Saturday, October 24, 2009

US Morality? Ignoring Israeli Atrocities

The UN Resolution on the Goldstone Report

US ambassador Douglas Griffiths, opposing the human rights resolution at the UN, said the Goldstone report written by South African Judge, Richard Goldstone, was unfair towards Israel. But Goldstone investigated both sides of the conflict, Israel and Hamas. The 575 page document concluded that, during its incursion into the Gaza Strip, on 27 December 2008, to root out Palestinian rocket squads, Israel:

  • used disproportionate force
  • deliberately targeted civilians
  • used Palestinians as human shields
  • destroyed civilian infrastructure.

It also pointed out that Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas, deliberately targeted civilians and tried to spread terror through years of rocket attacks on southern Israel. In fact, the report required both Israel and Hamas to look publicly and fairly into their respective human rights failings in the conflict, and, if they failed to conduct credible investigations within six months, recommended a reference of the offending party to the International Criminal Court prosecutor in The Hague.

So, the report itself is balanced, but the UN resolution emphasized the Israeli part because far more innocents were killed by Israeli professional soldiers than by Hamas fighters. The three week conflict in Gaza left 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead. It was the continuation over decades of such one sided “defense” of the territory that until 1948 had been the Palestinians’ for twelve centuries that has caused the hatred of Moslems worldwide. Consequently, the resolution agreed in Geneva called for the UN General Assembly to consider the Goldstone report, and then for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to report, on Israel’s adherence to the resolution, to the Human Rights Council.

For Washington, justice is a “distraction from the peace process”, according to the US ambassador. Naturally, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor, claimed the resolution “provides encouragement for terrorist organizations worldwide and undermines global peace”. Israel is not the terrorist organization he meant. Meanwhile Ambassador Griffiths continued with the usual pro-Israeli stance of all US administrations:

We had worked for a resolution that recognized the right of a state to take legitimate action to protect its citizens in the face of threats to their security while also condemning violations of international law regardless of the actor.

Read this carefully. “A state has the right to take legitimate action to protect its citizens.” It is true, and is enshrined in the Human Rights Act, but the US ambassador means Israel has the right, not the Palestinians who are actually fighting for the life and land of its people, yet always suffer completely disproportionally in the one sided war going on between Israel and Palestine. Numerous UN resolutions have been directed against Israel, but they lead nowhere because of US intransigence and veto.

In 40 years, Israel has featured in 65 Security Council UN resolutions, passed by two thirds majorities or better in the 15 nation Security Council—often 14 to one, the US! These resolutions have censured and deplored Israel’s actions and policies in respect of massacres of Palestinians, land grabbing since the 1948 partition, destroying Palestinian buildings including homes, making them refugees in their own land, restricting their access to water and electricity, illegal imprisonments, deliberate harassment and settling Israelis in illegal settlements. These are all violations of human rights, yet The US and Israel justify them by the fact that Palestinians protest against them! If someone did it to you, what would you do? Tip your cap in gratitude? Something is seriously wrong with the world when people wronged for half a century are treated as if they are criminals for trying to assert some sort of justice themselves.

For international justice for them is a joke, through US protection of Israel. It is impossible for them to find justice wherever they turn. Insurmountable obstacles are constantly placed in their way, legal channels are blocked, and their human rights are mangled in the interest of US oil imperialism. They have lost their own land, and are promised a share of it, as a Palestinian state but the never get even to share what was theirs sixty years ago. In the end, they only have one course open to them— to fight for their rights—then they are called terrorists.

Is it any wonder that Arab and African countries can only see US double standards in this, and try to use the UN for its proper purpose. The Israelis do all the damage, and the Palestinians get all the blame. Those who believed President Obama would act differently have already been disappointed. Change? He talks the talk but no longer walks the walk, in this key issue of foreign affairs. Typically and especially typical of his predecessor, he insists on a nuclear free Middle East, except for Israel, whose 60 nuclear bombs, though held contrary to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty never meet any US disapproval while Iran gets threatened with nuclear attack just for enriching uranium for legitimate reasons.

How can the leaders, and indeed the general population, of this immensely powerful superpower, the US, claim to be a moral nation, or even understand what morality is, when they have such an immoral attitude to some of the most ill treated people in the world. The Palestinians are treated as less than dogs. So much for the respect the meretriciously Christian Americans have for God and His creation, and Christ’s famous saying that to mistreat anyone is to mistreat himself in the same way!

At the root of the US hypocrisy is the unqualified protection America gives its Middle Eastern colony, Israel. The US can veto anything brought before the UN Security Council blocking any call to bring Israel to justice before the International Criminal Court. Israel therefore knows it stands above international law. It can therefore act just as it likes to its Arab neighbours, launching attacks wherever it fancies. The illegal segregationist wall stretches through the West Bank to protect the illegal Israeli settlements being expanded there—Arab land—and Gaza is still being illegally blockaded.

As the US ambassador said, countries have the right to self defense, and that is what the Palestinians have been doing, but the US has its own agenda behind its immoral attitude to foreign policy. It is the agenda of the magnates and militarists who make megabucks out of other people’s distress, and so have a permanent policy of causing it, not just in Palestine. It is time for American liberals and the genuinely Christian American, if any exist, to speak out against the criminality of their own leaders serving those who sacrifice human beings to the insatiable Moloch of greed and war bucks, America’s caste of robber barons.

No comments: