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Iran, Israel and International Law

by BRIAN CLOUGHLEY

The trite old phrase ‘What’s Sauce for the Goose is also Sauce for the Gander’ means quite simply that if a person does something that is approved by society, then another person should not be criticized or penalized for doing exactly the same thing.  That seems fair enough.  But it doesn’t apply in international affairs, in which sauce-allocation is the privilege of the powerful.

***

The world knows the position of the United States in regard to Israel’s defiance of international law. On November 29, rather than censure Israel for its longtime rejection of dozens of UN Security Council Resolutions, Washington and its wagatail puppies rolled over and enjoyed a Tel Aviv tummy tickle for voting against a General Assembly resolution acknowledging the right of the Palestinian people to aspire to statehood.  America supports the Jews of the world in having their own country called Israel but refuses to permit Arab citizens of the region to have their own country called Palestine in land which belongs to them.

There are 193 nations in the UN General Assembly, and 138 of them voted to recognise Palestine.  41 pathetic fence-sitters abstained. Five didn’t even turn up.  And seven little lapdogs actually voted with Israel and the US against the resolution.

The United States of America is a member of the United Nations Security Council which in its Resolution 487 required  “Israel urgently to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.”  Israel has done no such thing.  Nor will it ever do.  And that Resolution also “strongly condemned” Israel for its “clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct.”

In the years following that unambiguous censure of  Israel,  Washington has changed its game dramatically. Nowadays the Council can’t condemn Israel for anything.

Among US vetoes of Security Council Resolutions censuring Israel for its barbaric jamborees there has been US approval of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon,  US agreement that Israel should not have to abide by the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of the Palestinian people,  and US endorsement of Israel’s construction of unlawful settlements in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories.   The US has used its pro-Israel veto 10 times since 2000 and even rejected a Resolution that criticized the killing of four UN military observers by Israeli forces, about which Secretary General Kofi Annan said that “This coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long established and clearly marked UN post occurred despite personal assurances given to me by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that UN positions would be spared Israeli fire.”  He might have saved his breath, because the US doesn’t believe in UN peacekeeping, having the majestic total of seven military observers of the 1,981 serving around the world.  And 25 of the 81,319 soldiers currently deployed on UN worldwide peacekeeping duties are Americans.    (Please stop laughing.)

Washington’s unconditional sponsorship of Tel Aviv included last year’s refusal to condemn resumption of Israeli illegal settlement building that was destroying the wavering dialogue between Tel Aviv and Palestine. The US Representative, the appalling Susan Rice — who may be next Secretary of State, heaven help us — acknowledged that Israel’s persecution of Palestinians was unlawful but declared Washington’s support of illegality to be justified because if America voted against Israel it would “risk hardening the positions of both sides and could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations.”

Presumably she spouted that garbage with a straight face, but must have had a bit of a giggle afterwards, back in the office with the rest of the goys.

There is no question of UN sanctions being imposed on Israel for its contemptuous rejection of UN Security Council Resolution 452 which states that “the policy of Israel in establishing settlements in the occupied Arab territories has no legal validity and constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.” The entire world required  that “the Government and people of Israel . . .  cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967.”   It couldn’t be a more precise order. But to Israel, Befehl ist Befehl only when the order is acceptable. Befehl ausgeführt!

138 countries condemn expulsion of Palestinians from their ancient lands and denounce relentless construction of more and more illegal Jewish settlements, but the racist fascists of Tel Aviv pay no attention to commandments.  They scorn international law because they are backed to the hilt by all Washington administrations. There is hardly a US legislator wanting re-election who would dare to vote against Israel.

***

On the other hand,  as the Arms Control Association noted in August,  “The United Nations Security Council has adopted six resolutions as part of international efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program.”  And as a result of being considered guilty of failing to abide by some of these resolutions Iran has been subjected to a large range of vicious sanctions that are in the process of destroying a generation of children. These young people do not only suffer physical privation forced on them by the spite and malice of the West, but will be affected mentally, too.

Following the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan it is more widely accepted that after involvement in combat very many soldiers suffer from ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’ — in other words, they can be condemned to many years, and possibly a lifetime, of mental disturbance and torment because of their hellish experiences.  (The suicide rate among US veterans is truly appalling.)  But the psychological effects of physical malevolence are not limited to those caused by shock, shot and shell.  When groups of countries gang up to wage economic war on a weaker nation there are very similar effects on young citizens of the victim state.  They will experience — are suffering now, in Iran — the dreadful consequences of vicious non-conflict terrorism.  This is barbarism inflicted by denial of basic human decency in the guise of imposing international law.

Many of the wretched Iranian children who survive will grow up with an abiding hatred of the West, whose citizens they will rightly regard as thuggish supporters of their oppression.  They will react in exactly the same way as do the many generations of Palestinians who have suffered hellish misery, poverty and persecution at the hands of the apartheid fascists in Tel Aviv. Western nations have imposed a heritage of hatred on Iran, and in years to come will deeply regret the actions of their dimwitted governments.

It isn’t only children in Iran who are being subjected to the US-initiated international vendetta, because sanctions ravage all ages, and adults are suffering grievously, too.  As one medical expert put it,  “More than anything else, we have a lack of medicines for patients suffering from cancer and multiple sclerosis . . .   all because of sanctions against banks or problems with transferring foreign currency.”  Don’t be old and sick in Iran.  In fact, don’t be any age and sick in Iran, because your suffering will be increased by the spiteful efforts of western countries to destroy you and your country. And the world shrugs and lets the US and its nasty little puppets have their way.

The UN Secretary General, the principled and civilized Ban Ki Moon,  says that “sanctions imposed on Iran have had significant effects on the general population, including an escalation in inflation, a rise in commodities and energy costs, an increase in the rate of unemployment and a shortage of necessary items, including medicine.”  But all he will achieve by his honesty is US hatred to the point that Washington will ensure he will not have a second term as Secretary General. Washington chose him as SG because it was thought he would not dare to whisper even such dignified criticism as he has ventured about the evil strangling of a country’s innocent citizens.  He’s a gone gosling, but at least he is honorable and has highlighted the bizarre hypocrisy of Washington’s policies.   

Why does America inflict sanctions on Iran while backing Israel to the hilt when it scorns International Law?  UN Security Council Resolution 1322  “Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and its responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention”.  But no action is ever taken to make Israel’s government abide by any international ruling.  There are over half a million illegal Jewish occupiers of Palestinian territory, but US supporters of Israel, including Susan Rice and Barack Obama, refuse to do anything about such blatant flouting of international law.  Tel Aviv’s announcement on November 30 that a further 3,000 Jewish houses are to be built in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank was even further proof of the sneering contempt that Israel has for Palestinians and the world.

There’s one international sauce for the Palestinian goose, and another for the Israeli gander. And they both stink of Washington humbug.

Brian Cloughley’s website is www.beecluff.com

 

Brian Cloughley writes about foreign policy and military affairs. He lives in Voutenay sur Cure, France.

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