Sunday, July 27, 2014

Satellite Photos

At great fanfare, the US releases satellite photos implicating Russian involvement in the war in Eastern Ukraine.  It has long been said, and likely true, that Russia has been arming separatists defending themselves from an illegally instituted government in Kiev.

However, everyone talks about MH17.  Here the story is unclear.  The US can clearly take photos, and show them, but doesn't show us anything on the day of shooting.  I have heard the US has a geostationary satellite over the region by a commenter in the comments to the above, so could be expected to have very relevant photos of the shooting.

I still believe the BUK theory, that ill trained Separatists fired off at a commercial jetliner by mistake.  This implicates Russia only in the supply of the weapons.  But other theories say that Kiev deliberately directed the jetliner into warring airspace to create an incident.  And some go further, when that failed the plane may have been shot down by a ground based missile on orders of Kiev.  I would doubt that, but the lack of photos brings up the tails of my probability estimation.

The satellite photos don't clarify the situation at all, in fact they make it murkier.  Funny this seems to be advertised as the proof we have been waiting for, or as if that's what it's supposed to be, even though it doesn't say that at all.

Lift the Blockade on Gaza

My latest congressional letter.

First step to peace should be lifting the blockade on Gaza.

There is a false narrative saying that "Hamas should not be rewarded for violence."  That is completely wrong.  Hamas was following the previous cease fire and did not order the kidnapping of three Israelis in the West Bank.  It is well known now that Hamas did not order this, and it likely had no way of stopping it either.  Indeed, Hamas had just proposed a unification with the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas only started launching small rockets into Israel after it was attacked brutally with heavy shelling by Israel.

Further, the blockade itself is an act of war against the State of Palestine, which is recognized by 134 nations in the UN.  Palestine has full legal rights to arm itself, even militarize itself, and attack Israel to end the illegal occupation which has persisted for many decades now.  That occupation is another continuing act of aggression, for which Palestine is legally entitled to self defense using violence directed at its occupier.

Israel has no legal right to de-militarize or block military hardware from any region of Palestine.  In so doing, it is blocking the legal right of another State to defend itself.

[I didn't think of adding this: Of course the correct narrative is that Netanyahu should be punished for uncalled for and excessive violence.  And the perfect remedy is to lift the blockade under international diplomacy and sanctions if required.]

The Nakba

The Nakba described.

In 1947-1948 750,000 Palestinians were fled in panic or were forcibly expelled from their homes by Jewish forces.  Their majority presence and ownership of the land were obstacles to the creation of the Jewish State.  Jews had owned 7 percent of the land and constituted 33 percent of the population.  Nevertheless, Israel was established on 78 percent of the land and made into a Jewish state, which does not permit the return of Arab refugees, but does permit the admission of Jews born anywhere.  And Israel is still an occupying force in the remaining 22%, and Arab refugees are not allowed to return there either.

Gaza has a legal right to attack an Occupying Power over any Palestinian Territory

A great quotation from Talknic in this thread here:

Gaza has a legal right to be militarized and a legal right to attack the Occupying Power over any Palestinian territory.
Israel has no legal right to illegally acquire ANY territory by war, illegally annex any territory, illegally settle any territory. Israel has no legal right to demand recognition, no legal right to demand other folks territory for its defense, no legal right to have more defensible borders than its neighbours. No legal right to demand the Palestinians be demilitarized.
Why should Israel expect peace if it refuses to withdraw from ALL non-Israeli territory, taking its illegal settlers when it goes, as required by law.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

134 UN States recognize the State of Palestine

That's 134 out of 194 total states, and accounting for a majority of the world's population.  Not including US, Israel, western Europe, Austrailia, and Central America.

Palestine has had "entity observer status" with the UN for quite awhile and recently got upgraded to "state observer status" and UN protocol now uses the phrase "State of Palestine" to refer to Palestine.  So administratively Palestinian statehood is recognized by the UN.  But Palestine cannot become a member state with any security council vetoes, and the US could be expected to provide that veto.

Israel: The Millstone Around Our Necks

Israeli Military Strategies in Gaza