US officials are so fond of claiming that their country and the West stand for a rules-based international order — but one only they can correctly interpret.
Israel’s horrible war against Hamas certainly exposes the fact that the US is exempted from following such rules-based order — remember its Afghanistan and Iraq wars, among others?
So is the tiny Israel, which could not have grown to be a superpower in the Middle East if not for the $159 billion that the US has given it since its creation in 1946 to 2023. As that figure is not adjusted for inflation, it is bigger than the $173 billion US Marshall Plan that helped Europe recover from the ashes of World War 2. Indeed, the US defense industry has had a steady market for its weapons, with the American Congress having allocated since 1948 $3.3 billion yearly in military aid to Israel.
Israel itself is the quintessence of the f**k rules-based-order attitude. How can a religious group just occupy land and kick out 750,000 of its inhabitants who had been there for centuries, solely on the basis of their claim that the Deity of their ancestors declared 2,000 years ago that Jews were his Chosen People, and no one else? That we have not been outraged at Israel is a testament to the power of the US propaganda apparatus, which includes the Hollywood movie industry, with Jewish producers producing effective brainwashing films such as “Exodus,” which romanticized the founding of Israel and the depiction of Arabs as evil.
“The US and Israel are joined in the hip,” said noted historian John Mearsheimer, who described in his book “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy” how powerful American Jewry has been in both the executive and legislative branches of the US government.
It seems indeed so powerful that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrogantly ignored President Biden’s plea to cease the non-stop bombing of Gaza and allow “humanitarian pauses” — backpedaling from his earlier call for a “truce.” Biden’s hands are now soaked with the blood of over 4,000 children: the US in mid-October vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire of Israel’s war against Hamas, with 12 of its 15 members voting for it.
We are in a unique, ghastly moment in modern history when we watch videos every day of the gruesome murder by Israel of innocent civilians, estimated to number 10,000. Netanyahu, in an interview with ABC’s anchor James Muir, shamelessly said: “No, it’s only about 8,000 civilians, as 2,000 were Hamas.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres was not exaggerating when he said: “Gaza is becoming a huge graveyard for children.”
What is grinding in my head is the thought: Could Netanyahu have decided to commit mass murder only because he thinks this could cover up for his government’s massive failure to detect beforehand the Hamas plan to invade Israel, which would have been known by hundreds of militants? Or that it would save his political career, besieged by serious allegations of corruption? Whatever happened to the much-vaunted intelligence prowess of Israel’s three intelligence agencies, and for that matter, their sister agency, the US Central Intelligence Agency?
We must keep writing about Israel’s genocide of Palestinians and debunk the US massive propaganda machine with its line that the Israelis are merely defending themselves since Hamas killed 1,400 innocent civilians, including children and babies. However, for the Israelis, it is not just an eye for an eye but thousands of Palestinian eyes for a Jewish eye.
The London-based Guardian, which has built up a reputation for careful reporting, pointed out in a recent article:
“The UN said that Israel may be committing the war crime of collective punishment through its siege of the Gaza territory. The International Committee of the Red Cross agreed.
‘The instructions issued by the Israeli authorities for the population of Gaza City to immediately leave their homes, coupled with the complete siege, explicitly denying them food, water and electricity are not compatible with international humanitarian law,’ it said.
Amnesty International said it has ‘documented unlawful Israeli attacks, including indiscriminate attacks, which caused mass civilian casualties and must be investigated as war crimes.’
Human Rights Watch said that ‘multiple war crimes have been and continue to be committed in Israel and Palestine, with grave concerns that Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups are carrying out unlawful indiscriminate attacks harming civilians.’
Some groups have gone further and accused Israel of genocide, although lawyers said that is a harder crime to prove under international law.”
But those recent violations of international law in its war vs Hamas aren’t at all surprising. Israel has had a record of violating international laws since its creation. Among these, according to the Israeli Law Resource Center, are as follows, which is just half of what that Center listed:
“It is illegal under international law to acquire land by force: Israel annexed land occupied by force during the 1948 and 1967 wars (lands other than those given by the UN 1947-1948 partition plan. Studies show Israel was not just defending itself as it develops de-facto annexation with its settlements and separation barrier on occupied land, as it takes over most of the occupied territories (over 70 percent) and its natural resources for its own use and economic benefit, at the expense of the native population.
Violating the UN Charter, Article 2(4) (1945); Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations, Israel did not comply with the UN partition Plan, and took an extra 15 percent of the land in 1948, and then, following the 1967 war, Israel confiscated East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. ILRC article.
Since 1910, in different ways, the Zionists and then Israel have taken Palestinian lands, forced native populations from their land, and then refused the Palestinian landowners or tenants’ residency or employment on them. Following fighting in 1948 and then again in 1967, Palestinian civilians who wished to return to their homes in Israel and the Occupied Territories were forbidden re-entry (‘right of return’), confining them to increasingly smaller areas of Israel and Occupied Territories.
The Israeli government enacts laws and employs its military to keep approximately 750,000 Palestinian Arab civilians from returning to their homes following the end of fighting both in 1948 and in the occupied territories in 1967. This is in direct violation of international law and UN resolutions.
Israel has violated 28 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (which are legally binding on member-nations, UN Charter, Article 25) relating especially relating to its occupations, land annexations, military aggression and human rights violations.
Israel violates the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1976). This has been undertaken through its formal system of legalized discrimination against Palestinian Arabs.
Israel’s society-wide system of discrimination and isolation of the Palestinian people within Israel, and its system of exploitation, oppression and isolation in the occupied territories, fits exactly the official, legal UN definition of apartheid, which is considered to be a crime against humanity. The practice of passing laws that give special favor throughout Israeli society to the Jewish people over all other people, and especially the native Palestinian Arab people, embodies the UN definition of apartheid, which is giving special favor to one group of people above all other groups based on criteria like what religion they are.
Israel violated Geneva Conventions IV, Article 33 (1949); Geneva Conventions (Protocol I), Article 75(2d) (1977), when its military took massive action against entire Palestinian communities, for example, destroying entire neighborhoods of homes, or confiscating communal farmlands, bulldozing homes, blocking off certain areas, or not allowing civilian populations to leave their houses for extensive periods of time. This is called collective punishment because it punishes entire communities for the actions of a few.”
And this government “stands by Israel”?
The third part of my series on fake news over the South China Sea disputes on Monday.
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