Sunday, January 11, 2009

How Will the World Respond to Israeli Crimes in 2009?

The Guardian (U.K.) published this photo of a young girl who was found in the rubble of her destroyed home after an Israeli air strike on a house in Zeitoun. (Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel has used white phosphorus bombs on the civilian population since the beginning of their aggression against Gaza. This is a war crime, one which has been witnessed by millions of people watching television coverage from Gaza since December 27. Oddly, CNN's military expert, Brig. Gen. David Grange (ret.), failed to mention Israel's use of white phosphorus although CNN has repeatedly played video clips of the banned weapon exploding over Gaza. White phosphorus burns flesh - without stopping - as long as oxygen is present. Grange admitted that he had worked closely with the Israeli military.

"The Israeli army is cowardly, attacking worn-out, innocent people while they claim that they are defending their people. I call on the people of Israel to stand up against that government; to demand, to put a hand on their hearts and look at their children; and I call on the world to stop this madness." - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

President Hugo Chavez sets an example by expelling the Israeli ambassador from Venezuela

By Christopher Bollyn (Journaliste Sans Frontières)

As Israeli planes, tanks, and artillery bombarded the homes, schools, mosques, and medical clinics of the Palestinian refugees of Gaza, the Venezuelan government took a stand against the Zionist aggression. On January 6, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry sent a telegram to the Israeli mission in Caracas informing Ambassador Shlomo Cohen that he was persona non grata in the Bolivarian republic. Shlomo and his cohort of six at the Israeli mission were banished and given 72 hours to leave Venezuela.

Venezuela issued a statement calling Israel's operation in the Gaza Strip a "flagrant violation of international law" and "state terrorism."

"For the reasons mentioned above, the government of Venezuela has decided to expel the ambassador of Israel and part of the personnel of the Embassy of Israel," the statement read. The expulsion of the Israeli mission is the result of Israel's brutal aggression in the Gaza Strip, which President Hugo Chavez characterized as "genocide."

"The holocaust - that is what is happening right now in Gaza," Chavez said in televised comments on January 6. "The president of Israel at this moment should be taken to the International Criminal Court together with the President of the United States." The president of Israel is Shimon Peres, who has a long history of weapons smuggling and false-flag terrorism (at least as far back as the Lavon Affair in the early 1950s). Peres is also the chief architect of Israel's illegal nuclear arsenal.

The extreme suffering of the Palestinians of Gaza is generally not known or understood in the West, thanks to the censorship of the Zionist-controlled media. Refugees from the Zionist ethnic cleansing of 1947-48 comprise more than 75% of the Palestinian population of Gaza Strip. Due to the Israeli blockade since 2007, imposed by Israel against the elected Hamas government, the population of Gaza is near starvation.

The Venezuelan response is correct and proper. The criminal aggression against the defenseless population of Gaza demands a strong response from the leaders of the world. The Israeli government headed by Ehud Olmert and Shimon Peres has amply demonstrated its utter disregard for international law and world opinion. There should be more national leaders like Chavez expelling Israeli missions. What does the global campaign against terrorism mean if Western nations coddle a terrorist regime like that of Ehud Olmert?

There is certainly more than enough evidence for Western nations to call for Ehud Olmert and his cronies to be arrested for war crimes, as has been done with the former warlords of Serbia and Croatia. Israel belongs to many European organizations and should be treated like any other state. When Serbian forces attacked civilian populations, Serbia was attacked by NATO. Serbian tanks were struck and Belgrade was bombed. Why is Israel treated differently? Why isn't Israel forced to comply with international norms and law, as every other nation is? The Zionist state's egregious criminal acts cannot be allowed to pass without punishment.

Having studied the history of the Zionist movement in Palestine for more than three decades, I have seen Israel commit many criminal atrocities like the current aggression in Gaza Strip and have read about many other crimes, including genocide, going back to the 1940s. Anyone born before 1970 has been able to witness similar Israeli war crimes on television, such as the aggression against Lebanon in 1982 and the massacres in Sabra and Shatila camps, the Israeli massacres at Qana (Cana) in 1996, and again in 2006, and the flattening of the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002. Like the current Israeli onslaught against the defenseless population of Gaza, these events clearly involved serious war crimes in which senior Israeli politicians and military officers were culpable. In some of these cases the same people, such as Olmert and Peres, have been involved more than once; they are, in fact, repeat offenders of the most serious war crimes - but have never been held accountable.

No Israeli, in fact, has ever been held accountable for war crimes in an international court. While special international tribunals have been established to investigate and prosecute war crimes in Nazi Germany, the former Yugoslavia, and Africa, there has never been an international tribunal dedicated to prosecute Israeli war criminals. If there had, we probably would have avoided 9/11 and certainly would have prevented the carnage in Gaza today. Proper and non-selective enforcement of international law is essential for world peace. It would have checked Israeli ambitions and protected Israel and the world from the war criminals that control the Zionist state today.

Obama is tight-lipped about the Israeli aggression against the civilian population of Gaza. Will he demand an investigation of Israeli war crimes?

Obama with Olmert in July 2008. Will President Obama investigate Olmert's secret visit to New York City on September 10-11, 2001?

The United States is Israel's essential ally and supporter. President George W. Bush has been a devoted Zionist and has never honestly addressed the Palestinian plight. President-elect Barack Obama was elected on a shallow one-word platform - "change." Does "change" under Obama mean the U.S. government will call for an international investigation of the Israeli war crimes being committed in Gaza? That would be a real change.

Obama has been very tight-lipped on the crisis in the Middle East. He commented for the first time on the Israeli offensive in Washington on January 6, saying that "the loss of civilian life in Gaza and in Israel is a source of deep concern to me, and after January 20 I'll have plenty to say about the issue." The question is how many more lives will be lost in the meantime.

This girl was injured on January 6 when a U.N.-run school was shelled by the Israelis.

As Obama was holding his tongue on January 6, Israelis shelled a U.N.-run school where Palestinians had sought refuge from the fighting, killing at least 42 civilians and injuring 55 others. The Israeli military said its soldiers had fired in "self-defense" after Hamas fighters had launched mortar shells from the school. This appears to be another Israeli government lie.

The United Nations has opened 23 of its schools as emergency shelters for the 1.5 million residents of Gaza, who are prevented from leaving the territory. The Gaza Strip is often called the largest open-air prison in the world. By the night of January 6, the number of displaced Palestinians flooding into the schools had reached 15,000.

The people of Gaza are treated like prisoners and are not allowed to leave the territory although there are check points to Israel and Egypt. How can this be accepted in the 21st Century? Why are the people of the Holy Land forced to suffer so?

This is certainly not the first time Israeli forces have intentionally massacred refugees seeking shelter in U.N. camps and facilities. On 18 April 1996, for example, an Israeli artillery assault on the U.N. camp in Qana (Cana), Lebanon, killed 106 Lebanese civilians and left at least 116 injured.

John Ging, the head of the U.N. agency that runs the schools, UNRWA, told BBC World television on January 7 that the Israeli military's claim that it had been fired on from the school was "categorically untrue." The school, Ging said, had been under UNRWA control the entire time. Ging and the U.N. agency is demanding an investigation to find those accountable for the 97 Palestinians who were killed and injured in the attack on the school.

"I am appealing to political leaders here and in the region and the world to get their act together and stop this," Ging said, speaking at Gaza's largest hospital. "They are responsible for these deaths."

Dr. Bassam Abu Warda, director of Kamal Radwan Hospital, spoke about the injuries of the civilians from the U.N. school: "The wounded arrived with multiple fractures, ripped stomachs, amputated limbs," he said. "The bodies were ripped apart."

"I saw a lot of women and children wheeled in," said Fares Ghanem, a hospital official. "A lot of the wounded were missing limbs and a lot of the dead were in pieces."

Majed Hamdan, an AP photographer, rushed to the scene shortly after the attacks. He said many children were among the dead: "I saw women and men — parents — slapping their faces in grief, screaming, some of them collapsed to the floor. They knew their children were dead. In the morgue, most of the killed appeared to be children. In the hospital, there wasn't enough space for the wounded."

He said there were marks of five separate explosions, all in the same area outside the school. At the time of the attack, people were standing in a crowd outside the gate of the school, where hundreds of families had sought shelter.

The Israeli attack on the U.N. school came only hours after an Israeli missile struck a residential area in al-Bureij refugee camp, injuring seven U.N. workers in a nearby medical clinic. The day before, January 5th, an Israeli airstrike on a U.N. school in Gaza City had killed three members of a family. CNN reported on January 7th that at least 5 ambulances had been shelled, a war crime Israeli forces have committed since at least 1982.

"There's nowhere safe in Gaza. Everyone here is terrorized and traumatized," Ging, the top U.N. official in Gaza, said after the first strike on the U.N. school that killed three people.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the attacks on the schools "totally unacceptable." This should mean that these heinous war crimes will be investigated and the guilty brought to justice. This should mean that Israel's illegal 18-month blockade of the Gaza Strip, an act of aggression, and its flagrant use of white phosphorus bombs on the civilian population will also be investigated and punished. Finally, this should mean, after six decades of egregious Zionist crimes going unpunished, that an international tribunal for Israeli war crimes will be established.

With the Zionist-controlled governments of Britain and the United States having veto power on the Security Council, the chances of a U.N. special tribunal being seated to investigate Israeli war crimes are very slim, a situation which allows Israel to commit war crimes with impunity. But the times - and attitudes toward Israel - are clearly changing.

Evidence of Israeli involvement in 9/11 and the global economic crisis has seriously eroded support for the Zionist state around the world. People around the world are starting to feel like Palestinians. As the protests against the Israeli assault reveal, the world is being split between the people who demand peace and justice and the Zionists, who demand security for their belligerent and rapacious tribe.

The Zionist enterprise has clearly failed. Without constant stealing, begging, and bribing, Israel would be nothing but a failed state. Born in the sin of genocide and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, Israel has completely failed, after six decades, to make peace with its neighbors. Israelis live in stolen homes and sell the stolen fruit from the orchards of stolen land. The rightful owners of Palestine are the people of Gaza, the West Bank, and the Palestinian refugee camps across the Middle East. This is the simple truth. Without justice for the Palestinians there will be no peace in the Middle East. The Israelis have to learn to live with the Palestinians - not instead of them - in Palestine. The Palestinians are very kind and civilized people. The Israelis could benefit from living with them and learning from them. The Palestinians are, after all, the people of the Holy Land.

The Zionist ideology prevents Israelis from living in peace with the Palestinians - the people of the Holy Land. History has shown that such artificial and criminal regimes cannot last long. How can any enlightened human being support a racist ideology like Zionism [or Ketuanan Melayu - ed]?

The days of the Israeli apartheid state are numbered and it will pass, just like the other monstrosity created by the communist Jews of Russia, the Soviet Union. One of the signs in a recent protest said, "Cleanse the world of Zionism." This sign does not reflect radical thinking but a logical and rational understanding of the real problem in the Middle East. The answer to the Palestinian problem has never been a two-state solution. The solution is one state in which all men are equal. How could an American president, especially a black man, support anything else?

Christopher Bollyn: investigative journalist who has worked for the American Free Press and publishes articles on the 9/11 scam.