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US stands alone in vote against UN inquiry into Gaza assault
July 26, 2014
The United States was the only country in the world that voted Wednesday against the United Nations investigating human rights violations in Gaza unleashed by Israel’s military assault.
Of the 47 members of the UN Human Rights Council, 29 nations voted to set up a commission to launch an international, independent inquiry, effectively passing the resolution. Seventeen countries abstained, including Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.
The inquiry will look at “all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Gaza Strip in the context of military operations conducted since mid June,” according to a statement from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The council criticized Israeli military operations for perpetuating “widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
U.S. ambassador to the Council, Keith Harper, said he issued the “no” vote because the resolution is a “biased and political instrument” that “will not help” the “cessation of hostilities.”
But Josh Ruebner, policy director for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, toldCommon Dreams that the U.S. vote simply “shows the great extent to which the U.S. goes to protect Israel in international forums from any accountability for its actions, no matter how egregious.” Ruebner added that U.S. claims of imbalance are illegitimate, as the inquiry will investigate human rights violations perpetrated by Hamas as well as Israel.
Phyllis Bennis, senior fellow at Institute for Policy Studies, told Common Dreams that the U.S. “no” vote is part of a larger pattern. “The U.S. is the reason why the United Nations is not able to play the role its charter requires, which is to stop the scourge of war,” said Bennis. “The U.S. vetoes and threatens to veto in the Security Council, and in arenas like the General Assembly or Human Rights Council where there is no veto, they threaten other countries.”
The UN resolution comes amid an ever-rising Palestinian death toll, with Gaza Health Ministry official Ashraf al-Qudra reporting Thursday that so far 784 Palestinians have been killed and over 5,000 wounded in Israel’s “Protective Edge” operation. Kyung-Wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, estimates that 74 percent of the Palestinians killed are civilians and one-third are children. “One child has been killed each hour in Gaza over the past two days,” Kang said on Wednesday, according to the UN.
Israel launched air strikes on Palestinians seeking shelter in a UN school in Beit Hanoun in Gaza on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens. The attack marked at least the fourth time a UN facility in Gaza has been hit since July 8, according to theGuardian. Chris Gunness, spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency, said on Twitter that "Precise co-ordinates of the UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun had been formally given to the Israeli army."
Thirty-two Israeli soldiers, two Israeli civilians, and a Thai worker in Israel have died.
Rubner expressed concern that the U.S. is likely to obstruct any attempt on the part of the Council to hold Israel accountable for war crimes: “What’s likely to happen is same thing with the Goldstone Report and the Human Rights Council inquiry into the attack on the aid flotilla: reports will document the fact that Israel has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, and the U.S. will use its veto power or threat thereof to prevent the international community from acting on recommendations for accountability.”
The US has also used its veto power in the Security Council more than 40 times to protect Israel. This is one of the biggest reasons why the United Nations has been an ineffective tool in stopping the genocide happening in Palestine.
This is one of the best fucking gifs I have ever seen
Valentin Yudashkin Spring RTW 2014
Spicy Watermelon & Avocado Salad
- thinly sliced red onion
- cotija or feta cheese (omit if vegan or raw)
- avocado cubes
- mint and/or basil
- sprouts or small salad greensdressing
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 jalapeno, sliced
- optional - 1 clove of garlic, smashed (remove it before using)
- salt & pepper
I’m pretty sure you’ve reached Legendary Status when the God of Skating, Tony Hawk looses his shit
That’s literally the move Christ Air from the first tony hawk pro skater game
HE REALLY DID IT
I was expecting to see a fucking video game character once the gif loaded. Not a fucking live human being
Douglas Adams is the best when it comes to describe characters
they need to teach classes on Douglas Adams analogies okay
“He leant tensely against the corridor wall and frowned like a man trying to unbend a corkscrew by telekinesis.”
"Stones, then rocks, then boulders which pranced past him like clumsy puppies, only much, much bigger, much, much harder and heavier, and almost infinitely more likely to kill you if they fell on you.”
"He gazed keenly into the distance and looked as if he would quite like the wind to blow his hair back dramatically at that point, but the wind was busy fooling around with some leaves a little way off.”
"It looked only partly like a spaceship with guidance fins, rocket engines and escape hatches and so on, and a great deal like a small upended Italian bistro.”
"If it was an emotion, it was a totally emotionless one. It was hatred, implacable hatred. It was cold, not like ice is cold, but like a wall is cold. It was impersonal, not as a randomly flung fist in a crowd is impersonal, but like a computer-issued parking summons is impersonal. And it was deadly - again, not like a bullet or a knife is deadly, but like a brick wall across a motorway is deadly.”
And, of course:
"The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t."
the one that will always stay with me is “Arthur Dent was grappling with his consciousness the way one grapples with a lost bar of soap in the bath,” i feel like that was the first time i really understood what you could do with words.