Wednesday, November 15, 2006
by Sarah Meyer
Beit Hanoun Massacre 8 November 2006Protocol I, Article 85, Section 3 of the Geneva Convention: "An indiscriminate attack affecting the civilian population or civilian objects and resulting in excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions."“The lesson Israel is imparting in Gaza is unequivocal: War crimes are fine, so long as you remember to say sorry afterwards.”
1. PrologueAn American woman wrote to me about her support for Israel in the war against Lebanon. Another told me about an anti-Iraq-war relative who was a candidate in the recent US elections, and who also supported Israel’s policies. I protested. “You are wrong,” she said. I asked, “Are, then, Amnesty, the Red Cross, the UN, Human Rights Watch, and other respectable organisations as well as many people in our world all wrong?” An American man dismissed these organisations in a ‘comments’ section as being ‘leftie’ – thus, with 20th century ‘Cold War’ language, consigning moral integrity to the dustbin.There is an ignorant ‘blind spot’ in America. That Palestine was a central cause of 9/11 has never been acknowledged or addressed. America, instead, bombed the soul out Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of ‘democracy and freedom,’ never mentioning oil. The Guardian headline (14.11.06), Blair urges White House to shift focus to Israel-Palestine conflict, is three years out of date. And will anything change with Mrs. Pelosi, America’s new darling? I doubt it. Read Robert Thompson’s article here.Who is responsible for giving the American people warped facts, or no facts at all, about the plight of the Palestinian people? Why are the White House, Congress and the Senate, as well as Mainstream Media in collusion with the massive lobby, AIPAC? This lobby, according to the NY Times banner on their webpage, is “The most important organization affecting America’s relationship with Israel.”It is time for the Sleeping Beauty - America the Beautiful, land of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights - to wake up not only to the so-called ‘war on terror’ and Iraq war lies, but also to the lies they have been fed about Palestine over many years.Following is a short synthesis of articles and videos focusing on the Beit Hanoun horror – a microcosmic mirror of Israeli crimes perpetrated upon the Palestinian people. Read and watch, and wake up America. Then demand that the problem which was a causative factor in 9/11 be addressed. Hopefully, then, terrorism will decrease and we can share our planet together with integrity, respect and love. This must happen.
2. Beit Hanoun; A Microcosm of War Crimes
04.11.06. Murder at the MosqueVideo. Beit Hanoon Massacre 8 November 2006.“My wife recorded this for my blog a couple of days ago. Since then, she won’t even look at the news.” Haitham Sabbah.Listen Carefully to Condi’s Silence on Beit Hanoun08.11.06. Haaretz / ICH. "I lost my sister, my brother-in-law and five of my nieces and nephews this morning. I feel nothing now; I can’t find the right words. All I know that the attack wasn’t a mistake. Israel fired six shells, how can that be a mistake? Israel wants to push us from our homes, but we will stay. This is our land.” -- Omar Thamena, 46, engineer.ICRC deplores civilian deaths and casualties08.11.06. ICRC. "The ICRC is appalled that at least 18 persons, including seven children and seven women, lost their lives and at least 58 others were wounded, some of them very severely, as a result of Israeli military operations in Beit Hanoun in the early hours of 8 November. … International humanitarian law strictly prohibits attacks against civilians and civilian objects and requires that a strict distinction be made between the civilian population and military objectives."We overcame our fear09.11.06.Jameela al-Shanti, Guardian. “Yesterday at dawn, the Israeli air force bombed and destroyed my home. I was the target, but instead the attack killed my sister-in-law, Nahla, a widow with eight children in her care. In the same raid Israel's artillery shelled a residential district in the town of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip, leaving 19 dead and 40 injured, many killed in their beds. One family, the Athamnas, lost 16 members in the massacre: the oldest who died, Fatima, was 70; the youngest, Dima, was one; seven were children. The death toll in Beit Hanoun has passed 90 in one week."Organization of the Islamic Conference accuses Israel of 'war crimes' and committing 'terrorist attacks' in Beit Hanoon09.11.06. Aljazeerah.info. The Organization of the Islamic Conference accused Israel of committing a war crime after the Israeli army shelled a residential area in Beit Hanoon in the northern Gaza Strip, killing 18 Palestinians, on Wednesday.Members of the European Parliament 'shocked and appalled' by the 'horrible carnage' in GazaAljazeerah.info.*It is not enough to feel ‘shocked and appalled’.Video. (The Media Story) Beit Hanoun: Massacre or Technical Error? CNN / BBC. 7 min.How did Mathew Price, a BBC reporter, feel? This article tells of Palestinian suffering. But the BBC been accused numerous times of being biased in favour of Israel. Who is telling Americans that the BBC is biased in favour of Palestine? Will you google ‘BBC bias Israel’ and read the truth for yourself?VIDEO: Massacre of Palestinian Women and Children Israel's "Cloud of Autumn" Massacre in Gaza10.11.06. M. Chossudovsky, Global Research. “The official story of the Israeli military is that this was an crack-down operation on "terrorists". Read the semi-official report by the Voice of America (VOA) (below) and then view the video to see what really happened.”M. Chossudovsky gives related press reports: Mass kidnapping of Palestinian men in Beit Hanoun by Israeli occupation forces; Khalleez Times Online story; Xihua story.Western Media Parrots Israeli Narrative on Beit Hanoun Massacre12.11.06. K. Amayrah, a Palestinian blogger.Names of 83 Palestinian Martyrs Victims of Israeli Massacre in Bait Hanoun Gaza Strip12.11.06. Palestine Free Voice / uruknet.How a Beit Hanun family was destroyed13.11.06. Amira Hass, Haaretz. "They knew very well who was in the house, how many children, how many women. They knew very well there were no terrorists and no arms in this house," said Majdi.US vetoes UN resolution urging Israel to respect international humanitarian law in Gaza10.11.06. The Jurist. The Palestinian government. says this veto “backs further massacres.”Arab Nations To Lift Financial Blockade On Palestine10.11.06. Nasdaq. ‘Arab nations on Sunday decided to lift the financial blockade on Palestine following the US veto on a U.N. Security Council draft resolution on Saturday, which would (have) condemned Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip, reported AP. The Arab decision to lift the blockade on Palestine was arrived at following discussions at a meeting of 11 Arab foreign ministers and other senior officials and diplomats at the headquarters of the Arab League in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.’How Israel put Gaza civilians in firing line12.11.06. Observer exclusive. “Israeli military commanders drastically reduced the 'safety' margins that separate artillery targets from the built-up civilian areas of Gaza earlier this year, despite being warned that the new policy risked increasing Palestinian civilian deaths and injuries. … According to Human Rights Watch, since September 2005 Israel has fired about 15,000 rounds at Gaza while Palestinian militants have fired around 1,700 back. … The IDF has claimed a fault in the artillery radar system's co-ordinates for the missiles changed the margin of error from 25 to 200m, but that still does not explain why it waited until the following day to return fire to a general area - a policy that the Israeli peace group B'Tselem describes as a 'war crime'. … As a point of comparison, between June 2004 and July 2006, 14 civilians (six of them minors) were killed by Qassam gunfire fired by Palestinians into Israeli territory and at settlements in the Gaza Strip. In the four weeks from 26 June-24 July this year, however, IDF actions in the Gaza Strip to end the Qassam rocket fire caused the death of 126 Palestinians, 63 of whom did not participate in the hostilities. Twenty-nine of these were minors. According to the UN, since the end of June 450 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza.”Nobel winners petition Israel to outlaw targeted killing13.08.06. AFP / Khaleej Times. ‘Hundreds of Israeli peace activists, joined by three foreign Nobel laureates, asked the nation's high court to rule against targeted assassinations carried out by the army in the Palestinian territories, saying the attacks were killing civilians. The petition, signed by 10 peace groups and 200 individuals, urged the supreme court to rule immediately on the issue in light of last week's Israeli fire in Gaza's Beit Hanun that killed 19 people, mostly women and children.’US Officers planned the Beit Hanoun Massacre13.11.06. Kawther Salam, Sabbah’s blog. WARNING: DISTURBING PHOTOS: “people everywhere in Palestine see such images on a daily basis not as pictures but live and anywhere they go.” ‘I often ask myself why the U.S.A does not stop donating to Israel the bombs which they use against the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. What, ever, have we done to the USA? … Why does the international media impose a veil of silence over what is happening in Palestine? …What is the DIME weapon? DU researcher and expert, Dai Williams, believes this is a new class of weapons using enriched uranium, not through fission processes but through new physical processes kept secret for at least 20 years. Physicist Emilio del Giudice form the National Institute of Nuclear Physics came to the same conclusion.”
Leg injuries inflicted by new Israeli weapons. The flesh is apparently burnt and disintegrates into crumbles and liquids.SORRY WE KILLED YOU IN YOUR SLEEP....WE'LL WAKE YOU NEXT TIME13.11.06. Desert Peace, Israeli Jewish blogger. Includes Olmert’s interview with Al Quds newspaper.
3. ReferencesVideo. Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land.U.S. Media & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: How Israel manipulates and distorts American public perceptions. (17.07.06). This video ‘carefully analyzes and explains how--through the use of language, framing and context--the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza remains hidden in the news media, and Israeli colonization of the occupied terrorities appears to be a defensive move rather than an offensive one.’ 79 min.Aid to Israel• Perspective from Israel:In Washington: Really helping Israel09.11.06. Jerusalem Post. One of the reasons Israel is rarely an issue in House and Senate campaigns is that Congress only considers one significant piece of legislation relating to Israel every year. That is the Israel aid package, which is itself part of the overall foreign aid bill.• Perspective from Palestine:True Lies About U.S. Aid to" Israeli " War Machinery: Cost of Israel to U.S. Taxpayers10.11.06. Palestine Free Voice. “Recently Americans have begun to read and hear that "Israel receives $3 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid." That's true. But it's still a lie. The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000.” An analysis of who does give and promote for Israeli interests.• Perspective of the LawUS vetoes UN resolution urging Israel to respect international humanitarian law in Gaza11.11.06. The Jurist.US Arms Sales to Israel
GAZAN DOCTORS PULL SHRAPNEL MARKED “MADE IN USA” OUT OF PALESTINIAN• U.S. eyes up to $750 million in military sales to Iraq19.09.06.Reuters.• U.S. Congress okays $500m for defense projects with Israel30.09.06. Haaretz.• Index on Illegal Weapons in Lebanon• Appendex II: Index on Weapons in Lebanon. War Crimes in Lebanon and Palestine• Lebanon: The Aftermath of War (updated to 14.11.06).Nuclear WeaponsThen, of course, there is the unmentionable story of the “WMD” nuclear weapons in Israel. The US government prefers to focus on the non-existent WMDs in Iran - and support Israel’s (nuclear ?) threats on Iran.US VetoesU.S. Vetoes of UN Resolutions Critical of Israel 1972 – 2006Jewish Virtual Library / ICH.The WallVideo. Wall of Shame.‘The wall being constructed on the West Bank by the Israeli government is twenty-five feet high. Studded with guard towers and armaments, and encrusted with high-tech sensors, the wall cuts across the land, separating Palestinians from their own farms, their own neighbors, and from the Israeli settlements which have sprung up rapidly as a result of lavish subsidies from the Israeli government.’ 28 min.The MediaThe Haditha Doctor and the Media Dissemblers19.06.06. S. Meyer, Index Research. This research article probes the media stories on the murders in Haditha, Iraq – the ‘right-wing’ clan – and their funders.Further ReadingJAMES PETRAS' NEW BOOK - THE POWER OF ISRAEL IN THE UNITED STATES26.10.06. Stephen Lendman Review.Other references
Haitham SabbahI asked Haitham Sabbah if he had any suggestions for this reference section. He wrote: “You can also find a good source of Palestinian bloggers in my other project, Palestine Blogs. It is an aggregator of all known Palestinian bloggers and/or bloggers who write and support Palestinians.” He mentioned his favourites, but I am hoping that those who want to know more will find their own favourites.STOP PRESS: Sabbah emailed me at 16.54 today: "Tonight, the news is bad. Some angry Palestinian decided to take revenge to Beit Hanoun massacre. A qassam rocket killed one and injured another Israli. This is so sad happening, again. Now the Israelis are saying that they will take a hard revenge, so God knows how many willbe killed more.... It's really devastating times that we are going through :( Lets pray for peace, soon...Thank you Haitham Sabbah. Thanks also, to your family – and to the Palestinian people for their fortitude. All of you deserve some good health, good schools and real “democracy and freedom.” No more bombs or tanks. No more suffering. This will happen if the American people WAKE UP.
+Postscript: My best wishes also to the Israeli people – as distinct from the Israeli government - and especially to my dearest lifelong close friend, Beth. I feel your suffering, too.With thanks to W.W., M. and Kewe for their help and support.
+Sarah Meyer is retired and now a researcher living in England.Palestine: Wake Up America was first published by the BRussels Tribunal at:
http://www.brusselstribunal.org/MeyerPalestine.htmThe Index Research url to ‘Palestine: Wake Up America’ is: http://indexresearch.blogspot.com/2006/11/palestine-wake-up-america.htmlThis article will be updated.Tags: Index Research, Palestine, Israel, Blair, Pelosi, Hanoun, Hanun, Hanoon, AIPEC. Gaza, Geneva Conventions