Israel: Gobbling up more Syrian land with Trump’s approval.

Israel argues that there is no Syria to ‘negotiate with’ — which means the occupation of the Golan is now ‘legitimate’ Israel: Gobbling up more Syrian land Israel’s deputy minister for diplomacy Michael Oren has announced that ‘there is no Syria to negotiate with’, which means that Israel’s illegal occupation of the Golan should be […]

via Israel Makes It Official: The Destruction of Syria Will Legitimise Israeli Land Grabs — Friends of Syria

 

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Story image for golan heights from Jerusalem Post Israel News

IDF strikes targets in Syria after projectile lands in Israel’s Golan

Jerusalem Post Israel NewsApr 22, 2017
The army struck positions in Syria over the weekend after projectiles struck the Golan Heights, apparently errant fire from fighting in Syria.
Israeli Air Force attacks Syrian government positions in the Golan
AMN Al-Masdar News (registration)Apr 23, 2017

Syrian Govt Safe Evacuation of Al Nusra From Al-Waer, Homs (Days After Terrorists Massacre Over 100 Civilian Evacuees of Foua and Kafraya) — In Gaza

British independent journalist Vanessa Beeley was on April 18 with an international delegation in al-Waer, Homs, during the 5th evacuation of terrorists of al-Nusra and other militants occupying the area for years. In March 2017, Syrian journalist Mohamed Ali reported from al-Waer, during one of the earlier evacuations, noting that the evacuation was […]

via Syrian Govt Safe Evacuation of Al Nusra From Al-Waer, Homs (Days After Terrorists Massacre Over 100 Civilian Evacuees of Foua and Kafraya) — In Gaza

H.R. McMaster’s Ties To Soros-Supported Think Tank Raise Questions

National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster’s past affiliation with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has created fresh concerns after research conducted by Disobedient Media revealed that the British think tank has taken funding from multiple governments in the Middle East and organizations tied to George Soros. McMaster’s former position with the IISS indicates a potential conflict of interest given the think tanks’ financial ties to sponsors who are anti-American and in some cases, states sponsors of terrorism.

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I. The IISS Has Financial Ties To Middle Eastern States And Soros-Connected Organizations

The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a UK-based think tank with strong establishment ties which was credited by former U.S. Ambassador Raymond Leonard Garthoff in his memoirs as being a driving force in creating “intellectual structures for managing the Cold War.” The IISS has famously boasted that it “owes no allegiance to any government, or to any political or other organization” and produces research cited and utilized by a vast number of groups internationally. But on December 6th, 2016, The Guardian reported that documents published by the organization Bahrain Watch showed that the IISS received more than £25 million in funding from the Bahraini royal family. The leaked documents also revealed that the IISS and Bahrain’s rulers specifically agreed to keep the latter’s funding secret, which would be used to pay for an IISS office in the country as well as annual conferences on Middle East politics attended by heads of state and other powerful figures in Bahrain’s capital of Manama. The Middle East Eye also published research indicating that in 2015 this funding accounted for over half the IISS’ total income during that period.

A reference of the IISS’ Sources of Funding Statementpage reveals that the think tank also receives funds from a shocking list of special interest groups, including the Carnegie Corporation New York, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Executive Affairs Authority – Abu Dhabi, The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense, the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), the embassies of China, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the High Commission for Pakistan. The IISS also accepted donations from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and the Ploughshares Fund.

The Ploughshares Fund is financed by the Open Society Foundation. A May 5, 2016 article by the New York Times revealed that the Ploughshares Fund was a major player in efforts to sell the Iranian nuclear deal to the American public. The deal has been generally criticized as a foreign policy failure, resulted in the transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars to Iran without any concessions in return and has failed to prevent Iran from continuing to illegally test long range ICBM missiles in violation of both the deal and international sanctions.

George Soros has faced backlash internationally in Eastern Europe, after his organizations were banned from Hungary and placed under audit in Macedonia amid accusations that he was meddling in the countries’ political processes and improperly seeking to influence public opinion. Disobedient Media, The New York Times and The Washington Times have all highlighted Soros’ financial support for anti-democracy movements in the United States who seek to undermine democratic institutions and pursue regime change. The billionaire investor’s financial involvement with the IISS seriously undermines their claims of independence already on shaky ground after the revelations from The Guardian and Bahrain Watch.

II. H.R. McMaster Served As Consulting Senior Fellow At The IISS

H.R. McMaster was appointed to the position of National Security Advisor after the resignation of Michael Flynn in February 2017. McMaster was widely praised by the media after he steered away from Flynn’s hardline stance towards terrorism, statingthat the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” was “not helpful.” Although McMaster has extensive counterinsurgency experience from his years in Iraq, his legacy there has been criticized by the Asia Timesas having utilized vast amounts of U.S. funds and resources only to leave behind an Iraqi government that was brittle and at risk of collapse, while failing to quell sectarian tensions that have allowed Iran to leverage interests throughout the Middle East and expand their influence through Hamas and Hezbollah.

From September 2006 to February 2017, H.R. McMaster served at the IISS as a Consulting Senior Fellow. The IISS’ website indicates that McMaster focused on topics relating to conflict and conflict prevention, development and security, civil-military relations and military history. McMaster’s close, longstanding ties to the IISS create concerns about conflicts of interest given the think tank’s financial connections to multiple foreign states across the Middle East and Asia, as well as figures like George Soros who are actively seeking to resist the administration of Donald Trump after the latter’s defeat of Soros-supported candidate Hillary Clintonin the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

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McMaster’s affiliation with an organization that has taken money not only from groups who pushed the harmful and counterproductive Iran nuclear deal, but states who media reports and releases from Wikileakshave shown to be sponsors of terrorism in both the Middle East and the West raise serious questions given the many years McMaster spent with the IISS. The IISS’ connection to such parties will no doubt continue to dog the Lieutenant General going forward given his central role in advising President Donald Trump during the U.S.’s controversial April 6th missile strike in Syria and his belligerent rhetoricdirected at the Russian Federation over their support for Bashar al-Assad.

Source: http://disobedientmedia.com/h-r-mcmasters-ties-to-soros-supported-think-tank-raise-questions/

The Situation In Syria Is NOT Complicated — Here’s All You Need To Know  

1. Your government is lying to you and the media is helping them.

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“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

The popular quote above has at times been attributed to Henry Ford, though it’s most likely a paraphrase of his actual words authored by Congressman Charles G. Binderup in 1938. In any case, it points to the self-evident fact that our economic system is so vastly complex that there are multiple contradictory schools of thought on how it works and how best to approach it. It’s so vastly complex that the few people who understand it are able to manipulate it to their advantage, and to the disadvantage of the overwhelming majority of people who don’t. There are a lot of shadows in all that complexity for the mechanisms of deception and exploitation to hide, and that’s exactly what happens; people get ripped off by a system they don’t understand.

If something is complicated, ordinary people who don’t have years of their lives to dedicate to its study are forced to take the experts on that subject at their word. If a doctor tells you that you have a certain illness which requires a certain treatment, you take her at her word, because her expertise is why you sought her out in the first place. It’s a highly imbalanced power dynamic, which is why we have things like the Hippocratic Oath to make sure experts use the power they’re entrusted with responsibly.

One pernicious side-effect of the existence of such power dynamics, however, is that people can be tricked into assuming that they exist in places where they do not. And I see this happening with the situation in Syria.

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Google the words “Syria” and “complicated” together and you’ll come up with millions of results, because the corporate media is fond of marrying those two terms in the audience’s mind when discussing Syrian affairs. They’re the experts; you cannot possibly hope to understand what’s happening in the nation that America’s neocon hobgoblins have been salivating over invading since at least 2001, so you need to rely on their expertise. The major plot hole in that story: those people have never taken anything like a Hippocratic Oath for their practice, and the situation in Syria is not actually too complicated for you to understand. Every day I speak to Americans who are under the mistaken impression that understanding the Syrian dilemma is a goal they can’t possibly hope to attain, so here are some basic facts that can give you enough of an understanding to see through the illusion of complexity they’re trying to lull you into:

1. Your government is lying to you and the media is helping them.

For decades Noam Chomsky has been writing about how the corporate media is used to manufacture the consent of the governed to a system which disadvantages them. America has a decidedly corporatist system of government, which means that due to institutionalized legal bribery in the form of campaign funding and corporate lobbying there is no boundary between America’s elected government and the billionaires who bribe them. In 2014 a Princeton University study found that the will of the people has functionally zero influence over what laws get passed in the United States, despite everyone having a vote and the ability to assemble and demonstrate, while the richest Americans have a great deal of influence over what legislation gets passed. This is how the rich have been able to design a system which advantages them and disadvantages everyone else.

Who would consent to this? No one; that’s why the corporate media is here to pull the wool over your eyes. Virtually all media in America is controlled by a mere five extremely powerful corporations, which, in a corporatist system of government, are inseparable from the government itself. Thus America has in effect (despite Constitutional protections designed to prevent this) a state-run media.

What does all this have to do with Syria? In September of last year, independent journalist Vanessa Beeley appeared on the Ron Paul Liberty Report in a segment titled “Why Everything You Hear About Aleppo Is Wrong,” ripping to shreds the corporate media’s narrative that Bashar al-Assad is using the Syrian military to attack non-combatants while moderate freedom fighters oppose him in a civil war. Unlike the corporate propagandists reporting on the situation from the safety of their Hollywood studios, Beeley actually went to Syria and looked around and asked questions. Her findings have been corroborated by everyone else who’s gone there in the spirit of investigation as opposed to propaganda, from Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett to Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Which takes us to our next point:

2. Your government has been fighting on the side of terrorist groups.

It’s been a known fact since 2013 that the moderate rebels who were fighting Assad had been overrun by terrorist groups and extremist jihadist factions, and by 2015 were essentially gone. When the corporate media talks about “rebels” in the Syrian “civil war”, they are talking about multinational terrorists groups committing widespread acts of terrorism.

It really is Assad vs. terrorists in Syria. Yes, it is that simple. No, it is not complicated. The only people trying to make it sound more complicated than this are the people who support the violent jihadist factions because they’re trying to depose Assad and take over the country, which would of course be disastrous for everyone, especially the millions of Christians that Assad’s secular government was protecting. Is Assad a great guy? Maybe not, but he is unquestionably better than ISIS and al-Qaeda. And the United States has been arming those terror organizations in Syria to fight against Assad.

3. Trump promised to stop helping the terrorists in Syria and fight them instead.

A lot of lefties don’t understand why so many of Trump’s supporters have been turning against him after the Syrian cruise missile strikes against a Syrian air base; there’s an assumption in liberal and progressive circles that all Trumpsters want war and bloodshed. Nothing could be further from the truth; much of Trump’s support came from people who are sick of America’s regime change interventions and wanted a Commander-in-Chief who’ll leave Assad alone and stop funding the terror groups trying to get rid of him. Trump has been saying since 2013 that America should stay out of Syria, while Clinton was advocating a no-fly zone that top military officials attest would have necessitated a war with both Syria and Russia. A lot of Trump’s support came from people who wanted to avoid more senseless war, and now here he is less than three months into his presidency committing an act of war upon the government that is fighting the terrorists in response to what was almost certainly a false flag.

Oops! Sorry, I got ahead of myself:

4. Your government has an extensive history of using false flags to manufacture consent for stupid wars.

From the Vietnam War to the Gulf War to the Iraq invasion, the corporatist power structures who run the US government have been deceiving the American people into consenting to military responses to non-existent threats. With Vietnam it was the fake Gulf of Tonkin incident. With the Gulf War it was the false Nayirah testimony which convinced Americans that Iraqi soldiers were killing hundreds of premature babies in a Kuwait hospital by removing them from their incubators. With the Iraq invasion it was the weapons of mass destruction lie and the deliberate psy-op by the corporate media to marry the ideas of “Saddam Hussein” and “9/11” in the minds of their viewers, which was so successful that six months after the invasion 70 percent of Americans still believed that Saddam was responsible for the September 11th attacks.

And now the corporate media is ramping up the war propaganda for regime change in Syria, because OMG Assad is gassing little babies! Problem is,

5. There is currently no reason to believe the chemical attack was not another false flag.

In 2013 the US and its international arm NATO accused Assad of gassing his own people, without ever investigating the fact that the al-Qaeda affiliate al Nusra was known to have such weapons and the UN’s Carla Del Ponte statingthat the terrorist opposition forces were most likely the culprit. Despite this massive reason to doubt this narrative, it is to this day being reported as fact that Assad used chemical weapons on his own people in 2013, and that he did it again last week despite having no motive to do so and every motive not to.

These corporatist propagandists are telling you that, on the eve of scheduled peace talks, days after the Trump administration declared its intention to leave the Assad administration alone, while winning the war against the terrorist forces, Assad decided to commit geopolitical suicide by openly committing a war crime that he knew for a fact would turn all of NATO against him. This makes no sense, and, knowing what we know about the US deep state’s love of false flags, there is no reason to believe it happened until we are shown irrefutable, unquestionable proof that Assad really did the absurd and suicidal comic book supervillain evil deed the corporate propagandists are telling us he did. As of this writing, no such proof has been offered.

There are many, many other reasons to be intensely suspicious of the official narrative about last week’s gas attack in Idlib which you should definitely research if you’re curious, but to keep things nice and simple here I’m just going stick to the fact that we know the US government uses false flags to manufacture consent for war, that it makes no sense for Assad to commit such an atrocity at this time, and that we’ve been shown no reason to believe the official narrative. If you still swallow the official story despite those three facts, you are stupid. Yes, it is that simple. No, it is not complicated.

6. The US power establishment stands a lot to gain by installing a puppet regime in Syria.

In my mind-blowing conversation with Vanessa Beeley the other day, I learned that there is no American criticism of Assad to be found anywhere online prior to 2009. Seriously. Google it right now and try to prove me wrong. Not only will you not find anything remotely resembling the vitriolic demonization you see about him today, you will find that in 2002 British Prime Minister Tony Blair actually nominated him for knighthood. It was not until Assad began advancing resource policies benefitting its allies Iran and Russia that this demonization began.

In addition to Syria’s important strategic location in the oil and gas resource battle that the US has been largely dominating via its military and economic might, Syria’s border dispute with Israel over the Golan Heights means that Israel has every reason to want to keep Syria in check, not only because the Golan Heights contains oil but because it provides a third of Israel’s water supply. Assad also launched what he called his “Five Seas Vision” in 2004, a strategy to use Syria’s supreme geographic location to become an economic superpower. Needless to say, such a plan wouldn’t sit well with the current king of economic power, the United States, which can only maintain its hegemony by keeping other nations down.

And of course, Russia’s involvement in the region makes Syria a prime location for a proxy war with the Putin government, which has been far more disobedient than a nice, compliant Yeltsin-type administration would be if America can force a regime change in that nation as well.

7. Syria is a sovereign nation. It is none of your government’s business.

Lastly, and with all due respect, please mind your own goddamn business, America. It is none of your business which proposed pipeline the Syrian government prefers. It is none of your business what alliances the Syrian government makes. It is none of your business if Syria’s leader is a dictator or a saint. You do not get to decide what a sovereign nation does with itself. That is not your place.

So don’t let the talking heads on TV dupe you into thinking that “doing nothing about Assad” is some sort of strange suggestion. Tom Ritchford said it best when describing US foreign policy:

Imagine you have a friend who makes a habit of announcing that people are sick, and then performing surgery on them.

While your friend does have the world’s largest collection of surgical tools, it uniformly works out badly for his patients. Always the surgery turns out worse than the disease, and much of the time it turns out that the patient wasn’t even sick to start with — because your friend has no interest in doing diagnoses or really any form of medicine except surgery.

Now your friend has announced that someone else is sick, and a few minutes later has them strapped to the operating table and is preparing the knives. But when you justifiably express dismay, you are accused of wanting to “sit back and do nothing”.

It doesn’t work that way, America. You don’t get to decide who is sick and who needs surgery. That is not your place. Yes, it is that simple. No, it is not complicated.

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Donald Trump Is An International Law Breaker

Donald Trump‘s decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie.

In the coming days the American people will learn that the Intelligence Community knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on innocent civilians in Idlib. Here is what happened:

  1. The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. [prior to the Chemical Weapons attack] There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at each other) the upcoming operation.
  2. The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib and that the Russians believed it was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.
  3. The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Islamic rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind and killed civilians.
  4. There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties.
  5. We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The so-called “first responders” handled the victims without gloves. If this had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill you. How do I know? I went through “Live Agent” training at Fort McClellan in Alabama.

There are members of the U.S. military who were aware that this strike would occur and it was recorded. There is a film record. At least the Defense Intelligence Agency knows that this was not a chemical weapon attack. In fact, Syrian military chemical weapons were destroyed with the help of Russia.

This is Gulf of Tonkin 2. How ironic. Donald Trump correctly castigated George W. Bush for launching an unprovoked, unjustified attack on Iraq in 2003. Now we have President Donald Trump doing the same damn thing. Worse in fact. Because the intelligence community had information showing that there was no chemical weapon launched by the Syrian Air Force.

Here’s the good news. The Russians and Syrians were informed, or at least were aware, that the [cruise missile] attack was coming. They were able to remove a large number of their assets. The base the United States hit was something of a backwater. Donald Trump gets to pretend that he is a tough guy. He is not. He is a fool.

This attack was violation of international law. Donald Trump authorized an unjustified attack on a sovereign country. What is even more disturbing is that people like Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and NSA Director General McMaster went along with this charade. Front line troops know the truth. These facts will eventually come out. Donald Trump will most likely not finish his term as President. He will be impeached, I believe, once Congress is presented with irrefutable proof that he ignored and rejected intelligence that did not support the myth that Syria attacked with chemical weapons.

It should also alarm American taxpayers that we launched $100 million dollars of missiles to blow up sand and camel sh**t. The Russians were aware that a strike was coming. I’m hoping that they and the Syrians withdrew their forces and aircraft from the base. Whatever hope I had that Donald Trump would be a new kind of President, that hope is extinguished. He is a child and a moron. He committed an act of war without justification. But the fault is not his alone. Those who sit atop the NSC, the DOD, the CIA, the Department of State should have resigned in protest. They did not. They are complicit in a war crime.

Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets). He served in the Department of Defense both as a serving officer and then as a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service for many years. He is a highly decorated veteran of several of America’s overseas conflicts including the war in Vietnam.

Noam Chomsky: Russia Interference Claims Turning US Into Laughing Stock (Video)

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‘Half the world is cracking up in laughter’ — Chomsky

Noam Chomsky is asking, what the heck is wrong with Democrats? They’re giving Trump a free pass on everything except the one thing he is mildly good on. Their incessant whining on alleged Russian interference is a joke — the US doesn’t just interfere, it topples governments it doesn’t like in coups and invasions.

Meanwhile you’ve got NATO exercises on the Russian border — not Warsaw Pact exercises in Mexico — and the US building up a first strike infrastructure in eastern Europe under the guise of a missile shield to protect against Iran.

It’s a pretty remarkable fact that—first of all, it is a joke. Half the world is cracking up in laughter.

The United States doesn’t just interfere in elections. It overthrows governments it doesn’t like, institutes military dictatorships.

Simply in the case of Russia alone—it’s the least of it—the U.S. government, under Clinton, intervened quite blatantly and openly, then tried to conceal it, to get their man Yeltsin in, in all sorts of ways.

So, this, as I say, it’s considered—it’s turning the United States, again, into a laughingstock in the world.

So why are the Democrats focusing on this? In fact, why are they focusing so much attention on the one element of Trump’s programs which is fairly reasonable, the one ray of light in this gloom: trying to reduce tensions with Russia? That’s—the tensions on the Russian border are extremely serious. They could escalate to a major terminal war. Efforts to try to reduce them should be welcomed.

Just a couple of days ago, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, came out and said he just can’t believe that so much attention is being paid to apparent efforts by the incoming administration to establish connections with Russia. He said, “Sure, that’s just what they ought to be doing.”

So, meanwhile, this one topic is the primary locus of concern and critique, while, meanwhile, the policies are proceeding step by step, which are extremely destructive and harmful. So, you know, yeah, maybe the Russians tried to interfere in the election. That’s not a major issue.

Maybe the people in the Trump campaign were talking to the Russians. Well, OK, not a major point, certainly less than is being done constantly.

And it is a kind of a paradox, I think, that the one issue that seems to inflame the Democratic opposition is the one thing that has some justification and reasonable aspects to it.

Well, you can understand why the Democratic Party managers want to try to find some blame for the fact—for the way they utterly mishandled the election and blew a perfect opportunity to win, handed it over to the opposition.

But that’s hardly a justification for allowing the Trump policies to slide by quietly, many of them not only harmful to the population, but extremely destructive, like the climate change policies, and meanwhile focus on one thing that could become a step forward, if it was adjusted to move towards serious efforts to reduce growing and dangerous tensions right on the Russian border, where they could blow up.

NATO maneuvers are taking place hundreds of yards from the Russian border. The Russian jet planes are buzzing American planes. This—something could get out of hand very easily.

Both sides, meanwhile, are building up their military forces, adding—the U.S. is—one thing that the Russians are very much concerned about is the so-called anti-ballistic missile installation that the U.S. is establishing near the Russian border, allegedly to protect Europe from nonexistent Iranian missiles. Nobody seriously believes that. This is understood to be a first strike threat.

These are serious issues. People like William Perry, who has a distinguished career and is a nuclear strategist and is no alarmist at all, is saying that we’re back to the—this is one of the worst moments of the Cold War, if not worse. That’s really serious. And efforts to try to calm that down would be very welcome.

And we should bear in mind it’s the Russian border. It’s not the Mexican border. There’s no Warsaw Pact maneuvers going on in Mexico. And that’s a border that the Russians are quite reasonably sensitive about. They’ve practically been destroyed several times the last century right through that region.

Once again, UK lets Netanyahu get away with it

British authorities continue supporting unjust narratives that misinterpret historical realities and cause suffering.

Netanyahu has not yet been indicted by an international court, writes Cadman [Reuters]
Netanyahu has not yet been indicted by an international court, writes Cadman [Reuters]

by Toby Cadman

Toby Cadman is an international criminal law specialist. He is a barrister member at Nine Bedford Row International Chambers in London and a member of the International Criminal Bureau in The Hague.

 

The British government used the “civilising” narrative to deny sovereignty, justify the colonisation process and build an empire. It argued that there was a “majority of German-speaking” population to allow the surrender of the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany in 1938, and it defended the fallacy of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to support an illegal war.

These civilising or “national security” justifications were wrongful foreign policy narratives that have brought extensive suffering and had disastrous and long-term implications.

However, current British authorities continue supporting unjust narratives that misinterpret historical realities and cause untold suffering.

The British government has recently responded to a popular petition to arrest the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, on charges of war crimes when he arrives in London – a petition that has already gathered more than 75,000 signatures.

The government highlighted that Netanyahu, as every head of state, enjoys inviolability and complete immunity from criminal jurisdiction, an unjust remnant and privilege of international customary law that impedes any foreign court to judge Netanyahu for his crimes.

Nevertheless, this argument was expected as it follows a traditional and restrictive interpretation of international law.

What was received with surprise was the rest of the response in which the British government made clear that it recognises “Israel’s right to take proportionate action to defend itself” and condemns “the terrorist tactics of Hamas who fired rockets on Israel, built extensive tunnels to kidnap and murder, and repeatedly refused to accept ceasefires”.

‘Close friend of Israel’

In case the message was not clear, the government ended the answer stressing that “the UK is a close friend of Israel, and we enjoy an excellent bilateral relationship built on decades of cooperation…”


RELATED: Witness: Four children killed in artillery strike on Gaza City harbor


These words seem to completely misunderstand the reality of what happened in Gaza in the summer of 2014.

Defining the attack on Gaza as an act of self-defence by the Israeli authorities is a jibe to history; an insult to the memory of the 2,100 people, including 500 children, killed by the Israeli army.

It is also an act of hypocrisy, with few antecedents, from a country that claims to be a firm defender of human rights and accountability.

What is appalling is that British authorities, who could have limited themselves to providing a purely legal response, have decided to support a foreign policy narrative that is not only partial, but also factually and ethically wrong…

The UK government’s answer completely neglected the fact that Gaza is a population under blockade and occupation, whose human rights are violated constantly, and where discrimination prevails.

The government’s words fail to take note of the fact that the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Gaza (COI) concluded that Israeli authorities committed war crimes during Operation Protective Edge, and that Israeli soldiers from the NGO, Breaking the Silence, reported that the Israeli army committed serious violations of international humanitarian law.

It seems like the government has quickly forgotten the killing of four Palestinian children playing on a beach, the bombardment of UN schools, the roof-knockings and the declarations of certain Israeli leaders – all clearly pointing to international crimes.

Finally, the government remained silent about the impunity that these crimes have received in the Israeli jurisdiction: “Accordingly, the Military Advocate General ordered that the investigation file be closed without any further legal proceedings – criminal or disciplinary – to be taken against those involved in the incident”, is the common final decision in Israeli military investigations against its soldiers.

The rationale behind the invasion of Gaza remains unclear at the very least. The disproportionate use of force resulting in so many civilian casualties and the intensity of the attack between both forces invite us to believe that the invasion was unlawful and unjustified – the last attempt from the Israeli government to debilitate and demoralise Gaza’s population, weaken its government and intensify its iron grip on the area.

Ethically wrong

What is appalling is that British authorities who could have limited themselves to providing a purely legal response have decided to support a foreign policy narrative that is not only partial, but also factually and ethically wrong and limited to Israel’s right to security.


RELATED: Petition pushes for end to Israel’s Gaza blockade


This artificial narrative attempts – once again in British foreign policy – to justify the unjustifiable: an exchange of human suffering for power accumulation. In this case, the abandonment of Gaza – a defenceless and oppressed population in need – in exchange for the stability of British international relations.

Palestinians evacuate a survivor of an Israeli air strike that hit a building in southern Gaza Strip in August 2014 [AP]

The Palestinian population residing in Gaza continues being collectively punished one year later, unable to reconstruct their homes, their water and power plants, their hospitals and their lives.

This is a population whose physical survival is threatened each day due to the shortage of basic services and infrastructure – a population whose calorie intake has been limited by Israeli authorities to the minimum dispensable to avoid malnutrition.

The UN already considered that Gaza would not be habitable by 2020.

It is interesting to draw a comparison between this and the situation in Sudan and its president, Omar al-Bashir.

Bashir is also suspected of the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity to such an extent that the International Criminal Court (ICC) took the decision to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Would the UK government maintain its position that, as the head of state, Bashir would be immune from arrest and detention in the UK should he take the decision to travel, and thus flout the order of the ICC?

It is hoped not – but it remains a legitimate concern.

What must be understood, however, is that there is a distinction between national and international jurisdiction.

In the case of Bashir, there is an international arrest warrant in force, issued by the ICC – an institution to which the UK is a state party and, therefore, obligated to act should he arrive in the UK.

Double standard

The situation concerning Netanyahu is wholly domestic at this stage in that, as much as there may be evidence to give rise to allegations of war crimes, he has not yet been indicted by an international court, and, therefore, the UK government is correct in that he does enjoy head of state immunity and, thus, could not be arrested in the UK.

It is a double standard, and it does smack of inconsistencies; however, that is the legal position.

But, the UK must review its foreign policy since, at present, there are clear double standards insofar as to which regimes are supported despite allegations of international crimes being committed, and which regimes it seeks to criticise for the same reasons.

The civilising theory and the British colonisation efforts brought misery and tragedy to the Middle East and are intrinsically related to the conflicts and the instability of the region.

However, the British government fails to learn from its past mistakes – this new incorrect narrative on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict constitutes a new foreign policy flaw that will likely perpetuate the long-lasting injustice of the area, obviate further atrocities, and prolong the suffering of entire populations.

Once again, the British government prioritises power and stability over justice and human dignity, and it is time for the British public to wonder whether this is the position they want to represent them.

Toby Cadman is an international lawyer and is currently advising the government of the Republic of Maldives on legal and constitutional reform. In particular, he is assisting the government in responding to the allegations made to the UN by former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed concerning his conviction for an offence of terrorism. 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Source: Al Jazeera