Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, July 2014
Why Does Israel Violate International Law with Impunity?
By Yamin Zakaria
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, July 20, 2016
When Iraq invaded Kuwait, immediate economic sanctions were applied followed by military action; when Russia invaded Ukraine, economic sanctions followed; Israel invades Gaza, breaks humanitarian laws, ignores human rights and the Geneva convention, and continues to defy international law by building settlements in the West Bank, of which 60% is under military occupation, and no action is taken against sacred Israel. In fact, it’s still poor Israel, the victim, ‘defending’ the borders by attacking: hospitals, schools, water plants, sewage works and even small children playing on the beaches are not spared.
Which border is Israel protecting, given the continuing annexation of the remaining territories of Palestine? Even if we accept Israel is under attack, the right to defend is not unconstrained, and yet, the Israeli response has been. And rightly many have raised the issue of Israel’s disproportionate response to the ineffectual Hamas rockets. What is Israel really defending here? How many casualties and how much damage has Israel suffered compared to the Palestinians? Can anyone show one image of an Israeli house being reduced to rubble? On the contrary, the CNN reporter captures a group of Israelis cheering the attack on a hill top; they feel safe enough to stand on the border, and watch Gaza being bombarded with drones and missiles as if they are at a drive-in movie. So, where is this fear of Hamas and its rockets?
Israel’s violation of international law during the conflict is on many levels: attacking water plants, the sewage systems, hospitals, schools, and children playing on the beach are some of the clear examples. And still there is no accountability, no outrage, no calls for international action, other than how Israel can be persuaded and bribed to stop this murderous adventure.
Therefore, is there a reason why Israel continues to get such special treatment? The real anti-Semites of the far right would answer the question sarcastically, using the Biblical reference of the chosen people; the Jews are privileged in the eyes of God, thus it gives them the right to ignore international laws, applicable only to the lower gentiles. Some of the militant Rabbis would seriously endorse this too. Just to clarify the theology, the ‘chosen’ people here are those selected to bear the responsibility of the divine message and guide humanity; it is a burden rather than a privilege.
Nobody can seriously argue that a religious text gives Israel a special privilege to violate international laws. A more plausible primary answer for Israel’s privilege is that - any country will have immunity if it is backed by one of the five members of the UN Security Council with veto power. Israel is backed by the US, UK and France. This support is achieved through the Zionist lobbies and businesses having disproportionate influence in government, finance, and the media.
Indeed, Israel enjoys immunity through the help and support of the Western powers; it is like a colonial outpost in the Middle East. Any American politician criticising Israel would find his career over. Despite the protests and the images here in the UK, very few MPs have spoken out against the atrocities in Gaza, rather some have chosen to recycle the one-sided Israeli propaganda – self-defence. This duplicity reflects the simple point that Palestinian lives are not worth as much as Israeli lives.
Apart from the political establishment, the Zionists and their supporters have an immense grip on the media. Through the deliberate manipulation of the mass media, an innocent image of Israel is created; it is the perpetual victim, always acting in self-defence against the angry Arab terrorists.
Even when Israel strikes it is benevolent, because they issue couple of minutes warning to evacuate a premise, before it gets bombed. What’s the logic here? If you warn, the Hamas operatives are going to be first to vacate the premises, before the women, children and the old. Even if they managed to run, where will they go? All the borders including ‘Islamic’ Egypt is closed, not even the sea is open for escape. The end result is massive levels of civilian casualties; the warning is just a political gimmick.
The secondary reason for Israel’s special treatment comes through the influence of the fringe but influential Zionist-Christians, whose political wing is the neo-conservatives group, which formed the backbone of the Bush regime. They see Israel is an extension of the Judeo-Christian civilisation - which has been prophesied as a necessity, for the second coming of Christ, thus it must be defended at all cost. Now you can see why the Palestinians do not appear in their radar. Consequentially, the US veto has been applied many times to save Israel, along with the funding and supplying it with arms.
Yamin Zakaria (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published on 20/07/2014
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