As the ceasefire in Gaza is officially still going on, not a day goes by when someone doesn’t loose their precious life. The IDF continues to air-strike "tunnels" "in retaliation". Meanwhile, politics are hard at work. Every time leaders screw up a talk, every time they shake hands, every time someone mentions the word "transfer" without even blinking, human lives are destroyed. Below are three stories of decisions that destroy lives.
Israel’s Attorny General Doesn’t Need Investigations to Know the Truth
First and latest on our list of careless political moves was perpetrated by the Israeli Attorney General. When contemplating the Civil Rights Association’s claim that the Military Advocate General can’t be in charge of investigating allegations of illegal actions during "Operation Cast Lead", being a branch of the military (as quoted in Ha’aretz (Hebrew) and limited by my translation):
"…The Military Advocate General has two "hats": Legal consultant to military authorities, and the responsibility of prosecuting military elements that have acted against the law. The claim is unacceptable- that due to the Military Advocate General’s involvement in guidance of the military, during the fighting, they are unable to legally put their authority to use, and investigate allegations and complaints of criminal activity during the fighting…"
But wait! There’s more:
" [the Attorney General] also rejected the allegations of violations basic principles of international law during the Operation. He said, Hamas activities, that among other things used civilians as "human shields", constitutes a gross violation of international law. Moreover, he claims that IDF activities in the operation were consistent with international law, including the principles of discrimination and proportionality…"
In Israel Pasta is a Luxury
Ha’aretz also reported of the Israeli bureaucracy- hard at work on the passing along of aid to Gaza:
"When Senator John Kerry visited the Strip, he learned that many trucks loaded with pasta were not permitted in. When the chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee inquired as to the reason for the delay, he was told by United Nations aid officials that "Israel does not define pasta as part of humanitarian aid – only rice shipments.""
This story ends up a little better than expected. Kerry and U.S. official’s intervene and Barak allows the Pasta into the strip. Just another piece of proof of what international non-violent intervention can achieve.
1500 Human Beings Displaced
In Israel, "transfer" is not just a word extremists like to use as they campaign for their sit, in parliament. It’s a viable, legal course of action, as long as it’s done to Arabs. (As quoted in Al-Jazeera):
"The owners of 80 houses in the al-Bustan neighbourhood have received eviction notices saying that the structures will be destroyed because they are illegal…[an official responsible for Jerusalem affairs in the Palestinian government] said that several of the houses served with demolition orders had been built before the 1967 war, when Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan, but that numerous extensions have been built since… The [Jerusalem] municipality used this as a pretext to issue the demolition orders…"
All this is just bits and pieces of an unfathomably larger picture. Larger pictures, however, tend to forget the one most important piece: Lives.
I’ve shown the horrific images of the dead in Gaza, as a result of the activities of the IDF in "Operation Cast Lead". To close this post I’d like to show the living, as lives seems to loose all significance, when politics are involved. These are the living and displaced (I can only wonder at human durability as I see these children smile):
(All images are from the Free Gaza organization’s Flickr page.)