Palestine Update 338
Israel and the ICC – Germany replicates its history of war crimes
Israel’s victories are always clouded. For Israel, one victory here is also a defeat there. They may have got the ‘Deal of the century’ from Kushner-Trump. But it is the most ridiculed deal in history– not counting the ‘Balfour declaration’. In point of fact, the Kushner deal is gaining notoriety by a new name – “Balfour II”! Both these were unilateral diktats. It is worth remembering that a diktat is often the same thing as an order or decree imposed by someone in power without popular consent.
The US may have stolen a ‘non-defeat’ in the UN Security Council. But this is as bizarre as the deal itself. An undemocratic Security Council did not get to vote on a resolution that the Palestinians wanted approved. Of course, they knew, full well, that the US would veto any resolution that would embarrass Israel. Yet, they took it forward until the bitter end. And despite their cocksureness that they would prevail, the sheer embarrassment of being dragged to the Security Council did leave Israel red-faced and their ‘client/boss-state’, USA discomfited.
Over the last few months, Israel has been fidgety over the threat of being tried in the ICC for war crimes. They are doing everything to delay this much dreaded measure and failed. And so they are now set to discredit the ICC itself. The world watches- sometimes helpless and sometimes co-opted- by a bullying USA, and a desperado Israel both of whom try to maneuver Israel out of certain trouble. Israel and the USA know this for sure. In a fair trial, plenty of Israelis will find themselves tried and proven guilty. Many years in jail are a deadly prospect and many current and past Ministers, and Army Generals will cool their heels in prison.
But it’s not just the USA on Israel’s side. Now Germany’s Angel Merkel’s is siding with the corrupt and the racist Netanyahu. How does the eternally no-conscience Merkel join the criminals? Merkel’s move is reminiscent of her personal verdict of the election that Hamas won in 2005. She found the people’s verdict unacceptable and sought to interfere with conditions which were not hers to make. The political chaos that followed in Palestine must be somehow blamed on her meddling with the integrity of a national vote. Today she takes sides with a Netanyahu who is unable to get elected even after two wasteful elections, and while fighting charges of fraud and corruption. So Merkel will neither accept a democratic verdict nor a judicial conclusion. She now takes an even less politically unethical stand by joining Netanyahu who brazenly calls for sanctions on The Hague. No BDS against Israel, but a boycott against ICC. Double standards again! And there have been plenty of such signs coming from Germany against the Palestinians and in favour of Israel.
As the Middle East Monitor puts it: “Germany’s argument in its petition sounds like a “copy and paste” of Israel’s claims that the ICC’s jurisdiction does not extend to the Occupied Palestinian Territories because Palestine is not a state”. Palestine is a signatory to the ICC’s Rome Statute. Not only is it devious of Germany to disregard legitimate Palestinian rights, but with its efforts to mislead the ICC, “the Merkel government also gives a veneer of legitimacy to Israel’s seven decades of dehumanizing the people of Palestine”.
Do not Israel’s political atrocities remind Germany that Israel is replicating its own history of sustaining genocide? Germany is clearly indulging in criminality by perpetuating impunity for Israel’s war crimes. It is shamefully on the wrong side of history – yet again!
Seekers of justice want the ICC proceedings to reach their logical conclusion. Israel may wriggle out by sullied means. And it won’t really matter to their leaders for whom conscience is a grimy and redundant word. Regardless, Israel will stand guilty of the crimes –punished or unpunished.
Germany, Hungary with Israeli position on ICC war crimes probe
Germany and Hungary on Friday backed Israel’s position at the International Criminal Court, which is currently weighing whether to open an investigation into possible war crimes committed in Gaza and the West Bank. Like the Czech Republic on Thursday, Berlin submitted a request to become an amicus curiae — a “friend of the court” who is not a party to the case but wants to offer its views. Hungary also submitted an application, diplomatic officials citing the same rational.
Political common sense, however, conveys a different notion. Germany wishes to interfere and manipulate the court by being nuisance value during the trials, when they come up.
Yes, Israel wants peace — after it gets rid of the Palestinians
A billboard posted across Tel Aviv showing blindfolded and on their knees reveals what many Israelis think.
Over the last week, pedestrians and drivers in Tel Aviv caught a glimpse of an especially disturbing billboard that had been posted across the city. The billboard, erected by the far-right group, Israeli Victory Project, showed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh blindfolded and on their knees on a backdrop of destruction. The caption read: ‘Peace is only made with defeated enemies.’ By Sunday morning, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai had ordered the billboards taken down, saying the images “incited the kind of violence reminiscent of ISIS and the Nazis.” But what was actually disturbing about the billboard was not the incitement. Israel does not need cheerleaders when it comes to the violence it metes out against the Palestinian people. What is particularly nauseating is the way in which the billboard lays out for all to see the darkest, sickest aspects of Israel’s collective gaze vis-à-vis our neighbors.
Israeli wounds Palestinian boy in the eye. Claims he ‘Shot at a Wall’
An Israeli police officer who wounded a nine-year-old Palestinian boy in clashes in East Jerusalem over the weekend admitted to having used his weapon, but claimed he only fired a single sponge-tipped bullet at a wall to calibrate his sights. According to the officer, he didn’t notice that the boy, Malek Issa, had been hit in the face, and thought he may have been hit by a stone thrown by other Palestinians.
The Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers began looking into the incident in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyah, but has yet to decide whether to open an official investigation or summon the officer in question. Issa has been hospitalized in serious condition in the intensive care unit of Hadassah hospital in Ein Kerem. According to his family, his doctors say he is highly likely to lose one of his eyes and possibly both. The family adds that the doctors say he may have suffered brain damage. Justice Ministry investigator met Issa’s family in hospital on Sunday and obtained the boy’s medical records.
His father, Wahel Issa, said there were no stones being thrown or violent protests ongoing when police opened fire. His son had been on his way home from school with his sisters. “At the spot where they got off [the bus], the police were trying to take somebody and a lot of people had gathered. There were no rocks being thrown or anything. The police saw a lot of people and fired. The boy received the bullet between the eyes,” the father said. Footage from the scene supports the family’s claim, and shows no unusual activity in the moments before the shooting. “They were shouting at the police. Suddenly one of the policemen shot from a distance of perhaps 50 meters. I saw the boy fall before my very eyes,” he concluded.
Take the Palestinian prisoners’ narratives across the world
JAILED politician Khalida Jarrar has insisted that “the age of freedom will come” as she urged people across the world to “carry and communicate” the stories of Palestinian prisoners. The Palestinian feminist, lawyer and elected parliamentarian said that by doing so, “the walls of every prison may come tumbling down,” bringing freedom to the Palestinians. Ms Jarrar has become a symbol of Palestinian resistance in the occupied West Bank, having been repeatedly jailed for her opposition to Israeli forces.
Jarrar argues that “prison is in reality “a microcosm of the much larger struggle of a people who refuse to be enslaved on their own land, and who are determined to regain their freedom …“The suffering and the human-rights violations experienced by Palestinian prisoners, which run contrary to international and humanitarian law, are only one side of the prison story,” she wrote. Prison also shows the power of human will when men and women decide to fight back to reclaim their natural rights and embrace their humanity, the PFLP politician said.
And she called for people across the world to “play your part” by raising the voices of Palestinians, both those in Israeli prisons and those suffering under the Israeli occupation. “Carry and communicate their message to the world so that, some day, the walls of every prison may come tumbling down, ushering in the age of Palestinian freedom,” she said.