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Bolivia cuts ties with Israel, seeks genocide charges against Israeli officials

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1055502.html


Last update - 19:36 14/01/2009
Bolivia cuts ties with Israel, seeks genocide charges against Israeli officials
By Reuters
Tags: gaza, hamas, bolivia

Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Wednesday that his country is breaking diplomatic ties with Israel over its 19-day-old campaign in Gaza, and said he will ask the International Criminal Court to bring genocide charges against top Israeli officials.




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Bolivia had diplomatic relations with Israel. [But] considering these grave attacks against...humanity, Bolivia will stop having diplomatic relations with Israel," Morales said in a speech before diplomats in the government palace.

"We haven't received official confirmation from the Bolivian government," the Israeli consul in La Paz, Roberto Nelkenbaum, told Reuters by telephone.

The diplomat said he was "surprised and sad" after hearing Morales' comments in local media and that the two countries have had good diplomatic relations for more than 50 years.

Israel launched the offensive in Gaza on Dec. 27, seeking to force the ruling Hamas militant group to stop rocket attacks on southern Israel.

Morales, a leftist, is a close ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who on Jan. 6 expelled Israel's ambassador in protest over the operation in Gaza.

Morales told the country's diplomatic corps that the Israeli attack seriously threatened world peace and he called for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his cabinet to face criminal charges.

Morales chided the United Nations' "Insecurity Council" for its lukewarm response to the crisis and said the UN General Assembly should condemn the invasion.

He also said President Shimon Peres should be stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize for failing to stop the invasion.

Morales and Chavez have worked to cultivate ties to Iran, which supports
Hamas. Morales met Tuesday with visiting Iranian officials, who gave him a letter from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thanking Morales for his previously voicing supporting for the Palestinians.

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While I think that it is great that some governments and leaders are not being scared to admit that they denounce the violence and war crimes that the Israeli government has done in Gaza, I still am a bit nervous.
It just saddens me to see countries end diplomatic ties. Now because I have Israel stamped on my passport, does this mean that I will not be allowed into Venezeula or Bolivia? (If worst comes to worse, I have an American passport, so I could get a new one, but it won't be for a while, since I don't have a lot of money).
Also, does this mean that anyone who holds an Israeli passport will not be allowed into Bolivia or Venezuela?

Through a previous discussion that I have had about diplomatic relations here on mepeace, one member told me that diplomatic relations really boils down to economic levels of trading and buisness-- pretty much artificial things. Not based on love, respect and actually trying to influence the other to help them solve things in a just diplomatic way.

Because my knowledge on how diplomatic relations work is limited, I always saw them as critical. I feel that it is imperative for countries to have diplomatic relations, in order to help the latter with their problems; be a helping hand; and try to forewarn them when their country is doing something bad.
I don't understand how having these two countries end diplomatic relations will solve anything.
The only way that peace ever occurred was when we had dialogue.

Maybe because I am not that well versed in international relations, I think that things are a lot simpler than things are.

It just really saddens me that the world is breaking apart, and is going crazy.

Were is the love, peace, justice and friendship?
FYI, Noam was able to get a visa to go to Venezuela this semester by talking to the Venezuelan ambassador here. :)
Really?
That's awsome!
Is he gonna study abroad there for the spring semester?
And was it hard for him to do so with an Israeli passport?
I mean if he is able to do it with an Israeli passport then I should be fine.
(I have an American passport with Israel stamped on it).
This accusation of "genocide" is unappropriate, it's not a genocide, it's a War Crime and a Crime against Humanity. We use Genocide for other situations (Armenians in Turkey, Jews in Europe, Tutsis in Rwanda) with a special case with Cambodia: autogenocide with Pol Pot and red Khmers against Cambodians...
I actually hope that the current israeli leaders will be judged and punished for War Crimes and Crime against Humanity, that's enough, i think...
I noticed that another member on this site posted a blog and asked us whether we think Israel's actions in Gaza were the following:

a) War Crimes
b) Genocide
c) Holocaust

I was a little hesitant, since due to my ignorance I don't know the exact definition for all of the above. I feel that Genocide is intential killing. Holocaust I feel has been associated with certain tragic events.
I want to go with a) War Crimes, since I feel that the whole war is based political reasons/aspirations, with the intent to rid Hamas out of power. (I feel that the political aspirations to overthrow Hamas rule in Gaza is somewhat analogous to how the US government wants to win the war in Iraq, with the idea that "they will not leave defeated." I understand where both sides are comming from in a romantic sense. I think that it's imperative to understand their reasoning, even if we don't agree with them). I know that it is much more than that, and that it's pretty complex.
I still feel a little bit confused and skeptical, kind of in a quagmire, since the bombing that the Israeli government did was out of the blue. I initially thought that it was out of malice to that so suddenly.
But I don't think that the Israeli government wants to exterminate all the Palestinians on this planet (sure maybe some of the extremist groups in Israel, or some of the militant settlers that live in Hebron, that my friends have told me about, when they visited Palestine). But doesn't extermination of a people = genocide?
I looked up the definitions for genocide and Holocaust, but the definitions seemed to be the same. So there seemed to be no difference between the two of them.
Dear Stephanie,

if you want to be less confused about the differences between these notions, please read these articles into the excellent Crimes of War Project : What the Public should know (i have the first edition of the book, translated in french):

1. Categories of War Crimes
2. Crimes against Humanity
3. Genocide

on the main page of this site you will find also new interesting articles about the situation in Gaza according to international laws.

Holocaust is not a category, and i think actually it's a very bad word, even to define the destruction of Jews in Europe during WWII. Because Holocaust is a religious term, with a dimension of sacrifice. This is the reason why historians in France prefer using the hebrew word Shoa (have you watched the essential documentary film of Claude Lanzman ?), or the periphrasis of Raoul Hilberg (Destruction of Jews in Europe)...

The political fantasm of Israeli Policy towards Palestinians since 1948 is the idea of transfert, a kind of ethnic cleansing... this is the reason why Israeli leaders can't accept the idea of Right of Return...

In my opinion, it's very clear, this new war in Gaza is the "once too often" war... So i wish now that my governement and all the European Union stop any collaboration with Israel (sports, culture, education, research, economy) and that all the people boycott all the products made in Israel. Like we did with South Africa during Apartheid even if it's not exactly the same situation. If Israel can't stop itself, we have to stop Israel by this decision...
Basil, does it make any difference to you that Israel is building mostly on Jewish land, purchased in the 1930s? As to "ethnic cleansing" it's clearly a term people like to chuck around loosely, like "apartheid" ... the problem with both is that 20% of Israelis are Arabs of the same ethnicity as the rest of the Palestinians. You may need to look for a different reason for the conflict. The ethnic cleansing of Jews from their homes on the West Bank in the 1920s and 30s might give you a clue. Most Arab countries don't have a single Jew, despite once large Jewish communities ... now, that my friend is ethnic cleansing.
Hi Vincent,

Israelis who chose an ideology of "Transfer" have always been a tiny extremist minority ... I'm troubled that you would judge an entire nation by them. "Right of return" is a very separate issue, but it troubles many when Palestinians demand both a state of their own and right of return to Israel for millions of Palestinians. One has to do with self-determination, the other opposes that ideal. The only way the two can live concurrently is if your aim is to destroy Israel, for it provides you with three fronts. A land of your own adjacent to Israel from which to launch an attack (much like Gaza became), a demographic attack in which Jews cease to be a majority in their own land (exactly what happened to Christian Lebanon), and a fifth column who can destroy Israel from within. Vincent, you really don't need to go into obscure ideologies to understand that it really doesn't matter how much pain Europe inflicts on Israel through boycotts, it can change nothing, because Israel has no choices.

Now if you could get rid of Hamas, Fatah and the rest of the terrorist infrstructure whose sole reason for being is to destroy Israel, if the Palestinians could then have a referendum to decide their own future ... you'd be well on your way to peace and harmony.
Hi Mick,

Don't you think that all along Israel history you can see explicit idea and implicit idea of transfer ? If you read carefully what i wrote, i spoke about a fantasm, an obscure desire. No time to find for you all the quotes from your leaders, like Golda Meir for example... Just consider please the meaning of the building of the Wall which doesn't follow exactly green line, and give an impossible life to dozen of thousands palestinians. It's a "soft" transfer: or your life is impossible or you leave...
Now about the incompatibility between the demand (the word is so bad, due to the weakness of Palestine with a gaza strip on siege and an occupied west bank...) of a State and the demand of ROR... durong all negociations, no way with Israel to discuss the status of east Jerusalem, the possibility of a ROR, even symbolic, because Israel can't face up the conditions of his birthing... Not yet... But i'm quite optimistic... One day, Israel will have to officially recognize his responsabilities in the expulsion of million Palestinians... Now it's too late for a massive ROR, you know it, i know it... So face up your own History, like France face up his own History and recognize the responzability of Vichy collaborationist State during Nazi occupation for the deportation of french jews to the extaermination camp...
I never judge an entire nation, because i defend the right of the existence of israel too, but not like a colonialist country... I have just a political opinion about your leaders, like i have a political opinion about french or chinese leaders, and i don't mix with civilian population, NEVER...
You say that you don't care about a boycott and international sanctions. Ok, let's try... And i think you are wrong, because one day, USA will leave you too, and it will be the beginning of chaos for you. And i'm so sad for my israeli friends if something like that will happen :( . Without political support of USA, Israel is not viable, you know it, i know it... This war in Gaza it is also for me the suicide of Israel... and i don't like that, be sure...

I don't understand what you mean by "obscure ideologies" :) Can you explain please ?

And about your last paragraph, if i understand well, you want ALSO control palestinian policy ??? You give yourself the right to choose who has to represent Palestinians, even when they vote for Hamas or Fatah ??? In my opinion, all the palestinians are for you potential terrorists... So no way to discuss with you... Hamas and Fatah (i fight both, one because it's a religious movement, the other because of its corruption) are not terrorists movements, they are nationalist movements, like your... zionist movement :) and i'm internationalist :)

Shalom,
Vincent
Sorry it's taken a while to get back to your comment, Vincent, I missed it before. I would ask, though, that in discussing these things that you don't interpret what I mean, that will only lead to misunderstanding, ask, and I'm happy to tell you what I mean. For example, I'm a firm believer in democracy and the Palestinian right to choose whatever they like (except to destroy Israel, or kill, or impose on somebody else's rights in that way). I simply expressed my belief that Palestinians would choose differently if given the chance, especially since Hamas intriduced Islamic hudud punishments to the Strip, from amputations and stonings, to crucifixions and hangings, just a few weeks ago. But I could be wrong.

Perhaps you're right with your "phantasm", as you call it, and there is a tiny part of the Israeli psyche that wishes there were no Palestinians there to endanger their children, but, if it exists at all, it has no real bearing. There is a huge move throughout Israel to provide help to the Gazans.

I note that your commentary and blame goes entirely to Israel. Nowhere do you criticise Hamas for their stated desire to eradicate Israel, and their efforts to do just that, nor in your compassion for the Palestinians do you ever deal with what Hamas is doing to them, and the abuse of Palestinian children by brainwashing them to be martyrs through cute children's programs on TV, mosques and schools. A chill runs down my spine when I hear a sweet 7 year old say "I want to kill Jews, they are the descendants of pigs and monkeys" ... yet you seem OK with it all. Nowhere have I seen you mention any problem with the years of rocket attacks on the civilians of Israel. Is little Ofer from Sderot who wanted to be a soccer player but has now lost his legs to Hamas rockets really irrelevant to you? Do you believe that Israel should put up with that.

As for the ROR (Right of return, I'm guessing), there is no such "right" in international law. What the law does say is that a country can choose between compensation and return (or both) and Israel chose compensation, which has been an Israeli law since its establishment. It is, by the way, exactly what Holocaust survivors were offerd by the various European countries. There is also the logical anomally of a ROR argument on many levels. If you are arguing for self-determination, as the Palestinians do, then ROR runs contrary to the idea of building your own environment to further your desire to express yourself as a Palestinian. At the same time, it denies the Israeli right to do the same as a Jewish nation, with its own different shared values.

For somebody who holds these values so strongly, Vincent, it surprises me that you are OK with the ehtnic cleansing of Jews that took place throughout the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, and you don't uphold the settlers ROR to the properties they own there. Why is that?
Who does it pleasure you replace Hamas, Fatah with? Peace and harmony will not exist as long as Israel practices Eminent Domain, Destiny, Manifest Destiny (call it what you will) . I see this evening Netenhayu says if he's elected he wants more settlers in the West Bank. That's a pretty amazing campaign promise, don't you think? How does that move into peace?

The Israeli people are about to show the world whether they want war or peace.

Israel is bright enough to understand it's choices. Otherwise; Israel wouldn't have launched this latest attack Christmas when there were thousands of Americans in Palestine on Pilgrimage if that wasn't the message they wanted the world, particularly the USA to see.

There are lots of choices other than 3 weeks of raining hell on people; and now Hamas is paying the survivors of the war. Why didn't Israel see this coming? Of course they saw it. Why do they intentionally endear Hamas to the people of Gaza? I don't understand it; but I'm coming a few thousand years late to this.

If Israel didn't have choices why did they withdraw from Gaza on Obama's inaugeration day?

Israel became the Iran of the Reagan inaugeration.

Choices??????????????? That is all they have.

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