Monday 16th of December 2019

defending a way of life .....

‘Human Rights Watch, after extensive investigation, has concluded that the Israeli military is guilty of war crimes. HRW says:

·                     Israeli forces have systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said in report released today. The pattern of attacks in more than 20 cases investigated by Human Rights Watch researchers in Lebanon indicates that the failures cannot be dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes.

·             The 50-page report, "Fatal Strikes: Israel's Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon," analyzes almost two dozen cases of Israeli air and artillery attacks on civilian homes and vehicles. Of the 153 dead civilians named in the report, 63 are children. More than 500 people have been killed in Lebanon by Israeli fire since fighting began on July 12, most of them civilians.

·                     "The pattern of attacks shows the Israeli military's disturbing disregard for the lives of Lebanese civilians," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "Our research shows that Israel's claim that Hezbollah fighters are hiding among civilians does not explain, let alone justify, Israel's indiscriminate warfare."’

Israel Guilty Of War Crimes

from the street .....

Whether or not it has reached critical mass, there exists a heterogeneous agglomeration of Jewish people around the world – eg: moi - for whom the state of Israel has come to represent an 800-pound albatross that needs to be pried from our necks before it drags us over a cliff.

A sense of urgency is propelled by the US - sanctioned bloodletting in Lebanon and Gaza (which now seems to have been planned in advance) and the evident flimsiness of its official justification. With Israeli adventurism on the march, there are well-founded fears concerning the general threat that country poses to the peace of the world.

And there is a paticularized danger which stirs a thick chunk of self-interest into the universalism of enlightened Jewish concern. In terms of the fabled Jewish-interest litmus, it is proving decidedly not "good for the Jews" when Israel gets away with murder.

The spill-over is ubiquitous. After all, we have it on no lesser authority than New York Times heavyweight Thomas Friedman that, in the early days of the American occupation of Iraq, American soldiers in Iraq were being referred to on the Iraqi street as "the Jews".’

Pulling The Plug On Israel

killing the fruit of peace

From the ABC

Israeli air raids kill 40 civilians in Lebanon
Israeli air strikes have killed at least 40 civilians in Lebanon and Hezbollah has launched its longest-range rocket attack of the war into the Israeli city of Hadera.

One Israeli air strike hit a farm near Qaa in Lebanon, close to the Syrian border in the Bekaa Valley.

Local officials say farm workers, mostly Syrian Kurds, were loading plums and peaches on to trucks, and the air strike killed 33 people and wounded 20.

only war crimes .....

‘Rights group Amnesty International accused Israel on Wednesday of deliberately targeting civilians during its campaign against Hizbullah in Lebanon and said the Jewish state may be guilty of war crimes.

Not only were food shops purposely destroyed by shelling and air attacks, Amnesty said, but aid convoys were deliberately blocked and hospitals and public utilities like water and power plants put out of action to force people to flee.

"The evidence strongly suggests that the extensive destruction of public works, power systems, civilian homes and industry was deliberate and an integral part of the military strategy rather than collateral damage," Amnesty said.’

Amnesty: Israel Deliberately Hit Civilian Targets

Cluster bombs inquiry

From the New York Times

Inquiry Opened Into Israeli Use of U.S. Bombs

Published: August 25, 2006
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 — The State Department is investigating whether [|Israel’s use] of American-made [|cluster bombs] in southern Lebanon violated secret agreements with the United States that restrict when it can employ such weapons, two officials said.
The investigation by the department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls began this week, after reports that three types of American cluster munitions, anti-personnel weapons that spray bomblets over a wide area, have been found in many areas of southern Lebanon and were responsible for civilian casualties.
Gonzalo Gallegos, a State Department spokesman, said, “We have heard the allegations that these munitions were used, and we are seeking more information.” He declined to comment further.
Several current and former officials said that they doubted the investigation would lead to sanctions against Israel but that the decision to proceed with it might be intended to help the Bush administration ease criticism from Arab governments and commentators over its support of Israel’s military operations. The investigation has not been publicly announced; the State Department confirmed it in response to questions.

read more at the [| New York Times]

Humble in the tit-for-tat miscalculation

From the BBC

Nasrallah [|sorry for scale of war]

Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has said he would not have ordered the capture of two Israeli soldiers if he had known it would lead to such a war."Had we known that the kidnapping of the soldiers would have led to this, we would definitely not have done it," he said in an interview on Lebanese TV.
He added that neither side was "heading towards a second round" of fighting. More than 1,000 Lebanese died in the 34-day conflict which left much of southern Lebanon in ruins.
The Israeli offensive began after two Israeli soldiers were seized during a cross border raid by Hezbollah militants on 12 July.
"We did not think that there was a 1% chance that the kidnapping would lead to a war of this scale and magnitude," Sheikh Nasrallah said.
"Now you ask me if this was 11 July and there was a 1% chance that the kidnapping would lead to a war like the one that has taken place, would you go ahead with the kidnapping?
"I would say no, definitely not, for humanitarian, moral, social, security, military and political reasons.
"Neither I, Hezbollah, prisoners in Israeli jails and nor the families of the prisoners would accept it."Sheikh Nasrallah was speaking on the eve of a visit to Beirut by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to discuss the expanded UN peacekeeping force to be deployed in southern Lebanon

read more at the [|BBC]

a parting gift .....

‘The war in Lebanon has not ended. Every day, some of the million bomblets which were fired by Israeli artillery during the last three days of the conflict kill four people in southern Lebanon and wound many more.

The casualty figures will rise sharply in the next month as villagers begin the harvest, picking olives from trees whose leaves and branches hide bombs that explode at the smallest movement. Lebanon's farmers are caught in a deadly dilemma: to risk the harvest, or to leave the produce on which they depend to rot in the fields.

In a coma in a hospital bed in Nabatiyeh lies Hussein Ali Ahmad, a 70-year-old man from the village of Yohmor. He was pruning an orange tree outside his house last week when he dislodged a bomblet; it exploded, sending pieces of shrapnel into his brain, lungs and kidneys. "I know he can hear me because he squeezes my hand when I talk to him," said his daughter, Suwad, as she sat beside her father's bed in the hospital.

At least 83 people have been killed by cluster munitions since the ceasefire, according to independent monitors.

Some Israeli officers are protesting at the use of cluster bombs, each containing 644 small but lethal bomblets, against civilian targets in Lebanon. A commander in the MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems) unit told the Israeli daily Haaretz that the army had fired 1,800 cluster rockets, spraying 1.2 million bomblets over houses and fields. "In Lebanon, we covered entire villages with cluster bombs," he said. "What we did there was crazy and monstrous." What makes the cluster bombs so dangerous is that 30 per cent of the bomblets do not detonate on impact. They can lie for years - often difficult to see because of their small size, on roofs, in gardens, in trees, beside roads or in rubbish - waiting to explode when disturbed.’

Deadly Harvest: The Lebanese Fields Sown With Cluster Bombs

Death droplets

Yes John... (see blog above)

From Al Jazeeera

The UN has so far identified 516 cluster bomb strike locations and says 30 to 40 percent of the bomblets they scattered over the south failed to explode at the time.
David Shearer, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon said: "The outrageous fact is that nearly all of these munitions were fired in the last three to four days of the war."
"Outrageous because by that stage the conflict had been largely resolved in the form of (U.N. Security Council) Resolution 1701," he said.
The resolution adopted on August 11 halted 34 days of fighting three days later. A truce has largely held since then.

Read more at [|Al Jazeera]

A million drops of death

From the BBC

'Million bomblets' in S Lebanon

There are three times more live devices than previously thought
Up to a million cluster bomblets discharged by Israel in its conflict with Hezbollah remain unexploded in southern Lebanon, the UN has said.
The UN's mine disposal agency says about 40% of the cluster bombs fired or dropped by Israel failed to detonate - three times the UN's previous estimate.

Phosphorus capers

From our ABC

Israel confirms phosphorus munitions used in Lebanon
Israel has confirmed for the first time that it used controversial white phosphorus shells against military targets in southern Lebanon, an Israeli newspaper has reported.

White phosphorus munitions cause severe burns and agonising deaths.

The chemical seeps into the bloodstream and causes respiratory problems and other ailments in victims, which has lead many to demand it be classified as a chemical weapon.

The Haaretz daily has reported that Israeli Government-Parliamentary Relations Minister Yakov Edery told law makers last week that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have used phosphorus munitions.

"The IDF made use of phosphorus shells during the war against Hezbollah in attacks against military targets in open ground," he told the newspaper.

Mr Edery's spokeswoman, Orly Yechzeken, has confirmed the report, saying the Minister was simply reading the army's response to a query posed earlier by another Israeli law maker.

"This is not his personal opinion," she told AFP.

"This is what the military told us."

In his statement to law makers, Mr Edery added that the army maintains that phosphorus shells are a legitimate weapon and not forbidden by international law.

"The IDF used this type of munitions according to the rules of international law," he reportedly said.

The International Red Cross and other human rights groups have long argued that phosphorus weapons should be banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

US leaders went on the defensive after reports surfaced last year that American troops in Iraq had used phosphorus in the battle for Fallujah in 2004.


Why are Jews attending a conference on the Holocaust in Tehran at which star guests include deniers of the genocide? Clue: they also want an end to the Israeli state.