Friday, January 16, 2009
the war crimes of Israel are visible for all to see
Palestinian Red Crescent Society worker in the West Bank city of Hebron lights candles for the victims in Gaza.
photo by Mamoun Wazwaz. Ma'an.
The war crimes of Israel cannot be hidden anymore in the age of digital technologies. Although the Israelis have Gaza under siege they cannot stop the truth from escaping from their killing fields. The war crimes of Israel cannot be denied. The people responsible for these heinous crimes must be brought to justice in international courts. The Palestinian people are counting on your work and my work and all humanitarian people and groups and governments to make sure the Israeli criminals accountable for these war crimes are brought before the world court. Surely, clearly, someone is responsible for this terrible suffering? Surely, clearly, the Israelis and their supporters in crime can not pin this on the Hamas or any other resistance group that arises to meet the continuing abuse heaped on Palestinians? Surely, clearly, you have no doubt as to the depth and depravity of the Israeli war crimes?
I saw Chris Hedges interviewed along with former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (who was on the activist/aid ship bringing humanitarian supplies to Gaza that was rammed by Israeli forces recently) on Grittv with Laura Flanders yesterday.
Here is more on what Hedges has to say:
"The public debate about the Gaza attack engages in the absurd pretense that it is Israel, not the Palestinians, whose security and dignity are being threatened. This blind defense of Israeli brutality toward the Palestinians betrays the memory of those killed in other genocides, from the Holocaust to Cambodia to Rwanda to Bosnia. The lesson of the Holocaust is not that Jews are special. It is not that Jews are unique. It is not that Jews are eternal victims. The lesson of the Holocaust is that when you have the capacity to halt genocide, and you do not-no matter who carries out that genocide or who it is directed against-you are culpable."
Israeli human rights group "B’Tselem quoted eyewitnesses as saying 50-year-old Ravhiya An-Najar left her home waving a white flag, hoping to secure the safe passage of her family from [Huza'ah, a town east of Khan Younis]. As soon as she stepped outside the front door of the home she was shot.
She continued to wave the white flag to indicate that there were no armed men in the area, said the report, but then one of the bullets struck her head and killed her."
Palestine Centre for Human Rights mural in Gaza City. This mural, however, may no longer exist. It is an archival photo from the PCHR. This peace mural may have fallen victim too and the doves now a pile of rubble wasted by the Israeli bombs ravaging Gaza City today.
To many Israelis, Ravhiya's death does not register in their radar and home computer and tv screens. To them, Ravhiya has no name; she is simply a nameless avatar in their war game, a target for their snipers and bombs. A war game which, incredibly, despite 61 years of killing, maiming, torturing, debasing, locking up, expelling, corralling and abusing Palestinians and the continuing strong Palestinian resistance to that, they delude themselves and think their war "games" will bring Israel "quiet":
"An Israeli government spokesman says he is hopeful that Israel is "entering the end game" in its Gaza offensive.
The spokesman Mark Regev said Cabinet ministers could make a decision on a cease-fire as early as this weekend.
"I hope we are entering the end game and that our goal of sustained and durable quiet in the south (of Israel) is about to be attained," he said."
The war crimes of the Israelis are not going unseen. These acts of atrocity are not war games, but war crimes, abetted by the failure of the world leaders to demand Israel unilaterally stop their killing spree.
Ahmed Yousef believes, rightfully, that the world's conscience is on trial:
"There is absolutely no equivalence between the limited capabilities of the Palestinian fighters and the military might of Israel's armed forces, equipped with the most sophisticated technologies, delivering death and destruction by air, land and sea.
Their victims are the thousands of defenseless civilians, men, women and children injured, and the hundreds killed; victims of an act of unparalleled cowardice and immorality delivering death and suffering to our besieged and virtually starving people.
We are grateful to those who have understood our just cause and have shared our suffering. To them we shall be eternally grateful. In strong contrast we have been shocked and dismayed by the lack of either empathy or understanding from the international community in general.
While seeing the horror of Israel's actions, many seem to support their goal: the dismantlement of our popularly supported movement. They call for a halt in the fighting, but they place preconditions that all but ensure that the killing and destruction goes on.
We love our country and are willing to die for it. We wish harm to none. The time has come for a minimally fair path to the future that restores to our people their rights to sovereignty and independence. We shall never be slaves to any power and our struggle shall continue at whatever cost until we are free."
Smoke rises from the UN building in Gaza City bombed by Israeli war jets. A raging fire ensued, 3 people are injured, and terrible damage to the building and humanitarian supplies ensued. photo by Wissam Nasser. Ma'an.
Israeli bombing intensifies at night. My friend, Rita, told me that when she--with her 3 young Canadian born children, who like many other Canadian children had never heard, seen or been under a bomb--was in the midst of the Israeli bombing of Beirut in 2006 (she left Canada to attend her brother's wedding in Lebanon), the worst was the night. The worst was the night and the sounds of the Israeli F16 jets screaming across the skies and the sound of the bombs falling and the explosions of the buildings collapsing. The worst was the night, Rita told me, and for months afterwards, after she was back in the safety of her home her in Thunder Bay, the worst was the night. She kept hearing those bombs falling and the Israeli jets screaming across the night sky.