Monday, July 31, 2006

Yet more war crimes

Israel has just killed approximately 60 people, including 37 children, in Qana, Lebanon. Was the attack a mistake? Probably not. Unconvinced? Check this out.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council restrains its condemnation of Israel for the attack.

Monday, July 17, 2006

im·pu·ni·ty ()

Exemption from punishment, penalty, or harm.

Yet again Israel has resorted to the use of disproportionate violence ostensibly in response to gratuitous militant attacks on it. We are meant to believe that Israel’s current spate of Israeli violence is purely responsive. Israel invaded the Gaza Strip in response to the killing of two Israeli soldiers and the capture of another. Israel bombed Lebanon because of a similar attack by Hezbollah on northern Israel. This message has been uncritically accepted by the Western powers. Australia has restrained itself from condemning Israel, the Australian Government instead limiting its statements on the situation to the topic of how best to evacuate Australian citizens in Lebanon. For example, Parliamentary Secretary for the Department of Foreign Affairs, Teresa Gambaro said on morning television today:

"The best advice we can give people ... is to stay where they are, stay indoors, stay secure make sure they monitor local security reports," she said.

"We really can't do much more than that."

Such statements make the violence sound more like the consequence of a natural disaster than the actions of a powerful military force.

Yes it is true militants from Gaza killed two Israeli soldiers and captured another. It is true that Hezbollah conducted a similar attack in northern Israel. But it is equally true that Israel’s response has been totally disproportionate. Israel has used these attacks as a pretext to emasculate indigenous populations with whom it has no interest in coexisting on an equal footing. Consider this scenario. In response to the capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants, the Israeli Defence Force invades the Gaza Strip with the most powerful military force in the region, destroys the only power plant in Gaza, and kidnaps as many of the Palestinian Authority’s ministers in the West Bank it can get its hands on (many of the ministers evaded capture by going into hiding). Israeli fighter jets fly over Damascus, the capital city of a neighbouring sovereign nation.

In response to Hezbollah attacking northern Israel, capturing two soldiers, Israel launches a major assault on Lebanon, bombing heavily populated regions in the south and Beirut, including Beirut International Airport, and destroys a major road between Lebanon and Syria.

These are not the acts of a nation interested in the peaceful resolution of conflicts.