Posts Tagged ‘Gaza-Krieg’

Palästina / Gaza: Fluchtursache Krieg

Donnerstag, September 18th, 2014

“Thousands of Gazans fleeing to Europe, hundreds die at sea

‘It’s better to die at sea than to die of despair and frustration in Gaza,’ says resident of Strip.

Haaretz reports: Thousands of Palestinians have left the Gaza Strip for Europe using tunnels, traffickers and boats, testimonies obtained by Haaretz show.

Gazans have been fleeing the Strip since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, but their escape was hardly covered in the media since they have been leaving clandestinely, with the help of paid smugglers.

The sinking of two ships carrying Palestinians from Gaza — one off the coast of Malta last week, and the other off the coast of Egypt — and the drowning of hundreds of passengers have focused attention on the trend.

The Palestinian Embassy in Greece reported yesterday that the ship that sank off the coast of Malta was carrying more than 450 passengers, most of them Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, and that it was rammed intentionally by another ship run by rival smugglers.

The Gaza-based human rights group Adamir has collected the names of more than 400 missing people. “No one knows where they are; the whole Gaza Strip is talking about it. It’s such a painful story, as if it’s not enough what happened in the last war and now another blow comes,” said Adamir director Halil Abu Shamala, noting that most of the passengers were young people but that there were also whole families aboard.

At least 15 Palestinians drowned when another ship sank off the Egyptian coast near Alexandria on Saturday.

Abu Ahmed, who lost his son on that ship, explains how the system operates. “There are a few people who left the Gaza Strip through the Rafah [border] crossing, mainly humanitarian cases. But most of the people leave through the tunnels and reach the Egyptian [side of] Rafah and from there they continue,” he said.

One prominent smuggler leader named Abu Hamada Asuri oversees a network that brings people out of the Gaza Strip to Europe by sea. He lives in Egypt but has representatives in the Strip, some of whom are well-known figures there.

One, who asked that his name not be used, told Haaretz: “This trip costs between $3500 to $4000 dollars a person. People who want to go make arrangements ahead of time to come to the entrance to a tunnel in Palestinian Rafah. It’s a relatively small tunnel; most of the big ones have been blocked by the Egyptians. People crawl dozens of meters and at the end of the tunnel on the Egyptian side of Rafah a minibus or other vehicle waits for them and takes them to Port Said.”

The man said that once they get to Port Said or other locales, they wait in an apartment or other building that has been prepared for them ahead of time. He added that Egyptian security officials are bribed to look the other way and stamp passports with forged stamps.

Haaretz heard testimony that the refugees wait until they get word from the smugglers to proceed to Alexandria, where they board small boats, sometimes dozens per boat. Once they leave Egyptian territorial waters they switch to another boat that in most cases sails to Italy. The trip usually takes about a week.

One refugee who managed to get to the Italian coast told Haaretz that when the boat approaches the shore it issues a distress call and Italian navy and Red Cross ships pick them up. In other cases, the boat approaches the shore and people jump into the water with life jackets, and are rescued by the Coast Guard or the Red Cross.

Most of the refugees say they are Syrians or Palestinians who have arrived from Syria seeking safe haven from the war in that country. The refugees are transferred to special facilities where they wait for a few days. They say the long arm of the smugglers reaches right into those facilities; representatives of the smugglers sign papers releasing them from the facilities, and then onward to their destinations. Some want to leave Italy for another country where they have relatives.

One Gaza resident, who had planned on leaving the Strip in the next few days, told Haaretz he had changed his mind after he heard about the drownings. People hear about how to leave Gaza by word of mouth, he said. “Some people came and told about the good life and the normal conditions and of course …anywhere in Europe is better than here. Whether you get through the whole trip safely depends on what kind of luck you have.”

The Gaza resident said one woman survivor of the ship that sank off the coast of Alexandria said Egyptian smugglers had rammed it and that they saw people were drowning and offered no help. “But I don’t think even such a terrible incident will stop the phenomenon because people are completely desperate and want to leave. They say clearly it’s better to die at sea than die of despair and frustration in Gaza,” the resident said.

The Palestinian Authority yesterday warned Palestinians to be wary of the smugglers. But the government cannot act against those who flee because its security forces don’t have control over the smuggling routes, which are in the hands of influential people who are close to the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip.”

 

(Quelle: War in Context.org)

UN: Recht haben und bekommen

Dienstag, August 19th, 2014

“Hague court under western pressure not to open Gaza war crimes inquiry

Potential ICC investigation into actions of both the IDF and Hamas in Gaza has become a fraught political battlefield

Julian Borger, diplomatic editor

The international criminal court has persistently avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza as a result of US and other western pressure, former court officials and lawyers claim.

In recent days, a potential ICC investigation into the actions of both the Israel Defence Forces and Hamas in Gaza has become a fraught political battlefield and a key negotiating issue at ceasefire talks in Cairo. But the question of whether the ICC could or should mount an investigation has also divided the Hague-based court itself (…).”

Weiterlesen…

 

(Quelle: The Guardian)

Israel / Palästina: Demokratie am Scheideweg?

Donnerstag, Juli 31st, 2014

Interview mit Professor Ilan Pappe auf Democracy Now am 28.07.2014

Quelle:
http://www.democracynow.org/2014/7/28/professor_ilan_pappe_israel_has_chosen
Übersetzung:
Anis Hamadeh 29.07.14

Während die Zahl der toten Palästinenser in Gaza die 1000 überschritten hat, ist uns aus Haifa der israelische Professor und Historiker Ilan Pappé zugeschaltet. “Ich glaube, dass Israel 2014 die Entscheidung gefällt hat, dass es lieber ein rassistischer Apartheidstaat ist und keine Demokratie”, sagt Pappé. “Es hofft immer noch, dass die USA diese Entscheidung genehmigen und sie mit Immunität versehen, um so fortzufahren, mit den zwangsläufigen Folgen einer solchen Politik für die Palästinenser, wo sie auch sind.” Pappé, Geschichts-Professor und Direktor des European Centre for Palestine Studies an der Universität Exeter, ist Autor mehrerer Bücher, darunter das aktuelle Werk “The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge”.

AMY GOODMAN: Weiter geht es mit unserer Berichterstattung über die Krise in Gaza und wir schalten nach Haifa, Israel, um mit Ilan Pappé zu sprechen, Geschichts-Professor und Direktor des European Centre for Palestine Studies an der Universität Exeter in Großbritannien. Er ist Autor mehrerer Bücher, darunter das aktuelle Werk “The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge”, und ist uns jetzt über Democracy-Now!-Videostream aus Haifa zugeschaltet. Willkommen bei Democracy Now!, Professor Pappé. Derzeit sind über tausend Palästinenser getötet worden, sowie ich glaube, die Zahl ist 45 israelische Soldaten, und drei Zivilisten wurden in Israel getötet. Können Sie über die letzten Waffenstillstandsverhandlungen sprechen und darüber, was Ihrer Ansicht nach geschehen muss?

ILAN PAPPÉ: Ich freue mich, in Ihrer Sendung zu sein, Amy. An Ort und Stelle gibt es keine Anzeichen für einen Waffenstillstand. Derzeit gibt es sozusagen zwei konkurrierende Initiativen: die ägyptisch-israelische Initiative, die im Grunde der Hamas eine Rückkehr zum Status Quo diktieren will, und die im Grunde alles, für das die Hamas gekämpft hat, an den Rand drängen und ignorieren will. Dann ist da eine seriösere Bemühung, die Außenminister John Kerry versucht hat nach vorn zu bringen, mit Hilfe der Qataris und der Türken, um zu versuchen, wenigstens einige der Punkte zu berücksichtigen, die der derzeitigen Welle von Gewalt zu Grunde liegen. Doch bis jetzt hat keine der beiden Initiativen die Lage vor Ort beeinflusst, abgesehen von einer kleinen Feuerpause in den letzten Stunden im Vergleich zu den letzten zwanzig Tagen.

AMY GOODMAN: Es gab Proteste in Tel Aviv. Wie viele Menschen kamen zu diesen Protesten, auch in Haifa, an diesem Wochenende? Haben Sie an den Protesten in Haifa teilgenommen, Professor Pappé?

ILAN PAPPÉ: Ja, ja, das habe ich. In Haifa waren es ungefähr 700 Menschen, in Tel Aviv 3000. Man muss natürlich dazu sagen, dass eine große Zahl der Demonstranten palästinensische Bürger Israels sind. Die Zahl der israelischen Juden, die mutig genug sind, um rauszugehen und zu demonstrieren, ist also noch geringer als diese Zahlen nahelegen. Außerdem stießen sie auf sehr bösartige Reaktionen von rechten Demonstranten und wurden sehr hart von der Polizei angegangen.

AMY GOODMAN: Was denken Sie ist das wichtigste, das man über diesen Konflikt wissen muss?

ILAN PAPPÉ: Ich denke, das wichtigste ist der historische Kontext. Wenn man der Mainstream-Berichterstattung über die Situation in Gaza zuhört, bekommt man den Eindruck, dass alles mit unvernünftigen Raketenabschüssen auf Israel von der Hamas begonnen hat. Dabei werden zwei elementare geschichtliche Hintergründe ausgelassen. Der ganz unmittelbare geht zurück auf den Juni dieses Jahres, als Israel sich dazu entschieden hat, gewaltsam zu versuchen, die Hamas in der Westbank politisch zu zerstören und die Versuche der palästinensischen Einheitsregierung zu vereiteln, eine internationale Kampagne voranzubringen, um Israel auf der Basis der Maßgaben von Menschenrechten und Bürgerrechten zur Verantwortung zu ziehen. Der tiefere historische Kontext ist die Tatsache, dass der Gazastreifen, beziehungsweise die Menschen im Gazastreifen seit 2005 als Kriminelle eingekerkert sind, und ihr einziges Verbrechen besteht darin, Palästinenser an einem geopolitischen Ort zu sein, von dem Israel nicht weiß, wie es damit umgehen soll. Und als sie demokratisch jemanden gewählt haben, der gelobt hat, gegen diese Ghettoisierung oder diese Belagerung zu kämpfen, reagierte Israel mit voller Stärke. Dieser weitere historische Kontext zeigt, dass es sich um den verzweifelten Versuch handelt, aus dieser Situation, von der Ihr voriger Interview-Partner gesprochen hat, herauszukommen. Um diesen Kontext geht es hier, er ist also lösbar. Die Situation kann gelöst werden, indem man die Belagerung beendet, indem man den Menschen in Gaza zugesteht, mit ihren Brüdern und Schwestern in der Westbank verbunden zu sein, und indem man ihnen erlaubt, mit der Welt verbunden zu sein und nicht unter Umständen zu leben, die niemand sonst in der Welt zu diesem Zeitpunkt zu durchleben scheint.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Pappé, am Wochenende berichtete der BBC-Korrespondent Jon Donnison darüber, dass Israel zugegeben haben soll, dass die Hamas für die Tötung der drei israelischen Teenager in der Westbank im Juni nicht verantwortlich war. Auf Twitter sagte Donnison, dass der israelische Polizeisprecher Micky Rosenfeld ihm erzählte, dass die Verdächtigen des Mordes an den drei Teenagern zu einer vereinzelten Zelle gehörten, die zwar der Hamas angegliedert ist, aber nicht unter ihrer Führung arbeitet. Was sagt das aus?

ILAN PAPPÉ: Es sagt sehr viel aus, denn das war den Israelis natürlich von dem Moment an bekannt, als sie von dieser Entführung erfuhren und der Ermordung der drei jungen Siedler. Es war sehr deutlich, dass Israel nach einem Vorwand gesucht hat, um eine Militäroperation in Westbank und Gaza zu beginnen und so die Situation in Palästina wiederherzustellen, die während des gescheiterten Friedensprozesses herrschte, mit einer Art von gutem Aufenthaltsort (? “good domicile”) der Westbank und dem Gazastreifen -, um nicht weiter darüber nachdenken zu müssen und die Kolonisierung der Westbank voranbringen zu können, ohne irgendetwas an der Einstellung oder Politik zu ändern. Die Bedrückung in der Westbank, die Frustration, die Wut, besonders im Mai 2014, über die Ermordung fünf junger Palästinenser von der israelischen Armee, hat sich in dieser lokalen Tat entladen, dieser lokalen Initiative, die nichts mit der Stategie der Hamas zu tun hatte, die willens war, Abu Mazen Spielraum zu gewähren, um eine Einheitsregierung zu bilden und die neue Initiative zu probieren: sich an die UNO wenden, an internationale Instanzen, um Israel zur Rechenschaft zu ziehen für mehr als 46 Jahre der Kolonisierung und Besatzung. Der Fall zeigt also deutlich die Verbindung zwischen einem Vorwand und einer Politik und Strategie, die jetzt in Gaza ein solches Blutbad angerichtet hat.

AMY GOODMAN: Schließlich, Professor Pappé: Sie haben jahrelang in Israel als Professor gearbeitet. Sie haben Israel verlassen und lehren jetzt an der Universität Exeter in Großbritannien. Sie sind nach Haifa zurückgekehrt. Sehen Sie eine Veränderung in Ihrem Land?

ILAN PAPPÉ: Ja, leider, eine Veränderung zum Schlechten. Ich denke, Israel steht an einem Scheideweg, aber es hat sich bereits entschieden, in welche Richtung es weitergehen soll. Es stand am Scheideweg, wo es sich schließlich entscheiden musste, ob es eine Demokratie sein will oder ein rassistischer Apartheidsstaat, sieht man auf die Realitäten vor Ort. Ich glaube, dass Israel 2014 die Entscheidung gefällt hat, dass es lieber ein rassistischer Apartheidstaat ist und keine Demokratie. Es hofft immer noch, dass die USA diese Entscheidung genehmigen und sie mit Immunität versehen, um so fortzufahren, mit den zwangsläufigen Folgen einer solchen Politik für die Palästinenser, wo sie auch sind.

AMY GOODMAN: Was denken Sie sollten die USA tun?

ILAN PAPPÉ: Nun, die USA sollten die grundsätzlichen Definitionen von Demokratie auf Israel anwenden und erkennen, dass sie ein Regime bedingungslos unterstützen, das systematisch die Menschen- und die Bürgerrechte eines jeden Menschen zwischen Jordan und Mittelmeer missbraucht, der nicht Jude ist. Wenn Amerika solche Regime klar unterstützen will, in der Vergangenheit ist das geschehen bitteschön. Aber wenn es meint, dass es eine andere Botschaft in den Nahen Osten bringen will, dann hat es wirklich eine andere Vorstellung von den Menschenrechten.

AMY GOODMAN: Wir haben noch zwei Sekunden.

ILAN PAPPÉ: Ja, Menschenrechte und Bürgerrechte in Palästina.

 

(Quelle: Anis Online.)

 

Anmerkung

Aktuelle und fundierte (Hintergrund-) Informationen zum Israel-, Palästina- sowie dem Nah-Ost-Konflikt erhalten Sie auf der Website Palästina Portal.

Israel / Palästina: Gute Fragen

Freitag, Juli 20th, 2012

“Where’s the Netanyahu Scandal in the New York Times?

Does It Matter What Israelis Do?

By SAUL LANDAU

Western leaders met in Paris last week to discuss possible intervention in Syria where almost 10,000 people have died over the last year of internal conflict. The West has never even considered holding such a meeting on Israel’s murderous behavior, however, despite a July 5 UN report that claimed that over the last five years Israeli forces have killed nearly 2,300 Palestinians and injured 7,700 in Gaza (statement from UNOCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.)

The UN agency said that 27 percent of the fatalities in Gaza were women and children in a report highlighting the effects of Israel’s blockade.

Six years ago Israel imposed its sea and air blockade of Gaza. Under the blockade, Gaza exports have dropped to less than 3 percent of 2006 levels.

UNOCHA said, “The continued ban on the transfer of goods from Gaza to its traditional markets in the West Bank and Israel, along with the severe restrictions on access to agricultural land and fishing waters, prevents sustainable growth and perpetuates the high levels of unemployment, food insecurity and aid dependency.”

Israel’s naval blockade has also undermined the livelihood of 35,000 fishermen, and Gaza farmers have lost around 75,000 tons of produce each year due to Israeli restrictions along Gaza’s land border, the UNOCHA report said.

Half of Gaza’s youth is unemployed and 44 percent of its people are food insecure.

Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Thursday that because Gaza’s ruling party Hamas is a “terrorist organization, the blockade was necessary.”

“All cargo going into Gaza must be checked because Gaza is controlled by Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization,” Regev told Reuters in response to a petition by 50 aid groups, including six UN agencies, calling on Israel to lift the blockade.

The West abhors the Syrian – disobedient – government, allied to Iran, and adores Israel, no matter what it does to the Palestinians. The media does little to dramatize the obvious double standard criteria used to measure the worthiness of the two neighboring governments. Iran, the West’s post Cold War bad guy, found a friend in Syria and that alone has condemned the Syrian government. The fact that Saudi Arabia has armed and financed rebels entering Syria in the name of “democracy” should cause at least some news absorbers to feel a bit skeptical over the anti-Syria campaign.

It doesn’t seem to matter what Israelis do. For example, Arutz Sheva, the nationalist Israeli press, reported that “declassified FBI documents from a 1985-2002 investigation implicate Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in an initiative to illegally purchase United States nuclear technology for Israel’s nuclear program.

“Netanyahu was allegedly helped by Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood producer with ties to Israeli prime ministers and U.S. presidents.”

Grant Smith at antiwar.com had reported that “Netanyahu worked inside a nuclear smuggling ring.” Here’s an example of what is found in the report:

“On June 27, 2012, the FBI partially declassified and released seven additional pages from a 1985–2002 investigation into how a network of front companies connected to the Israeli Ministry of Defense illegally smuggled nuclear triggers out of the U.S. The newly released FBI files detail how Richard Kelly Smyth – who was convicted of running a U.S. front company – met with Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel during the smuggling operation. At that time, Netanyahu worked at the Israeli node of the smuggling network, Heli Trading Company. Netanyahu, who currently serves as Israel’s prime minister, recently issued a gag order that the smuggling network’s unindicted ringleader refrain from discussing ‘Project Pinto’.”

The Hebrew paper Ma’ariv continued the report on this incident.

“According to FBI documents released by the United States, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was involved in smuggling in the 70s from the U.S. components of Israeli nuclear program, and assisted by the businessman Arnon Milchan, who according to previous publications was a former Mossad agent.

“The documents describe the findings of the investigation… performed between the years 1985 to 2002 on about how a network of front companies a U.S. security firm illegally smuggled equipment used for weapons seeds out of the U.S.”

We live in the Golden Age of Empire Judaism, said Prof. Marc Ellis. “Greater Israel” means Jewish settler expansion in a denial of Palestinians and their rights. It also means perpetual conflict, maybe war, in the region. Is this why our Congress pledges eternal love to Israel? Is this why the Israeli lobby pays and threatens our Congress?

When will Western powers meet to decide what to do about Israel so as to lessen the damage she causes to Palestinians, her neighbors and the region? Israel has baffled the U.S. political apparatus. It gets away with imposing apartheid against Palestinians, stealing their land and stirring up war against its neighbors. One negative word from a U.S. pol on Israel brings heavy pressure, intimidation and money for opposing candidates – along with charges of anti-semitism.

How pathetic that a small group of right-wing Jews allied to right-wing Israeli parties, has buffaloed U.S. politicians and media. One former Congressman described the Israeli lobby as the equivalent of a pit bull that bites the Congressman’s leg in the morning and holds on during lunch and the afternoon. The Congressman sleeps with the bull’s teeth in his leg and wakes with it the next morning. No wonder Members don’t want to antagonize this angry dog!

I don’t suggest Palestinians form an equivalent lobby, but rather that the media develop a little courage and report accurately on events in Israel and Palestine. Just spread reviews of the new film “5 Broken Camera,” in which a Palestinian West Bank farmer documents the encroachment by army-backed settlers that bulldozed his village’s olive trees to make room for Israeli apartment houses. Israel’s treatment of West Bank Palestinians is no better than its behavior toward residents of Gaza.

Saul Landau’s WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP screens at Washington DC’s Avalon Theater, 5612 Connecticut Ave 8 pm, august 14 and at the San Jose Peace an Justice Center on Aug 3, 7 PM 48 South 7th St., San Jose CA.

 

(Quelle: Counterpunch.)

Israel: Gedanken über SoldatInnen

Montag, Juli 18th, 2011

“Ordinary People

By Aya Kaniuk

I told him myself he was a war criminal but I was still surprised when his name appeared on the list. Not because I thought for a moment that it wasn’t fair, but because it’s always different when you know someone personally, and the color of his eyes, and the certain way he greets you and lightly touches your shoulder. And although I didn’t want to, I thought of his mother. And I thought of his mother because I know she didn’t want him to enlist, although she kept her silence. Not because for her Palestinians are human and it would be terrible to hurt them. Only because she didn’t want him to endanger himself. And still she didn’t try to talk him out of going. Because she, too, grew up in the same place and absorbed the same values and clichés. She too was stamped. So all that was left for her was to worry. That was her symbolic role. Hers and all the other mothers’. Be proud, worry, then mourn. She does know that. What she didn’t know was about this.

The list. Just as he didn’t. And something big happened in the lives of A. and his mom and his little brother who has been waiting for the moment he could enlist and become a combatant like his brother.

What happened was that, recently, a list has suddenly shown up on the internet, headed “Two hundred war criminals”. The list provides names, photos, ranks, military unit assigned, dwelling, date of birth and ID number of two hundred male and female Israeli soldiers who had taken part in various but specific ways in what Israel knows as “Operation Cast Lead”, otherwise known throughout the world as the Gaza massacre.

This is not the first time Israel is accused of perpetrating war crimes. Nor is it the first time certain politicians and generals must seriously consider whether they can afford to travel to countries where it is legally possible to prosecute them for this.
The special thing about this list, in the context of ‘war criminals’, is that this time not only high-ranking officers or politicians are named, but rather junior officers, non-commissioned officers, sergeants and even lower-ranking servicemen and women. These are young soldiers, some of whom are still in their regular term of duty..

    The drive to do what everyone does is deeply ingrained in human nature. Imitation or conformity is crucial as a means of learning, and a socialization tool containing the evolutionary assumption that what everyone does is the thing to do, is worthwhile, and vital for survival. This is mostly a reasonable and wise assumption. No wonder it has been ingrained as an instinct in the process of natural selection. Man adjusts to society by this means, and learns from the experience of others, from early childhood throughout life.
    Thus people imitate the customs of their time. They choose their clothes and shoes in the line of fashion and like what is fashionable to like and want everything that everyone wants and does – whether Nike or Adidas are the fashion hits, or other brand names. They travel to the same destinations because this is what everyone does, and behave politely or not, push in line or not, interrupt each other or not – all depending on how and what everyone does and wants. What is customary and generally accepted. For that is what ordinary people do. What everyone does.
    And so in Israel ordinary people go to the army because that is what everyone does. And they commit routine crimes in their army service because that is what ordinary people do, what everyone does, whatever that may be. And if it is commonly accepted to ‘serve’ in the army and oppress another people and dispossess it and torture it and harass it and cage it, then that is what they do, no matter what it is, if that is what everyone does. Because that is what ordinary people do. (see also “conformity and us”)

The two hundred war criminals posted on the list making its rounds on the internet are ordinary people. They followed the customs of their time, neither more nor less than anyone else. They are not exceptional, and they are not especially worse than anyone. They are everyman. Ordinary everyman. And it is by chance, merely, that this is the military operation selected by the creators of this list, and that these persons were in the army at the time. And any one of Israel’s young men and women who enlist in their turn might have been on that list. And would have done more or less the same thing, (and indeed – do it, one generation after another, everything they are told to do, be what may), because that is what ordinary people do.

Incidentally, the list does not say anything other than what has been said by the perpetrators themselves. Nor are there any facts on this list that the listed persons would deny. On the contrary. They are indeed soldiers, they all say without shame, usually even proudly, and they did, indeed, participate in this military operation, they’re the first to admit it.

The only way in which Israel and the people listed differ in their point of view from the people who put together this list – is not the question whether these soldiers committed the acts themselves, but only in calling these acts ‘war crimes’.

In other words, the only thing that the list does is to re-organize naming. The lexicon. What means what. Through this intentional selection, it is actually claiming that Israeli soldiers commit war crimes, and – furthermore – that by selecting random junior-ranking servicemen and women too, it makes the point that war criminals are not the exceptional, high-ranking or policy-making persons alone, but rather any soldier serving in the Israeli military forces.
And this is the outstanding wisdom embodied in this list, its uniqueness and its subversive power.

Indeed, soldiers and their parents might protest and say that it is not true that their children – merely doing their duty to their state and carrying out its missions – are war criminals. They could say they are young. And this is the law of the land. Or that they defended their homeland, and that the 1,400 people murdered deserved to be killed, and that they were killed because they threatened to kill ‘us’.
We killed in order to live, the soldier might still be saying, to defend our homeland under attack.
Killed the four hundred children.
Killed the one hundred police cadets.

Destroyed the UNRWA building that had to be destroyed, there was no other way about it.

“They started”. Because “they teach their children to hate”. And it’s their fault. The fault of 10-year old Fadi. And Marina and her little brother.

Indeed they could say this or that, and they do. But something has happened in the world, in reality, which they cannot undo. For this list – unlike the Israeli habit of kidnapping or forbidding or execution-ing, or firing white phosphorus at it or dropping a one-ton bomb on it – has been absorbed in the world, and this time Israel has no control over it.

Not only because is it diffused on the internet, but because all it does is cite facts over which there is no dispute or disagreement. Visibly. It merely challenges local values that stipulate the axiom: being a soldier = doing good. It rattles the common assumption that if someone followed the law, he/she bears no personal responsibility. Thus also saying that in the world there is a different kind of conformity, “like everyone”, a different sort of ‘normal’, of ‘ordinary’, of being ‘in’ or ‘cool’, a different standard of popularity. A different law. And values. It says that when all those ordinary youngsters do what is common, blessed and accepted in Israeli terms – in terms of this list (and of the world) they have committed war crimes.

Fair or not, anti-Semitic or not, this is what the list says.

No longer the State, says the list, nor the army, nor the Occupation, nor top brass, and “everyone” nor “we” but the soldier him/herself. And this normal ordinary soldier, says the list, has a name. A proper name. And with that personal, proper name comes personal responsibility. And personal guilt. And a personal appellation.

War criminal.

Something immeasurably important has happened. This is how I see it. Through this list and many others that I hope will follow, something new and powerful has infiltrated Israeli terminology, a space that constantly reaffirms itself. A tiny virus. An autoimmunefailure. Which to my mind has a chance to change something that to date has remained unchangeable.

I assume that its effect will be felt first and foremost among the more “conscience-ridden”. Those who claim they oppose the policy, that the Occupation is criminal, unjust, but continue to send their sons and daughters serve it. In order to bridge over this inherent contradiction they sanctify the absurd dichotomy presenting the act of Occupation and its perpetrators as two separate entities. The Occupation, they say, is bad, but the soldiers are good. And various other rationalizations that come to justify the true and subversive need that lies deep underneath them – their malignant conformity which makes them do as everyone does, come what may.
I believe that among these particular people, the transition from speaking the language of everyone and the state and the Occupation to speaking me, my son, my daughter will have its effect.

Not that they are conscious of this, not yet. Not they, nor the rest of the youngsters who still passionately flock into the army. They continue – and will continue – to repeat the usual mantras: “We (i.e. Jews) have no choice”. “Someone has to do the job”. And “Better my son do it than another”. “We’ve (i.e. Jews) offered them (i.e. Palestinians) everything”. “We (i.e. Jews) seek peace but what can we do if they (i.e. Palestinians) do not”. And military ‘service’ is a contribution to society. And all the rest of those empty phrases they have learned to repeat.

But I assume the day isn’t distant when – especially if this list be followed by others – without understanding why, with some excuse or other (that is equally empty and hides the truth just as those used to explain why they should enlist), these youngsters and their mothers will be less eager to enlist, less proud of it, less passionate.
And not because Israel oppresses an entire people, cages it in, massacres it, tramples it, harasses it, steals its land and water resources, and has been trying to subject it to ethnic cleansing forever, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

Nor because they’ll suddenly understand that not every law is just. And that there are things that must not be done regardless of their popularity, and that Occupation corrupts – but because all of a sudden it will become less opportune. And it will take its toll.
A personal price. Because when, after their army time, these young people will embark upon their traditional trips abroad, or go off to study in faraway places, they will discover the actuality of their new name which the list has added and merged into their identity.

And something will finally crack the inherent sense of value embodied in military service.

Because no one will call my son a criminal, those mothers will exclaim who, earlier, had kept silent and collaborated and never protested. Not my own son. No way.

When A.’s mother heard of the list, her first sensation was rage that flooded every cell in her body and mind. Her sweet baby was being named a war criminal. She was ready to kill because of this, she said. The gall! Anti-Semites, murderers, she added, beside herself.
You say that too, she lashed out at me. You too want to see him in jail.
I did not voice my answer, yet, but my answer is yes. He should indeed go to jail. And his name should flash on every home computer screen. He should indeed be damned wherever he goes and be called a war criminal. And from today on, I want everyone Googling the words ‘war criminal’ to find his name cited. A.’s name. And all those others’. Because I say no to mandatory conscription’s power to corrupt Israeli society.

It intentionally erases the healthy, important distance between the act of state and its perpetrators, its inhabitants. Because it determines that those who maintain Israel’s policy, come what may, are everyman. Are the ordinary. The people I grew up with, possibly my own relatives, sons and daughters of my childhood friends.

And I refuse this stamping which is meant to impose upon me and everyone else a sense of belonging and connection to Israel’s crimes, and thus – tacit collaboration.
I say no to this system that forces one to collaborate with a flawed regime. That imposes guilt and wrongdoing on me, and hence to be unwilling to call it and its perpetrators by their rightful names, all these ordinary people.

How ironic, I want to say to her further, that precisely from the place where all these youngsters could hurt the other, because the other had no face, no name and no identity, here them, you and your A. and all perpetrators of the act of state, from now on – have a name and a personal identity.
No longer the Occupation, Israel, the generals – it is the particular you and no one else. You are guilty. You, A. You are a war criminal.

Incidentally, A.’s mother no longer speaks to me. She is perfectly right, I think. For her duty above all else is to him who did not choose to be born. And I, her friend, said terrible things about him. I wished him in prison. I wished his name be born everywhere in calumny. I said things that are not said to a mother, not about her son.

How sad and how horrible it is, I think, that it is from me that my friend shields and protects her son, from me and not from the act of state. From accepted norms.

From the corruption imposed on his moral fiber, from the danger to his life and spirit and fate at the hands of a treacherous history whose values change like the colors of a chameleon.

Translated by Tal Haran”

 

(Quelle: mahsanmilim.com)

Palästina: Palestine Papers – Whistleblower offenbart seine Motive

Sonntag, Mai 15th, 2011

“Why I blew the whistle about Palestine

Israel’s attack on Gaza and the disastrous ‘peace talks’ compelled me to leak what I knew

By Ziyad Clot

In Palestine, the time has come for national reconciliation. On the eve of the 63rd commemoration of the Nakba – the uprooting of Palestinians that accompanied the creation of Israel in 1948 – this is a long-awaited and hopeful moment. Earlier this year the release by al-Jazeera and the Guardian of 1,600 documents related to the so-called peace process caused deep consternation among Palestinians and in the Arab world. Covering more than 10 years of talks (from 1999 to 2010) between Israel and the PLO, the Palestine papers illustrated the tragic consequences of an inequitable and destructive political process which had been based on the assumption that the Palestinians could in effect negotiate their rights and achieve self-determination while enduring the hardship of the Israeli occupation.

My name has been circulated as one of the possible sources of these leaks. I would like to clarify here the extent of my involvement in these revelations and explain my motives. I have always acted in the best interest of the Palestinian people, in its entirety, and to the full extent of my capacity.

My own experience with the “peace process” started in Ramallah, in January 2008, after I was recruited as an adviser for the negotiation support unit (NSU) of the PLO, specifically in charge of the Palestinian refugee file. That was a few weeks after a goal had been set at the Annapolis conference: the creation of the Palestinian state by the end of 2008. Only 11 months into my job, in November of that year, I resigned. By December 2008, instead of the establishment of a state in Palestine, I witnessed on TV the killing of more than 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli army.

My strong motives for leaving my position with the NSU and my assessment of the “peace process” were clearly detailed to Palestinian negotiators in my resignation letter dated of 9th November 2008.

The “peace negotiations” were a deceptive farce whereby biased terms were unilaterally imposed by Israel and systematically endorsed by the US and EU. Far from enabling a negotiated and fair end to the conflict, the pursuit of the Oslo process deepened Israeli segregationist policies and justified the tightening of the security control imposed on the Palestinian population, as well as its geographical fragmentation. Far from preserving the land on which to build a state, it has tolerated the intensification of the colonisation of the Palestinian territory. Far from maintaining a national cohesion, the process I participated in, albeit briefly, was instrumental in creating and aggravating divisions among Palestinians. In its most recent developments, it became a cruel enterprise from which the Palestinians of Gaza have suffered the most. Last but not least, these negotiations excluded for the most part the great majority of the Palestinian people: the seven million Palestinian refugees. My experience over those 11 months in Ramallah confirmed that the PLO, given its structure, was not in a position to represent all Palestinian rights and interests.

Tragically, the Palestinians were left uninformed of the fate of their individual and collective rights in the negotiations, and their divided political leaderships were not held accountable for their decisions or inaction. After I resigned, I believed I had a duty to inform the public.

Shortly after the Gaza war I started to write about my experience in Ramallah. In my 2010 book, Il n’y aura pas d’Etat Palestinien (There will be no Palestinian State), I concluded: “The peace process is a spectacle, a farce, played to the detriment of Palestinian reconciliation, at the cost of the bloodshed in Gaza.” In full conscience, and acting independently, I later agreed to share some information with al-Jazeera specifically with regard to the fate of Palestinian refugee rights in the 2008 talks. Other sources did the same, although I am unaware of their identity. Taking these tragic developments of the “peace process” to a wider Arab and western audience was justified because it was in the public interest of the Palestinian people. I had – and still have – no doubt that I had a moral, legal and political obligation to proceed accordingly.

Today, I am relieved that this first-hand information is available to Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory, in Israel and in exile. In a way, Palestinian rights are back in their holders’ possession and the people are now in a position to make enlightened decisions about the future of their struggle. I am also glad that international stakeholders to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can access these documents. The world can no longer overlook that while Palestinians’ strong commitment to peace is genuine, the fruitless pursuit of a “peace process” framed according to the exclusive conditions of the occupying power leads to compromises which would be unacceptable in any other region of the globe.

Finally, I feel reassured that the people of Palestine overwhelmingly realise that the reconciliation between all their constituents must be the first step towards national liberation. The Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians in Israel and the Palestinians living in exile have a common future. The path to Palestinian self-determination will require the participation of all in a renewed political platform.”

 

(Quelle: The Guardian.)