The Guardian has published three videos with statements from Palestinians supporting allegations of Israeli war crimes in the Gaza assault. The Guardian says Israeli soldiers used Palestinian children as human shields for tanks, targeted medics and ambulances, and used drones to fire missiles, sometimes killing whole families. Ilene Cohen writes:
In a report released today, doctors for Human Rights Israel said there was "certainty" that Israel violated international humanitarian law during the three-week war in January, with attacks on medics, damage to medical buildings, indiscriminate attacks on civilians and delays in medical treatment for the injured.
"We have noticed a stark decline in IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] morals concerning the Palestinian population of Gaza, which in reality amounts to a contempt for Palestinian lives," said Dani Filc, chairman of Physicians for Human Rights Israel.
From there, the rest is the fallout of war, wanton killing and destruction in one tiny, densely populated piece of our world. But somehow the Israelis always seem to do their wars and operations with an especial--frightening--zeal. It is not to be expected that Israel, an old hand at committing war crimes and evading accountability, will do anything about this. How could it when clearly nothing here was an "accident"? I was not pleased to see a crawling head on the home page of Haaretz stating that the US has labeled the UN rapporteur for the Occupied Territories (Richard Falk) "biased," echoing the Israeli response to Professor Falk, as well as to all others who dare to call war crimes by their proper name. Perhaps this is not so; unfortunately, however, it may be exactly so.
But even the United States, I think, will not be able to cover for Israel this time (nor should it want to). This is not going away: the evidence is mounting and coming from too many quarters. In the end, we will not need Israel to complete the investigation--or even to start it. And it may be that it has taken the atrocity of Gaza 2008-9 to finally bring an end to this pattern Israeli warmongering against the Palestinian people. That is--if the response from around the world is sharp and unequivocal. I hope that is not wishful thinking
The report from The Guardian includes three videos. I hope you will watch them all. Each also provides the "official" IDF response. Expect the Israelis to mount vicious attacks against those making the allegations. We owe it to the victims, whom we have ignored for far too long, to pay attention this time.
I ask myself: is Gaza the culmination of 2500 years of Jewish history?
Weiss addendum: I echo Cohen's point. Though I wish to say, I believe that Hamas also used human shields for rocket launchings. Per the Guardian: "Human Rights Watch.. said Hamas deployed fighters in civilian homes during the conflict and fired rockets from bases close to civilian areas, both violations of international humanitarian law."