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Israeli Crimes Without Punishment

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012 at 3:43 PM


Israeli Crimes Without Punishment

by Stephen Lendman

Serial criminality against humanity is official Israeli policy. Punishment never follows. Ruthlessness best describes these type abuses. Committing them without accountability is unconscionable.

It goes on daily. Western media scoundrels ignore it. Too few people understand what everyone should. Militarized occupation is hell. Terrorizing civilian men, women, and children is worst of all.

In early October, Israeli air strikes and artillery attacked Gaza. At least one death and numerous injuries followed. On October 11, Israeli aircraft struck again.

Gaza's Sheikh Radwan neighborhood was targeted. Missiles were fired at residential buildings. Major damage resulted. No injuries were reported.

On October 13, multiple Gazan locations were attacked. Two so-called Hamas training sites were targeted. Bureij refugee camp was struck. Material damage resulted. No injuries were reported.

Israel claimed terrorists were targeted. Residents said only nonviolent civilians were nearby. No one knows from day to day who'll live, die, remain healthy, or suffer serious injuries. Children are as vulnerable as adults.

Occupied Palestine is a war zone. Besieged Gaza is targeted often. No one is safe throughout the Territories. Attacks can occur anywhere, anytime.

Israeli forces show no mercy. Muslims are considered subhuman. Rights afforded Palestinians under international law are systematically spurned.

Israel gets away with murder because world leaders turn a blind eye. Failure makes them complicit in crimes against humanity. Their resumes are long and checkered.

Twenty-seven of them represent EU states. Twenty-one of them are NATO members. On October 12, they became Nobel Peace Prize recipients. Warmaking again was honored. It's a Nobel tradition. Its committee members believe war is peace.

Millions harmed go unmentioned. Militarized occupation punishes Palestinians grievously. Equity and justice are four-letter words. Fundamental human and civil rights are denied. Daily examples explain.

On September 6, the Israeli District Court in Jaffa denied Abu Selmiya family members justice. In 2006, Israel shelled their home. Nine victims died. They were nonviolent civilians.

The court denied Israeli culpability. Deaths, it said, occurred during ongoing military operations. International law leaves no ambiguity. Attacking civilians and non-military related targets is absolutely prohibited.

Israel has its own rules of engagement. Under its "Dahiya Doctrine," collective punishment/disproportionate force against civilians and non-military infrastructure is policy. Anything goes.

Illegal weapons are used. They include depleted uranium, chemical agents, white phosphorous bombs and shells that burns flesh to the bone, and so-called thermobaric bombs.

They contain polymer-bonded or solid fuel-air explosives. They're able to penetrate buildings, underground shelters and tunnels. Its blast pressure sucks oxygen out of affected areas and people in them. It's a terror weapon designed to kill and destroy horrifically.

Civilians are specifically targeted. Dahiya institutionalized it. Children are as vulnerable as adults. World leaders turn a blind eye. Why not! Their own hands are bloodstained many times over.

As part of its Occupied Lives series, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) headlined "No child should have to go through this," saying:

On October 7, Israeli forces fired two missiles. Two men on motorbikes were targeted. They "were passing by Taha Hussain Elementary School in the Al-Brazil neighborhood of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip."

One died. The other lost a leg. It was so badly injured, amputation was required. Eight nearby civilians were wounded. They included four children and a woman. Civilian neighborhoods are attacked routinely. War crime charges never follow.

Targeted killing is official Israeli policy. Doing so violates fundamental international law. Murder is illegal. Mostly civilians die or suffer injuries. So-called militants are lawful freedom fighters.

On October 10, Sabrin Al-Maqousi and her two children were attacked and wounded. Her cousin, Jehad Al-Qatrous was also injured.

Sabrin was visiting Rafah family members. She explained, saying:

"My son Nassim (age two) was sitting at the entrance of the house when the missiles were launched.  I rushed to bring him inside and found that he had already been injured by shrapnel."  

"He just kept saying, 'There is some blood on me, there is some blood on me.' Some people came and put him in a car to take him to hospital. I was trying to calm my other baby (one month old) when I noticed that she was also bleeding from her head."  

"Both of the children were then rushed to the hospital. It was only after they left that I felt a sharp pain in my leg. I had also been hit by shrapnel, and was bleeding.  My cousin, who lives next door, was also injured, and we were both rushed to hospital in an ambulance."

Doctors discovered Nassim's wounds were serious. Surgery was required. He also temporarily lost hearing in one ear. It was injured during the attack.

Imagine living daily under this type threat. Palestinians understand best of all. So do civilians in all US war theaters. Pentagon policy targets them in all American wars. Surviving family members aren't afforded justice.

"The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) seeks to reaffirm the primacy of international law as the (way to settle) the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Its mandate focuses on "the enunciation of law by authoritative bodies." They include International Court of Justice (ICJ) rulings and dozens of binding UN resolutions on Palestine.

RToP convened three earlier sessions. They were held in Barcelona, Cape Town, and London. On October 6 and 7, a fourth was held. New York's Cooper Union Great Hall was chosen as venue.

Free Speech TV live-streamed proceedings. Media scoundrels ignored what went on and its importance. Its standard pro-imperial policy.

A draft executive summary explained conclusions reached. Serious Israeli international law breaches were documented. They include:

• violating Palestinian self-determination rights;

• violating numerous Security Council resolutions and UN Charter member state obligations;

• violation of "the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war," as well as Security Council resolutions condemning the annexation of Jerusalem;

• denying Palestinians access to their own resources, including water and arable land; and

• violating numerous international laws.

They relate to lawless settlements, land theft, forced dispossessions, ethnic cleansing, home demolitions, false arrests and imprisonment, torture, denying the right of return, violating the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the Apartheid Wall, as well as indiscriminate/disproportionate attacks on civilians.

Others documented denying fundamental rights. They include free movement; freedom of religion; and right to work, to health and education.

Israel also institutionalized "discrimination based on national origin." Doing so constitutes apartheid. Palestine's functioning nationality is denied.

Crimes of war and against humanity are systematically committed. Peace is a four-letter word. Israel doesn't tolerate it. Its violent culture prohibits it.

Washington is complicit in Israeli crimes. Its economic, military and political support facilitates them. Since 1948, America "demonstrated a commitment to Israel’s establishment and viability as an exclusionary Jewish state at the expense of Palestinian human rights."

Washington is guilty of numerous international, constitutional, and US statute law violations. So is the UN. It's done nothing to protect Palestinian rights. It fails to hold Israel accountable. Member states violate Charter obligations.

Enforcing international law is mandatory. Failure constitutes criminality. A recent General Assembly declaration on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels stated:

"(T)he rule of law applies to all States equally, and to international organizations, including the United Nations and its principal organs, and that respect for and promotion of the rule of law and justice should guide all of their activities."

Its own declaration mandates enforcing rule of law provisions equitably. Denouncing Israeli violations falls short. Accountability is vital.

The so-called Quartet (UN, EU, US, and Russia) was given peacemaking responsibility. Nothing whatever was done effectively. Good faith is entirely absent. As a Quartet member "the UN bears responsibility for its failures."

The world body violates its Charter and other international law provisions. Doing so undermines its legitimacy.

"The lack of concrete UN action against Israel constitutes an internationally wrongful act, which prejudices Palestine and implicates the Organization’s responsibility. The unlawful nature of the UN omissions is acute due to their exceptional gravity under international law."

In Cape Town, the concept of "sociocide" was introduced. It refers to "the systematic destruction of (Palestinian) language, culture, and, more generally, their society."

These abuses continue daily. They violate international law. RToP "considers that Israel is currently committing sociocide in Palestine."

International law calls it criminality against humanity. Justice is denied. The current system proved "itself quite unable to bring about change."

Mobilizing international public opinion and civil societies is essential. Emphasis should be placed on "the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, trade unions….other campaigns, (and) social media networks."

When governments fail to act responsibly, ordinary people must do so in their place. RToP is committed to keep working for Palestinian justice. Nothing less is acceptable.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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