Countries from Around the World Just Slammed Israel’s Imperialism in Palestine

New York — In a special session of the United Nations Security Council on Friday, the U.S., along with several other countries, slammed the practice of forcibly removing Palestinian civilians by Israel to make way for Israeli settlers, saying the behavior is leading to a “one-state reality” for Palestinians.
The session, titled “Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution,” is a response to mounting criticism over a dramatic rise in settler activity in recent decades. It’s beenreported that over 11,000 Israeli housing units have been authorized under the rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The negative reaction has been so strong, in fact — particularly of late — that even the United States, a steadfast Israeli ally, has had to take a hard line on the settler movement. At Friday’s meeting, the U.S. representative said he is “deeply concerned and strongly opposes settlements which are corrosive to peace” and that Israel’s attitude “creates a one-state reality on the ground.”
But the United States was far from alone in voicing such uneasiness.
The Russian representative, for instance, said flatly: “Settlement construction must stop.” He also noted Israeli settlements create “Palestinian enclaves” that are disconnected from one another.
The representative from Britain, according to Haaretz, called Israeli settlement expansion an obstacle to peace, while the French ambassador condemned the practice altogether. The Chinese representative suggested an independent Palestinian state was the key to peace, while the Venezuelan envoy took the opportunity to slam the U.N. Security Council itself for failing to take action against Israel previously.
It was Egypt who set the meeting’s tone, however. Speaking first, the Egyptian representative stated the simple, sad truth: “There are generations of Palestinians who only know fear and dare not dream of a better future.”
Friday’s meeting comes the day after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)passed a resolution to deny Israel’s historical claim to the Temple Mount. They cited “escalating aggressions and illegal measures” undertaken by Israel against the religious rights of Muslims in Jerusalem.
An Israeli official scoffed at the decision during Friday’s special session, stating:“These claims deny thousands of years of deep connection between the people of Israel and its land — just like it was done yesterday with UNESCO’s absurd decision.”
The State of Israel has since officially suspended its cooperation with UNESCO.
As Underground Reporter highlighted in August, Israel’s settler movement, and, indeed, the Israeli occupation of Palestine as a whole, has been roundly condemned by governments and human rights groups alike as being in stark violation of international law.
Some groups, such as the International Court of Justice and the U.N. Human Rights Council, have gone a step further and posited that what Israel is doing in Palestine amounts to war crimes.
As The Guardian wrote in 2013, commenting on recent U.N. findings at the time:
“All settlement activity in occupied territory must cease ‘without preconditions’ and Israel ‘must immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers,’ said the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Israel, it said, was in violation of article 49 of the fourth Geneva convention, which forbids the transfer of civilian populations to occupied territory.”
A war crime, in other words.
Telling is the fact that even then, faced with possible charges being brought against it at the International Criminal Court, Israel refused — and still has to this day — to budge an inch on the settler issue. Such defiance moves one to question whether anything, ever — much less a bunch of government officials in a room pointing fingers — will force Israel to end the occupation of Palestine.


Putin ally Tells Americans: Vote Trump or Face Nuclear War

Americans should vote for Donald Trump as president next month or risk being dragged into a nuclear war, according to a Russian ultra-nationalist ally of President Vladimir Putin who likes to compare himself to the U.S. Republican candidate. 

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a flamboyant veteran lawmaker known for his fiery rhetoric, told Reuters in an interview that Trump was the only person able to de-escalate dangerous tensions between Moscow and Washington.
By contrast, Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton could spark World War Three, said Zhirinovsky, who received a top state award from Putin after his pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) came third in Russia’s parliamentary election last month.
Many Russians regard Zhirinovsky as a clownish figure who makes outspoken statements to grab attention but he is also widely viewed as a faithful servant of Kremlin policy, sometimes used to float radical opinions to test public reaction.
“Relations between Russia and the United States can’t get any worse. The only way they can get worse is if a war starts,” said Zhirinovsky, speaking in his huge office on the 10th floor of Russia’s State Duma, or lower house of parliament.
“Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it’s war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere.”

Zhirinovsky’s comments coincide with deep disagreements between Washington and Moscow over Syria and Ukraine and after the White House last week accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Moscow, Russia, October 11, 2016. Picture taken October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Zhirinovsky likes to shock liberal public opinion and he has frequently heaped scorn on the West, which he and other Russian nationalists regard as decadent, hypocritical and corrupted by political correctness.
His combative style, reminiscent of Trump’s, ensures him plenty of television air time and millions of votes in Russian elections, often from the kind of blue-collar workers who are the bedrock of the U.S. Republican candidate’s support.
Zhirinovsky once proposed blocking off mostly Muslim southern Russia with a barbed wire fence, echoing Trump’s call for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
Zhirinovsky, who said he met Trump in New York in 2002, revels in his similarities with the American businessman – they are the same age, favor coarse, sometimes misogynistic language and boast about putting their own country first. Zhirinovsky has even said he wants a DNA test to see if he is related to Trump.
But unlike Trump, a billionaire real estate developer who casts himself as the anti-establishment candidate in the U.S. presidential race with no past political experience, Zhirinovsky is a consummate political insider who has sat in the Duma for more than two decades.
Putin has also praised Trump as “very talented”, while the Republican candidate has said the Kremlin boss is a better leader than U.S. President Barack Obama. Clinton has accused Trump of being too cozy with Putin and questioned his business interests in Russia.
In other comments that have delighted Moscow, Trump has questioned the value of NATO for Washington, has spoken ambiguously about Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and suggested that the United States under his leadership would adopt a more isolationist foreign policy.
“He (Trump) won’t care about Syria, Libya and Iraq and why an earth should America interfere in these countries? And Ukraine. Who needs Ukraine?,” said Zhirinovsky, who once counted himself a friend of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and whose deaths he still laments.

“Trump will have a brilliant chance to make relations more peaceful … He’s the only one who can do this,” he said, adding that Trump could even win a Nobel peace prize.


In contrast, Zhirinovsky described Clinton as “an evil mother-in law” and said her record as secretary of state under Obama in 2009-2013 showed she was unfit to lead her country.
“She craves power. Her view is that Hillary is the most important person on the planet, that America is an exceptional country, as Barack Obama said,” said Zhirinovsky. “That’s dangerous. She could start a nuclear war.”
In typically chauvinistic remarks, Zhirinovsky said Clinton’s gender should also bar her from the presidency.
“Most Americans should choose Trump because men have been leading for millions of year. You can’t take the risk of having one of the richest, most powerful countries led by a woman president,” he said.
Asked about lewd comments Trump made about women in 2005 that have harmed his campaign, Zhirinovsky defended the Republican: “Men all round the world sometimes say such things that are just for their comrades. We must only consider his business (and political) qualities.”
Though Putin and Trump have never met, Zhirinovsky said he believed they could establish a close working relationship, adding: “Victory for Trump would be a gift to humanity. But if Hillary Clinton wins it will be the last U.S. president ever.”