Israel's War Crimes and "Change we can believe in

Published on Thursday, January 15, 2009

Israel's War Crimes and "Change we can believe in"

Andrew Hughes

Once again, Israel is in the midst of murder and wanton destruction in Palestine. Gaza, after being starved of food, shelter, medical supplies and electricity, is again the stage for mass murder, the likes of which would normally elicit cries of protest the world over. However, the warped zeitgeist that currently pollutes reactions to Israeli violence has led to the usual commentaries of moral equivalency. The fact that the Palestinians had abided by the ceasefire agreement since the Fatah Hamas conflict in June 2007, but Israel broke it on November 5th this year is never mentioned in mainstream media. The same selective reporting was dominant during Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 2006 as Israel unleashed carnage and destruction upon a defenseless civilian population. What makes Israel immune to prosecution for crimes that are broadcast live on TV? Millions are bearing witness, millions are protesting in all corners of the world but we are left with the official judgment that Israel is only reacting to threats to its national security. After turning the Gaza strip in to the world's largest open air prison for 1.4 million souls and bleeding the inmates dry, unleashing a multibillion dollar military onslaught is now officially, in the western media, legitimate self defense. And all because the Palestinian people actually had the temerity to vote for Hamas instead of the Israeli controlled Fatah party. Democracy in action in the "only democracy in the Middle East".

The time for any sympathy for Israel has long since passed. The approval from George Bush, the cowardice of Gordon Brown, Nicholas Sarkozy and "there is only one President" Obama constitute an abrogation of moral law and acquiescence to mass murder.  It's no big surprise from the first three in the list but Obama's "no comment" on this matter compared to his endless hours of speeches on his new vision for America, bodes ill for the universally expected "Change". The U.S. has paid Israel over $1 Trillion since its inception and, by continuing to support this apartheid regime, is complicit in Israel's crimes. The latter charge, though morally obvious, is difficult to prove in a court of law but Israel's crimes are not.

Israel signed the Geneva Convention on 7th June, 1951. For the Convention to have any value, Israel must be charged and made to stand trial in The Hague under the following sections.

Article 3 states "that even where there is not a conflict of international character the parties must as a minimum adhere to minimal protections described as: noncombatants, members of armed forces who have laid down their arms, and combatants who are hors de combat (out of the fight) due to wounds, detention, or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, with the following prohibitions:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) Taking of hostages; (c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."   (a) Bombing of police stations, schools, ambulances, power plants and hospitals are designed to murder civilians indiscriminately. (b) Israel's routine abduction of men, women and children in to Israeli detention camps. The number of such prisoners is 700,000 since 1967. (c) Israeli soldiers routinely prevent pregnant women from receiving proper hospital treatment resulting in infant mortality, miscarriages and death. (d) Israel's "targeted killings" of Hamas leaders constitutes murder.

Article 33 states "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.

Pillage is prohibited.

Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited."

The unrelenting and merciless collective punishment of the Palestinian people has taken the form of..

(a) Destruction of Palestinian dwellings to make room for illegal settlements

(b) Destruction of Olive groves on Palestinian land and its resultant decimation of livelihoods.

(c) Bombing of a Palestinian power station collectively punished all Gaza inhabitants. Basic sanitation works were severely impacted.

(d) Blockading of medical supplies and food which left Palestinians eating grass for sustenance.

Israel has had resolutions passed against it since 1947 without any real enforcement. The sequence of resolutions below illustrates the complete lack of commitment of the United Nations to force Israel to comply with anything..

Resolution 636: " ... 'deeply regrets' Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians. Resolution 641: "... 'Deplores' Israel's continuing deportation of Palestinians. Resolution 672: "... 'Condemns' Israel for "violence against Palestinians" at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Resolution 673: "... 'Deplores' Israel's refusal to cooperate with the United Nations. Resolution 681: "... 'Deplores' Israel's resumption of the deportation of Palestinians. Resolution 694: "... 'Deplores' Israel's deportation of Palestinians and calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return. Resolution 726: " ... 'strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of Palestinians. Resolution 799: ". . . 'Strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of 413 Palestinians and calls for their immediate return.

The proposed resolution to stop the current round of carnage was vetoed by the U.S. right on cue. Once again Israel is given the green light to destroy everything in its path.

If we are to believe in the "change" so vociferously expounded upon then let it start with justice. Justice with regard to Israel has not been served. The new administration has a chance in 2009 to rectify this egregious breach of common decency and to inspire the world with hope. If it continues to morally and financially support this murderous, apartheid regime, how is anyone expected to believe that "change" is really on the horizon?

The Slaughter will Continue after these Messages

Politics and reality. The two are woven like two disparate threads in to a garment that attempts to fit all.

Belief in what comes out of the mouths of politicians is a flaw that has led to the justification of horrendous acts that ordinary people would never normally tolerate. Politicians, supported by a bought and paid for media machine, have an uncanny ability to distort reality and that which would be normally morally repugnant to a reasonable person becomes acceptable on the grounds of the perceived exigencies of the day.

Thus we have the wanton slaughter of children justified by "self defense"; the justification of wanton slaughter justified by what happened on 11 September 2001; wanton slaughter justified by the need for natural resources. We are looking at the death of moral obligation and the respect of one's neighbor. These are indeed dark days when someone has to spend hours recounting historical facts, not politically polite half truths, to impress upon someone that burning a five year old child to death with molten phosphorous is actually not such a humane thing to do.

Looking at the mainstream reporting from Gaza right now, one has to leave one's conscience at the door and don the hat of an ignorant dolt to lap up the mendacious palaver that passes for impartial reporting these days. Would anyone seriously want to murder a child ? Well, looking at the various commentaries around the print and internet media, one would have to assume that it's perfectly OK. If it was not OK then the evident crime would be pointed out and outrage would ensue. But, alas, no.

We have been informed by the almighty ones that.."Well, if someone was firing rockets at my family, then I would retaliate". What would they say if their family had been treated like beasts for generations, had seen their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, sons and daughters ripped apart limb from limb with no accountability, with no punishment, with the act been supported by a conspiratorial alliance that is secretly beholden to the murderer ? The human reaction would be to strike back and to seek justice. Blaming the victim has been the justification since time immemorial. The Romans used it; the Catholic church used it; The Crusaders used it; the U.S.cavalry used it; the Zionists use it.

Enough already! The solution to the problems in the near East is very simple. Stop trying to steal their land. Stop treating them like sub-humans. There is no middle ground; there is no "ceasefire agreement". there is no "peace process". There is only Truth. There is only Justice. The slaughter will continue after these messages.

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Andrew Hughes is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
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