• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 21 maart 2009

De Israelische Terreur 788

Shawan Jabarin accepts the Geuzenpenning award for human rights defenders in Ramallah. (Al-Haq)
Travel bans violate freedom of movement Adri Nieuwhof and Jeff Handmaker, The Electronic Intifada, 19 March 2009
Despite international media attention and considerable diplomatic pressure from the Netherlands, Israel did not allow the general director of the Palestinian organization Al-Haq, Shawan Jabarin, to travel to the Netherlands to receive the prestigious Dutch Geuzenpenning award for human rights defenders on 13 March 2009. Israel's travel ban on Jabarin and other human rights defenders on the basis of secret evidence violates principles for a fair trial and the basic human right of free movement, resembling the behavior of the apartheid regime in South Africa.Al-Haq is an independent, Palestinian non-governmental human rights organization based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. The Geuzenpenning honors the historic resistance group, the Geuzen, who fought the occupying German army in the Netherlands during the Second World War. The Geuzenpenning award keeps alive the ideals of resisting oppression and promoting and maintaining democracy as well as heightening awareness in the Netherlands and globally of all forms of dictatorship, discrimination and racism. The Israeli government has forbidden Shawan Jabarin from traveling abroad ever since he was appointed director of Al-Haq in 2006. Before his appointment, Jabarin traveled to many countries, including Ireland, where he received a master's degree in human rights in 2005. The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen reportedly put a lot of pressure on his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni, though clearly to no avail. In a hearing before the Israeli high court that violated several universal principles of a fair trial, a hearing which Jabarin also could not attend because of his confinement to the West Bank, the panel of three judges once again revealed its impotence in the face of absurdly unsupportable "security" concerns. After dismissing everyone from the courtroom except for the Israeli government lawyer and a representative of the Israeli General Security Service (GSS), which presented evidence that was never disclosed to Jabarin or his lawyers, the judges decided to maintain his travel ban. The cryptic ruling of the court mentioned that:"[T]he fact cannot be ignored that the West Bank is a closed military zone, entry and exit from which require a permit. The right to freedom of movement is examined in view of [Israel's] special legislation for the area. ... The material pointing to Jabarin's involvement in the activity of terrorist entities is concrete and reliable material. No permission to leave the country is no punishment for his forbidden activities but due to relevant security considerations."Minister Verhagen commented in an official press release that "It is disappointing, and disquieting, that [Jabarin] has been denied the opportunity to receive the Geuzen Medal." Verhagen was publicly critical of the fact that the Israeli court's judgment of the GSS that Jabarin is or was a member of a terrorist organization was based on evidence to which Jabarin and his legal team had no access.Although Jabarin was unable to receive the Geuzenpenning award in person, he did participate in the ceremony by way of a video link with Ramallah. In a response to the decision by the Israeli high court to uphold the GSS travel ban, Al-Haq replied through a press release issued on 11 March: "Once again, the Israeli judiciary demonstrates its subservience to the military and security authorities."Israel's treatment of human rights defenders like Jabarin recall Archbishop Desmond Tutu's protest of "the whole phalanx of draconian laws such as the security legislation" that violated the rights of those who rejected apartheid in South Africa. During the South African apartheid regime, persons considered by the Minister of Law and Order a threat to the security of the state were indefinitely detained in solitary confinement, with no contact with their family or a lawyer. Additionally, persons were placed under travel ban orders arbitrarily and the evidence "justifying" the orders not tested in an open court.'

De Israelische Terreur 787

'Feiten i.v.m. het EU-Israel Associatieverdrag

Inleiding

In het Associatieverdrag tussen de EU en Israël worden voorwaarden m.b.t. mensenrechten genoemd. Die bepalingen zijn nauwelijks toegepast. Wij gaan de geschiedenis na.


Geschiedenis van het Associatieverdrag.

November 1995 In het kader van verdragen tussen de EU en 11 Mediterrane staten tekent Israël de Barcelona Declaration (vanaf het begin is een conditie te handelen “in accordance with the UN Charter”).

April 2002 Het EU Parlement besluit de werking van het EU-Israël Associatieverdrag op te schorten (n.a.v. de operatie Defensive Shield en i.v.m. Art. 2 van het verdrag “based on respect for human rights and democratic principles”, die als “essential elements” worden aangeduid).
De EU Commissie weigert in lijn met het parlementsbesluit te handelen.

Juli 2004 Uitspraak van het Internationaal Gerechtshof i.v.m. de Muur

December 2004 Israël behoort tot de eerste paar landen waarmee verdragen worden gesloten in het kader van de European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan

Maart 2008 Bij een bezoek aan Gaza spreken leden van het Europarlement ook met Hamas parlementariërs.

16 juni 2008 In de EU-Israël Association Council Meeting wordt besloten tot een upgrade van de politieke en economische relaties tot het hoogste niveau dat voor een niet-lidstaat mogelijk is 1), 2).
Dit ondanks het feit dat een Progress Report van april “little concrete progress” constateerde m.b.t. blokkades, Muur, administratieve gevangenschap, nederzettingen, enz.). De Palestijnse premier Fayyad had, in een dringende oproep aan Europese leiders de overeenkomst sterk afgeraden 3).
In ons land hadden enkele ex-ministers van CDA huize er ook tegen gewaarschuwd 4).
De Sloveense (toen voozitter EU) minister van Buitenlandse Zaken verklaart dat de overeenkomst (waar minister Verhagen sterk voor lobbyde) bijdraagt tot de oplossing van het Israëlisch-Palestijnse conflict. Een Action Plan moet april 2009 klaar zijn.
Diverse Europese mensenrechtenorganisaties (o.l.v. Oxfam International en incl. het Nederlandse UCP) maken bezwaar dat in de EU verklaring een duidelijke binding aan voortgang m.b.t. mensenrechten ontbreekt 5). Dat is nu juist waar het CIDI enthousiast op reageert. Onder een kop ”Geen directe koppeling met Palestijnen”meldt men “Hoewel er in Jeruzalem enige bezorgdheid leefde over de mogelijkheid dat de EU de upgrade rechtsstreeks zou koppelen aan een verandering van de situatie in Israël en de Palestijnse gebieden, is dat niet gebeurd” 6).

December 2008 Op 4 december besluit het Europarlement de besprekingen met Israël op te schorten. Vice president Luisa Morgantini verklaart in een persbericht dat premier Fayyam “no improvements since Annapolis” had gemeld. Verder verklaarde zij “It’s time for the Israeli government to stop considering itself above the law ans start respecting it, beginning by freezing all settlement building activities and ending its siege on the Gaza strip. Until the Israeli government signals its williongness to abide by international law ans especially human rights and humanitarian law, the European parliament is not desposed to vote” 7).
Merkwaardig is dat op 8 december Europese ministers van Buitenlandse Zaken besluiten niet alleen door te gaan met de upgrade, maar zelfs de aan Israël te stellen eisen verlichten. Haaretz schrijft over de voorbereidende besprekingen tussen EU voorzitter Frankrijk en de Israëlische minister Livni “Seperately the ministers decided to shelve a proposed action plan the peace process for 2009, in response to Israeli pressure” (het Franse plan hield o.a. heropening van Orient House in) en “During the conversation the two agreed that there would be no linklage, but the EU would issue a seperate statement stressing the need to continue the final status talks” 8) . Het feit dat Israël producten uit de nederzettingen labelt als “Made in Israel” (waar de EU eerder bezwaar tegen maakte) lijkt van de agenda verdwenen.

27 december 2008 – 18 januari 2009 Gaza oorlog
Volgens het Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) komen daarbij 1285 Palestijnen om (waarvan 83 % burgers, incl. ten minste 280 kinderen en 167 burger politiebeambten), zijn er 4336 gewond en zijn er duizenden woningen en honderden bedrijven verwoest 9).
Aan Israëlische zijde vielen 13 slachtoffers, waaronder enkele militairen door “friendly fire”. Materiële schade aan die zijde is verwaarlosbaar.

12 januari 2009 Alle 27 EU staten onthouden zich van stemming als in de UN Human Rights Council een resolutie wordt aangenomen die het Israëlische optreden in Gaza veroordeelt (“massive human rights violations”). Het Tsjechische voorzitterschap verklaart “not to act as a judge”. Een persbericht van het Palestinian Council for Human Rights (PCHR) veroordeelt dit “blatantly failing in obligations under the 4th Geneva Convention” 9).

15 januari 2009 Een resolutie van het Europarlement steunt VN Resolutie 1860 (onmiddellijk staakt het vuren), verklaart geschokt te zijn door het lijden in Gaza en noemt principes voor een regeling (“durable”, wat zowel opheffen van de blokkade als tegengaan van wapensmokkel inhoudt, onbelemmerde toegang, Palestijnse verzoening op basis Mecca Accoord, 2-staten oplossing) 10).
In januari besluiten Israël en de EU (in goed overleg) de besprekingen over een upgrade op te schorten (benadrukt wordt dat het uitstel alleen “technisch” van aard is).

16 januari 2009 Hamas verklaart een bestand te willen mits dit wederzijds is, Israëlische troepen Gaza verlaten en de grenzen (gecontroleerd door internationale monitors, later door een eenheidsregering) open gaan. Men is tegen een Egyptisch voorstel waarin de terugtrekking van Israëlische troepen niet genoemd wordt 11). Later verklaart Hamas leider Ghazi Hamad “We accept a state in the 1967 borders. We are not talking about the destruction of Israel”. Essentieel blijft het openen van grenzen.

19 januari 2009 Regeringsleiders uit het VK, Frankrijk, Duitsland, Italië, Spanje en EU-voorzitter Tsjechië komen in Egypte bijeen en spreken met Israël. Het accent ligt op ontwapening van Hamas. Israël verklaart reeds nu de wederopbouw volledig te willen controleren, via gedetailleerde materiaallijsten, etc. 12). Zowel Israël als Hamas verklaren eenzijdig een bestand.

Eind januari 2009 De EU Commissioner for Human Aid (de Belgische ex-minister Michel) noemt bij een bezoek aan Gaza de Israëlische vernielingen “unjustified” maar spreekt ook van de “enormous responsibility of Hamas” hier voor 13).
Later spreekt Blair voor het eerst over “find a way of bringing Hamas into the process” 14).
De Ierse BuZa minister spreekt over de noodzaak voor de EU “to be more flexible, engage Hamas in policy” 15).

27 januari 2009 Na druk vanuit Israël wijzen EU ministers van Buitenlandse Zaken een Frans voorstel af waarin sprake was van contacten met een toekomstige Palestijnse eenheidsregering en de noodzaak de grenzen van Gaza te openen 16). Sterk tegen dit voorstel lobbyden Duitsland, Italië en Nederland

10 februari 2009 Verkiezingen in Israël geven een sterke verschuiving naar nationalistische, niet op vrede met Palestijnen gerichte, partijen



Conclusie

In het voorgaande vallen enkele punten op:
- vaak wordt gemakkelijk aan Israëlische eisen toegegeven
- de EU neemt vaak zijn eigen eisen niet serieus
- EU ministers handelen regelmatig tegen de uitdrukkelijke wens van het Europarlement
- t.a.v. mensenrechten faalt de EU volledig

Door het voorgaande is m.i. de bijdrage van Europa aan het vredesproces ronduit negatief.


Jan Elshout, 9 maart 2009



Aangehaalde bronnen


1) Eight meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council, Luxemburg 16-6-2008
2) “EU uninimously upgrades Israel ties, turning aside PA objections”, Haaretz 17-6-2008
3) Brief premier Fayyad aan Europese regeringsleiders, de EU en het Europese parlement dd. 4-6-2008
4) Dries van Agt, Frans Andriessen, Hans van den Broek: “Honoreer onrechtmatig gedrag van Israël niet”, De Volkskrant 12-6-2008
5) “EU must insist on Human Rights in Ties with Israel”, The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), 18-6-2008,
6) CIDI Israël nieuwsbrief dd. 25-6-2008
7) Press release Vice-president EU Parliament, “Israel is not above the law. The European Parliament suspeds the vote on the upgrade of the EU Israel relations”, 4-12-2008.
8) “EU votes to upgrade Israeli relations despite Arab lobbying”, Haaretz, 9-12-2008
9) Press Release “European Union failing its obligation to protect human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) 28-1-2009.
10) European Parliament Resolution adopted 15-1-2009
11) “Hamas: we will not accept Israel cease fire demands”, Haaretz, 16-1-2009
12) “Western diplomats: Israel seeks to control reconstruction of war-torn Gaza”, Haaretz, 19-1-2009
13) “EU Aid chief: Hamas enormously responsible for Gaza war”, Haaretz 26-1-2009
14) Interview met Blair, The Times, 31-1-2009
15) “Report: Irisg FM hinted EU may need to be flexible on Hamas”, Haaretz 3-2-2009
16) “Israel stymies French push to lift European boycot of Hamas”, Haaretz 27-1-2009

Zie: http://www.stopdebezetting.com/artikelen/feiten-i-v-m-het-eu-israel-associatieverdrag.html

De Israelische Oorlogsmisdaden 77


'To:
Subject: Re: [JUSTWATCH] New details of Israeli war conduct emerge

Well, I was more interested in some legal analysis of the possibilities
for trials and prosecution for the alleged criminals in the IDF
connected with the operation in Gaza than the story of Jenin seven years
ago. I don't think one could compare the Gaza war to the operation in Jenin.

But since Jenin is mentioned, we can talk about that as well. I have to
admit that I am at an immediate disadvantage when it comes to questions
about Israel and Palestine because I have never been there. Therefore,
my knowledge is based only on what I have read. I have used some of the
day to refresh what I remember about Jenin and read up. What I do
remember was that there was claims of massacres where the IDF allegedly
had killed thousands of Palestinians and buried them alive under their
houses. As far as I can see, there was no massive air assault on Jenin,
and it was a regular military operation against militant terrorists.
According to the UN, there were 52 Palestinians and 23 IDF soldiers
killed these days, nothing close to any massacre. Accordning to
Wikipedia, no more than 26 and maybe as little as five civilians were
killed during Operation Defensive Shield,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jenin. Does anyone else have
other numbers?

For more about the IDF operation in Jenin, it could also be useful to
watch The Road to Jenin, a movie by Pierre Rehov,
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3079049095214906504. Here we
see Bassem Eid, the founder and director of the Palestinian Human Rights
Monitoring Group (http://www.phrmg.org/ ), a non-partisan organization dedicated
to exposing human rights violations and supporting a democratic and
pluralistic Palestine. He is warning that media can make the conflict
much harder than it is.

cheers

k

Ana Valdés wrote:

> The problem is not as easy, dear Kristian. The IDF call itself the "most
moral army in the world" and if it wants live up to their rethoric they must
be much better than any other army.
I was in Jenin in April 2002, the same day the IDF left the city after ten
days closure, where the people were not allowed to show themselves in the
streets, they didn't have any fresh water or any more food than they had in
the houses. I am speaking about a 75.000 people's city, not a village.
In every house in the middle of the town was a hole digged by the soldiers
or made with a bulldozzer or by bombing the houses with Apache helicopters.
In the houses where the army itself occupied the pans and the kitchen bowls
were used as toilets and urine and fecales were everywhere.
In the bedrooms it were graffittis in hebrew with the inscriptions :"we
don't want your rotten kids, you are the devil's pawns".
It was desecration in every shrine, in every mosque, in every house.

It was the worst I have seen in my life, http://this.is/Jenin , this is our
pictures and texts.

(The most people in Jenin were civilians, old women and kids, old men, the
young fled to the hills around or hided themselves in tunnels and cellars,
the "resistance" in Jenin were some hundred guys armed with homemade bobby
traps and personal guns. Against them the IDF, one of the world's most
powerful armies.

Ana


On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 9:50 AM, Kristian Kahrs wrote:

In theory, this is very simple. The guilty ones have to be arrested and
prosecuted. There seems to be a lot of rotten eggs in the IDF. What does
it mean when the IDF is opening a criminal inquiry? Does anyone know
what the relaxed rules of engagement involve concretely?

k

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_ISRAEL_PALESTINIANS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2009-03-20-16-54-20

Mar 20, 4:54 PM EDT

New details of Israeli war conduct emerge

By JOSEF FEDERMAN
Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) -- An increasingly disturbing picture of the Israeli
army's conduct in the Gaza war emerged Friday, as new witness accounts
from Israeli troops described wanton vandalism to Palestinian homes,
humiliation of civilians and loose rules of engagement that resulted in
unnecessary civilian deaths.

The revelations of soldier conduct over the past two days have set off
soul-searching and alarm in a country where the military is widely
revered. They also have echoed Palestinian allegations that Israel's
assault did not distinguish between civilians and combatants, at a time
when some international human rights groups contend Israel violated the
laws of war.

Israel launched the offensive on Dec. 27 in what it said was an effort
to end years of Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza. The Palestinian
Center for Human Rights, which conducted a survey of casualties, says a
total of 1,417 people were killed, including 926 civilians during the
22-day offensive.

Israel has disputed the findings, saying the most of the dead were
legitimate targets, but it offered no evidence. Thirteen Israelis also
died in the fighting.

The Israeli government has insisted it did all it could to prevent
civilian casualties, but on Thursday, the army ordered a criminal
inquiry into its own soldiers' reports that some troops killed
civilians, including children, by hastily opening fire, confident that
the relaxed rules of engagement would protect them.

The inquiry was based on postwar testimony from a gathering of soldiers
involved in the offensive, published in a military institute's
newsletter and leaked to two Israeli newspapers. The Haaretz daily
published additional details Friday, and the transcript of the session
was obtained by The Associated Press.

According to one account, an Israeli sniper killed a Palestinian woman
and her two children after they misunderstood another soldier's order
and turned the wrong way. The sniper was not told the civilians had been
released from the house and, in compliance with standing orders, opened
fire when they approached him.

In another account, an elderly woman was shot dead while walking on a
road. The soldier who described the incident, identified only as "Aviv,"
said it was not clear whether the woman was a threat.

"From the description of this story, I simply felt it was murder in cold
blood," Aviv said, according to the transcript. "The order was to take
that woman out, the moment you see her."

Aviv said in one instance, his unit was sent to take over a house by
bursting in, going up floor by floor and shooting anyone they saw.

"I call this murder," he said. "From above they said it was permissible,
because anyone who remained in the sector and inside Gaza City was in
effect condemned, a terrorist, because they hadn't fled."

In the end, he said he managed to change the order so residents would be
given five minutes to leave their homes, drawing protests from other
soldiers. "Anyone who's in there is a terrorist, that's a known fact,"
he quoted another soldier as saying.

Aviv said he felt an attitude among soldiers that "inside Gaza you are
allowed to do anything you want, to break down doors of houses for no
reason other than that it's cool."

"To write 'Death to the Arabs' on the walls, to take family pictures and
spit on them, just because you can," he said.

The army said Friday it had no additional comment beyond Thursday's
announcement of the inquiry. During the fighting, the military
acknowledged loosening the rules of engagement, aiming to reduce
casualties among Israeli troops.

Another soldier, Ram, described what appeared to be a rift between
secular and religious soldiers.

"What I do remember in particular at the beginning is the feeling of an
almost religious mission," he said. He described a "huge gap" between
background material provided by the army's education corps, and
religious material distributed by the army's rabbinate.

"Their message was very clear: 'We are the Jewish people, we came to
this land by a miracle. God brought us back to this land, and now we
need to fight to expel the gentiles who are interfering with our
conquest of this holy land,'" he said.

Earlier this year, the military "severely reprimanded" an officer for
distributing a religious booklet urging soldiers to show no mercy to
their enemies. The army said the booklet was based on the writings of an
ultranationalist rabbi and that the chief military rabbi had not
approved it.

The published accounts revealed debate and soul-searching among the
soldiers. Discussing the death of the old woman, one soldier, Zvi, said
the shooting could be understood in the context of the battle zone.
"Logic says she should be there," he said. "It's known that they have
lookouts and that sort of thing."

And Yossi said his unit was forced to clean up a home it had occupied on
the same day that a Palestinian rocket wounded a mother and baby in an
Israeli city. He said soldiers were unhappy, but complied.

"In the end I was convinced, and realized it was the right thing to do,"
he said.

Danny Zamir, the head of the institute, called the discussion
"instructive," but also "dismaying and depressing."

"You are describing an army with very low norms of value," he said.

The heavy Palestinian civilian casualties and widespread destruction
during the three-week war provoked international outcry against Israel, which halted its fire on Jan. 18.'

The Empire 408

Remember
Friday 20 March 2009
by: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Columnist

A man looks at a cross set up for a soldier killed in Iraq. The cross is set up every Sunday at the beach in Santa Monica by Veterans for Peace as part of what they call "Arlington West." (Photo: Margaret Molloy Photography)
Six years ago, the United States of America began the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Since then, 4,259 American soldiers have been killed and tens of thousands more have been wounded. There is no accurate accounting of Iraqi dead and wounded, because as we were told, we do not do body counts. Because the Bush administration left its Iraq expenditures off the budget, and because of the tremendous amount of war-profiteering, graft and theft that has been involved, we do not know exactly how much we have spent.
For the record, 2,192 days later, this is how we got here:
"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
- Dick Cheney, Vice President
 Speech to VFW National Convention
 8/26/2002
"There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
 Response to Question From the Press
 9/6/2002
"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
- Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
 CNN Late Edition
 9/8/2002
"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."
- George W. Bush, President
 Speech to the UN General Assembly
 9/12/2002
"Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons - the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."
- George W. Bush, President
 Radio Address
 10/5/2002
"The Iraqi regime ... possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas."
- George W. Bush, President
 Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
 10/7/2002
"And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons."
- George W. Bush, President
 Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
 10/7/2002
"After 11 years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon."
- George W. Bush, President
 Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
 10/7/2002
"We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."
- George W. Bush, President
 Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech
 10/7/2002
"Iraq, despite UN sanctions, maintains an aggressive program to rebuild the infrastructure for its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs. In each instance, Iraq's procurement agents are actively working to obtain both weapons-specific and dual-use materials and technologies critical to their rebuilding and expansion efforts, using front companies and whatever illicit means are at hand."
- John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control
 Speech to the Hudson Institute
 11/1/2002
"Iraq could decide on any given day to provide biological or chemical weapons to a terrorist group or to individual terrorists ... The war on terror will not be won until Iraq is completely and verifiably deprived of weapons of mass destruction."
- Dick Cheney, Vice President
 Denver, Address to the Air National Guard
 12/1/2002
"If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
 Press Briefing
 12/2/2002
"The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
 Response to Question From the Press
 12/4/2002
"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
 Press Briefing
 1/9/2003
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."
- George W. Bush, President
 State of the Union Address
 1/28/2003
"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent."
- George W. Bush, President
 State of the Union Address
 1/28/2003
"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
 Remarks to the UN Security Council
 2/5/2003
"There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction. If biological weapons seem too terrible to contemplate, chemical weapons are equally chilling."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
 Address to the UN Security Council
 2/5/2003
"In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world - and we will not allow it."
- George W. Bush, President
 Speech to the American Enterprise Institute
 2/26/2003
"If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since (UN Resolution) 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us ... But the suggestion that we are doing this because we want to go to every country in the Middle East and rearrange all of its pieces is not correct."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
 Interview With Radio France International
 2/28/2003
"So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
 Remarks to the UN Security Council
 3/7/2003
"Let's talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. We know that based on intelligence, that has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He's had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
- Dick Cheney, Vice President
 "Meet the Press"
 3/16/2003
"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
- George W. Bush, President
 Address to the Nation
 3/17/2003
"Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly ... all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
 Press Briefing
 3/21/2003
"One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites."
- Victoria Clark, Pentagon Spokeswoman
 Press Briefing
 3/22/2003
"I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction."
- Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board Member
 Washington Post, p. A27
 3/23/2003
"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
 ABC Interview
 3/30/2003
"We still need to find and secure Iraq's weapons of mass destruction facilities and secure Iraq's borders so we can prevent the flow of weapons of mass destruction materials and senior regime officials out of the country."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
 Press Conference
 4/9/2003
"You bet we're concerned about it. And one of the reasons it's important is because the nexus between terrorist states with weapons of mass destruction ... and terrorist groups - networks - is a critical link. And the thought that ... some of those materials could leave the country and in the hands of terrorist networks would be a very unhappy prospect. So it is important to us to see that that doesn't happen."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
 Press Conference
 4/9/2003
"I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction will be found."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
 Press Briefing
 4/10/2003
"But make no mistake - as I said earlier - we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
 Press Briefing
 4/10/2003
"Were not going to find anything until we find people who tell us where the things are. And we have that very high on our priority list, to find the people who know. And when we do, then well learn precisely where things were and what was done."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
 "Meet the Press"
 4/13/2003
"We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them."
- George W. Bush, President
 NBC Interview
 4/24/2003
"There are people who in large measure have information that we need ... so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
 Press Briefing
 4/25/2003
"We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so."
- George W. Bush, President
 Remarks to Reporters
 5/3/2003
"I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
 Remarks to Reporters
 5/4/2003
"We never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
 Fox News Interview
 5/4/2003
"I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein - because he had a weapons program."
- George W. Bush, President
 Remarks to Reporters
 5/6/2003
"U.S. officials never expected that 'we were going to open garages and find' weapons of mass destruction."
- Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
 Reuters Interview
 5/12/2003
"We said all along that we will never get to the bottom of the Iraqi WMD program simply by going and searching specific sites, that you'd have to be able to get people who know about the programs to talk to you."
- Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
 Interview With Australian Broadcasting
 5/13/2003
"It's going to take time to find them, but we know he had them. And whether he destroyed them, moved them or hid them, we're going to find out the truth. One thing is for certain: Saddam Hussein no longer threatens America with weapons of mass destruction."
- George W. Bush, President
 Speech at a Weapons Factory in Ohio
 5/25/2003
"They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
 Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations
 5/27/2003
"For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."
- Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
 Vanity Fair Interview
 5/28/2003
"The President is indeed satisfied with the intelligence that he received. And I think that's borne out by the fact that, just as Secretary Powell described at the United Nations, we have found the bio trucks that can be used only for the purpose of producing biological weapons. That's proof-perfect that the intelligence in that regard was right on target."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
 Press Briefing
 5/29/2003
"We have teams of people that are out looking. They've investigated a number of sites. And within the last week or two, they have in fact captured and have in custody two of the mobile trailers that Secretary Powell talked about at the United Nations as being biological weapons laboratories."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
 Infinity Radio Interview
 5/30/2003
"But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."
- George W. Bush, President
 Interview With TVP Poland
 5/30/2003
"You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons ... They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two ... And we'll find more weapons as time goes on."
- George W. Bush, President
 Press Briefing
 5/30/2003
"This wasn't material I was making up, it came from the intelligence community."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
 Press Briefing
 6/2/2003
"We recently found two mobile biological weapons facilities which were capable of producing biological agents. This is the man who spent decades hiding tools of mass murder. He knew the inspectors were looking for them. You know better than me he's got a big country in which to hide them. We're on the look. We'll reveal the truth."
- George W. Bush, President 
 Camp Sayliya, Qatar
 6/5/2003
"I would put before you Exhibit A, the mobile biological labs that we have found. People are saying, 'Well, are they truly mobile biological labs?' Yes, they are. And the DCI, George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, stands behind that assessment."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
 Fox News Interview
 6/8/2003
"No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were, where they were stored."
- Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
 "Meet the Press"
 6/8/2003
"What the president has said is because it's been the long-standing view of numerous people, not only in this country, not only in this administration, but around the world, including at the United Nations, who came to those conclusions ... And the president is not going to engage in the rewriting of history that others may be trying to engage in."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
 Response to Question From the Press
 6/9/2003
"Iraq had a weapons program ... Intelligence throughout the decade showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out they did have a weapons program."
- George W. Bush, President
 Comment to Reporters
 6/9/2003
"The biological weapons labs that we believe strongly are biological weapons labs, we didn't find any biological weapons with those labs. But should that give us any comfort? Not at all. Those were labs that could produce biological weapons whenever Saddam Hussein might have wanted to have a biological weapons inventory."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
 Associated Press Interview
 6/12/2003
"My personal view is that their intelligence has been, I'm sure, imperfect, but good. In other words, I think the intelligence was correct in general, and that you always will find out precisely what it was once you get on the ground and have a chance to talk to people and explore it, and I think that will happen."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
 Press Briefing
 6/18/2003
"I have reason, every reason, to believe that the intelligence that we were operating off was correct and that we will, in fact, find weapons or evidence of weapons, programs, that are conclusive. But that's just a matter of time ... It's now less than eight weeks since the end of major combat in Iraq and I believe that patience will prove to be a virtue."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
 Pentagon Media Briefing
 6/24/2003
MS. BLOCK: There were no toxins found in those trailers.
SECRETARY POWELL: Which could mean one of several things: one, they hadn't been used yet to develop toxins; or, secondly, they had been sterilized so thoroughly that there is no residual left. It may well be that they hadn't been used yet.
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
 "All Things Considered" Interview
 6/27/2003
"That was the concern we had with Saddam Hussein. Not only did he have weapons - and we'll uncover not only his weapons but all of his weapons programs - he never lost the intent to have these kinds of weapons."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
 "All Things Considered" Interview
 6/27/2003
"I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
 Press Briefing
 7/9/2003

Zie: http://www.truthout.org/032009J

De Israelische Oorlogsmisdaden 74


In tegenstelling tot joods-Israeli's die voor de mensenrechten van de Palestijnen opkomen, is rabbijn Soetendorp opvallend stil nu namens zijn geloof de mensenrechten worden geschonden. Hij is doodstil terwijl hij toch het gewicht van de thora met zich meetorst.

'Miami Herald
March 20, 2009
Israeli soldiers say army rabbis framed Gaza offensive as religious war
As investigations continue into the killing of Palestinian civilians during the Israeli military's latest incursion, testimony has surfaced that troops were told their actions amounted to `a religious mission.'
BY CLIFF CHURGIN
McClatchy News Service
JERUSALEM -- Rabbis affiliated with the Israeli army urged troops heading into Gaza to reclaim what they said was God-given land and "get rid of the gentiles" -- effectively turning the 22-day Israeli intervention into a religious war, according to the testimony of a soldier who fought in Gaza.
Literature passed out to soldiers by the army's rabbinate "had a clear message: We are the people of Israel, we came by a miracle to the land of Israel, God returned us to the land, now we need to struggle to get rid of the gentiles that are interfering with our conquest of the land," the soldier told a forum of Gaza veterans in mid-February, just weeks after the conflict ended.
A transcript of the testimony given at an Israeli military academy at the Oranim college on Feb. 13 was obtained Friday by McClatchy Newspapers and also published in Haaretz, one of Israel's leading dailies. The soldier, identified as "'Ram," a pseudonym to protect his identity, gave a scathing description of the atmosphere as the Israeli army went to war.
"The general atmosphere among people I spoke to was ... the lives of Palestinians are ... let's say far, far less important than the lives of our soldiers," Ram said. The religious literature gave "the feeling of almost a religious mission," he said.
Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit, the Israeli army's chief prosecutor, on Thursday announced the first criminal investigation into the killing of Palestinian civilians during Israel's military incursion.
He issued the order after the Haaretz and Maariv newspapers published an account from the Oranim forum of how an Israeli sharpshooter killed a Palestinian woman and her two children when they inadvertently took a wrong turn after being released from detention in their own home.
There are growing questions about the Israeli Defense Force's commitment to prosecute war crimes and burgeoning criticism of the operation itself.
According to Haaretz, the army first learned on Feb. 23 of the Oranim forum allegations and obtained a full transcript on March 5. The army told McClatchy on Thursday that it had received the transcript that day, but on Friday a representative said it had received the document "a few days ago."
Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed during the operation, more than half of them civilians, according to Palestinian human rights groups.
SOLDIERS' TESTIMONIES
Danny Zamir, the head of the Yitzhak Rabin military academy, which organized the soldiers' forum, said the Gaza operation was "an unusual military action in the IDF's history that established a new, unknown norm in the IDF's ethical code."
The testimonies indicated that the army, despite repeated claims that it was protecting civilian lives, was not instructing its troops to that effect.
One soldier, identified only as "Aviv," said he was bothered by open-fire orders given to his unit for an operation that was later canceled.
"We were supposed to go in with an armored vehicle called an Ahzarit, break into the door and start to shoot inside and simply go up floor by floor. ... I call this murder ... to go up floor by floor and every person that we see we were to shoot," he said. "Aviv" served as a squad leader with the Givati unit in the Gaza neighborhood of Zeitoun.
"At first I said to myself, `How is this logical?' Higher authorities said this was permissible because everyone left in the area and in the city of Gaza is condemned, is a terrorist, because they didn't run away."

De Israelische Oorlogsmisdaden 76

A T-shirt printed at the request of an IDF soldier in the sniper unit reading 'I shot two kills.'





Gechanteerd door Mossad of zich schuldig voelend over het katholiek antisemitisme? Het maakt niet meer uit, minister Verhagen steunt terrorisme, en zal daarvoor ter verantwoording moeten worden geroepen, in de Tweede Kamer en als de volksvertengewoordiging weigert zijn werk te doen dan voor een onafhankelijke rechtbank.




'The late Israeli scientist/philosopher and moral authority (by Zionist standards, that is) among Jewish Israelis , Yesha'yahu Leibovitch, coined the term "Judeo-Nazis" to describe how Israeli soldiers, and society at large, treat Palestinians under occupation, which he blamed for corrupting "Jewish souls." Leibovitch predicted that a "Nazification" of Israeli society due to the occupation will lead to eventually establishing concentration camps for the Palestinians. He foresaw Gaza.

I have mentioned this numerous times in a number of public speaking presentations, but I shall repeat it here for the record: Jewish-Israeli society is now ready for a full fledged Holocaust against the indigenous Palestinians. Mentally, socially, politically, militarily, it is ready. The only thing preventing it is the absolute belief by Israelis that they cannot survive afterwards, that they cannot get away with it.

Ilan Pappe wrote years ago that there are no moral considerations preventing Israelis from committing a full-fledged ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinians; only fear of a harsh Western reaction stops them. I would take this further today and say, there is nothing preventing Israelis from supporting, cheering and justifying a German-style Holocaust against us except fear from repercussions that have every potential of ending Israel's very existence as a state. Geopolitically, it is not possible today for Israel to commit even a Rwanda-style genocide against the Palestinians and get away with it.

There is another factor that is no less important: why invite the wrath of the world by committing outright genocide, killing tens or hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, as many Israeli politicians (including the "dovish" Labor leader, Barak) have publicly advocated over the years, when you can get away with far less condemnation by killing us slowly, gradually, choking us to death, doing everything possible to increase the incidence of deadly diseases among us (particularly cancer), and stunting the growth and development of a whole generation of our children, enough to guarantee shorter life expectancy? This is the 21st century, evolved type of genocide. Just as Israel's apartheid is far more sophisticated than the "primitive," literally black and white, South African type, Israel's genocide is much smarter than that of the Germans. It is genocide nonetheless, by any objective standards of international law.

If anyone still has doubts, please read the below and the emerging testimonies of Israeli soldiers who participated in the Gaza massacre. As a reminder, unlike the US army in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Israeli army is still a "people's army," relatively speaking, drawing its soldiers from virtually all sectors of Israeli society, particularly in its reserve units. As has been argued by many before me, the Israeli army is the most accurate, representative microcosm of Israeli society. It is Israel, redux. It represents Israel far more than Lieberman does. Actually, in comparison with the below sentiments in soliders' testimonies, poor Lieberman looks liberal!

Academics, dancers, intellectuals, judges, accountants, scientists, musicians, sociologists, philosophers, workers, farmers, kibbutzniks, Tel Aviv hedonistic hippies, among others, ALL duly serve in the army, participate in the horrors you can read a sample of below, and go back to their daily lives as "normal" human beings.

And they all shout: don't boycott us; help us reach peace!

The only peace the huge majority of Jewish Israelis are seeking right now is not the "peace of the brave," whatever that utterly meaningless and deceptive phrase repeated by Rabin and Arafat for years means, but the peace of the grave, our collective grave.

This makes us appreciate even more the heroic efforts of the few, anti-Zionist Jewish Israelis who are fighting against this fascism from within -- many of whom are also calling with us for BDS.

Excerpt from the article:

Dead babies, mothers weeping on their children's graves, a gun aimed at a child and bombed-out mosques - these are a few examples of the images Israel Defense Forces soldiers design these days to print on shirts they order to mark the end of training, or of field duty. The slogans accompanying the drawings are not exactly anemic either: A T-shirt for infantry snipers bears the inscription "Better use Durex," next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby, with his weeping mother and a teddy bear beside him. A sharpshooter's T-shirt from the Givati Brigade's Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull's-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, "1 shot, 2 kills." A "graduation" shirt for those who have completed another snipers course depicts a Palestinian baby, who grows into a combative boy and then an armed adult, with the inscription, "No matter how it begins, we'll put an end to it."
Omar Barghouti

PS: I have to rub in this one: those McCarthyist Canadian university administrations who banned the famous Israeli Apartheid Week poster (by Brazilian cartoonist, Lattouf), depicting an Israeli helicopter aiming a missile at a Palestinian child carrying a teddy-bear, owe us all a huge apology! That poster was too mild!!'


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072466.html

'Haaretz 20/03/2009
Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashion 2009
By Uri Blau

The office at the Adiv fabric-printing shop in south Tel Aviv handles a constant stream of customers, many of them soldiers in uniform, who come to order custom clothing featuring their unit's insignia, usually accompanied by a slogan and drawing of their choosing. Elsewhere on the premises, the sketches are turned into plates used for imprinting the ordered items, mainly T-shirts and baseball caps, but also hoodies, fleece jackets and pants. A young Arab man from Jaffa supervises the workers who imprint the words and pictures, and afterward hands over the finished product.

Dead babies, mothers weeping on their children's graves, a gun aimed at a child and bombed-out mosques - these are a few examples of the images Israel Defense Forces soldiers design these days to print on shirts they order to mark the end of training, or of field duty. The slogans accompanying the drawings are not exactly anemic either: A T-shirt for infantry snipers bears the inscription "Better use Durex," next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby, with his weeping mother and a teddy bear beside him. A sharpshooter's T-shirt from the Givati Brigade's Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull's-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, "1 shot, 2 kills." A "graduation" shirt for those who have completed another snipers course depicts a Palestinian baby, who grows into a combative boy and then an armed adult, with the inscription, "No matter how it begins, we'll put an end to it."

There are also plenty of shirts with blatant sexual messages. For example, the Lavi battalion produced a shirt featuring a drawing of a soldier next to a young woman with bruises, and the slogan, "Bet you got raped!" A few of the images underscore actions whose existence the army officially denies - such as "confirming the kill" (shooting a bullet into an enemy victim's head from close range, to ensure he is dead), or harming religious sites, or female or child non-combatants.

In many cases, the content is submitted for approval to one of the unit's commanders. The latter, however, do not always have control over what gets printed, because the artwork is a private initiative of soldiers that they never hear about. Drawings or slogans previously banned in certain units have been approved for distribution elsewhere. For example, shirts declaring, "We won't chill 'til we confirm the kill" were banned in the past (the IDF claims that the practice doesn't exist), yet the Haruv battalion printed some last year.

The slogan "Let every Arab mother know that her son's fate is in my hands!" had previously been banned for use on another infantry unit's shirt. A Givati soldier said this week, however, that at the end of last year, his platoon printed up dozens of shirts, fleece jackets and pants bearing this slogan.

"It has a drawing depicting a soldier as the Angel of Death, next to a gun and an Arab town," he explains. "The text was very powerful. The funniest part was that when our soldier came to get the shirts, the man who printed them was an Arab, and the soldier felt so bad that he told the girl at the counter to bring them to him."

Does the design go to the commanders for approval?

The Givati soldier: "Usually the shirts undergo a selection process by some officer, but in this case, they were approved at the level of platoon sergeant. We ordered shirts for 30 soldiers and they were really into it, and everyone wanted several items and paid NIS 200 on average."

What do you think of the slogan that was printed?

"I didn't like it so much, but most of the soldiers wanted it."

Many controversial shirts have been ordered by graduates of snipers courses, which bring together soldiers from various units. In 2006, soldiers from the "Carmon Team" course for elite-unit marksmen printed a shirt with a drawing of a knife-wielding Palestinian in the crosshairs of a gun sight, and the slogan, "You've got to run fast, run fast, run fast, before it's all over." Below is a drawing of Arab women weeping over a grave and the words: "And afterward they cry, and afterward they cry." [The inscriptions are riffs on a popular song.] Another sniper's shirt also features an Arab man in the crosshairs, and the announcement, "Everything is with the best of intentions."

G., a soldier in an elite unit who has done a snipers course, explained that, "it's a type of bonding process, and also it's well known that anyone who is a sniper is messed up in the head. Our shirts have a lot of double entendres, for example: 'Bad people with good aims.' Every group that finishes a course puts out stuff like that."

When are these shirts worn?

G. "These are shirts for around the house, for jogging, in the army. Not for going out. Sometimes people will ask you what it's about."

Of the shirt depicting a bull's-eye on a pregnant woman, he said: "There are people who think it's not right, and I think so as well, but it doesn't really mean anything. I mean it's not like someone is gonna go and shoot a pregnant woman."

What is the idea behind the shirt from July 2007, which has an image of a child with the slogan "Smaller - harder!"?

"It's a kid, so you've got a little more of a problem, morally, and also the target is smaller."

Do your superiors approve the shirts before printing?

"Yes, although one time they rejected some shirt that was too extreme. I don't remember what was on it."

These shirts also seem pretty extreme. Why draw crosshairs over a child - do you shoot kids?

'We came, we saw'

"As a sniper, you get a lot of extreme situations. You suddenly see a small boy who picks up a weapon and it's up to you to decide whether to shoot. These shirts are half-facetious, bordering on the truth, and they reflect the extreme situations you might encounter. The one who-honest-to-God sees the target with his own eyes - that's the sniper."

Have you encountered a situation like that?

"Fortunately, not involving a kid, but involving a woman - yes. There was someone who wasn't holding a weapon, but she was near a prohibited area and could have posed a threat."

What did you do?

"I didn't take it" (i.e., shoot).

You don't regret that, I imagine.

"No. Whomever I had to shoot, I shot."

A shirt printed up just this week for soldiers of the Lavi battalion, who spent three years in the West Bank, reads: "We came, we saw, we destroyed!" - alongside images of weapons, an angry soldier and a Palestinian village with a ruined mosque in the center.

A shirt printed after Operation Cast Lead in Gaza for Battalion 890 of the Paratroops depicts a King Kong-like soldier in a city under attack. The slogan is unambiguous: "If you believe it can be fixed, then believe it can be destroyed!"

Y., a soldier/yeshiva student, designed the shirt. "You take whoever [in the unit] knows how to draw and then you give it to the commanders before printing," he explained.

What is the soldier holding in his hand?

Y. "A mosque. Before I drew the shirt I had some misgivings, because I wanted it to be like King Kong, but not too monstrous. The one holding the mosque - I wanted him to have a more normal-looking face, so it wouldn't look like an anti-Semitic cartoon. Some of the people who saw it told me, 'Is that what you've got to show for the IDF? That it destroys homes?' I can understand people who look at this from outside and see it that way, but I was in Gaza and they kept emphasizing that the object of the operation was to wreak destruction on the infrastructure, so that the price the Palestinians and the leadership pay will make them realize that it isn't worth it for them to go on shooting. So that's the idea of 'we're coming to destroy' in the drawing."

According to Y., most of these shirts are worn strictly in an army context, not in civilian life. "And within the army people look at it differently," he added. "I don't think I would walk down the street in this shirt, because it would draw fire. Even at my yeshiva I don't think people would like it."

Y. also came up with a design for the shirt his unit printed at the end of basic training. It shows a clenched fist shattering the symbol of the Paratroops Corps.

Where does the fist come from?

"It's reminiscent of [Rabbi Meir] Kahane's symbol. I borrowed it from an emblem for something in Russia, but basically it's supposed to look like Kahane's symbol, the one from 'Kahane Was Right' - it's a sort of joke. Our company commander is kind of gung-ho."

Was the shirt printed?

"Yes. It was a company shirt. We printed about 100 like that."

This past January, the "Night Predators" demolitions platoon from Golani's Battalion 13 ordered a T-shirt showing a Golani devil detonating a charge that destroys a mosque. An inscription above it says, "Only God forgives."

One of the soldiers in the platoon downplays it: "It doesn't mean much, it's just a T-shirt from our platoon. It's not a big deal. A friend of mine drew a picture and we made it into a shirt."

What's the idea behind "Only God forgives"?

The soldier: "It's just a saying."

No one had a problem with the fact that a mosque gets blown up in the picture?

"I don't see what you're getting at. I don't like the way you're going with this. Don't take this somewhere you're not supposed to, as though we hate Arabs."

After Operation Cast Lead, soldiers from that battalion printed a T-shirt depicting a vulture sexually penetrating Hamas' prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, accompanied by a particularly graphic slogan. S., a soldier in the platoon that ordered the shirt, said the idea came from a similar shirt, printed after the Second Lebanon War, that featured Hassan Nasrallah instead of Haniyeh.

"They don't okay things like that at the company level. It's a shirt we put out just for the platoon," S. explained.

What's the problem with this shirt?

S.: "It bothers some people to see these things, from a religious standpoint ..."

How did people who saw it respond?

"We don't have that many Orthodox people in the platoon, so it wasn't a problem. It's just something the guys want to put out. It's more for wearing around the house, and not within the companies, because it bothers people. The Orthodox mainly. The officers tell us it's best not to wear shirts like this on the base."

The sketches printed in recent years at the Adiv factory, one of the largest of its kind in the country, are arranged in drawers according to the names of the units placing the orders: Paratroops, Golani, air force, sharpshooters and so on. Each drawer contains hundreds of drawings, filed by year. Many of the prints are cartoons and slogans relating to life in the unit, or inside jokes that outsiders wouldn't get (and might not care to, either), but a handful reflect particular aggressiveness, violence and vulgarity.

Print-shop manager Haim Yisrael, who has worked there since the early 1980s, said Adiv prints around 1,000 different patterns each month, with soldiers accounting for about half. Yisrael recalled that when he started out, there were hardly any orders from the army.

"The first ones to do it were from the Nahal brigade," he said. "Later on other infantry units started printing up shirts, and nowadays any course with 15 participants prints up shirts."

From time to time, officers complain. "Sometimes the soldiers do things that are inside jokes that only they get, and sometimes they do something foolish that they take to an extreme," Yisrael explained. "There have been a few times when commanding officers called and said, 'How can you print things like that for soldiers?' For example, with shirts that trashed the Arabs too much. I told them it's a private company, and I'm not interested in the content. I can print whatever I like. We're neutral. There have always been some more extreme and some less so. It's just that now more people are making shirts."

Race to be unique

Evyatar Ben-Tzedef, a research associate at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism and former editor of the IDF publication Maarachot, said the phenomenon of custom-made T-shirts is a product of "the infantry's insane race to be unique. I, for example, had only one shirt that I received after the Yom Kippur War. It said on it, 'The School for Officers,' and that was it. What happened since then is a product of the decision to assign every unit an emblem and a beret. After all, there used to be very few berets: black, red or green. This changed in the 1990s. [The shirts] developed because of the fact that for bonding purposes, each unit created something that was unique to it.

"These days the content on shirts is sometimes deplorable," Ben-Tzedef explained. "It stems from the fact that profanity is very acceptable and normative in Israel, and that there is a lack of respect for human beings and their environment, which includes racism aimed in every direction."

Yossi Kaufman, who moderates the army and defense forum on the Web site Fresh, served in the Armored Corps from 1996 to 1999. "I also drew shirts, and I remember the first one," he said. "It had a small emblem on the front and some inside joke, like, 'When we die, we'll go to heaven, because we've already been through hell.'"

Kaufman has also been exposed to T-shirts of the sort described here. "I know there are shirts like these," he says. "I've heard and also seen a little. These are not shirts that soldiers can wear in civilian life, because they would get stoned, nor at a battalion get-together, because the battalion commander would be pissed off. They wear them on very rare occasions. There's all sorts of black humor stuff, mainly from snipers, such as, 'Don't bother running because you'll die tired' - with a drawing of a Palestinian boy, not a terrorist. There's a Golani or Givati shirt of a soldier raping a girl, and underneath it says, 'No virgins, no terror attacks.' I laughed, but it was pretty awful. When I was asked once to draw things like that, I said it wasn't appropriate."

The IDF Spokesman's Office comments on the phenomenon: "Military regulations do not apply to civilian clothing, including shirts produced at the end of basic training and various courses. The designs are printed at the soldiers' private initiative, and on civilian shirts. The examples raised by Haaretz are not in keeping with the values of the IDF spirit, not representative of IDF life, and are in poor taste. Humor of this kind deserves every condemnation and excoriation. The IDF intends to take action for the immediate eradication of this phenomenon. To this end, it is emphasizing to commanding officers that it is appropriate, among other things, to take discretionary and disciplinary measures against those involved in acts of this sort."

Shlomo Tzipori, a lieutenant colonel in the reserves and a lawyer specializing in martial law, said the army does bring soldiers up on charges for offenses that occur outside the base and during their free time. According to Tzipori, slogans that constitute an "insult to the army or to those in uniform" are grounds for court-martial, on charges of "shameful conduct" or "disciplinary infraction," which are general clauses in judicial martial law.

Sociologist Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy, of Bar-Ilan University, author of "Identities in Uniform: Masculinities and Femininities in the Israeli Military," said that the phenomenon is "part of a radicalization process the entire country is undergoing, and the soldiers are at its forefront. I think that ever since the second intifada there has been a continual shift to the right. The pullout from Gaza and its outcome - the calm that never arrived - led to a further shift rightward.

"This tendency is most strikingly evident among soldiers who encounter various situations in the territories on a daily basis. There is less meticulousness than in the past, and increasing callousness. There is a perception that the Palestinian is not a person, a human being entitled to basic rights, and therefore anything may be done to him."

Could the printing of clothing be viewed also as a means of venting aggression?

Sasson-Levy: "No. I think it strengthens and stimulates aggression and legitimizes it. What disturbs me is that a shirt is something that has permanence. The soldiers later wear it in civilian life; their girlfriends wear it afterward. It is not a statement, but rather something physical that remains, that is out there in the world. Beyond that, I think the link made between sexist views and nationalist views, as in the 'Screw Haniyeh' shirt, is interesting. National chauvinism and gender chauvinism combine and strengthen one another. It establishes a masculinity shaped by violent aggression toward women and Arabs; a masculinity that considers it legitimate to speak in a crude and violent manner toward women and Arabs."

Col. (res.) Ron Levy began his military service in the Sayeret Matkal elite commando force before the Six-Day War. He was the IDF's chief psychologist, and headed the army's mental health department in the 1980s.

Levy: "I'm familiar with things of this sort going back 40, 50 years, and each time they take a different form. Psychologically speaking, this is one of the ways in which soldiers project their anger, frustration and violence. It is a certain expression of things, which I call 'below the belt.'"

Do you think this a good way to vent anger?

Levy: "It's safe. But there are also things here that deviate from the norm, and you could say that whoever is creating these things has reached some level of normality. He gives expression to the fact that what is considered abnormal today might no longer be so tomorrow."

vrijdag 20 maart 2009

De Israelische Oorlogsmisdaden 75

En zowaar, na eerst de Israelische aanval op de Palestijnse burgerbevolking te hebben gerechtvaardigd, al dan niet met het argument dat Hamas de aanval had uitgelokt, zien de Nederlandse commerciele masamedia zich nu door internet genoodzaakt te melden dat de Israelische strijdkrachten oorlogsmisdaden pleegden. Dat is overigens niets nieuws. Die werden door de zionisten al in 1948 en 1967 gepleegd, en tijdens de talloze aanvallen op Libanon. Het enige nieuwe is dat als gevolg van het feit dat de commerciele journalistiek door internet het monopolie op de berichtgeving heeft verloren de commerciele pers nu genoodzaakt is om hun eigen proaganda tegen te spreken. De NRC maakte zich onsterfelijk door een Israelische extremistische zionist de ruimte te geven om het -- in het jargon van premier Olmert -- 'disproportionele geweld' van Israel goed te praten met het argument 'c'est la guerre'. In het kader daarvan deed de NRC het voorkomen dat vrouwen en kinderen slachtoffer mochten worden van de militaire doctrine van het 'disproportionele geweld'. Tegelijkertijd weigerde de NRC-redactie een artikel van Nederlandse juristen te plaatsen die erop wezen dat Israel oorlogsmisdaden pleegde. En ondermeer deze 'kwaliteitskrant' zou volgens Jan Marijnissen moeten worden gesubsidieerd omdat daarmee 'de democratie' wordt gewaarborgd. En zo kwekt men maar door in het poldermodel.

'20 MAART 2009
Van onze redactie buitenland
Leger doodde burgers Gaza ’zomaar’
Israëlisch geweld
De balans van drie weken oorlog

Ze schoten op Palestijnse burgers, gewoon, omdat ’het allemaal terroristen zijn’. Verhalen van soldaten die in Gaza vochten, schokken Israël.

Het Israëlische leger begint een onderzoek naar het gedrag van gevechtseenheden tijdens de oorlog in Gaza in december en januari. Aanleiding zijn getuigenissen van militairen uit lagere rangen over het doden van burgers in de krant Ha’aretz.
Bij de gevechten in de Gazastrook rond de jaarwisseling zijn naar schatting 1300 Palestijnen gedood. Volgens de Palestijnen zijn dat voor meer dan helft burgers, maar het Israëlische leger (IDF) sprak dat tot nu toe tegen. Het beweerde dat de Israëlische troepen het maximale hebben gedaan om burgerdoden te vermijden en dat ze zich alleen hebben gericht op het uitschakelen van Palestijnse strijders. Minister van defensie Ehoed Barak herhaalde gisteren voor de Israëlische radio dat het Israëlische leger in zijn ogen ’het meest ethische leger ter wereld is’.
In de Ha’aretz van gisteren komt een ander beeld naar voren. Daarin beschrijven militairen hoe Palestijnse burgers werden neergeschoten door scherpschutters zonder dat er een duidelijke reden voor was. Ook beschrijven soldaten hoe ze huizen van Palestijnen leeghaalden en de gehele inhoud op straat gooiden. Ha’aretz zal vandaag nog meer getuigenissen publiceren.
De militairen deden hun verhaal tijdens een cursus voor militairen in opleiding. De docent van die cursus, Danny Zamir, besloot het materiaal openbaar te maken, nadat hij hun verhalen eerder aan hoge officieren had gemeld. Hij zegt tevoren niet te hebben geweten wat de soldaten zouden melden, maar toonde zich ’geschokt’ over wat hij hoorde. Zijn inschatting is dat de legertop de verhalen serieus neemt.'
Lees verder: http://www.trouw.nl/nieuws/wereld/article2058841.ece/
Leger_doodde_burgers_Gaza__rsquo_zomaar_rsquo____.html

De Israelische Oorlogsmisdaden 74










'Testimonies from Israeli army soliders who participated in the recent aggression on Gaza paint a horrific picture of deliberate killings, sometimes en masse, of Palestinian civilians and wanton destruction of property and agricultural plots, without any "security" justification.

The full testimonies are coming out shortly.

From shooting mothers and small children, even after clearly identifying them as such, to wholesale executions of surrendering families, with their children, Israeli soldiers were following orders that set very loose "rules of engagement," thereby allowing such war crimes with impunity.

And one must not forget the fact that, in this particular war of aggression, fundamentalist Zionist rabbis enjoyed much more influence over the troops, having a free hand to indoctrinate them with fascist interpretations of Jewish Law, or Halacha, that reduce gentiles (non-Jews) to the status of animals and enjoins killing them, including their civilians, in what is considered a war of necessity (basically, all Israeli wars are, by definition, "of necessity," even as seen by the "ultra-left" of Zionism, Meretz and the Peace Now movement).

This mix of extreme Zionist racism with fanatic Jewish fundamentalism is now being further exposed as poisoning the minds and souls of young, impressionable Jewish-Israeli settler-colonists, turning them into efficient killing machines with virtually no moral compass when dealing with "creatures" they perceive as relative humans.

For those who missed it, here's a link to one article in Haaretz that exposed the tip of the iceberg of those fanatic rabbis' role in justifying acts of genocide.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1058758.html

Given the rise of the fascist right to power in Israel, with its open agenda advocating ethnic cleansing and genocide, no one can take the above lightly.


Excerpts from article below:

According to the squad leader: "The sharpshooter saw a woman and children approaching him, closer than the lines he was told no one should pass. He shot them straight away. In any case, what happened is that in the end he killed them.

"I don't think he felt too bad about it, because after all, as far as he was concerned, he did his job according to the orders he was given. And the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to ... I don't know how to describe it .... The lives of Palestinians, let's say, is something very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers. So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way," he said.

Omar Barghouti

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072231.html

Haaretz 19/03/2009
IDF killed civilians in Gaza under loose rules of engagement
By Amos Harel


During Operation Cast Lead, Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under permissive rules of engagement and intentionally destroyed their property, say soldiers who fought in the offensive.

The soldiers are graduates of the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military preparatory course at Oranim Academic College in Tivon. Some of their statements made on Feb. 13 will appear today and tomorrow in Haaretz. Dozens of graduates of the course who took part in the discussion fought in the Gaza operation.

The speakers included combat pilots and infantry soldiers. Their testimony runs counter to the Israel Defense Forces' claims that Israeli troops observed a high level of moral behavior during the operation. The session's transcript was published this week in the newsletter for the course's graduates.

The testimonies include a description by an infantry squad leader of an incident where an IDF sharpshooter mistakenly shot a Palestinian mother and her two children. "There was a house with a family inside .... We put them in a room. Later we left the house and another platoon entered it, and a few days after that there was an order to release the family. They had set up positions upstairs. There was a sniper position on the roof," the soldier said.

"The platoon commander let the family go and told them to go to the right. One mother and her two children didn't understand and went to the left, but they forgot to tell the sharpshooter on the roof they had let them go and it was okay, and he should hold his fire and he ... he did what he was supposed to, like he was following his orders."

According to the squad leader: "The sharpshooter saw a woman and children approaching him, closer than the lines he was told no one should pass. He shot them straight away. In any case, what happened is that in the end he killed them.

"I don't think he felt too bad about it, because after all, as far as he was concerned, he did his job according to the orders he was given. And the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to ... I don't know how to describe it .... The lives of Palestinians, let's say, is something very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers. So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way," he said.

Another squad leader from the same brigade told of an incident where the company commander ordered that an elderly Palestinian woman be shot and killed; she was walking on a road about 100 meters from a house the company had commandeered.

The squad leader said he argued with his commander over the permissive rules of engagement that allowed the clearing out of houses by shooting without warning the residents beforehand. After the orders were changed, the squad leader's soldiers complained that "we should kill everyone there [in the center of Gaza]. Everyone there is a terrorist."

The squad leader said: "You do not get the impression from the officers that there is any logic to it, but they won't say anything. To write 'death to the Arabs' on the walls, to take family pictures and spit on them, just because you can. I think this is the main thing: To understand how much the IDF has fallen in the realm of ethics, really. It's what I'll remember the most."

The head of the pe-military course, Danny Zamir, told Haaretz yesterday that he did not know in advance what the soldiers would say at the gathering, and what they said "shocked us." He said that after hearing the soldiers, he told IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi about his fears of a serious moral failure in the IDF.

The chief of staff's bureau requested a copy of the transcript of the discussion, and Zamir provided it. This week Zamir met with the IDF's chief education officer, Brig. Gen. Eli Shermeister, to discuss the matter. Zamir said he believed the army would take the matter seriously. "They do not intend to avoid responsibility," he said.

The IDF Spokesman's Office said: "As a result of the request of the head of the Rabin pre-military course, Mr. Danny Zamir, to the chief of staff's bureau, a meeting was held between Zamir and the chief education officer, Brig. Gen. Eli Shermeister. The chief education officer described to the head of the preparatory course the processes of the operational and ethical inquiries being conducted by the IDF and the chief education officer's staff at all levels."

The chief education officer also described "the actions taken before during and after the operation to inculcate the soldiers and commanders with the moral aspects of the fighting."

The spokesman said that "Brig. Gen. Shermeister also made it clear that the IDF is now conducting intensive and comprehensive inquiries, and that commanders are encouraging discussion of these matters. The IDF has no supporting or prior information about these events. The IDF will check their veracity and investigate as required. The head of the preparatory course was also asked to pass on to the IDF any information he has so we can deal with it and investigate it in depth."'

donderdag 19 maart 2009

De Israelische Terreur 786


Israeli troops shot 'unarmed Palestinian civilians under orders'
during Gaza war

Published soldiers' testimonies contradict official version of events
and reinforce Palestinian accounts of disproportionate force

* Rory McCarthy, Jerusalem
* guardian.co.uk, Thursday 19 March 2009 12.21 GMT

Striking testimony has emerged from Israeli soldiers involved in the
Gaza war in which they describe shooting unarmed civilians, sometimes
under orders from their officers.

One soldier described how an Israeli sniper shot dead a Palestinian
mother and her two children, adding that fellow troops believed the
lives of Palestinians were "very, very less important than the lives
of our soldiers".

The testimony, published in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz today,
gives a rare insight into how Israeli soldiers fought the war on the
ground; reinforces Palestinian accounts of disproportionate Israeli
force; and sharply contradicts the Israeli military's official
version of events.

The accounts come from unnamed soldiers who were graduates of a
pre-military course at Oranim Academic College in Tivon and who spoke
in a session in mid-February. The transcript of the session was
published this week and obtained by Ha'aretz.

In that transcript, one infantry squad leader said: "There was a
house with a family inside Š We put them in a room. Later we left the
house and another platoon entered it, and a few days after that there
was an order to release the family. They had set up positions
upstairs. There was a sniper position on the roof.

"The platoon commander let the family go and told them to go to the
right. One mother and her two children didn't understand and went to
the left, but they forgot to tell the sharpshooter on the roof they
had let them go and it was OK, and he should hold his fire and he ...
he did what he was supposed to, like he was following his orders. The
sharpshooter saw a woman and children approaching him, closer than
the lines he was told no one should pass. He shot them straight away.
In any case, what happened is that in the end he killed them."

The squad leader said he believed the sniper did not feel regret. "I
don't think he felt too bad about it, because after all, as far as he
was concerned, he did his job according to the orders he was given.
And the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my
men who I talked to ... I don't know how to describe it ... The lives
of Palestinians, let's say, is something very, very less important
than the lives of our soldiers. So as far as they are concerned they
can justify it that way."

A second squad leader, from the same brigade, described how a company
commander ordered troops to shoot an elderly Palestinian woman who
was walking on a road about 100 metres from a house the soldiers had
taken over. He said he argued with his commander about the rules of
engagement, particularly the way they shot without warning to clear
houses.

Ha'aretz reported: "After the orders were changed, the squad leader's
soldiers complained that 'We should kill everyone there [in the
centre of Gaza]. Everyone there is a terrorist.'"

The squad leader said: "You do not get the impression from the
officers that there is any logic to it, but they won't say anything.
To write 'death to the Arabs' on the walls, to take family pictures
and spit on them, just because you can. I think this is the main
thing: to understand how much the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] has
fallen in the realm of ethics, really. It's what I'll remember the
most."

The head of the Oranim course was apparently "shocked" after hearing
the soldiers' accounts of their fighting and reported his concerns to
the army chief, Major General Gabi Ashkenazi. Ashkenazi's office
asked for a transcript of the discussion, which was provided.

The Israeli military today first denied having "any previous
knowledge or information about these incidents". Then in a later
statement it admitted that the head of the course had sent a letter
to the chief of staff's office "several weeks ago" describing the
soldiers' accounts and that the military's chief education officer
then met with the course head.

It said the military advocate general, Brigadier General Avichai
Mendelblit, today instructed the military police to investigate the
soldiers' accounts.


Zie: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/19/israeli-troops-gaza-shootings-civilians