AFTERMATH OF STUPIDITY ~~ ‘LEFTIST’ ARRESTED IN ISRAEL TRYING TO FLEE COUNTRY

Read THIS post first to get a background

Israeli Activist Says He Helps Kill Palestinians Who Sell Land to Jews

A man whose actions must not be condoned! Ezra Nawi. Photo from WIkimedia Commons

A man whose actions must not be condoned!
Ezra Nawi. Photo from WIkimedia Commons

‘Pot calling kettle black’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Facebook Friday that the report “unmasked radicals among us, whose hatred for settlements has pushed them over the edge to the point of delivering innocents for torture and execution. Those who encourage murder cannot continue to hide behind the hypocritical pretense of caring for human rights.”

Far-left activist at center of storm arrested trying to leave country

Ezra Nawi, filmed in television expose saying he helps Palestinian authorities find and kill those who sell land to Jews, is stopped at airport

A key figure from a left-wing Israeli group was arrested at Ben-Gurion airport on Monday as he tried to leave the country, days after being filmed in a television investigation that has rocked the halls of power.

Ezra Nawi, a Jewish far-left activist from the Ta’ayush group, is reportedly suspected of conspiracy to commit a crime.

Nawi, a prominent campaigner for Palestinian rights, featured in a television investigation last week in which he was recorded saying that he helps Palestinian authorities find and kill Palestinians who sell land to Jews.

Channel 2 reported Monday that during the afternoon police who were watching the suspect followed him to the airport. Although at first officers assumed he was going to meet incoming travelers, it soon became clear he was trying to leave the country as he tried to check in for a flight.

Police arrested Nawi and took him away for questioning.

Police confirmed they arrested a leftist activist but declined to give his name, though it was carried in several media reports and revealed by two lawmakers not bound by secrecy rules.

A recording of Nawi was aired on Thursday by the investigative television program Uvda, on Israel’s Channel 2.

In it, Nawi is heard speaking about four Palestinian real estate sellers, whom Nawi said mistook him for a Jew interested in buying their property.

“Straight away I give their pictures and phone numbers to the Preventive Security Force,” Nawi is heard saying in reference to the Palestinian Authority’s counterintelligence arm. “The Palestinian Authority catches them and kills them. But before it kills them, they get beat up a lot.”

The broadcast sparked a political storm, with right-wing politicians and activists pointing to it as proof that left-wing groups are not necessarily interested in human rights.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Facebook Friday that the report “unmasked radicals among us, whose hatred for settlements has pushed them over the edge to the point of delivering innocents for torture and execution. Those who encourage murder cannot continue to hide behind the hypocritical pretense of caring for human rights.”

In the Palestinian Authority, the penal code calls for capital punishment for anyone convicted of selling land to Jews. This law, which Palestinian officials defended as designed to prevent takeovers by settlers, has not been implemented in Palestinian courts, where sellers of land to Jews are usually sentenced to several years in prison.

A number of murders in recent years have been rumored to be related to the sale of land to Israelis, though the murders have remained unsolved.

Nawi was also documented obtaining information from a Palestinian who believed Nawi was a Jew interested in purchasing land. Nawi is seen saying he intends to give that information to Palestinian security officials as well. According to Uvda, an activist with the human rights group B’Tselem helped Nawi set up the would-be seller in a sting operation in which the seller would be arrested.

The recordings and footage were collected by right-wing activists who secretly recorded Nawi.

 

Source

NETANYAHU REALLY THINKS WE ARE ALL STUPID

No commentary necessary …..

USA FINALLY APPALLED BY ITS OWN MISDEEDS IN GAZA

It took 28 days of killing innocent civilians to finally get the USA to speak out against it …. don’t forget it was THEY that supplied the bombs and bullets. 

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“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed.”

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obama-appalled

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U.S. ‘Appalled’ By ‘Disgraceful Shelling’ On U.N. School in Gaza

Urges Israel to Avoid Civilian Casulties

By Reuters VIA

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The United States criticized the “disgraceful shelling” at a U.N. school in Gaza on Sunday and urged Israel to do more to prevent civilian casualties in its war against Hamas militants.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also called for an investigation into attacks on U.N. schools in densely populated Gaza.

“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed,” Psaki said in a statement.

Psaki urged Israel again to live up to its own standards of avoiding civilian casualties as the conflict in the Hamas-controlled Gaza stretched into its 27th day.

On Wednesday, at least 15 Palestinians who sought refuge in a U.N.-run school in Jabalya refugee camp were killed during fighting, and the United Nations said Israeli artillery had apparently hit the building. The Israeli military said gunmen had fired mortar bombs from near the school and it shot back in response.

Psaki said U.N. facilities should not be used as bases from which to launch attacks.

“The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians,” she added.

The fighting on Sunday pushed the Gaza death toll given by Palestinian officials to 1,775, most of them civilians. Israel has confirmed that 64 soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian rockets have killed three civilians in Israel.

HIPPOCRATIC OR HYPOCRITICAL OATH? ~~ AN OPEN LETTER CONCERNING THE LATTER

Hippocratic-Oath-pic

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Many Arab doctors treat army and police officers devotedly despite the fact that the latter have likely killed their people and hurt them. We have also cared for people who probably expropriated our lands, or drivers of bulldozers destroying al-Arakib and the unrecognized villages in the Negev. 

Because being a doctor is a mission. A doctor is a human, before being Jewish or Arab. Japanese have cared for Americans, and vice versa. 


If you can’t treat Palestinian kids, go back to your settlement

Op-ed: MK Dr. Ahmad Tibi writes open letter to Israeli physician who expressed his reservations over caring for Palestinians following kidnapping affair.

Ahmad Tibi

Several years ago, the IOF (Israel Occupation Forces) bombed Gaza. The three daughters of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish were killed as his house was bombed.

At the exact same time, he was treating Israelis – some of them soldiers or their family members who harmed his people, and some of them settlers who robbed his people’s land.

Even after his daughters were murdered in the bombing, Dr. Abu al-Aish did not lose his humanity. He remained a doctor.

In a Channel 10 report by Smadar Peled, a physician named Dr. Dudi Mishaly said that until now he has had the privilege of operating on children and healing them, including Palestinian children. Now, after the kidnapping, the settler doctor revealed that he is more of a settler than a doctor. He sees caring for a Palestinian child from Hebron as “an act of a bleeding heart” or even a “pretentious act.” That’s right!

His wife even says that Israel should cut electricity to Hebron, impose a siege and stop caring for their children, “so that they treat our children like we treat their children.”

Well, she probably hasn’t heard about the fate of 13-year-old Muhammad Dudin who was shot to death several days ago by the occupation soldiers searching for the missing-kidnapped teens, who I hope will return safely to their families. The child Muhammad Dudin will never return to his family.

IDF soldiers searching for kidnapped teens in Hebron (Photo: AP)
IDF soldiers searching for kidnapped teens in Hebron (Photo: AP)

She hasn’t heard about it, and her husband hasn’t heard about the two students Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Abu Taher, who were shot and killed by the army in Bitunia. They probably haven’t heard about almost 2,000 teenagers and children who have been killed in recent years and about Palestinian children who are “kidnapped” from their homes at night and from their schools “under orders.”

I remember encountering many hostile patients who noticed that my name is Ahmad. I have even cared for people who called me names on nationalistic grounds because I did not see my medical mission as “pretentious” or an act of a bleeding heart.

Many Arab doctors treat army and police officers devotedly despite the fact that the latter have likely killed their people and hurt them. We have also cared for people who probably expropriated our lands, or drivers of bulldozers destroying al-Arakib and the unrecognized villages in the Negev.

Because being a doctor is a mission. A doctor is a human, before being Jewish or Arab. Japanese have cared for Americans, and vice versa.

By the way, I have never asked to be thanked for a treatment or help I gave. Medicine is a value which depends on the person, not on one’s nationality or political views. It’s true that a doctor is also a human being with feeling and opinions, but he is tested in his ability to push his opinions aside and not to express them openly.

Dr. Mishaly, I don’t want to demand your dismissal from treating children because, as you said, you have been coming to work “with a depression” recently. A depressed doctor can be an oppressing doctor. I am certain that there will be other doctors, both Jews and Arabs, who will agree to do what you find difficult doing: Operating on Palestinian children.

Take a vacation, go back to your settlement, which sits exactly on the lands of the family of the Hebron child whose treatment you question, and enjoy the fake feeling of belonging to a collective of self-righteousness, disowning, crying and showing off. Get out of the Palestinian land. Get out of our souls.

And to you I would like to dedicate Mahmoud Darwish’s song, “Passers between the Passing Words.” It’s time for you to be gone – ايها المارون بين الكلمات العابرة خذوا اسماءكم وانصرفوا.

Got it, doctor?

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Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish

PALESTINIAN POET MAHMOUD DARWISH

Passers Between the Passing Words by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish

 

O those who pass between fleeting words

carry your names, and be gone

Rid our time of your hours, and be gone

Steal what you will from the blueness of the sea

And the sand of memory

 

Take what pictures you will, so that you understand

That which you never will:

How a stone from our land builds the ceiling of our sky

 

From you steel and fire, from us our flesh

From you yet another tank, from us stones

From you teargas, from us rain…

 

It is time for you to be gone

Live wherever you like, but do not live among us

It is time for you to be gone

Die wherever you like, but do not die among us

For we have work to do in our land

 

So leave our country

Our land, our sea

Our wheat, our salt, our wounds

Everything, and leave

The memories of memory

those who pass between fleeting words!

ISRAEL’S HYPOCRITICAL BACKLASH AGAINST BDS

Zionists have been quick to accuse the ASA resolution of violating academic freedom, but this accusation does not stand up to meaningful scrutiny. In fact, it is Israel that systematically denies this right to Palestinians.
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Backlash against boycotting Israel’s universities reeks of hypocrisy

David Letwin

A Palestinian schoolgirl inspects the damage to a classroom hit days earlier during Israeli bombing in Rafah, Gaza Strip, on 26 November 2012.  (Eyad Al Baba / APA images)

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The American Studies Association’s recent endorsement of the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli academic institutions is a triumph for the entire boycott, divestment and sanctions(BDS) movement.

Israel’s ongoing crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people — 65 years of ethnic cleansing, colonization, denial of refugee rights and second-class citizenship, including extension of this brutal regime into the territories occupied since 1967 — has been perpetuated with the full complicity of Israeli academia.

The association’s vote powerfully affirms that such racism and injustice must not be legitimized through so-called “engagement” with abetting institutions.

Zionists have been quick to accuse the ASA resolution of violating academic freedom, but this accusation does not stand up to meaningful scrutiny. In fact, it is Israel that systematically denies this right to Palestinians.

And in reality, these attacks have little to do with academic freedom in the first place. Nor do they reflect an aversion to boycotts per se, which Israel and its supporters widely apply, for example, to the entire populations of Gaza and Iran — and now to the ASA itself.

Targeting Israel

Their real objection is that BDS targets Israel. Rather than admit this outright, however, BDS opponents typically complain of double standards.

“Did [the ASA resolution’s] authors,” wrote editors of The Washington Post, “pause to consider China’s incarceration of writers and scholars who dare to think and speak out for freedom, or the ethnic groups in China persecuted for refusing to heel to the Beijing masters?”

Writing in The Huffington Post, Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan College, stated: “The ASA listens to civil society only when it speaks against Israel. As its scholarly president declared, ‘One has to start somewhere.’ Not in North Korea, not in Russia or Zimbabwe or China — one has to start with Israel. Really?”

James F. Jones, president of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut made a similar point: “In this strange case, why the ASA would propose an academic boycott of Israel and not, for example, of Syria, the Sudan, North Korea, China, IranIraq, or Russia escapes rational thought.”

Congressman Eliot Engel stated: “If you must “start somewhere,” than I strongly suggest the ASA turn its attention to Syria, where Bashar al-Assad’s forces have indiscriminately shelled universities, killing students even as they sat for exams.”

Desperate

These arguments, however, are merely desperate attempts to distract attention from the fundamentally unjust nature of the “Jewish state” and trivialize Palestinian suffering.

As writer Mike Marqusee recently pointed out, these arguments are also virtually identical to earlier cries of “hypocrisy” against those who boycotted apartheid South Africa rather than “black dictatorships” elsewhere in Africa.

The logical fallacies here are numerous. First, one injustice never excuses another, nor do opponents of one injustice have to answer for unrelated injustices.

Second, the BDS movement has never condoned crimes by other regimes to begin with. Third, opponents of the ASA resolution wouldn’t support BDS no matter who else it denounced.

And fourth, they would never be making such arguments in the first place were their own rights at stake.

True hypocrites

Who, then, are the true hypocrites?

Furthermore, the ASA didn’t “propose” the boycott of Israel, as Jones has claimed. Rather, it endorsed an already existing Palestinian call — as Jones et al would do were their purported empathy for the oppressed genuine.

Instead, just as hostile whites often condescendingly dismissed black resistance to Jim Crow as the work of “outside agitators,” defenders of apartheid Israel portray BDS as the pathological brainchild of left-wing Western academics and activists. In both cases, the goal is to attack a movement’s authenticity and validity.

It didn’t work then; it won’t work now.

Indeed, more than anything these attacks signify that Israel has lost the battle for moral legitimacy. With Israel increasingly exposed before the world as a racist regime, its supporters now resort to assassinating the character of those — including a growing number of Jews — who demand justice for Palestinians.

These threats notwithstanding, the association’s stand is reverberating around the world.

“The ASA boycott of Israel,” wrote Palestinian BDS advocate Omar Barghouti, “will be remembered for many years to come as a crucial catalyst in this emancipatory process of reclaiming rights for all who are denied them.”

In Palestine, that process must ultimately lead to the end of Zionist apartheid, and, consistent with renewed Palestinian calls, a single democratic state throughout historic Palestine with equal rights for all.

Meanwhile, it is incumbent on all people of conscience to defend — and emulate — the ASA’s courageous stand.

David Letwin is a teacher living in Brooklyn, New York. He is affiliated with Jews for Palestinian Right of Return and Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

Written FOR

‘MEN OF PEACE’ SHED TEARS OF BLOOD FOR ARIEL SHARON

Ariel Sharon-The War Criminal-is Dead

Bdt8 TJCcAAGHCA 300x198 Ariel Sharon The War Criminal is Dead

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Yet, at least two recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize had nothing but praise for this war criminal …. As Shimon Peres said, “May he rest in piss”!

That in fact would be too good a fate for him.

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Below, Obama’s full statement, as released by the White House: On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to the people of Israel on the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel. We reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel’s security and our appreciation for the enduring friendship between our two countries and our two peoples. We continue to strive for lasting peace and security for the people of Israel, including through our commitment to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. As Israel says goodbye to Prime Minister Sharon, we join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country.

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The real story ….
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Palestinians relieved at Sharon’s death, call him “ultimate tormentor”
By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

Palestinians, nearly at all levels, have expressed deep satisfaction at the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the man many Palestinian consider their “ultimate tormentor.”

Sharon died Saturday of a crippling illness that kept him in a state of constant comma for eight years. He was 85.

Palestinian intellectuals and commoners interviewed by this writer said they were quite relieved at the death of the man they said killed so many innocent Palestinians and caused suffering and misery on a large scale.

Sharon is especially reviled for the Sabra and Shatila massacres in 1982, when he, as Defense Minister, enabled Christian militiamen allied with Israel to penetrate the two refugee camps on the outskirts of Beirut and butcher hundreds of refugees.

Sharon denied the allegations but the monstrosity of the massacres convinced very few people, even inside Israel, of his innocence.

His visit to the Aqsa Mosque esplanade in October 2000 was seen as the main event triggering the second Palestinian intifada in which thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis lost their lives.

Palestinians also believe that Sharon ordered the assassination by way of poison of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. In 2004, Sharon ordered the assassination of Ahmed Yasin, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas. A few weeks later, Sharon approved the assassination of Yasin’s successor Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi.

The ostensibly overwhelming hatred the Palestinian public harbors for Sharon seems to have made Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas refrain from extending official condolence to the Israeli government.

The PA might also be worried that a formal call of condolence would be used by Hamas as a “propaganda capital” against Abbas and the PA.

Let him rot in hell

While the PA leadership refrained from commenting on Sharon’s death, some Fatah leaders unhesitatingly voiced their deep satisfaction at Sharon’s death.

“Sharon was a bona fide criminal. He is responsible for the murder of so many innocent Palestinians, including Yasser Arafat. We would have hoped to see him dragged to the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court to stand trial for his numerous crimes” said Jebril Rajoub, an outspoken Fatah leader and former head of the Preventive Security agency.

For its part, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, couldn’t hide its pleasure at Sharon’s death.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesperson, said the Palestinian people were more confident in victory after the death of Sharon.

“Our people are quite happy that this criminal has perished. We are happy because his hands were smeared with the innocent blood of our children. We don’t hate Sharon and other Israeli leaders because they are Jewish. We hate them because they are criminals and murderers.”

Mushir al Masri, another Islamist spokesman, said it was “natural” that Palestinians are happy about Sharon’s death.

“Wouldn’t Jews be happy about the death of a Nazi killer who had killed numerous Jews during the holocaust?”

Ultimate tormentor

Ismael Shindi, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Hebron, described Sharon as “our ultimate tormentor.”

“I know he is looked upon as a celebrated hero by most Israelis and Jews. But for us he was a despicable murderer and criminal. He carried on his hands the blood of so many innocent people. I believe it is unethical and un-conscientious to feel sorry for the death of such a man.”

Shindi added: “I know that gloating over a mortal’s death is inappropriate. But the man we are talking about was not an ordinary criminal. He was our ultimate tormentor and grave-digger and I am not speaking metaphorically.

Predictably, the same feeling is echoed by almost every Palestinian this writer has spoken to.

Like other monotheistic religions, Islam, the religion of the vast majority of Palestinians, discourages people from gloating over the death of other people, even their enemies since all mortals will ultimately die.

However, in Sharon’s case, there is a certain collective feeling among Palestinians in general that the man’s evil transcended reality.

This is the view of Ahmed Yousef, the former political advisor of Hamas’ Prime Minister Ismael Haniya.

“Sharon’s evilness went beyond the pale. It transcended reality. That is why it would be dishonest to say that Palestinians don’t feel relieved by his death.”

Evil incarnate

As mentioned above, the hatred directed at Sharon is by no means confined to any specific segment of the Palestinian public.

Tayseer Masalmeh is a taxi cab driver from the small town of Dura in the southern West Bank.

He says that Palestinians cannot go against nature by pretending that they are not satisfied at Sharon’s death.

“I know that Sharon’s death won’t change things on the ground. I know that his death won’t make Israeli leaders reconsider their oppressive policies and practices against our people. But at least Sharon will meet his maker and be brought face to face with the many thousands of people he cut their lives short. I’m sure he will rot in hell. God wouldn’t be just if he didn’t.”

State of perdition

A similar view was voiced by Walid Suleiman, editor-in-chief of Hebron Times, a tabloid newspaper published in Hebron.

“I think Sharon’s prolonged comma and ultimate death is a sign of God. For us Palestinians, he was a terrifying figure, a sort of fearful golem. He was called the bulldozer for his ruthlessness and viciousness. But eventually he succumbed to death as if he had never existed on this earth. I hope all tyrants and oppressors, Arabs and Jews and others will learn a lesson from Sharon’s life and death, namely that arrogance, insolence and evil don’t pay off.”

Suleiman, a religious Muslim, said he was sure that the eight years Sharon spent in a state of comma before his death was “a state of perdition.”  In Christian and also in Islamic theology, perdition is a state of eternal punishment and damnation into which a sinful and unrepentant person passes after death.

Palestinian political analyst Hani al-Masri doesn’t credit Sharon for withdrawing Israeli occupation troops from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

“He didn’t do it for the Palestinians’ sake or for peace. He did it because he wanted to have as much Palestinian land as possible with as little population as possible.

“Besides, Israel never really terminated its domination of Gaza borders, waters and airspace.”

Masri doesn’t think there is any qualitative difference between Sharon and other Israeli leaders.

“Sharon would murder us while cursing but people like (Israeli President) Shimon Peres would do the same thing while saying ‘we love you.’ “

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HYPOCRISY SHOWS ITS FACE IN THE WAKE OF MANDELA’S DEATH

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Nelson%20Mandela%20dies

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The very powers that ardently support Israel’s apartheid state are the ones shedding the most crocodile tears at the passing of Nelson Mandela. Where were their tears and support when he sat in prison for 27 years? Where are their tears for the thousands of Palestinians who perished under Israel’s occupation of their land?

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The Obamas

The Harpers

The Camerons

Even The Royal Family …..

See THIS report to see who else

Their tears are literally dropping on the checks they are sending in support of Israeli apartheid …..

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Hypocrisy  at its greatest.

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Don’t miss this post from last night

A STUDY IN AMERICAN HYPOCRISY

To suggest that the United States does not go back on its word when it comes to commonly-accepted mandates of international law is laughable.
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Treaty Obligations, War Crimes and Accountability:
A Study in American Hypocrisy

 By Nima Shirazi
The U.S. Air Force firebombing Japan in 1945
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”
– Juvenal, Satires (VI, 347–8)

“I have no interest in any open-ended conflict in Syria, but we do have to make sure that when countries break international norms on weapons like chemical weapons that could threaten us, that they are held accountable,” President Barack Obama said in a PBS interview earlier this week.

With allegations of a horrific chemical weapons attack outside Damascus andnew reports of a “napalm” bomb being dropped on a school playground in northern Syria, this statement, made by an American Commander-in-Chief, would certainly come as a surprise to many of Obama’s predecessors, considering theuse of chemical weapons has been standard U.S. military procedure for decades.

Napalm, which is classified as an incendiary, rather than chemical, weapon, is composed of a gel that sticks to the skin and can burn down to the bone. Used extensively by the U.S. military during the last years of World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters, the napalm bombing of Japan killed at least 330,000 people. Twice the amount of napalm as was dropped on Japan in 1945 was used by American forces over three years during the Korean War: 32,357 tons as compared to 16,500 tons.

Between 1963 and 1973, the U.S. military dropped nearly 400,000 tons of napalm on Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. In 1980, the United Nations declared the use of napalm gel in densely-populated civilian areas to be a war crime.

Agent Orange, a chemical weapon derived from herbicides, was also used by Americans during the Vietnam War. Between 1962 and 1971, the U.S. military sprayed nearly 20 million gallons of material containing chemical herbicides and defoliants mixed with jet fuel in Vietnam, eastern Laos and parts of Cambodia, as part of Operation Ranch Hand.

A 2008 Globe and Mail article reported that “Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed by the defoliants, 500,000 children have been born withdefects from retardation to spina bifida and a further two million people have suffered cancers or other illnesses. Yet they have received no compensation from those who produced the chemicals and those who made them a weapon of war.”

According to the the United Nations, Agent Orange is “one of the most toxic compounds known to human,” and the Vietnamese Red Cross has estimated that “as many as one million people in Vietnam have disabilities or other health problems associated with Agent Orange.”

A recently published report in Foreign Policy revealed that, during the Iran-Iraq War from 1980-1988, “America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen.” Among the findings, the report stated that, in 1988, “U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent,” and that “Iraqis used mustard gas and sarin prior to four major offensives in early 1988 that relied on U.S. satellite imagery, maps, and other intelligence.”

More:

In contrast to today’s wrenching debate over whether the United States should intervene to stop alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government, the United States applied a cold calculus three decades ago to Hussein’s widespread use of chemical weapons against his enemies and his own people. The Reagan administration decided that it was better to let the attacks continue if they might turn the tide of the war. And even if they were discovered, the CIA wagered that international outrage and condemnation would be muted.

Even more recently, the U.S. military used white phosphorus, a chemical compound whose use in civilian areas constitutes a war crime, during its 2004 attacks on Fallujah in Iraq, just as America’s best friend in the region, Israel, dropped white phosphorus on civilian areas in its 2008-2009 massacre in Gaza.

It should be noted that, while the United States is a party to the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which bans the use of napalm against civilians, it has never signed Protocol III on the convention, the statute that specifically bans the use of all incendiary weaponry. Nevertheless, even without signing it, this protocol came into force for the U.S. on July 21, 2009.

Furthermore, Israel is one of only seven nations on the planet – along with Syria, Angola, South Sudan, Egypt, North Vietnam, and Myanmar – to refuse to abideby the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

However, despite this, a deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said this week that state non-compliance with treaty obligations recognized by the vast majority of the international community – even by non-signatories to such treaties – should not absolve those states from accountability.

During a press briefing on August 27, spokesperson Marie Harf described the CWC as a “multilateral disarmament agreement” that “provides for the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction under universally applied international control and prohibits the use of chemical weapons. Currently, 189 nations, which represent about 98 percent of the global population, have joined the Chemical Weapons Convention.” As such, she continued, even though there are a few nations that have not yet acceded to the convention, “clearly that should not enable them to escape responsibility for their actions.”

Harf added, “There is a reason that the overwhelming majority of the international community – again, that agrees on little else – has stood against the use of these weapons, and Syria should not be able to flout the clearly expressed view of the international community here.”

The following day, Harf reiterated this position:

[T]he indiscriminate use of chemical weapons against civilians is a violation of international law. I also talked a little bit about international norms and the Chemical Weapons Convention, which they are obviously not a party to, but which clearly laid out that a majority – a vast majority of the world spoke up and said that we are taking a stand against chemical weapons and the world has spoken on chemical weapons. And we’re not going back, and they have to be held accountable.

To suggest that the United States does not go back on its word when it comes to commonly-accepted mandates of international law is laughable. In 1998, the vast majority of the world’s nations voted to adopted the Rome Statute, establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC) and granting it authority to “bring to justice the perpetrators of the worst crimes known to humankind – war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.” The United States voted against it.

When the statute was officially adopted by the international community in 2002, the United States, Israel and Sudan all signed it, but formally refused to present it for ratification. In a letter to the UN Secretary-General on May 6, 2002, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton, stated, “in connection with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted on July 17, 1998, that the United States does not intend to become a party to the treaty. Accordingly, the United States has no legal obligations arising from its signature on December 31, 2000.”  While the Obama administrationhas walked back this Bush era rejection, it has still refused to ratify the treaty and accept the ICC’s jurisdiction.

Of course, the language of international law and accountability is also never leveled at Israel when it commits war crimes or develops an undeclared and unmonitored arsenal of nuclear weapons in defiance of the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of which Israel – along with only three other countries on Earth – is not a signatory.

In fact, in May 2010, after the 189 signatories of the NPT – including Iran and Syria called for an international conference in 2012 with the goal of establishing “a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction,” Israel denounced the accord, describing it as “deeply flawed and hypocritical,” and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this Conference, which has no authority over Israel. Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation.”

At the time, President Obama also decried the resolution for what he claimed was an unfair focus on Israel – the only nuclear-armed state in the region – and promised to “oppose actions that jeopardize Israel’s national security.”

When the time of the proposed conference rolled around in December 2012, the United States prevented it from taking place.

It is clear that the United States is not considering military strikes on Syria out of any deference to the obligations of international law or concern for innocent civilians. As Omar Dahi notes in Jadaliyya, “The fact that the United States is threatening to strike now has nothing to do with the welfare of Syrians, and everything to do with the United States maintaining its own ‘credibility,’ its position as a hegemonic power.”

Even taking the U.S. government at its word – a dubious thing to do in light of past experiences – presents problems of its own, namely that any purportedly punitive military action against Syria would itself be a violation of the very laws the United States is claiming to defend.

Recall, for instance, what then-Senator Barack said back on December 20, 2007:  “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation…As President, I will not assert a constitutional authority to deploy troops in a manner contrary to an express limit imposed by Congress and adopted into law.”

International relations professor Charli Carpenter has just addressed these factors in Foreign Affairs:

The Obama administration has already confirmed that its primary concern is with protecting the norm and punishing its violators. Given that goal, the appropriate course of action would be to, first, independently verify who violated it. The United States claims that it has “no doubt” that Syria was behind last week’s chemical attack, but that remains an open question until the UN inspectors have completed their investigation. Second, the United States would have to consider a range of policy options for affirming, condemning, and lawfully punishing the perpetrator before resorting to force, particularly unlawful force. As Article36.org, a nongovernmental organization notes, these might includecondemnation, an arms embargo, sanctions, or any of the other bilateral and multilateral measures that are typically used to respond to violations of weapons norms (and which might be at least as effective than air strikes, if not more so). Third, should the United States decide on military action, with or without a UN Security Council resolution, it would need to adhere to international norms regulating the use of specific weapons in combat.

It is thus worrying that the proposed military strikes against Syria rely on Tomahawk missiles, which are capable of carrying cluster munitions and which have been decried on humanitarian grounds by numerous governments and civil society groups. Equally alarming is that the planned strikes would likely involve the use of explosives in populated areas, which is in violation of emerging international concerns about such behavior. Although there is historical precedent for the legitimacy of violating the UN Charter in order to enforce global humanitarian norms, it would be seen as hypocritical to violate those very norms in the service of their affirmation.

As always, with a potentially imminent military strike on the horizon, the American government has once again affirmed its belief that – unlike the rest of the world – when the United States or its friends abrogate international law and commit war crimes, they should not be held to account.

*****

UPDATE:

MSNBC‘s resident loudmouth Chris Matthews – who fancies himself somewhat of an historian – is apparently wholly unaware of the U.S. military’s past use of chemical weapons. Speaking on Morning Joe earlier this week, Matthews bellowed:

If you basically put down a red line and say don’t use chemical weapons, and it’s been enforced in the Western community, around the world — international community for decades. Don’t use chemical weapons. We didn’t use them in World War II, Hitler didn’t use them, we don’t use chemical weapons, that’s no deal. Although we do know that Assad’s father did. Then he goes ahead and does it.

Let alone Matthews’ ignorance of our own actions, even more surreal is the statement that “Hitler didn’t use them.” Matthews seems to be forgetting about that whole Holocaust thing, when the Nazis committed genocide by gassing millions of Jews in death camps.

Since no allusion to either Syria or Nazi Germany is allowed to pass in themainstream media without making erroneous comparisons with Iran, Matthews added that, based on Assad’s alleged use of weapons of mass destruction, “It makes you wonder what the mullahs will do if they have a couple of nuclear weapons, just a couple.”

Well, first off, Iran isn’t building nuclear weapons and, even according to U.S. intelligence assessments, hasn’t even made a decision to do so. It has alsoroutinely denounced the acquisition, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons for the past three decades.

Moreover, that Matthews would think Iranian leaders would instigate atomic armageddon for absolutely no reason is bizarre. But then, again, with a history ofpromoting misinformation and demonstrating utter ignorance about the Iranian nuclear program, it is no surprise Matthews is pushing such shameless propaganda.

Second, Matthews fails to point out here that, in fact, only one single solitary nation in world history has ever actually used nuclear weapons: the United States of America, which dropped them on a civilians, slaughtering hundreds of thousands.

As Robert McNamara recounted to filmmaker Errol Morris in The Fog of War, “[U.S. Air Force General Curtis] LeMay said, ‘If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.’ And I think he’s right. He, and I’d say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?”

McNamara wondered, “Was there a rule then that said you shouldn’t bomb, shouldn’t kill, shouldn’t burn to death 100,000 civilians in one night?”

(h/t to JTA’s Uriel Heilman for jumping on this.)

ZIOPOCRISY

If anyone else even had plans for this, the zios would be screaming their heads off …. but in this case there is silence. Can we call this ziopocrisy?
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An Israeli architectural firm defended its involvement in the planned construction of a shopping mall on a former concentration camp for Jews in Serbia.
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Israeli Firm Builds Mall on Concentration Camp Site

Belgrade Site Will Be Serbia’s Biggest Shopping Center

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Place of Grief: A woman mourns at the site of a Nazi concentration camp in Belgrade.
HISTORICAL ARCHIVE OF BELGRADE
Place of Grief: A woman mourns at the site of a Nazi concentration camp in Belgrade.
 

By JTA

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An Israeli architectural firm defended its involvement in the planned construction of a shopping mall on a former concentration camp for Jews in Serbia.

“We cannot be suspected in being insensitive to anything relating to the Holocaust,” Ami Moore of the MYS firm in Tel Aviv said in a statement sent to JTA. Moore was responding to allegations that appeared earlier this month in an article by the Reuters news agency that his firm was pursuing unlicensed plans for building a shopping mall for Serbia’s Delta corporation on the premises of the Topovske Supe camp, where 6,000 Jews and 1,500 Roma were murdered during World War II.

Heritage preservation officials in Serbia told Reuters they opposed the plan to build on the site, which comprises a cluster of dilapidated warehouses and a memorial plaque. Delta has not obtained the necessary permits to destroy the warehouses and build there, Aleksandra Fulgozi, deputy director of Serbia’s Agency for Protection for Cultural Monuments, told Reuters.

But according to Moore, his office plans to build a large memorial monument at the entrance to the shopping mall that would “educate about the Holocaust.” He said representatives of Serbian Jewry have been consulted with regard to the design.

“Topovske Supe was an army warehouse that was improvised into a concentration camp for about half a year. The old walls mean nothing. The essence of the memorial means everything,” Moore wrote. “The main issue regarding the proposed memorial is to make it respecting of the victims, educating the next generations, visible and accessible as much as possible.”

Moore said that the plaque currently installed at Topovske Supe “fails to do so.”


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