Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Israel, Gaza and a joke called ‘International Law’

May 30, 2010

The state of Israel is preparing its next crime, announcing it in  broad daylight.  Victims of this crime will be – agian – the people living ont h the Gaza strip, and other people trying to help the Gaza Palestinian population. A whole assortment of gangster states, better known as ‘the international community’, basically looks the other way while the crime is in preparation.

What am I talking about? A flottilla of boats, shipped with humanitarian aid, is preparing to sail to Gaza to help the Palestinian population there. The Gaza Palestinians are suffering from an Israeli blockade that brings those people permanently close to starvation. That, of course, is a crime in itself, juist as the so-called war that Israel fought against Gaza, December 2008-January 2009 – basically, a one-sided massacre – was a crime.

The aid flottilla wil try to bring items like wheelchairs and  systems for water purification to Gaza. Israel will have none of that, however. It threatens to block the flottilla, it has warships ready for that job. That is – after the massacre, after the ongoing blockade – the third crime against the Gaza population. The whole Israeli attitude is despicable and cries out for the strongest condemnation. The fact that Gaza is ruled by Hamas, a movement that, as such, does not deserve support, does not change the need of this condemnation. The fact that Israel claims that both itself and Egypt have offered to bring in the aid, does not change things. You hardly tcan rust wolves when they start promising to feed the sheep they have been hunting.

What reasons does Israel give for preventing the aid flottilla? According to Israel, this is part of a “provocation intended to delegitimise Israel”. Well, a state occupying, massacring and staring a civilian population badly needs as much “delegitimation” it can possibly get. And if Israel does not want to be ‘provoked”‘ it better stop its nmurderous blockade of Gaza itself.

There is another reason Israel ggives for blocking the aid convoy. Aljazeera: “It asserted that the flottilla would be braking international law by landing in Gaza”. It takes one’s breath away, doesn’t it? The state of Israel is ignoring UN resolution after UN resolution aginst the occupation of Palestinian lands. The state of Israel ignores international regulations and treaties against, for instance, possession of nuclear weapons. The state of Israel would not recognise ‘International Law’ if it bumped right into it. The whole thing can only provoke hollow laughter. Even so, Israel is now welcome as a member of an influentual club of rich and powerful countries: the OECD. Why not indeed?  They are not the only occupying state there.

But in the meantime, Israel is about to commit its next crime. The world is watching. So are the governments, those other upholders of  ‘International Law’ besides Israel itself. And they are doing, in essence, nothing. They are not even seriously objecting to this Israeli crime. So much for ‘International Law’.

Netanyahu, accidental truth-teller

May 24, 2010

Sometimes, even very disagreeable people speak the truth. No, they don’t do that on purpose: I will not hold them responsible for it. But yes, even evil leaders of horrible states (as if there are states that are not horrible, but let’s not digress now…), come close to truth-telling. A case in point is Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel.

What truthful thing did he say? This: “The greatest thing mankind faces is a radical regime, without limits to its cruelty.” Well, yes. One might argue about even bigger threats to humanity – human-induced climate disaster, for instance. However, Netanyahu is not wrong in saying that states led by extremists and religious fanatics and armed with neclear weapons are very, very dangerous. States like, for instance, the United States under people like Reagan and Bush.

Which state does he mean himself? Well, Iran, of course. No matter that there is not any proof that Iran is even trying to develop nuclear weapons. No matter that everyone can see that, in case Iran had nuclear weapons, it could not fruitfully use them unless it wanted toe invite immediate and total destruction through US or Israeli action. Whatever the proven facts, Iran is the big radical evil enemy, as far is the state of Israel and its leaders are concerned.

Iran does not quite fit the bill, as we can see. There is a state, rather close to where Netanyahu lives, that does fit the bill. That state is called Israel, with Netanyahu as prime minister. Its limitless cruelty has been on discpay during the murderous attack on Gaza, at the end 2008 and the beginning of 2009. Around 1,400 Palestinian deaths, many of them civilians. Number of Israeli victims: 13. Its cruelty continues, in the form of a blockade of Gaza, imposing desperate poverty and worse on the population there.

And yes, Israel is led by radicals – right wing radicals, that is. The state, founded on occupation of Palestine, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and more occupation, seeks part of its legitimacy ina nationalism that accepts no compromise, and an interpertation of Judaism that does not accept limits on what its holy state is allowed to do. Israel is a radical state, led by nationalist and religious extremists. And it is based on open discrimination along ethnic/religious lines. Jews are worth more than Palestinians, according to Israeli law and governance. Apartheid is a fitting label for the way Israeli society is organised and ruled.

A radical regime, limitless cruelty … and nuclear weapons as well. For Ir srael has themm, even if it never ackowledged their existence. However, documentation has come to light that proves their existence. Israel has in the past offered nuclear warheads to … South Africa, that other apartheid state. The deal was made by South African  and prime minister Vorster and Shimon Peres, who was minister of defence in that year, 1975. One state behaving with exemplary racist cruelty helping another state behaving with similar racist cruelty – helping that state in getting weapons of mass destruction. Shimon Peres, who is in denial about the deal, is president of Israel at the moment.

Fortunately, more and pore people are no longer accepting Israeli excuses for their despicable behaviour. Still, double standards for Israeli and Palestinian violence have not died. Here is the BBC, in a recent headline: “Israeli army kills infiltrators from Gaza.”  Two men, apparently sent by Hamas inside the borders of Israel, werre killed by Israeli soldiers.

Now, you can think all kinds of things abvout the events themselves. My rejection of the state of Israel does not imply any support for Hamas, who has its own authoritarian form of rule, much weaker that Israel, but certainly no beacon of revolutionary hope (yes, I changed my mind on that, as readers of my Dutch-language blog may notice).

But notice the words the BBC uses! Israel has a ‘military’ that the government sends across borders as it sees fit; Hamas, however, sends ‘infiltrators’. Question: how can you be an infiltrator when you go from one part of the country you considers yours, to another part of that same country? From the indirectly occupied bit of Palestine called ‘Gaza’ to the directly occupied bit calles ‘Israel’? Should’n we call all Israeli soldiers, on whatever part of historic Palestine they are, ‘infiltrators’?

War threats against Iran: time to act now

July 31, 2008

There is a serious danger of a new and even bigger war in the Middle East. US and Israeli war threats against Iran have bene going on and on. The excuse: the nuclear program of the Iranian regime. The real reason: rain is the only big and oil-rich state in the Middle East that does not abide by the American-imposed rules, does nog accept Amercan hegemony. For that reason, American rulers and strategic planners and their Israeli sidekicks consider Iran a threat that must be brought to heel. That is way they prepare a wave of bombing raids on Iran.

In recent weeks, the war threat seems to be receding just a little bit. Mike Mullen, Chief of Staff of the US military, is not too keen on war: “I’m fighting wo wars and I don’s need a third one”, he has been quoted as saying. (Paul Rogers, “Iran, Israel and the risk of war”, OpenDemocracy, 24 July). The threat of serious resistance in the whole region, and of Iranian closure of the Street of Hormuz, through which a large part of Middle Easter oil moves to their destination, may giove the war planners second thoughts. Oil prices, already rising, may only explode even further if war with Iran comes.

Some commentators conclude from these factors that war with Iran is becoming somewhat less likely. Tom Engelhardt, a few weeks ago, says of those that push for war: “It’s a reasonable proposition today – as it wasn’t perhaps a year ago – thast, whatever their desires, they will not, in the end, be able to to launch an attack on Iran; that, even where there’s a will, there may not be a way.” But we cannot be sure. As he himselrff admits: “for the maddest  gamblers an dystopian dreamers in our history, never say never.” Richard Seymour, of Lenin’s Tomb, agrees with that last sentence after explaining why he is not convinced that hig oil prices and the prospect of spreading chaos will be enough to convince the war mongers that they better think twice. “I’m not saying they’re going to do it, because how in the hell would I know, but can you  really put it past them?”

For the moment, I tend to side with Tom Engelhardt here, but only partially. The threat of war may be receding – just a little bit. And  this is no reason to sit back and just relax. A receding threat is still a threat, and it can start growing again any minute.

To prevent that – and make it as hard as possible for the US and Israelis leaderships to start this new war of aggression – peace movement people have to move, to act. The price that agressors have to pay must be driven even higher that the price of oil. How? By threatening turmoil in the streets. By mobilising for an explosion of protest – now. The war people should not be in any doubt that their law and their order will not be safe when they start lawlessly spreading diorder from the skies above Tehran.

Activists and their organisations should me make ait clear beyond any doubt: the fiirst bomb – either American or Israeli – on Iran, wil be answered by organised prorotest and resistence. They attack Iran? We will put every American or Israeli embassy, every American and Israeli consulate or other diplomatic mission, under a siege by demonstrators, as soon as the bombs start falling. And we will announce our intention to do so from now on, and start planning for such actions.

And we will take to the streets in every city of every  ally of the US and Israeli state. This obviously includes the country that I live in myself, the Netherlands, a state that is disgustingly loyal to the US empire. We should demand of the governments of these allies : no support for the US/Israeli war drive against Iran, whether through sanctions, or theruogh miltary, logistical or economic support to this next war. An attack on Iran is the start of a war of agression, in other words: a major war crime. We should not let them get their way.