Victor Kattan

Championing global human rights: interview with Richard Falk

Earlier this month, Israeli authorities deported Professor Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, who had arrived in the country to conduct his duties to investigate rights abuses in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Electronic Intifada contributor Victor Kattan interviews Falk about the motivation behind his deportation. 

The Hariri tribunal: A fait accompli?

The establishment of the tribunal for Lebanon as conceived in resolution 1757 also suffers from many legal and political imperfections. The question remains: would other possible alternatives — such as a tribunal established within Lebanon, which some Lebanese lawyers believe could have been accomplished whilst taking into account the peculiarities of the Lebanese legal system — be better? After all, the current deficiencies with the judicial system will not be ameliorated by the establishment of a new tribunal outside the country. Nisrine Abiad and Victor Kattan look at the legal aspects of the Hariri tribunal. 

Israel, Hezbollah, and the use and abuse of self-defence in international law

Self-defence is specifically mentioned in Article 51 of the UN Charter, and is effectively a derogation from the prohibition on the use of force contained in Article 2 (4). Whether or not Israel is acting in self-defence in Lebanon according to the Charter is a crucial question, as the implications of its actions could have negative ramifications beyond the Arab-Israeli conflict and spill over into other problem areas. I consider Israel’s self-defence argument an abuse of terminology that is not applicable to the facts at hand and has no justification in international law. 

London hosts conference "Palestine, Israel and the Law"

On Saturday 22 October, hundreds of people from all over the United Kingdom descended on the Institute of Education in Logan Hall, Bedford Way, London, to discuss Israel, Palestine and the law. For six hours delegates sat and listened as politicians, lawyers and governmental advisors took to the podium in front a banner carrying the name of the event’s organizers, the “Palestine Solidarity Campaign”. The speakers included Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Diana Buttu, Daniel Machover, Leah Tsemel. Victor Kattan and Mary Nazzal-Batayneh report for EI

Book Review: Sabra and Shatila 1982

Day and night, for three days in September 1982, a massacre took place in Sabra Street and Shatila refugee camp in a popular residential area of Lebanon’s capital Beirut. Even today, few people are aware of the scale and extent of the killings that took place for 43 consecutive hours some 23 years ago. Palestinians were the target of this massacre, but they were not the only victims. Arabs of other nationalities, Turks, Bangladeshis and Iranians were also killed in their homes, in the streets, or marched to Sports City where they were shot in hastily-dug death pits. 

Bridging Differences: The German-Israeli-Palestinian Trialogue "Youth for Understanding" 2005

In April 2005, almost 15 years since German reunification and some 60 years after the Second World War, 21 young journalists of German, Israeli and Palestinian origin, including myself, were invited to take part in a trialogue organised by the German Federal Government, the Goethe Institut and the Herbert-Quandt-Stiftung Foundation (the charitable arm of BMW). The purpose of the trip was to bring aspiring journalists together to produce a newspaper called “The Bridge”, to visit cultural institutions and to meet with government officials. 

BBC reporting doesn't tell the whole story

Tim Llewellyn was the BBC’s Middle East correspondent twice from 1976 - 1982 and from 1987 - 1992. Based in Beirut and Cyprus, Llewellyn covered the Lebanese civil war, the Iranian Revolution, the Tanker Wars, the first Palestinian intifada, and the first Gulf War. He was one of the first foreign correspondents to enter the camps of Sabra and Shatila after the massacres there by Phalangist Forces under the auspices of the Israeli army in September 1982. In this interview, exclusive to the Electronic Intifada, Llewellyn talks candidly about the BBC, and the pressures that organization and its correspondents are under, when reporting from the Middle East. 

"Zionism today is the real enemy of the Jews"

On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, 355 people cast a majority vote in favour of a motion that “Zionism today is the real enemy of the Jews” at a debate that took place on Tuesday 25 January at the Royal Geographical Society in London. The debate was organized by intelligence2 (the London Forum for Live Debate) sponsored by the Evening Standard - a local London newspaper. It was chaired by Richard Lindley, a veteran television reporter for ITN and the BBC

EU's pivotal role in Middle East peace

On 22 April 1980, during the hostage crisis in the American Embassy in Tehran, the EU imposed sanctions against Iran for violating the laws of diplomatic immunity. The EU acted after the Soviet Union vetoed a resolution in the UN Security Council that sought to impose sanctions on Iran. It justified its act by saying “the situation created a concern for the whole international community.” If the EU could then act without express authorisation from the Security Council, it could surely do so today. Victor Kattan reports.