“You can’t kill and talk at the same time.” – William Luers, former U.S. Ambassador & senior State Dept. official
In 2006, after Palestinians democratically elected Hamas to the shock and chagrin of both Israel and the United States (who had insisted on the elections in the first place), a devastating economic siege was imposed on the 1.5 million residents of Gaza by Israel as punishment for the crime of Palestinian self-determination. As Dov Weisglass, adviser to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said with a chuckle, “It’s like an appointment with a dietitian. The Palestinians in Gaza will get a lot thinner, but won’t die.”
What’s so obviously funny about Weisglass’ statement is that, due to the brutal blockade that has deliberately strangled Gaza for six years, at least 61% of Palestinians in the territory are “food insecure,” of which “65% are children under 18 years;” the level of anemia in infants is as high as 65.5%, about 70% of Palestinians in Gaza live on less than $1 a day, over 80% rely on food aid, and 60% have no daily access to water, 95% of which is undrinkable anyway.
And now, apparently, Israeli officials are hoping the West will duplicate this hilarity by similarly depriving Iranians of their own means to survive.
An article published this week in Yediot Ahronot was headlined, “Israeli officials: Starve Iranians to stop nukes,” reported, “Iran’s citizens should be starved in order to curb Tehran’s nuclear program, officials in Jerusalem said Wednesday ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming trip to Washington.” The article quoted an unnamed official as saying, “Suffocating sanctions could lead to a grave economic situation in Iran and to a shortage of food. This would force the regime to consider whether the nuclear adventure is worthwhile, while the Persian people have nothing to eat and may rise up as was the case in Syria, Tunisia and other Arab states.”
The official urged, “The Western world led by the United States must implement stifling sanctions at this time…[i]n order to suffocate Iran economically and diplomatically and lead the regime there to a hopeless situation, this must be done now, without delay.”
Encouraging the willful, foreign creation of a humanitarian crisis upon a nation of 74 million human beings in the form of collective punishment with the intention of fomenting regime change is not only appalling, its prescription is criminal under international law. It goes without saying that, were anyone to suggest that Israel itself be targeted with such destructive tactics for any reason whatsoever, the mere idea would elicit accusations of utterly insane, genocidal anti-Semitism. But, of course, to Israeli officials pushing the starvation of a mostly Muslim civilian population, Iranian lives are as expendable as Palestinian lives.
How can such talk be discussed so flippantly? The answer, sadly, is obvious.
Iranians, over the past three decades, have been so dehumanized by Western politicians and media that talk of economic “strangulation” and “crippling” sanctions are not only routine but, at this point, mundane. Just last week, conservative pundit Tucker Carlson stated on Fox News that “Iran should be annihilated.” Rhetoric like this is nothing new.
On April 18, 2007, John McCain, that mavericky steward of the self-described “Straight Talk Express”, held a campaign event at Murrells Inlet VFW Hall in South Carolina, where he was asked when he thought the United States might “send an air mail message to Tehran.” His reply began with him singing “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” to the tune of The Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann.”
Shortly thereafter, ABC news reported, “McCain campaign spokesman Kevin McLaughlin points out that the Senator’s song was not serious and the people in the room were laughing” and quotes McLaughlin as saying, “He was just trying to add a little humor to the event.” In response to critics who suggested McCain’s little ditty might be insensitive, the Arizona Senator said, “Insensitive to what? The Iranians?” and proposed his detractors “lighten up and get a life.”
McCain did this because, obviously, bombing thousands of people to death for no reason is funny, especially to a septuagenarian war veteran who was tortured in captivity for years. He was running for President after all.
A year later on April 22, 2008, while on the campaign trail, presidential-aspirant Hillary Clinton declared her intention to “totally obliterate” Iran if Iran ever launched a first-strike on Israel, despite the fact that Iran has never threatened to do so and has expressly denied any intention to ever do so.
In July 2008, on a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, John McCain reacted to a recent report that U.S. cigarette exports to Iran were increasing by cheerfully suggesting, “Maybe that’s a way of killing ‘em,” before adding, “I meant that as a joke.” Again, because that’s hilarious.
On April 27, 2009, the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute held an event dedicated to discussing “the implications of the upcoming Iranian elections for the Obama administration’s policy toward Iran.” Speaking at the conference, alongside such Iran hawks as Joe Lieberman, Michael Rubin, Kenneth Pollack and Danielle Pletka, AEI resident scholar Fred Kagan addressed recently introduced legislation (by Lieberman) to impose more sanctions in order to “cripple” Iran, saying, “Look, we need to be honest about this, Iranians are going to die if we impose additional sanctions.” Later on in the discussion, Kagan insisted that, despite their inevitable “human cost”, he was in favor of such sanctions.
Clifford May, president of Likudnik think tank Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, wrote on May 6, 2010 in National Review that “[t]here is no greater threat to national and international security than the possibility that Iran’s current rulers – militant Islamists, terrorist masters, and sworn enemies of both the Great Satan and the Little Satan – may acquire nuclear weapons” and wondered if “crippling sanctions and their impact on an already ailing Iranian economy” could “change the behavior of the Iranian regime – or cause a change of regime?” His titillating answer: “There’s only one way to find out.”
The next month, Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice introduced a new – and thoroughly macabre – phrase to official U.S. government discourse. Appearing on the June 9, 2010 edition of PBS Newshour, Rice told host Ray Suarez that the then-latest round of U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran would “tighten the noose with a new inspections regime [and] new restrictions on its financing and commercial activities.”
In August 2010, California congressman Brad Sherman wrote an article for The Hill promoting even more devastating sanctions on Iran for asserting its inalienable national rights and not kowtowing to American and Israeli diktat. He wrote, “The goal of the bill is to drive Iran’s economy into a crisis and force its leaders to the negotiating table…Critics also argued that these measures will hurt the Iranian people. Quite frankly, we need to do just that.”
On November 16, 2011, when he was still in the GOP race, John Huntsman told CNN‘s Piers Morgan that sanctions alone won’t force Iran to abandon its nuclear program, explaining, “You can tighten the noose in ways that will make life a lot more difficult from an economic standpoint. But my sense is that their ultimate aspiration is to become a nuclear power, in which case sanctions probably aren’t going to get you there.”
On January 5, 2012, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told press at the daily briefing that an internationally-imposed oil embargo on Iran is supported by the Obama administration because “we believe that if we work together and if we also work to increase global supply generally that this will be an important next step in the global effort to tighten the noose on their regime.”
The very next day, January 6, 2012, Maria Otero, Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, concluded an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations with these remarks:
“We do see Iran as a — as a threat, as a threat with — because they support destabilization and because they have — they have really supported things that are threatening not only the region, but the world overall. So this is going to be moving forward, and we will continue to be supporting an embargo that will tighten the noose around them.”
By now, the lynching analogy has become so prevalent in the political lexicon that it’s even made its way into Congressional statements. On February 2, 2012, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez posted a press release on his website that “hailed the Senate Banking committee’s approval and bipartisan support for the Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act,” which, according to Menendez, is designed to “further enhance pressure on the Iranian regime to halt its illicit nuclear weapons program.” The statement quotes Mendez as declaring,
“This legislation will thwart the work-arounds that Iran has devised to circumvent the U.S., EU and UN sanctions regimes, tighten the noose on the Iranian government, and send a message to the world that there is a choice – you can either do business with Iran or the United States, but not both.”
The clear fact that all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Brigadier General Martin Dempsey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Ronald Burgess and current Israel intelligence estimates have unanimously concluded that Iran doesn’t even have a nuclear weapons program -”illicit” or otherwise – seems not to phase Menendez.
The following day, on February 3, 2012, Asia Times columnist David P. Goldman lamented that an illegal and unprovoked military attack (i.e. a war crime) had not been carried out on Iran by the United States back in 2005 when “surgical strikes to destroy Iran’s nuclear capacity would have been comparatively easy.” Now, however,
Senior planners at the Pentagon say privately that it would be very difficult to destroy centrifuges in bunkers, and that aerial attacks would concentrate on killing the political and military leadership as well as destroying command and control…It seems likely, however, that stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons would be a messy and bloody business rather than a well-defined surgical operation. It is too bad the West did not have the good sense to correct the problem in 2005. However much it costs in Iranian blood and well-being, it’s still worth it.”
Yes, a human person actually wrote this. And another human person published it.
As Marsha Cohen points out in a phenomenal new piece for LobeLog, a 2009 study produced for the Center for International and Strategic Studies briefly addressed “the human and environmental human catastrophe that would result just from an attack on the Iranian nuclear power plant in Bushehr,” and determined:
Any strike on the Bushehr Nuclear Reactor will cause the immediate death of thousands of people living in or adjacent to the site, and thousands of subsequent cancer deaths or even up to hundreds of thousands depending on the population density along the contamination plume.
That these casualty figures are “worth it” for Goldman puts him in a special class of despicable along with Madeleine Albright, who determined that the deaths of over half a million Iraqi children due to Western sanctions were also “worth it.”
On February 15, 2012, Bob Menendez was back with a new statement praising Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham’s so-called “Non-Containment Resolution” which dangerously “rejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran.” Menendez stated, “At this moment, Iran is the greatest threat; the great challenge to peace and security in the world,” warned of “the unquestioned military intent of Iran’s nuclear program,” and again commended the imposition of more sanctions in order to “further tighten the noose” on Iran.
It is instructive to note that Menendez, a Democrat, voted against giving George W. Bush congressional approval to attack and invade Iraq. He has proudly stood behind this decision, declaring during his successful 2006 Senate run,
“I’m proud to have voted against Bush’s war in Iraq right from the start, even when it was unpopular to do so. The Bush administration failed to make the case that Iraq was an imminent threat to our national security. Moreover, there was no conclusive evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. This was a war of choice, not a war of necessity. The Bush administration misled the American people with faulty premises and false promises.”
This time around, however, one has to wonder what “imminent threat” Bob Menendez believes Iran actually poses to the United States, what “conclusive evidence” of Iranian weapons of mass destruction he is privy to and what “premises” and “promises” he thinks are right and true.
On December 9, 2005, Menendez told his constituents, “I pledge to you that I will never send New Jerseyans into a war that I would be unwilling to send my own son or daughter to fight,” adding, “I’m proud of my vote [against authorizing the war in Iraq], because despite the administration’s efforts to manipulate the justifications for war, I did my due diligence. We now know that the war in Iraq has overstretched our military, drained our treasury and cost far too many of our bravest Americans.”
Considering that the Lieberman-Graham resolution, which Menendez so adamantly supports and has co-sponsored, essentially calls for war against Iran to prevent it from reaching what is now termed “nuclear weapons capacity,” it can be assumed Menendez is currently filling out recruitment papers for his children.
This new, so-called “red line” of “nuclear weapons capability” – the ability, after having mastered the nuclear fuel cycle and reached sufficient levels of nuclear expertise and scientific development, to manufacture atomic weapons if such a decision is made – makes no sense. Iran, which already has operational enrichment facilities and a functioning power plant, already has such “capability,” which is often dubbed the “Japan option” or “breakout option.” And it’s not alone. In fact, at least 140 countries “currently have the basic technical capacity to produce nuclear weapons.” Additionally, according to Green Peace, “[o]ver 40 countries have the materials and know-how to build nuclear weapons quickly, a capacity that is referred to as ‘rapid break-out.’”
Nevertheless, Senator Lindsey Graham – who clearly knows better than the U.S. intelligence community and the IAEA – decided to tell reporters that Iran is “not building a nuclear power plant for peaceful purposes. They’re marching towards nuclear weapons capability,” adding, “The end game is, sanctions can work and will work if properly applied, but in case they fail… the Iran regime will not be allowed to possess nuclear capability. And if that means military actions, so be it.”
Bloomberg News now reports that “the Joint Chiefs of Staff have prepared military options to strike Iranian nuclear sites in the event of a conflict” and quotes Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz as telling reporters “What we can do, you wouldn’t want to be in the area.” Obviously, millions of Iranians don’t have the option of not being “in the area” considering they live there.
In an extensive interview focused primarily on Iran, conducted by Jeffrey Goldberg in the Oval Office and published in The Atlantic today, President Barack Obama defined what the constant threat that “all options are on the table” with regard to U.S. policy toward Iran:
“I think the Israeli people understand it, I think the American people understand it, and I think the Iranians understand it. It means a political component that involves isolating Iran; it means an economic component that involves unprecedented and crippling sanctions; it means a diplomatic component in which we have been able to strengthen the coalition that presents Iran with various options through the P-5 plus 1 and ensures that the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] is robust in evaluating Iran’s military program; and it includes a military component. And I think people understand that.”
Despite admitting that “Iran does not yet have a nuclear weapon and is not yet in a position to obtain a nuclear weapon without us having a pretty long lead time in which we will know that they are making that attempt,” Obama nevertheless was proud of inflicting such economic, diplomatic and political hardship on Iran that, in his words, have put the Iranian government in “a world of hurt.”
Such nonchalant talk and campaign trail knee-slappers about the “annihilation” and “obliteration,” of murder and war crimes, of tightened nooses – the execution of a death sentence – and of deliberately hurting a nation of 74 million human beings, along with chest-thumping boasts about destroying the internationally safeguarded nuclear facilities of a sovereign country, would be unequivocally condemned were it directed toward the United States or its allies.
After thirty years of warmongering, threats, and propaganda, it’s clear that American and Israeli discourse about Iran is starving for humanity.
Non-governmental organizations are an increasingly important part of the 21st century international landscape performing a variety of humanitarian tasks pertaining inter alia to issues of poverty, the environment and civil liberties. However, there is a dark side to NGOs. They have been, and are currently, being used as tools of foreign policy, specifically by the United States. Instead of using purely military force, the US has now moved to using NGOs as tools in its foreign policy implementation, specifically the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, and Amnesty International.
National Endowment for Democracy
According to its website, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is “a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world,”  however this sweet sounding description is actually quite far from the truth.
The history of the NED begins immediately after the Reagan administration took power. Due to the massive revelations concerning the CIA in the 1970s, specifically that they were involved in attempted assassinations of heads of state, the destabilization of foreign governments, and were illegally spying on the US citizens, this tarnished the image of the CIA and of the US government as a whole. While there were many committees that were created during this time to investigate the CIA, the Church Committee (led by Frank Church, a Democrat from Idaho) was of critical importance as its findings “demonstrated the need for perpetual surveillance of the intelligence community and resulted in the creation of the permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.”  The Select Committee on Intelligence’s purpose was to oversee federal intelligence activities and while oversight and stability came in, it seemed to signal that the CIA’s ‘party’ of assassination plots and coups were over. Yet, this was to continue, but in a new way: under the guise of a harmful NGO whose purpose was to promote democracy around the world – the National Endowment for Democracy.
The NED was meant to be a tool of US foreign policy from its outset. It was the brainchild of Allen Weinstein who, before creating the Endowment, was a professor at Brown and Georgetown Universities, had served on the Washington Post’s editorial staff, and was the Executive Editor of The Washington Quarterly, Georgetown’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, a right-wing neoconservative think tank which would in the future have ties to imperial strategists such as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski.  He stated in a 1991 interview that “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” 
The first director of the Endowment, Carl Gershman, outright admitted that the Endowment was a front for the CIA. In 1986 he stated:
We should not have to do this kind of work covertly. It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA. We saw that in the ‘60s, and that’s why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that’s why the endowment was created.  (emphasis added)
It can be further observed that the Endowment is a tool of the US government as ever since its founding in 1983, it “has received an annual appropriation approved by the United States Congress as part of the United States Information Agency budget.” 
No sooner than the Endowment was founded did it begin funding groups that would support US interests. From 1983 to 1984, the Endowment was active in France and “supported a ‘trade union-like organization that for professors and students’ to counter ‘left-wing organizations of professors,’”  through the funding of seminars, posters, books, and pamphlets that encouraged opposition to leftist thought. In the mid and late 1990s, the NED continued its fight against organized labor by giving in excess of $2.5 million to the American Institute of Free Labor Development which was a CIA front used to undermine progressive labor unions.
Later on, the Endowment became involved in interfering with elections in Venezuela and Haiti in order to undermine left-wing movements there. The NED is and continues to be a source of instability in nations across the globe that don’t kneel before US imperial might. Yet the Endowment funds another pseudo-NGO: Freedom House.
Freedom House was originally founded in 1941 as a pro-democracy and pro-human rights organization. While this may have been true in the past, in the present day, Freedom House is quite involved in pushing US interests in global politics and its leaders have connections to rather unsavory organizations, such as current Executive Director David Kramer being a Senior Fellow to the Project for the New American Century, many of whose members are responsible for the current warmongering status of the US. 
During the Bush administration, the President used Freedom House to support the so-called War on Terror. In a March 29, 2006 speech, President Bush stated that Freedom House “declared the year 2005 was one of the most successful years for freedom since the Freedom House began measuring world freedom more than 30 years ago” and that the US should not rest “until the promise of liberty reaches every people and every nation” because “In this new century, the advance of freedom is a vital element of our strategy to protect the American people, and to secure the peace for generations to come.” 
Later, it was revealed that Freedom House became more and more supportive of the Bush administration’s policies because of the funding it was getting from the US government. According to its own internal report in 2007, the US government was providing some 66% of funding for the organization.  This funding mainly came from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US State Department, and the National Endowment for Democracy. Thus, we see not only the political connection of Freedom House to US government, but major financial connections as well.
It should be noted, however, that Freedom House was not alone in supporting the government. Under the Bush administration, the US government forced NGOs to become more compliant to their demands. In 2003, USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios stated in a speech given at a conference of NGOs that in Afghanistan the relationship between NGOs and USAID does affect the survival of the Karzai regime and that Afghans “believe [their life] is improving through mechanisms that have nothing to do with the U.S. government and nothing to do with the central government. That is a very serious problem.”  On the situation in Iraq, Natsios stated that when it comes to NGO work in the country “proving results counts, but showing a connection between those results and U.S. policy counts as well.”  NGOs were essentially told that they were tools of the US government and were being made part of the imperial apparatus.
Most recently, Freedom House was active in the Arab Spring, where they aided in the training and financing of civil society groups and individuals “including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen.” 
While the Endowment and Freedom House are being used as tools of US foreign policy that does not mean that the US government isn’t looking for new tools, namely Amnesty International.
The human rights organization Amnesty International is the newest tool in the imperial toolbox of the American Empire. In January 2012, Suzanne Nossel was appointed the new Executive Director of Amnesty International by the group itself. Before coming to Amnesty, Nossel already had deep connections to the US government as she had “served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations at the U.S. Department of State.” 
Nossel is known for coining the term ‘smart power’ which she defined as knowing that “US interests are furthered by enlisting others on behalf of U.S. goals, through alliances, international institutions, careful diplomacy, and the power of ideals.”  While this definition may seem harmless, ‘smart power’ seems to be an enhanced version of Joseph Nye’s ‘soft power,’ which itself is defined as “the ability to obtain the outcomes one wants through attraction rather than using the carrots and sticks of payment or coercion.”  A possible example of this ‘smart power’ is the war in Libya, where the US used the UN as a means to get permission to engage in ‘humanitarian intervention.’
Yet, even before Nossel was appointed to Amnesty, the group was unwittingly aiding in the media war against Syria. In a September 1, 2011 Democracy Now interview, Neil Sammonds, the researcher and one of the author’s for Amnesty’s report Deadly Detention: Deaths in Custody Amid Popular Protest in Syria, spoke about the manner in which the research was done for the report. He stated:
I’ve not been into Syria. Amnesty International has not been allowed into the country during these events, although we have requested it. So the research for this report was done mostly from London, but also from some work in neighboring countries and through communications with a large network of contacts and relatives of the families, and, you know, other sources.  (emphasis added)
How can one write a report with any amount of authority if their only sources are through second-hand sources that may or may not have a bias or an agenda to push? How can you write a report using sources whose information has no way of being verified? It is reminiscent of the media war against Gaddafi, where it was reported in the mainstream media that he was bombing his own people and had given Viagra to his soldiers as so they could rape women, but absolutely none of this was verified.
While NGOs can have a positive influence on society at large, one must be aware of their backgrounds, who is in charge of them, and from whom they are getting funding because the nature of the NGO is changing, it is being more and more integrated into the imperial apparatus of domination and exploitation. NGOs are fast becoming the missionaries of empire.
4: William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, 3rd ed. (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2005) pg 239
5: Ibid, pg 239
7: Blum, pg 240
Devon DB is a 20 year old writer and researcher. He is currently majoring in political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
- What do the Israel lobby, human rights, and democracy promotion have in common? (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- NGOs in Egypt: Promoting Democracy or Destabilization? (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Strange Contours: Resistance and the Manipulation of People Power (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Who will watch the watchdog? (alethonews.wordpress.com)
The magnet bomb that exploded on an Israeli Embassy diplomat’s car in Delhi on February 13 seemed on the surface to be consistent with an Iranian-sponsored action.
It was carried out with same method by which Israel’s Iranian proxy, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, had assassinated an Iranian scientist in mid-January. It occurred on the anniversary of the 2008 assassination of Hezbollah operations chief Imad Mugniyeh, which Hezbollah had vowed to avenge. And it happened at the same time as what appeared to be attempted bombings in Bangkok and Tbilisi.
But a review of the evidence uncovered thus far makes the link to Iran begin to look very dubious. Instead, it points to the distinct possibility that the Israelis planned a carefully limited bomb attack that was not intended to cause serious injury to Israeli diplomatic personnel, but that would advance the larger Israeli narrative on the need to punish Iran.
The evidence surrounding that bomb itself indicates a series of decisions by the terrorist team that is fundamentally inconsistent with an Iranian-Hezbollah revenge bombing. The preliminary forensic analysis of the bomb itself had estimated it to be 250-300 grams of explosives, but sources in the investigation later reduced the estimate to 200-250 grams. The 250-gram bomb that exploded near the Delhi High Court in May 2011 did not even damage the car under which it had been placed and was characterised by Police Commissioner B K Gupta as a “low-intensity and mild blast”.
The main damage to the Israeli diplomat’s car was not from the explosion but from the fire, which burned so slowly that the occupants suffered no burns.
If the bomb had been filled with shrapnel of iron filings, nails or glass, or if it had been attached underneath the fuel tank or on the door next to the passenger, that bomb would have seriously injured or killed the passenger, Tal Yehoshua-Koren, the wife of the Israeli Defense Attaché. But Delhi police were able to determine that the bomb contained no such potentially deadly shrapnel. And an examination of the videos and photos of the car after the bombing revealed that the bomb had been attached instead to the rear of the vehicle, where it would have the least impact on the occupants.
Indian investigators obtained a fourth piece of evidence bearing on the intentions of the planners from their interview with Yehoshua-Koren. She told them the bomb did not go off for 30 to 40 seconds after she felt a bump from the rear of the car and saw the motorcyclist go past her window. Indian investigators had assumed that the bomb had operated on a five- or 10-second delay, like other magnet bombs with which they were familiar – only enough time for the motorcyclist to get far enough away from the blast.
Yehoshua-Koren did not get out of the car before the bomb went off, and suffered what the Israeli Defense Ministry called “moderate“ wounds – evidently from metal fragments from the rear hatch. She was nevertheless able to exit the car and get to the Israeli Embassy without any assistance.
Israeli commentary on the bombing suggested that the Iranian-sponsored terrorist team had simply proven to be ineffective in carrying out the bombing. But the combination of these four distinct indicators strongly suggests that the operation was planned so that the passenger in the car would not be injured.
Israel claimed that the evidence links the Delhi bombing to other alleged Iranian-Hezbollah plots in Tbilisi and Bangkok. Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon declared, ”It is the same pattern, the same bomb, the same lab, the same factory”.
But investigators in Delhi to concluded that the operations in Delhi and Bangkok were “unrelated“.
Despite the fact that a group of Iranian passport-holders were clearly involved with highly lethal bombs in Bangkok, there is good reason to doubt that they were working for Iran’s IRGC or Hezbollah. They spent their first three days in the country with Thai prostitutes at Pattaya. That profile suggests Iranian mercenaries, like the former kickboxer hired by Mossad to assassinate Iranian scientist Massoud Ali Mohammadi in January 2010, rather than Iranian or Hezbollah operatives.
In the larger context, it is very difficult to believe that Iran would have chosen New Delhi as the location for revenge against Israel, given the importance of India as a buyer of Iranian oil and India’s delicately balanced political-diplomatic position in the larger conflict.
India had just replaced China as Iran’s single biggest crude oil customer, having increased its imports to roughly 550,000 barrels a day in January, which compensated for a drop in sales to China. And the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had resisted pressure from the United States and Europe to reduce its purchases from Iran, even working with Iran to find ways to get around the planned sanctions against Iran’s National Bank. India’s Commerce Ministry was planning a large business delegation to Iran to discuss increased trade.
India had thus taken on the role of potential “spoiler” in the Western sanctions strategy against Iran. This central geopolitical reality prompted New Delhi’s “Economic Times” to ask, “Why would Iran go and poke its finger in the eye of its best customer, especially knowing full well that Israel will use even the flimsiest excuse to put the blame on it?”
Indeed, it was Israel, not Iran that stood to gain politically from the terrorist car bomb in Delhi. Israel was well aware that a terrorist bombing in Delhi that could be blamed on Tehran was a potential lever to change India’s policy toward Iran. As an Israeli official told the Wall Street Journal, if India were to adopt Netanyahu’s position that Iran was responsible for the bombing, it would take the India-Iran relationship to “a whole different level”.
Nearly two weeks before the bombing, Israel acted to ensure that Indians would assume that a terrorist attack in Delhi on that date had been carried out by Iran. A letter to the Delhi police on February 1 signed by the Israeli Deputy Chief of Mission in Delhi and the First Secretary responsible for security expressed concern that Iran and Hezbollah would take revenge on the anniversary of the Mugniyeh assassination by carrying out terrorist actions against Israelis. It also referred to the possibility of Iranian revenge for the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan on January 11. Although the letter did not specify that an attack might take place in Delhi, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo led a delegation of intelligence officials on a visit to Delhi around the same time and turned over a list of 50 Iranian nationals with the request that they be kept under surveillance.
The Israeli letter referred to an alleged Hezbollah terror plot against Israelis that had been broken up in Bangkok in January. But the idea of a Hezbollah plan to kill Israelis in Thailand had come only from Israeli intelligence - not from any local sources. The Thai police detained Hussein Atris, a Swedish-Lebanese, in January only because Israeli intelligence officials had told them they “suspected” that he and two other Lebanese, whom they claimed were linked to Hezbollah, might carry out terrorist attacks at tourist sites popular with Israelis.
Atris admitted to owning large supplies of urea fertiliser and ammonium nitrate, which are ingredients in bombs, but Thai investigators concluded that they were not connected to any terror plot in Thailand, because of the absence of any other bomb components. The head of Thailand’s National Security Council, General Wichean Potephosree, a former chief of police, expressed doubt that Atris was a terrorist, as Israel had claimed.
After the Bangkok explosion, the Israelis renewed the claim of an Iran-Hezbollah terror threat in Bangkok, alleging that the bombs found in in all three capitals in mid-February were “exactly the same kind of devices”. But we now know that was not the case.
We may never be able to establish with certainty what happened in Delhi, Bangkok and Tbilisi earlier this month, but the evidence that has come to light thus far doesn’t support the widely accepted notion that Iran and Hezbollah were behind it. That evidence is consistent, however, with a clever Israeli “false flag” car bombing operation that would not injure the passenger but would serve its broader strategic interests: dividing India from Iran and pushing US public opinion further towards support for war against Iran.
Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in 2006.
argusfest | March 2, 2012
Gilad Atzmon confronts students who were distributing literature defaming him in front of his talk at the University of Colorado in Boulder on March 1st, 2012.
Beirut – Daniel Pipes, the anti-Arab Islamophobe is reportedly spooked these days. “Actually he has become an almost terrified man”, so says a colleagues at Pipes Islamophobic Middle East Forum and the MaCartyesque Campus Watch Organization.
MEF was founded by Pipes in 1986 and also the witch hunting, anti-Arab, McCartyesque, Campus Watch in 2001. CW’s function is to hound and intimidate faculty and students at colleges who are critical of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Pipes and CW create “dossiers” on professors, students and university administrations thought hostile to Israel. Under civic pressure from Americans who opposed his tactics and insisted on having their own names added to his personal “terrorist list,” Pipes withdrew his dossiers from the CW website but he still circulates them to scores of “select and executive subscribers” and other hate groups in order to get the word out about academics and others who support Palestine or criticize Israel.
Pipes’ increasingly exposed racist views are carried by journals like the National Review as well as pro-Zionist Islamophobic internet outlets. In 1990 Pipes wrote in the NR that “Western societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene…All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.”
Having briefly written anti-Muslim screeds for Rudy Giuliani’s failed White House quest in 2008, Pipes claims he liked the job and seeks to do the same for Mitt Romney (Pipes has labeled Mormonism “a cult”) or even Rick Santorum ( Pipes has referred to Rick as “one of those kook dispensationalist Christians”). Daniel told a copy editor at the Washington Times who edited his recent WT article noted below, that he would prefer to work for Newt Gingrich if he gets the nomination since they share the same views of Palestinians as “an invented people”.
The two also agree on moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, increasing aid to Israel, and the inevitable necessity of transferring most of the remaining Palestinians out of “Eretz Israel” in order to stop once and for all the demographic and existential threat and pressure for a one state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict which Pipes and Gingrich consider, if not reversed soon will lead to the collapse of Israel.
Pipes makes his fears plain to readers in his recent 2012 Republican presidential candidates “application for a position as Middle East adviser” which he launched in the Washington Times on 2/21/12 but which was first presented in occupied Jerusalem at a recent MEF seminar.
Pipes chooses the low hanging fruit of the underfunded and over stretched UNRWA to target Palestinian refugees and to promote himself and his thesis. But even from the sarcastic title of his article, “Eventually, All Humans Will Be Palestine Refugees!” to his bizarre conclusions, Pipes demonstrates a preference for Arab bashing over truth. Pipes maintains that UNRWA has conspiratorially inflated the number of Palestinian refugees by including the children of the original nearly 800,000 (UNWRA uses a lower 750,000 figure who were ethnically cleansed in 1948 and adding Palestinians ethnically cleansed in 1967. Both groups absolutely should be included on Palestinian refugee’s lists since they are also victims of the original and continuing ethnic cleansing.
Pipes writes: “In contrast all other refugee populations have diminished in number as people “settle down” or die.
By Palestinians “settling down” one guesses Pipes means sardine canned into squalid refugee camps while Jews from Brooklyn or anywhere else can live on their lands and move into new housing financed partly from US taxes and enjoy swimming pools while nearby Palestinian orchards and crops are destroyed by drought, bulldozers or psychotic settlers.
Pipes laments to WT readers that the second thing that should have happened is that “almost all of the real 1948 refugees should have died by now” but for sure the last one will be dead in a few years. Instead, Pipes warns that rather than disappearing as they were supposed to “the Palestine refugee population has dramatically grown over time.” Pipes, claiming to be a historian, calls this apparently unanticipated unwillingness of the Palestinian refugees to forget their country and al Nakab a “bizarre historical phenomenon.”
Considering his “application-article” title about All Humans being Palestinians Refugees, Pipes is well aware that many Human Rights organizations, when it comes to the right and responsibility to resist the Zionist occupation of Palestine and to liberate their stolen land and homes, we are indeed all Palestinians.
We are all Palestinians because all people of good will who seek justice and the full right of return for those who were ethnically cleansed during the 1948 Nakba Palestinian holocaust identify with those brutally ethnically cleansed over the past 64 years.
Until Palestine is liberated and its refugees return, as Nelson Mandala has repeatedly instructed us, none of us is truly free. We are all Palestinians as we increasingly support international law’s rejection of any settlement or any colonist on any part of occupied Palestine.
What haunts Pipes also is Ben Gurion’s failed boast to fellow Zionist terrorists in Palestine during the Nakba. The Palestinian holocaust which saw the ethnic cleansing of 531 villages in Palestine by more than 62,000 well armed troops, many WW II veterans predictably decimated the approximately 2,500 Palestinian defenders scattered, approximately 25-30 per village across Palestine who were at a hopeless military disadvantage with largely Ottoman era rusting rifles and very little ammunition.
Given the above noted reality, the Zionist leaders worked arduously so that roughly one-half of the villages and approximately 50% of the population would not be discovered by the west and Ben Gurion’s words that “in any event, the old will die and the young will forget” were more than wishful thinking. Pipes and his associates in the Israel First culture have realized that not only was Ben Gurion fundamentally mistaken, but also that the 19th Century Zionists fundamentally erred in their calculations and hasbara.
Pipes basis for panic appears straight out of Edgar Allen Poe’s Novel “The Tell Tale Heart” where Poe’s character committed a savage crime and then was haunted because the evidence of this crime could not be hidden. The victim’s heart kept beating louder and louder and would not stop informing the World of the crime. Try as he might, the evil perpetrator could not get the heart to stop proving the crime and it drove the criminal more deeply into suicidal insanity.
In some aspects, Poe’s telltale heart appears a microcosm of the 19th Century Zionist colonial crimes which continue to this day in Palestine. The current efforts being made by Israel Firsters like Pipes include keeping Palestinian refugees invisible. They were to be erased by now but instead the global community and younger generations are increasingly taking up their cause and joining the BDS movement and other non-violent campaigns against their Zionist occupiers.
Pipes argues in his Washington Times article, “Were the Palestine refugee status a healthy one this infinite expansion would hardly matter. But the status has destructive implications for Israel which suffers from the “depredations” of a category of persons whose lives are truncated and distorted by an impossible dream of return to their great-grandparents’ houses; and the “refugees” themselves, whose status implies a culture of dependency, grievance, rage, and futility.” Pipes continues: “All other refugees from the World War II era (including my own parents ) have been long settled (ed; but not all on stolen Palestinian land) and the Palestine refugee status has already endured too long and needs to be narrowed down to actual refugees before it does further damage to Israel.”
Pipes and his ilk, which appear to tally on a daily basis the Nakba refugees and their families are horrified that Palestinian victims have refused to die off or forget the Nakba crimes committed against their families while at the same time the global community is beginning to support the Palestinians right to return.
Even many American taxpayers, long intimidated by Zionist hasbara and fears of being labeled “anti-Semitic” or “self-hating Jews” but who have long opposed Israel’s occupation of the political power centers in Washington DC, are outing themselves. Increasingly they are calling publicly for their government to break with Israel and its intensely promoted and sometimes engineered US wars in the region, and bring our troops home, heal and repair America while reclaiming American values.
This last remaining 19th Century colonial enterprise, which brutally implanted Israel in the heart of Palestine, has created more than six million refugees each of whom has the separate, personal, and inalienable right and responsibility to return home.
One remarkable quality of the Palestinian refugees which Pipes keeps from his readers, is that in the main they, unlike the European colonists who continue to ethnically cleanse them from their homes, may be willing to share their lands with any Jew who will agree to live as equals in a democratic one person one-vote governed country without religious preferences or a foreign “chosen colonial people” imposing an Apartheid regime.
Franklin Lamb in doing research in Libya and can be reached c/o email@example.com
He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon. Dr. Lamb is Director, Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, Wash.DC-Beirut Board Member, The Sabra Shatila Foundation and the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, Beirut-Washington DC, Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp.
- Apartheid conference goes ahead in Paris despite university ban (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- ‘NYT’ continues to fiddle with the Nakba (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Good question. Perhaps we need to ask the well-connected Committee to Protect Journalists. Here’s the very revealing bio (emphasis added) of one of their staff members:
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Mohamed Abdel Dayem
Before joining CPJ in December 2008, Mohamed Abdel Dayem was a research analyst at the Save Darfur Coalition, where he was responsible for researching and producing all of the coalition’s written materials. Abdel Dayem was also involved in increasing the coalition’s outreach and coordination with activists, governments, and the media in the Middle East and Muslim world at large. In late 2006 and early 2007, Abdel Dayem worked at the National Endowment for Democracy, where he managed the Endowment’s Iraq portfolio. Prior to that, he spent nearly five years at Human Rights Watch, conducting research and media outreach on countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Abdel Dayem has also worked at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has also been a consultant to a variety of NGOs, including the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Open Society Institute’s Iraq Revenue Watch, the Fund for Global Human Rights, and the InternationalCenter for Journalists, among others. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, where he majored in political science and anthropology, Abdel Dayem also has an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at the JohnsHopkins University, where he specialized in international law, conflict management and international economics. Aside from English, Abdel Dayem is fluent in Arabic and German. He has lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East.
>> Read Mohamed Abdel Dayem’s blog.
- Fikra: An Israeli Forum for Arab Democrats (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Who will watch the watchdog? (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- UN Watch statement on Syrian human rights situation reveals pro-Israel motivation (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Within the catalog of criminality that is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the destruction of Palestinian homes must rank as one of the most cynical and heinous.
“Some 90,000 people are currently reported to be at risk of displacement as a result of Israeli policies such as restrictive and discriminatory planning, the revocation of residency rights, the expansion of settlements and the construction of the West Bank Separation Wall.” (Internal-displacement.org)
Home, a refuge from the world, safe and secure, somewhere to relax with family and friends, and breath easy, free from fear. This simple image of normality is unknown to many Palestinians living under brutal illegal occupation by Israel.
“The Israeli practice of demolishing homes, basic infrastructure and sources of livelihood continues to devastate Palestinian families and communities in East Jerusalem and the 60 per cent of the West Bank controlled by Israel, known as Area C. Many of the people affected already live in poverty, and demolitions are a leading cause of their on-going displacement and dispossession in the West Bank.” (Unrwa.org)
Last year (2011) saw more homes demolished than in the previous six years, and record numbers of people made homeless and displaced, “by November 2011 Israeli authorities had demolished 467 Palestinian homes and other buildings in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), displacing 869 people.” (HRW.org) The UN puts the figure even higher, at 1000. (HRWHD) Alongside the illegal destruction of Palestinian homes, the settlement expansion has accelerated, and with it, according to Human Rights Watch “an escalation of violence perpetrated by settlers.”
The total number or recorded house demolitions since the occupation began in 1967, is estimated to be “24,813.” (IAK) With Palestinians perversely being forced to either demolish their own home or face a charge for the Israeli ‘Defence’ Force (IDF) to do it, some homeowners undertake the task themselves, “it [the family] is liable for the costs of the house demolition which can run up to tens of thousands of dollars. To avoid these costs, Palestinians subject to administrative house demolitions may “opt” to undertake the demolition of their own home -it is not known how many Palestinians choose this route.”1 These ‘homemade’ demolitions are not included in the IAK figure quoted above, making the actual total much higher.
Ponder for a moment the absurdity of living under the cloud of an illegal authority that forces families to bulldoze their own home.
The impact on the families whose homes are demolished and the effects, immediate and long-term, are devastating. Children are particularly vulnerable, as too are pregnant women and the elderly.
Families are displaced and separated, children made homeless, frightened and unsettled for years. “Children who have had their home demolished fare significantly worse on a range of mental health indicators, including: withdrawal, somatic complaints, depression/anxiety, social difficulties, higher rates of delusional, obsessive, compulsive and psychotic thoughts, attention behavior – even six months after the demolition. They cry more, are afraid to go to school, feel they are not loved or that others are bad to them, feel guilty, nervous and are very tense.“2
House demolitions add to the numbers of Palestinian refugees, who constitute the largest single group of refugees in the World, “In 2007, there were an estimated seven million Palestinian refugees worldwide and 450,000 internally displaced in Israel and the OPT.”3
Propaganda Permitting Violence
As well as the demolition of homes, places of work, businesses and sources of livelihood are destroyed, in addition to basic groundwork, “wells, rainwater harvesting cisterns, and other essential structures.” When in the West bank in 2009 I witnessed numerous roadside market stalls outside Hebron being demolished. I counted eight smashed to ruin or in the process of being destroyed at the hands of the IDF, America’s occupying security force. “Most demolitions in 2011 affected livelihood structures, negatively affecting the sources of income and living standards of some 1,300 people.” The reasons given, “Palestinians set up shop without the required official permits.” (ISOPT)
Israeli explanations justifying demolitions serve only as propaganda, seeking to justify the unjust, the illegal, the inhumane. The nonsense of permits tramples on sanity. It is the Israeli authorities that grant, or refuse to grant permits for a variety of aspects of daily life; Housing, importing goods, travel, trading and infrastructure development, such as water pipes, electrical lines, communication etc. We only destroy homes that are built without a permit “13%” (BH), or for ‘military reasons’ “41%” (BH), claims the IDF. Disingenuous nonsense. The locution of the deceiver attempting to trap the right minded into legitimizing the actions of the IDF and validating its illegitimate authority.
This bureaucratic maze of madness, established, maintained and administered as instruments of control adds to the armory employed by Israel to bring Palestinians to their physical and emotional knees. “Military law (that) systematically deprives Palestinians of their rights and denies them the ability to have any real effect on shaping the policy regarding the land space in which they live and with respect to their rights.” The two-tier legal structure installed by the occupying force is designed and implemented to maximize the suffering of the Palestinians, leaving them with no choice but to live outside the system. “Israel’s discriminatory planning restrictions result in the lack of building permits for the Palestinian population in the West Bank forcing them to build without permits and live under the constant threat of eviction and demolition.“ (ISOPT)
Whilst Palestinian homes and essential structures are destroyed, Israelis living comfortably and secure within the illegal settlements are allowed to flout the law. Peace Now has documented “a dramatic increase in the number of new illegal buildings in the settlements, construction is proceeding according to plans that were never approved by the IDF. At least 507 unapproved housing units are currently being built in 29 settlements,” these (Israeli) developments are not subject to a demolition order, even though they are building without the necessary permits ‘compulsory’ under Israeli law. “House demolitions exercised exclusively against Palestinians have displaced thousands of families, while neglecting to enforce the planning laws on Israeli settlers.” (ISOPT) Contradictions coil around the IDF, strangling its actions within a web of dishonesty and deceit as they justify atrocities with bureaucracy, whilst supporting criminality.
Israel has no legitimacy under international law, to build themselves, creating subsidized settler ghettos, or to destroy structures of those that do so without their permission. Full and complete domination of Palestinians is the aim, with all land under Israeli control. Israeli leader Menachem Begin said “the return of even one bit of earth to the Arab would be a betrayal of the nation.”(MM)
Demolitions of Homes, infrastructure and places of livelihood, are illegal under international law, “The systematic policy of house demolitions carried out against Palestinian residents in Jerusalem contravenes the 4th Geneva Convention which forbids “any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons” except where such destruction is rendered “absolutely necessary by military operations.” (ICAHD)
Furthermore, “extensive destruction of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly constitutes a grave breach to the Convention, which can theoretically be prosecuted under the universal jurisdiction of States party to the convention.” (Stanford)
Theory needs to turn into action, collective complacency giving way to international outrage. Implement and enforce the law.
Add to the above a raft of relevant articles in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, where we find “Article 9, 1 – States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his/her parents against their will, Articles 24, 1 – States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.
Article 27. 1 – States Parties recognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
Article 31 – The right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts, and crucially Article 38 – States parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts which are relevant to the child.” All are implicitly relevant in the impact of house demolitions on children. A plethora of International law engulfs Israel. What is required, and most urgently, is the implementation and enforcement of the law.
The demolition policy is a tool of terror in a planned campaign, with the clear intention of subjugation, control and intimidation. House demolitions are tied in with the overall Zionist strategy of expansion by Israel which includes the continuing illegal settlement building and violence at the hands of settlers and the IDF “Israel has continued to flout agreements for a moratorium on illegal construction in Israeli settlements, evictions of Palestinian families to make way for incoming settlers continue apace”, “throughout the eastern half of the city [Jerusalem] nonstop pressure is applied as part of “quiet transfer”. (GHD)
The ‘quiet transfer’ is far from quiet or peaceful. It is the violent, forced eviction and displacement of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem. ‘Quiet Transfer’ refers to the technique by the IDF of dis-empowering the Palestinian’s and extinguishing all hope by making daily life tortuous, leading to the ‘transfer’ of East Jerusalem citizens out of the city into the West bank. “The increasing rate of settlement expansion and house demolitions is pushing Palestinians to the brink, destroying their livelihoods and prospects for a just and durable peace.” (AI) Just after Christmas last year, “Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat announced plans to strip IDs from 70,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, and transfer them to the West Bank civil administration. Though not a physical transfer, this stripping of IDs will mark the largest en masse stripping of citizenship rights, since 1967.” The process of ethnic cleansing, continues apace in Jerusalem. It is illegal, enforce and implement the law.
Intimidation, unjust house building controls, the theft and rationing of water and the issuing of demolition notices constitute a methodology of suffering underpinning the policy of ‘quiet transfer’ in East Jerusalem. Eventually wearing the people down, until sooner or later they simply give up.
“Once they leave, they rescind their rights to Jerusalem ID papers, destroying any hopes of employment in Israel proper – effectively keeping them caged in the poverty of the West Bank forever.” (GHD) Homes, infra structure, and businesses are demolished within East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, ‘C’ for cleansing – ethnic cleansing it is, “the rate and the method of house demolitions show that this is more a policy of gradual ethnic cleansing than anything else, with clear political and strategic purposes.”
Everything Israel does inside the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT’s) forms a constituent part to an overall plan, a vision of total domination. Demolitions are no exception to this rule. “Each demolition is a microcosm of the occupation: why they are demolishing a particular house in a particular area exposes how the wider occupation works and how the process of house demolitions is contributing to the wider occupation.
We want to unmask the way Israel frames the occupation as a conflict of security. The policy of house demolitions shows exactly the opposite. In more than 90% of the cases the family whose house was demolished didn’t have a security record. House demolitions go hand in hand with land expropriation for settlements expansion.”
Settlement building is illegal under international law. Implement and enforce the law.
Partners in Crime
Israel disregards international law, with the support and involvement of their chief criminal ally and partner in crime, America. Every time a Caterpillar bulldozer from the US storehouse of suffering smashes into a Palestinian home, Israel commits another illegal act and the US corporate giant is an accessory to a crime, causing ever more human agony and distress.
“Caterpillar’s [has a] long history of complicity in widespread human rights violations within the occupied Palestinian Territories. Caterpillar routinely provides Israel with equipment designed specifically for military use knowing it is used to demolish Palestinian homes, to kill and injure Palestinian and international civilians, to destroy olive trees and farmland, and to facilitate expropriation of Palestinian territory through construction of Jewish-only settlements and Israel’s apartheid wall.” (RCF)
America is the supplier of all that destroys and contaminates in the OPT’s, from white prosperous bombs burning the children of Gaza to Caterpillar bulldozers demolishing their homes. “The U.S. is providing Israel with at least $8.2 million each day” (IAK) in military aid alone. Amnesty International’s report Fueling Conflict states, “transferring weapons to a consistent violator of human rights is illegal under international law.” Norman Finkelstein referring to Amnesty’s findings, “Israel is a consistent violator of human rights, and therefore there has to be a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel.” The consistent supplying of arms by America to Israel maintains and sustains the occupation, “the US is by far the biggest supplier of weapons to Israel; supplying those weapons to Israel is not only illegal under international law, it’s illegal under domestic US law .” Implement and enforce the law, international and domestic, within America and the OPT’s,
‘The US has blocked the two state-vision supported by virtually the entire World since the mid 1970’s’
Those sitting in comfort, shrouded in complacency within the White House know well where US arms are deployed, what US corporations are supporting and what consecutive US administrations’ silence is allowing to continue. By their support the US is condoning the steady on-going demolition of homes and the destruction of lives too many to count. And what words of condemnation issue from the Obama administration, that plays lip service only to justice and the rule of law, Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton, “described the demolitions as ‘unhelpful’,”4 noting that they violated Israel’s obligations under the US “road map” for peace.” The US ‘road map for peace’ is a blood splattered road of rubble leading directly and swiftly nowhere, at the hands of a broker, whose vision is not of peace, but of extended hegemony and dominance, throughout the Middle East and the World.
Any ‘road map’ to peace, could be swiftly navigated and gently traversed were America to withdraw the manifest support it gives to Israel, the diplomatic, economic and military tools that are fueling the illegal occupation and causing untold suffering to the Palestinian people.
The days are numbered for such tyranny and injustice. A growing movement of solidarity and cooperation daily builds in strength throughout the World. Shining light into the darkest corners, and there are few darker than Israel, sustaining all those who call for justice, freedom and unity. All that would pervert and soil the life of men women and children everywhere shall be exposed. Goodness will ought, justice shall be done. Implement and enforce the law is the cry.
1 Broken Homes. Addressing the Impact of house demolitions on Palestinian children and families.
4 Noam Chomsky. Hegemony or Survival, Americas quest for Global Dominance.
- Graham Peebles is Director of The Create Trust, a UK registered charity, supporting fundamental social change and the human rights of individuals in acute need.
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- UNRWA: Israel’s displacement of Palestinians ‘doubles’ (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Report: Army, Settlers, Carried Out 145 Attacks In February (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- UN Committee Demands Israel Stops House Demolitions Forthwith (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Video shows UK-manufactured JCB equipment destroying Jerusalem playground (alethonews.wordpress.com)
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