HUMAN first, then a proud IRANIAN

This blog represents the way I see some of the most significant events impacting the world and its citizens. This blog also represents how I react to the events as a member of humanity with a voice, a determined voice that insists to be heard. The voice of an Iranian who loves his country but his priority is humanity; humanity without border. I will say what I want to say, when I want to say it, and how I want to say it, but I will never lie. I will also listen; I promise.

March 10, 2008

Civilian deaths are indefensible by any excuse

I am sure you have heard so many times that Israelis do not intentionally kill Palestinian civilians when attacking Palestinian cities, but Palestinians deliberately kill Israeli civilians. In short, this nothing but bullshit from the Israeli fascists. Just looking at the numbers and the proportion of Palestinian to Israeli civilian deaths should be sufficient to realize how these animals are committing crimes against humanity. Having said that, today, a letter published in Toronto Star drew my attention. You know, most letters criticizing Israel, do not get published in most of the media outlets, even Toronto Star which is fairly more balanced compared to many papers, do not publish many letters, including any of my at least 12 letters in last two weeks. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see the letter that I saw today. The letter nicely sums it up:

Alan Baker, the Israeli ambassador to Canada, finds that "no reasonable people can be expected to suffer constant, daily barrages of missiles and the deliberate murder of its civilians without the right to defend itself."

Does he think that the daily sonic booms and far-deadlier attacks by Apache gunships, Merkava tanks, naval vessels and F-16 fighter jets are not "indiscriminate," do not "terrorize a civilian population" and are "not merely illegal and immoral, but ... a violation of the most basic norms and principles of international law"? Does he think they do not constitute "a war crime of the first dimension, going against all accepted norms of civilization"?

The current high ratio of Palestinian to Israeli deaths belies the mantra that Israel doesn't target civilians. Israel does target civilians and civilian infrastructure. How else could one explain the deaths of so many children, and the destruction of hospitals, schools and homes?

"Defending itself" does not release Israel from its obligation to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian property during military operations. Israel has been acting outside the rule of law with impunity for far too long. The illegal occupation of Arab lands, targeted assassinations – effectively acting as prosecutor, judge and jury in a secret process where the death sentence can't be appealed – and collective punishment are all violations of international and humanitarian law.

It is ironic that Baker invokes the importance of international law for Palestinians, while seemingly putting Israel high above it. Civilian deaths, be they Israeli or Palestinian, must be condemned with the same vigour; human beings must be treated equally in death as in life. This is the only way to maintain our humanity and that of the victims, and to ensure that a just peace can be achieved.

The letter can be found here.


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