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Israel asks EU not to host UN panel on Palestinians' rights PDF Print E-mail
Aug 13, 2007 at 05:35 PM
Israeli envoy to European Union sends letter to parliament president requesting he prevent panel to be held by UN's Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

Associated Press Published:  08.13.07, 17:35 / Israel News 

Israel has asked the European Parliament not to provide space this month for a two-day UN panel meeting on the rights of Palestinians, saying the UN group co-hosting it has an anti-Israel record.

Ran Curiel, the Israeli envoy to the European Union, wrote a letter last week to EU parliament president Hans-Gert Poettering asking him to prevent the planned August 30-31 conference from taking place at the EU assembly's building in Brussels, Israeli officials said.

They said Curiel also wrote to a few dozen EU parliamentarians to complain about the planned conference, which is to be held under the auspices of the UN's Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

Israel views the committee as a legacy of the 1975 UN General Assembly resolution - revoked in 1991 - that equated Zionism with racism.

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In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
The verdict on the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, essentially blaming the victim for her death. The trial revealed Israel’s approach to the most fundamental principles of international law, and especially to the duty to protect non-combatants.

By Jeff Halper

For those who hoped for a just verdict on the death of Rachel Corrie, the American student and ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she was defending a Palestinian home about to be demolished, this is a sad day. Not surprising, but still sad and bitter. The judge who decided the case, Oded Gershon, absolved the army of all blame, despite massive and internally contradictory testimony to the contrary. Moreover, he essentially blamed Rachel for her own death, commenting that a “normal person” would have run away from the bulldozer rather than confront it.

Palestinians and Israel human rights activists have learned that justice cannot be obtained through the Israeli judicial system. The Haifa District Court, in which the trial was held, could not have ruled other than how the state wanted. For the past 45 years of Israeli occupation, the Supreme Court has excluded from its rulings all reference to international humanitarian law and to the Fourth Geneva Convention in particular, which protects civilians living in conflict situations and under occupation. Only Israeli law applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – military law and orders – and the courts have restricted even that form of law by declaring that in instances of “security,” they defer to the military. As in Rachel’s case, the IDF thus has carte blanche to commit war crimes with impunity, with no fear of accountability or punishment.

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