm on Israeli settlement guidelines ~ European Coordination of Committees for Palestine, Palestinian BDS National Committee.

Letter signed by 15 former EU leaders counters attempts by Israel and U.S. to scrap or delay the move to stop cooperating with firms in the settlements.

A group of 15 former senior European officials has urged the European Union not to soften or delay new settlement guidelines slated to take effect on January 1, and in particular to ensure they apply to the Horizon 2020 scientific cooperation program.

The letter, dated September 16, was sent to all EU foreign ministers by the European Eminent Persons Group, whose stated goal is promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace. The group is co-chaired by former French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, former German Deputy Foreign Minister Wolfgang Ischinger and former British Ambassador to the UN Jeremy Greenstock.

Its more prominent members include Javier Solana, who formerly served as EU foreign policy czar and NATO secretary-general, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the former European commissioner for external relations and Austrian foreign minister, former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton, former Dutch Prime Minister Andreas Van Agt and former Dutch Foreign Minister Hans Van den Broek.

One particularly noteworthy signatory is former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos, who is considered relatively close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and was granted a meeting with the premier when he visited Israel a few weeks ago.

“With great concern we have taken note of recent calls to delay, modify or even suspend the European Commission guidelines on funding of Israeli entities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967,” the letter began. “We urge you to uphold this commitment by supporting the guidelines and their full application by EU institutions, notably in regard to the ongoing negotiations about Israel’s participation in Horizon 2020.”

After noting that the guidelines reflect a longstanding EU position that the settlements are illegal under international law, the letter continued, “Their strict application serves to reiterate that the EU does not recognize and will not support settlements and other illegal facts on the ground … It is these facts on the ground, not the guidelines, which threaten to make a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.”

The letter also argued that the guidelines’ publication in mid-July encouraged the Palestinians to agree to resume direct negotiations with Israel two weeks later. “If the EU were to delay or suspend the guidelines, or not fully apply them to the agreement with Israel on Horizon 2020, this could further undermine the Palestinians’ trust in the negotiation process and their ability to continue the talks,” it said. “In other words, delaying or suspending the guidelines is likely to undermine negotiations, not help them.”

Finally, it argued, the guidelines are the “minimum” the EU can do to uphold its own legislation and keep taxpayer funds from going to the settlements, so delaying or suspending them would “damage the EU’s credibility.”

The letter was written to assist the Palestinians’ counter-campaign against Israeli and American efforts to get the guidelines softened or delayed. Last week, United States Secretary of State John Kerry asked EU foreign ministers to delay implementing the guidelines so as not to undermine Israeli-Palestinian talks.

The guidelines forbid any EU grants, loans or prizes to Israeli entities with operations in the West Bank, Golan Heights or East Jerusalem. They also require any new agreement with Israel to state that these areas aren’t part of Israel, and therefore aren’t covered by the agreement.

Israel’s immediate concern is its current negotiations with the EU over participating in Horizon 2020. Participation would give Israeli researchers access to hundreds of millions of euros worth of funding. But Israel has said it can’t sign the agreement under the guidelines as they stand.


BDS Activist

16 September 2013
To: The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union
Cc: Mr Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council

Mr José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
Ms Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
and Vice-President of the European Commission
Ms Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science
Re: Ensuring full application of European Commission guidelines on funding of Israeli entities in the Occupied Territories

Dear Foreign Minister,
With great concern we have taken note of recent calls to delay, modify or even suspend the European Commission guidelines on funding of Israeli entities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, developed in furtherance of the clear EU Foreign Affairs Council position adopted on 10 December 2012:

“The European Union expresses its commitment to ensure that – in line with international
law – all agreements between the State of Israel and the European Union must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”
We urge you to uphold this commitment by supporting the guidelines and their full
application by EU institutions, notably in regard to the ongoing negotiations about Israel’s
participation in Horizon 2020.
In recent weeks, Israel has expressed strong objections to the guidelines. Israeli Prime
Minister Netanyahu has said: “We will not accept any external dictates regarding our
borders.” This both misrepresents the EU position and the international legal consensus
regarding the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As EU High Representative Catherine Ashton stated, in no way will the guidelines prejudge the outcome of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

The guidelines rather reflect the EU’s long-held position that the settlements are illegal and
that the Union will not recognize changes to the pre-1967 borders other than agreed by both parties. Their strict application serves to re-iterate that the EU does not recognize and will not support settlements and other illegal facts on the ground that increasingly dictate a unilateral reality inimical to a two state agreement. It is these facts on the ground, not the guidelines, which threaten to make a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.
The Palestinians have agreed to enter negotiations without explicit Israeli or US guarantees that these negotiations will be based on the pre-1967 borders. As you will recall, the guidelines’ release in mid-July was an important incentive for the Palestinians to agree to a resumption of direct talks without such explicit guarantees. If the EU were to delay or suspend the guidelines, or not fully apply them to the agreement with Israel on Horizon 2020, this could further undermine the Palestinians’ trust in the negotiation process and their ability to continue the talks. In other words, delaying or suspending the guidelines is likely to undermine negotiations, which we want to see succeed, not help them.
Furthermore, political considerations aside, the EU is obligated under its own existing law to effectively prevent the application of its agreements and programmes to illegal settlements outside Israel’s recognised borders. In fact, the guidelines are the required minimum for the EU to fully and effectively implement its own legislation and to prevent its taxpayers’ money from being used to support activities in settlements.
We welcome your efforts in the Middle East Peace Process and fully support the EU’s goal of a negotiated two-state solution. A delay or suspension of the guidelines won’t help achieve this solution. On the contrary, it would undermine the negotiations by alienating the
Palestinians and by reinforcing Israel’s intransigence. In addition, it would damage the EU’s credibility and erode its vital foundations as a law-based community.
We urge you to be steadfast and support EU institutions in fully applying the guidelines.

Yours sincerely,

Members of the European Eminent Persons Group:

Frans Andriessen, former Vice-President of the European Commission
Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, former Vice-Prime Minister of the Netherlands
John Bruton, former Prime Minister of Ireland
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, former European Commissioner for External Relations and
Former Foreign Minister of Austria
Jeremy Greenstock, former UK Ambassador to the UN; Co-Chair of the EEPG
Teresa Patricio Gouveia, Former Foreign Minister of Portugal
Wolfgang Ischinger, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany and current Chairman of
the Munich Security Conference; Co-Chair of the EEPG
Miguel Moratinos, former Foreign Minister of Spain and former EU Special Representative
for the Middle East Peace Process
Pierre Schori, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Sweden
Clare Short, former UK Secretary of State for International Development
Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy and
Former NATO Secretary-General
Peter Sutherland, former EU Commissioner for Competition and former Director-General of
the World Trade Organization
Andreas Van Agt, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Hans Van den Broek, former Foreign Minister of the Netherlands and Former EU
Commissioner for External Relations
Hubert Védrine, former Foreign Minister of France; Co-Chair of the EEPG


BDS Map1

| Usurping Victimhood: Netanyahu [unilaterally] announces four conditions for Iran!

Netanyahu announces four conditions for Iran ~ MEMO.

We expect Obama to deliver four conditions to Iran …

The first is a total halt of Iran’s uranium enrichment project. The second is to remove all enriched uranium from Iran. The third is to shut down the enrichment facilities. The fourth is to stop Iran’s enrichment project

Several Israeli news sites have reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is insisting that Iran must comply with four conditions before the international community can deal with its nuclear issue. Netanyahu is demanding toughness in dealing with Iran, in light of what appears to be an improvement in US-Iranian relations. The Israeli prime minister and US President Barack Obama are scheduled to meet within two weeks.


According to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Netanyahu said, “We expect Obama to deliver four conditions to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. The first is a total halt of Iran’s uranium enrichment project. The second is to remove all enriched uranium from Iran. The third is to shut down the enrichment facilities. The fourth is to stop Iran’s enrichment project.” The fulfilment of these four conditions is the only path to ensure stopping Iran’s atomic project altogether, he added. “Until these conditions are met, the pressure on Iran must be increased and not mitigated.”

The events of recent weeks, claims Netanyahu, have “proven the accuracy” of Israeli claims that any “tyrannical” country which acquires weapons of mass destruction might use them. “Only a military threat allows for diplomacy to stop acquiring such arms and Israel must enhance its strength to be able to defend itself against every threat.”



Anon Goyim2

| Hubris: Now Netanyahu tells ministers stay silent on Syria!

Netanyahu tells ministers stay silent on Syria ~ AFP, Occupied Jerusalem, AL ARABIYA NEWS.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his cabinet to stay silent on the issue of Russian missile deliveries to Syria, public radio said on Wednesday.

His remarks came after several ministers criticized Moscow’s arms deals with Damascus and raised the possibility of an Israeli response should the Jewish state feel under threat.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on Tuesday warned Israel would “know what to do” if Russia delivered promised anti-aircraft missiles to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“The deliveries have not taken place, and I hope they do not. But if, by misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do,” Yaalon told reporters.

Israel has launched several air raids inside Syria this year, targeting convoys transporting weapons to its arch foe Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz also confirmed Israel would “react to any threat.”

“I hope Damascus understands that. We will react forcefully,” he told reporters on Tuesday, describing Russia’s planned delivery of the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles as “morally wrong.”

Earlier this month, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni also criticized Russia’s arms deals with Syria, where a two-year conflict that started as an anti-regime uprising has killed more than 90,000 people.

Moscow on Tuesday defended its arms shipments to Damascus.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the missiles were a “stabilizing factor” which could act as a deterrent against foreign intervention, as fears grow that the violence could spill over into neighboring countries.


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nutty un 2

| Justice delayed: ICC finally launches inquiry into 2010 Israeli raid on Gaza flotilla!

ICC launches inquiry into Israeli raid on Gaza flotilla ~ BBC.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has launched a preliminary inquiry into an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla which left nine Turkish activists dead.

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said it would establish whether there were grounds for a full investigation.

The move follows a request from the Comoros islands, in which one of the vessels was registered.

The boats were trying to transport aid supplies to Gaza in May 2010.

The Free Gaza Flotilla, which had more than 600 pro-Palestinian activists aboard several ships, was trying to break Israel’s naval blockade.

The activists were killed when Israeli commandos boarded the lead flotilla vessel, Mavi Marmara.

‘Errors'”My office will be conducting a preliminary examination in order to establish whether the criteria for opening an investigation are met,” Ms Bensouda said in a statement on Tuesday.

She said she had met with a Turkish law firm acting on behalf of the government of the Union of the Comoros, an island state in the Indian Ocean.

Israel’s assault on the Mavi Marmara drew widespread foreign criticism and strained its ties with Turkey.

UN inquiry in 2011 found the Israeli commandos’ actions were “excessive and unreasonable”.

However, it also found Israel’s naval blockade “was imposed as a legitimate security measure” which “complied with the requirements of international law”.

Israel says the blockade is necessary to prevent weapons and ammunition being smuggled to the Gaza Strip, which has been governed by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas since 2007.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologised to Turkey in March 2013 for “any errors that could have led to loss of life” during the raid, and agreed to compensate the families of those killed.

The ICC investigates and tries cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity in countries that are unwilling or unable to prosecute them on their own, often at the request of ratifying states.

It does not have automatic jurisdiction over Israel as it is not a party to the treaty establishing the ICC.

But lawyers from the Istanbul-based firm Elmadag argued that events should be considered as having taken place on the territory of Comoros, which is a member of the court, according to the news agency AP.

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| Stuxnet blowback: Israel Confirms Hacking Attack on Zio-PM’s Website!

Israel Confirms Hacking Attack on PM’s Website ~ Fars News Agency.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Anti-Israel hackers succeeded in bringing down temporarily the website of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the site of the Likud party, the Avnet information security company said Tuesday.

“The (PMO’s) site is suffering from an attack on its connection between the database and the web server,” Avnet’s Ronni Becher said, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“At this stage we don’t know how the attack was carried out exactly, and what can be done to defend against it. Overnight, we saw dozens of attempts to hack and attack Israeli websites. Much information was released online…,” he added.

More than 100,000 Israeli websites came under attack from Anonymous hacktivists around the world.

The websites of the Israeli parliament, banks, ministries and other government organizations were down for some time on Sunday during the assault, dubbed Operation Israel. The loosely-knit hacking group Anonymous threatened to “disrupt and erase Israel from cyberspace” in protest over its mistreatment of Palestinians.

The hackers also released a list of email addresses and credit card numbers, reportedly lifted from the online catalog of Israel Military, a privately-owned business that sells military surplus, Haaretz reported. Israel Military officials indicated that the information made public did not come from its site.

A Middle East hacker, who took part in the massive cyber assault, said that the operation’s aim was “to show the world the true face of Israel and its armed forces.”

“We are the sons of Palestinian people and we feel the pressure of the Israeli occupation not only in Gaza but also in all the Arab and Muslim world. And as the first retaliation we committed a fast and full-scale attack on Israeli websites to warn Israel and all its supporters about the threat that hangs over them. They have weapons and we have our own means. As a result of this attack we’ve received the names of those who cooperate with Israel. The aim of the attack was to show the world the true face of Israel and its armed forces. And we coped with our task”.

“So now we make a clear warning to Israel: “In the future be ready for new larger surprises”,” he stated.

Israel responded to mass cyber attacks on Sunday by launching a series of raids in which several Palestinian activists were arrested, President Mahmoud Abbas‘ advisor for communications and information technology Sabri Saydam told WAFA.

Nothing indicates that the Palestinians have anything to do with the hacking of Israeli sites, Saydam added, calling it “a cyberspace battle” and stressing that the Internet “is open to all”.

In a message released Saturday the group addressed the Israeli government saying: “You have NOT stopped your endless human rights violations. You have NOT stopped illegal settlements. You have NOT respected the ceasefire. You have shown that you do NOT respect international law.”


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