Israel’s Crimes Against Humanity
By Dr. Elias Akleh
One more time, within less than one week, and despite all the international condemnations and mass protests all over the entire globe, Israelis had, with their snobby noses and raised middle fingers towards the world, broke the international laws in a flagrant provoking challenge to the international humanitarian collective consciousness by attacking the humanitarian aid ship “Rachel Corrie”, stole the ship’s humanitarian contents, and dragged the ship and its humanitarian activist to Israel in an act of kidnapping piracy.
The ship “Rachel Corrie” was named in honor of an American young humanitarian activist woman, who was deliberately crushed and murdered by an Israeli army operated Caterpillar bulldozer, while attempting, with other activists like her, to nonviolently protect a Palestinian home in Gaza Strip from demolition. Such illegal and inhumane home demolition is a routine activity of the Israeli Terrorist Army in Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
The whole world has condemned Israel’s piracy and the blockade against Gaza that puts 1.5 million Palestinians in the biggest concentration camp ever in the history of mankind. Even in Israel itself, an estimated 15,000 Israeli citizens held, on June 6th, a demonstration in Tel Aviv to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967 and the attack on the Freedom Flotilla. The protest was organized by coalition that includes Meretz, Peace Now, Gush Shalom, Hadash, Physicians for Human Rights, and other organizations.
Navi Pillay, the UN Human Rights Chief described the blockade as “illegal and must be lifted”, and accused Israel of violating international humanitarian law that prohibits starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, and prohibits the imposing of collective punishment on civilian population.
The head of UNRWA operation in Gaza, John King, had called upon the UN itself to begin defying the blockade and deliver humanitarian assistance since the blockade is a flagrant direct violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits collective punishment.
Article 33 came as a response to WWII Nazi’s execution of Belgian villagers in mass retribution for resistance activity, and for carrying out a form of collective punishment to suppress resistance, where entire villages, towns, and districts were held responsible for any resistance activity taking place in the area. Israelis are following Nazi’s example in their blockade of Gaza to suppress Palestinian’s resistance of Israeli occupation of Palestine. The Article equates collective punishment with terrorism and war crimes. It states that:
- No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed.
- Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
- Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.
- Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions collective punishments are a war crime.
Israel had also violated Article 3 of the Rome Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation of 1988 stating that it is an international crime for any person to seize or exercise control over a ship by force, and also a crime to injure or kill any person in the process. This is the Article that legalizes sending international law-enforcing ships to fight Somali piracy in the Indian Ocean. Israeli piracy should be fought the same way.
Israel is the mad dog Zionism had released in the Middle East to terrorize its nations. For the last 62 years this dog had savagely bitten all its neighbors, and its mad barking is threatening the rest of the countries in the region. Enforcing its expanding cancerous existence into the heart of the Arab World Israel is using lethal force against every Middle Eastern country under the false justification of self defense. Israeli society thrives on violence. The Israeli commando (terrorist), who murdered six of the unarmed humanitarian activists, is being considered for a medal of valor. Elated by their piracy many Israelis rallied outside the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv condemning Turkish stand concerning the flotilla attack. They hurled stones and smoke grenades at the building, burnt Turkish flags, and slammed Turkish Prime Minister, Erdogan, as Fascist and Nazi. Other extremist Israelis attacked Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabia TV news teams while broadcasting from Ashdod. These are the values that Israeli government is trying to instill in the hearts of their children since elementary schools.
War after war Israel has been escalating its savagery through the use of the latest more lethal American weapons although Israel had violated all the American arms export laws. Through Zionist control over American Congress the US had provided Israel with blind unconditional continuous financial, political, and military support that encouraged Israeli leaders to disregard international laws, violate UN resolutions, and commit crimes against humanity as well as war crimes against almost every country including even the US itself.
During Israel’s 1967 aggression war against all its neighbors the Israeli air and navy forces had also deliberately attacked the American USS Liberty ship off the Egyptian coast killing 34 American servicemen and injuring 170 others in an attempt to frame Egypt and to get the US to bomb Cairo. Luckily the ship was able to communicate with other American navy ships and the American fighters sent to nuke Cairo were called back. Despite this attack the Zionized American administration swept the Israeli attack under the carpet. (watch BBC documentary “Dead In The Water” about this attack).
Arrogance had led the Israeli leaders to commit the crime of piracy against the international humanitarian activists in the Freedom Flotilla. Although condemned internationally in the emergency session of the UN Security Council the US had refrained from condemning this Israeli piracy, and requested a full investigation by independent and impartial investigators including Israeli authority. Clinton stated: “We support, in the strongest terms, the Security Council’s call for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation. We support an Israeli investigation that meets those criteria”
Such an investigation is a diversion away from the Israeli crime since it is obvious that Israeli commandos had attacked the flotilla in the international waters. Besides it is ludicrous to ask the criminal to investigate his crime impartially. No criminal would incriminate himself, and Israelis had always exonerated their criminal soldiers in all previous investigations they conducted.
Fearing of being incriminated by an international investigation, similar to Goldstone’s, phobic Israeli leaders, accusing the whole world to be hypocritical, had rejected any international investigation. Knowing that the US would be a biased-toward-Israel investigator, Israelis claimed that they will conduct their own internal investigation with the cooperation of the US.
Tzipi Livni, leader of largest Israeli party Kadima, stated: “We must carry out an internal investigation which will leave the rest of the world outside the gates … the world is certainly hypocritical … today the government has a mission: to leave the world outside the gates, and the IDF outside international investigation … the aim is to set up –with the US- an internal investigation committee that will leave the international investigation outside”
Reflecting the Congress defense of Israeli piracy, Vice President, Joe Biden, in an interview with Charlie Rose, justified Israel’s blockade against Gaza and its piracy against the flotilla with the claim that since Israel is at war with Hamas it has the right to know whether the flotilla is smuggling weapons into Gaza. It is a known fact that the contents of the flotilla had been inspected several times by independent humanitarian organizations and customs officials several times. Using Biden’s same twisted logic does Hamas, if having the naval power, have the right to intercept and kidnap American ships delivering weapons to Israel since it is at war with Israel?
Obama’s bias towards Israel was clear when he claimed that Israelis have legitimate concern about their security but had totally ignored Palestinians’ legitimate concern about their own security. He claimed that while visiting the Israeli town of Sderot (built on Palestinian usurped land) he saw the holes caused by Hamas’ rockets in Israeli homes. Yet he had never gone to Gaza to see the hundreds of homes completely destroyed by Israeli air raids, or the destruction of all Gaza’s infrastructure caused by Israeli bombardment, or the hundreds of graves for Palestinian children murdered by Israeli snipers.
Obama is trying to help Israel transform their international defeat and piracy into some kind of victory by manipulating the mechanism of the blockade against Gaza. He claimed that the “current situation” (Israeli illegal blockade of Gaza) is unsustainable, and that his administration is working with the Palestinian Authority, with Israel and with other international partners to develop new procedures for delivering more goods and assistance to Gaza. His intentions are not ending the criminal blockade, but to concoct a “more acceptable method” of delivering more goods to Gaza to alleviate what he alludes to as a humanitarian crises rather than a military occupation. Israel has hinted to such an acceptable method that includes the delivery of all humanitarian aid to the Israeli port of Ashdod to be inspected by international observers before delivery to Gaza.
Palestinians and the international community don’t want just to deliver more goods to Gaza, or just to break the blockade, but also to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Arab peace initiative of 2003 gives Israelis 80% of historic Palestine and guarantees their security and a complete normalization providing Israel withdraws back to 1967 border and recognize a Palestinian state. Yet Israelis reject this peace initiative since it contains Israel within defined borders, thus defeating the Zionist expansionist scheme in the region.
Israel has demonstrated, since its founding, its willingness to violate international laws, disregard humanitarian dignity, use depleted uranium and phosphorous bombs and other weapons in acts of colonizing wars, genocide, terrorism, assassinations, and piracy, to murder civilians and oppress all kinds of internationally accepted resistance of its colonization. Israeli leaders routinely threaten to nuke countries in the region such as Lebanon, Iran and Syria. Confirmed nuclear power, without any monitoring of IAEA or signing the NPT, Israel had sent three of its German-built submarines equipped with 15,00km range nuclear missiles to station off the coast of no-nuclear Iran.
How could the world trust this mad Israeli dog with nuclear weapons threatening nuclear war in the Middle East that would, certainly, touch every country in the world in one way or another?
About the Author:
Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab writer from a Palestinian descent born in the town of Beit Jala. His family was first evicted from Haifa after the “Nakba” of 1948, then from Beit Jala after the “Nakseh” of 1967. He lives now in the US, and publishes his articles on the web in both English and Arabic.
If you liked this article, please consider making a donation to Intifada Palestine by clicking on the following PayPal link. Thank you!