Rewarding Israel for High Crimes Against Peace
by Stephen Lendman
Decades of Israeli crimes reflect pure evil. Including genocidal mass slaughter. Repeated high crimes of war and against humanity.
Willfully targeting noncombatant men, women and children. Ethnic cleansing. Mass destruction.
Land theft. Settlement construction. Home bulldozings. Targeted assassinations. Political imprisonments. Torture. Including against women and young children.
Rape and other forms of sexual abuse. Resource theft. Apartheid. Racist discrimination. Violating virtually all humanitarian and human rights laws.
Other international laws. Its own laws. Its High Court rulings. Contempt for Islam, Arab rights, culture and heritage.
Abhorring peace and stability. Prioritizing militarism, belligerence and wars of aggression.
Institutionalized state terror. Collective punishment. Blaming Palestinians for its own crimes.
Calling them self-defense. Calling legitimate Palestinian self-defense "terrorism."
Unaccountability for virtually every crime imaginable and then some. Operation Protective Edge (OPE) is Exhibit A.
Destroying entire residential neighborhoods. Civilian infrastructure.
Attacking hospitals, UN refuges and other nonmilitary targets.
Murdering entire families. Inflicting horrific Palestinian suffering. Inventing myths to justify lawlessness. Ruthlessness.
Turning large parts of Gaza into rubble. Maintaining blockade conditions. After pledging to end them.
UN authorities agreeing to be Israel's enforcer. Under the guise of reconstruction. Yet to begin. Israel controlling the entire process.
Profiting from naked aggression. More on this below. October's so-called donor conference raised $5.4 billion. Pledged to help rebuild Gaza.
Half or more of pledged amounts diverted to Ramallah. For unspecified PA budget purposes.
Providing enforcer services for Israel. Brutalizing Palestinians. Betraying them.
Letting Israel control Gaza reconstruction. Controlling what enters and leaves Gaza. Palestinians have no say. Over virtually everything affecting their lives and welfare.
Suffocating 1.8 people. Preventing economic development. The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) saying in October:
"Donor money pledges are no substitute for holding Israel accountable for its grave violations of international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, and achieving justice for the Palestinian victims."
"Israel's blockade and repeated military assaults against the occupied Gaza Strip are part and parcel of systematic Israeli efforts to permanently separate the tiny Gaza Strip from the West Bank and 'get rid' of its large Palestinian population, most of them refugees of the 1948 Nakba with unresolved rights and claims in Israel."
BNC blasted UN and ICRC authorities. For operating "within the confines of Israel's policy of separation and collective punishment."
Letting Israel remain unaccountable for genocidal high crimes against peace. Abandoning Gaza. Its middle class wiped out. Living conditions intolerable before OPE.
Unemployment over 50%. Poverty and deprivation extreme.
Oxfam's warning goes unheeded. Saying pledged funds "will languish in bank accounts for decades before they reach people, unless long-standing Israeli restrictions on imports are lifted."
"(U)nder current restrictions and rate of imports, it could take more than 50 years to" rebuild what Israel destroyed.
Or used for other purposes. Stolen for personal gain. PA corruption is rife. Longstanding.
Palestinians on their own sink or swim. Forgotten by Western nations. Persecuted by Israeli ruthlessness.
UN authorities colluding with Israel to maintain Gaza blockade harshness. Entrench it. Harden it.
Israel having total say over what goes on. Ban Ki-moon its convenient tool. Doing its bidding.
Corrupt PA officials benefitting from collusion. Palestinian victimization continues.
Trapped in the world largest open-air prison. Gaza blockade 2.0. Under dystopian conditions. With no rights whatever. Or hope for normal lives with Israel in charge.
Exploited by neoliberal harshness. Disaster capitalism. Profiting from human misery. Crisis conditions.
Unfettered free market oppression. Heading full-force for Gaza. Perpetuating the worst of post-war occupation harshness.
UN authorities, Western nations, and corrupt PA officials colluding with Israel against long-suffering Gazans. Exploiting them when maximum relief is needed.
The global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) for freedom, justice and equality says: "Don't reward Israel for Gaza massacre."
Studies show half the $5.4 billion pledged will benefit Israel. Various reports show Palestinian economic dependency on Israel.
Over 70% of aid received ends up in Israel's economy. At the expense of its own.
Israeli companies see Gaza's blockade as beneficial to business. Exploiting a captive market. An EU official saying:
"If you want aid materials to be permitted to enter, they will almost inevitably come from Israeli sources."
"I don't think you'll find it written down anywhere in official policy, but when you get to negotiate with the Israelis, this is what happens."
"It increases construction and transaction costs, and is a political problem that has to be dealt with."
Israel's blockade makes it "very difficult to export materials to Gaza. A lot of goods for a Gaza private sector reconstruction project we had ended up being held in Ashdod port for very lengthy periods of time…"
"(M)onths if not years…(S)o there was de facto no alternative but to use Israeli sources."
Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement public affairs director Amir Rotem says "(t)he Israeli market has a monopoly of cement in just one company, and I don't know of any Palestinian-made cement in the West Bank, so there's not much to choose from."
UNCTAD's special Palestinian assistance coordinator Mahmoud el-Khafif added:
"If you look at steel or cement, I think the only source for it would be Israel. It is a serious problem in my opinion as an economist."
"What happened in Gaza and what is happening in the West Bank in terms of controlling Area C is an ongoing process to reduce the ability of the Palestinian economy to produce, and the only alternative is to import from Israel."
An unnamed EU official expressed outrage. Calling it disgraceful "that a country that has just demolished (thousands of homes) is demanding that their construction industry benefit from rebuilding them at the expense of the international community."
"Talk about chutzpah writ large!" Talk about EU complicity with Israeli high crimes. Providing weapons and munitions.
Doing nothing to halt OPE. Refusing to hold Israel accountable for high crimes against peace.
Impose sanctions and other punitive measures. Demand culpable government and military officials be prosecuted.
BDS' Boycott National Committee (BNC) warns about Israeli companies pillaging Palestinian resources. "(S)et to rake in profits providing materials for the reconstruction of Gaza…"
Calling them "corporate criminals." Naming names:
Nesher. An Israeli cement monopoly. Supplying cement for Israel's separation wall. Illegal settlements. Other projects contributing to occupation harshness.
ReadyMix. Operates plants in illegal settlements. Including Ariel and Mishor Edomim industrial zones.
Hanson Israel. Manufacturing ready-made cement and asphalt. Operates four plants in West Bank settlements. Involved in illegal quarrying.
According to BNC, "UN bodies have repeatedly ignored demands from Palestinian civil society to stop rewarding corporations for their war crimes against Palestinians."
Gaza's blockade continues. Despite Israel's pledge to end it. Only small amounts of cement entered Gaza since conflict ended in late August.
Too little to matter. Rebuilding hasn't begun. UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl calls reconstruction so far "largely ineffective."
"(S)hould this continue, we will reach the winter with no progress in rebuilding the homes of the many still displaced, including those still in UNRWA schools," he said.
"The people of Gaza deserve much better and much more than that."
Not forthcoming without sustained popular mass action demanding no less. From Palestinians, Europeans and Americans. Demanding justice their governments oppose.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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