Topic: human rights
The Rudd Government here in Australia have tried to mitigate their craven silence on the obvious war crimes of Israel in Gaza (by targeting civilians and UN facilities regardless of spin and hollow excuses) by announcing some significant but small compassionate policy decisions on a handful of refugees here in Australia. But it's too little too late for a PM who likes to think of himself as a courageous Bonhoeffer, ie brave against political orthodoxy on matters of high morality:
Rudd has probably destroyed any diplomatic credibility he had with the UN membership for a future career there for his silence literally as UN facilities are being shelled by the Israeli Defence Force with conventional and phosphorous explosives killing civllians and aid workers.
Additionally Hilary Clinton as prospective Secretary of State in the USA from next Tuesday USA time is reported making an incredulous comment about the "abosolute" pre condition to negotiation with Hamas of renouncing violence:
But there's a red line the incoming Obama administration won't cross.
"I think on Israel you cannot negotiate with Hamas until it renounces violence, recognises Israel and agrees to abide by past agreements," Clinton said. "That is just for me, you know, an absolute. That is the US Government's position, that is the president-elect's position."
and earlier same article:
Clinton is seen as a staunch ally of Israel, particularly since becoming a New York senator, putting behind her, for instance, controversies such as embracing Yasser Arafat's wife Suha in 1999 after the latter had denounced Israel (Clinton later condemned the remarks when she saw an official translation, but the damage was done and it almost derailed her bid for the senate).
Incredulous for these reasons:
1. No sovereign government has ever renounced the option of violence especially in what it perceives to be in self defence. For a leading USA figure to preach the renunciation of violence is Lehrer-esque in its satirical tone. Lehrer said satire was dead when Henry Kissinger architect of the Vietnam war (killing millions) won the Nobel Peace Prize;
2. There is a real 'blame the victim' air to the naive comment by H Clinton, given the 5,000 injured with 1000 dead including many hundreds of children, after Isreal's constructive breach of the cease fire with ongoing blockade of essential supplies, then air strike killing 5 Hamas members in early November. All this after Hamas kept a truce discipline for 4 months July to October while Israel breached the truce (as below at 3). It calls up exclusively blaming the IRA for the million dead in the Irish Potato Famine when the British were net exporters of food away from the stricken. Or the Black Panthers after African Slavery to the USA tortured millions. Or the ANC under the jackboot of the pro Nazi Afrikaaner National Party. Clinton's comment is so inept as to be an alarming signal as to her capacity for the huge responsibility of Secretary of State;
3. The blockade on every side particularly the sea border controlled by Israel but also landside is a form of violence against Gaza with real fatalities. With 45% of children anaemic and therefore prone to severe illness, poverty, lack of medical and other services for a population of 1.5 million people, the blockade does kill people every day. The blockade on and off for 30 years but particularly the last 2 years is a form of real violence by Israel.
4. Then the creeping conquest by the 500K strong Israeli illegal squatter movement, backed by aparthied land laws with no objective written constitution in Israel is another form of violence on Palestinian legal rights.
5. Only this week we learn of the USA shipping 325 shipping containers of ammunition supplies for the IDF. Given 30% of Israeli society are sympathetic to the assassin of PM Rabin in 1995, and it is preumably these criminals targeting civilians and UN workers and facilities within the IDF in Gaza, the USA is complicit in arming these "gangsters" to quote Israeli historian Avi Shlaim in today's Sydney Morning Herald, last few paragraphs here:
Bitter pill after the mourning - World - smh.com.au 17 Jan 2009 For all its muscle power and powerful allies, Israel stands diminished in the eyes of the world, writes Paul McGeough. - Sydney Morning Herald Online.
....The Israeli historian Avi Shlaim has a wonderful knack of tracing the arcs of Israel's history to reveal today's reality - all the talk of successive governments about the peace process has been lip service which has conceded nothing on the ground.
Even before the events of this week, when Washington dismissed Olmert as - well, as a liar, and the UN used similar language to dismiss Israel's attempt to blame Hamas for the white phosphorous bombing of the UN's emergency stores of food and medicine in Gaza, Shlaim was in his library, re-evaluating the words of John Troutbeck.
In June 1948, Troutbeck vented to Ernest Bevin, the British foreign secretary of the day, that the US had been responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders".
"I used to think this judgment was too harsh," Shlaim wrote in The Guardian. "But Israel's vicious assault on the people of Gaza and the Bush Administration's complicity, have reopened the question."
Paul McGeough is the Herald's Chief Correspondent.
Yet Clinton laughably, selectively focuses on Hamas renouncing violence. And what does she say about Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela who also refused to renounce violence in the face of fascist aparthied and systemic human rights abuses by the South African Government? Her comments so far are a biased nonesense. As we write another 6 are reportedly killed in a UN school shelled by the Israeli Defence Force according to Al Jazeera coverage over the web. This is the covert campaign by Israel to achieve a Greater Israel while giving lip service to the 2 state solution in the West. This fraud must be condemned, not least perpetrated by Olmert facing corruption charges.
H Clinton has the great political kudos of her husband's previous efforts for peace in the 90ies. But she talks in a jaded tone about 'not giving up on peace' like it's a mid life gym routine in an impossible quest for the perfect body. If she takes that attitude the assassin of PM Rabin and 30% support in Israel wins and the world's belief in Israel will have been betrayed. In reality H Clinton has been pandering to the Greater Israel lobby at the expense of Palestinian human rights in the primaries and probably her whole Senate career as discussed by Mother Jones here:
"Clinton's rhetoric dates back to when her husband was attempting to broker a compromise on the holy city. She first took the position in 1999, prior to announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in New York. (It was later in the same campaign that Clinton was slammed for hugging and kissing Suha Arafat, the wife of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, at a ceremony on the West Bank, where Suha, speaking in Arabic, accused the Israeli government of using poison gas against Palestinian women and children. Hours after the event, Clinton condemned her.) "I personally consider Jerusalem the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel," she wrote in a letter to the president of Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, echoing the exact language favored by some Israeli politicians. That stand was interpreted in the media as an obvious pander, a play for support among the hardline segment of New York's sizable Jewish community. "Israel's new friend Hillary Clinton, born-again Zionist" read the headline in her hometown paper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. As Michael Tomasky later wrote in Hillary's Turn, his book about the 2000 campaign, "The Jerusalem question is always an issue in New York campaigns, and anyone running for dogcatcher in New York signs on to the position Hillary took."
Hilary Clinton has a much bigger more important job now than pandering to New York Jewish diaspora, and it's well before time she worked that out.