Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On the Road- Berlin

(c) Anne Paq/Activestills, Berlin, October 2009

On the Road- Berlin, looking for the Wall

(c) Anne Paq/Activestills, Berlin, October 2009, Mauer Park

On the Road- Berlin, looking for the Wall

(c) Anne Paq/Activestills, Berlin, October 2009

On the Road- Berlin, looking for the Wall

(c) Anne Paq/, Berlin, October 2009.

The Wall in Berlin has become a tourist attraction and an artists'gallery...wandering around, I could not help by thinking again and again about the Palestinians...when will the Palestinians will also sell pieces of the Wall that is now cutting their lives and territories into pieces? When will be the time when I will rush back to Palestine to take pictures of the fall of the Wall?

Le Mur a Berlin est devenu une attraction touristique et une galerie pour artistes...deambulant dans Berlin a sa recherche, je ne pouvais pas m'empecher de penser encore et encore aux Palestiniens: quand seront-ils eux aussi en mesure de vendre pour quelques dollars des morceaux du Mur qui est maintenant en train de detruire leurs vies et de diviser leur territoires? Quand viendra le temps ou je me precipiterai en palestine pour prendre des photos de la chute du Mur?

on the road- Berlin, change and gentrification

(c) Anne Paq/, Berlin, October 2009, Berlin, changes and gentrification

It has become harder and harder to find buildings in Berlin which did not get through gentrification. I walked for kilometers and only found a few, while some four years ago there were many. Some might say these building were all sad,grey and outdated, but I found that some of the soul of the city has also been lost in the process.

Il est de plus en plus difficile de trouver des immmeubles a berlin qui n'ont pas subi le processus de gentrification. J'ai du marcher des kilometres et des km, mais je n'en ai trouve que quelques-uns alors qu'ils etaient beaucoup plus nombreux lorts de mon dernier passage a berlin il y a quatre ans. Certains pourront dire que la ville est plus propres, que ces immeubles etaient gris, tristes et deprimants mais je trouve que dans le processus, la ville y a perdu beaucoup de son ame.

On the Road- Berlin, nightlife

(c) Anne Paq/, Berlin, October 2009, Nightlife in Kreuzberg

On the Road- Berlin

(c) Anne Paq/, Berlin, October 2009, Street Art

On the Road- Berlin

(c) Anne Paq/, Berlin, October 2009, Street Art

Anne on the road- Berlin

(c) Anne Paq/, Berlin, October 2009

Anne on the road- Luxembourg

(c) Anne Paq/, Luxembourg, October 2009.

Youth of Luxembourg began the workshops of the project Youth photographers without borders. During two sessions they document their way to school, as the young Palestinians did in the West Bank and Jerusalem. First impression: there is a strong contrast between the pictures they took compared to the ones from Palestine.

This project is supported by Anna Lindh foundation.

Les jeunes du Luxembourg ont commence leurs ateliers pour le projet "Young photographers without borders. Pendant deux sessions ils se sont appliques a photographier leur chemin de l'ecole, comme l'ont fait le mois precedent les jeunes Palestiniens en Cisjordanie (le camp de refugies de Aida) et a Jerualem (Silwan). Premier constat: Il y a un contraste saisissant entre leurs photos et celles des jeunes Palestiniens. L'univers des jeunes Luxembourgeois semble teinte de desesperance et de solitude. Leurs photos sont dures, centrees sur les objets. drole de contraste avec les photos des Palestiniens qui malgre une situation dure ont fait des photos teintees de douceur et de poesie, et d'ou emergent un fort sens de la communaute. Le defi va etre maintenant, dans l'echange entre ces jeunes d'horizons profondement different de construire une exposition commune

Ce projet est soutenu par la Fondation Anna Lindh.

anne is travelling- LYON

(c) Anne Paq/Activestills, Lyon, France, October 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

interesting step

PA takes steps to become ICC member

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Palestinian Minister of Justice Ali Al-Khashan presented documents to the attorney general of the International Criminal Court on Friday, which outlined allegations of Israeli war crimes committed prior to the war on Gaza.

Al-Khashan said he also answered several inquiries from the court that would guarantee Palestine a place within the Rome Statute and thus full membership at the court. He said in a phone interview that he and a delegation were preparing papers requested by the court in preparation for full membership.

In order to become a member a state must sign then ratify the Rome Statute. Once a state is a member of the ICC, the court can proceed with investigations into crimes which may have occurred on the territory of the member, or by a national of the member. The member is obligated to surrender suspects from their state once they have ratified the agreement. Members are also entitled to vote in the ICC’s governing body.

He cautioned, however, that those waiting for ICC action on alleged Israeli war crimes should “have patience” since “we do not have any documentation for the Israeli crimes,” but said membership in the international body would give Palestinians the “ability to confront with peaceful follow-up the revelation of Israeli war crimes.”

The minister said the efforts were a continuation of previous efforts to gain membership at the court. He noted that “the Palestinian Authority is following up steps that were made previously to gain membership in the Rome agreement.”

“The Goldstone report set out mechanisms [leading to the prosecution of Israeli war criminals], and the Human Rights Council set out mechanisms that clarified those steps,” Al-Khasham said, “now the PA is carrying out those steps.”

Friday, October 16, 2009

whats next?

UN rights body endorses Goldstone report
Published today (updated) 16/10/2009 19:57

Author of the report, Justice Richard Goldstone [MaanImages]
Geneva - Ma'an - After listening to about 20 states and 30 nongovernmental organizations, the UN Human Rights Council on Friday adopted the resolution submitted by Palestine by a vote of 25 to six, with 11 abstentions.

The council is made up of 47 members and requires a majority of votes to pass a resolution.

The Palestinian envoy to Geneva, Ibrahim Kraishi, had demanded the UN body pursue criminals "wherever they are and whoever they are."

"The occupying power wants to make it look like it's doing the right thing," he said. "It wants the international community to look as if it's mistaken. But it's not logical. It's not possible for everybody to be wrong at the expense of one power."

"My people will not forgive the international community," Kraishi concluded, if it cannot see fit to pursue investigations against the crimes in Gaza.

The Israeli representative called the report's adoption "a setback for the efforts to revive peace," and said the move to pass the resolution would be "rewarded by terrorism." He reiterated Israel's right to defend itself.

The few Western states that spoke showed concern about why the special session was being called when the report had been on the agenda just two weeks earlier during a regular session of the Human Rights Council.

Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations Alejandro Wolff called the resolution "regrettable," and said it went "beyond the scope of the Goldstone report." He said the resolution contained elements that should be "discussed within a final-status agreement," including Jerusalem.

Wolff said the report failed to deal adequately with the asymmetrical nature of the confrontation, and the adoption of the resolution could only postpone a lasting peace and deepen the divide between Israel and Palestine.

Among those voting yes were Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and South Africa.

Six countries voted against the report, including US, Italy, Holland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Ukraine.

Those that abstained were Bosnia, Burkina-Faso, Cameron, Gabon, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Belgium, South Korea, Slovenia and Uruguay.

Madagascar and Kyrgyzstan were not present during the vote.

The voting was postponed for several hours before the session started. Following the delay, more than 20 states and 30 nongovernmental organizations, including the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Al-Dameer and Adalah addressed the council.

Delay and preambles

The French requested first a short delay for consultations and then a longer two-hour delay, to which Egypt, one of the sponsors of the resolution, objected. Although stating immediately after the Egyptian objection that he heard "no objections" to the French request, the Belgian president said that council would then proceed to a vote.

Finally opening the Friday morning session, the League of Arab States lamented what it termed the continuing violations of human rights and aggression by the government of Israel against the people of Palestine.

Syria, Iran, and Libya associated themselves with the Arab statement and emphasized the necessity, in the Libyan delegate's words, of "continuing to discuss the Goldstone report and look into its recommendations."

The Libyan delegate, whose country had raised the report in the Security Council session held this past Wednesday, also called for the matter to be considered and acted upon by the UN General Assembly.

The Libyan delegate called the draft resolution a "a litmus test" that would prove whether international human rights law creates legal obligations or are mere "slogans that are misused" to accomplish political ends.

A spokesperson for UN Watch, a pro-Israel NGO, claimed Israel had done more than the US or the UK in Iraq or Afghanistan to "safeguard the rights of civilians in the war zone" in Gaza.

A former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp addressed the UN session and said that based on his knowledge and experience, Israel "did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare."

This was immediately followed by a statement from the Israeli NGO, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, stating that based on its long and extensive experience in the Israeli courts, these courts have failed to adequately deal with violations of law by Israeli soldiers. She went on to enumerate the laws and some examples of cases that evidence the failure of the Israel judicial and legislative bodies.

Mustapha Barghouti, speaking for the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, recounted the international crimes that he had witnessed as a doctor in Palestine. He called the Goldstone report a test of the integrity of the UN's concern for human rights and respect for the rule of law.

The deputy permanent representative of Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, then introduced the resolution with an oral amendment for a new paragraph "condemning all targeting of civilians and stressing the urgent need to ensure accountability for all violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law to prevent future violations."

The president of council then gave the permanent representative of Israel the floor as a concerned country, who quoted Justice Goldstone as expressing his concern that the draft resolution was too harsh on Israel, stating "this time Justice Goldstone is correct." He continued that Israel, however, did not agree with what Justice Goldstone had said in the report. He ended with an implicit threat by his government to stop cooperating with the council and to sabotage the Middle East peace process.

The Palestinian ambassador then spoke, saying that he "would not use the rostrum of the council to condemn either Hamas or Israel," and plead that "all we want is to ensure that criminals everywhere do not enjoy impunity."

He ended by requesting consensus in the council on the resolution.

The United States made a statement before the vote lamenting the council, for dealing with the report as an urgent manner, instead hoping that the council would delay action on the report. As in his statement delivered during the general debate on the resolution, the US delegate again recalled that more than six months should be given to Israel to investigate the allegations of international crimes.

He did not address the statements by several Israel officials that unequivocally stated that "no Israeli soldier" would be prosecuted because of the allegations made in the report. The US also called for a vote on the resolution stating that it would vote no and calling on other states to join them.

Also speaking before the vote Chile, Brazil, and Argentina generally spoke in support of the resolution, although most expressed dissatisfaction with the way this session had been convened.

Slovenia, Uruguay, Norway, and Mexico stated that while they could not support the draft resolution and would abstain. Several of these states also reiterated their support for the Goldstone report and the human rights of the Palestinian people.

No state joined the United States in announcing it would vote against the resolution.

The resolution

The three-part resolution calls for Israel to cease settlements in East Jerusalem, to allow unhindered access to the Al-Asqa Mosque and for the council to refer the report of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict to the General Assembly. The omnibus resolution also called for the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to report on the situation of human rights in Palestine.

When the vote was finally taken in recorded form at the request of the United States, 25 states voted for the resolution, six voted against, and eleven abstained.

After the resolution was passed, about a dozen states elaborated on their votes. The HRC president then stated he would transmit the resolution "urgently" to the General Assembly.

Finally, the Algerian ambassador challenged the US ambassador to back his oral commitment to making the Human Rights Council a real body of action, by ending the armed conflict in Palestine and taking meaningful action on violations of human rights in Palestine.

Curtis Doebbler contributed to this report.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'll be away for a while / Je vais etre abstente pour un temps

I forgot to tell you...i'll be away from Palestine/israel for a while. so dont be surprised if I post some pictures from other places....but I will keep posting some articles also so please dont give up on my blog!

J'ai oublie de vous dire que je ne vais pas etre en Palestine/Israel pour un temps. alors il ne faut pas vous etonner de voir des photos d'ailleurs. mais je vais continuer aussi a mettre des articles sur la palestine...enfin bref, n'abandonnez pas mon blog!

the just people of Israel

Students refuse to enlist due to 'occupation'

Traditional letter signed by high school seniors slams Israel's 'oppressive policy in occupied territories'
Daniel Edelson

Dozens of students signed this year's high school seniors' letter, which has traditionally attempted to challenge Israel's mandatory army service policy. Similar letters have circulated every few years since 1979, all calling on teens to object to IDF service.

"We Jewish and Arab teens from throughout Israel hereby announce that we object to Israel's oppressive policy in the occupied territories and within the state of Israel, and therefore we will refuse to take part in these activities, which are carried out in our name by the Israel Defense Army," says the letter, signed by 80 students.

Students: Don't enlist (Photo: Yaron Brener)

"The occupation has led the Israeli army to violate time and time again the international accords Israel has signed, UN resolutions, international laws, and the constitutional laws of Israel itself."

The letter concludes by stating, "Our refusal to be soldiers of occupation derives from our fidelity to the values and society that surround us, and is part of our continuing battle for peace and equality, a battle whose Jewish-Arab character proves peace and coexistence are possible."

Amalia Merkovitch, an 18-year old high school senior, told Ynet she and her comrades would send the letter to various ministers, as had been done in previous years.

She says the letter does not refer specifically to the Second Lebanon War or even Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, but rather calls on teens to evade army service because of "everything that happens on a daily basis in the IDF – the evils of occupation, large and small".

Merkovitch classifies herself as a "future army refuser", and says that she and three friends plan to be taken to military prison on the day of their mandatory enlistment until it is canceled.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: Decision of Palestinian Leadership and International Pressure an Insult to the Victims

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: Decision of Palestinian Leadership
and International Pressure an Insult to the Victims

Adalah * Addameer * Aldameer * Al Haq * Al Mezan * Badil * Civic
Coalition for Jerusalem * DCI-Palestine * ENSAN Centre * Independent
Commission for Human Rights * Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights
Centre * Palestinian Centre for Human Rights * Ramallah Centre for Human
Rights Studies * Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling *

Yesterday, 2 October 2009, the Palestinian leadership – under heavy
international pressure lead by the United States – deferred the draft
proposal at the Human Rights Council endorsing all the recommendations
of the UN Fact Finding Mission (the Goldstone Report). This deferral
denies the Palestinian peoples’ right to an effective judicial remedy
and the equal protection of the law. It represents the triumph of
politics over human rights. It is an insult to all victims and a
rejection of their rights.

The crimes documented in the report of the UN Fact Finding Mission
represent the most serious violations of international law; Justice
Goldstone concluded that there was evidence to indicate that crimes
against humanity may have been committed in the Gaza Strip. Violations
of international law continue to this day, inter alia, through the
continuing Israeli-imposed illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip. The
findings of the Mission confirmed earlier investigations conducted by
independent Palestinian, Israeli and international organisations.

The injustice that has now been brought upon Palestinians has been
brought upon everyone on this globe. International human rights and
humanitarian law are not subject to discrimination, they are not
dependent on nationality, religion, or political affiliation.
International human rights and humanitarian law apply universally to all
human beings.

The rule of law is intended to protect individuals, to guarantee their
fundamental rights. Yet, if the rule of law is to be respected it must
be enforced. World history, and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian
land has shown us that as long as impunity persists, the law will
continue to be violated; innocent civilians will continue to suffer the
horrific consequences.

Justice delayed is justice denied. All victims have a legitimate right
to an effective judicial remedy, and the equal protection of the law.
These rights are universal: they are not subject to political
considerations. In the nine months since Operation Cast Lead, no
effective judicial investigations have been conducted into the conflict.
Impunity prevails. In such situations, international law demands
recourse to international judicial mechanisms. Victims’ rights must be
upheld. Those responsible must be held to account.

The belief that accountability and the rule of law can be brushed aside
in the pursuit of peace is misguided. History has taught us time and
time again, that sustainable peace can only be built on human rights, on
justice, and the rule of law. For many years in Palestine international
law, and the rule of law, has been sacrificed in the name of politics,
and cast aside in favour of the peace process. This approach has been
tried, and it has failed: the occupation has been solidified, illegal
settlements have continued to expand, the right to self determination
has been denied; innocent civilians suffer the horrific consequences. It
is now time to pursue justice, and a peace built on a foundation of
human rights, dignity, and the rule of law. In Justice Goldstone’s
words, there is no peace without justice.

As human rights organisations we strongly condemn the Palestinian
leaderships’ decision to defer the proposal endorsing all the
recommendations of the Fact Finding Mission, and the pressure exerted by
certain members of the international community. Such pressure is in
conflict with States' international obligations, and is an insult to the
Palestinian people.

As human rights organizations concerned with rights and justice, we
declare that we will double our efforts to seek justice for the victims
of the violations of human rights and international law in oPt without