Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Is the solution for the West against ISIS to be passive?

The solution to the Middle East has never been one that needed bombing.The real problem lies with foreign funding.

Too many times in the history of the Middle East have we seen attempts to fight fire with fire only to see the flames increase. Terrorist groups like ISIS are looking for a fight. Don't give them one. They are isolated on the international stage and even the majority of Sunnis don't recognize them with any form of legitimacy.

There are too many political games being played via the UN where Russia and its bloc prevent the West from getting too involved and vice versa. The area is too critical for anyone to allow the other to have full control. When Assad was protected with a veto to protect his regime against the people's uprising, that's when the Syrian Spring went from civil disobedience, to protests, to violence, to radicalization.

Recent history has also shown that attempts to overcome political stalemate was by engaging in a proxy war i.e funding radicals to counter the radicals.

We saw it with Afghanistan where the Soviets funded one group and the Americans funded the other, creating a civil war which ultimately created the Taliban.

The first gulf war left Saddam Hussain in power and that only festered.

Israel's attempts to create discourse amongst the Palestinians by creating and funding Hamas to defy the PLO backfired on them.

Egypt's military regime receives the second largest foreign aid from the U.S. which makes it virtually impossible to have a democracy, even when the people tried, then failed.

Israel receives the largest foreign aid from the U.S. and we've seen what decades of war have done to the region with that funding.

The best solution is to stop pretending the West knows how to "solve the Middle East problem" and let them deal with it on their own.

The renaissance age that grew during the Fatimid era when the Arab world grew naturally, provided the world with science and philosophy, while Europe was busy burying "witches".

If we leave them to fight their own battles without puppet dictators or funded terrorists running the show, they might engage on a level playing field and eventually stability will come from the power of the people. It might not come overnight, but it needs to start sometime.

ISIS is only a result of a chain reaction that came from the Arab Spring where Assad was unchallenged. His regime was part of the alliance that formed with Nasser and called themselves the Arab League. That league was formed to break from the yolk of the monarchies that ruled the Middle East. Those monarchies were a product of WWI's dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire where the victors Britain and France played with the "spoils of war" by dissecting Arabia into the countries we see today and planting the seeds of subservient monarchs.

Terrorist groups like ISIS have never been the real problem, because when they are defeated another group like them will arise from the ashes unless the root cause is dealt with.

That root cause is "interference".

Water restrictions in the Palestinian Territories

Since the erection of the "separation wall" or more commonly known as the apartheid wall, 35,000 meters of irrigation network were ceased, 11,400 Dunams of agricultural land were confiscated, 100,000 ancient olive trees were destroyed. This impacted life, agriculture, freedom of movement, water usage, and income. It has also aloud for Jewish-only settlement expansions in the more fertile areas of the West Bank.

After the occupation of the West Bank, Israel took control of all water resources and prohibited Palestinians from water development and drilling the required infrastructure. To date not a single permit issued for agriculture or domestic use in Palestinian areas has been granted.

The "separation wall" aims at isolating more natural water wells owned by Palestinians.

More than 31 natural water wells producing 3.8 million cubic meters that serve 1000's of Palestinians for agriculture and domestic use has been confiscated. 

While the annual rainfall accumulation in the region is 47.8% in Palestinian Territories, 29.7% in Israel, 22.5% in Jordan, Israel's domestic water use per capita reaches more than 52%, leaving 30% for Jordan and 18% for the Palestinian Territories.

This is a very good documentary about the "wall of  hate".

Friday, April 10, 2015

Why is Israel Considered a "Rogue" State?

There are a number of issues concerning Israel's commitment to adhere to international law. The jurisdiction of these concerns fall beyond Israel's own foreign policy and what it interprets as justified. Since the surrounding Palestinian Territories are not actually part of Israel's sovereignty, the international community has the authority to determine whether or not Israel is defying international law, regardless of what Israel defines for its own rules of engagement.

There are a number of concerns that the international community have raised, which Israel has ignored or refuses to take part in, which is why many deem Israel a "rogue" state.

Currently, Israel undergoes what is considered illegal settlement expansion in the territories it has occupied since 1967. These areas are found in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Occupation itself is not illegal, however the means in which Israel conducts its occupation of these territories has been deemed illegal based on the Fourth Geneva Convention.

There are currently about 500,000 Jewish colonists living in approximately 200 colonies in the West Bank. During the seven years of the Oslo peace process, the number of Israeli colonizers in the Occupied Territories increased by more than 50 percent. (AL Sep. 8. 2003. MDE 15/085/2003)

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states:

‘. . The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population in the territory it occupies.’

The UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1998 reiterated its view that "Israeli settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are not only illegal under contemporary international law but are an obstacle to peace and to the enjoyment of human rights by the whole population in the region."

According to Amnesty International. "the Israeli Army has destroyed some 4,000 Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as vast area of cultivated land, hundreds of factories and other commercial properties. roads and public buildings.” (MDE 15/091/2003)

Article 53, Fourth Geneva Convention states:

‘Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons... is prohibited.

Employees and mobile units of the PRCS and ICRC are regularly detained and harassed. Noteworthy violations include: A PRCS ambulance used as an assault shield by the IDF (Jan. 8, 2004): A tank assault on a PRCS ambulance, shattering the front windshield and injuring the driver (Jan. 28, 2004): During the destruction of the Jenin Refugee Camp in April, 2002. the ICRC was prevented from offering services to the injured and dying for six days.

Article 19 of the First Geneva Convention states:

'...Mobile medical units of the Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked. . .'

Article 24 of the First Geneva Convention states:

'Medical personnel exclusively engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport or treatment of the wounded or sick... shall be respected and protected in all circumstances…'

More notably, Israel is one of only four states in the world who refuse to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The reason Israel refuse to be part in this treaty is because it has an undeclared arsenal of an estimated 80 nuclear weapons. The fact that the US Congress and Netanyahu refuses to address this issue while trying to punish Iran who is part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and is developing legitimate civilian nuclear energy under this signed treaty is hugely hypocritical.