If it moves, shoot it. If it doesn’t move, shoot it till it does

September 3rd, 2010 § 4 comments § permalink

For fucks sake

An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday.
[…]
The military court cleared the soldier of illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and perverting the course of justice by asking soldiers under his command to alter their accounts of the incident.

Capt R’s lawyers argued that the “confirmation of the kill” after a suspect is shot was a standard Israeli military practice to eliminate terrorist threats.

The officer always followed standard practice, you see…

A recording of radio exchanges between Capt R and his troops obtained by Israeli television revealed that from the beginning soldiers identified Iman as a child.

In the recording, a soldier in a watchtower radioed a colleague in the army post’s operations room and describes Iman as “a little girl” who was “scared to death”. After soldiers first opened fire, she dropped her schoolbag which was then hit by several bullets establishing that it did not contain explosive. At that point she was no longer carrying the bag and, the tape revealed, was heading away from the army post when she was shot.

Is that also standard practice? Shooting into a suspected bomb to see whether it actually is a bomb or not?

Although the military speculated that Iman might have been trying to “lure” the soldiers out of their base so they could be attacked by accomplices, Capt R made the decision to lead some of his troops into the open. Shortly afterwards he can be heard on the recording saying that he has shot the girl and, believing her dead, then “confirmed the kill”.

Even though the girl could be a lure, the captain still move some of his men into the open. Is that standard practice, too?

Capt R claimed that he had not fired the shots at the girl but near her. However, Dr Mohammed al-Hams, who inspected the child’s body at Rafah hospital, counted numerous wounds. “She has at least 17 bullets in several parts of the body, all along the chest, hands, arms, legs,” he told the Guardian shortly afterwards. “The bullets were large and shot from a close distance. The most serious injuries were to her head. She had three bullets in the head. One bullet was shot from the right side of the face beside the ear. It had a big impact on the whole face.”

He fired shots near, not at the girl? And she was shot 17 times? This man should be prosecuted for incompetence as well as murder.

Lost for words, I really am.

Via MsMaryViola

a nationalist or religious conflict?

September 2nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

I just heard Jeremy Bowen on Radio 4 talking about the Palestinian/Isreali peace talks…

There is a religious war developing in what has been essentially a nationalist conflict. You can make a deal with nationalists, it’s much harder to deal with people that believe they’re doing gods will.

Oh? As opposed to people that believe god gave them some land?

Come on Jeremy, the Palestinians have been fighting against a religious justification for the occupation of their land for generations.

(Posted using my phone so, please, excuse the spelling)

The transparent Mr Blair

July 29th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Electronic Intifada

Blair is close friends with Bernard Arnault, the chairman of the luxury goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Group (LVMH), and has refused to publicly disclose whether or not he accepted a paid post as adviser to Arnault, as reported in the media. LVMH has been implicated in benefiting from Israel’s occupation through its subsidiary, the cosmetics retail chain Sephora.

Blair’s friendship with Arnault, LVMH’s chairman, dates to his time as UK Prime Minister. Arnault is one of the richest men in France, with an estimated net worth of more than $27.5 billion. Blair’s three eldest children studied in France while he was prime minister, and often stayed at Arnault’s mansion in Paris. Indeed, the Daily Mail reported in February 2007 that Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Norman Lamb warned Blair “It is very dangerous to take hospitality from very wealthy individuals who may be seeking to wield influence” (“Cheri’s pride graduate girl”). Blair’s friendship with Arnault continued after he stepped down as premier and accepted the position as Quartet envoy.

In January, the Daily Telegraph revealed that Blair was to be appointed as Arnault’s personal advisor. Although the announcement was repeated by Agence France Press, neither Blair nor LVMH have officially confirmed or denied the appointment. When asked for clarification in a written request from The Electronic Intifada, the office of Tony Blair remained silent. The lack of transparency on Blair’s position stands in stark contrast to his portfolio as Quartet envoy which tasks him with teaching Palestinians how to build up transparent government institutions.

There’s too much to just excerpt, so just go and read the whole thing and be reminded, if you need to be, why Tony Blair is a shister.

Hang on, I’ve got an idea.

June 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Well, bugger me. We’ve heard nothing from The Savior of the Middle East for months and then what a coincidence, up he pops just after Isreal board a civilian boat and shoot some people, with an idea about getting stuff through to Gaza.

Nice timing Tony.

Daily Mail gobbledy-gook

June 3rd, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

The Daily Mail reports that the activists from the Gaza Aid Flotilla have been returned to Turkey, welcomed by cheering supporters.

But

Their arrival was marred by Israel’s decision to drop plans to prosecute dozens of pro-Palestinian activists – reportedly sent to attack Israeli forces on the Mavi Marmara on Monday – involved blockade, opting instead to deport them.

Eh?

By the logic of Israel

June 2nd, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

Lenins’ Tomb

[R]ecall that for weeks the Israeli state has been declaring that the aid flotilla constitutes a violent attack on Israeli sovereignty, though Israel has no sovereign right to police the borders of Gaza. They claimed that the convoy was bringing assistance to terrorists, and warned that it was being funded by the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood. They claim that such aid vessels help keep Hamas in power and Gilad Shalit (who he?) locked up. They claim that the convoy, rather than the blockade itself, constitutes a violation of international law. Israel’s ability to exhale falsehoods and absurdities seamlessly, poker-faced, and then to suddenly and without missing a beat alter its story when it becomes clear that not even its loyalist drones are gullible enough to believe it, is not unique but it has a unique pedigree. For the Israeli state is singular in its self-righteousness. This is built in to official doctrine and practise, entrenched in its forms of governmentality. It is always the victim, no matter what it’s doing today – whether slaughtering refugees in Sabra and Shatilla, or murdering sleeping families in Dahiya, from Nakba to Cast Lead – it is always on the precipice of being exterminated by a new wave of Arab Nazis. Given this, any effort to undermine its ‘defensive’ actions is an attack not only on its expansive notions of sovereignty, but on the ‘Jewish state’.

By the logic of Israel, any abridgment of its right to murder Palestinians constitutes an act of antisemitism, an existential attack on the Jewish people, whom they represent by proxy. Its job, then, is to do whatever it deems fit in discouraging and punishing said ‘antisemites’ while aggressively retailing whatever they do to an increasingly hostile world which, at any rate, they insist is driven by exterminationist antisemitism anyway. If the two ends – the violent preservation of Israeli supremacy in the Middle East, and the global PR – increasingly come into conflict, this is only because of a ‘new antisemitism’, not because of anything Israel actually does.

Read the whole thing.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla attack

June 1st, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

How I see it.

A gang of men break into a house, the owner of the house goes at the intruders with whatever comes to hand, a broom handle maybe or a kitchen knife, and beats the fuck out of the intruders. The intruders are armed and start shooting, killing the owner and injuring other memebers of the household.

Whose side are you on?

For a more informed take on the situation, Craig Murray

Because the incident took place on the high seas does not mean however that international law is the only applicable law. The Law of the Sea is quite plain that, when an incident takes place
on a ship on the high seas (outside anybody’s territorial waters) the applicable law is that of the flag state of the ship on which the incident occurred. In legal terms, the Turkish ship was Turkish territory.

There are therefore two clear legal possibilities.

Possibility one is that the Israeli commandos were acting on behalf of the government of Israel in killing the activists on the ships. In that case Israel is in a position of war with Turkey, and the act falls under international jurisdiction as a war crime.

Possibility two is that, if the killings were not authorised Israeli military action, they were acts of murder under Turkish jurisdiction. If Israel does not consider itself in a position of war with Turkey, then it must hand over the commandos involved for trial in Turkey under Turkish law.

In brief, if Israel and Turkey are not at war, then it is Turkish law which is applicable to what happened on the ship. It is for Turkey, not Israel, to carry out any inquiry or investigation into events and to initiate any prosecutions. Israel is obliged to hand over indicted personnel for prosecution.

The most moral army in the world.

February 1st, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

… it turns out once again we are correct when we say the IDF is the most moral army in the world, from the chief of staff to the last soldier.

(source)

A female soldier in Sachlav Military Police unit, stationed in Hebron, recalled a Palestinian child that would systematically provoke the soldiers by hurling stones at them and other such actions. One time he even managed to scare a soldier who fell from his post and broke his leg.

Retaliation came soon after: “I don’t know who or how, but I know that two of our soldiers put him in a jeep, and that two weeks later the kid was walking around with casts on both arms and legs…they talked about it in the unit quite a lot – about how they sat him down and put his hand on the chair and simply broke it right there on the chair.”

Even small children did not escape arbitrary acts of violence, said a Border Guard female officer serving near the separation fence: “We caught a five-year-old…can’t remember what he did…we were taking him back to the territories or something, and the officers just picked him up, slapped him around and put him in the jeep. The kid was crying and the officer next to me said ‘don’t cry’ and started laughing at him. Finally the kid cracked a smile – and suddenly the officer gave him a punch in the stomach. Why? ‘Don’t laugh in my face’ he said.”

(source)

and, of course, the use of white phosphorous.

Some people have a strange sense of morality, don’t they?

Letting them play at having their own home

June 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

BBC News

In a landmark speech, weeks after US President Barack Obama urged him to agree a two-state plan, Mr Netanyahu said the Palestinians must accept Israel as a Jewish state.

He said a Palestinian state must have no army, no control of its air space and no way of smuggling in weapons.

Isn’t that what the Palestinians have now*?

Israel wants to be secure, but how can they be when they are still demanding the denial of a proper state to the Palestinians. Even when they say it can go ahead!

Daddy or chips?

June 14th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Conor Foley @ Liberal Conspiracy

I keep meaning to write a piece here about why the left should support a two state solution to the Middle East, but I never get around to it because the arguments just seem so obvious. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the creation of the state of Israel sixty years ago, it now expresses the legitimate right of its people to self-determination. This right should be exercised alongside the right of Palestinians to live within their own state, the precise borders of which need to be negotiated by the two parties. Pressing both the Israeli Government and the Palestinian’s elected leadership towards mutual recognition and supporting the forces of moderation on both sides is the only way to get that agreement. This seems to me a no-brainer.

Two state solution? So, ‘the left’ should either be in support of an aparthied state or hypocrits, eh?

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