Israel’s Impunity For War Crimes
By Ghali Hassan
05 December, 2009
Does the death of a Palestinian worth the same as that of a Jew? For six decades, Israeli Jewish leaders with utter impunity have been killing defenceless Palestinians and justifying their crimes as “self-defence” of Israel and all Jews. Absolving the Israeli regime of culpability of war crimes has always been a U.S.-Western ritual. The message is: Jews are above the law and killing Palestinians is Israelis’ right to commit war crimes.
In December/January this year, Israeli occupation forces indiscriminately attacked Gaza (a Nazi-like concentration/death camp of 1.5 million Palestinians) from land, sea and air, using all kinds of weapons, including illegally banned weapons. More than 1,400 Palestinians – the overwhelming majority (85 per cent) civilians, one third of them children – were killed and some 5000 civilians were seriously wounded and maimed for life. At least 225 innocent civilians were killed instantly in the first few minutes of the attacks as school children returning home and police cadets attending graduation ceremony. Only eleven Israeli soldiers (four by ‘friendly-fire’) and three civilians were killed during the 22-day premeditated massacre.
The destruction to vital civilian infrastructure was barbaric and beyond imagination. Israel’s primary targets were: food storages and food production facilities, factories, agricultural land, drinking water treatment plants, electric power generators, private homes, hospitals, schools and school children, universities, ambulances and mosques. The aims of the attack were not only to terrorise the Palestinian population, but also to cause them great suffering. Israel is teaching the Palestinians a lesson, lauded the New York Times, Zionism’s most influential propaganda organ in the U.S. It is “an all-out war on the Palestinians”, declared Ehud Barak, Israeli Defence Minister and one of Israel’s war criminals who planned and executed the massacre. Barak’s crimes confirmed by the brave Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert in Gaza as he witnessed Israel’s “[a]ll out war against the civilian population of Gaza”. The attacks on civilians were consistent with Israel’s sixty years long history of violence in Palestine. Israeli leaders have always targeted the Palestinian civilian populations, deliberately and purposely.
The unprovoked aggression against a defenceless and starving population unleashed world-wide outrage by civil societies and individuals that forced the United Nations (UN) to conduct its own inquiry into the massacre. The Goldstone Report – named after the lead jurist of the “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict”, Justice Richard Goldstone – found that Israeli leaders, who planned and executed the attacks, have committed flagrant war crimes and crimes against humanity during the attacks on Gaza by using "disproportionate” force. The Report also accused Israeli leaders of deliberately targeting civilians, including using civilians as human shields to protect Israeli soldiers. Justice Goldstone, a self-described South African Jewish-Zionist and an avowed supporter of Israel was chosen because of his “integrity” and “expertise” as the first prosecutor serving Western powers at the International Criminal Court for Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. The Report also accused the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS of war crimes.
The Report warned Israeli leaders that the persecution of the Palestinian people constitutes a grave breach of international human rights law and recommended the case against Israel be transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The Report also confirmed the findings of previous reports by several Western and non-Western human rights organisations, such as; Human Rights Watch, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and the National Lawyers Guild. Like the Goldstone report, all these reports show clearly that Israeli forces deliberately and purposely targeted civilians and vital civilian infrastructure.
As always, the U.S. and Israel have condemned the Report as one-sided and biased. They made concerted efforts to undermine the Report’s findings and to deflect attention away from Israeli criminality. According to a variety of legal experts, the Goldstone Report is balanced and supports Israel’s argument. “Any fair reading of the report would show that it was balanced, took full and sensitive account of Israel’s arguments relating to security, and indeed gave Israel the benefit of the doubt on some key issues”, writes Richard Falk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and a professor of International Law at Princeton University.
Alarmed by world-wide condemnation of its war crimes, Israel and Israel's Zionist defenders resorted to using the “anti-semitism” brush to smear and silence anyone critical of Israel’s terror. The Nazi holocaust – exploited as the “Jewish holocaust” – is resurrected – as if the Palestinians are guilty of it – and exploited by Zionists to justify Israel’s crimes. Critics of Israel’s terror are accused of being "anti-semitics" and “holocaust deniers” for rightly comparing Israel’s terror with the Nazis’ and Zionism with Nazism. Even Justice Goldstone, a respected Jewish jurist and a devoted supporter of Israel, is accused of being “anti-semite”. Anti-semitism is invoked because it has been proved to be Israel’s greatest asset and serves Israel’s Zionist interests. It makes Israel looks like a victim and legitimises Israel’s violence against the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Government is fighting tooth-and-nail to absolve the Israeli regime of war crimes. On November 03, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives – the lower house of the U.S. Congress – overwhelmingly (344-36) approved a resolution (H. Res. 867) condemning the Goldstone Report findings and recommendations and called on President Barack Obama “to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the Report”. The non-binding vote defended Israel’s aggression and war crimes against the Palestinians as determined by the UN Human Rights Council. The Resolution, written primarily by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Jewish-Zionist agency that lobbies on behalf of the state of Israel, also endorses Israel’s “right” to pre-emptively attack Syria and Iran. It is a fraudulent and dishonest resolution designed to encourage violence, protect war criminals and reject international humanitarian law. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (R. Ohio) rightly accused the House of “covering up” Israel’s war crimes and sabotaging peace. It is important to remember that the U.S. government not only approved the Israeli attacks on Gaza, but also shipped more weapons (300 tons of ammunition), including cluster bombs to Israel before and during the attacks.
As the U.S. and Israeli governments continue their campaign to discredit the Goldstone Report and absolve Israel of culpability of war crimes, the “Palestinian Authority (PA)” – the Vichy Regime in the Occupied Territories – was the first to fall in line. Mahmoud Abbas, as head of the Collaborationist Authority succumbed to U.S.-Israeli threats and blackmails and has agreed not to refer the Report to the UN General Assembly for possible action on all the recommendations of the UN Mission into the Gaza massacre. It was a cowardice act, a betrayal of the Palestinians aspiration, because it allows Israel and Israeli criminals to get away with war crimes.
"The Palestinians [the Vichy Regime of Mahmoud Abbas] have betrayed their people, this was a moment when finally the international community indorsed the allegations of war crimes and it would have been an opportunity to vindicate the struggle of the Palestinian people for their rights under international law and for the Palestinian representatives in the UN themselves to seem to undermine this report is an astonishing development", said Professor Richard Falk. The Abbas regime has since agreed to Palestinians’ and international demands and made a U-turn to refer the Goldstone Report to the UN Security Council.
It was not the first time that the PA has been an instrument of Israel’s violence. Since its creation by Israel and the U.S. as a result of the disastrous Oslo accords in 1993, the PA provided the fig leaf for the Israeli Occupation. It has been the enforcer of the day-to-day security in the same way Jews in France collaborated with the Nazis during the Nazis’ occupation of France. Just before the attacks on Gaza, PA security forces went training by the C.I.A. under General Keith Dayton and Israeli assassins aimed at inciting civil war and toppling the HAMAS Administration in Gaza (For more see: David Rose, the Gaza Bombshell, Vanity Fair, April 2008). And when the PA collaborators failed to topple HAMAS, they colluded with Israeli forces to suppress any Palestinians uprising in the West Bank during Israel’s unprovoked aggression.
However, despite an aggressive campaign by the U.S. and Israel, the UN General Assembly has on 04 November 2009 voted by a margin of 114 to 18 (with 4 abstentions) to adopt the Report. Earlier on October 16, 2009 the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, which sponsored the Fact Finding Mission, voted by 25 to six to refer the Report to the Security Council. The Report has already been endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council. It was a new development giving the U.S.-Israeli fierce opposition.
While the Goldstone Report holds Israel accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity – which is a new development and a good start –, the Report puts Israel’s monstrous war crimes at the same level with Palestinian legitimate resistance. The misrepresentation of unprovoked attacks by the world fifth largest army on defenceless civilian population as a “war” designed to manipulate public opinion and justify Israel’s ongoing war crimes against the Palestinian people. There is no symmetry. Judge Goldstone is trying to apply the law of war to a massacre in a death camp that has been under genocidal siege for three years. Israeli soldiers, who participated in the massacre, described Gaza as a “moral twilight” and the massacre of defenceless women and children “like a child with magnifying glass burning ants”. The Israeli journalist, Gideon Levy of the Israeli daily Ha’aretz observed: “It was a Sabra and Chatila, this time carried out by us”. Levy was referring to the massacre of more than 2000 Palestinian civilians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila by the Israeli-controlled Phalangists (Christian militias) in Lebanon in 1982.
Further, the Report scathes on the indiscriminate use of illegal weapon of mass destructions (WMD), such as “depleted uranium” (DU), white phosphorous, dense inert metal explosive (DIME) and cluster bombs, which aimed at terrorising the civilian population and contaminate the environment. Unmentioned in the Report is the six decades of Israel’s terror and occupation. The Report also expressed concern about the welfare of Gilat Shallot, the Israeli POW held by Palestinians. However, the Report ignored the welfares of 11,000 Palestinians, including 149 women and 423 children, illegally imprisoned and routinely tortured by Israeli forces. While some imprisoned for their legitimate resistance and social activities, the majority of the prisoners have been held without charge and without trial. (See: Silvia Nicolaou-Garcia, The Conditions of Palestinian Women and Children in Israeli Jails, Middle East Monitor, September 2009). Like the German Nazi regime, the Israeli regime uses so-called “Administrative Detention” – Palestinian held in prison without charge and with no access to fair trial – to crush the Palestinian popular resistance to Israel brutal and oppressive occupation.
The Report endorses Israel’s pretext of “self-defence” even when Israel violated a ceasefire agreement on November 04, 2008 by deliberately killing several innocent Palestinian citizens in order to initiate retaliation and justify the attacks. According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Publicly, Hamas leaders have stated time and again that the lull is a Palestinian national interest. On several occasions, Hamas members have arrested Fatah operatives who were involved in firing at Israel and confiscated their arms”. Ehud Barak admitted on Thursday November 20, 2008, that "the recent wave of rocket attacks are a result of our operations, which have resulted in the killing of twenty Hamas gunmen” (See: Shmulik Hadad, Qassam lands in Western Negev, no injuries, Ynetnews). Hence, Israel’s attacks on Gaza have nothing to do with Palestinian rockets and self-defence. In fact, Israeli propaganda prepared and sold the attacks on Gaza months before the attacks began.
Legally, Israel’s claim of self-defence is baseless propaganda and inconsistent with the law and facts, said Richard Falk. Under international law, Israeli has no right to use violence as self-defence, but to abide by international law and ends the occupation of Palestinian land.
Falk writes: “[The Report] added little to what was previously known. Arguably, it was more sensitive to Israel's contentions that Hamas was guilty of war crimes by firing rockets into its territory than earlier reports had been. And in many ways the Goldstone report endorses the misleading main line of the Israeli narrative by assuming that Israel was acting in self-defence against a terrorist adversary. The report does describe the success of the ceasefire with Hamas that had cut violence in southern Israel to very low levels, and attributes its disruption to Israel's attack on 4 November 2008, but nowhere does it make the inference that would seem to follow, that the Israeli attacks were an instance of the international crime of aggression. Instead, the report focuses its criticism on Israel's excessive and indiscriminate uses of force”.
Falk points to the Report failure to condemn Israel unprovoked aggression: “The report takes for granted, the dubious proposition that Israel was entitled to act against Gaza in self-defence, thereby excluding inquiry into whether crimes against the peace in the form of aggression had taken place by the launching of the attack. In this respect, the report takes no notice of the temporary ceasefire that had cut the rocket fire directed at Israel practically to zero in the months preceding the attacks, nor of Hamas' repeated efforts to extend the ceasefire indefinitely provided Israel lifted its unlawful blockade of Gaza … By ignoring Israel's initiation of a one-sided war the Goldstone report accepts the dubious central premise of Operation Cast Lead, and avoids making a finding of aggression”. It follows that the Report is prepared to appease Israeli war criminals.
Regarding the besieged civilian population of Gaza, Falk noted: “Also, disappointing was the failure of the report to comment upon the Israeli denial of a refugee option to the civilian population trapped in the tiny, crowded combat zone that constitutes the Gaza Strip. Israel closed all crossings during the period of the Gaza War, allowing only Gaza residents with foreign passports to leave”. In fact, Gaza has been under a genocidal blockade for three years, before and during the massacre, with no possibility of escape for those who can. It is a death camp.
As mentioned earlier, Israel rejected the Report’s findings and recommendations. With most mainstream media outlets controlled by pro-Israel Zionists, a massive propaganda campaign to cover-up Israel’s barbaric image and put a positive spin on the horror stories that emerged from the attacks is continuing. “We don’t kill and we have not killed children in Gaza”, said President Shimon Peres, Israel’s most recognised fascist. Israeli leaders protested that Israel is a “democracy” and therefore capable of conducting its own criminal investigation. Criminal prosecutions are rare in Israel because Israel practices a culture of impunity. The so-called “military inquiries are used to avoid criminal investigation” and provide Israel with a civilised human face. The purpose of the military inquiries is to undermine international calls for legal actions and justice for the Palestinians. Previous investigations proved to be fraudulent and have been condemned as lacking independence and impartiality. The Israeli justice system is a racist, anti-Palestinians and corrupt system. An international criminal tribunal is the best place to prosecute Israeli war criminals.
Let’s be very clear. Israel is not a democracy. It is a militarised racist religio-ethnocracy that espouses a Nazi-like ideology – the Hitlerian concept of state. Israel could not have come into existence without perpetual violence, racism, ethnic cleansing and the obliteration of Palestinian identity and Palestinian culture. For six decades, Palestinians have been denied their identity as human beings. Israel’s aim has always been to cleanse the Palestinians from their homeland and establish a monoethnic/monoreligious Jewish-Zionist state to dominate the region by force. The expropriation of Palestinian land is not incidental or accidental racism, but the carefully thought out ideological racism of a racist state that intends to exterminate the Palestinian native population. Over the years, Israel has become more racist, more brutal and more violent towards the Palestinians. The Israeli society is a barbaric anti-Muslims/anti-Arabs society where 82 per cent of Israel’s Jewish population approved the Gaza massacre. (For more see: Gideon Levi, One Racist Nation, Ha’aretz, 27 March, 2006).
The Israeli regime is a coalition of corrupt far-right and religious-fascist parties that embodied the extremes of Nazism. The regime sees violence as the only tool for its existence in a territory that is religiously and ethnically diverse. From its inception, Israel was destined to be a replica of Nazi Germany with too many aspects of the Nazi ideology – its dehumanising of non-Jews, its anti-semitism, its pure Jewish race doctrines, its Jewish nationalism, its militarization of society, its Zionist conquest, its conception of Jewish geopolitical supremacy – are compatible with the key tenets of Nazism. Throughout Israel’s history, clones of Adolf Hitler have dominated the Israeli regime (military and politics) and pursued a Nazi-like ideology of persecution of the Palestinians and expropriating Palestinian land. In addition to its stockpile of WMD that is often used on defenceless Palestinian women and children, the Israel regime has its finger on the button of several hundred nuclear bombs, hidden from the public by Western complicity in Israel’s war crimes.
Anyone supports the state of Israel in its current form and its brutal repression of the Palestinian people is a self-identified fascist lacking morality. “I don’t think there is one moral person in the world who supports what Israel stands for”, said the Israeli-born history scholar, Ilan Pappe. The Israeli regime is rightly seen by the rest of the world’s population as a major threat to world peace, including an "existential" threat to many nations in the region like Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. "Israel is number one threat to Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses", said the outgoing Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei. According to the Global Peace Index Ranking, out of 141 countries, Israel ranks as the fourth least peaceful country.
Despite the serious threat posed by Israel to world peace, the Israeli regime is unconditionally supported, politically and financial by major Western countries, thanks to a powerful Jewish-Zionist Lobby that controls the centres of power and finance in the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. government, in particular, is the unquestionable supporter and defender of Israel’s terror because U.S. (Middle East) foreign policy is completely controlled by Zionist Jews and supporters of Israel. The U.S. Congress (known as the Israeli Knesset in Washington) is an anti-Arabs/anti-Muslims club of wealthy Judeo-Christian and pro-Israel Zionists.
In addition to endorsing every criminal act by Israel, the U.S. provides Israel between $3 billion to $6 billion in federal loan guarantees. The money is used by the Israeli regime to kill Palestinians women and children, and build Jewish “settlements” (colonies) on illegally-occupied Palestinian land. This massive unconditional financial support has cost U.S. taxpayers around $84,854,827,200 since 1949. In other words, the U.S. is paying $14,346 for each man, woman and child in Israel. Meanwhile, a third of American citizens, including some fifty million without health insurance, live in poverty (For more, see: Richard Curtiss: The Cost of Israel to US Taxpayers, If Americans Knew, 03 October 2009). Israelis must be the only people on the planet that are rewarded for their crimes.
When it comes to financing the Jewish-Zionist state, almost every Western nation is complicit. Germany is the second highest provider of weapons and money to Israel. Britain (the Arabs’ most virulent and racist enemy) and France are just behind Germany followed by other Western nations who are unconditionally financing Israel’s terror and racist ideology. Politically, the Israeli Zionist regime is not only supported by Western governments and mainstream parties, but also by every fascist and far-right racist party and organisation in Europe and the U.S.
Furthermore, Israel is unconditionally supported by one-sided, well-oiled and Nazi-like propaganda machine provided by the Zionists-controlled Western media, including CNN, the BBC and the fascist Murdoch propaganda. Israel can also count on war criminals like former Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair to defend its criminal policy globally. In addition, most Western countries grant Israeli soldiers – with Palestinians blood on their hands – “Working-Holidays visas” to “recuperate” and work in Europe and other Western countries after completing their military service in the Israeli Occupation Army. Palestinians cannot even move between towns and villages in their own land, let alone go abroad. Of course, European governments pretend it is a “humanitarian” gesture to promote peace in Palestine, while at the same times they are participating in the genocidal siege of the Palestinian population in Gaza, depriving them of food, water and every basic necessity to live a normal life. Hence, Israeli war crimes and its policies are committed with the overt complicity of the U.S. government and its Western allies.
Compare this lavish “aid” meted to Israel with the U.S. aid to the Palestinians. Recently, the Obama Administration has announced it will withdraw its entire $900 million aid to the Palestinians if the unity government doesn’t “recognize Israel’s right to exist” as a Jewish-Zionist state and submit to a brutal Jewish occupation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Mahmoud Abbas the U.S. Congress won’t approve Palestinian aid unless the Palestinian government also renounces violence. No such conditions have been imposed on Israel to renounce its daily terror against the Palestinians. Successive Israeli governments refuse to renounce violence and have never recognised the rights of the Palestinians. Recognising Israel’s “right to exist” means recognising Israel as a legitimate and oppressive Jewish-Zionist occupier of Palestinian land in the heart of the Arab region.
Shamefully, the Arab regimes remain silent and most Arab regimes pretend to look the other way when Israelis murder Palestinian women and children. The brutal Egyptian regime is taking the lead by being the most shameful collaborator with the Israelis against the Palestinians. And because the Arab regimes are divided like never before, deserting Islam – drowning in a deep sea of Western-style corruption – and remain subservient to U.S. imperialism, Israel has a carte blanch to continue dominating the region and annex all of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, Israel and its Zionist supporters will continue pursuing their Zionist ideology as long as Muslim and Arab nations remain divided and do not speak in one voice. It is now more important than ever – when Islam and Muslims are under attack by U.S.-Zionist forces –, that Arab and Muslim nations abandon the politics of serving imperialist interests and unit against U.S.-Israel Zionist agenda.
Taking advantage of Arabs’ divisions and weakness, U.S. President Barack Obama even went as far as calling on all Arab nations to “normalise” relations with Israel on Israel’s terms. Obama was deliberately ignoring the Arab League demands (the Saudi Peace Plan) for a full Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestinian lands to the 1967 borders as well as a just resolution to the refugees in exchange for recognition and normalisation of relations.
It is misleading to suggest that President Obama is the product of “Black struggle” in America. President Obama is a product of the U.S. ruling class. Indeed, the white elites proudly proclaim that Obama is a black man “raised the right way”. The “right way” is the imperialist white man way that serves white elites interests. Obama is a manipulative tool of imperialist propaganda. For his service to Zionism, Wall Street and for his “extraordinary efforts” to continue the slaughter of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, President Barack Obama is awarded the Noble “Peace” Prize by the Swedish Bank, not because of his empty rhetoric. Granting Obama the Nobel Peace Prize provides legitimacy to U.S. war on Muslim nations. By accepting the Prize, Obama joined gallery of war criminals and terrorists such as; Menachem Begin, Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin, etc. Obama will not bring peace to the world; he is escalating the war of terror on Muslim nations and endorsing Israel’s Zionist expansion in Palestine.
The U.S. and the Israeli governments’ rhetoric about peace is just propaganda designed to consolidate the Occupation by continue the crimes of house demolition and building more illegal Jewish colonies on Palestinian land. Peace is a formidable propaganda tool to undermine international efforts to find a just solution. Every year, Israeli and American leaders cooked something up for the media to propagate the so-called fabricated “Israelis’ desire for peace”. Of course, Israelis never find a “partner for peace”. They cry: “Thanks God, we do not have any one to talk to”.
When it comes to peace, Israeli leaders are the masters of deception. Deception has been their game to play. The recent so-called “offer” by the corrupt Zion-fascist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “temporarily freeze” the illegal building of Jewish colonies on Palestinian land is a case of Israel’s deception propaganda aimed at manipulating public opinion, particularly in the U.S.
Peace in the Middle East is “dead as a doornail,” said Francis Boyle, a professor of International Law at the University of Illinois. According to Professor Boyle, former senator George Mitchell “is running a dog and pony show in his scampering around the Middle East”. He added: “Mitchell’s mission is just a public relations exercise to delude the Arab and Muslim world into believing that the Obama Administration is going to do something while in fact they are pushing their agenda against Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan.” Obama is “a pusillanimous and feckless leader”, added Professor Boyle. Like Condoleezza Rice and her predecessors’ countless missions, the Mitchell’s mission has nothing to do with peace.
Israel and the U.S. define and control the term of peace according to Zionist interests. Publicly, Israeli leaders are crying for peace, but more often conspire and openly sabotage any peace effort in order to perpetuate more violence and blame it on the Palestinians. “It is the fault of the Bolsheviks, and we have to act in self-defence”. In the same way the Nazis used to blame the Bolsheviks, Israelis blame the Palestinians. Peace is not Israel’s primary concern; violence and expansion are.
For more than forty years, Israel and the U.S. have done everything to kill any peaceful settlement. “It is not that Israel does not want peace: everyone wants peace, even Hitler. The question is: on what terms? From its origins, the Zionist movement has understood that to achieve its goals, the best strategy would be [to perpetuate violence in order] to delay political settlement, meanwhile slowly [expropriating Palestinian land and] building facts on the ground”, writes Noam Chomsky, a long-time analyst of Middle East (Israel-U.S.) politics and a strong supporter of a “civilised” Israel.
The so-called “facts on the ground” – the illegal blocks of large Jewish-only colonies, Jewish-only network of roads and the apartheid wall that represent a Zionist state built on the ruin of historic Palestine – often used by Israeli leaders as evidence of Jewish claims to the land have removed any possibility of a viable Palestinian state. What remains of historic Palestine is a small area of islands-like disconnected ghettos and concentration camps; an archipelago, controlled by hundreds of Israeli-imposed military checkpoints, roadblocks and walls (the apartheid wall) that completely forbid the movement of Palestinians between towns and villages and between Gaza and the West Bank. Palestinians anywhere are under constant watch, their movement is monitored and contained and their safety is threatened. Hitler would have envied Israel’s system of controlling Palestinian movement.
Peace is ethnic cleansing, ghettoization of Palestinian villages and towns, expropriation of Palestinian land and water resources, bulldozing Palestinian homes and building Jewish-only colonies in violation of international law. Peace is the “Judaizing” of Palestinian Jerusalem and allowing Jewish terrorists and religio-fascists into Al-Aqsa mosque while denying access to Muslims. Peace is the incarceration and routine torture of innocent Palestinians men, women and children. Peace is targeted political assassinations, the slaughter of innocent women and children, collective punishment that denies innocent Palestinians access to food, drinking water and normal life.
Gaza is the obvious case in point. It is commonly claimed that Israel has “withdraw” from Gaza and the Palestinians are “free” there. That was demonstrably not true. Israel removed its illegal Jewish settlers (colonisers) from Gaza in August 2005 to consolidate the occupation of East Jerusalem and Palestinian areas in the West Bank. Gaza remains an occupied death camp under a barbaric and genocidal siege dubbed as collective punishment – sponsored by Western powers and enforced by Israeli forces. In addition, Israeli forces continue to terrorise the Palestinian population on a daily basis.
The so-called “peace process” is a trap (for the Palestinians) that allowed Israel to expand by confiscating more Palestinian lands. “What peace process are they [Israelis] talking about? There isn’t one. The Israeli foreign minister [the openly racist-fascist Moldovan émigré, Avigdor Liebermann] doesn’t want one”, said Justice Richard Goldstone during a meeting with a group of Jewish rabbis in the U.S.
Peace talks are considered by the U.S. and the Israeli government as occasions for bullying the Palestinians into submission, as suggested by a Palestinian official familiar with these talks. Indeed, often during peace talks Israel accelerated its criminal attacks on the Palestinians. And every time the Palestinians succumbed to Israeli demands, Israeli leaders shifted the goal-posts. Every time the Palestinians insisted on implementing previous agreements, the Israelis refused and found a new pretext to justify their action.
Opportunists and apologists for Israel’s war crimes talk about a “two-state” solution where Palestinians and Jews “living side-by-side”. But Israel is against the two-state solution and is determined not to allow the emergence of an independent Palestinian state. Also, the two-state solution denies the majority of Palestinians (the ethnically cleansed refugees) the right to return to their homeland. Promoted by Zionists, and supporters of Israel, including the U.S. and European nations, the two-state solution is an illusion useful for Israel’s propaganda. Like the “peace process”, the two–state solution is defended by Israel and Israel’s allies because it is a useful trick to deceive. As Israel’s most recognised fascist, President Shimon Peres warned recently: "Anyone who rejects the two-state solution won't bring a one-state solution. They will instead bring one war, not one state. A bloody war with no end”. Recently, Mr. President Peres began advocating a Palestinian state with “provisional” borders at the mercy of Israel’s terror. Endorsed by successive U.S. government, including the Obama Administration, and financed by U.S. money, Israel is violently expropriating Palestinian land for illegal Jewish colonies and illegally exploiting the natural resources for its own benefits. The Israeli regime’s goal in the Occupied Territories is the establishment of a Bantustan system, like the one in South Africa under the Apartheid system or worse.
Time has passed by the two-state solution. The two-state is a fiction. Israel is on a mission of ghettoization of the Palestinian people by expropriating their land and water resources. “The two-state solution is unworkable in the first place because Israel has destroyed the physical and political possibilities of building a coherent state for the Palestinian people, thanks to its brutal occupation. This has entailed the invasion of Palestinian land by 450,000 Israeli settlers, along with putting up monstrous walls and Jews-only roads that simply reduce the ever-diminishing Palestinian lands to fragments. To build a viable Palestinian state on such a basis is impossible; or, from another angle, would require dismantling Israel”, said Joel Kovel, former professor of Social Studies at Bard College in New York and author of Overcoming Zionism.
Finally, the only legal and practical solution for the proposal of a viable and independent Palestinian state is the complete Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestinian lands, which Israel is refusing to do in flagrant violations of international law and several UN Resolutions. The Nazis “saw the lands of the Slavs as German lebensraum, just like Israel and Palestine”, said Professor Francis Boyle. The best and just solution for everyone is a one-state solution, where Palestinians and Israelis living in peace with equal rights in a democratic secular state.
Here in Australia – where Israel is worshiped and the slaughter of Palestinian women and children greeted with approval in Parliament House by both parties (‘Labor’ and ‘Liberal’) and the establishment media –, an 88-year old man (Charles Zentai) is in prison awaiting extradition to Hungary to face “justice” for allegedly killing a Jewish boy there in 1944. For six decades, Israeli Jews have been killing Palestinian boys and girls with utter impunity. They are rewarded for their crimes by those same nations, including Australia, that pretend to be committed to justice and international law. If the killing of one boy is a crime, why the massacre of hundreds of boys and girls is a legitimate “self-defence”? Australia of course, was among the minority of the 18 nations that voted against the Goldstone Report in the UN General Assembly. Meanwhile, the visit to Australia by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert – still on corruption charges and is considered one of Israel’s most wanted war criminals, who planned and executed the massacre of Palestinian women and children in Gaza and the massacre of Lebanese women and children in Lebanon in 2006 – this week passed with deafening silence in a country proud itself of being “civilised”.
Israel’s impunity has allowed Israeli leaders to get away with war crimes because people failed to stand up to their own governments who supported Israel’s war crimes overtly and tacitly. In a civilised world, no one is above the law. Israeli leaders who committed war crimes should be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court. If this is not possible, all sates have an obligation to exercise universal jurisdiction over Israelis who committed war crimes against the Palestinians. It is time to stand up to Israeli war criminals and upheld international law.
There is ample evidence that if Israel is subjected to world-wide censure, Israeli leaders will denounce violence and seek peace. Civil society movements and individuals have duty to challenge pro-Israel suppression. They should give the Palestinian struggle for justice all the political and moral backing they can muster, including boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel and Israeli products. It is one of many non-violent options to stop Israel’s terror and provide a road for Palestinian self-determination. It is the only human right expressly recognised in the UN Charter.
Ghali Hassan is an independent writer living in Australia.