Wednesday 24th of April 2024

god is above the law.....

Over and above industrial-scale mass murder of individual people—Israel is engaged in the eradication of Gazans as a People ~ilana

Inarguably, to condemn Israel’s industrial-scale campaign of slaughter and starvation in Gaza ought to be ethically straightforward. Basic really.

That Israel is committing the “the crime of all crimes” against the Palestinians of Gaza is not within the realm of opinion.

That the Global North is standing stock-still in the face of this meticulously documented holocaust is not in dispute.

That the United States is an active participant in war crimes, funding and arming Israel in contravention of international humanitarian law a plethora of US laws (having, without attached conditions, delivered more than 100 arms shipments to Israel since October 7), and the natural justice, articulated by Cicero as early as 106-43 B.C: these are all fact.

That America has provided the Jewish State with diplomatic cover—running interference for it, so that it may continue to its evil ends—until recently vetoing three (albeit symbolic) international attempts to stop Israel: this, too, is immutably true.

Right and wrong are universal, not relative. The Sixth Commandment is not opinion, but a species of the inviolable natural law. Neither is it optional. “Thou shalt not murder” is called a commandment for a reason. There are no tribal privilege clauses attached to it. Like gentiles, Jews are enjoined against murder, to say nothing of mass murder.

Yet Israelis now flout the Sixth Commandment with ugly audacity. They appear to believe that their sectarian supremacy transcends the universal moral order to which international law, the natural law and the Decalogue give expression.

With its actions, so “conspicuous and outrageous,” Israel has “knocked the cosmos out of kilter” (a lovely line by novelist Kathryn Harrison). Such is the moral turpitude of the Israel Über Alles crowd—Jewish and gentile, stateside and abroad—that they appear incapable of distinguishing evidence from assertion, and facts from feel-good fiction; they can’t tell right from wrong. By necessity, then, any preface to an essay about Israel’s manifestly intentional annihilation of the Gaza Strip must turn into a primer in ethics.

Clearly, if Israeli society is sick; then so are its cobelligerent backers and boosters.

 

AMERICA’S CEASEFIRE DECEPTION

America has conditioned the inalienable right to life of Palestinians on the return of Israeli hostages, in effect nullifying that right ~ilana

For throwing-up clouds of obfuscating sepia over its abstention vote on the United Nations Security Council’s ceasefire resolution, March 25, the Biden Administration and its UN representative must be exposed.

“Ceasefire” in previous U.S. drafts amounted to Orwellian News Speak. Having never once called for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire, the U.S. had perfunctorily predicated temporary ceasefire resolutions on the return of Israeli hostages.

Whereas it was obligated morally to compel Israel to forthwith cease and desist its systematic and sustained onslaught on Gaza’s civilians; the US had opted, until March 25, to merely condition the temporary cessation of immoral and illegal mass murder of innocent Palestinians on the release of Israeli hostages, in effect tethering a “ceasefire” to the return of the Israeli hostages.

Against the wishes of citizens of our country and the world, America has deployed its veto power, repeatedly and reliably, in previous United Nations Security Council votes, so as to prevent an immediate, unconditional cease-fire in Gaza.

By so doing, America had conditioned the inalienable right to life of Palestinians on the return of Israeli hostages, in effect nullifying that inalienable right.

Recognizing that the right to life of innocent men, women and children is unconditional; Security Council member states, aside the United States and its protégé Israel, had refused to tether the fate of Gaza to hostage negotiations.

With pellucid logic, Amar Bendjama, Algeria’s ambassador to the U.N and the Arab bloc’s current Security Council member, had stated, February 20, 2024, that, “A vote in favor of [an unconditional ceasefire] is a support to the Palestinians’ right to life.” With its prior veto es and current abstention, the US had nullified Palestinian right to life independent of the rights of Israeli hostages to the same.

You can say that Gaza’s innocent civilians are being held hostage by Israel enablers Blinken, Biden and Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

The general run of people around the world, however, are having none of this. We have been chanting “ceasefire” with catechetical promptness. The West’s “smart” set is belatedly getting the message that their constituents, decent citizens, are revolted by Israel’s acts and are in-revolt against supporting it.

In response, and oh-so cynically, all Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield did on March 25 was to abstain from using American veto power to stop the good guys—China, Russia, Algeria and the rest of the 15-member UN Security Council—from demanding an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza. That’s all.

Expect the Biden Administration and its bi-partisan backers to keep gently cajoling brief lulls—conditional breaks—in the IDF’s bloodletting of a helpless, cornered civilian population.

Covering its wretchedness with sanctimony; the US had not vetoed the last ceasefire resolution; but had, nevertheless, worked to water it down. In its abstention vote, the US has “blocked action in the General Assembly under the Uniting for Peace resolution, where you could have seen some real meaningful action.”

For moral compass scrambled; it’s hard to beat former ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. In this protracted foreign-policy mirage, Blinken, Biden, Thomas-Greenfield and their political posse do Nikki Haley, a Republican, proud, for Trump’s appointee to the UN would have done nothing different.

 

CEASE AND DESIST! WHERE’S THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT?

A violent offender, a serial killer, must be stopped; not cautioned and observed! ~ilana

IDF soldiers vaporize young men picking their way through rubble as though in a video game; they mock their victims, invade their homes; filch from their businesses, and rummage through the piteous intimate effects of people dead and dispossessed ~ilana

In the world of patronage, it doesn’t get much worse. The United States is at Israel’s elbow—it is a cobelligerent: In actively sustaining Israel’s armed forces, and running diplomatic interference for its politicians; America is acting as Israel’s “principal sponsor,” complicit in war crimes, signaling to the Jewish State that it will let it continue to its evil endgame.

As I ventured in January, the issuance of the equivalent of a legal cease-and-desist or a restraining order against a violent offender, Israel, is urgent and long overdue. It’s already too late for Gaza as a habitable landmass.

While progressives lauded the International Court of Justice (ICJ), my perspective about the Court’s indecision, some months back, was dimmer. (Disgust, actually.) Unfocused as I was on legalistic definitions of genocide; it was obvious to me that, what was indubitably mass murder and ethnic cleansing—crimes that are in process and ongoing—had to be stopped right away. A violent offender, a serial killer, must be stopped; not cautioned and observed!

Were the International Court of Justice an effective and just organization it would have issued some sort of binding cease and desist order, some manner of restraining order, if you will, instructing the Israel Defense Forces, the Devil’s emissaries on earth, to stop its depredations.

Another international tribunal, the International Criminal Court (ICC), had “issued, in March of 2023, warrants of arrest, no less “for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine,” one of whom was Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, president of the Russian Federation, who was being sought for war crimes.

With respect to Israel, the inept International Court of Justice appears compromised.

For in a just society, the moral strictures that apply to the individual must also extend to the collective. Immoral acts that are forbidden severally cannot be sanctioned collectively. If the citizen must not murder; neither should The State, any state.

 

UN SECURITY COUNCIL CEASEFIRE IS BINDING 

A Security Council resolution not defanged by the US could have included a call for diplomatic, military, political, and economic sanctions, the freezing of Israeli assets, the deployment of a protection force, and the establishment of a tribunal for future prosecution ~ilana

In its uncontested superiority, the United States has asserted, moreover, that the UN ceasefire resolution is “non-binding.” “Completely false,” fumes international law expert Graig Mokhiber, in an interview, March 26, with Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!” And I paraphrase Mr. Mokhiber:

It is black-letter law in the U.N. Charter that all members of the United Nations are bound to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. The Charter, in Article 25, and in subsequent decisions of the International Court of Justice, has made it indisputable that Security Council resolutions are binding for all member states.

Not only is the last ceasefire resolution binding, but it opens up an opportunity, given that Israel is in breach of it, to table a resolution for enforcement under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, which “empowers the Security Council to orchestrate … collective actions … through a Military Staff Committee.”

A Security Council resolution not defanged by the United States could include a call for corporeal action: diplomatic, military, political, and economic sanctions, the freezing of Israeli assets, the deployment of a protection force, and the establishment of a tribunal for future prosecution.

If left to the rudderless Europeans and Americans—they’ve done not a thing to stop what Ron Unz has termed the first televised mass murder in history—it is for a heavenly tribunal that we will be waiting.

Scars will knit, but the dead don’t rise, and spry young limbs won’t grow back. More than ten children lose their legs daily by the IDF. Spare a thought for the lot of these children hobbled for life, for the US and world leaders have not.

Again, these judicial and political knaves and curs (with apologies to the canine community) could have cut off the supply of munitions to the culprits. (Some have. God bless Canada for placing an embargo on the export of kayaks and maple syrup to Israel.) Without Americans (you and me, the taxpayers); Israel would not last a day in its brave battle against mothers and their babies. We could hobble Israel’s offensive by the imposition of sanctions and boycotts, by freezing Israeli assets worldwide, as was done to Russians. Arrest warrants could have been issued, as the International Criminal Court had for Russians.

In essence, stop murdering and maiming Palestinians, no conditions attached.

 

ANNIHILATION, NOT WAR

Israel’s war is not a war by any known definition ~ilana

A ceasefire is called upon in war. This is not a war.

Ceasefire is defined as “an agreement, usually between two armies, to stop fighting in order to allow discussions about peace.” Israel’s onslaught on Gaza is not a war by any definition. These are not two armies arrayed one against the other. This is no war between opposing warrior forces. There is no parity here.

Why is Gaza 2023/2024 not a war?

If combat veteran Alan Shebaro, U.S. Special Forces, fails to convince you with his experience, I will follow with fact, law and reason. Listen to Shebaro tell it to a Texas City Council in McKinney:

“I know war. What is going on in Palestine right now is not a war. It is the dehumanization, it’s the genocide, it’s the ethnic cleansing of a specific people to take their land. This is wrong … I’ve seen horrible things, but this [Gaza] takes it to an entirely new level.”

Does any military man half-decent swallow the lie that, in its orgiastic annihilation of Gaza, Israel is fighting another army fair and square?!

Also a misnomer is the phrase “military operation.” It mocks out of meaning any linguistic convention that attaches words to the things they signify.

Valor was thus lost, not stolen, when, on October 24, 2023, Colonel Jack Jacobs, a retired US Army veteran—and a man who valiantly spoke up against the invasion of Iraq (ditto)—noodled on about Israel’s “expanding ground operations.” Once a principled voice, Colonel Jacobs lost respectability, right there, for there is no military operation an upstanding military man can get behind in Gaza, where easily 80 percent of the casualties are innocent civilians. 

Hip to this last fact is U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. In a quickly retracted statement, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Congress, on February 19, “that more than 25,000 women and children had been killed by Israel in Gaza since October 7.”

The Pentagon later “clarified” that estimate, insisting that, because the figure came from the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, not U.S. intelligence; it was unreliable. During that February congressional hearing, Austin had been asked how many Palestinian women and children had been killed by Israel. “It is over 25,000,” he had reflexively blurted out: This, according to the Pentagon, was but a monetary lapse of reason.

US bafflegab contradicts what I referred to, on January 4, as the “your lying eyes” standard, to use Richard Pryor’s wry phrase for he who has been caught in flagrante delicto:

“As they were turning Gaza into Dresden on TV, before our very eyes, Israel’s quicksilver state propagandists were also telling us, their American funders, that ‘this is not happening. …Who are you going to believe? Democratic Israel, or your ‘lying eyes’?’ I believe my ‘lying eyes,’ thank you very much. Those ‘lying eyes’ speak to the scale of Israel’s depredations against Gazans. … [And the numbers of dead, injured and displaced] are deemed ‘broadly reliable,’ by all reputable humanitarian, aid-rendering organizations worldwide, backed as they are by the science of satellite and radar.”

Let us indulge Secretary Austin’s already out-of-date estimate, in order to establish here that Israel’s “operation” is not a military operation behind which any military man worth his salt can stand:

Assume that 25,000 is the number of women and children murdered by Israelis, although it is more, not less, considering that thousands are buried beneath the rubble and more souls are being assassinated as we speak: To wit, in the 24 hours following the Security Councils’ vote, 76 Palestinians were murdered in Gaza.

IF 30,000 is the total—men and women, combatants and civilians—murdered heretofore; then women and children make up 83.3 percent of this total. (25,000/30,000) *100

IF 32,000 is the total number of souls slain to date; then the percentage of women and children is 78.1. (25,000/32,000) *100

IF a total of 33,000 human beings were slaughtered; then the percentage of women and children among them is 75.5. (25,000/33,000) *100

And if the number killed rises to 35,000, as it has, and the number of women and children assassinated is, by some miracle, held constant—their percentage would still constitute (25000/35000) *100= 71.4.

Israel’s war is not a war by any definition.

Unctuous UN ultimatums notwithstanding, as of March 21, Netanyahu had vowed to continue his evil clown’s campaign—so “handsomely equipped to fail” I observed in November—executed by a corrupt, clownishly inept and consistently depraved army.

Why, then, are Israel’s 2023-2024 actions in Gaza genocidal?

 

WHY GENOCIDE

Four conditions of genocide fulfilled; not one law of war heeded: In the course of its genocidal campaign; Israel has violated every law of war codified in Customary International Humanitarian Law ~ilana 

How do you compensate a people whose society you’ve cannibalized? ~ilana

In a November 2, 2023 essay, “Bibi Obliterates Memory Of October 7 Martyrs; Creates New Martyrs In Gaza,” I explained why, logically at least, Israel has met the threshold for criminal intent, mens rea.

“If you know in advance that your actions will cause the deaths of thousands-upon-thousands of civilians; attached to your criminal actions (actus reus) is a guilty mind (mens rea), which means malice aforethought, also known as intent, in Western jurisprudence and judicial philosophy.”

“The razing and ethnic cleansing of Gaza by Benjmain Netanyahu, abetted by Joe Biden and his Uniparty accomplices, in the course of which tens of thousands civilians are dying: This is murder with malice aforethought, a concept that includes ‘deaths resulting from actions that display a depraved indifference to life.‘ Further depraved indifference to life was Israel’s throttling of supplies of water, food and power to the millions of aid-dependent Gazans, as Israel knew full-well this would imperil civilians indirectly.”

More than industrial-scale mass murder of individual people—Israel is engaged in the eradication of Gazans as a People.

Objectively speaking, what Israel has visited on Gazans and their little enclave is not self-defense; but irreparable, wanton mass murder, a “blitzkrieg, by any other name,” combined with ethnic cleansing, and an orchestrated program of starvation against helpless civilians, who are still being indiscriminately and daily bombed, buried—alive and dead—evicted for life.

Even though over 80 percent of the Palestinians of Gaza have been driven from their homes—have no homes to return to; and though over 70 percent of structures in Gaza are gone, pulverized by the same devils—so-called interdiction missions by the IAF, Israeli Air Force, are ongoing, in “flagrant violation of its obligations under international law, both as an occupying power and as a party to the hostilities” (via Gisha), and “in blatant breach of core provisions under the Geneva and Hague Conventions.”

So says an international law consortium out of a Middlesex University London. So say countless reputable human rights organizations, who have submitted amicus briefs in American courts to enjoin President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Austin from providing weapons and other forms of support for Israel’s Total War on Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Hoping to skirt jurisdictional limitations, “the U.S.-based Center for Constitutional Rights” has been joined by “an esteemed array of individuals and organizations from around the world, including 139 NGOs.”

Evidence of Israel’s trespass is everywhere.

As I write, raids on the Al Shifa hospital, begun on March 19, continue apace. As of March 22, Israel’s fourth raid on what remains of this hospital was in progress. Over 140 doctors, patients, journalists and other refugees had been summarily executed, reports the indefatigable Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!” Thousands of refugees crammed into the hospital are currently being turned out, evicted.

All to “thwart terrorism.” Its missionary pursuit of murder in hospitals; Israel blankets with tidy lies.

Israel’s Hamas-made-me-do-it religious doctrine—this concealing of the truth for the faith—insults the intelligence. To listen to the Taqiyyah practiced by these Uncle Sam-sponsored Svengalis; “they are all terrorists.” Or “terrorist accomplices.” “Israel has effectively characterized the whole population in Gaza as human shields or terrorist accomplices as a matter of legal policy,” observed Francesca Albanese, speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, where she presented her report, “Anatomy of a Genocide.” Ms. Albanese is a scholar, and a UN special rapporteur on the human-rights dispensation in the West Bank and Gaza. On March 27, she issued her report which found “reasonable grounds” to conclude that Israel is culpable of genocide in Gaza.

Gamely repeating Israel’s mantras; Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the United States Department of State, labeled and libeled Ms. Albanese as an “antisemite.” Yes, terrorism. Also, antisemitism if you disagree with Israel, or dare to disbelieve a country’s whose coin of the realm has become state terror.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, the United Nations detailed the warp and woof of survival as a woman in Gaza. At that time, 9000 Palestinian women had been slaughtered by the IDF; 63 women were being slain daily by the same force, including 37 mothers, each and every day.

While the women’s guerrilla movement, stateside, is galvanizing to go to the polls to ensure their right to evict fetuses from their wombs; Gaza’s women are fighting to keep their fully formed babies alive, fed, safe from unguided bunker-buster bombs lobbed by Israel, and provided by America.

Again: Around 80 percent of Gazans have been driven from their homes. More than 70 percent of structures in the Gaza Strip were reported demolished or damaged, three months ago by the Wall Street Journal. More current satellite radar is available, courtesy of researchers like Jamon Van Den Hoek. His March 13 mapped destruction via satellite reads thus:

IN North Gaza, 69.7 percent of buildings have been destroyed or damaged.

IN Gaza City, it’s 73.7 percent.

IN Deir El-Balah, it’s 54.1 percent.

IN Rafah, an Israeli “work” in progress, 29.5 percent of buildings have been destroyed or damaged.

Gazans have no residences or industries—no life-sustaining infrastructure—to return to upon the implementation of a permanent ceasefire. Gone are their homes, places of work and worship—businesses, agriculture, fisheries, food-production industries and the arable land attached. Gone are the roads, power plants, sanitation and drainage-works, water wells and wastewater treatment plants conduits of electricity, potable water, shelter and food distribution.

Mosques, churches and schools (primary, secondary, tertiary) have been vaporized. Most hospitals, too. Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian academic, clinician, and longtime volunteer in the occupied territories, speaks to “never-before-seen viciousness; sadism beyond evil.” Gaza had a network of European-style, teaching hospitals, where evidence-based medicine was practiced. Out of over 30 such hospitals, about four remain in tatters. Hundreds of the Strip’s top healthcare providers, who served heroically until hit, have been murdered, often while ministering to patients. The Palestinians of Gaza are now perishing from sepsis, curable and treatable diseases, starvation and dehydration, overseen by Israel. (According to Gisha, which means access.)

Lost with Gaza’s infrastructure is the very fabric of a society—immeasurable human capital—including indissoluble, extended-family networks, the kind of generational bonds we in the West can only dream of, whittled down and depleted in numbers and in their native energy. A people’s cemeteries and archived history have been decimated, their antiquities and artifacts bulldozed and pillaged; their universities flattened; their artists and intellectuals hunted from house to house and extinguished.

Broken, Tariq Haddad, MD, an American cardiologist, told of 100 members of his extended family eliminated. Images of beautiful people, in the full flowering of their vitality (most were highly educated) flashed across the “Democracy Now!” broadcast’s screen. In February, Dr. Nasser Abu-El-Noor, dean of the Faculty of Nursing at the Islamic University of Gaza, along with seven members of his family, sheltering in their home, were murdered. Dr. Medhat Saidam, a renowned plastic surgeon, is buried beneath a building.

Were the High Court in the Hague ever to do its job and engage forensic electronics to that end—it could easily trace the psychological warfare waged, say, against Dr. Refaat Alareer. He had figured out that, “There’s nowhere safe in Gaza, so he chose to stay in his house.” By guerrilla journalist Max Blumenthal’s telling, Alareer and family were sadistically hounded, telephonically, by IDF officers, as they fled from one abode to the next. The IDF finally assassinated he and six members of his family. Myself, I followed a young journalist , Ayat Al Khaddour, who vlogged heroically from her home in Gaza until she was no more, stopped by an IDF-lobbed “precision” bomb, along with members of her family.

Israel has clearly and systematically eliminated the human capital of Gaza in ways diabolically purposeful, irreparable and unforgivable. The best of Gaza are gone; entire Palestinian family trees truncated forever. Why purposeful? Just as the U.S.-backed Israeli military knows the precise azimuths of their targets, including that of the assassinated Refaat Alareer—in the same vein do Israelis have the GPS coordinates of “major infrastructure projects funded by the U.S. government.” These, reports the Associated Press, have been largely spared.

All this is what Article II of the Genocide Convention means by clause number four: “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” (Amnesty International: Genocide: The Legal Basis For Universal Jurisdiction.)

To Israel’s rap sheet add at least three additional genocidal actions stipulated in Article II of the Genocide Convention, perpetrated “with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” (Ibid). These are:

* Killing members of the group.

* Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.

* Direct and public incitement to commit genocide.

As after the Holocaust, responsibility for decent reparations—Israelis to the Palestinians of Gaza—will need to be worked out. But how do you compensate a people whose society you’ve cannibalized?

 

EVERY LAW OF WAR VIOLATED

Genocide is a process, not an act. It is the destruction of a population from its roots ~Francesca Albanese

Four conditions of genocide fulfilled; not one law of war obeyed. In the course of its genocidal campaign; Israel has violated every law of war, codified in Customary International Humanitarian Law:

Israel has violated the law of proportionality:

‘Launching an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited.’ (Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Louise Doswald-Beck, Customary International Humanitarian Law2012, Cambridge University Press, 2012)

Israel has violated the principle of distinction:

‘The undisputed cornerstone of international humanitarian law (IHL) is the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants, which obliges belligerents to distinguish at all times between persons who may be lawfully attacked, and persons who must be spared and protected from the effects of the hostilities. In order to avoid any ambiguity, these two categories of persons must be mutually exclusive…’ (Ibid)

The law of distinction is an “intransgressible principles of international customary law” (Nils Melzer, The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict, Oxford University Press, 2015)

Israel has violated the principle of precautions in attack:

‘In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.’ (Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Louise Doswald-Beck, Customary International Humanitarian Law (2012), Cambridge University Press, 2012)

Only neolithic beasts like Jonathan Conricus or IDF mouth Keren Hajioff, former IDF spokesmen for Israel’s war of annihilation in Gaza, would have the gall to praise the care uniformed IDF take with human life. In case you’ve missed these Israeli bulwark bureaucrats, Conricus and Hajioff are now fellows at the American Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C., as a perusal of the FDD member page would indicate. Following stints in which these two mindlessly chorused for and covered up the goings-on in Gaza—the two have migrated to an American “think tank,” likely promoting the interests of entities not the United States, and overriding the balancing forces of regionalism in the Middle East.

In any event, it is writ in Customary International Humanitarian Law that “Specifically Protected Persons and Objects” be protected: Medical (“685 health workers have been killed and 900 wounded”), religious personnel and objects, humanitarian relief personnel (196 killed) and objects, personnel and objects involved in a peacekeeping mission, civilian journalists (103), cultural property, and the natural environment. In Gaza, these numbers are rendered obsolete by the hour.

Still, nothing excites shame in Israeli leaders. Very many of them, including the prime minister, have called on IDF soldiers to show no mercy. This, International Law forbids. Quaintly put, prohibited are “directions to give no quarter,” as in “threatening an adversary therewith or conducting hostilities on this basis.” Prohibited.

“Genocide is a process, not an act,” explains Francesca Albanese. It is the “destruction of a population from its roots.” Lara Elborno, another articulate human-rights lawyer, has ventured the following clincher, and I paraphrase:

Had Israel not dropped a single bomb on Gaza, but had done no more than cut off food, water and electricity to its 2.3 million residents—these action alone would suffice to constitute genocide under the treaties.

 

RAFAH

Devil stretches; devil flexes ~Hilary Mantel

In its ravening appetite for destruction, Israeli leadership had explicitly indicated that it would “not relent in [its] assault on the Gaza Strip until they’ve effectively accomplished the destruction of the entire strip. And their attacks now on Rafah, in particular, demonstrate that the last refuge, the last piece of the Gaza Strip that hasn’t been effectively destroyed, is not only in their sights, but already under their bombs.” (Criag Mokhiber, “Democracy Now!,” March 26)

According to Customary International Humanitarian Law, cited so far, “Directing an attack against a zone established to shelter the wounded, the sick and civilians from the effects of hostilities is prohibited.” (Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Louise Doswald-Beck, Customary International Humanitarian Law (2012), Cambridge University Press, 2012, Chapter 11 – Protected Zones)

In truth, it was mid-February when the Israel Defense Forces had commenced its onslaught on 1.5 million Palestinian refugees, who had been corralled from the north to the south, and now huddle helplessly in Raffah.

Israeli leadership, political and other, pollute the ear with an unbroken stream of genocide-justification jargon. The barbaric nature of their discourse complements their army’s actions. “Conspicuous and ostentatious” about their depredations; the uniformed IDF appear proud to revel in terrorizing and murdering Palestinian civilians forsaken. In general, YouTube runs cover for the IDF. Still, there are countless videos of nauseating brutality, in which IDF soldiers vaporize young men picking their way through rubble, as though in a video game; they mock their victims, invade their homes; filch from their businesses, and rummage through the piteous intimate effects of people dead and dispossessed. Other acts of defilement are too lewd to recount. (See BBC News’ “Israeli soldier videos from Gaza could breach international law, experts say.” Or, watch the Glenn Greenwald’s “Shocking IDF Social Media Videos Mock Gazans—Expose New Atrocities.”)

 

GOOD PEOPLE: GALLOWAY & BUSHNELL

Wars are a rich man’s affair and a poor man’s fight ~ilana

How many generations of young people can you raise on Big Lies—such as that Israel and its sugar daddy are prosecuting a fair, legitimate war, rather than waging Total War against innocent civilians? ~ilana

“Genocide Joe” and the foreign agents knowns as the “American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), whose Israel-First focus makes them a fifth column; Trump with Jared Kushner and his better-half: These are America’s 2024 election options.

The Biden-AIPAC bloc has begun whispering sweet nothings in the ears of Benny Gantz (National Unity Party), ostensible rival of Bibi Netanyahu (Likud). The AIPAC-run Biden bloc would like you to believe that a chasm in “Israel’s wartime leadership” has opened up. Biden’s bedroom talk with Benny is intended to impress upon the two squalid Jewish supremacists the danger of approaching some sort of political precipice. In the end, Netanyahu and Gantz, who both officiate in their country’s War Cabinet, are philosophically one, inseparable, spherical Gluteus Maximus.

Or, “two flapping cheeks of the same ass,” in George Galloway’s delightfully ribald language. Galloway was describing the political amalgam arrayed against truth and justice in the United Kingdom. As I noted in 2005, Galloway is a master flyter: the ancient Scottish form of invective for which a quick mind and a masterful command of the English language are a must.

Galloway’s capacity for extemporaneous verbal swordplay is not the only thing that distinguishes this jousting member of the British parliament. MP Gallaway and his Worker’s Party ran on foreign policy, in Rochdale, UK, and, in particular, he secured “thumping majorities” in a protest vote for Gaza—and against our overlords, stateside and in Israel, whose new norm is to be out-and-proud about genocide.

There will be flyting words aplenty to come.

The normalization of genocide is what US Airman Aaron Bushnell was protesting when he set himself alight, February 28. Airman Aaron Bushnell, of blessed memory, self-immolated to protest that upon which Galloway secured his victory in Rochdale: Israel’s war on Gaza.

Bushnell died horrifically, yet heroically, like a man—calm and rational—as he recited his reason for self-immolation: “I will no longer be complicit in genocide. This is what our ruling class has decided is the new normal.” Airman Bushnell was driven not by mental disease, but by a morally depraved society that supports de facto terrorist state Israel, with American moral imprimatur, its money and materiel.

Wars are a rich man’s affair and a poor man’s fight. American soldiers have always served as collateral damage in the nefarious projects of Uncle Sam and client states. Their causes and concerns, unless jingoistic and Fox-News friendly, seldom rate a mention. But, following Aaron Bushnell’s demise; many members of our military symbolically burned their uniforms in disgust, only to be mocked by Conservative Inc (or ConOink, as I call them). But they are right, and “this is wrong,” inveighed Alan Shebaro. “There’s nothing more American than speaking out against what’s wrong.” Like elite soldier Alan Shebaro, “Bushnell decried U.S. complicity in the Gaza genocide.”

At its core, what Bushnell was protesting is something even-more fundamental. For words are symbols. They are used as agreed-upon conventions to make sense of the world. What happens when these shared linguistic constructs no longer correspond to the things they are supposed to describe? Bushnell, who was in-the-know militarily, must have grown angrier and angrier as the symbols his society deploys clashed with the reality these symbols were supposed to signify. Particularly did he appear susceptible to the schizophrenogenic communications transmitted, on an ongoing basis, by the many Orwellian Ministries of Truth.

For how many generations of young people can you raise on Big Lies—such as that Israel and its sugar daddy are prosecuting a fair, legitimate war, rather than waging Total War against innocent civilians? Total War is a term to describe an all-out war against any and all. “What I saw was not war, but annihilation,” lamented Dr. Ifran Galaria, volunteer in Gaza, to MSNBC’s Joy Reid.

 

CALIGULA KUSHNER

Jared Kushner, the nepotistic scion of a dodgy New York realtor, and an empty husk of a man, is coveting the waterfront property of a conquered and dying people ~ilana

These days, “bloody Blinken, secretary of genocide”—a moniker given to him by the grand ladies of “Code Pink,” who have camped out at the Blinken mansion—has been coming and going to the Middle East. In dizzy rapture over Israel, Blinken shuttles to-and-fro on missions to smooth over Israel’s assault on Gaza; make it more genteel, more sellable.

Sellable as Jared Kushner assesses “Gaza’s waterfront property” to be.

With the fey charm of a state-cutter—a coroner—preparing to carve a corpse; philosopher-king Kushner shrugged a slender shoulder, as he languidly mused:

‘I’m sitting in Miami Beach right now, and I’m looking at the situation [in Gaza] and I’m thinking: What would I do if I was there? … I would just bulldoze something in the Negev, I would try to move people in there … I think that’s a better option, so you can go in and finish the job. … I do think right now opening up the Negev, creating a secure area there, moving the civilians out, and then going in and finishing the job would be the right move.’

This waterfront property “could be very valuable” Kushner let slip, on February 15, to an audience at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Middle East Initiative.

Crooked Kushner, you recall, had been Trump’s point person on foreign policy, the Middle East and much else. Little Lord Fauntleroy had even been entrusted with “preparing a peace plan for the Middle East.”

That Kushner had been invited to regale an audience at an elite American university is all you need to know about the intellectual and moral tenor of discourse in the USA. In this repulsive vignette, Jared Kushner, the nepotistic scion of a dodgy New York realtor, and an empty husk of a man, is coveting the waterfront property of a conquered and dying people.

For once, America’s Fourth Column (media) was in the peculiar position of covering up and finessing Kushner’s unfiltered remarks. After all, his position is that of the legacy media and their political paymasters.

 

BILL CLINTON: ‘WHO’S THE F–KING SUPERPOWER HERE?’

Gaza is a desert of the dead and the dying. Let the American Super Power ride to the rescue ~ilana

Israel’s contempt for the United States is complete.

Unsatisfied with his butcher’s bill in Gaza, demiurge Netanyahu had, at first, cancelled Israel’s delegation to Washington, furious that the United States of America failed to veto a UN ceasefire proposal.

“After his first meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in 1996,” recounts Patrick Theros, of “Responsible Statecraft,” “Bill Clinton vented his fury before his staff about his visitor’s apparent presumptions about the balance of power in the bilateral relationship. ‘Who the f–k does he think he is?’ Clinton reportedly bellowed. ‘Who’s the f–king superpower here?’”

Indeed.

Gaza is a desert of the dead and the dying. Israel, however, is miring humanitarian aid in capriciously sadistic paperwork and protocol. An example is their “dual-purpose” doctrine: “Did you know that syringes, desperately stuck in Palestinian veins deflated by dehydration, can be dual-purpose items?” Yeah! Used for terrorism, found in the tunnels, the lot.

If you can believe it, our “allies” the Israelis are hindering the delivery of American aid to Gaza.

Come again?! You heard me. It now transpires that, in thrall to Bibi Netanyahu, the “Super Power” is planning to construct a floating pier—a run-around around the Israelis, who had also, long ago, tampered with Gaza’s little port, situated as it was, once-upon-a-time, “near the Remal district of Gaza City,” of blessed memory.

Commensurate with Israel’s outrageous excesses, and the crazed riffs coming out of Israeli heads; Israel has established itself as a war criminal. By letting the blood of Palestinians for six months, and showing no intention of letting up; Israel has forfeited its right to protest decisive American intervention. Besides, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Under present conditions, a president who spoke like President Clinton might have made Americans proud. For once, the American Super Power could entertain ordering shabby little Israel, convulsing in paroxysms of evil, to cease and desist.

As easily, and after ordering Israel to stand down; America could… commandeer Israel’s Sde Dov or Ben Gurion Airport. Or, both. This is an emergency.

Fleets of our assorted military and cargo 747 aircraft would land like angels at an Israeli airport adjacent to Gaza.

Great big engines would be gunned.

Out would roar all the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks converted to a mission of mercy.

Into Northern Gaza would rush these life-saving American trailer trucks, carrying supplies and sustenance for the starving.

Down would go Israel’s fences and in would flow non-stop supplies, as though on a loop.

Landing in and delivering life-saving supplies from a well-appointed Israeli facility into northern Gaza, and throughout the Strip: This is the fastest and smartest way to succor a dying people.

Instead, America chooses to fellate Bibi NetanYahoo, his barking mad military and their berserk countrymen, 88 percent of whom “give a positive assessment of the performance of the IDF in Gaza until now. (Tamar Hermann, “War in Gaza Survey 9,” Israel Democracy Institute, January 24, 2024), 58 percent of whom grumble that not enough force has been deployed to date; and 68 percent of whom say “they do not support the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

 

https://www.unz.com/imercer/israel-in-violation-of-gods-law-natural-justice-the-laws-of-war-all-customary-international-humanitarian-law/

 

 

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The banality of evil redux    By Daryl Guppy

 

Hannah Arendt’s BANALITY OF EVIL report on the Eichmann trial failed to adequately address a key question. How could the German people not have known and how could they have let the holocaust happen?

Arendt’s observation that the administrative industrialisation of evil led to its banality is most relevant today, but it is enhanced and magnified by the pervasive distribution of horrendous images by ubiquitous social media. What the mainstream Western media chooses not to show, or report, is readily available on Facebook, X and Instagram.

Israel’s disproportionate response in Gaza to the Hamas’ attack, the al-Shifa hospital massacre, images of children crushed beneath tanks, joyous Israeli troops looting houses and the outright lie that only a few innocent civilians were harmed in this destruction, are a farrago of evil from which we cannot escape, but which we choose to ignore.

The film, THE ZONE OF INTEREST explores Arendt’s observations at a more personal level. The film follows the ordinary lives of those living beside a concentration camp in 1943. Apart from the occasional distraction of unpleasant odours when the wind changed direction, life was, if not cultured, at least comfortable and proceeded largely unperturbed.

Likewise, today we scroll down our small screens, perhaps pausing for a moment in delicious horror, before moving onto the next comedy sketch or advertisement for luxury goods.

At this early stage of the 21st century there ought to be a difference in our response to evil, but there is not. The Gaza war crimes unfold simultaneously on millions of small screens and give a new meaning to the banality of evil.

Is this banality to be our fate? The questions for us are will we allow these war crimes to go un-noticed and, if not, what can we do about it?

Recognising the reality of the emergence of a rogue state that rivals North Korea in its contempt for international law is a first step. Individually we can refuse to buy products from Israel, we can protest, and in my case, write. But it’s barely enough.

If we are to breakout out of the walled garden zone of interest then it requires a strength of political willpower to unshackle Australia from its cowardly acquiescence to the policy directions set by the United States.

It is good that Australia supports the calls for a ceasefire made in the United Nations. True leadership would see Australia leading these calls for a ceasefire. That is how Australia could establish its credibility in Asia Pacific and the broader international community.

As a matter of priority, Australia should suspend all arms exports to Israel until it complies with the UN ceasefire resolutions. Australia policy aspires to be a leading weapons supplier. We must be careful what we wish for because the supply of weapons that enable war crimes to a military action that has all the characteristics of a genocide make Australia complicit in those actions. Failure to prevent, or suspend these sales, shows contempt for the United Nations and contempt for the international rules based order upon which Australia endlessly pontificates.

Australia could emulate South Africa, and refuse landing rights for flights coming from Israel or transiting Israel. This sends a message that Australia will not enable the commission of war crimes on a grand scale.

Australia is quick to follow the United States and place travel sanctions on selected Chinese and Russian individuals, but has not yet considered placing similar travel bans on those who are committing war crimes in Gaza. It’s an administrative action that could be initiated by Foreign Minister Wong, but she is missing in action.

Prime Minister Albanese wants full accountability for the killing of Australian aid worker “Zomi” Frankcom, but there is little evidence we want to hold anybody actually accountable. We meekly accept Netanyahu’s “unintentional strike” fig-leaf as an explanation for what was a targeted assassination of an aid convoy where its movements had been coordinated with the Israeli army. Albanese’s expression of outrage is a substitute for action.

Foreign Minister Wong acted quickly, without evidence, to suspend UNWRA funding, but she is conspicuously absent when it comes to taking real action to enforce UN resolutions involving Gaza.

I cannot speak for Hannah Arendt, but her understanding of the enabling factors underpinning fascism and the holocaust are today, suddenly, on all our phone screens. We cannot tell our children and grandchildren that we did not know. Hopefully we can tell them that we did something to stop it.

https://johnmenadue.com/the-banality-of-evil-redux/

 

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kitchen fire.....

We've reported that World Central Kitchen (WCK) founder José Andrés says he thinks Israel deliberately targeted his aid workers.

Now, a spokesperson for Cogat - the Israeli defence ministry body in charge of co-ordinating aid deliveries to Gaza and liaising between the aid agencies and the Israeli military - insists there wasn’t a problem with the information they passed on to the IDF about the convoy’s movements.

Speaking to BBC's Newshour programme, Cogat spokesman Shimon Freedman says the strike on the aid workers was a "grave mistake" and an “absolute tragedy”.

“It was a mistake that followed a misidentification but we’ve set up an independent professional body to look into the incident and investigate."

He adds that he does not think there was a systemic problem because the IDF co-ordinates with aid agencies on the ground every day as a matter of course. 

"There are dozens of co-ordinations a day and hundreds of thousands of co-ordinations that have happened since the beginning of the war."

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-68710949?src_origin=BBCS_BBC

 

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