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Sunday, July 27, 2014

How Obama Is A Direct Accomplice To Israeli War Crimes

How Obama Is A Direct Accomplice To Israeli War Crimes

By Shamus Cooke
Antiwar.com
July 27, 2014

To assist in a crime makes one a criminal by any legal standard.

And the biggest crimes of all are war crimes, since they kill en
masse and showcase the cruelest form of human behavior.

The fact that Israel is actively committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip is not open to debate, since a cursory glance at the conflict obviously exposes them in practice.

The two most glaring war crimes Israel is committing – as defined
by the Geneva Convention – are the concepts of “collective
punishment” and “necessity and proportionality.”

Under collective punishment, a warring party cannot respond to an
attack by waging war on the attacker’s community, as is clearly
happening in Gaza.

The clearest proof that collective punishment is being used is that
a 1,000 Gaza homes have been destroyed and the majority of the
casualties are civilians.

Under “necessity and proportionality” a warring party must only
use the amount of force necessary to defeat the opponent;
disproportional force is a crime.

So, for example, if Hamas fires wimpy rockets that kill virtually no
Israelis, then it is “disproportionate” for Israel to rain massive
bombs, missiles, and artillery to reduce large sections of Gaza to
rubble.

Even Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called the Israel
attack a “deliberately disproportionate form of collective
punishment.”

It is also a specific war crime to deliberately attack civilians,
and especially to attack facilities treating the wounded.

But Israel has attacked al-Aqsa hospital in Gaza four times,
according to Reuters.

The latest shelling of al-Aqsa killed 4 and wounded 70.

Even the pro-western Human Rights Watch has denounced Israel
for committing war crimes:

“Israeli air attacks in Gaza investigated by Human Rights Watch
have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians
in violation of the laws of war.”

Obama’s aiding and abetting Israeli war crimes is also closed
to debate, since his administration stands guilty from the very
beginning of the conflict by shielding Israel from international
political pressure, hiding its war crimes by deliberate
misrepresenting what is happening, and giving political space
for the war to continue by not intervening directly.

It was a blatantly laughable lie when Obama said that his
government was “using all means” to achieve a ceasefire
early in the conflict.

The U.S. influence over Israel is tremendous, and Obama could have
ended the conflict in the first hour by simply declaring, “If Israel
does not stop its attack on Gaza, the US will refuse further military
and financial assistance and sever all diplomatic and political ties.”

War over.

Instead of taking this action, or any action for that matter,
Obama sat on the sidelines.

In fact, Obama deliberately waited until the end of the second
week of the war to even send his Secretary of State, John Kerry,
to broker a ceasefire deal.

Of course, Obama could have come himself.

Obama further assisted in Israeli war crimes by repeatedly
justifying Israel’s right to commit them, deceitfully placing
all Israel’s actions under the big umbrella of “self-defense.”

Again, war crimes are war crimes, and were purposefully
created to trump any excuse of self-defense.

After ten days of a brutal bombing campaign an Israeli ground
invasion was announced, which everyone knew would intensify
the bloodshed.

This would have been a key moment for the US government
to finally intervene.

But instead, as ABC News reports:

“President Barack Obama said Friday that he encouraged Israel’s
leader to minimize civilian deaths in its ground push into Hamas-
ruled Gaza, while letting him know that the US supports Israel’s
right to self defense.”

A statement like this can be interpreted to mean only one thing:
a green light to continue the massacre.

When John Kerry was finally sent to the Middle East to broker a
peace deal, he was still making excuses for Israeli’s war crimes.

USA Today reports:

“Kerry also blamed the latest wave of violence on what he called
Israel’s “legitimate” efforts to pursue and punish those who last
month kidnapped and killed three Israeli teenagers whose bodies
were found in the West Bank.”

Again, bombing a whole city because three Israeli teens were
killed is disproportional collective punishment – war crimes.

There is also no evidence that Hamas is responsible for the death
of three Israeli teens, which it has denied since day one.

The colossally disproportionate aspect of the war has been
continually smoothed over by the Obama administration, which
consistently lumps Palestinian and Israeli civilian deaths evenly
together, as if they were happening with equal frequency.

But in reality the 550 Palestinians that have been killed and 3,500
wounded are mostly civilians, while the few dozen Israeli’s who’ve
died have been mostly soldiers.

How dangerous are the Hamas rockets that the Obama
administration endlessly talks about? CBS news recently
reported:

“Hamas also fired 50 more rockets at Israel, including
two at Tel Aviv, causing no injuries or damage.”

This has been the story of the conflict which Obama has justified
the complete destruction of the Gaza Strip by continually saying
“no nation should accept rockets being fired into its borders.”

Obama’s muted language about Israel’s aggression can be compared
to the recently shot down Malaysian jet, for which Obama
summoned his “outrage” while instantly blaming the pro-Russian
Ukrainians, though without a shred of evidence.

Most of the world believes Israel’s actions are outrageous, an
opinion not allowed to be expressed at the United Nations, thanks
again to the Obama administration, which used its clout to sterilize
Israel’s actions by limiting the UN’s statement on the conflict.

Specifically, the Obama administration used its influence over the
UN Security Council to limit its statement to “serious concern”
about civilian casualties on “both sides” of the conflict, thus white
washing the nature of events and providing the aggressor with
invaluable political breathing space.

The Obama administration has also assisted Israeli War Crimes
by continually blaming Hamas for not agreeing to the Egyptian
brokered ceasefire agreement.

Hamas is the elected government of the Gaza Strip, and thus
has a right to not agree to a ceasefire agreement.

But of course Hamas’ not agreeing to the Egyptian agreement
does not justify a continual Israeli blitzkrieg of the Gaza Strip,
though the Obama administration’s logic implies exactly this.

Lastly, the Obama administration has consistently lied about
the origins of this bloodbath.

The three dead Israeli teens were not the cause of this conflict, but
the pretext, which the Israeli government consciously exploited to
promote war among the Israeli population.

The real cause of the war was the recent alliance between the
Palestinian Authority – which governs the West Bank – and Hamas,
which governs the Gaza Strip.

This alliance gave the Palestinians their strongest hand in
bargaining with Israel in perhaps decades, which was enough
to spark a new round of massacres from the Israeli government
in an effort to re-balance the bargaining table.

This ongoing bloody dynamic continues in large part because
the US government allows it.

The vast majority of people across the world are denouncing
Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinians, and so too must US
citizens denounce their government’s criminal actions in assisting
Israeli war crimes.



Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer
for Workers Action.

http://antiwar.com/blog/2014/07/22/how-obama-is-a-direct-
accomplice-to-israeliwarcrimes

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