Please Note before reading this report.... President Bush Supports this country with billions of dollars every year. If you doubt the authenticity of this report you can visit the amnesty international web site (the worlds largest and most respected human rights organization) and find this press release which is labeled "05/10/2004 Israel/Occupied Territories: Excessive use of force"...Go to Amnestys site and click on the library tab, then select "Israel" from the country drop down list and you will find the link above listed on the page.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
AI Index: MDE 15/095/2004 (Public) News Service No: 247 5 October 2004
Israel/Occupied Territories: Excessive use of force Amnesty International is concerned about the deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation as a result of the Israeli army incursion in the Jabaliya refugee camp and surrounding areas in the northern Gaza Strip (including sectors in the nearby towns of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya).
In the past week (since the evening of Tuesday 28 September) more than 70 Palestinians have been killed, more than a third of whom were unarmed and including some 20 children. Hundreds of others have been injured.
The Israeli army has repeatedly used excessive force, including heavy shelling from tanks and helicopter gunships. Experience has shown that the use of such weapons and the manner in which they have been deployed by the army in densely populated residential areas (the Jabaliya refugee camp is one of the most densely populated places in the world, with more than 100,000 Palestinians living in less than two square kilometres), invariably results in a high rate of death and injury of bystanders and people who are not involved in armed confrontation. These tactics betray a lack of respect for fundamental human rights principles, including the right to life.
In certain areas the Israeli army has also unlawfully destroyed or damaged homes, schools, water and electricity networks, roads, and other crucial infrastructure. Israeli forces have hindered access to medical services -- not only for those injured in the military operation but also those who need medical care for other reasons, including women who need to give birth. When able to reach those in need (they often cannot reach those in need of medical treatment) ambulances have on several occasions come under Israeli army fire.
Strict closures have also been imposed throughout the Gaza Strip in the past week, cutting the Gaza Strip into four isolated sections, paralyzing all aspects of life, with people unable to reach their workplace and students unable to reach the universities. In addition schools in the area besieged by the Israeli army in the northern Gaza Strip are closed. Thousands of people living in the besieged areas are also experiencing shortages of food and other essential goods.
Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authority to:
· put an immediate end to the use of excessive lethal force · put an immediate end to unlawful destruction and damage of Palestinian homes and properties, roads and other infrastructure. · allow immediate access to medical care and other essential services for the Palestinian population in the affected areas. · respect the right to freedom of movement for the Palestinian population elsewhere in the Gaza Strip.
Amnesty International also calls on Palestinian armed groups not to initiate attacks and armed confrontation with Israeli troops from amongst residential areas, as this puts the local residents at risk of return fire and retaliation from the Israeli army, and reiterates its call on Palestinian armed groups to put an end to attacks directed against Israeli civilians in Israel or in the Occupied Territories.
(Notice how Amnesty International (which is the worlds largest and most respected human rights investigation group) deliberately refuses to condemn Palestinians from attacking Israeli military or government targets because they are fully aware of the true situation the Palestinians are in).
That's it Mr Bush...Turn your blind eye again (50 years in a row now)...tell the Israeli's they are being a bit too naughty and pay the Palestinian state idea a bit of lip service and sit on the fence...and people wont notice you are actually supporting an oppressive state.
Is it any wonder why America is being targeted by terrorists when America gives around 50% $Billions of its annual foreign aid to this country that has one of the worst human rights records on the planet.
Fact!...The real reason America supports Israel is because the Evangelical Christian Movements belief is that Israels existence is clearing the way for the second coming of Jesus in the holy land.. Politicians want their votes because they are a huge percentage of voters in America, and upsetting this group would mean risking loosing the presidency....it all comes down to supporting whoever wins you the election and nothing what so ever to do with supporting human rights and justice in the world..
To the passerby it seems as though the Palestine/Israel conflict is a conflict of two sides.......at least that's the way the media often portrays it. This is true to some extent....you can always find war criminals on both sides of any world conflict.....I myself have in the past lived and worked in many parts of the west bank, Palestine, and Israel for a number of years and felt compelled to write this article for the benefit of all those concerned.
The reason i am posting this letter is that i hope somebody of influence reading it will take my suggestion and act on it.
There is no doubt that when watching the news on the conflict most viewers are left with the impression "It's a war of two sides"......and this is the problem......giving the general public a TRUE picture of what is happening is impossible due to both sides continually playing the blame game in the media refusing to see the sufferings of the other side.....result:...people are left with the impression, "I guess they are probably as bad as each other"...This statement is not completely untrue....nobody can justify the murder of Israeli children by the use of a suicide bomber nor can Israel justify the state murder of hundreds of Palestinian children each year and call it self defense against terrorism. Like I said before, there are always war crimes on both sides of every conflict. But what stands out the most about this conflict is the disturbingly unbalanced body count figures published annually by the UN. Year after year the Israeli military is killing 4 times more people than casualtys caused by Palestinian violence.
Instead of Palestinian organizations putting up posters and flyers stating "apartied - bring down the wall etc"......why not focus PR campaigns to include the most UNARGUABLE FACTS!.....This and only this will turn heads and change public opinion for the better...forget the injustices and sentiment for a minute and focus on what will win the hearts and minds of the masses...UNARGUABLE FACTS that relate to the values of all people.
I am not up to date with the latest body count figures but i am informed that UN recent figures state a ratio of aprox 3-5 dead Palestinians to every Israeli, and year after year this ratio continues.
When you consider that Israel is as well armed technologically as the Americans, and that the Palestinians are....well lets just say....slingshots made out of coca cola cans and the odd AK47 and home made mortar don't do too much damage to a squadron of apache helicopter gunships supplied by America.
With the above in mind, a rational person will tell you that if two Unequally armed armies clash in a battle: The WORST CASE SENARIO is that the most well armed side will suffer equal losses to that which it inflicts....In such a scenario, at best a case of "SELF DEFENCE" and "Minimum Force Necessary" might be claimed...but this scenario is very rare and unlikely in warfare and only comes about when the dominant army makes a serious strategic error.
If you found an adult dressed in armour holding high tech weapons standing in a room with four dead children with pea shooters laying at his feet and he told you he was forced to defend himself...would you accept this?
When Israel is killing Palestinians at a ratio of approximately for times as many and they are far better armed how can they seriously claim self defense against terrorism???.....I was always taught that in order to take the moral high ground and claim self defense you must use the "Minimum Force Necessary"..Do these figures speak "Minimum Force Necessary"???
In the civilized world, when a government is faced with a hostile force the police are called in to form a barricade, if this proves insufficient to keep the peace water cannons are used, then onto tear gas, and if this still is not enough to control rioters the police may use rubber bullets to disable there targets. In the extreme case police may resort to live bullets and shoot at the legs...and in the extremely rare case when this may fail to stop the most determined opponent...shoot to kill if life is directly threatened. (This is the definition of "Minimum force Necessary"
In Israel when a Palestinian attack takes place, the Israeli Policy is to punish all Palestinians instead of targeting the few responsible. All Palestinian towns and villages are put under curfew and soldiers are given orders to shoot anybody seen walking the streets. The familys of those responsible for attacks will have their homes bulldozed as a deterent. As well as this the Israeli military orders strikes with casualty figures in excess of those received and in turn the Palestinians return a strike and the cycle of violence continues with both sides making statements like "our attack was in response to their attack". Which side is acting in self defence to an attack received depends on your perspective.
In one recent year there were around 400 Israelis killed by Palestinian militants. This is indeed a tragedy, however it is dwarfed by the fact that an equal number of Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the same period all of whom were children under the age of ten. (categorized as terrorists by Isreal) and guilty of nothing more than throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.
I'm not sure how to put the above argument all in one nicely designed poster and flyer, but if you can I think it would have a real impact, my proposal is this:
1. State UNARGUABLE unbiased reputable source figures (like the UN),
2. State a worst case scenario argument. 3. Close with the question: "Are these the figures of a country in self defense against terrorism or is this genocide?"
The above ingrediance address the issues in a simplistic easy to understand way for those with no background knowledge of the conflict and also leaves little room for a counter argument response from pro Israel groups. The truth always hurts the most.
Stating Logic & Truth, and backing it up with UN Statistics is the way to turn heads.....post it up in every tube station and rail station north to south, and give out thousands of flyers with this argument in print ....i believe it will not fail to win the hearts and minds of the masses.
I am not in contact with any pro Palestinian organizations but would much appreciate it if readers can forward this idea to every campaign office they know and also to the appropriate local and national government office and any media/magazine/newsgroup address you can get your hands on....i would love to see it posted from north to south.
To any Americans reading this article, you should be aware that your government supports the state of Israel with billions of dollars of aid each year ( approximately 50% of your foreign aid budget diverted from people truly in need) because it is claimed "Israel is the only democracy in the middle east", Israel is a democracy only by name but far away from it in nature, the figures speak the truth. Please write a letter to your senator and president asking him if these are the figures of a democratic government in the Middle East, and hopefully with a change in America's policy towards the middle east we can start to see a reduction in the feelings of resentment towards America in the muslim world.
When the world trade center was targeted on September 11th, America was told the reason for it was that "These terrorists are fighting against freedom itself", Ask yourself this.....If you were to interview any of the Sept 11th bombers do you really believe they would tell you they hate freedom?, is there anybody in the world who will tell you they hate freedom?....No is the simple answer.....Or is it more likely that these people or members of there family have in someway been victims of Americas middle east policy's which have filled them with misguided resentment and hate towards all Americans?...........Your government would prefer you to think that these people just wake up in the morning and feel like killing civilians for no reason other than they hate people being free.
In my travels across the middle east prior to Sept 11th , I had the opportunity to ask many muslims why they are so angry towards America, the response was always the same again and again.....ISRAEL IS OPPRESSING OUR FELLOW MUSLIMS!..and America is supporting their human rights abuses with financial and military support........
For Fifty years now the United Nations has declared that Israel has stolen and is illegally occupying the Palestinians land and that Jerusalem is an illegally occupied city and the vast majority of countries around the world support this view and call for Israel to withdraw itself from Palestinian land year after year (accept America). The American government has been ignoring this international ruling by the UN for 50 years in a row despite the fact that the largest human rights organization in the world Amnesty international condemns Israel every year as having one of the worst human rights records on the planet. America turns a blind eye again, fifty years in a row now......
After the Sept 11th terrorist attack the American government chose to solve this age old dispute by launching bombs, and in the process has killed dozens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers who were simply obeying orders to defend there country, as would any American. And today the body count has reached over 1000 American soldiers killed and rising fast, just under 6000 injured, and of course you have at least another ten thousand dead Iraqi civilians to date and that's after the major assault on Iraq had ended.
When confronted by any problem, there are always two ways to solve it..The intelligent way or the primitive impulsive monkey way
1) With brute force and aggression (launch operation shock and ore on Iraq and Afghanistan)...forgetting the philosophy that every action has a reaction and sending the message America is not taking any responsibility for its middle east policys of support for Israel and infuriating the muslim world even more and setting America up for even more future Sept 11th bombings and helping terrorist organizations to recruit many more fighters. 2) Or the intelligent way, which is to look at the root cause of why your attacker is angry and if necessary defuse the problem from its source as well as stopping the cycle of violence.
Sadly George Bush chose the impulsive way. And has only made American citizens even more vulnerable. How many people do you think there are at this very moment plotting to strike American soil because of the attack on Iraq?, The answer is plenty more than there were before Sept 11th, some will be stopped, but as in the case of Israels lesson. It's impossible to stop them all. Especially when the bombers are prepared to die to reach their targets.
If America is a truly democratic country, then it should respect the views of the UN and the vast majority of the world in regard to Israel....The world has voted in regard to Israel, Its time to listen to the result.
IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN TERRORISM IN THE USA AND PALESTINE???
READ THE BIN LADEN QUOTES BELOW TAKEN FROM AL QAEDAS LATEST VIDEO TAPE RELEASE SEEN ON CNN AND BBC NEWS (OCTOBER 2004) AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF:
"I tell you that security is a major pillar of human life. Free men do not renounce their security, irrespective of (US President George W) Bush's claims that we hate freedom"
"I swear we never thought of attacking the towers, but when we saw the injustice and arbitrariness of the US-Israeli alliance against our brethren in Palestine and Lebanon, it became too much and the idea came to me."
"The events that affected me directly go back to 1982 ... when America gave the Israelis the green light to invade Lebanon, with the backing of the US Sixth Fleet. It is difficult to describe what I felt in these painful moments, but it created an overwhelming feeling of refusal of injustice and a compelling determination to punish the unjust. As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me that the unjust should suffer the same, that the towers in America must be destroyed so that America gets a taste of what we went through, so that it will stop killing our children and women"
Your security is not in the hands of (Democratic presidential candidate) John Kerry, Bush or Al-Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands. Any (presidential) mandate which does not play havoc with our security would automatically ensure its own security."
PLEASE NOTE: I in no way condone the actions of September the 11th or Palestinian attacks on civilians.....this article was written to point out the huge imbalance of acts of violence and Americas miss guided middle east policy and the consequences it has brought on the world.
A FINAL NOTE:......The Israeli position in regards to peace is "surrender to our will and occupation or its war" Israel believes that the Jews have a religious right to take over Palestinian land because the Jews occupied this piece of land some 2000 years ago. If the world were to operate around these rules the British would have a right to invade and take back America because the British used to occupy America only a few hundred years ago...and of course would punish any American terrorists who have a problem with that. The Israeli government say they are all for peace negotiations and are prepared to talk about withdrawal from Palestinian land. At the same time, the government is spending millions building new Israeli housing settlements on Palestinian land.....If Israel has the intention to withdraw...would they still be spending millions on new building developments only to have to abandon them later???....I think this is what George Bush would call a "no brainer". Israel Has built these settlements because they can use this as a bargaining chip in negotiating a settlement...... saying it is not reasonable to ask so many Israelis to leave their new homes. Plain and simply it is an illegal land grab and has been ruled illegal internationally.
The Palestinian position is the request that the UN resolutions that have already been voted for by the international community are upheld and the Israeli government be forced by UN sanctions to withdraw their troops back into their own borders and land given to them by the UN (Is this not a peaceful and reasonable request when all Palestinians are asking for is that international law and voting be upheld?) .......Once again like with the Iraq war the American government has ignored these UN rulings and only follows the rules of the UN when they feel like it....A very dangerous example to set for the international community. Why should other countries obey the UN when those with great power don't?
If you have mass mailing software please put it to good use and mass mail the Christian evangelical movement, pro Palestine campaign groups, government lobbying groups, and media. I give my full permission for this article to be published and distributed free of charge for both profit or campaigning reasons.