Why is it that a country of immigrants, and lets face it we are all immigrants to this country whether recent or from a very long time ago, some of us willing and others of us unwilling conscripts, have such a disdain for today’s immigrants? The deaths of immigrants while under federal government custody is a stain upon the tradition of America and its rule of law. It is unconscionable that people are left to die in federal immigration detention facilities yet there seems to be a pattern of such abuse taking place on our shores.
The Israeli government has decided not to investigate the actions of its military in Gaza, despite its earlier claims that it would. So what else is new you ask? Well Human Rights Watch has initiated an investigation of its own and it does confirm what was apparent to all who have eyes to see that Israel did use white phospherous against civilians during the Gaza campaign. You can watch what HRW had to say in the video below.
Meanwhile the US continues its obsequious, servile behavior towards the Israeli government which boasts of having one of the strongest armies in the world. Evidently that is not enough to get the US to say to Israelis they’re on their own when it comes to Israeli military aggression, so Obama continues to pledge to defend Israel against its enemies. Mind you Israel’s enemies are the ones it creates; most of its neighbors want peace with the Jewish state in exchange for recognition of their territorial sovereignty. Even the Palestinians want peace, but as usual, that won’t suit the Israelis.
Avigdor Lieberman said Israel’s new government will suspend negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on so-called “final-status” issues – the borders of a Palestinian state, the fate of Jewish settlements, Palestinian refugees and the city of Jerusalem – until the Palestinians take verifiable steps to end attacks against Israelis.
With the statement, the new Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reversed the policy of its predecessor, led by Ehud Olmert, which had been quietly attempting to negotiate a final settlement of the conflict with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for the past 14 months.
It’s easy to see where this is going. The expansionist policy of military aggression of the Israeli government is headed towards the West Bank and it won’t be long, months perhaps, before the Israeli government calls for war against all of what is left of Palestine. Of course all of this will be done with the claim that Israel is under constant threat of extinction from its potent (not!) neighbors.
The National Lawyers Guild has weighed in on what happened in Gaza, saying
Israel violated international law by targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, misusing weapons, deliberately denying medical care to the wounded and attacking medical personnel, the National Lawyers Guild Delegation to Gaza said today upon releasing a 37 page report containing new evidence on the facts surrounding Israel’s 22 day military offensive in Gaza. The full report can be viewed at www.nlg.org.
“Our findings join a growing chorus of voices—which include Israeli soldiers themselves—asserting that Israeli forces deliberately targeted civilians during the Gaza offensive,” said Radhika Sainath, one of the attorneys who initiated the seven-day fact-finding delegation to Gaza. “On a number of occasions, Israeli soldiers shot and killed young children as well as unarmed civilians holding white flags—both violations of the laws of war.”
The Delegation also uncovered evidence of Israeli soldiers using Palestinians as human shields, acts that constitute war crimes, as well as evidence that the Israeli military targeted civilian infrastructure and grossly misused weapons. Further, Israel denied the wounded access to medical care and routinely fired on emergency medical teams attempting to reach those in need of help. Paramedics and doctors reported to the Delegation that many civilians could have been saved if the Israeli army allowed Palestinian medical services access to the wounded. “On one occasion, when Israeli forces did allow Palestinian medical services to enter an area after four days, soldiers prohibited their ambulances from approaching and paramedics were forced to pile the injured on donkey carts,” reported Reem Salahi, a California-based civil rights attorney. “Medical workers were then forced to pull the carts to their ambulances two kilometers away.”
Is it any wonder that Israel has stopped its own investigation; it would incontrovertibly point to IDF culpability in criminal acts. I don’t know why that bothers Israeli officials; for the moment no matter what they do, or what evidence points to they are able to continue to demand and receive US aid which allows them to perpetuate these acts of violence and aggression. With willing accomplices in the US media any investigation, including the ones mentioned in this post, would be ignored and/or not reported. In fact conducting an investigation even if it points to Israeli guilt would be a feather in their cap….it would point to some sort of transparency. However, the frame of mind of the Israeli government is they are not accountable to any authority, and thus no need for such an investigation on their part. It is the height of hubris. Let’s hope it is the pride that precedes Israel’s fall.