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How To Succeed As A War Criminal

by Mary La Rosa Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2005 at 2:19 PM

......lest we forget the acts committed against humanity, in particular the 23rd anniversary of Sabra & Shatila: September 16, 1982 with special consideration of Ariel Sharon's visit to the United Nations and the attempted arrest of Doron Almog in the UK.

In spite of the applause,[1] as Ariel Sharon was preparing to deliver his historic speech at the United Nations this Thursday, September 15, 2005 and even while supporters of Palestine protested the presence of the man dubbed "The Butcher of Beirut"[2] responsible for the massacres in Sabra and Shatila[3] refugee camps on the eve of its 23rd anniversary, Israeli Knesset[4] was discussing the ways and means to protect high ranking generals and officials from prosecution of war crimes and atrocities against the Palestinian people.



The Israeli organization of Yesh Gvul ("There is a Limit!"),[5] began as an organization in response to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and supports those Israelis who REFUSE to partake in the brutal treatment and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Many of Yesh Gvul have been jailed for their refusal(s) and/or punished for their consciences. Besides supporting refusers and conscientious objectors, they have openly pursued those who they have deemed to have had no conscience in representing the State of Israel.



Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Comittee MK Yuval Steinz (Likud) has already tried to submit a "private" bill that could ban such Israelis from filing against ANY member of Israel's security forces. Justice Minister Tzippy Livni[6] has had her sensibilities outraged and is angered that such a pursuit of justice could come against such outstanding "defenders" of Israel... as Doron Almog. She implied that Israel would act against "the Europeans".

All of which was most recently inspired by the arrest warrant and law suit filed against Major General (ret) Doron Almog for his various "alleged" crimes against humanity enacted against the Palestinian people. Almog was the O.C. (Operating Commander) of the IDF Southern Command and stood to be arrested by London's anti-terrorist and war crimes unit and is suspect in grave violation of the Geneva Convention and crimes against humanity. The warrant specifically appears to have been based upon the demolition of a home in Rafah, but also in serious investigation(s) of the death of a nine month pregnant woman (Nouha al-Maqadam on March 3, 2003), the killing of three young men in Northern Gaza (December 30, 2001) and the bombing of the Daraj neighborhood in Gaza (July 22, 2002).



None of this is new in the way of allegations or the legal pursuit of justice. Working with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Yesh Gvul has repeatedly sought to bring about justice within the Israeli court system, but with little or no avail.



It is now looking abroad and outside of Israel for justice:



According to Haaretz and also The Guardian[7] Israeli authorities have warned the present chief of staff, Dan Halutz and retired former Chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon, to keep from travelling to the UK. Both men have been previously accused by Palestinians AND Israelis of dropping one ton bombs to retaliate and kill militants but which also knowingly included women and children in its deployment.

There is presently also an inquiry into why and how Israeli embassey officials came to warn Almog. Scotland Yard is involved.

As background for just a small sampling of violations, in 2003, some 59 houses in the refugee camp of Rafah were raised thus creating 20,000 homeless persons. Various organizations, Palestinian, International Human Rights Groups and Israelis have pursued accountabilities as only civilized people MUST do.

As it stands, Amnesty International[8] deplores the failure to arrest this particular war crime suspect: "The refusal to arrest a person suspected of war crimes is a clear violation both of the UK's unconditional obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and under national law."



It is difficult to believe that the police would have refused to arrest a person who had arrived in the UK on board an airliner if that person was wanted for drug-trafficking or security offences, simply because they had not passed through UK border controls, if that meant they would otherwise evade arrest."



The Palestinian Red Crescent Society[9] gives facts figures inclusive during the period of September 30, 2000 through September 12, 2005 about deaths and injuries[10] as well as B'tselem.[11] To study such figures , not only concerned with "death" but especially concerned with injuries due to : live ammunition, rubber bullets, tear gas, etc brings one closer to crimes against non violent protesters and crimes perpetuated against children. Such are the crimes of brutal occupation and ethnic cleansing.



After World War II, the International Military Tribunal [12] for the Far East distinguished three types of war crimes and crimes against humanity. They were further distinguished into Classes A, B and C. More than 300,000 Japanese were charged, mostly over prisoner abuse. But twenty five political AND military leaders were convicted and sentenced to death for such crimes:

Class A:

"The Class A indictment accused the defendants of promoting a scheme of conquest that "contemplated and carried out ... murdering, maiming and ill-treating prisoners of war [and] civilian internees ... forcing them to labor under inhumane conditions ... plundering public and private property, wantonly destroying cities, towns and villages beyond any justification of military necessity; [perpetrating] mass murder, rape, pillage, brigandage, torture and other barbaric cruelties upon the helpless civilian population of the overrun countries."

and also includes in counts of indictments:

"leaders, organizers, instigators, or accomplices in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy .. to wage wars of aggression, and war or wars in violation of international law".

Today, on the eve of the anniversary of the atrocities of Sabra and Shatila I stood across from the United Nations on land belonging to the country that I once deemed "protector of human rights". I have come to realize throughout my own country's history, that individual citizens and individual ideals must seek support and solidarity among those of like mind and heart in order to further protect human rights. And so today, along with Al-Awda,[12] I stood in solidarity with friends and allies representing Haiti and Venzuela who were there on behalf of the Palestinian people.

I wrote the name "Yesh Gvul" on the back of my protest sign and I wrote "yeffe nefesh" (beautiful soul) in order to honor the men and women in Israel who everyday do something positive towards peace often at grave personal risk to themselves . Today and tomorrow I shall wear a small Palestinian flag and remind anyone and everyone who does not know what happened 20 years ago in Sabra and Shatila. And I shall continue to list the other representatives and "suspects" who over the years have been challenged about committing grave crimes under the guise of Zionism:

• Ariel Sharon

• Moshe Ya'alon

• Doron Almog

• Dan Halutz

• Dan Harel

I would ask all readers to go and look further and judge these men for themselves and by their records and their deeds against humanity. Who is the one who was quoted as sleeping well at night after dropping a one ton bomb on a civilian population? Who is the one who encouraged extremist radical settlers while at the same time creating thousands of homeless refugees? Which one covered up the death of a young school girl? Who lied about the deaths of Palestinian children?

On whose watch? By whose hand?

At hand now is looking deeply and closer into the mentality that excludes the Arrafat but not the Sharon. And let us give attention to those who are consistently invited to come to the United States in order to give seminars in military strategy. and occupation

I hope I have piqued your interest to look further and delve deeply. Do not rely upon average news media or corrupt politicians to do so. When popular government fails it is up to the individual. Throughout history "I was only following orders" has been the Canto of the Damned:

SILENCE = COMPLICITY

Notes / Links:

[1]. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1126750771024

[2]. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Sabra_&_Shatila.html

[3]. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2255902.stm

[4]. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/624487.html

[5]. http://www.yeshgvul.org.il/english/about/

[6]. http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=89760

[7]. http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1571581,00.html

[8]. http://www.palestinercs.org/

[9]. http://www.palestinercs.org/Latest_CrisisUpdates_Figures&Graphs.htm

[10]. http://www.btselem.org/English/index.asp

[11]. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/GI08Dh02.html

[12]. http://www.al-awda.org/

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