Friday, October 26, 2007

The Geneva what, sorry?

The Israeli defence minister has apparenty approved sanctions against the civilian population of that 'hostile entity' Gaza whereby electricity supplies will be cut off every time a rocket is launched into Israel.

That this constitutes a form of collective punishment prohibited under international humanitarian law as usual concerns them not, which means that 1.5 million already beleagured people will again pay the price for acts which have nothing to do with the majority of them and which they may not necessarily support. Israel of course claims that the lands it nicked in 1967 are 'disputed' rather than 'occupied' because when they nicked them they weren't under the legal sovereignty of any State and therefore the 4th Geneva Convention which protects civilians under occupation does not apply to the Palestinians. That the legal community disagrees entirely is neither here nor there. Israel also apparently doesn't give a rat's fart about the fact that its control of Gazan airspace, territorial waters and border crossings renders it an occupying power with an obligation to actively ensure the welfare of the Gazan population.

Legal semantics aside, and assuming that Israel's priority is to ensure the welfare of its Jewish citizens, surely it is in its interests to not impose measures which will increase despair and anger in Gaza, and probably only fuel further violence against it? Or is this designed to spur on factional in-fighting in Gaza and bring about a situation just short of civil war which will justify that Israel re-occupies Gaza fully again? Is it a war of attrition against the Gazan population?

If there is no sensible military rationale for these actions could it be that the Israel government and military and their supporters are actually just law-flouting heartless bastards?

And yes, it is wrong for Palestinian groups to target Israeli civilians, and it probably doesn't help their cause internationally, but what the bloody hell would you do if you were trapped in a giant prison with your kids, who if they haven't been killed by Israeli gunships or Hamas-Fatah crossfire are terrified by sonic booms, and if they aren't terrified by sonic booms, they're hungry, and if they're not hungry they're dying of some illness which can't be treated in hospital because it lacks supplies, and they can't be treated outside Gaza because the Israelis have closed the border crossing and even if you could take them abroad you wouldn't necessarily be able to get back in because Israel might decide to close the border again while you aren't inside Gaza. But then you probably wouldn't be able to afford to go abroad anyway because if you're a public employee you haven't been paid for months. Probably best not to attempt to leave Gaza anyway, at least not destined for an Arab country because it's unlikely you'll get a visa and even if you did and decided to go to say, Cairo, you would be the unwilling guest of its airport for 24 hours for no reason other than the fact that you are a Palestinian. To reiterate, I don't condone the targeting of any civilians but this is very easy for me to say from my comfortable bed in Cairo. In that situation God knows what the insanity and endless humiliation would drive me to.

Note that Egypt supplies some of Gaza's electricity. Does anyone know if - obligations under military aid agreements with superpowers aside - it would be physically possible to somehow increase electricity supply to Gaza at times when Israel imposes a blackout? Or is this just fantastical.


Anonymous said...

as if a 24 hour detention was not enough....

Our beloved chairman of the house “foreign affairs” committee (controls the purse.) a one thomas lantos (D-california), just so happens to be a member of the israeli knesset... but that’s just a minor detail we all overlook, for a man controlling one of the most powerful committees on capitol hill.

anyway he summoned ms. rice on Wednesday, and chided her on egypt turning a blind eye to the armaments and supplies being smuggle across the boarder, to the here said terrorist outfit "Hamas." and oh it was an entertaining hearing to say the least… I take pleasure in watching these boring hearings in the raw on C-span… didn't know whether to laugh or cry after watching this one.

he went on to innumerate a number of faux pas that israel's giant arab friend was committing... the lax boarder control in addition to mentioning a couple of security chiefs by name. for their mano negro tactics of helping those "horrible palestinians."

naturally ms. Rice concurred and went on to take a couple of whacks herself at the piñata along the nile. so as to seem a little more isralei that lantos himself.

so, in the tradition of impertinent comments.. how does any of this tie in to your post?????????? EVERYTHING as “the powers that be” will refuse to listen, care or even remotely understand the plight of our forsaken brethren……besides the much Viagra needing UN and a collective of birkenstock clad NGOs----- no one gives a rats assss.

And yes her ritual of paying remote and fleeting lip service to Ayman Nour was preformed at the end of the hearing………….

I love to hate mid-east politics, now excuse me while I go scream and cry in the bathroom.

Another cool post A.

Basil Epicurus said...

Jimmy Carter covers all of this in his book "Palestine: Peace, not Apatheid" which was widely condemned in the US, yet nevertheless is being vindicated as more and more people read it and wake to the possibility that Israel isn't as saintly as it pretends to be.

The truth is, the Palestinians were betrayed by their leaders who, year after year, failed to deliver relief, in favor of bluster and 'all or nothing' hollow political slogans. And the Israelis, aided by the US, have employed tactics which wouldn't look out of place in 1980s S. Africa.

Forsoothsayer said...

are u sure tom lantos is a member of the knesset?? i can find nothing to support this. it sounds like it would be illegal.

it may be possible, that after much evidence to the contrary, this Israeli government believes that the electricity cuts will act as a deterrent to firing rockets into Israel. alas, people don't really think like that.

Anonymous said...


It's sad that everyone from harvard law monger alan dershowitz, to his own former aid have labeled him a 'grandstander.' trying to sell books by including the word "apartheid" in his title, to compensate for a career of 20 failed books.

so until the little blue aliens remove the martian in the whitehouse...nothing will change.


yes and that sliver of info is hard to come by, unless you google:

"tom lantos member of israeli parliament"

my jaw dropped when i first heard it on amy goodman's democracy now....a couple of years back yup it's legal and TRUE……..

matizaleesh joe lieberman is an "honorary member"!!! well published fact.

Anonymous said...

I retract my statement as "current sitting member"...but was once a member and still holds 2 passports. that’s enough to question his allegiance. And to have him removed as chair of a committee that sets "world agenda"……. as it is PAX AMERICANA....

Scarr said...

Baz: So sad that what has been said time and time again for years about Israel and its apartheid policies has to come from Jimmy Carter in order for the American public to actually consider it.

Zerocool & Forsooth: Is it not ultimately irrelevant whether this Tom Santos chap is or was a member of the Knesset, given that 99 percent of US government figures are in the hands of the Israeli lobby anyway, even if they aren't paid-up card-carrying members?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that nobody seems to care about this terrible and disgusting way to punish a people? Its hardly a story on BBC's website, there's no option for have your say, its not making headlines nor receiving much in the way of criticism from anyone. I mean I understand the Israel Lobby control the media and what not, but what about the UN, other Arab countries, even Abbas. It just seems bazaar and surreal to me that nobody cares about electricty being voluntarily shut off to over a million people for rocket attacks that the majority have nothing to do with.

Forsoothsayer said...

no of course not...although i question that 99% idea...i just don't think false information should be tossed around, beclouding issues, when there's plenty of good true information to rely on.

amir: bazaar, yes.

Scarr said...

Bizarre not bazaar.

Anonymous said...

Haha alright i misspelled, you get what i wanted to say!