The New York Times reports: “Israelis May Have Committed Crimes Against Humanity in Gaza Protests, U.N. Says.” “Israeli security forces committed serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law,” Santiago Canton, the head of the United Nations independent commission of inquiry, stated on Thursday.
“These violations clearly warrant criminal investigation and prosecution,” he added.
“[Israeli forces] have intentionally shot children, they’ve intentionally shot people with disabilities, they’ve intentionally shot journalists, knowing them to be children, people with disabilities and journalists,” Sara Hossain, one of the other three investigators appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council, said.
The report also calls on third states to arrest “persons alleged to have committed, or who ordered to have committed, the international crimes,” or seek their extradition. See report by Maureen Clare Murphy at the Electronic Intifada.
HATEM BAZIAN, hatemb at berkeley.edu, @HatemBazian
Bazian was profiled in the just-published New Yorker piece “How a Private Israeli Intelligence Firm Spied on Pro-Palestinian Activists in the U.S.”
He said today: “This U.N. report is just the latest piece of evidence about Israel’s systematic brutality. The U.S. government quit the Human Rights Council to stop any serious criticism of Israel. And there’s a whole structure of anti-B.D.S. legislation and targeting of activists to silence people in the U.S.”
The New Yorker piece leads: “Hatem Bazian, a veteran pro-Palestinian activist in his fifties, lives with his family on a quiet street in North Berkeley, near the campus of the University of California, where he lectures. Early on the morning of May 10, 2017, as Bazian was about to drive his teen-age daughter to school, he noticed fliers on the windshields of cars parked on his block. At first, Bazian assumed that they were advertisements for a new movie or restaurant. When he looked more closely at the flier that had been left on his BMW sedan, he realized that it featured a photograph of his face, below a tagline that read, ‘He supports terror.’ Bazian quickly folded up the flier so his daughter wouldn’t see it. …”Although it is unclear who left the fliers, internal documents from a private Israeli intelligence firm called Psy-Group show that, at the time of the incident, the company, and possibly other private investigators, were targeting Bazian because of his leadership role in promoting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, known as B.D.S. Supporters of B.D.S. urge corporations, universities, and local governments to impose economic, academic, and cultural boycotts on Israel to protest its treatment of the Palestinians. …
“Psy-Group’s operations against B.D.S. activists on U.S. college campuses began in February, 2016, according to internal documents describing the campaign. The company raised money in New York from Jewish-American donors and pro-Israel groups, and assured them that their identities would be kept secret. Psy-Group told them that its goal was to make it appear as though the donors were not involved in any way.”
Bazian is co-founder and professor of Islamic law and theology at Zaytuna College, the first accredited Muslim liberal arts college in the United States. He is also a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. He is author of the book Palestine…it is something colonial.
Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace tweeted: “Disconcerting to find out that the flyer targeting @HatemBazian and I at our homes in May 2017 discussed here was the work of ex-Mossad agents. Psy-Group seems like bumbling fools tbh, I worry more about the groups doing it who are good at it.” See a joint statement about the targeting from American Muslims for Palestine (which Bazian founded) and Jewish Voice for Peace from 2017.
See IPA news release: “Trump Team Hired Israeli Spy Firm Used by Harvey Weinstein to Attack Obama Officials on Iran Deal.”
See from the Electronic Intifada: “Watch the film the Israel lobby didn’t want you to see.” The Electronic Intifada has obtained a complete copy of “The Lobby — USA,” a four-part undercover investigation by Al Jazeera into Israel’s covert influence campaign in the United States.