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Silence in the Face of War Crimes

Israel’s Goal is Not Peace

by ROBERT FANTINA

For anyone interested in looking, the facts of Israel’s current, bloody genocide in the Gaza Strip are well-known. Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu says, incredibly, that this is all for national security and to end the rocket fire, which has caused no deaths and little destruction, that are periodically shot from Gaza into Israel. He further states that only Hamas militants are targeted, and tries to convince the world that his bombing of mosques, hospitals and schools is to destroy weapons hidden in those sites. He does not trouble himself to provide any evidence. Nor has he any explanation for blowing up four children playing on a Gaza beach.  One assumes that, in the twisted view of Israel, they were potential terrorists, and therefore deserving of death.

The current murderous violence that Israel is perpetrating was supposedly triggered by the kidnapping and murder of three young men living in illegal settlements.  Without a shred of evidence, Israel claimed that that crime was the work of Hamas, which has disclaimed any knowledge of, or involvement in, the kidnappings and murders. However, this justified, again in Israeli twisted logic, the home searches and arrests of hundreds of people in the West Bank, all supported by the international community, and aided and abetted by the weak, spineless, puppet-of-Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

On May 15, 2014, two unarmed Palestinian youths were shot in the back by IDF (Israeli Defense Forces), although they presented no threat to anyone. This is verified by video obtained from a nearby store.  Yet there was no international outcry about this. International racism is not a thing of the past.

That aside, it’s important to look at the real reason for Israel’s current, horrific attack on Gaza. On June 2 of this year, Fatah, ostensibly in control in the West Bank, and Hamas, voted in democratically to govern the Gaza Strip, united, following a years- long estrangement. That estrangement had been seen as an impediment to any peace agreement with Israel, and the reconciliation was accepted by much of the world. Incredibly, even the United States, Israel’s open-ended checkbook and reliable ‘yes-man’, said it would work with the new government.

Yet Israel condemned it. That government said that Mr. Abbas should reject the pact, renounce Hamas, and proceed with business as usual.donate now

The logical question one might ask is this: If the separate governments of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were, in fact, preventing progress on a solution to the occupation of the former and total blockade of the latter, why was Israel so upset by it? In January of this year, Mr. Netanyahu said this:  “I do not intend to remove a single settlement, [and] I do not intend to displace a single Israeli.” These hardly sound like the words of a man who is willing to abide by international law, and who seeks to end his country’s brutal oppression of another country.

Mr. Netanyahu indeed wants to continue business as usual. That ‘business’ is the continued land theft in the West Bank, manifested by expanding illegal settlements, and the continued oppression of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, all designed to humiliate, degrade and demoralize.  The establishment of a so-called ‘Two State Solution’, with Palestine and Israel living side-by-side in relative peace, is not something Mr. Netanyahu or his Zionist cohorts have any interest in.

As this is being written, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has gone to the Middle East to attempt to broker a cease fire. In his view, and the view of his boss, President Barack Obama, Israel, by bombing residences, mosques and hospitals in an impoverished, oppressed, Third World country, using the most advanced weaponry available on the planet, is simply defending its national security. The mangled, dismembered, bloody bodies of innocent men, women and children are, apparently, just an unfortunate occurrence as Israel defends itself against some ineffectual home-made rockets, cobbled together with the few items Israel allows to be imported to the Gaza Strip. This is the same Mr. Kerry who attempted to broker a peace agreement earlier in the year, apparently blind to the fact that, while he was doing so, Israel continued building illegal settlements in the West Bank, one of the main obstacles to a peaceful resolution.

There are two main obstacles to a resolution: First is Israel’s stated intention of never surrendering any part of the West Bank, and the second is the United States’ financing of all of Israel’s criminal activity. Yes, there are other issues: Palestine could hardly have a worse ‘leader’ than President Abbas, and Egypt has been confederate in all of Israel’s recent crimes.

So what can Mr. Kerry do? Nothing of substance in the Middle East. He could, perhaps, influence Mr. Obama to cut funding to Israel, and condemn the genocide that is now taking place. One thinks that any decent human being would condemn the indiscriminate bombing of children. And if human decency isn’t a sufficient deterrent, perhaps the Hague Convention of 1907 might help. Article 27 reads as follows:

‘In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes.

“It is the duty of the besieged to indicate the presence of such buildings or places by distinctive and visible signs, which shall be notified to the enemy beforehand.’

There is, of course, no evidence that hospitals, mosques and universities in Gaza, all bombed in the current onslaught by Israel, were being used for military purposes. Israel says ‘militants’ are interspersed among these facilities. Unfortunately, in one of the most densely populated places on the planet, any defense does not have the luxury of establishing a base in some remote area.

Cannot Mr. Obama criticize these horrific actions? Is he incapable of seeing medical centers and places of worship bombed, without acknowledging that these are criminal acts? No, like all U.S. elected officials, he is too beholden to the Israeli lobby, too frightened by members of the Senate and House of Representatives who have likewise been bought and paid for by AIPAC and its various satellites, to utter even a murmur about Israeli genocide.

Yesterday it was announced that fifty Israeli reservists have refused deployment to Gaza. Their statement shows recognition of Israel’s brutal oppression of the Palestinians, and their regret of ever having participated in it. Additionally, the United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to investigate what it believes ‘may be’ war crimes committed by Israel. Slowly, perhaps, public opinion is shifting away from Israel and toward humanity. Such a shift is long overdue, and long deserved by the Palestinians.

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).