Archive for the ‘Georgia and Russia’ Category

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It’s about Gas! Gaza has it – Israel wants it.

January 14, 2009

Anyone who thinks that Israel’s invading Gaza has to do with ‘terrorism’ or ‘defending Israel’, or for that matter the history of the conflict, are missing the elephant in the room: Gas. Gaza has it; Israel wants it. In fact, Israel has already made deals with British Gas (BG)
(the innovative distributor) to pump the Gazan gas to the BTC pipeline where it can be sold to the West.

How many people still think the Georgia-Russia conflict was NOT about an oil corridor – the BTC pipeline? It is all about oil corridors….approximately 90% of it…and the other 10% is about the Big Dogs controlling the remaining resources of earth.

While the media whips up public opinion into a circus like feeding frenzy, the energy corporations are pulling the strings. Below is an article from 2007 on the contract between BG and Israel to harvest and transport Gazan natural gas. The following month, BG confirms their strategy to match markets and knows reserves innovatively, to continue soaring profits.

When Hamas came into power, democratically elected, it refused to abide by the previous terms set out by the American Fatah puppets. So the gas deal is up in the air. To catch these ugly details requires some pretty boring reading through volumes of corporate doublespeak and media propaganda. I have presented some notable sources here. But we must all think for ourselves. Noone promised the truth would be easy to find or pleasant when found.

BG Group at centre of $4bn deal
to supply Gaza gas to Israel
The British energy firm is set to agree terms of a $4bn, 15-year deal over gas discovered off the Gaza coast

Source
May 23, 2007
Steve Hawkes and Sonia Verma in Jerusalem
BG Group is poised to agree the terms of an historic $4 billion (£2 billion) deal to supply Palestinian gas to Israel from a discovery off the Gaza coastline, The Times has learnt.

Representatives from the British energy company are scheduled next week to meet a team of negotiators chosen by the Israeli Cabinet to thrash out a 15-year contract. Despite the violence in Gaza, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has insisted that it wants to conclude a deal “as soon as possible”.

It would enable BG Group, the former owner of British Gas, to begin to develop an offshore field that is the Palestine Authority’s only natural resource. The move would mark an unprecedented milestone in Middle East relations. There would be enough gas to provide 10 per cent of Israel’s annual energy requirement, and the Palestinians would receive total royalties of $1 billion. Sources in the Middle East note that the sensitive talks could be derailed at any time by the acute political tension that surrounds the deal.

However, Nigel Shaw, the BG Group vice-president in the region, said: “We are making progress. There are commercial issues to be completed and we also require bilateral agreement between the two governments to get this project across the line. But this is a chance for greater economic prosperity in Palestine and that is only good for peace.”

Go to Source to access the following links:

* Cooking with gas: BG keeps growing

* BG Group to supply Palestinian gas to Israel
* BG Group unveils £1bn share buy back
BG deal provides a basis for peace
Success for BG could signal a new era in the relationship between Palestine and Israel
Related Internet Links
* BG Group company information
* BG Group share price chart
* BG Group forecast

The signing of heads of terms would mark an amazing turnaround, given the political and legal disputes that have dogged the project since BG Group discovered the Gaza Marine field in 2000. It holds one trillion cubic feet of gas, the equivalent of 150 million barrels of oil, equivalent to a large North Sea field.

Six years ago Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, vowed that Israel would never buy gas from its neighbour. The project also was held up by a legal challenge in the Israeli Supreme Court to establish whether the Palestinians had any right to the discovery. Last year BG Group was close to signing a deal to pump the gas to Egypt before Tony Blair intervened and asked the company to give Israel a second chance. Three weeks ago the Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal by Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, to buy gas from the Palestinian Authority. The Cabinet recognised the need for new energy sources to feed Israel’s rapidly growing economy.

Under BG Group’s plans, gas from the field would be transported by an undersea pipeline to the seaport of Ashkelon. Although Israeli insiders are confident of a deal,significant questions remain, not least how payments to the Palestinian Authority will be made. Israeli defence authorities want the Palestinians to be paid in goods and services and insist that no money go to the Hamas-controlled Government.

Comments

i didnt understand why people who commented said israel dictates the terms of the deal. if the gas is palestinian than they can accept or not accept our terms and if they already sold it to a foreign orporation than it is not their gas anymore, isnt it?
anyway what is a billion dollars anyway? the palestinians received billions of dollars from good people around the world and somehow they dont have anything to show for it
even if given money from this deal and not supplies they will probably see nothing of it too.
for example the latest leader of the palestines the late yasser arafat has (more correctly had) a billion dollars in his personal account. lets think for a moment where he got the money from..
although i think some of their claims are fair i do not think they will (or should) receive anything until they dont stop fighting us. by firing at us while they are in their tweinties or thirties they condemn their weaker population the old and the women and the kids for poverty.

ronen, heifa, israel

It is not completely unreasonable for the Israeli defense authorities to not want to give cash to a government controlled by an organization whose aim is the destruction of Israel. A quick history lesson here, the state of Israel was created in the British mandate territory of Palestine by a UN general assembly under the 1947 UN partition plan. I believe that if Palestine is going to be getting only $1bn of the $4bn that the deal is worth, would it not be more beneficial for the Palestinian people to have goods and services e.g. hospitals, schools, roads, houses, food, water and electricity as opposed to the purchase of weapons to fund the continuing struggle which leaves dead on both sides or large Swiss bank accounts for certain government officials. That may be irrational on my part, however I believe that those services would serve the average person better than sitting and starving to death with an AK47 and the idea of killing some “bad” people who just want to live and let live.

S Smith, london,

MN, London; I am really sad that people in the west who are very much anti-muslim and anti-arabs than pro-jewish are doing everything they can to increase the suffering of the Palestinians. I had a discussion in a cafe in Haifa with two British tourists and they were telling me that the British people never forgot Salahuddin victory over Lion’Heart and that the crusade had never ended. They told me that they are very happy to see Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and completely forbidden to the Arabs. I told them that this might make British people happy, but it is going to lead to more hatered between us and the Arabs who are our real neighbours. I am deeply sure that if we are left alone with our muslim cousins, we will find a solution and we will live in peace. That will happen only and only if activist like MN from London stop their anti-arab anti-muslim campaign at the expens of arabs and israeli blood.

Emir Katsaf, Tel Aviv, Israel

The Palestinians should sell the gas to Egypt who will at least not withhold payment on a whim or some made-up excuse. Also, is it ever possible to criticize Israel without being tarred with the anti-semite brush (despite the fact that all Middle Eastern Arabs, Muslims and Christians are Semitic peoples, but a lot of European Jewish immigrants (Ashkenazi) are not, as they converted to the faith). The Palestinian people are not immigrants but indigenous to Palestine!

Rod, Scunthorpe, UK

Emir Katsaf: Firstly it is not me who has raised anti-Semitism, it is you. To be a critic of Israel does not necessarily make one an anti-Semite – though it helps – but to approach every news item – in this case a moderately positive one – relating to Israel and the Palestinians by demagogic criticism of Israel certainly suggests bigotry, ie. the Israeli Arab Muslims I know who, presumably unlike you, are ardent supporters of Israel, were being criticised as much as the Israeli Jews. As for my credentials to speak, rest assured I am more than qualified to comment on such matters, regardless of the location where I write.

MN, London, UK

A J Sheffield should read the history of the region before he comments. The Israelis shout’God’ because they believe He gave it to them 3500 years ago after they ethnically cleansed the place of the indigenous inhabitants, the Amorites et al. The Israelis left the country 2000 years ago.

After Palestine was freed from the Ottoman Empire in about 1918 the indigenous inhabitants, 90% Arabs, were held down under the British mandate until in 1948 the United Nations allowed Israel to be installed on 52% of the land without the consent of the indigenous people, the Palestinians.

If half of Britain was given away without our consent would not A J Sheffield maintain that it was ‘OURS’?

William Garrett, Harrow,

Farhana,

Once again you make this a political divide. This has nothing to do with anybody “stealing”. People ARE starving, as yousay, and at least with goods and services those who most need it would receive something tangible. Who knows where money chanelled through the government would go? Ever thought to consider that maybe the Israeli government thinks this too?
Look around the world- any country that has oil/other supplies and receives money, you only see those in power getting richer while the poorest continue to suffer

LG, Edgware,

There is a danger that the Palestinians would use the proceeds to buy weapons rather than improve the lot of the people in the Gaza Strip who desperately need the services and housing that this money could buy. Up till now Hamas and Fatah have been using their resources to buy weapons to fight each other and the Israelis. It seems to me sensible that the Israelis insist that the funds go directly to improving the lot of the Palestinian people rather than on more weaponry.

Stephen Franklin, London, UK

Mother of divine God! Is this not a good thing? Is it not economic progress which might take these people out of the political and economic morass they find themselves in? The only solution to the problems in that neck of the woods is a Federal Israeli/Arab state one which co-operates on social and economic issues and defines itself as secular and not religious.

ken, dublin , ireland

Farhana,

As you say, people ARE starving and at least good and services mean those who most need it would receive something tangible. Who knows where money chanelled through the government would go?

LG, Edgware,

Frank suggests that Israel is the cause of all problems in the Middle East. He should understand the implications of what he is saying for he is in effect advocating the “Final Solution” for the Jews. The fate of the Jews of Arab Lands alone (when almost one million Jews were ethnically cleansed from Iraq, Egypt, Syria etc. and only survived, unlike their European brothers, because they could flee to Israel), demonstrates that it was the Arabs themselves, and their treatment of their Jewish population throughout the ages (from Medina in the 7th century to Baghdad in the 20th), that made Israel’s existence such a necessity.

MN, London, UK

As a Palestinian I would like to say that if such an agreement is made then all the Palestinian political system will explode, as people are completely unwilling to sacrifice their wealth, life and land in favour of a handfull of political corrupted ministers and members of the regime, at the same time, God has nothing to do with such a natural wealth, it does not matter here the chosen or the neglected people, it is a political issue and an economic one, so let All religions aside and Let My People Live in His Land.

Sami Ahmed, ya’bad, Palestinian Territories

To MN from London. It is really sad to see pro-zionist from all around the world complicating our lives here in Israel. I am a Jewish and I am living in Tel Aviv, and I can see that Palestenians are being raped off on a daily basis. And you are sitting there in London and accusing everybody who criticise my government of hatered and antisimistism. The biggest danger to my country is people like you who are so blinded by an ideology that was created in 1874 and that has absolutely no relevance today.

Emir Katsaf, Tel Aviv, Israel

After all the destruction Is-real(?) has done already, there is more room to please ‘God’?

Religion…

Joe, Oxford,

I am an Israeli, We are not disappointed at all.. its great to help the globe by using natural gas and help the Palestinians at the same time. for sure money is not an option as we know for too many years, palestinians use money for weapon for bombs or for 3-4 leaders (in their privete bank accounts) money never arrive to the people of Gaza by their leaders.

Shirin, Golan, ISRAEL

chances are pipeline will be blown up

howard jones, swansea, uk

Hardly surprising that they don’t want to pay- they stole the land and have got by with stealing everything . I hope that the Isrealis cough up and pay for the gas for a change. Palestinians are starving and in a living hell because Israelis choose to practice apartheid. How handy that “divine decree” told them to take anothers homeland.

Farhana A, London,

Hardly surprising that they don’t want to pay for the gas, they’ve got by on stealing everything . Hope they cough up and not try and offload goods as payment. Palestininans are starving they desperately need funds to survive.

Farhana A, London,

Why is it always the case whenever Israel/Palestine issues come forward, there are always fanatics on both sides showing up shouting ‘GOD!’ and ‘OURS!’? Give it a rest for once…maybe progress would be made.

A.J, Sheffield, United Kingdom

ASM, your god being the malevolent psychopath from the old testament? No wonder the world tears itself apart if THAT is the best we can to worship as an idol!

Heathen_and_Proud, London, UK

I think the Palestinians should sell thier gas to Egypt otherwise Israel will simply keep a hold of the money as it currently does with the tax it collects on behalf of the Palestinian authority. This way at least the Palestian government will always have access to some funds.

Joseph Kellie, Edinburgh, Scotland

Rather than blindly slagging off Israel (Frank, Halifax and Jim, Winnipeg), wouldn’t a more reasonable response be to welcome this possible deal – both Israel and the Palestinians could benefit and more cooperation may even help to bring about peace. It’s a shame when Israel-bashers fail to recognise when something positive happens in the Middle East.

Gaby, Tokyo, Japan

Whatever one might think of the rights and wrongs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it seems amazing that in this contract the buyer (Israel) has the right to dictate when, how or even whether or not to pay the seller (the Palestinians) for their goods.

I think this alone very neatly sums up the inequalities inherent in the conflict.

Jonathan, London, UK

An independent Palestine is essential for peace.

No land belongs to anyone by divine decree. This mindset only prolongs occupation. Keep your Jew and Arab gods out of it and get back to humanity.

Aaron.Goldberg, N.Y.,

It again shows that the Palestine people are being exploited, first it was their land in 1948, then decades of war, suffering and loss of what land they took refuge. Many started new business only to be cut off from their markets such as STRAWBERRIES exports. Their funding cut off by holding back their taxes collected by Isreal, now Israel want their oil and pay only in goods and services. Looks like the Palestine People will be kept under more control. When will the world step in and tell Israel to stop its actions against these poor people. This will not be looked upon by Canadians as fair to the people of Palestine. As a former UNEF who served in Gaza in 1966 I got to know the Palestine People, Lets give them their HUMAN RIGHTS

Joe Bonnevie (lived in Palestine 1966/67), Moncton, Canada

So the Palestiian Authority only get’s $1 billion out of $4 billion. I wish the article would explain how that works.

I am pleased that finally Israel is paying for something too, but it would be interesting to see how Fatah and Hamas deal with their new-found revenue.

ayla, London,

Those who are opposing Israel are just showing their complete ignorance of history – Israel BELONGS to the Jewish nation – it was given to them by GOD – but of course you are all atheists or agnostics who are all going to face your judgement day before that very same – and only ONE – God!!
You have no clue of the fight Israel has on her hands just to retain that small piece of land that is rightfully theirs! But it was given by the One who even created you ignorant fools!
Israel will stand as will those who stand with her. And those who oppose her will face the judgement of God!

ASM, Perth, Western Australia

I’m surprised at this development. As ‘God’s Chosen
People’ surely they are entitled to this gas for free – pretty much like the mannah was free in the desert? No wonder some in Israel wish to
pay for it in goods. I wonder if they are thinking
of a few beads, iron pots and mirrors, or maybe some
coloured cloth.

Tony Volpe, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Jim MacDonald is clearly living in fantasy land. There is no state as Palestine and the Israeli’s have every right to negotiate commercial contracts on behalf of their citizens.

Brian Mahew, Basingstoke,

How come that 4 billion worth of Palestinian gas pays the Palestinians only 1 billion? I image the proportions should be reversed, i.e. $3 bn to Palestinians and $1bn to BG.

Jeff, Jaffa, Israel

Jim MacDonald’s comment seems to epitomise the bigoted racist response of some to anything that has to do with Israel and the Palestinians. Instead of welcoming an area of cooperation, of which there are others that exist and which in truth are probably the best hope for finding a solution, he prefers simply to throw demagogic insults at Israel. A neat demonstration that it is not love for Palestinians that drives people such as MacDonald but just hatred of Israel.

MN, London, UK

Really? And what exactly it would be? Land which belongs to us by divine decree? We wanted nothing from Palestinians – and whatever they have, we gave them. Jobs, electricity, running water, higher education – you name it, they’ve got it from us, almost free of charge. Too bad they’ve chosen to bite our giving hand and squandered most of what they had.

Arik Elman, Jerusalem, Israel

the funny part of it is at the end, the Israelis want to set to terms for the sale of something that is not theirs! How typically Israeli, utterly deluded.

Akram, London,

Now that Israelis are paying for something, they should be made to pay for taking Israel itself so that the entire Middle East problem is solved. Is there any doubt that all the problems connected with Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Palestine, Saudi Arabia are not caused by the creation of Isreal?

Frank, Halifax , UK

I guess Israel must be disappointed, it is so used to getting
whatever it wants from the remnants of Palestine for nothing that actually having to pay for something is an unheard of experience.

Jim MacDonald, Winnipeg, Manitoba

I find it veryyyyyyy interesting that no one is talking about the oil fields under Gaza……why is that? Why the hell do you think the Zionists insist in taking Gaza away from the Palestinians?

No one is talking about the pink elephant in the living room.

Ponce, Grants Pass, Oregon, USA

* Read all 36 comments

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War Crimes and the Hague: Moot

August 22, 2008

Georgia and Russia are now going to duke it out in the International Court of Justice, each accusing the other of ‘war crimes’. Ostensibly, this will take months to investigate on the ground, with Human Rights Watch observers getting an earful from both sides. In the end, there will likely be a stand off as both parties have incidences which they cannot justify.

This seems rather like the Judge Judy type of infraction when one considers the horrendous violation of human rights committed by the USA in Iraq. The Bush Administration has smugly redefined torture so that none of it’s atrocities are war crimes; not the horrible pictures coming out of Abu Ghraib, not the ‘rendition’ flights kidnapping prisoners all over the world, not the years of incarceration and torture of ‘detainees’ at Guantanamo, not the displacement of four million Iraqi citizens, not the bombing and destruction of irreplaceable historical sites in Iraq, not the rape and murder of an entire family in Haditha, to name but a few of the horrors USA troops have visited upon innocent people, guilty only of trying to live.

If any country should be the focus of the Hague Court, it should be the USA. There is a good reason why the Bush Administration refuses to recognise the authority of the international war crimes court; it is the most guilty of all. Is there a person in the world, besides Americans and their neo-con buddies, who does not know this? Yet the media conveniently ignores this elephant in the room.

This of course does not take into account the millions of people who have suffered and died as a result of America’s corporate imperialism in Central America, South America, Indonesia, Africa and Central Asia. First come the American corporations looking for resources; next comes the American military to guarantee access. This story has been repeated for a hundred years of USA’s ‘foreign policy’ in dozens of countries. In each case, the gullible public is flooded with propaganda about the spreading of democracy and USA championing it. If the measure of democracy is what America has, then the rest of the world had better take a pass.

The real reason for this debacle in Georgia is an oil pipeline. All the world leaders know this: how many people realize this when they are reading the fairytale propaganda the media feeds us about democracy? WW3 is coming up surely; but it is not about democracy, it is about the rights of oil companies like BP and Exxon, Shell to politically occupy countries where they have laid pipelines. It’s just ‘good business’.

The problem is that the human cost of this ‘good business’ is tremendous. Real people have suffered, starved, been maimed, lost family and homes to implement the long term business interests of the Oiligarchy which now runs the USA. These corporations are now multi-national and can sustain loss on one continent while tapping into new markets on another. The suffering of any given people, be it Americans at the gas pump or Iraqi women and children, homeless or dead, is just the cost of doing business for these masters of the universe.

It is unimaginable that many people still think Georgia-Russia is about democracy and war crimes. To a great extent, this view is force fed to the people, as journalism, a term which today has become synonymous with corporate and government ‘public relations’. People get to read the version of events they are meant to read to manipulate public opinion, while the powers that be can comfortably assume most people are too busy to research issues for a truer perspective.

They say the first casualty of war is truth; forgetting that is a critical mistake. This ought to be listed amoung the war crimes under jurisdiction at the Hague. When Europe and the USA start huffing about war crimes, perhaps they had better start with their own first. George Bush is guilty of so many war crimes that directly violate the Geneva Convention, it would be too long to enumerate them here. It hardly seems relevant to examine Georgia-Russia claims with the overwhelmingly atrocities of the Americans in Iraq unheard.

People of the world are getting smarter, and hopefully, Americans will. Bush has lied about every issue he has taken a stand on since he was elected, from WMD in Iraq to denying his own countries National Intelligence Estimate, which clears Iran of any intentions to produce nuclear weapons. And what kind of lie is this ‘Mission Accomplished’ rhetoric? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The way the world can tell if Bush and Rice are lying, is if their mouths are moving.

If the International Court of Justice cannot condemn the worst perpetrators of war crimes, the Bush Administration, then is has no moral standing to judge or condemn any other country. Worse than that; it is moot.