To the Apartheid State
To the Apartheid State of the Twenty-First Century:
Your raid on the Freedom Flotilla outraged the international community. The people are outraged and rightly so, and their protests, marches, and blog posts reflect this. Who exactly is this international community though? Is it not the same one that stood by idly eighteen months ago when the Israeli army turned Gaza into an open air prison? After all, we’ve let you get away with violating the Geneva Convention every day for the past 60 years, and you maintain the abhorrent distinction of being the only country in the world that has legalized torture.
Congratulations Israel, prior to last week’s attack on a humanitarian convoy carrying aid for those Palestinian children you intend on starving to death, you were only an illegitimate state with a knack for violating every single humanitarian law, convention, and treaty since the time of David. Now you have earned the label of pirates too. However, we understand that the Israeli government makes a substantial effort to garner as much disgust and contempt everyday and it’s hard to find a country who does a better job at this, except maybe the Arab and Muslim countries that continue to support you while ranting the rhetoric for freeing Palestine. More worrying than your antics is the backing it maintains across the world. What other country can get away with attacking an unarmed civilian ship filled with basic humanitarian supplies? Of course and predictably, the international community was so outraged at your antics that we took you to the United Nations. Yes, the same United Nations which created you in 1948.
Your supporters are not merely supporters of the greatest transgressor on human rights; rather, they are consciously and in good faith backing a siege on civilians. What did the Palestinians do to earn this treatment? They engaged in a democratic process and elected Hamas into government. However, you found this unfathomable and instigated a coup with collaborator extraordinaire Muhammad Dahlan. When that scheme fall apart, you resorted to what you are best at: killing the Palestinians with a slow, painful death. This beckons the question: why haven’t you self-destructed already? No state is more lunatic or absurd than Israel in both conduct and policy, and yet you seem to grow more and more arrogant by the day as demonstrated by the attack on the Freedom Flotilla. Perhaps you have learned that the international community will let you get away with mass murder and demolishing 24,000 homes in less than 60 years. What’s to stop you from tipping a few boats over?
You are indeed the greatest violator of human rights, but the United States rewards you with eight million dollars (a conservative figure by most regards) daily to help you maintain your regressive existence. Your supporters are equally absurd and hateful. Their lexicon tends to be pretty limited also, which in their defense is acceptable considering they are obtuse enough to defend you. For the past 60 years, Israel has kept to the same set of excuses and justifications when it comes to explaining why they are deporting civilians from their homeland, bombing these same civilians in refugee camps, cutting off all water and basic human supplies from them, and, you know, engaging in mass torture. Israel’s favorite terms are “self-defense”, “armed conflict”, and “provoked”. You are the only state permitted to bomb a whole nation into submission for throwing a few rocks at that Apartheid Wall.
The Israeli occupation is not a response to “terrorism” which, by the way, you’d know a thing or two about since you are the poster child for terrorist states. Instead, your actions since 1967 are a deliberate policy of de facto annexation and you claim self defense against the Palestinians who are simply doing what all nations have done in the face of subjugation: fight back. However, the Israeli propaganda machine continues to foam at the mouth and claim you are merely executing your rights against those “violent Palestinians” who are armed with stones and not much else. The true purpose of your antics is to distract us from your illegal and illegitimate occupation of the Palestinian lands.
This brings us to another predicament: what law have you not discarded? How is it that we allow you to employ the same laws you are breaking to justify the mass punishment directed towards the Palestinian people? Did the world not solemnly swear after World War Two and the Berlin Airlift we would never permit such atrocities to occur ever again?
Your pirate attack on the Freedom Flotilla revealed nothing new of your character. When it comes to Israel, we’ve seen everything from harassing pregnant women at checkpoints and bombing families at picnics to leveling whole cities and destroying a county’s infrastructure in mere days. If anything, Israel should pen a strategy book for future war criminals. Indeed, we have learned your audacity is increasing at a frightening level, but more importantly, the world has been forced to reflect on its satirical and self-imploding devotion towards you. Your own allies in the world – ranging from third world dictatorships to your Muslim neighbors, who by the way, with the exception of a few dignified folk, seem to still like you – issued condemnation towards you raiding a humanitarian ship with unarmed civilians. Still, we’ll let you off easy this time because we’re responding in the same means we have always: a few protests, and the rhetoric dies down.
The Freedom Flotilla had no weapons, and Israel verified this when it inspected the cargo and reported it was humanitarian supplies through and through. Only Israel can do such an impeccable job of violating so many international treaties and committing so many crimes against humanity at one time. Article 6 of the Nuremburg Trials states the murder or any other inhumane act against a civilian population is equal to crimes against humanity. Article 3 of the International Maritime Organization’s Convention (which you are a signatory to, by the way) forbids seizing a ship and/or engaging in acts of violence against those aboard. Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Regulations demands the occupying party provide the civilians in the occupied territory with certain rights. Article 55 of the Geneva Convention requires an occupying party to provide the civilians under its occupation with food and medical supplies instead of starving them to death and reducing their hospitals to inoperable conditions. The Geneva Convention further requires any country that violates it to be brought before an international court. Oddly enough, this doesn’t seem to faze you, and why should it? The world has been giving you a slap on the wrist at worst, but for the most part, they actually support your brutality.
But rest assured that your reign of tyranny will not last for long. As Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him) said, “A system based on disbelief can survive, but a system based on oppression will always perish.”
The Few Individuals of Conscience Remaining