GENEVA: A report commissioned by the United Nations suggests that Palestinian terrorism is the "inevitable consequence" of Israeli occupation and laws that resemble South African apartheid - a claim Israel rejected Tuesday as enflaming hatred between Jews and Palestinians.
The report by John Dugard, independent investigator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the U.N. Human Rights Council, will be presented next month, but it has been posted on the body's Web site.
In it, Dugard, a South African lawyer who campaigned against apartheid in the 1980s, says "common sense ... dictates that a distinction must be drawn between acts of mindless terror, such as acts committed by al-Qaida, and acts committed in the course of a war of national liberation against colonialism, apartheid or military occupation."
While Palestinian terrorist acts are to be deplored, "they must be understood as being a painful but inevitable consequence of colonialism, apartheid or occupation," writes Dugard, whose 25-page report accuses the Jewish state of acts and policies consistent with all three.
NY Times didn't report this story, but it's International Herald Tribune did. News fit for the rest of the world, but not for US citizens?
In Congress yesterday, Representative John Tierney, Chair of the House National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee, convened the first in a series of hearings to examine a US missile defense program that is out of control, straining relations with allies, and renewing an arms race with Russia.
...The subcommittee focused on the extent of the missile threat - as compared to other security vulnerabilities - and whether spending more than $10 billion annually on ballistic missile defense (BMD) is justifiable from that perspective.
Rep. Tierney pointed out that we have spent over $120 billion on missile defense in the past 25 years; that the annual budget is expected to double by 2013 to $19 billion; and that the current $10 billion per year is equal to one-third of the Homeland Security budget, roughly equal to the State Department budget...
"I believe that the Ballistic Missile Defense program is the longest running scam in the history of the Department of Defense." This from the Nation Magazine. The NY Times didn't judge this story fit to print.
The Bush administration, caught out by the rise of Hamas, embarked on a secret project for the armed overthrow of the Islamist government in Gaza, it emerged yesterday.
Vanity Fair reports in its April edition that President George Bush and the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, signed off on a plan for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to remove the Hamas authorities in Gaza. The plan called for Washington's allies in the region to funnel arms and salaries to Fatah fighters who would lead a rising against Hamas.
According to the magazine, Rice played a main role in trying to persuade Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to offer training and funding to the Fatah fighters. Israeli officials admitted in December 2006 that Egypt had sent weapons to the Fatah faction in Gaza. The NY Times skipped this story to cover a Vanity Fair Oscar party.