May 15, 2007

Israel makes the Red Cross cross

International Herald Tribune:
JERUSALEM: The International Committee of the Red Cross, in a confidential report about Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem and surrounding areas, accuses Israel of a "general disregard" for "its obligations under international humanitarian law - and the law of occupation in particular." The committee says that Israel is using its rights as an occupying power under international law "in order to further its own interests or those of its own population to the detriment of the population of the occupied territory," which it says is "foreign to the letter and spirit of occupation law."

Israeli policies in East Jerusalem, the committee says, are "reshaping the development of the Jerusalem metropolitan area" with "far-reaching humanitarian consequences," including the isolation of Palestinians living in Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, problems of access to basic services and a "condition of artificial illegality" in which thousands of Palestinians live in Jerusalem without the ability to get permanent residency.

With the construction of the separation barrier, the establishment of an outer ring of Jewish settlements beyond the expanded municipal boundaries and the creation of a dense road network linking the different Israeli neighborhoods and settlements in and outside Jerusalem, the report concludes, Israel is consolidating "a Greater Jerusalem Envelope" that fragments Palestinian communities and severs East Jerusalem from the West Bank.

The committee recognizes that the separation barrier "was undertaken with an undeniable security aim," but adds, "The route of the West Bank barrier is also following a demographic logic, enclosing the settlement blocs around the city while excluding built-up Palestinian areas (thus creating isolated Palestinian enclaves)."
Now look at Israel's response:
Miri Eisin, spokeswoman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said that Israel respects the work of international organizations like the committee. "Our problem is that the premise they consistently present has no Israeli perspective in it, as if it's all just some legal issue. That is not balanced."
It often troubles me when zionists offer legalistic sounding justifications for their racist war criminality but what kind of state complains that legal principles are being invoked against it? Why, an illegitimate state of course. And what's this nonsense about the ICRC's lack of balance. The report says (let's see it again) "the separation barrier was undertaken with an undeniable security aim." The wall seems to be far more about land grabbing and ethnic cleansing than about security. Zionists yabber on about a fall in attacks but they fail to take into account Palestinian ceasefires and Israeli army successes. I don't mean the routine deliberate targeting and killing of children. Obviously that's a success in zionist terms. They actually sometimes capture or kill real live (or used to be live) armed people. So to say the wall has "an undeniable security aim" is beyond balanced. It's pandering to those war criminals at the same time as timidly hinting at what Israel is really seeking to achieve:
The essence of these reports is a concern, as the Europeans said, that Israel is creating facts on the ground in and around Jerusalem that mean "prospects for a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine are receding."
So Israel is seeking what it already has: a one state solution. That wouldn't be such a problem if the one state wasn't a state for the world's Jews. But it is and so it can only be a racist state, uniquely favouring, through its laws, people who don't come from there over the native population.


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