A boy rides his bicycle past houses in the Israeli settlements of Ofra, in the occupied West Bank February 6, 2017. © Reuters
These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:
Israel above the law?
Israel has approved the building of the first West bank settlement in 20 years. The timing of the announcement was in line with the ‘Land Day’ in a clear snub to the Palestinians. The announcement, plan and intention to build the settlement, named ‘Geulat Zion’ goes against all international laws, with the United Nations Security Council having recently passed a motion forbidding Israel to build new settlements. Israel’s blatant ignorance of the law is an insult to the United Nations, the international community, and more importantly, the Palestinians whose land Israel also selfishly occupies.
Where will Israel go next? With the arrival of the Pro-Settlement US Ambassador, David Friedman, it seems that little Israel has its big bully brother protect it, and hence declares itself above the law.
It’s been described as one of the most controversial scandals in modern US history. The disgraced former National Security Advisor of President Donald Trump says he’s ready to testify before the Congress about alleged secret ties between Trump campaign and Russia. But he has set an unusual condition for it: He wants legal immunity against what his lawyer has described unfair prosecution. “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.” Said a statement from Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner. His lawyer says the unfounded allegations against Flynn have led to a witch-hunt environment, and that seeking immunity is a reasonable move.
Land of the free?
In a land where social media, public image and the right to free speech, some of which is outrageous, is part and parcel of everyday life, the United States of America, whose new President was elected on the basis of free speech, has seen 19 states introduce bills curbing the right to free speech.
The very constitution that the United States was created on clearly states that free speech is a fundamental right, and goes as far as saying that the “United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances”.
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