Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Winograd report's moral blindness


Khalid Amayreh

While effectively indicting the Israeli government for "sever failure" in managing Israel's barbaric war on Lebanon last summer, the Winograd Commission report utterly and outrageously ignored the ghastly war crimes the Israeli army committed against Lebanese civilians in the course of the war.

The Winograd report castigated the Israeli government and army for the indecisive end of the war notwithstanding the widespread killings and destruction inflicted on Lebanese civilians and their civilian infrastructure, including schools, ports, power and fuel stations as well as bridges, roads and homes.

In other words, the Winograd report seemed to be blaming the Israeli army and government for not killing more Lebanese and for not destroying more Lebanese homes and probably for not dropping more cluster and uranium bombs throughout Lebanon.

For those who may have forgotten, the wehrmacht-like Israeli army and air-force killed and maimed thousands of Lebanese civilians, utterly destroyed thousands of homes and public buildings, and deliberately and knowingly massacred Lebanese civilians fleeing southern towns and villages during the war.

In the first days of that barbaric war, the Israeli air-force systematically targeted helpless civilians from the villages and hamlets of the South, such as Mirwaheen and Bayada, killing and maiming dozens of children and women. The images of the wanton slaughter were too gruesome to be described by words.

Entire families were exterminated by Israel's American supplied bombs when invading Israeli forces asked civilians to flee their villages. And when the civilians heeded the warnings, Israeli warplanes went into action, bombing the buses and vehicles carrying these hapless refugees northward toward Beirut, reducing dozens to incinerated pieces of human flesh.

The Nazi-like massacres were repeated several times throughout Lebanon, especially in the South and along the coast as Israeli warplanes targeted residential homes under the pretext that a person affiliated with Hizbullah was living there.

And the result was the extermination of entire families including toddlers, children, husbands, wives, grandmothers and grandfathers.

In addition, the Israeli air-force flattened Beirut's southern Dahiya, killing and maiming hundreds, and turning the largely residential area into a huge pile of rubble.

But the most outrageous war crime Israel committed during the war occurred in the closing days of the war when the Israeli chief of staff, Dan Halutz, ordered the air force to drop as many as 3000,000 cluster bomblets in and around residential areas throughout Lebanon.

This Nazi-like carpet bombing had a holocaustic proportions since three million bombs could, theoretically, kill at least three million children. Indeed, the killing and/or maiming of that many people would be at least half a holocaust by "Jewish standards."

The genocidal danger is, of course, far from being hypothetical. Nearly every day Lebanese civilians, including peasants, farmers, shepherds and school children are maimed and killed by these unexploded Jewish presents.

Needless to say, Israeli political and military leaders knew this fact well beforehand, which makes people like Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Halutz bona fide war criminals very much like Nazis political and military leaders.

Shameless and criminal-minded Israeli leaders would never publicly admit that they committed horrible war crimes against innocent civilians.

A few moths ago, Likud leader Benyamin Netanyahu in an interview with al Jazeera English channel sought to justify the wanton bombing of Lebanon by citing the British RAF bombing of German cities in the closing months of WWII.

Unfortunately, the pornographically corrupt analogy went unanswered by al-Jazeera's David Frost who conducted the interview with Netanyahu.

The fact that the Winograd committee totally ignored this shameful aspect of the war is more than morally unconscionable. It is actually an unethical and immoral failure of criminal proportions since that committee gave the impression that the killing and maiming of thousands of innocent civilians, was a minor issue.

Which really indicts the Israeli society and mentality for its callous racism toward non-Jews.

It is true that Hizbullah fired dozens of Katyousha missiles on northern Israel, mainly to deter the Zionist state from committing a fully-fledged genocide against Lebanese civilians.

However, it was amply clear that Israel started the massive bombing and that whatever actions Hizbullah carried out were purely defensive.

In any case, the scandalously disproportionate and deliberate bombings of civilian targets, such as the Qana-2 massacre, can never be justified and may only be viewed as a war crime of Nazi-like proportions.

Thus, while the Winograd report may have the semblance of a credible and solemn probing committee, its willful failure to even allude to these grisly crimes committed knowingly and deliberately by the Israeli army should be viewed as a powerful indictment of the committee itself and its chairman, Judge Elyahu Winograd.

Which really shows that criminality and racism are not confined to the Israeli army and the Zionist political establishment, but are intrinsic traits defining and characterizing the entire Israeli society, including its so-called judicial system.


© 2007 Khalid Amayreh

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