By Khalid Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem

Palestinians incinerated to death by Israel’s White Phosphorous bombs

In an apparent effort to sound “balanced” and “unbiased,” the London-based human rights group, Amnesty International  (AI) , has urged the international community to halt arms sales to the Israeli apartheid regime and the Palestinian Islamic liberation movement, Hamas.

A report issued by the group on Sunday, 22 February, pointed out that arms supplied to “the two sides” were used in attacks on civilians and civilian objects” which constituted war crimes.

Non the less, a careful examination of the report shows a clear propensity on the part of AI to create a false symmetry between Hamas, a small liberation movement resisting a decades-old Nazi-like foreign military occupation, and Israel, a manifestly criminal state armed to the teeth, which has been committing every conceivable crime under the sun for the purpose of maintaining its colonialist occupation and brutal domination over the Palestinian people.

To be sure, no one claims that Hamas is completely blameless. Targeting innocent civilians is unacceptable.

However, equating the resistance of a long-persecuted people languishing under an evil military occupation, even if wrongs are done, with an immensely superior state terror unjustifiably perpetrated by an occupying power is morally unconscionable, to say the very least.

Indeed, doing so would be analogous to equating European resistance to the attacking Nazi armies during the Second World War, with the Nazi aggression itself.

Well, with all due respect to AI and its efforts to safeguard and defend human rights, there is no legal or moral equation between a rape victim’s right to defend herself against her attacker and the criminal act initiated by the rapist.

I am using this analogy because the enduring Israeli oppression meted out to the Palestinian people is an enduring act of rape.

Yes, firing home-made and other comparatively primitive projectiles on Israeli civilians is a regrettable act. However, the firing of these projectiles, which killed a few Israelis in 10 years of hostilities (virtually one Israeli per year), can’t be compared with the nearly complete annihilation of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure and wholesale murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children.

The excessive, disproportionate and often pornographic use of deadly violence against an essentially imprisoned and unprotected civilian population is more than just a mere miscalculation or faulty reasoning It is rather a deliberate war crime the perpetrators of which are vile war criminals who ought to be prosecuted and punished for their crimes.

More to the point, it is imperative that one gives context if one is truly interested in producing an honest and objective analysis of the recent outrage in Gaza.

Hence, one must be honest enough to remember that Israel had been forcing the 1.5 million Gazans to choose between dying quietly by succumbing to a genocidal hermetic siege that pushed most of the region’s inhabitants to the brink of a silent holocaust, or fighting back, using whatever primitive and extremely limited means at their disposal.

I strongly believe it is absurd and ludicrous, if not outright malicious, to compare Hamas with Israel as far as the use of violence is concerned.

Hamas is a small movement of persecuted Palestinians who have been on the receiving end of Israeli persecution and repression. Hamas poses no real or strategic threat to Israel, a military superpower which also, to a large extent, controls American politics and policies.

In its recent genocidal onslaught on Gaza, Israel used the deadliest weapons of death, including F-16 warplanes, apache helicopters, Merkava tanks, heavy artillery, depleted uranium, chemical agents that eat through the human flesh and eventually cause death, white Phosphorus, dart shells and a variety of other lethal weapons.

On the other hand, Hamas used notoriously primitive weapons, mainly to deter Israel from carrying out a genocide on a wider scale.

During that blitz, Israel knowingly and deliberately targeted civilian neighborhoods, apartment buildings, private homes, mosques, college dorms, university buildings, UN-run schools, grocery stores and businesses. It was a no-holds-barred rampage of murder and terror against an imprisoned and thoroughly starved civilian population.

As a result, as many as 7000 Palestinians were murdered, or maimed and injured, many with life-long deformities. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of other Gazans suffered long-lasting psychological traumas.

On the Israeli side, we are talking about a dozen Israeli fatalities , some of whom killed or injured by “friendly fire.”

So, we are dealing with an extremely lopsided situation where the death ratio is nearly 1 -100. Needless to say, one doesn’t have to be a great military expert to realize that this is not really a war, it is rather a huge massacre.

This is why, AI is called upon to call the spade a spade and refrain from hiding behind technical jargons that not only fail to communicate the facts about what really happened in Gaza but also give a false impression of symmetry in guilt between Israel and Hamas.

More to the point, it is important to remember that Israel didn’t impose the draconian blockade of Gaza as a retaliation for the largely innocuous firing of projectiles onto Israel. The criminal blockade was imposed, first and foremost, as a cruel punishment of Palestinians for electing a political party that Israel didn’t like.

Hence, the imposition of the siege, which is continuing unabated, is per se a war crime or a crime against humanity.

The world betrayed them, the Arab world stood silent, with some Arab regimes even colluding with Israel to perfect the siege in the hope that Gazans would turn against Hamas and bring it down.

And the hypocritical West had the audacity to blame the victims while babbling, as usual, about Israel’s right to defend itself.

This happened while an entire people was being imprisoned, starved, tormented and quietly exterminated, mainly for political reasons pertaining to Israeli territorial aggrandizement.

In short, it was the Nazi-like Israeli savaging of the Palestinians that made Palestinian resistance inevitable. The Palestinians, long tormented by this cruel occupation, have every legal and moral right to resist, using whatever means available to them.

Indeed, instead of blaming the victims for resisting their oppressors, the world, including AI , ought to tell Israel that it can’t just incarcerate 1.5 million civilians within the confines of an open-air prison, surrounded by barbed wire, watchtowers, tanks, landmines, and other state-of-the-art machines of death, and then expect the victims to display love and understanding toward their tormentors and oppressors.

Israel did transform the Gaza Strip into a real concentration camp, by denying the prisoner population access to fuel, electricity, food, medicine, medical care, and basic consumer products.

Meanwhile, the Israeli death machine never stopped murdering innocent Palestinians, nearly on a daily basis.

It is essential that AI and other human rights groups take these facts into account when dealing with the situation in Gaza.

Failing to do so, by cowering before Israeli pressure, would further corrode AI image as the world’s premier human rights organization.


  1. Michael said,

    February 24, 2009 at 08:24

    Spot on Khalid.

  2. February 24, 2009 at 15:08

    Gaza is an open air concentration camp and has been for quite a while.

    I think the only reason Amnesty International was so ambiguous with its claims re: Hamas is due to the “poltical correct” dialogues of choice from american Zionists in the USA.

    One must always depict the group Hamas as the terrorists, according to american Zionists and their political leaders. To say they were innocent is to expouse rationality and incur the wrath of the Lobby verbatim!

    Actually, if Hamas did have more weapons from neighboring states this would be classified as an actual war since there would be much more carnage on both sides. As it stands, the only one with the weapons supplied by the US is Israel. Therefore they are given free reign to lie with impunity!

    This facade in the western media is what must be eliminated for the Palestinians including Hamas to ever be given a chance.

  3. February 24, 2009 at 16:17

    There is another perspective from which this can be seen, if you care to take a moment and consider what Amnesty International may have intended: Hamas serves as the elected governing body in Gaza, representing the Palestinian people as a democratically elected body rather than some appointed puppet that does not have the confidence of the people. As a political organization their priorities, one might imagine, should be the immediate welfare of their constituents, working on issues that can be dealt with through the realm of diplomacy, the legal system, and whatever other options are available to them.

    Having weapons – and using them – weakens the message of Hamas as a group that will be taking care of their people. Using weapons amongst civilians simply does not present the image of a group of people that have the best interests of their constituency at heart. Of course, the answer to that is that Israel left them no choice, pushed them into a corner, forced the issue, etcetera ad infinitum. You know what? That really does not cut it with me any more: people know what happens when you fire off a rocket or pull the trigger on a gun; you cannot ‘will’ the projectile to stop, it is going to fly until it hits something, or it falls from the sky having burned out its kinetic energy.

    The ramifications of war, of hatred, and of violence are all to familiar, and we cannot hide the fact that violence begets violence. Should Israel be given/sold more weapons? No – they have demonstrated that they are incapable of controlling their impulses to use their weapons in reasonable manners.

    Should Hamas be sold/given advanced weapons? No – they would only be used to escalate an already tenuous situation that is made more fragile with the presence of the homemade rockets that are used with regularity.

    Let the leaders of Hamas and Israel face off with each other, each armed with a stick and a knife. If the leaders had to fight wars would end overnight.

  4. HamasisHated said,

    February 24, 2009 at 17:31

    To really expect or rationally think Hamas would react in a civilized manner or try to set up a dialogue with the army that is occupying them, is to fall hook line and sinker for the Zionist western propaganda people “claim” to be against.

    In the first place, Hamas only has the support of the people of Egypt and Palestine. It does not have any support from Mubarak or the Egyptian government.

    In the second place, of the various movements the PLO has shown time and time again they don’t really care about Gaza and are just doing what their masters tell them too.

    This, and the widening distrust among the Palestinian people for anyone BUT Hamas has precipotated the situation that is now well and alive today.

    In short changing the description of the picture won’t change a thing, only changing the picture itself will work. Hamas and Egypt do not truthfully get along. Hamas fights because the Israeli army backs them into a corner where they have no choice, then when they target civilians its no different then when the Israeli army regularly targets Palestinian “civilian” groups or Lebanese “militia” whom are simply waging battle over the rights of their land.

    Hamas won the people’s trust and they are a government who until Mubarak or some of the PLO’s puppets are gone, will likely not cease fighting. They are acting as the last line of freedom fighters for their people, in order win hearts and minds which the occupier has taken away.

    Whether it is agreed upon with their methods or not this doesn’t change the underlying truth. They have also had virtually all their food and supplies stolen by the army, by the PLO, & by egyptian raiders. The situation on the ground there is not much of anything we were told.

  5. michael mazur said,

    February 25, 2009 at 12:14

    Hamas is Shin Bet. That has to be first up. It will follow from that that Hamas has no rockets to send to Israel.

    The nightly news over the 22 days of Rabbi sanctioned mass murder showed the faked emotion of fear and cowering by neatly dressed and coiffed Israeli women of Sderot, Ashdod and Ashkelon at allegedly imminent attacks by flying finned empty drain pipes which, after landing, are displayed sticking out of the pavement with crumpled noses, or being carried in one hand by a male civilian as if it were toy or a model rocket.

    How stupid does IDF psy ops think we all are ??

    On the first day of the ground assault we were told that some IDF guys had been killed in a friendly fire incident. I don’t believe it happened at all. This was a psyops fabrication so that in the future it would look better for the numbers to be 13 rather than, say, 5, as the latter number clearly reveals unopposed mass murder took place with Gazans sustaining losses of 1350+, whereas the former number (without the friendly fire qualifier) suggests some valiant resistance, some semblance of symmetry.

    How stupid does IDF psy ops think we all are ??

    Israel tried to fit out Iran as having been the supplier of Grad rockets to Hamas which it allegedly had fired a salvo of. To this nonsense i say, `Why would Iran supply weapons which are going to be characterised as offensive, thus endangering both the Gaza people and Iran, when it could supply purely defensive weapons like anti-tank rocket propelled grenades – which concept was developed as far back as WW2, and shoulder launched anti-aircraft missiles of the kind used against Russian helicopters in the 80s in Afghanistan, as Israel would have a hard time explaining what it is doing in Gaza with attack helicopters and tanks when no missiles are landing in Israel?`.

    In short Israel would be unable to characterise these defensive weapons as offensive. People would have noticed the attack helicopters sending out flares which would have been done to convey the impression – without stating it, that there was some threat of ground to air missile attack, when in fact there was no threat.

    To put this differently, as Iran did not supply either of the defensive weapons then clearly it would not have supplied the offensive weapons Israel was screaming daily about and on which the December 27 attack was solely based.

    How stupid does IDF psy ops think we all are ??

    There is mention of the rare Israeli civilian death due to Hamas rockets, and that finally Israeli patience came to an end when the latest person was allegedly killed which precipitated the 22 day mass murder.

    But personally, for the reasons i have given, i do not believe any Israeli civilian deaths happened at all in connection with Gaza over the last several years.

    Additionally the very presence of Israeli war tourists, standing on Parash Hill – fully exposed to possible rockets out of Gaza, coolly watching huge plumes by F-16 bomb eruptions not 2km away in Gaza. They all knew they were safe even as we were being told that many Hamas rockets were coming over. Yeah, right.

    As Hamas never contradicts Israeli claims about rockets when they clearly can, it futher proves that they indeed are controlled by Shin Bet.

  6. hank said,

    February 26, 2009 at 06:46

    search engine: Hamas a creation of Mossad….Using Counter-Propaganda Science To Expose The ‘Mass-Media-Psyops That Is Now In Effect…..

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