I received the message sent to EU Embassies signed by 510 Israelis and supported by about 1800 internationals, which I reproduce below. You can also also find it as a PDF here.
A message from within – signed by Israeli citizens
This is an important call by Israeli academics against the war, which I hope you can read and distribute widely.
In support of the Palestinian human rights community call for international action. A call from within – signed by Israeli citizens
As if the occupation was not enough, the brutal ongoing repression of the Palestinian population, the construction of settlements and the siege of
Gaza- now comes the bombardment of the civilian population: men, women,
old folks and children. Hundreds of dead, hundreds of injured, overwhelmed hospitals, and the central medicine depot of Gaza bombed.
The ship Dignity of the Free Gaza movement which brought emergency
medical supplies and a number of physicians was also attacked. Israel has returned to openly committing war crimes, worse than what we have seen in a long time.
Israeli media do not expose their viewers to the horrors and to the voices of severe criticism of these crimes. The story told is uniform. Israeli dissidents are denounced as traitors. Public opinion including that of the Zionist left supports the Israeli policy uncritically and without reservation.
Israel’s destructive criminal policy will not cease without a massive
intervention by the international community. However, except for some rather weak official condemnation, the international community is reluctant to intervene,. The United States openly supports the Israeli violence and Europe, although voicing some condemnation, is unwilling to seriously consider withdrawing the “gift” it handed Israel by upgrading its relations with the European Union.
In the past the world knew how to fight criminal policies. The boycott on South Africa was effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves: its trade relations are flourishing, academic and cultural cooperation continue and intensify with diplomatic support.
This international backing must stop. That is the only way to stop the insatiable Israeli violence. We are calling on the world to stop Israeli violence and not allow the continuation of the brutal occupation. We call on the world to Condemn and not become an accomplice in Israel’s crimes.
In light of the above, we call on the world to implement the call by Palestinian human rights organizations which urges:
- The UN Security Council to call an emergency session and adopt concrete measures, including the imposition of sanctions, in order to ensure Israel’s fulfilment of its obligations under international humanitarian law.
- The High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfil their obligation under common Article 1 to ensure respect for the provisions of the Conventions, taking appropriate measures to compel Israel to abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular placing pivotal importance on the respect and protection of civilians from the effects of the hostilities.
- The High Contracting Parties to fulfil their legal obligation under Article
146 of the Fourth Geneva Convention to prosecute those responsible for grave breaches of the Convention.
- EU institutions and member states to make effective use of the European Union Guidelines on promoting compliance with international humanitarian law (2005/C 327/04) to ensure Israel complies with international humanitarian law under paragraph 16 (b), (c) and (d) of these guidelines, including the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and sanctions, as well as cessation of all upgrade dialogue with Israel.
My Petition to the UN Secretary General
This petition is directed to the UN Secretary General, to the UN General Assembly, and to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. I handed it to the Director General of the UN Office in Vienna, and to the representatives of the, CTBTO, IAEA, Austria, Palestine, the Opec Fund for International Development, UNIDO, the International Progress Organization, the representatives of Germany and Russia, as well as to the representatives of various Arab countries and other participants.
My petition It represents the voice of the majority of Palestinians which is normally not heared by the international community, it is not representative of the well-known factions like Fatah, Hamas and others, who have become a part of our problem. I hope that my petition will come to the attention of people willing and able to help, and that it will give the “state of Israel” as well as the PA something to think about.
The text of my petition follows below.
Please receive this my petition for the people of Palestine with occasion of the “Annual Observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” here at the UN here in Vienna. In this petition I take in consideration the ample body of international laws and treaties from which derive national laws of many countries and jurisdictions, which establishes in writing the respect and protection for women and men, for their culture heritage and their property, in form of inalienable human rights.
I come before you with this petition, not only as a victim in third generation of the relentless campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing of the state of Israel and other zionist organizations against all Palestinians, but on behalf of the civilian people of Gaza, who have been denied all justice and respect for their most basic human rights and needs in as systematic way, under ludicrous pretexts. We Palestinians need immediate and material support and solidarity from the world. Symbolic events like this day of solidarity help nobody, they only serve to conceal the forced connivance and acquiescence of the institutions of the UN and many of its affiliates with the crimes being perpetrated against us, a connivance with grave crimes against humanity which must end.
My first and most urgent request is that you arrange to immediately suspend all blockades and embargoes against the people of Gaza, and that you undertake to supply the people of Gaza immediately with food, medical supplies, energy, and all other things necessary to resume a normal life in dignity, that you arrange for safe and secure passage for the people of Gaza to the outside, and that you arrange for effective measures to protect the people of Gaza, as well as the Palestinians living in the West Bank, from the constant harassment and terror by the Israeli military and the illegal settlers, for as long as this may be necessary.
Gaza has been converted by the “state of Israel” in fact, intention and effect, into an extermination camp. This is so because the inhabitants of Gaza are the righteous owners, and the descendants of the righteous owners, of a significant portion of Palestine, their property having been usurped by the “state of Israel” in favour of illegal immigrants. This, and the fact that the people of Gaza defend their dignity and their right to live and to return to their homeland, is why these persons are subject to measures of collective punishment and progressive genocide by Israel. Why does the UN look the other way? Is it not long past time that you acknowledge your responsibility and end the abject crimes of Israel?
Resolutions, vacuous speeches and expressions of concern are not appropriate instruments to deal with the dire situation at hand, or with the “state of Israel”, that criminal and terrorist organization. What is expected from the UN and its member states is that you resort to the full range of legal instruments and material resources available to you for dealing with a genocidal organization like Israel, that you apply the same laws and criteria to the crimes of Israel as to those of any other terrorist organization of crime. Is it not an abject shame that, while private persons are able to organize and finance ships from Cyprus to Gaza despite all obstacles, the UN, with its lofty ideals and lavish resources, is nowhere to be seen when it comes to doing something, to living up to what this institution promises in the form of so many resolutions, declarations, agreements and statements?
Unfortunately, your active and passive support of Israel, your acquiescence and looking the other way when confronted with the abject criminality of Israel is tantamount to complicity in the genocide of Israel against us Palestinians. Let me say this clearly: through its passivity the UN has patronized this abhorrent crime until now, an attitude which many people around the world expects that you will reverse immediately. Live up to your promises!
My second and equally important petition to your respected organization regards the so-called “state of Israel”. Since the first recorded reports of violence from illegal squatters of European origin against Palestinians in the 1880s, through the fraudulent declaration bought by the Jewish Agency from the British Empire, the immoral and criminal UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947 sanctioning massive theft, ethnic cleansing and other genocidal acts against the Palestinian people by the various terror fronts of the Jewish Agency, passing through the various wars of Israel against its neighbours in the 1960s and 1970s, the massive land thefts in Gaza and the West Bank by illegal squatters from the USA and Europe, what can be observed is a continuity of unrelenting criminality and terrorism against the Palestinian people, which is supported, encouraged, organized and financed by the “state of Israel” and its financiers and proponents abroad.
Analysing the relations of the “state of Israel” with other nations, the picture is equally worrying. Not only Palestinians, but all neighbours of Israel have been subject to unrelenting aggression and terrorism since its inception; the countries of Europe are subjected to oblique threats of nuclear attacks by the Israeli Air Force; the USA has been converted into a de-facto colony, what shows in the persons selected to the cabinet of president-elect Obama; many other nations are targeted by Israel with numerous manners of terrorism, criminality and corruption against their public institutions, what all has the purpose of furthering the interests of this so-called state. And, while representatives of Israel have signed important treaties of humanitarian law like the Geneva Conventions or the Convention against Genocide, or even the UN Charter, the activities of Israel show that accession to these important treaties happened in bad faith, as Israel never had the intention to comply with them. This attitude is sanctioned as “fraud” in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
Can the UN and its institutions, the most important forum for the nations and peoples of the world, continue bringing ignominy upon itself by tolerating this situation? Is it not time to correct this problem, which has grown over the years from one exclusively suffered by us Palestinians, to a situation which endangers the peace of all nations and peoples on earth?
My petition regarding Israel is that the UN, its member nations and institutions apply to Israel the same considerations and sanctions under existing national and international laws [as to any other individuals, groups or nations]. It should be apparent after careful study that the “state of Israel” does not have the ability to be a subject of international law, that its accession to the UN is fraudulent, that its representatives have signed most if not all bilateral and multilateral treaties in bad faith, calculating in this way to extract undue advantages from the other parties. Most important, given the unrelenting and obstinate criminality displayed by the “state of Israel” towards us Palestinians despite uncounted UN resolutions, treaties signed and Israeli laws to the contrary, that Israel cannot be considered as a state proper, but rather, that it must be characterized as a criminal and terrorist organization masquerading as a state, having converted the territory it controls into a refuge for lawlessness and a place where those with criminal inclinations can expect not only impunity but rewards for criminal behaviour. This is a state of affairs which obviously should have no place in a community of peaceful nations.
With these considerations in mind, I do respectfully suggest that your respected organization and its member states considers the following measures regarding Israel:
- To rescind UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947 because it is untenable either in law or under considerations of human morality.
- Pursuant to national and international laws against terrorism and organized criminal organizations, to freeze all accounts and assets controlled by the “state of Israel” abroad, with a view of using these resources as reparations for the crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people. Of special interest are foreign reserves held in other central banks, any other accounts and instruments of finance held in commercial banks abroad, ships and other assets of the shipping company ZIM, vehicles and other assets of the company EL AL, all military assets of Israel stationed in Turkey and other NATO countries, and other assets as identifiable.
- In a similar way, pursuant to national and international laws against terrorism and organized crime, to freeze all identifiable assets of individuals and organizations known to support the continued crimes of Israel against the Palestinian people in any way, and to designate and prosecute such individuals and organizations, as appropriate, as terrorists, backers, financiers and supporters of a terrorist organization.
- That persons from your respected institution or from states parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC explore the possibility that the ICC asserts jurisdiction over all territories under current control of the “state of Israel”, stemming from the fact that Israel is in part unable and in part unwilling to implement even its own laws protecting civilians, a pre-condition explicitly mentioned in the Rome Statute for the assertion of jurisdiction by the court. Such an assertion of jurisdiction by either the ICC or its signatory states should last until a Palestinian administration could assume legitimate government functions over the West Bank, Gaza, and all territories currently under control of the “state of Israel”.
Vienna, 26 November 2008
Call for creation of United Nations War Crimes Commission
Vienna, 8 January 2009
In a statement issued today, the President of the International Progress Organization, Dr. Hans Koechler, called upon the United Nations Organization to establish a War Crimes Commission with the mandate to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of occupied Gaza (Palestine), to record them and help prepare indictments in conformity with the mandatory provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of August 12, 1949 (Fourth Geneva Convention).
Since the beginning of the attack on Gaza on 27 December 2008, numerous and grave breaches of international humanitarian law by Israeli forces have been reported by witnesses on the ground, such as:
The repeated shelling of United Nations (UNRWA) school compounds, designated as places of refuge for the civilian population, with dozens of casualties;
The repeated targeting of ambulances, causing death and injury to medical personnel and the victims of war they were trying to rescue;
Repeated attacks on mosques causing the death of people during prayer time.
Attacks on United Nations (UNRWA) aid convoys;
The systematic targeting of family homes, resulting in the indiscriminate killing of women, children and elderly people;
Indiscriminate attacks on densely populated areas where it is impossible to distinguish between civilian and military targets;
The disproportionate use of force against a defenseless civilian population that is subjected to a total siege, making it impossible for the people to flee from the fighting.
All these acts combined make up a situation in which the civilian population is forced to live under ghetto-like circumstances and endure an onslaught of apocalyptic proportions.
Art. 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention describes acts of this nature as “grave breaches” which the States Parties to the Convention have committed themselves to prosecute:
“Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts.” (Art. 146)
The President of the International Progress Organization stated that a United Nations War Crimes Commission on the War in Gaza should be set up by the United Nations General Assembly on the basis of Art. 22 of the UN Charter. He recalled historic precedents such as the creation of a Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of War and on Enforcement of Penalties after World War I or of the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC) in the course of World War II.
Dr. Koechler reiterated his position that, because of the paralysis of the concerned regional organization, the League of Arab States, the United Nations General Assembly should be convened on the basis of the “Uniting for Peace Resolution” and consider emergency measures including the creation of a War Crimes Commission.
Since the UN Security Council, due to an effective “veto” of the occupying power in Palestine (via the United States as permanent member), will not make use of the provision of Art. 13(b) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and refer the situation in Gaza to that Court – and the judiciary of the occupying power itself will not properly investigate and prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by its armed forces -, there will be no other avenue for the prosecution of international crimes committed on the territory of Gaza except by invocation of the obligations of UN member states under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the joint initiative of a majority of states for the establishment of an UNWCC for Gaza.
Neither the United Nations Organization nor the International Committee of the Red Cross can tolerate the continued and systematic violation of international humanitarian law in Gaza. There can be no peace without justice and there must be no impunity for the perpetrators of international crimes.
Urgent call for Emergency Special Session of UN General Assembly (31 December 2008)
International Progress Organization
Enquiries: info [at] i-p-o [dot] org, phone +43-1-5332877, fax +43-1-5332962, postal address: A-1010 Vienna, Kohlmarkt 4, Austria
I wrote and delivered a letter to the EU Ministries of Foreign Affairs, asking them to assume their responsibilities toward the Palestinians under international laws and treaties which their countries had signed. What is this that suddenly international treaties and even national laws are worth nothing? Are the Jews above the law? Why is Livni not thrown in jail when she goes to France? Does France not have a law specifically against genocide, what is exactly what this disgusting woman is doing as a part of her electoral campaign?
letter as (PDF) which the EU Ministries of Foreign Affairs received. It is also quoted below
My name is Kawther Salam. I am a Palestinian journalist native from Hebron and one of the many victims of the campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing which the State of Israel pursues against the Palestinian people since over 60 years. As a result, I live in Vienna as a refugee according to the Geneva conventions.
I write to you about the relations of your country and the EU with Israel, taking in consideration the current atrocities and grave crimes of the State of Israel against the inhabitants of Gaza.
I am honored to remind you that your country is a signatory of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their various additional protocols, of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide of 1950, the UN Charter, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and other important international agreements and conventions of humanitarian law. Not less important is the fact that your country is a member of the European Union, and that in this role, your country is a co-party to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement between the Union and Israel of 21 June 2000.
Article 2 of the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement between the Union and Israel of 21 June 2000 reads “Relations between the Parties, as well as all the provisions of the Agreement itself, shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which guides their internal and international policy and constitutes an essential element of this Agreement”. The behavior of Israel towards Palestinians did not change after this treaty was signed, and in fact it worsened.
The State of Israel is too a signatory to most of above international agreements and conventions, and to many bilateral treaties, but the record shows that the representatives of the State of Israel consistently acceded to these agreements in bad faith and with no intention to fulfill their acquired duties, but in order to acquire undue advantages such as the privilege of diplomatic recognition by other states, which it would probably not have attained otherwise. This is described as “fraudulent conduct” in Article 49 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969.
The current aggression of the State of Israel against the population of Gaza is portrayed by them as a “war against Hamas”, implying that Hamas has a standing army, while the attack is in fact against all the population of Gaza. According to information published by Israeli media, these attacks have been planned long in advance, even while conducing peace talks with Hamas in obvious bad faith. Also according to Israeli media, the current attacks against Gaza are taking place in order to boost the chances of TZIPI LIVNI and EHUD BARAK during the coming elections. Worse yet, circumstantial evidence exists which indicates that at least part of the rockets fired against Israeli territory were not launched from Gaza. Also, during the previous truce, Hamas had kept to its terms, but the truce was violated by Israel on 4 November with the murder of 7 Palestinians.
The current Israeli aggression against Gaza, as well as the increasingly severe blockade of Gaza during the last decade is an obvious case of graves crimes under chapters 6 to 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, compounded by the fact that the current atrocities appear to be part of the current electoral campaign in Israel, and again compounded by the fact that representatives of Israel, TZIPI LIVNI and many others, have repeatedly and recently called for extermination or ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
I do respectfully suggest that your excellency ponder if it is in the best interest of your country, as well as the EU, to maintain relations with Israel, which portrays itself as a state but behaves like a criminal and terrorist organization, and which consistently and willfully violates the elemental principles of international humanitarian law, including all treaties which it has signed. I equally suggest that your excellency ponder if it is in the best interest of your country as well of the community of nations, to continue granting the state of Israel, in its current constitution, diplomatic recognition as a state. The behavior of Israel as well as the body of international treaties and laws suggest otherwise.
I would appreciate if you take in consideration that all current and future dealings with Israel should refer in full to all treaties signed by them in order to be acceptable. Also, and equally, Israel must be compelled to pay ample reparations to private persons for loss of their loved ones, of property, of business and educational opportunities.
Equally, Israel must be compelled to pay reparations destined to rebuild all public infrastructure such as buildings, canalization, energy and telecommunications infrastructure, ports, airports, ships and boats which have been destroyed in Gaza as well as in the West Bank. Many such buildings and projects have been financed by the EU and its members in the past, and the crimes of Israel against Palestine should not be repaired with the money of the European taxpayers. Israel has foreign reserves and other public and private assets in the various EU states and in other countries, which should be used to pay such reparations.
Israel is the recipient of various grants and donations by the EU under various cooperation programs. These monies should equally be destined towards reparations, or at least conditioned to Israel paying full reparations as well as its full compliance with all its signed treaties. As a Palestinian, I see that the continued support to Israel for civilian as well as military purposes is directly financing their illegal occupation and impeding any progress towards a just peace in my country. The European taxpayers have no debts with the Palestinian people and should not pay for the crimes of others, and we Palestinians are very grateful for the generosity traditionally shown towards us by the EU.
Regarding Hamas, it was declared as a terrorist organization by the EU at the insistence of Israel and the USA, and not based in known facts which would have warranted this action. This has enormously facilitated an increased level of ethnic cleansing as well as crimes and atrocities against Palestinians in Gaza as well as in the West Bank. Before this background, I reserve the right to explore if there is personal responsibility for crimes as described in chapters 6 to 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and other pertinent legislation, among current and past members of various European administrations as well as of the institutions of the EU proper.
This letter will be published on the Internet at http://www.kawther.info/wpr.
Vienna, 31 December 2008
Sent: 28 January 2009 10:12
To: aya abuhassan
Subject: Voices For Palestine
We are a group of Arab women from Jordan who have come together in response to the vicious attacks by Israel on Gaza. Our aim is to spread awareness across the globe on the atrocities and encourage all responsible citizens to act in the name of humanity.
Help us give voice to those who have been silenced by doing the following:
1. Visit our YouTube links and rate us positively!
We need your votes so we can become the first Arab youtube clip to get onto the most viewed page!
The YouTube clips address the following:
o On the Humanitarian Situation
o On Israel’s Violations of Humanitarian Law
o On the Media Spin
o Our Call to Action
2. Forward this message to all your friends and encourage them to do the same! Make sure everyone you know watches these videos!
3. Join our Facebook group and share our videos with your friends!
4. Add our Call to Action link to your Facebook profile page, links on your website, and/or blogs.
5. View our Call to Action episode on You Tube on the 30th of January 2009 so that we may reach our goal of becoming the most viewed clip on YouTube so as to give the crisis in Gaza the exposure it desperately needs.
We need your support! Please help us! For more information, please email at voicesforpalestine [at] gmail [dot] com
Voices for Palestine
A petition forwarded to me by Dr. Tammam Kelani, the president of Arab-Austrian Federation of Doctors and Pharmacists, follows below. The Petition is about the creation of a Special UN Tribunal to try Israeli War Criminals. This petition was also forwarded to me by Maha HOMSI from the Early Childhood/Child Protection Specialists of the UNICEF in Jordan.
To: President and Member States of United Nations General Assembly
To: President and Member States of United Nations General Assembly
The Creation of a Special Tribunal to try Israeli War Criminals
Recalling that Israel was created by virtue of a General Assembly Resolution in 1947 against the wishes of the indigenous population of Palestine;
Recalling that the creation of Israel was achieved through the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population, which resulted in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem, and that more than half of the population of 1.5 millions of the Palestinian Occupied Territory called the Gaza Strip are Palestinian refugees who have become, with the other civilian population, victims of the recent Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip;
Noting that the UN Human Rights Council, in its ninth Special Session, has adopted on 12 January 2009, a resolution “on the grave violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including the recent aggression of the occupied Gaza Strip” in which it “strongly condemned the ongoing Israeli military operation which had resulted in massive violations of human rights of the Palestinian people and systematic destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure”; and “decided to dispatch an urgent independent international fact-finding mission to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying power against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory”(United Nations Press Release of 12 January 2009, Human Rights Council, ROUNDUP);
Recalling that Israel has in the past refused to cooperate with similar fact-finding commissions or even give them visas to enter;
Recalling Article 22 of the Charter of the United Nations
Recalling further the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9th July 2004 on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall by Israel, the occupying power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in which the Court emphasized the special responsibility of the General Assembly for the Question of Palestine;
The undersigned NGOs and individuals,
Call upon the General Assembly to create a special international tribunal to try Israel, its political and military leaders, for such crimes in violation of international law, human rights law and international humanitarian law in the Palestinian Occupied Territory of which they may be charged.