Why Israel fears an ‘upgrade’ for Palestine at the UN
Saudi Gazette Sunday, October 07, 2012
By Ray Hanania
Israel has a lot to fear if Palestine wins an “upgrade” in its status at the United Nations.
The upgrade falls short of statehood recognition, which Israel sought and won during a similar effort in 1948 over the objections of the non-Jewish majority that lived in Israel before they were forced out at gunpoint.
But an upgrade for Palestine would grant special privileges including access to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the last place in the Western world where the international rule of law has real meaning. The international rule of law is a principle upon which democracy is built.
But, in the twisted world of distorted Western democracy, the rule of law is often swept under the political rug in order to allow Western countries to violate international laws while pretending to be lawful nations.
Yes, it is hard to believe (wink, wink) but the United States and Israel often violate the international rule of law by denying people their civil rights, contradicting the fundamental principles of the Geneva Conventions – which they impose on other nations – and even killing people without trial or the legal right of defense.
Despite the fact that Palestinian politics is dysfunctional and plagued by so much infighting that Palestinians have been incapable of presenting a singular national agenda, Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas has formally asked the UN for the upgrade, recognizing that the move will strike Israel in its most vulnerable Achilles’ heel, Israel’s rock solid record of human rights violations and frequent war crimes against civilians.
The ICC is the one place where justice is truly blind, where the politics of a defendant do not outweigh the justice sought by the victims.
And Israel has much to fear from the ICC. For example, an upgraded Palestine could petition the ICC to review Israel’s longstanding policy of building exclusively Jewish-only settlements on land it occupied in the 1967 war. The confiscation and annexation of civilian lands is a fundamental violation of the international rule of law and Israel’s practice is founded on a racism driven by religious discrimination.
For example, of all of Israel’s illegal settlements, none have been founded for Christian or Muslim residents of Israel. Only for Jews.
Israel’s practice of extrajudicial killing is also a violation of the international rule of law, as is Israel’s frequent and common practice of imposing “collective punishment” on the families and neighbors of suicide bombers.
In the case of suicide bombers, the terrorist who commits the violent act commits suicide in the act of murdering his or her targets. Denied the right to punish the bombers, Israel strikes out at the bomber’s relatives and neighbors by destroying their homes and evicting the families, pushing them out of Israel, out of the Occupied Territories and into foreign countries. That is a violation of the international rule of law.
When Israeli soldiers boarded a flotilla of boats manned by pro-Palestinian activists and killed nine of the unarmed civilians aboard the boats including one American, the Israeli military committed a war crime.
When Israel murdered some 1,500 Palestinian civilians in its battle to destroy Hamas in the winter of 2008 and 2009, Israel committed a war crime.
Yes, Palestinian terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the other groups tied to Hezbollah and Iran are also guilty of terrorism, violence and murder. But in those cases, the violence is not committed by a government, as is the case of violence by Israel.
The fact that Israel is a government and Hamas and the other resistance groups are merely violent forms of civilian resistance is a monumental distinction that exists in the international rule of law.
That distinction was applied at the Nuremberg Trials where the Nazi officers of the German government were put to death for their crimes, while the violence and alleged terrorism of the resistance was not put on trial.
The United States has reportedly threatened any European country that supports the upgrading of Palestine at the United Nations with the elimination of American funding. Basically, it is an admission by the United States that it gives money to foreign countries in much the same way that a criminal bribes a government official to violate the law. The United States wants other countries to violate the international rule of law in order to protect Israel, the pampered American Middle East bully that has engaged in an open policy of ethnic cleansing to force Christians and Muslims out of their indigenous homes in Jerusalem and the Occupied West Bank.
Israel has made threats, also, vowing to annex more occupied lands and delineate its own “permanent borders” without negotiations with the Palestinians.
So what! If Israel unilaterally declares the final borders, that in effect will define Palestine as a state that is occupied by another state, which, by the way, is another violation of the international rule of law.
It’s about time that the world stops talking about the laws that Israel violates routinely and with such wonton malice, and starts enforcing the international rule of law.
Of course, the United States may have to then respond by denying all funding to the ICC and the UN. Or maybe they will do what they have done best over the past decade and militarily invade the ICC and the UN, taking it over and imposing a pro-American and pro-Israel Vichy State. It worked for the Nazis. For a while, anyway, until the international rule of law caught up with the criminals, as it always does. Sometimes slowly. But always surely.
— Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. He can be reached at www.TheMediaOasis.com
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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