Peace on Earth to Men of Good Will?
Open Letter to the British Foreign Secretary
Stuart Littlewood To Mr David Miliband:
You seem like a clever man Kennedy scholar, something big in Social Justice, then head of Tony Blair's policy unit, now foreign secretary. Tell us, why do so many western politicians have so much trouble coming to terms with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which their countries are obliged to observe?
Is it because they haven 't bothered to read it? Or do they simply not care? Either way, they neglect their duty.
Understanding the Declaration is really no sweat. A glance at the Preamble is enough to grasp the fundamentals:
Violence, tyranny and oppression is what happens if these rights are not protected by the rule of law.
Instead, you visited Sderot to "show solidarity" with the people there.
Why is Article 2 such a big problem?
This says that EVERYONE is entitled to ALL the rights and freedoms set out in the Declaration, regardless of race, politics and religion and regardless of the status of the country or territory to which a person belongs. So let 's think Gaza and West Bank
There also seems to be difficulty with Article 5:
Humiliating treatment can be seen any time, any day, at any Israeli checkpoint or crossing. And there 's the unforgivable torment of collective punishment meted out to the civilians of Gaza by Israel's devastating siege. Article 13 promises that: "everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state...
Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." No Palestinian has freedom of movement within his homeland in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. As you well know, Israel has seized more than 38% of the West Bank, including prime agricultural land and strategic water resources, and these areas are off-limits to Palestinians. 80% of the West Bank's precious water is now diverted to illegal settlements while Palestinians are strictly rationed or go without.
In Gaza, where the blockade has brought the near collapse of healthcare, even the chronically sick cannot leave for treatment abroad. Students have been prevented from taking up scholarships in the West. Were you stopped from going to university, Mr Miliband? And the right of return for Palestinians forced to flee their homes by rampaging Jewish (later Israeli) terrorists still waits to be enforced.
Article 17 provides: that everyone has the right to own property and no-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of it. Yet confiscation, demolition and displacement 'ethnic cleansing in plain language continues as Israel pushes ahead with its illegal colonizing programme establishing vast settlements and other 'facts on the ground'.
Article 21 gives everyone: "the right to take part in the government of his country The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government..." You and your colleagues extinguished this right by rejecting the people 's choice in fair and square elections in 2006. Why? Anyone who knows the situation knows who the real terrorists are. The decision to refuse to talk with Hamas not only denies Gaza 's citizens of their rights but is unworthy of us.
Please don 't give us excuses about home-made rockets "raining down" on Sderot when countless thousands of Israeli bombs, missiles, grenades, tank shells and dum-dum rounds are routinely blasted into Gaza 's tightly-packed humanity. 8 Palestinians die for every Israeli; and when it comes to children the kill-rate is 11 to 1.
And don 't even mention that captured Israeli soldier a trained killer when the Israelis, I hear, kidnapped 330 Palestinians only last month. It would be nice to hear equal concern for the 30+ Palestinian MPs and legislators still under 'administrative detention'. In the UK we create merry hell when police arrest and question an MP for a few hours.
Then there 's Article 23: "Everyone has the right to work". Gaza 's 3,000 fishermen miss out on this one. Israel unlawfully claims control of Palestinian territorial waters and when the fishing boats put to sea they are fired on. Most citizens in the Strip are denied the right to work. Businesses are prevented from bringing supplies in and shipping products out. All attempts to develop their economy are thwarted. Care to guess the unemployment rate, Mr Miliband?
Let 's not forget Article 25: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family." That of course is a sick joke to Palestinians. Care to guess the number of children with stunted growth through malnutrition, Mr Miliband?
Finally, Article 28. "Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized."
So what exactly has the international order been doing the last 60 years to deliver Palestinian rights and freedoms? You are part of that order, are you not Mr Miliband?
Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk. December 5, 2008
CIVIL WAR II ?
by Ian Wilson LL.B.
In a nutshell the claim is that Obama is not a 'natural born citizen as required for eligibility to become president under the Constitution. Obama, it is claimed, was born in Kenya. There is a certificate of live birth in Hawaii, but the Obama camp has not released the original certificate. It may well be that Obama 's mother could not fly back to Hawaii to have him, so she gave birth in Kenya, then flew to Hawaii to register the birth.
As I understand it, by today 's US rules Obama would have no problem, but by the rules of 1961 he would not be a 'natural born citizen. As an aside, at the time of Obama 's birth his father had a wife in Africa which would make Obama illegitimate by virtue of bigamy. Yes, this is the post-American president. What will happen? My guess is nothing. The Supreme Court will dismiss these cases.
Imagine the scenario, even if all claims are true, and Obama was ruled to be ineligible. Would the minorities who voted for Obama accept that delicate legal argument that the Constitution should decide matters over politically correct considerations? Riots would turn into civil war. It will not happen. Even if true, Congress will as a matter of urgency, amend the Constitution, doing what it takes for Obama to rule.
The question to be asked is, if this is all true why didn 't McCain pounce on it? One obvious reply is that it is not true, but simply the creation of sore losers. Another reply is that McCain was not serious about winning but went through the motions of opposition. We are about 5-10 years behind America in our decline. So, it is worthwhile reflecting upon these dramas at a safe distance before we face our own surprises.