Saturday, July 22, 2006

Reprisals, Israel, Children and Mass Graves

It is now certain that Israel has bombed villages in the south of Lebanon in reprisal raids. They have admitted to it (video) and have "justified" these reprisals saying that villages may house Hezbollah rockets. Reprisal against defenseless civilians, particularly children, no matter what the underlying situation, is clearly a war crime. It is the basis of terrorism.

Remember, Israel signed the Geneva Conventions of 1949 with only a single reservation, that the Red Shield be substituted for the Red Cross:
Mr KAHANY, Delegate of Israel to the European Office of the United Nations and to the International Committee of the Red Cross, made the following declaration:

"In accordance with instructions received from my Government, I shall sign the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War without any reservation. But in the case of each of the other three Conventions, our signature will be given with reservations the purport of which is as follows:

(3) Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
"Subject to the reservation that, while respecting the inviolability of the distinctive signs and emblems provided for in Article 38 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949, Israel will use the Red Shield of David as the emblem and distinctive sign provided for in this Convention." (the other two reservations were the same except referring to armed forces)(emphasis added)
Why do I think that Israel will never be brought to justice for these crimes? Why do I think that America will never have to answer for the billions of dollars (my tax dollars) that have gone to buy these very bombs? Why do I find these photos of Israeli children inscribing these bombs as repugnant as a Nazi propoganda poster in its exploitation of children (for an analysis, see BagNotes, July 20, 2006)?

In some sense, I find this as disquieting as:

Eric Blair (George Orwell) would be astonished.

And, in Tyre, it was necessary to bury 80 bodies in a mass grave because there is no refrigeration to prevent corruption. Are mass graves compatible with civilization?

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