Mr. Mubarak, Tear Down That Wall!

by FRANKLIN LAMB

“I’m not calling for a coup d’etat, but go talk to your leaders and tell them you do not accept what is happening in Gaza”.

— Hezbollah Sec-Gen Hasan Nasrallah calling for Egyptians “in millions” to demonstrate their support for opening the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt, 28 December 2008

Giggling like smitten teenagers, exchanging Channakah and Eid greetings (neither acknowledges the more Shi’a associated Ashoura) Hosni Mubarak and Tzipi Livni ‘hooked up’ this past week in Cairo to discuss Gaza.

Both spoke of their desire to see Corporal Shalit returned safely. Both knew Israel’s former Mossad operative, current Foreign Minister, and Prime Minister wannabe had a permission slip from the Bush Administration for all-out war against the Palestinians in the 25 by 6 mile territorial snippet along the Eastern Mediterranean.  When the correct photo-op was selected for public distribution, it showed a concerned and dour Egyptian President brooding with arching brow.

The duo focused on ‘diplomatic logistics and cover’ and the urgency to crush Hamas.  They appeared  oblivious to all who happened to be in the vicinity  of American rockets and  bombs or institutions leveled by waves of  F-16 fighter jets and missiles kept in ready use from the $ 200 million worth of spare parts supplied by US taxpayers from 200l-2006,  as well as  186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel , and thousands of TOW, Hellfire and “bunker buster” bombs and missiles, freed up for delivery to Israel  last year  when the Bush administration signed a $ 1.3 billion contract with Raytheon.

What was not on the agenda was what both knew but ignored.  The fate of 1.5 million people, one of the highest population densities in the world with nearly 60 per cent of its population 16 years or younger and nearly 75 per cent of whom are malnourished, and according to one recent estimate by the World Health Organization, 46 per cent of whom are afflicted with acute anemia, with 30 per cent suffering from stunted growth as a result of chronic malnutrition and who would need an escape via Rafah.

One wonders if the dynamic duo discussed the fact that 10 per cent of these children have permanent brain damage or that eighty-two per cent are afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder; the great majority of them having witnessed death first-hand or that more than eighty per cent of the population as a whole is dependent on food aid? Were Mubrak and Livni aware of reports that the sonic booms associated with Israeli overflights have caused widespread deafness, especially among children?

The UN and eyewitnesses such as members of the Free Gaza Project report that unemployment is rampant – upwards of 60 per cent with most Gazans subsisting on less than $2 a day.

Shooting fish in a barrel

Even a cursory examination of the events which began on December 27, 2008 require that Mohammad Hosni Mubarak be added as an accomplice to the pending International Criminal Court (ICC) case concerning international crimes being committed by Israel with American weapons.

HOKOK, the Beirut- and Washington DC-based International Coalition against Impunity, which filed a case against Israeli political leaders regarding Israeli crimes committed in Gaza with the International Criminal Court at The Hague on December 10, 2008, will send international lawyers back to the ICC on January 15, 2009, to amend its complaint under the Rome Statute and indict Egypt’s Mubarak among the Defendants.

To his great credit, Professor Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, has joined HOKOK’s call for the International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli violations and determine whether the Israeli leaders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law.

The Case against Mohammad Hosni Mubarak

Mubarak knew that Gazans would need a safety valve, an escape route from the coming carnage, which according to the Washington-based Council for the National Interest (CNI), appears to be another Sharpeville Massacre. CNI points out that “Nearly fifty years ago, the South African regime attacked a crowd protesting the conditions in the Bantustan of Sharpeville and in a matter of minutes killed some 69 black South Africans. Eventually, after world reaction to this “incident,” sanctions were imposed and they led to the end of apartheid in South Africa. Using American weapons, Israel has just indiscriminately killed more than four times that number in Gaza. In 1960 there were 20 million black South Africans and today there are only one and a half million Palestinians in Gaza. So the first two days of the American-supported Israeli attempt to wipe out Hamas is sixty times as criminal as the Sharpeville massacre.

Mubarak’s actions make him complicit in International Crimes outlawed by Article 2 of the Convention on Genocide by assisting in the killing members of a specific ethnic group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

By sealing its border with Gaza and forcing back many Palestinians at gunpoint who were trying to escape the slaughter, Mubarak violates basic Islamic, Christian and Judaic morality that requires that he open the cork of the bottle and let these men, women and children live. So does international law. Otherwise he is actively responsible and complicit in Israel’s project of creating a situation where Palestinians, in Rafael Eitan’s infamous phrase, “will only be able to scurry around like drugged roaches in a bottle.”

By denying the possibility of a broad range of necessities – food, cooking or heating oil, water, electricity, shelter, medicines, for a population unable to be self-sufficient at the end of decades of occupation, and locking them inside Gaza in a blazing holocaust, amidst millions of gallons of untreated sewage is criminal conduct: Mubarak is complicit.

By forcing Palestinians from Gaza back into killing fields and subjecting them to massive collective punishment, Mubarak is in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

On Monday morning, Israeli planes bombed a mosque. The house next to the mosque collapsed and inside, five sisters aged 2 to 10 years old were killed. Mubarak is helping Israel turn Gaza into a modern version of the Warsaw ghetto.

By slamming  and sealing the  life saving escape route Moubarak signs on to the effects of the scorn of international revulsion, the genocide, the political objective, the empirical objectives of Western dominance of the Middle East for a Greater Israel alongside an Egyptian Kingdom, the religious fanaticism, the psychopathology and the indiscriminate brutality and ruthlessness.

Mubarak’s actions make him complicit in International Crimes outlawed by Article 2 of the Convention on Genocide by assisting in the killing members of a specific ethnic group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

Some believe Egypt’s President went further. London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi quote sources who say Egyptian intelligence minister deliberately misled the Palestinian organization about IDF intentions. Hamas sources say this is why the movement’s compounds were not evacuated:  “Egypt collaborated with Israel in its Gaza attack and lulled Hamas into thinking the Israel Defense Forces would not attack Gaza”, Al Quda al-Arabi  claimed. The report, based on Arab diplomatic sources, claims that Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman told a number of Arab leaders that Israel was intending to attack the Gaza Strip in a limited manner in order to pressure the Palestinian organization into agreeing to a renewed ceasefire.

Hamas sources close to former Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar also reported that Egypt told Hamas on Friday evening that Israel had agreed to begin negotiations about a potential ceasefire and would not attack Gaza before Cairo had attempted to settle the issue.

These sources noted that, in general, Hamas’ internal ministry orders the evacuation of its security compounds following any Israeli threat of operative action. They had not done so this time based on Egypt’s assurance that Israel wouldn’t attack and based on the assumption that an IDF attack would not be launched on Saturday.

Colluding with Israel, the Bush administration and the Palestinian Authority in this aggression toward the Palestinians of Gaza, Mubarak reminds one of the Jews who served the Nazis as capos inside the ghettos of German controlled Europe during World War II.

Hasan Nasrallah has reminded the Egyptian people of their duty, and once it becomes widely known that Mubarak cooperated with Israel as an adjunct of its colonial army in the assault against Gaza he may be deposed as un-redeemable. Rejecting the Resistance to Zionism, Mubarak invites Revolution.

Lebanon reacts to the Gaza Massacre

Lebanon has witnessed no fewer than 30 demonstrations and day and night student vigils against the Gaza slaughter during the past 72 hours.  Tens of thousands of people massed in the southern suburbs of Beirut and packed the surrounding streets for a Hezbollah-led protest rally yesterday, calling for support for Gaza as it underwent its third day of Israeli attacks.  Three more demonstrations are planned for this evening.

Sunday saw a joint Fatah-Hamas demonstration which included Osama Hamdan and Fatah’s Abass Zaki outside the UN HQ known as ESCWA (Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia). Hezbollah plans daily demonstrations until Gaza is free according to its Media Office.
All alongside countless smaller manifestations composed of smaller groups, boy and girl scouts from various confessions, individuals, shopkeepers, and increased attendance in Mosques and Churches, some of the latter ringing bells, throughout Lebanon.

The sewage and rain flooded alleys of Beirut’s Palestinian Refugee Camps, Shatila, Burj Burajneh and the smaller Mar Elias Camp, are filled with equally steadfast refugees in support of their countrymen to the south.

FRANKLIN LAMB, an international lawyer and researcher currently based in Beirut, drafted for HOKOK, the International Coalition against Impunity, its Complaint/Submission filed on December 10, 2008 (the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) with the Internationally Criminal Court in The Hague. The Case charges Israel with continuing crimes in Gaza and throughout Occupied Palestine. In January 2009 HOKOK will petition the ICC to include Mohammad Hosni Mubarak as an additional defendant in the Case. Lamb can be reached at fplamb@sabrashatila.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, Damascus University and volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (sssp-lb.com).

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