Israeli Cluster Bombs

Not that anything is “likely” to be done to punish them by the United Stupids.

“US admits Israel ‘likely’ broke rules on cluster bombs

Daily Star staff
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

BEIRUT: The United States said on Monday that Israel “likely” violated an agreement with Washington in its use of US-made cluster bombs during the 2006 war against Lebanon.

“There were likely violations,” US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday as the department sent Congress a preliminary report on its investigation of Israel’s use of cluster-bombs in civilian areas of Lebanon during the summer war.

It is up the Congress to decide whether the issue will be investigated further, he said.

Under the US Arms Export Control Act, if the US government believes a foreign country violated agreements over how US-made weapons were used, the administration must draw up a report and send its findings to Congress. The State Department spokesperson declined to say how Israel had violated US rules in its use of US-made bombs, rockets or shells armed with cluster bombs in Lebanon.

A probe was opened last year, after reports emerged that three types of American cluster bombs were found in South Lebanon and were responsible for civilian deaths.

The report was handed over to Congress as two Belgian de-miners serving with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon were wounded on Monday by shrapnel in a cluster-bomb explosion during a mine-clearance operation in the vicinity of Kunin, near the town of Bint Jbeil.

More on the impact of Israeli cluster bombs on civilians since the cease fire in Lebanon.

Mad Monkey slammed by Gramen Bank founder

One of my favourite people, Muhammad Yunus, creator of the wonderful Gramen Bank which has accomplished so much for the poor, especially women in Bangladesh, has laid into the demented chimp.

President George W. Bush is a terrible leader who has done tremendous damage worldwide, Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus has said in an interview.
“Bush is a terrible leader, not only for the United States but for the entire world,” Yunus, a 66-year-old micro-credit pioneer and “banker to the poor”, told El Mundo newspaper Saturday.

“He has led the world on a dangerous path and it will take a lot of time to take it back on the right one,” he was quoted as saying.

“Bush has caused tremendous damage. The cold war was over and with it all this wasted energy and mistrust of so many years. We were speaking about the dividends of peace,” he added.

“And then the war on terror started and the vengeance and again all this money was invested in war technology.”

Asked by El Mundo about the responsibilities of the September 11, 2001 hijackers who flew passenger jets into targets in New York and Washington, Yunus said they were “no saints, they are evil”.

“What I’m saying is that the military response to terrorism is not a solution.”

Yunus and the Grameen Bank which he created have helped millions in Bangladesh extricate themselves from poverty through tiny, collateral-free loans.”

Charges Ring True

Saree Makdisi is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at UCLA and a frequent commentator on Middle East issues.


Former President Jimmy Carter has come under sustained attack for having dared to use the term “apartheid” to describe Israel’s policies in the West Bank. However, not one of Carter’s critics has offered a convincing argument to justify the vehemence of the outcry, much less to refute his central claim that Israel bestows rights on Jewish residents settling illegally on Palestinian land, while denying the same rights to the indigenous Palestinians. Little wonder, for they are attempting to defy reality itself.

Israel maintains two separate road networks in the West Bank: one for the exclusive use of Jewish settlers, and one for Palestinian natives. Is that not apartheid?

Palestinians are not allowed to drive their own cars in much of the West Bank; their public transportation is frequently interrupted or blocked altogether by a grid of Israeli army checkpoints — but Jewish settlers come and go freely in their own cars, without even pausing at the roadblocks that hold up the natives. Is that not apartheid?

A system of closures and curfews has strangled the Palestinian economy in the West Bank — but none of its provisions apply to the Jewish settlements there. Is that not apartheid?

Whole sectors of the West Bank, classified as “closed military areas” by the Israeli army, are off limits to Palestinians, including Palestinians who own land there — but foreigners to whom Israel’s Law of Return applies (that is, anyone Jewish, from anywhere in the world) can access them without hindrance. Is that not apartheid?

Persons of Palestinian origin are routinely barred from entering or residing in the West Bank — but Israeli and non-Israeli Jews can come and go, and even live on, occupied Palestinian territory. Is that not apartheid?

Israel maintains two sets of rules and regulations in the West Bank: one for Jews, one for non-Jews. The only thing wrong with using the word “apartheid” to describe such a repugnant system is that the South African version of institutionalized discrimination was never as elaborate as its Israeli counterpart — nor did it have such a vocal chorus of defenders among otherwise liberal Americans.

The glaring error in Carter’s book, however, is his insistence that the term “apartheid” does not apply to Israel itself, where, he says, Jewish and non-Jewish citizens are given the same treatment under the law. That is simply not true.

Israeli law affords differences in privileges for Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of the state — in matters of access to land, family unification and acquisition of citizenship. Israel’s amended nationality law, for example, prevents Palestinian citizens of Israel who are married to Palestinians from the occupied territories from living together in Israel. A similar law, passed at the peak of apartheid in South Africa, was overturned by that country’s supreme court as a violation of the right to a family. Israel’s high court upheld its law just this year.

Israel loudly proclaims itself to be the state of the Jewish people, rather than the state of its actual citizens (one-fifth of whom are Palestinian Arabs). In fact, in registering citizens, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior assigns them a whole range of nationalities other than “Israeli.” In the official registry, the nationality line for a Jewish citizen of Israel reads “Jew.” For a Palestinian citizen, the same line reads “Arab.” When this glaring inequity was protested all the way to Israel’s high court, the justices upheld it: “There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people.” Obviously this leaves non-Jewish citizens of Israel in, at best, a somewhat ambiguous situation. Little wonder, then, that a solid majority of Israeli Jews regard their Arab fellow-citizens as what they call “a demographic threat,” which many — including the deputy prime minister — would like to see eliminated altogether. What is all this, if not racism?

Up Yours, Howard

Good one, Elton. Should have mentioned Howard’s elevation to GG of the pedo priest protector Hollingworth while he was at it.

Pop star Sir Elton John has criticised Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s position on gay marriage.

The musician, on an Australian tour, was asked if he had a message for Howard, whose government overruled a local law allowing gay unions in June.

“Up yours!” replied the outspoken star, who “married” his partner David Furnish in a civil ceremony last year.

The issue of gay marriage has been high on the political agenda in Australia in recent months.

The Australian Capital Territory – the area around Canberra – became the first part of the country to legally recognise gay relationships when it voted on the issue in May this year.

But many members of Mr Howard’s conservative government opposed the change, and the law was invalidated.

‘Not homophobic’

Attorney General Philip Ruddock said that federal law clearly defined marriage as being only between a man and a woman.

Mr Howard denied the move was homophobic. “It is not a question of discriminating against them,” he said.

“It is a question of preserving as an institution in our society marriage as having a special character.

“If you look at the legislation, what it effectively says, a civil union is not a marriage, but it will be treated for all purposes as being equivalent to a marriage,” he added.

Sir Elton has long been an advocate of gay rights, and caused an outcry earlier this month when he called for organised religion to be banned, and accused it of trying to “turn hatred towards gay people”.

Organised religion lacked compassion and turned people into “hateful lemmings”, he told the Observer Music Monthly magazine.

But the musician said he loved the idea of the teachings of Jesus Christ and said there were many gays he knew who loved their religion.

He added he would continue to fight for gay rights, “whether I do it silently behind the scenes or so vocally that I get locked up”.