From the BBC:
“Speaking to the BBC Mr. Sharon’s spokesman, Raanan Gissin said the loss of innocent civilian life was regretted, but he suggested the children may have been used as ‘human shields’.” — BBC July 31, 2001
All bets are off from here on. This statement makes it abundantly clear that Israel’s Crypto-Fascist Zionist ideologues and practitioners of Statecraft are not in the least concerned about “collateral damage”, i.e., noncombatants, innocent bystanders, like children. We have seen this one too many times and there is absolutely no excuse, no justification for this reoccurring tragic outcome.
It is a simple fact that when you fire tank shells and missiles into densely populated residential areas, into urban dwellings that are surrounded by several other buildings, open air markets (souks), and crowded pedestrian streets, you are going to kill noncombatants, innocent civilians milling about their daily routines. Just look at the number of horrendous incidents:
* Ubey Darraj’s “accidental death”. On March 2, 2001, Ubey Darraj was shot dead in his apartment by IDF machine-gun fire. “Witnesses added that the [IDF] machine-gun fire came from army positions at the Psagot Jewish settlement after a group of children were playing with cap guns below the apartment building where Darraj lived” (AFP, “Israelis Soldiers Kill Nine-Year-Old Palestinian Boy, 13-Year Old Dies,” March 2, 2001). Ubey Darraj was nine-years-old.
* Iman Hijjeo’s “accidental death.” The four-month old was killed when tank shells smashed into her family’s residency in Gaza.
* The “accidental deaths” of Nassarah Salme al-Malalha, 65, Salmiya al-Malalha, 37, and Hekmat Atallah al-Malalha, 17, on June 11, 2001. All three women, family members, were killed why sleeping in their tents by IDF high fragmentation tank shells known as “flechettes.” They were the first fatalities after the US-CIA brokered Tenet Ceasefire Plan went into effect on June 2, 2001.+
* And now yesterday’s atrocity in which two boys and a Palestinian reporter were among the murdered noncombatants. Another five who were murdered were simply “accused” of terrorist plotting. You see, in civilized parts of the world, the US, UK, France, Sweden, you’re innocent until proven guilty. Did I say civilized?
Now we have the American-savvy Raanan Gissin, a darling of the American mainstream media because the reptile can name baseball players and score 100 percent in TV trivia games, spewing fantastic fantasies about “human shields”.
I call this mental disease “Jeanus Kirkpatrickus Al-Haigus Syndrome”. Years ago, 1981 to be precise, US Ambassador to the UN, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Secretary of State Alexander Haig, pointed the finger of blame at four Maryknoll Order nuns* who were raped, tortured, and murdered by the US backed, equipped, and trained Salvadoran Army.
Kirkpatrick implied with her infamous “those who live by the sword die by the sword” remark that the nuns were guerrilla sympathizers who were probably ferrying weapons to the Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) rebels. Haig surmised that the nuns probably ran an Army roadblock — seems like the penalty for running Army checkpoints and roadblocks is death unless you’re Jewish extremists running an IDF checkpoint after you’ve massacred a Palestinian family — and therefore the soldiers simply shot them. Of course ole’ Al could not explain away the small detail about rape lest he ventured into the unseemly speculation that Salvadoran soldiers suffered from necrophilia.
I propose from here on that whenever Israeli government officials hold an emergency cabinet session that the Palestinians strike with whatever weapons they have available and then declare that all bets are off, that the normal way of doing things have dramatically changed. I would include two statements:
One: The strike was pre-emptive, that Israeli officials were in the process of planning and executing State Terrorism, and therefore the Palestinians had to react for their own security.
Two: Any noncombatants killed in the process were more than likely human shields strategically placed around government buildings to elicit worldwide sympathy.
See if the Israelis like it when the shoe is on the other foot, for a change.
+ The “Tenet Ceasefire Plan” has been an utter disaster for Palestinians. Since its implementation, there has been one Israeli assault after another on the Palestinian people. Agence France Presse reported, “For his part, US President George W. Bush urged both sides to ‘break the cycle of violence’ which has killed 54 Palestinians and 17 Israelis since a US-sponsored ceasefire was declared on June 13 to try to end the fighting. A total 685 people — 538 Palestinians and 128 Israelis — have been killed since the uprising, initifada, began 10 months ago.” é AFP, “Israel runs into storm of criticism for killings, mourners vow revenge”, Wednesday August 1, 5:08 PM.
* The nuns were murdered in December 1980. Kirkpatrick and Haig’s comments were uttered while they were still part of incoming President-elect Ronald Wilson Reagan’s transition team.
Mr. Michael Lopez-Calderon taught High School Social Studies in Miami, Florida for seven years until March 2, 2001, when he was asked to leave the Jewish Day school where he had taught for the past five years. Michael was asked to leave for having posted pro-Palestinian comments on Palestine Media Watch’s subscriber-only e-mail. He remains an activist in the Miami area.