Monday, December 29, 2008

Did Obama Give Green Light To His Israeli Allies' Attack On Palestinians?

When then-U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Member Barack Obama was campaigning for president in 2008 he marketed himself as an “anti-war candidate.” Yet during the last three days, U.S. President-Elect Obama has not been that eager to quickly condemn the Israeli war machine’s current war against the Palestinian people in Gaza. One reason might be because the pro-Israeli establishment lobbying group, AIPAC, began to support Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign after Obama failed to condemn Israeli militarism when he spoke at a 2008 AIPAC gathering.

The Israeli allies of AIPAC and the Obama-Bush Administration have a long history of using their U.S. government-supported Israeli military machine to wage war against Arab civilians in the Middle East and to eliminate Arab political activists who are involving in resisting Israeli militarism in the Middle East, as indicated by some of the following column items that appeared in the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly, Downtown, during the early 1990s:

Your Tax Money At Work: Israeli Military Bombs Lebanon In 1993

Despite its alleged shortage of money, the U.S. government has been using our tax money for many years to provide billions of dollars in military and financial aid to the government of “Nuclear Israel.” Between 1974 and 1982, for example, the U.S. government shipped $22 billion worth of military and economic aid to the Israeli Establishment and, in 1986, around $12 million worth of aid per day was being shipped to the Israeli government by the U.S. Establishment. As the International Commission To Enquire Into Reported Violations Of International Law by Israel During The Invasion Of Lebanon noted in its 1983 report, Israel In Lebanon:

“The relationship with the United States allows Israel to receive nearly half of the total foreign and military aid provided each year by the United States. It is also the recipient of large-scale military hardware, the most sophisticated which was intensively tested and used in Lebanon…”

In the Summer of 1993, the Israeli government once again used this U.S. tax money to engage in some “ethnic cleansing” activity in southern Lebanon. As the New York Times (7/30/93) noted:

“Across southern Lebanon today, Israeli warplanes, helicopters and artillery rained bombs, rockets and shells on towns and villages. Planes bombed the market town of Nabatiyeh and villages in the Tyre district…Helicopters rocketed the Palestinian refugee district of Rashsidiyeh and Bus, near Tyre, while gunboats attacked Miyeh-Miyeh, a refugee district near Sidon…”

As a result of this U.S. government-financed “ethnic cleansing” activity by the Israeli military—which included the bombing of 80 Shiite Muslim villages—“nearly 500,000 refugees—more than 10 percent of Lebanon’s population”—had “fled northward to Beirut” by the end of July 1993, according to an Associated Press report (7/30/93).

After the Israeli military bombed some of these same southern Lebanese towns, villages and refugee camps during its 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the Israel In Lebanon report of the International Commission also asserted that “If the Israeli argument is that it is entitled to `eliminate,’ `cleanse,’ and `purify’ areas of violence and terrorism, its reactions have always been…out of all proportion to any initial `wrong,’’ “the massive bombardment of Rashidiyeh, Ain el Hilweh, Ronri el Brajneh, Sabra, Chatila, Bourj el Shamali, Al Basa and others is a horrific fact,” and “most of their inhabitants were civilians, largely women and children.”

(Downtown 8/18/93)

Israeli War Crimes In Lebanon In 1982?

With regard to the Israeli government’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Israel In Lebanon stated the following:

“The Commission, having considered the evidence and the relevant rules of law, concludes:

“1. The Government of Israel has committed acts of aggression contrary to international law.

“2. The Israeli armed forces have made use of weapons or methods of warfare forbidden by international law, including the laws of war;

“3. Palestinian, Lebanese and prisoners of other nationalities have been subjected to treatment forbidden by international law, including inhuman and degrading treatment…

“4. There has been deliberate or indiscriminate or reckless bombardment of a civilian character, of hospitals, schools and other nonmilitary targets…

“5. There has been systematic bombardment and other destruction of towns, cities, villages and refugee camps.

“6. The acts of the Israeli armed forces have caused the dispersal, deportation and ill-treatment of populations, in violation of international law.

“7. The Government of Israel has no valid reasons under international law for its invasion of Lebanon, for the manner in which it conducted hostilities or for its actions as an occupying force.

“8. Israeli authorities or forces were involved, directly or indirectly, in the massacres and other killings that have been reported to have been carried out by Lebanese militiamen in the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila in Beirut area between 16 and 18 September [1982]…

A possible motive for the Israeli government’s “ethnic cleansing” activity in Lebanon in 1982 was also indicated in the 1983 Israel In Lebanon report:

“The Commission received evidence that Israel harbored certain territorial aspirations towards Lebanon, the most significant of which may have been its intention to obtain access or possibly control over the waters of the Litani River, the major sweet water source in Lebanon. The commission’s attention was drawn to Israel’s urgent need for access to water as its needs cannot be met even after appropriating the water resources of the Occupied Territories…

“Israel, since 1978, has in effect established a `security zone’ in South Lebanon [as of 1983]…”

(Downtown 9/1/93)

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