Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Israel faced a battery of calls yesterday to alleviate what the Red Cross unusually called a "deep human crisis" by easing restrictions on Palestinian movement.

The World Bank and the Western-backed emergency Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, warned that the $5.6bn (£2.7bn) they hope the conference will pledge in Paris on Monday will not reverse the collapse of the Palestinian economy unless there is a significant reduction in checkpoints and closures.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which prides itself on its neutrality, said that Israel's "harsh security measures" came at an "enormous humanitarian cost" and that the "dignity of the Palestinians is being trampled underfoot day after day, both in the West Bank and Gaza."

And the NY Times? It runs a story about an Israeli boy who was injured by a Palestinian rocket. All the criticisms of Israel are just left out.

What don't we hear about Israel? This year, Israel killed 650 Palestinians while suffering 27 fatalities. Human rights groups estimate that 80% of Palestinians were civilians.

Israel just sent 30 tanks into Gaza on another killing spree, murdering 8 "gunmen." In addition, Israeli Minister of Housing announced that 307 more units would be added to the illegal Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem. This is reminiscent of the Clinton era "peace talks," during which Israel doubled its Jewish settlements in the Palestinian West Bank.

But American media keeps Israel's image clean, something that is impossible to do in the rest of the world. Many countries actually have a much greater freedom of the press than we do.


GENEVA - A United Nations investigator said on Thursday he strongly suspected the CIA of using torture on terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, suggesting many were not being prosecuted to keep the abuse from emerging at trial.

On a visit to the U.S. detention centre in Cuba last week, Martin Scheinin, U.N. special rapporteur on protecting human rights while countering terrorism, attended a pre-trial hearing of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s former driver.

“Bringing them to court would bring to the court’s attention the method through which the evidence, including the confessions, were obtained. So this is one further affirmation of the conclusion that the CIA or others have been involved in methods of interrogation that are incompatible with international law,” he said.

And the NY Times? Martin Scheinin? Never heard of him!

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