On the second anniversary of Cast Lead
This week marks the second anniversary of among the most savage criminal slaughters of human life in long memory. The 522-hour indiscriminate carnage, “Cast Lead” that killed 1,417 Palestinians, mostly civilians, 352 of them children, injuring for life more than 5,300, indicts Israel as well as those countries that continue to supply it weapons, diplomatic cover and to enforce Israel’s illegal siege on sealed Gaza.
The US administration, as revealed in a State Department cable posted by Wikileaks, has been working overtime with Israel to parry further condemnation of Israeli crimes documented in the Richard Goldstone and Richard Falk Reports, among others. These investigations established massive violations of human rights and international law, war crimes, and possible crimes against humanity while refuting claims by Israel that it acted according to the limited international right of self-defense.
As Professor Falk instructs us, Israeli actions in both cases “are certainly acts of aggression under the UN Charter, and an act of war by reference to customary international law.”
Rather than hold Israel to the “single universal human rights standard that applies to every country”, as Hilary Clinton crowed on Human Rights Day during an appearance before the Brookings Institute, the Obama administration claims others have ‘rushed to judgment’.
And it has refused to condemn Israel’s May 31, 2010 murder of an American citizen on the Mavi Marmara humanitarian aid boat, 19 year old Furkan Dogan.
As the Israel lobby and the Jerusalem Post have been claiming recently, and even as Israel’s most ardent apologists struggle to justify its actions and Israel’s position becomes increasingly untenable, nearly five dozen senators and over 180 members of the House of Representatives have by now issued statements since Cast Lead and the attack on the humanitarian aid boat the Mavi Marmara. Almost all of them overwhelmingly supportive of Israel while ignoring well established international law.
Currently, there is only a faint hint that Members of Congress, 83% of whom rely on Israeli lobby or arms industry political action committee money to keep their seats and sinecures, have the gumption to advocate a U.S. policy, consistent with American notions of substantial justice or which upholds Palestinian rights as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
[Excerpt of article by Franklin Lamb, Director, Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace]