Law and Disorder Radio – Nora Barrows-Friedman on Palestinian Children in Israeli Detention – Obama and Nuclear Weapons – Radhika Balakrishnan on Economic Human Rights – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

 Mumia Abu Jamal’s Birthday


Israeli Policy and Palestinian Children – Nora Barrows-Friedman

We talk today with Nora Barrows-Friedman, host of the radio show Flashpoints on KPFA in Berkeley, California. Nora spent the last month in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. She’s been investigating stories about the ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights and has been frequently traveling to Palestine since 2004. Today we look specifically at the Israeli policy against children from arresting, detaining, interrogating, torturing, imprisoning and beating children, some as young as 10. Nora says international laws designed to protect children, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, are being circumvented and violated on a daily basis.

Nora Barrows Friedman:

Kids randomly picked off the street, allegedly for throwing stones. The Israeli punishment is 10 years in prison for a child.

Israeli military can arrest (Palestinian only) children as young as 12. Right now there are 300 Palestinian children in Israeli prisons.

Hebron is a city where settlers have been given half of the old city, a settlement colony is inside the Palestinian community

These two young children were followed and taken into a military center inside the settlement colony.

This whole family had been destroyed by these illegal actions against these 2 brothers. The only recourse this family has is to take it to the Israeli military court. Motive: trying to get Palestinian families to leave.

This family lives in an area that settlers have their eye on, seems to be very deliberate.

There are hundreds of women in Israeli prisons, there’s a story where a woman gave birth in the prison, and the baby is now a prisoner.

Guest – Nora Barrows Friedman: Senior producer and co-host of KPFA’s Flashpoints.

Obama’s Plan for Elimination of Nation-Controlled Nuclear Power

Nine nations now have a combined total of more than 22,000 nuclear weapons. The United States has about 5,000 nuclear weapons. 500 of them are land-based warheads which can fly in three to four minutes after the order is given. President Obama recently hosted a nuclear security summit in DC with more than 45 foreign leaders. He traveled to Prague and signed a treaty that would cut the combined US and Russian stockpile by a third. Meanwhile, the US nuclear stockpiles have been shrinking for the last 40 years. We talk more about the current nuclear disarmament effort with attorney Peter Weiss, Vice-President, former President, of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.

Peter Weiss:

  • Leave the doomsday clock where it is. Reaffirming of the status quo. The agreement with Russia in reducing the nuclear weapons allowed each country from 2,200 to 1,500. They count all the warheads on a bomber plane as one, instead of 10 or 12 weapons.
  • Jimmy Carter: A single nuclear armed submarine had enough weaponry to destroy every Russian city of 100,000 or more.
  • Nuclear Posture Review – Zero document / “It’s difficult to operationalize a vision.”
  • Obviously there is a great danger of loose nukes. No one seems ready to adopt an anti-nuclear convention except the countries that don’t have nuclear weapons.
  • Conference in Riverside Church on May 1, 2010, United For Peace and Justice
  • The anti-nuke movment will be re-energized.
  • The US wants to be the sole repository of weapons-grade nuclear material, commitment from Chile and Canada, to ship WGNM to the US. That’s kind of weird, isn’t it?

Guest – Peter Weiss, former Vice President, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Vice President of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.


why human rights2 dees

Why Human Rights are Indispensable to Financial Regulation

Today we speak with Radhika Balakrishnan, Professor of Economics and International Studies at Marymount Manhattan College, about her recent article in the Huffington Post titled Why Human Rights are Indispensable to Financial Regulation. Balakrishnan enumerates the global human fallout from the world financial crisis. The World Bank estimates an additional 400,000 children will die before their fifth birthday, while those responsible for the turmoil are benefiting from bailouts and promotions. She references the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its inclusion of economic and social rights–that is the right to work, to education, to rest, to an adequate standard of living. Dr. Balakrishnan has also outlined steps for meaningful reform that we will also examine today. She is currently working on a project trying to use human rights norms to evaluate and construct macroeconomic policy.

Radhika Barakrishnan:

  • We pretend there is no criteria regulating (economic policies).  We argue in our piece that human rights have a way to set up an ethical basis and framework. Most people don’t know that human rights include economic and social rights.
  • In the United States the assumption is you can vote the people in to give you social and economic rights.
  • The idea that the market is this Greek Oracle that we can’t question. . . is a problem.
  • We’re saying there is a form of biased market regulation, where the state has the interest of the financiers and the banks and not those of the working people and the working class.  One example is the minimum wage.
  • The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate, one is to have price stability, the other is the right to work.
  • In the United States, we have not signed the Convenant on Economic and Human Rights.
  • The Federal Reserve is a government agency and the fact that they act in a cloak of secrecy is a real problem.
  • I think there is a great case to be brought, as far as freedom of information.
  • What kind of financial models are they using to make their decisions? This cloak of secrecy because of your independence to make monetary policy? But independence doesn’t mean secret.
  • Their Board of Governors are from the commercial banks–whose interest will they work for?
  • Bailout Bill – TARP / This went to financial agencies to give them the money. $720 billion overnighted to the Federal Reserve has not gone out? The stimulus money, for employment creation, though it was used for tax cuts.
  • Congress did not extend unemployment benefits for Spring recess.
  • The United States is coming up for the Universal Periodic Review in the Human Rights Council of Geneva
  • The Center for Women’s Global Leadership

Guest – Radhika Balakrishnan, Executive Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership and Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She has a Ph.D. in Economics from Rutgers University. Previously, she was Professor of Economics and International Studies at Marymount Manhattan College. She has worked at the Ford Foundation as a program officer in the Asia Regional Program. She is currently the Chair of the Board of the US Human Rights Network and on the Board of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). She has published in the field of gender and development.