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July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘genocide’

The West’s New Syrian War

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

One day people will ask how the United States and several European countries became involved in mass killings, genocide, corruption, arms smuggling, and the creation of another anti-Western and regionally destabilizing government. Even if a single Western soldier is never sent, the West is on the verge of serious intervention in Syria. The choices are unpalatable and decisions are very tough to make but it appears to be still another in a long history of Western leaps in the dark, not based on a real consideration of the consequences.

At least people should be more aware of the dangers. As I entitled a previous book on Iran (Paved with Good Intentions), the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. People are dying and suffering in Syria. That’s true. But will this make more people or fewer people die and suffer?

So now we are seeing the trial balloons rise. As the Bashar al-Assad regime proves to be holding on—but not recapturing the country or winning the war—the West is panicked into sending aid to the rebels.  In fact, the government is merely holding the northwest area (where the ruling Alawite group lives), the region along the Lebanese border (with Hizbollah’s help), Damascus (where the best troops are based and there is a favorable strategic situation in the army holding the high ground), and part of Aleppo. It seems that U.S. decision makers are panicking over these relatively small gains. If the Syrian army plus Hizbollah tries to advance too far it will stretch its resources then and face a successful rebel counteroffensive.

Understandably, the opposition is demanding arms. If the opposition did not consist mostly of al-Qaida, the Salafists, and the Muslim Brotherhood, that would be a good idea perhaps. But since the opposition is overwhelmingly radical—even the official “moderate” opposition politicians are mostly Muslim Brotherhood—this is a tragedy in which the West does not have a great incentive to say “yes.”

President Barack Obama is said to be close to sending weapons to carefully chosen rebel units who are moderates. Now, pay close attention here. The Western options for giving assistance are:

The Syrian Islamic Liberation Front. This is Muslim Brotherhood type people including, most importantly, the Farouk Brigades from the Homs area and Aleppo’s Tawhid Brigade. Around 50-60,000 fighters in total who are autonomous.

Do you want to give arms to them? Weapons that might soon end up in the hands of (other) terrorists? Weapons to be turned against not only Israel, but Jordan, Saudi Arabia, U.S. diplomats, and who knows who else?

Or perhaps you like the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF), an alliance of more hardline Islamist forces, including Ahrar al-Sham from the north.  Ahrar al-Sham is probably around 15,000 fighters. The SIF as a whole probably around 25,000.   These people are Salafists meaning that the Brotherhood is too moderate for them. They are the kind of people who attack churches in Egypt, who want to wage jihad alongside Hamas, and so on.

Do you want to arm them so they can establish another Sharia state?

How about Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda franchise with around 6,000 fighters and reportedly the fastest growing militia.

Want to give guns to those who committed the September 11, 2001, attacks and the Benghazi attack? Of course not! You want the Free Syrian Army (FSA), headed by the untested General Salim Idris, who Senator John McCain met with. Now those are moderates who, after all, are just led by former officers in the repressive, historically anti-American Syrian army. And the FSA is just not a serious factor in military terms.

The West will say it supports the FSA; the FSA will be pushed aside by an Islamist regime if it wins, its Western-supplied weapons seized even during the course of the war. Moderates–even if we define radical Arab nationalists as moderates–don’t have the troops on the ground. It’s too late to organize and train a moderate force now. That should have been done two years ago.

On the political level, U.S. pressure failed to force the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated exile leadership to add the real political moderates! Even as financial aid is being (temporarily?) withheld the “official” opposition won’t expand its base. How about withholding all money and aid until they yield or choosing a new official leadership?  If the United States can’t stop–or doesn’t want to–the Brotherhood from dominating an exile leadership how is it ever going to do after a victory in the civil war?

Genocides All Over the Place

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Last night I received the following press release from my new Secretary of State, John Kerry, which caused me an initial double take:

Commemoration of 19th Anniversary of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda

The United States stands in solidarity with the Rwandan people as together we remember and honor the victims of those tragic 100 days 19 years ago. We mourn with you not only for the lives lost, but for the families torn apart, and for the survivors of the genocide who continue to live with their grief to this day. At the same time, we admire the resilience and spirit of the Rwandan people who have made such progress in overcoming this tragedy.

We look with you to the future and pay tribute to the gracious and determined character of the Rwandan people.

Is it possible? I asked myself. Two memorials for national genocides on the same day? Are we so packed with genocidal events on this miserable blue ball that we now have to observe them two at a time?

I checked the Rwanda.net website, and came back with the following information:

April 7th is the beginning of the Genocide Memorial Week. It is a time to remember the atrocities committed against our fellow man while the world sat back and watched. If you are not familiar with the genocide in Rwanda, I would recommend reading about it. There are many books that shed light on this terrible event in our history. Below is a summary from the government about why they have time each year to remember such a horrific event. Remember, it happened before, it happened in 1994, and it can happen again. The only way to prevent events in the future is to learn from the past. I know there is a lot below, so if you don’t read all of it, PLEASE at least read what I think are the important parts highlighted.

April 7th is Rwanda’s National Mourning Day for the Genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda. It is observed:

– To remember what happened during the Genocide

– To sympathize with, and provide support to, Genocide survivors as they go through tough moments of remembering atrocities

– To restore the dignity of our beloved ones who were killed, by burying them properly, remembering the good things about them and giving tribute to those who struggled to save lives during that period.

– To reflect on the crime of Genocide, and other related crimes against humanity, and to resolve to “Never Again” allow Genocide to occur.

– To observe a minute of silence at 12 noon on April 7th.

Now, to be fair, the reason we observed the Jewish Holocaust memorial day on April 7th at night is because this year this is when the 27th of Nissan fell, and next year it’ll be observed on Sunday, April 27. So the day actually belongs permanently to the Rwandan people, and we’re only using it this year.

Next year, we’ll be competing for memorial turf with the commemoration of the institution of Apartheid in South Africa — the passing of the “Group Areas Act,” which formally segregated the races, on April 7, 1950.

Also, in 1813, American troops captured Toronto. But, I suppose, whether this was a sad or a joyous event would depend on your current location vis-à-vis the border.

Iran’s Unhidden Plan for Genocide: A Legal Right to Prevent Genocide? (Second of Three Parts)

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Originally published under the title “Iran’s Unhidden Plan for Genocide: A Legal Assessment (Second of Three Parts).” 

On June 7, 1981, Israel launched Operation Opera against Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor outside Baghdad. Officially, this preemptive attack on Osiraq – which ultimately saved a great many American and other lives ten years later, during the first Gulf War, was an expression of anticipatory self-defense. Interestingly, however, because Iraq had always considered itself to be formally at war with Israel, the Jewish state could just as easily and correctly have regarded this essential act of preemptive self-defense as something else.

Back in 1981, taking an alternative legal position, Prime Minister Menachem Begin could have justified Operation Opera as a permissible tactical action in the wider context of a longstanding and ongoing belligerency. Had he done so, Israel could then have pointed out that both of the pertinent legal obligations applying here had also been fully satisfied. These are the always twin obligations of “just cause” (facing an existential threat), and “just means” (minimizing collateral harms). To be acceptable, any act of anticipatory self-defense would have to fulfill classic law of war expectations that the means used to injure an enemy are not unlimited.

Jurisprudentially, it is significant that Begin chose, explicitly, to link Operation Opera to preventing, in his words, “another Holocaust.” Historically, of course, the rationale of including anticipatory self-defense under customary international law had been the prevention of aggression, not genocide. Logically, it was not until 1951, when the Genocide Convention first entered into force, that the legal question of defensive first strikes to forestall such crimes against humanity could even have been raised.

After the Holocaust, and subsequent Nuremberg Trials, it became plain that the prerogatives of sovereignty in world law could no longer remain absolute, and that the once-legitimate cover of “domestic jurisdiction” would now have to exclude certain crimes against human rights. With this very fundamental transformation, individual human life was to be held sacred everywhere, and individual states were no longer automatically precluded from entering into the “territorial sphere of validity” of other states. On the contrary, from then on the traditional norm of “non-intervention” would need to yield to indisputably compelling judgments of “international concern.”

It was now the reasonable expectation that all states, either individually or collectively, would acknowledge a distinct and overriding legal obligation to prevent Nuremberg-category crimes (after 1951, crimes of genocide) in other states, even to the extent of undertaking active intervention within those sovereign states.

This critical obligation was strongly reinforced at Articles 55 and 56 of the United Nations Charter, a core document that has the formal status of a multilateral treaty. Today we speak of all such permissible interventions as “humanitarian.” Sometimes diplomats and scholars prefer the closely related term “The Responsibility to Protect.”

Whichever term is preferred, the international legal order now accepts and expects that all states will feel co-responsible for each other, including the prevention of genocide and certain corollary crimes against humanity. Examples of this collaborative expectation, a concept that makes incontestably good sense in our still-anarchic system of world law – a system that first came into being in 1648, when the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years’ War and that has yet to be replaced with genuinely effective supra-national legal institutions – can be found in at least four prominent post-Holocaust cases:

(1) the Tanzania-led invasion of Uganda in 1979, which put an end to Idi Amin’s almost decade-long genocide against the Acholi and Langi tribes;

(2) the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in 1979, which put an end to the Khmer Rouge mass murder of almost 2,000,000 people, a genocide that had targeted several diverse populations along many different ethnic, cultural, and tribal lines;

(3) the 1971 genocide against Bengali people, the “Bangladesh Genocide,” which covered an area then originally known as “East Pakistan,” and that was finally stopped by massive Indian military intervention; and

(4) the 1994 invasion of Rwanda by Tutsi rebels who had been “hosted” in neighboring Burundi, and also in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This genocide, perpetrated largely by Hutu extremists (the interahamwe) produced almost 1,000,000 deaths in ninety-days, making it the “fastest” genocidal mass murder in human history. It is also infamously noteworthy because the European powers, the United States, and the United Nations had all abandoned every shred of responsibility for humanitarian intervention or the responsibility to protect.

Iran Charges Israel with ‘Genocide’ at IAEA Meeting

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

U.S., Canadian and Australian officials stalked out of a meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog when the Iranian envoy accused Israel of genocide on Wednesday.

Joseph Macmanus, the U.S. ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, stormed out of the meeting in Vienna on Wednesday after Ali Asghar Soltaneh made the accusation, Reuters reported, as did Canadian and Australian officials.

Macmanus earlier had accused Iran of “deception, defiance and delay” in its dealing with the agency.

The meeting Wednesday comes weeks ahead of a renewed effort at talks in Istanbul by major powers, led by the United States, to negotiate terms with Iran to make more transparent its nuclear program.

Western powers and Israel believe Iran is close to being able to manufacture a nuclear weapon. Iran denies this, and Soltaneh repeated these denials on Wednesday, calling the accusations “baseless.”

The UN Plan For ‘Palestine’: Terror Without End

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Editor’s note: This article appeared in print under the title, “The U.N. Plan For ‘Palestine’ and its Aftermath (Fourth of Four Parts).” Find part one here, part two here, and part three here.

“NAIL IN BRAIN; nail in heart.” For a time, such graphic labels attached to X-Rays in Israeli hospitals had become routine. Several years ago, a victim of Palestinian suicide terror arrived at Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva with nearly fifteen nails and metal fragments embedded in his body. One of the “merely wounded,” this thirty-one year old man had multiple shrapnel penetrations along the left-side of his body and second and first-degree burns on the left side of his face and chest, on his hands, and on his left leg. His injuries required five types of surgery. After regaining consciousness, he was weaned from a ventilator and now – in 2013 – still faces additional years of painful rehabilitation.

What kind of people fighting for “national self-determination” inflicts such harms on defenseless noncombatant populations, and then cheers the most awful casualties in gleeful ceremonies conducted with their own young children? What kind of an America or U.N. General Assembly could ever accept such harms as understandable, or even permissible? Is there any reasonable way in which any civilized international community could justifiably equate the search for self-determination of such a people with the victims of the Holocaust?

Palestinian terror seeks national self-determination but shouts endlessly to the world that even after statehood violence will continue against “The Jews.” Significantly, every map of every Palestinian group features a new Arab state (the 23rd) that incorporates all of Israel. Therefore, not only Hamas but also “moderate” Fatah has already exterminated Israel cartographically.

Terrorism has brought suffering throughout the world, but Palestinian terrorism in particular will remain fiendishly unique even where it is manifestly counterproductive. Given the opportunity, it is probable that, ultimately, Palestinian terror groups will seek to exploit the particular horrors that still lie latent in weaponized pathogens and/or fissile materials. Earlier, in Latin America, groups such as MRTAand Sendero Luminoso (“Shining Path”) had resorted to extensive bloodshed in a more or less class-based fight for social, economic and political equality.

But their violence was plainly instrumental, and limited by specific objectives. Their ultimate goals had nothing to do with genocide. In Peru, moreover, whenever Sendero Luminoso exploded bombs in cars and buses, the citizens themselves uniformly condemned the terror.

If undertaken by Palestinians, who would openly condemn bioterrorism against Israel? Certainly President Obama would, but to what end? The proper position of any American president seeking peace in the Middle East must be to prevent war and terror, not to use American resources after the fact to help bury the dead.

All Palestinian terror groups are relentlessly determined to use violence against noncombatants, even on those occasions where it is plainly unsuitable for political gain. To these organizations, “Palestine” refers to all of Israel proper, as well as to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. As for Palestinian civilian populations, they still regularly applaud even the most heinous forms of anti-Jewish terrorism.

When, years back, two lost Israelis were lynched outside a P.A. “police station” in Ramallah, a mob of literally thousands danced a frenzied bacchanal on top of the mutilated bodies. This is undeniable. We know this because of the heroic film work done that day by an Italian television crew in the area.

What defensible human emotions can move a mob of “ordinary” Palestinians to torture, gouge out the eyes of, beat and then burn two utterly helpless human beings? What, one must inquire, was more incomprehensible that October morning in Ramallah, the elbows-deep-in-blood attacks launched by a desensitized people, or the spontaneously twisted celebrations of the multiple Arab bystanders?

Arab women as well as men could not contain the ecstasy of their cruel involvement. What kind of human beings can commit the horrors that Palestinian mobs inflicted on that terrible day upon Vadim Norjitz and Yossi Avrahami? While the answers to these questions are complex, they have a great deal to do with understanding the incessantly distinctive barbarism of Palestinian terror groups, a barbarism that now frequently manifests itself in intra-Palestinian battles between Fatah and Hamas as well.

The UN Plan For ‘Palestine’: The Motive for Terror

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Editor’s note: This article appeared in print under the title, “The U.N. Plan For ‘Palestine’ and its Aftermath (Third of Four Parts).” Find part one here, and part two here

The Genocide Convention is not the only authoritative criminalization that can and should be invoked against the interminable and illegal Palestinian calls for the mass murder of Jews in their own state.

The1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination could also be brought productively into play. This treaty condemns “all propaganda and all organizations which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form,” obliging – at Article 4(a) – state parties to declare as “an offense punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts against any race or group of persons.”

Article 4(b) affirms that state parties “Shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations, and also organized and all other propaganda activities, which promote and incite racial discrimination, and shall recognize participation in such organizations or activities as an offense punishable by law.”

Still further authority for curtailing and punishing Palestinian calls for the genocidal destruction of Jews can be found at Article 20(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: “Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”

By definition, of course, all terrorist groups emphasize violence and the use of force, but the Palestinian groups are distinctive in several important ways. Most significant of all is that, for the Palestinians, violence is sometimes its own reward. Often rejecting more demonstrably instrumental views of force, Hamas, PA, and other movement organizations have on occasion come to celebrate and justify terror violence as an end in itself. The doctrinal root of this dark sentiment lies in their common and fundamentally religious hatreds.

President Obama and other leaders still do not understand that Israel is despised by Palestinian populations because it is Jewish. In fact, Israel’s occasional capitulation to Arab terror tends to elicit even greater Palestinian loathing, as such surrender behaviors merely confirm the prevailing Islamist view of the Jew as coward. When Haj Amin al Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, spoke together with Hitler on Berlin Radio in 1942, he cried out: “Kill the Jews – kill them with your hands, kill them with your teeth – this is well pleasing to Allah.”

Today the P.A./Fatah/PLO calls for annihilation of Israel, always denied publicly by the allegedly moderate Abbas whenever he speaks with the Americans, still remains undisguised at assorted P.A. websites and publications. The Hamas Covenant,of course, still calls insistently for the “realization of Allah’s promise: ‘The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, killing them.’ ”

In the final analysis, for the Palestinians and for the Arab/Islamic world as a whole, the “Zionist Problem” is merely a surface manifestation of what is, for them, truly intolerable: This is the “Jewish Problem.”

Recently a prominent Palestinian “intellectual” wrote in Al-Ahram:

We are all,once again, face to face with the Jewish Problem, not just the Zionist Problem; and we must reassess all those studies which make a distinction between ‘The Jew’ and ‘The Israeli.’ We must redefine the meaning of the word ‘Jew’ so that we do not imagine that we are speaking of a divinely revealed religion…. we cannot help but see before us the figure of the great man Hitler, may God have mercy on him, who was the wisest of those who confronted this problem, and who, out of compassion for humanity, tried to exterminate every Jew, but despaired of curing this cancerous growth on the body of mankind. In all world politics, but especially in the Islamic Middle East, the ultimate form of power is power over death. Directed toward Jews, the violence of Palestinian terrorism is always “sacred” violence, and it is always oriented to eternal life for the terrorist. Unlike most other terrorists, the Palestinian movement fighters openly aspire to immortality. Paradoxically, that is why they enthusiastically commit uniquely homicidal forms of “suicide.”

Israeli Citizen to Be Turned in for Crimes against Humanity in Bosnia

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Aleksandar Cvetkovic, who allegedly took part in the massacres of Muslim population – Bosnian area of Srebrenica, Bosnia, was arrested and will be extradited to Bosnia to be prosecuted on suspicion of genocide, Israel’s Supreme Court decided on Thursday.

Cvetkovic was arrested in January, 2011, after a Bosnian court issued a warrant for his arrest for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity during massacres that took place in July, 1995. The “Srebrenica massacre” involved transporting hundreds of Bosnians to a farm where they were shot and buried in mass graves. That massacre has been recognized by the international community as genocide.

The Israeli judge ruled that Bosnia must meet conditions that will ensure Cvetkovic’s safety, otherwise he would not be extradited. Accordingly, the judge ruled that the Bosnia government must hold him in a separate, secure wing, and allow him to receive visits of the Israeli Consul. Also, should he be found guilty, his punishment must be in line with the protocol established by the European Court of Human Rights.

The Bosnian authorities estimates the number of victims murdered in the farm at between 1,000 and 1,200 Bosnian Muslim men. The farm murders were part of the overall campaign waged by the Serb-Bosnian armed forces against the Muslim population of the Srebrenica enclave, during which 7,500 people were killed.

Cvetkovic, 42, immigrated to Israel with his Jewish wife and children in 2006 and received Israeli citizenship. According to the investigation material provided to the Israeli prosecution, Cvetkovic was part of the eight-soldier firing squad that executed the Bosnian victims.

The Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina asked Israel back in August of 2010 to extradite Cvetkovic, after a court in Sarajevo had issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Justice Minister Prof. Yaakov Neeman then decided to open extradition proceedings against him.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israeli-citizen-to-be-turned-in-for-crimes-against-humanity-in-bosnia/2012/11/29/

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