FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Political Theology of Tom Delay

The most recent definition of crimes against humanity under customary international law is contained in Article 7(1) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It includes the following acts, among others, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the perpetrators or supporters of the attack: murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population, and apartheid.

On November 1st the New York-based international human rights organization Human Rights Watch released a report titled Erased in a Moment: Suicide bombing Attacks Against Israeli Civilians. The report finds that Palestinians who plan and execute suicide bombings against Israeli civilians are guilty of crimes against humanity. Last May the same organization released another report, Jenin: IDF Military Operations, in which it charged that the Israeli military committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, some amounting prima facie to war crimes, during its incursion into the Jenin refugee camp. Amnesty International presented Israeli authorities with a report containing similar charges on November 2nd.

Of the many impressions made by the Human Rights Watch reports, one of the most salient is that while Palestinian crimes against humanity are committed by individuals and groups that are outside the national chain of command, Israeli war crimes are committed by the most prominent institution of the state, the IDF, a military establishment largely equipped and funded by the United States of America.

While the HRW report on the suicide bombings singles out four Palestinian groups–Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade–as criminally culpable for planning and executing suicide bombings against Israeli civilian targets, it notably exonerates the Palestinian Authority and its president, Yaser Arafat, of the same charge. According to the report the PA bears political, but not criminal, responsibility for suicide bombings, for failing to do all it could to stop the bombings and bring the perpetrators to justice when it had the means to do so. HRW studied documents presented by Israel and found no evidence that Arafat or the PA planned or ordered suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.

The Jenin report saddles Israel with the primary obligation to carry out criminal investigations to ascertain and prosecute those responsible for Israeli war crimes. Israel has predictably ignored that obligation. Indeed, Shaul Mofaz, who was IDF Chief of Staff at the time of the Jenin incursion and who is widely regarded an extremist among Israel’s hawks, is now Israel’s Defense Minister.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu–who a few days ago became Israel’s new foreign minister–sponsored a resolution rejecting the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza at a meeting of the Likud party’s central committee last May. It passed overwhelmingly. Mr. Netanyahu and his Likud colleagues did not comment on what was to become of the 3.5 million Muslims and Christians who make up the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza, but the options are clear. The first is to perpetuate their status as non-citizen residents in a form of apartheid. The second is to transfer them to Jordan, an option widely discussed in Israel and strongly advocated by some members of Israel’s parliament. The third is to grant them Israeli citizenship.

Israel dismisses the third option out of hand, as demographic projections indicate it would take less than two decades for Jews to become a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, at which point Israel would have to choose between being a Jewish state or a democratic one. That leaves the first and second options, both of which, according to international law, are crimes against humanity.

A large number of Americans would do well to recognize that fact. They include the tens of millions of evangelicals, fundamentalists and Pentecostals that form the rank and file of the Christian Coalition, as well as prominent elected representatives like House Majority Leader Richard Armey (R-TX) and House Majority Whip Tom Delay (R-TX). By maintaining that biblical Judea and Samaria are an inextricable part of Israel and supporting Israel’s rejection of the third option regarding the future of the indigenous population, they in effect invoke the name of God to advocate a crime against humanity.

Tarif Abboushi lives in Houston, Texas. He can be reached at: tabboushi@aol.com

More articles by:

November 14, 2018
Charles Pierson
Unstoppable: The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline and NAFTA
Sam Bahour
Israel’s Mockery of Security: 101 Actions Israel Could Take
Cesar Chelala
How a Bad Environment Impacts Children’s Health
George Ochenski
What Tester’s Win Means
Louisa Willcox
Saving Romania’s Brown Bears, Sharing Lessons About Coxistence, Conservation
George Wuerthner
Alternatives to Wilderness?
Robert Fisk
Izzeldin Abuelaish’s Three Daughters were Killed in Gaza, But He Still Clings to Hope for the Middle East
Dennis Morgan
For What?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Government is Our Teacher
Bill Martin
The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend
Rivera Sun
After the Vote: An Essay of the Man from the North
Jamie McConnell
Allowing Asbestos to Continue Killing
Thomas Knapp
Talkin’ Jim Acosta Hard Pass Blues: Is White House Press Access a Constitutional Right?
Bill Glahn
Snow Day
November 13, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Midterm Results are Challenging Racism in America in Unexpected Ways
Victor Grossman
Germany on a Political Seesaw
Cillian Doyle
Fictitious Assets, Hidden Losses and the Collapse of MDM Bank
Lauren Smith
Amnesia and Impunity Reign: Wall Street Celebrates Halliburton’s 100th Anniversary
Joe Emersberger
Moreno’s Neoliberal Restoration Proceeds in Ecuador
Carol Dansereau
Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity
Dave Lindorff
Hey Right Wingers! Signatures Change over Time
Dan Corjescu
Poetry and Barbarism: Adorno’s Challenge
Patrick Bond
Mining Conflicts Multiply, as Critics of ‘Extractivism’ Gather in Johannesburg
Ed Meek
The Kavanaugh Hearings: Text and Subtext
Binoy Kampmark
Concepts of Nonsense: Australian Soft Power
November 12, 2018
Kerron Ó Luain
Poppy Fascism and the English Education System
Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
Robert Hunziker
Tropical Trump Declares War on Amazonia
John W. Whitehead
Badge of Shame: the Government’s War on Military Veterans
Will Griffin
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
John Eskow
Harold Pinter’s America: Hard Truths and Easy Targets
Rob Okun
Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Mid-Term Divisions: The Trump Take
Dean Baker
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Destroy Insurance Pools
George Wuerthner
Saving the Buffalohorn/Porcupine: the Lamar Valley of the Gallatin Range
Patrick Howlett-Martin
A Note on the Paris Peace Forum
Joseph G. Ramsey
Does America Have a “Gun Problem”…Or a White Supremacy Capitalist Empire Problem?
Weekend Edition
November 09, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
Why Democrats Are So Okay With Losing
Andrew Levine
What Now?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Chuck and Nancy’s House of Cards
Brian Cloughley
The Malevolent Hypocrisy of Selective Sanctions
Marc Levy
Welcome, Class of ‘70
David Archuleta Jr.
Facebook Allows Governments to Decide What to Censor
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Zika Scare: a Political and Commercial Maneuver of the Chemical Poisons Industry
Nick Pemberton
When It Comes To Stone Throwing, Democrats Live In A Glass House
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail