Israel Commits Crimes Without Punishment
by Stephen Lendman
Israel is a rogue state. It’s a serial abuser. It commits crimes without punishment. It tolerates no criticism.
Last May, it suspended contact with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
On April 30, Haaretz headlined “Israel joins UN list of states limiting human rights organizations,” saying:
Censure followed an earlier Ministerial Committee on Legislation approval to restrict foreign governments from funding NGOs. It should have been for crimes against humanity. Israel commits them daily.
It spurns fundamental rule of law principles. It rejects Fourth Geneva’s de jure applicability. It’s defied dozens of UN resolutions. It ignored the International Court of Justice’s 2004 condemnation of its Separation Wall.
It refused cooperation with the Goldstone Commission on Cast Lead. In 2012, it denied UN investigators entry to collect testimonies on its lawless settlements.
Since appointed UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Territories in March 2008, Israel prevented Richard Falk from entering Palestine. Rogue states operate that way. Israel is one of the worst.
January elections solidified fascist rule. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a world class thug. He heads Israel’s worst ever government. Bipartisan MKs are racist, hardline rogues. What little opposition exists is weak-kneed.
Netanyahu exceeds the worst of Ariel Sharon and previous rogue leaders. He’s an embarrassment to democratic governance. He menaces Israelis and Palestinians alike. He threatens regional neighbors and humanity.
Official policies reflect state terror, apartheid, belligerence, violence, institutionalized racism, exploitation, occupation harshness, neoliberal rapaciousness, and war as an option of choice.
Peace is a non-starter. Palestinians never had a legitimate partner and don’t now. Things go from bad to worse. Daily events explain. Israel terrorizes Palestinians with impunity.
Yesh Din defends Palestinian human rights. It exposes Israeli abuses. It champions long denied accountability.
On February 3, its report discussed Israeli unaccountability. It highlighted crimes without punishment. From 2009 – 2011, indictments followed 2.5% of IDF abuse investigations.
In 2012, Israel’s Military Police Criminal Investigation Division (MPCID) produced none. MPCID received 240 complaints. Seventy-eight investigations followed. Another 25 pertained to 2011 criminality.
Israel-style probes are whitewashes. Accountability virtually never follows. Palestinians are denied justice. They have no rights whatever.
In the second half of January alone, Israeli security forces murdered six unarmed Palestinians. They did so with impunity.
Breaking the Silence (BTS) explains. Israeli combat veterans speak freely. They served since the start of the second Intifada. They refuse any longer to stay silent.
They expose daily life in Occupied Palestine. Their testimonies bear witness to police state harshness. Daily crimes against humanity are committed with impunity.
BTS member Avner Gvaryahu spoke for others saying:
“I participated in dozens of operations, and after reading hundreds of eyewitness accounts that we have collected over the years at our organization, Breaking the Silence, the real, flexible rules of engagement have become apparent to me, allowing opening fire on unarmed civilians.”
“More seriously, sometimes the fire is designed from the beginning to ‘create friction’ with the Palestinian population.”
“In effect, there is no distinction between a Palestinian who fires at us and a Palestinian who throws a rock at us, a stone thrower and a demonstrator or a demonstrator and someone who simply does not obey our orders or gets insolent.”
“All of them are attempting to undermine our control and at the end of the day, everyone is an enemy.”
“And if every Palestinian is an enemy, then every Palestinian is also a target.”
“And there is nothing he can do to stop being a target in our view.”
“This assumption explains why over the past decade, orders have been given to open fire on civilians and rescue crews.”
“There is no unit or area in the territories where such incidents have not occurred.”
“(T)he army systematically harms all the Palestinians and attempts to create a compliant society that can be easily controlled.”
“When any Palestinian, without any connection to what he is doing, is the enemy who must be fought, then even a Palestinian demonstrating for equality and independence is as frightening as an armed Palestinian, if not more so.”
“And that’s because unarmed resistance to the occupation poses a challenge to the security concept to which we have become accustomed.”
Director of Research, Lior Yavne, commented on Yesh Din’s findings, saying:
“The numerous defects in MPCID investigations of offenses against Palestinians, and in the Military Advocate General Corps’ supervision of the investigations, result in the closure of the vast majority of the files and a minimal number of indictments being served.”
“This creates a feeling of lawlessness on the ground, which may be a central contributing factor in the rise in the number of killings over recent weeks.”
Unaccountability is official Israeli policy. Few Palestinian complaints are addressed. Probes conducted are whitewashed. Militarized occupation denies justice. Israeli rules of engagement assure it.
On January 24, Haaretz headlined “The real rules of engagement in the West Bank,” saying:
“Every soldier knows the protocol for opening fire, but the more powerful principle is that the enemy must be subdued.”
So-called enemies are Palestinians wanting to live free on their own land in their own country. Israel calls them terrorists.
Occupied Palestine is a free-fire zone. No one’s sure from day to day who’ll live, die, be injured, arrested, or incarcerated in gulag hell.
Israeli soldiers are taught to be trigger-happy. Fire, ready, aim is policy. All Palestinians are suspects.
Identifying “suspicious” figures involves yelling “Stop.”
Soldiers follow up in Hebrew and Arabic saying “Stop and identify yourself. Stop or I’ll shoot.” If they think Palestinians risk “human life,” they’re told to shoot to kill.
Protocol is policy. Soldiers do what they wish. It’s their word against victims and/or bystanders. Justice never prevails. The above BTS comments explain.
Israeli rules of engagement enforce occupation harshness. They reflect police state viciousness. Edward Said once described a “bloody impasse.”
Israel turned Palestine into an isolated prison. An entire population is subdued. It’s suffocating. It’s impoverished and brutalized. Victims are blamed for Israeli crimes.
Every imaginable indignity and degradation afflicts them. A cycle of violence harms them. They’re terrorized for their faith, ethnicity and presence. Their redoubtable spirit is their only defense.
Oslo made things worse. Subsequent agreements hardened it. PA officials accepted what demanded rejection. Expect more concessions ahead.
Said deplored PA betrayal. He compared it to asking an “executioner if he wouldn’t mind sharpening his axe a little before having another go.”
Militarized occupation prevents peace, he said. It’s an “atrocity.” It’s a crime against humanity. It’s that and much more.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.