A Letter to Colin Powell

by Ali Abunimah

Dear Secretary Powell,

Even as the people of Bethlehem and Beit Jala mourn their freshly buried mothers, fathers and children killed by the Israeli occupation forces in vengeance for the targeted killing two weeks ago of Israeli cabinet minister and ethnic cleansing booster Rehva’am Zeevi, and even as they take stock of the massive damage done to their towns by the just departed Israeli occupation troops, dawn broke in Palestine today only to cast light on fresh horrors.

This morning the occupation troops not content to be idle for a moment without actively terrorizing someone, demolished at least four Palestinian houses in the neighborhoods Shu’afat and Beit Hanina in occupied Jerusalem.

At least twenty more people were rendered homeless in this latest Israeli attack on Jerusalem and its residents. Among the houses demolished was that of Hussein Kiswani a 320-square-metre building, which he said had cost him two years and 90,000 dollars to build.

According to human rights organizations, the occupation forces have deliberately destroyed more than 8,000 houses in the occupied territories since 1967 rendering tens of thousands homeless. Over the past year they have destroyed hundreds more and damaged thousands.

Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which Israel is bound by international law to obey, states that “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.”

As you no doubt recall, the UN Security Council voted on October 7, 2000 (Resolution 1322) to reaffirm that Israel, “the Occupying Power” is bound by this Convention.

Mr. Secretary, since it is evident that Israel could not continue to maintain its occupation and to carry out this aggression without massive material and moral support from the United States, you bear some direct responsibility for forcing Israel to stop these aggressions. The United States should also stop blocking all efforts at the United Nations to provide international protection in the occupied territories which the Palestinian people so clearly need from their belligerent and unrelenting occupier.

What we do not need is merely another statement from your spokesman about how awful, unhelpful, provocative, unacceptable, not conducive to creating an atmosphere for the parties to….etc., the latest Israeli actions are. What we do need is for you to attach a real price to Israel’s continued malfeasance. Since Israel clearly does not care what you say, you should be prepared to find out if it cares what you do.

Sincerely,

Ali Abunimah http://www.abunimah.org

?

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
George Wuerthner
Myths of the Anthropocene Boosters: Truthout’s Misguided Attack on Wilderness and National Park Ideals
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal