When is a war crime not a war crime?
posted at 10:45 am on April 9, 2011 by Meryl Yourish
The charge of “war crime” is thrown endlessly at Israel, to the point that the Goldstone Report was commissioned and issued by the United Nations Human Rights Committee. It dealt with supposed war crimes by Israel, yet did not once accuse Hamas of war crimes.
The media put forward all charges of Israel committing war crimes. Take the Mavi Marmara incident. How many articles did you read about whether or not Israel committed war crimes against the passengers (those beacons of peaceful protest that only recently repeated their commitment to destroying Israel)?
Take a look at what Britain’s foreign minister had to say about the deliberate targeting of a school bus.
Earlier, British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the anti-tank missile attack on a childrens’ school bus in the Negev, calling it a “despicable” and “cowardly” act.
“I unreservedly condemn today’s attack from Gaza on a bus carrying school children in southern Israel. The initial reports we have received suggest the bus was deliberately targeted and that a 16-year-old boy has been critically injured,” Hague said.
“This is a despicable and cowardly act that stands in stark contrast to people’s desire for peaceful reform across the region. Violence will never deliver peace,” Hague continued.
Only a week ago, Hague’s office released a report on the world’s 26 worst human rights violators. Israel was in the report, along with 25 actual human rights abusers. If, as Hague says above, he has reports that Hamas deliberately targeted the school bus (which it did), then this is not a “despicable and cowardly act.” It is a human rights violation. It is a war crime. And yet, Hague doesn’t use that language to describe it. Why is that? Why is it that his office can slander Israel as a violator of Palestinian human rights, but it can’t call a war crime a war crime? The deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime. Hamas deliberately targeted a school bus full of children (it hoped).
Don’t hold your breath waiting to hear Hague condemn Hamas war crimes. He’s too busy accusing Israel of them. As for the EU, well, there isn’t even a mention of Hamas in Catherine Ashton’s rote condemnation of “violence.” It’s as if the rockets launched themselves. And mention of a school bus? Surely you jest.
“I strongly condemn yesterday’s mortar and rocket attacks out of the Gaza strip, which once again hit the innocent civilian population and which must stop immediately,” she said.
“I am deeply concerned by the current escalation of violence,” the 27-nation EU’s foreign policy chief said in a statement.
“I also deplore the loss of civilian life in Gaza and call on Israel to show restraint.
No, the label of war crimes is never attached to actual war crimes perpetrated by Palestinians against Israelis. That label is reserved for Israel only, especially when Israel is doing no such thing.
We must once again call on a refrain we got too tired to use recently. What time is it? That’s right, it’s Israeli Double Standard Time. But don’t worry. It only occurs on days that end with a “y.”
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