Is the U.S. providing intelligence to the Government of Saudi Arabia that can be used by Saudi Arabian authorities to violate the human rights of peaceful reformers and critics?
Saudi Arabia: Prisoners of Conscience
What steps is the U.S. government taking to secure the release of prisoners of conscience like Raif Badawi from Saudi Arabia’s prisons?
What steps is the U.S. taking to prevent the Government of Israel from using U.S. arms to commit human rights violations against Palestinian civilians living under Israeli occupation?
Syria: Refugee resettlement
There are now 4 million Syrian refugees. Over the last four years, the U.S. has only resettled a few hundred Syrian refugees. How many Syrian refugees does the U.S. expect to permanently resettle in the U.S. in 2015?
Syria/Iraq: U.S. military assistance
How will the U.S. prevent U.S. military assistance in Iraq and Syria from facilitating more war crimes and human rights abuses?
What steps is the U.S. taking to protect Sunni communities from abuses by Shi’a militias affiliated with the Iraqi government?
Syria/Iraq: U.S. air strikes
Is the U.S. investigate reports of civilian casualties from U.S. air strikes in Syria and Iraq?
Will the U.S. publish the results of these investigations, hold accountable those responsible for civilian casualties, and provide reparations to families and survivors?
Bahrain: U.S. arms sales
In 2012, the U.S. State Department announced that it would not allow the sale of arms to Bahrain “typically used by police and other security forces for internal security” or “crowd control.” Has the U.S. resumed the sale of arms to Bahrain in this category?
Is the U.S. currently providing arms to Bahraini security forces that can be used against peaceful protestors and critics of the government?
Nicholas Kristof criticizes both leaders of Israel and Hamas in his latest column for The New York Times. If you decide to read it, keep in mind the following two oversights and errors.
First, there’s one word he doesn’t use: occupation. Since 1967, *every* Israeli government has taken Palestinian land and built settlements. This isn’t just an action by conservative or “right wing” Israeli governments. Israeli settlement construction — and the brutality towards Palestinians involved — has been supported by both Labor and Likud parties.
Second, Mr. Kristof ignores the history of nonviolent campaigns by Palestinians that Israeli security forces have brutally repressed in the occupied West Bank. Get this: Under Israeli Military Order 101, it is illegal for Palestinians to peacefully protest the Israeli military occupation without an Israeli military commander’s permission.
The many indiscriminate rockets fired by Hamas into Israel are war crimes. The same is likely to be true for many Israeli attacks in Gaza. Gaza civilians are now reeling under the latest Israeli invasion and the seven years of an ongoing Israeli blockade. But American readers of The New York Times need to know that over the decades of US-armed Israeli occupation, there are other details to this sad story that should have been mentioned in Kristof’s latest piece.
(Washington, D.C.) — Amnesty International condemns an Israeli court’s verdict that the government of Israel bears no responsibility in the death of Rachel Corrie, saying the verdict continues the pattern of impunity for Israeli military violations against civilians and human rights defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The verdict shields Israeli military personnel from accountability and ignores deep flaws in the Israeli military’s internal investigation of Corrie’s death.
“Rachel Corrie was a peaceful American protestor who was killed while attempting to protect a Palestinian home from the crushing force of an Israeli military bulldozer,” said Sanjeev Bery, Middle East and North Africa advocacy director for Amnesty International USA.
Trapped between a crushing Israeli blockade and human rights violations at home, the 1.6 million Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip face many challenges in their daily lives. In our 2012 Annual Report, Amnesty International catalogues the list, from a humanitarian crisis created by the Israeli blockade to detention and torture by Hamas security forces.
Meanwhile, Palestinian armed groups have used the Gaza Strip to fire indiscriminate rockets and mortars into southern Israel. Daniel Viflic, aged 16, died in 2011 after a school bus in which he was travelling was struck by a missile fired from Gaza.
The latest news is that four Gaza Palestinians are facing execution after being given the death penalty by Hamas military and criminal courts. There are reports that at least one of the four “confessed” to the crime of murder after being tortured. The family of Na’el Jamal Qandil Doghmosh has stated that when they saw him after two months in prison, his nails had been torn out and there were burns and bruises on his body.
Whatever their rivalries, the authoritarian leaders of the Middle East did not want to see Hosni Mubarak removed from power. When you are a dictator – even with the title “King” – the forced departure of another dictator is not the kind of precedent you want set.
Worth noting is that this group of Mubarak loyalists was joined by Israeli leaders as well. Though frequent in their exhortation of democratic values, Israeli officials offered a degree of praise for Mubarak at a time when hundreds of his own people were dying in protests against his regime.
The challenge for Israel is that much of its foreign policy has depended on the continuation of other dictatorships. Whether it is Egypt, Saudi Arabia, or Jordan, Israel has come to depend on having nondemocratic neighbors who rely on US patronage. Israeli policymakers fear that if these autocratic rulers are removed from power, Arab majorities will select leaders who are hostile to Israel. Continue reading “Arab Freedom Is Good for Israel”
When Time, the Washington Post, and the New York Times all exhibit similar levels of skepticism towards Israeli policy, something is changing. The Netanyahu Administration may still receive blank check support from U.S. politicians, but U.S. media outlets, and increasingly the American public, are less and less likely to go along for the ride.
The HKS Citizen (Harvard Kennedy School)
October 13, 2010
By Sanjeev Bery
Acre by acre, successive Israeli governments have used settlement construction to colonize what is left of Palestinian land. Meanwhile, a growing chorus of Jewish critics is forcing Israel to choose between its aggressive policies and the path of peace.
After a moratorium of ten months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently resumed settlement construction in the Palestinian West Bank. On October 6th, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israeli bulldozers had been working “furiously” on the construction of 350 new Jewish-only housing units in the Palestinian region.
Speaking at Harvard last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu criticized Israel’s decision to continue building settlements on Palestinian land:
Jewish settlements [themselves] are illegal. How can we talk on the extension of [the] moratorium or extension of Jewish settlements?
With peace negotiations on the verge of falling apart, the comments demonstrate increasing anger at Israel from a former ally. The Turkish Foreign Minister also declared Gaza an “open prison” and stated that Palestinians have “the full right to live in their own country with full sovereignty based on 1967 territory, including Eastern Jerusalem.”
In the June 1st edition of the Washington Post, journalists Scott Wilson and Laura Blumenfeld uncritically repeat Israeli claims regarding the Gaza aid flotilla as fact. Wilson and Blumenfeld should recognize that Israeli officials have a vested interest in discrediting the activists who challenged Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Instead, the reporters wrote a piece in which they presumed to know what Israeli officials were thinking — not just what they were doing.