Tuesday, August 19, 2014

And Then, There is Israel

The only way the world can work, as smaller nations and groups gain power, is for all people in power to agree on some rules of conduct. We live in a day when almost anyone; groups of minorities, NGOs, unions, PACs or disgruntled dissentients can bring about disruption and pain to anyone in power, including the US.  Since WW II, even superpowers with huge military forces have failed to provide safety for their own population, much less for the world at large.

For this reason, world leaders came together and created such joint organizations as the United Nations, International Criminal Court in The Hague, and the Fourth Geneva Convention, all representing a set of rules by which the world might live in a civilized manner..

That was then. Now, there is Israel which shows little regard for International Law and yet insists on being blessed and excused by the world.

Mr. Dore Gold has a very difficult job.[1] It is to sanitize Israel’s campaign against the people of Gaza in face of a United Nations Human Rights Council investigation. Gold’s defense is, “You can’t go into any kind of legal proceedings when the judge and jury have decided you are guilty before you have even walked into the courtroom.”[2] In other words, kill someone in broad daylight before hundreds of witnesses and you can claim that the jury is prejudiced.

The  purpose of a court hearing is to discern the truth of what happened and who is responsible.  However, in the case of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, there is no question as to what happened and who is responsible.  Probably most of the world and anyone with access to a newspaper or TV has seen Israel’s guilt and has reacted with condemnation. What other judgment could be made by fair minded people when:

Again, F-16s, Apache helicopters and warships bombard the densely crowded Gaza Strip day and night, blowing apart apartment houses, offices and homes. Targets were chosen seemingly at random, and aimed at punishing the whole population – half of whom are children. During the first few days alone, fire from an offshore vessel killed four small boys as they played soccer on the beach. An air strike on a center for the disabled killed two patients and seriously injured four. A bomb destroyed a seaside cafĂ©, killing nine young men who were watching the World Cup. Another missile slammed into a mosque during the even Ramadan prayers and killed 18 worshippers.

Gold is right, at least as far as I am concerned. I don’t need a court to tell me this is wrong.

With no bomb shelters to protect them, and surrounded by closed borders and unable to escape, more than 1,200 Palestinians were killed  in the first 3 weeks, including at least 200 children. Six thousand Gazans were wounded. Meanwhile Israel had cut off electricity supplies to Gaza and destroyed sewage pipes, so raw sewage flowed in the streets. On July 20, one of the deadliest days, Israel tanks invaded the crowded Shejaiya sections of Gaza City and kept up a steady barrage of artillery fire, killing 87 Palestinians and filling the hospitals with shrapnel-torn bodies.[3]

As of this writing, more than 2,000 people have been killed, twice as many children than combatants.  

Again, Gold is right.  The massacre in Gaza has not gone unnoticed. In fact, according to Desmond Tutu, writing in Ha’aretz:

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.[4]

Hopefully the ICC and UN will condemn Israel for its war against an unarmed civilization even though I doubt that Israel will care as long as it is backed up by the United States. At least so far, neither has shown much regard for International law which declares that Israel is legally responsible for the welfare of the Palestinian population which it seems determined to reduce to rubble.  

                                                                                    Thomas Are
                                                                                    August 19, 2014


[1] Dore Gold is an Israeli diplomat who has served in various positions under several Israeli governments. He is the current President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He was also an advisor to the former Israeli Prime Minister  Ariel Sharon and to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  during his first term in office.
[2] Dore Gold, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 16, 2014
[3] Rachelle Marshall, Israel Again Wreaks Vengeance on Gaza, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September, 2014, p.8.
[4] Desmond Tutu, My Plea to the People of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine, Ha’aretz, August 14, 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you should return the land your churches and homes are build on to the native people of north American and go back to Europe.