Israel: Profile of a Rogue State
- by Stephen Lendman
Rogue states spurn international law, treaties, conventions, and in Israel's case its own laws and Supreme Court decisions.
Daily examples offer proof, including from Ahmed el-Helah and Mariam Itani's new book titled, "The Suffering of the Palestinian Child under the Israeli Occupation," saying:
Over a million Palestinian children "live and suffer every moment of their lives under the painful reality of occupation."
Growing numbers are killed, injured, maimed, handicapped, arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. Most are impoverished and many hungry.
"What about those who have lost their parents, friends, brothers and sisters due to" continuous Israeli oppression?
"What about the children who live in fear and who suffer distress or cannot sleep, who feel unprotected in the face of a ruthless and arrogant Israeli occupation?"
They're Palestine's children, out of sight and mind to most people everywhere. Who outside Palestine understands their suffering?
Who can imagine the indifference of world leaders, supporting a ruthless, racist occupier, disdainful of human and civil rights?
Who understands enduring daily assaults, police state justice, and fear of being bombed, shot, or otherwise harmed? How do you comfort young children to hold up in the face of what adults can't tolerate?
From September 29, 2000 (the start of the second Intifada) through December 31, 2008, Palestinian children witnessed around 5,900 killings and another 35,000 Israeli caused injuries.
During Israel's war on Gaza, another 1,400 died and thousands sustained injuries, many of them permanently disabling.
Children enduring Israeli atrocities "lose their childhood and innocence, just as they lose hope and joy in their lives."
The occupation's extreme harshness causes physical and emotional problems. It also "ignite(s) the spirit of resistance and deepen(s) hatred" against a rogue oppressor disdainful of their rights.
The authors concluded saying Israel's occupation must be condemned, ended, and responsible officials "prosecute(d) in international judicial institutions for committing the most horrific and inhumane crimes against" young children, wanting only to live free like Jews.
On November 24, Haaretz writer Ari Shavit's article headlined, "Israel is becoming a bullying and violent place," saying:
"It's depressing" to see free expression compromised. It's heading perhaps toward prohibiting it altogether to quash political criticism.
"It's depressing....to make it harder for journalists to publish in-depth investigative reports." It's unacceptable to gag the media and criminalize writers exposing vital truths everyone should know.
It's frightening to see "dark forces....resolved to undermine the rule of law" and defile democratic values and justice.
Shavit calls it "the bacterium of the end that justifies the means; the disease of an agenda that bends the rules." No wonder Israel's not fit to live in, including for most Jews.
Following Palestine's UNESCO membership, Israel froze Palestinian Authority (PA) tax revenues vitally needed to operate. Doing so was lawless, malicious and vindictive.
On November 24, the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) headlined, "Israel Won't Release Funds to a Fatah-Hamas Unity Government," quoting Israel's ultranationalist Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, saying:
"Israel will not recognize it, will not negotiate with it, and will not transfer it even one dime" unless it accedes to Israeli demands. In other words, only Israel's rights matter, not Palestine's under any government.
On November 23, IMEMC said Israel again bombed Gaza and attacked Palestinian fishing boats. No injuries were reported, but terrified fishermen "suffered anxiety attacks while trying to rush back to shore."
Israel forces also invaded An-Nahda, east of Rafah with tanks and military bulldozers to destroy Palestinian land and crops. Shots were fired. Helicopters used flares. No injuries occurred.
On November 24, the Palestine News & Information Agency (WAFA) said Israeli forces used heavy military machinery to destroy Palestinian huts and wells in Idhna, west of Hebron.
Samu, Beit Awwa, Halhul, Dora, and Taffuh were also raided near Hebron. Recently released prisoners were ordered to report to Israeli intelligence for questioning. Others were targeted earlier. They'll perhaps be reincarcerated unless agree to spy on their own people. Most refuse and suffer grievously.
WAFA also said about 14 buses carrying around 1,400 settlers broke into Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. Protected by Israeli forces, they performed rituals and prayers lawlessly.
An Israeli military spokeswoman called it a "coordinated entrance." Palestinians said Israeli soldier fired tear gas and stun grenades at angry residents.
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai said Jews "must restore Israeli control over the tomb because we have to do what is best for Israel." Palestinian rights don't matter. Neither do rule of law principles. Might makes right oppresses Palestinians daily.
On November 23, Israel forces raided a Palestinian school in Khirbet Susiya south of Yatta in Hebron. Its principal got demolition orders for the school, a water well and three adjacent greenhouses.
Seven teachers and 36 students are affected. After Israel demolished the school last year, it was rebuilt with bricks and tin. Lawless demolitions are official Israeli policy.
On November 23, 972mag.com headlined, "Police, protesters clash in front of Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv," saying:
Angry about anti-democratic Knesset measures, about 200 people "block(ed) King George Street in the center of the city. Police" used pepper spray. At least one arrest occurred.
Earlier in the evening a larger protest was held near where summer social justice demonstrators rallied for weeks.
Many covered their their mouths with tape or masks to symbolize opposition against Israel's war on free expression. Increasingly, Israelis know even Jews now have fewer rights on the way perhaps to losing them entirely.
On November 21 in Vienna, a closed-door IAEA meeting discussed a nuclear-free Middle East. Iran boycotted the session. Syria attended and called Israel's arsenal a "grave and serious threat."
Attending pro-Western despotic Arab League representatives declined comment. Nothing came out of the meeting, despite calls for more Israeli transparency.
Israel refused, saying transparency won't come until "the threat perception of all regional members is low." In fact, Israel alone threatens neighbors, including with nuclear weapons.
On November 24, Netanyahu criticized Arab Spring supporters, saying it reflects "moving not forward, but backward." He added that history will prove him right about the "Islamic, anti-Western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli, and anti-democratic wave" sweeping the region.
"Israel is facing a period of instability and uncertainty in the region....I remember many of you urged me to take the opportunity to make hasty concessions, to rush to an agreement" with Palestinians. "But I will not establish Israel's policy on illusions. There's a huge upheaval here. Whoever doesn't see it is burying his head in the sand."
In fact, Israel alone menaces regional neighbors. Democracy's disappearing at home. Arab citizens are treated like fifth column threats. Most Israeli Jews are marginalized. Israel's closest Middle East allies are despots. It's only enemies are ones it creates. It needs them to justify violence, occupation and severe repression.
Indeed anti-Israeli sentiment is increasing with good reason. Despots like Netanyahu and extremist MKs make it possible. Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz accused him of creating an Israeli dictatorship, saying:
"Orwell's world is coming to life under your government's legislation, which is aiming to enforce elements of oppression and is creating a vision of horrors the likes of which we've never seen. It is as if 1984 is here."
He referred to life inside Israel. Imagine how much worse conditions are for Occupied Palestinians, suffering horrific daily oppression.
A Final Comment
Even a broken clock is right twice daily. On November 22, so was The New York Times, giving rare op-ed space to legitimate commentary for Sarah Schulman's piece titled, "Israel and 'Pinkwashing,' " saying:
In 2005, American PR firms began a "Brand Israel" campaign, seeking to portray the Jewish state as "relevant and modern."
"The government later expanded the marketing plan by harnessing the gay community to reposition its global image."
Tel Aviv's tourism board wants the city branded as "an international gay vacation destination." Last May, "Prime Minister Netanyahu told Congress that the Middle East was 'a region where women are stoned, gays are hanged, Christians are persecuted.' "
"The growing global gay movement against the Israeli occupation (calls) these tactics 'pinkwashing:' a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians' human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life."
Israel manipulates hard-won Israeli gay community gains for PR purposes. It also ignores Palestinian gay rights organizations, including Aswat, Al Qaws and the Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.
Improving gay rights doesn't offset gross human rights violations, especially for Palestinians without "a land to call home."
Imagine if all New York Times articles, op-eds and editorials featured journalism like this daily.
Imagine if all major media did, including television.
Imagine the better world we'd all live in instead of one plagued by social injustice, war and environmental destruction endangering everyone.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com 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.