News Release

Mideast Issues: *Iraq Sanctions * Sharon’s Record * Algeria


The UN Security Council is conducting a rare open meeting on Iraq today. Halliday is a former assistant secretary general of the UN and ex-head of the UN’s oil-for-food program in Iraq. He just returned from a visit to Iraq along with Hans von Sponek, who subsequently was head of the oil-for-food program. Halliday said today: “The people of Iraq have an expectation and right to dignity in their daily lives and a return to normalcy, not possible under the US/UK ‘smart sanctions’ proposals. Controls, lists and restrictions of civilian goods allowed into Iraq are not what make for a sound economy and contented people. These are families traumatized by an unending embargo and tragic loss of life within their immediate communities, together with fear of bombing in the so-called No Fly Zones.”

Professor of international law at Princeton University, Falk is co-editor of Crimes of War. He was featured in a recent BBC television documentary which investigated Ariel Sharon’s culpability for war crimes during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. He said today: “At the very moment that the U.S. is pressing Belgrade to turn Milosevic over to the Hague, it is busy entertaining a political figure who is similarly tainted. As Sharon meets with Bush today, we should remember that he is indictable for his conduct during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, specifically the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.”
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Siegel has worked with various Jewish peace groups and was a nurse at the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon during the massacres there in 1982. She said today: “Sharon was found indirectly responsible for the massacres by the Israeli Kahan Commission, which I testified before. His forces provided the flares, prevented the Palestinian civilians from escaping and allowed in the Phalangist forces — who, totally predictably, conducted the butchery. He is now prime minister of Israel and that’s a real cause for concern.”

Professor at Rutgers University and research co-chair of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, Turshen just returned from Algeria. She said today: “Last week a protest march of over 1 million people in Algiers ended in riots and looting. It was the latest and largest of the demonstrations that Algeria’s Berber-speakers have led since mid-April, demanding recognition of their culture and the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Now there is talk about autonomy for their area, Kabylia, and about humanitarian intervention to aid the Berbers. A breakup of the country would benefit oil interests in the West, which could take advantage of a weakened state to buy up the government-controlled oil and gas fields in the Sahara.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167