|15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.|
Myth No. 4 relates to the allegation of selective discrimination, with only Nazi war criminals, rather than all war
criminals, singled out for prosecution.|
Here the reply should be that it is indeed the legacy of the Nuremberg Military Tribunals to bring all war criminals to justice: "It would be wrong to argue that unless we prosecute all war criminals, we cannot go after the Nazis. It's the other way round. If we did not have the Nuremberg precedent, we'd have no standing regarding other war criminals."
Ernie Meyer, Human Rights Activist: 'Set Up A Nazi War Crimes Unit', Jerusalem Post, 02-Jan-1989
March 8, 2004|
Cement barrier chokes life out of Palestinian villages
By BILL KAUFMANN — Calgary Sun
Not even the heroics of young British photographer-activist Tom Hurndall were enough to shield them from the daily brutality of Israeli occupation.
On April 11, 2003 while protecting Palestinian children from Israeli gunfire in Gaza, an unarmed Hurndall was shot in the head by a soldier equipped with a telescopic sight.
Only unrelenting pressure by his family overturned a typical Israeli military whitewash of the 22-year-old's killing.
The Hurndall family are the "lucky ones." Few instances of civilian deaths at the hands of Israeli troops result in charges.
Fewer still are heard of in North America, such as Manal Sofran, gunned down by Israeli soldiers in her Ramallah doorway as she frantically called out for her four children.
Then there's Khalil Mughrabi, 11, of Gaza — shot in the head.
Another young boy armed with a sandwich was recently killed by a single bullet in the doorway of his West Bank home. His father feared he'd be harmed if he'd gone to school that day.
Last month, Gazan Yousef Bashir, 15, was shot in the back by an Israeli soldier and is possibly paralysed for life.
This time, UN aid workers witnessed the crime and insisted there was no other gunfire in the area.
A year ago, witnesses say nine-month pregnant Nuha Sweidan, 33, bled to death under rubble cradling a toddler when Israeli bulldozers attacked the Gaza building next door.
A security wall keeping out Israeli soldiers might have prevented these maimings and killings — war crimes just as surely as Palestinian suicide bombings.
It wouldn't have prevented malnutrition among Palestinian children in some parts of the West Bank and Gaza due to Israeli siege and closure — reported by UNICEF and visiting British MPs last year to have reached African severity.
It's no wonder — Israeli troops have been known to destroy food supplies and block aid workers from Palestinian areas.
And before a wall would do anything for Palestinians, illegal Israeli settlements in their midst would have to be rooted out.
In Gaza, 8,000 settlers lord it over 1.4 million Palestinians, hogging 20% of the territory and the best water.
No suicide attacks have been launched into Israel from Gaza, yet the Israeli military has made the squalid, rubbled ghetto into which they've herded Palestinians a free-fire zone.
It's all to defend the strip's arrogant, privileged 0.5%.
This is the face of the Israeli military's moral superiority.
Ariel Sharon says he'll remove the Gaza settlers, but intends to relocate them in the West Bank where they can terrorize Palestinians and confiscate land there instead.
Most Palestinians would be happy with their own wall that doesn't meander onto their neighbour's land, unlike Israel's.
As if stealing land, water and access through the presence of oppressive West Bank settlements weren't enough, Israel has dreamed up a fence that'll hasten the process.
A poll of Palestinian households in the proximity of the fence suggests 28% of them have had all or some of their land stolen to build a wall that's making already arduous lives untenable.
Communities are being stranded on the west side of the wall, cut off from others on the east — wreaking social havoc.
Some villages are being noosed by concrete that's choking the life from them — clearly the intention of its builders.
"Because of the occupation, I cannot see my country. I can't travel in my country. It is like a big prison, and the wall will make it worse," says Iletzam Morrar, 15, of Budrus village.
If the fence was meant purely for security, it would follow Israel's actual border — a shorter line easier to police.
Instead, it's being used to accommodate the extremist settlers and further cleanse the West Bank of its inhabitants.
Late last month, Israeli troops shot to death two unarmed protesters at the wall defending what little they still have.
Others are beaten, tear gassed and menaced by bulldozers.
To its shame, Canada has opposed the International Court of Justice's hearings on the legality of the wall.
And with its unprovoked invasion and occupation of Iraq and the hideous carnage it's unleashed there, the U.S. has little moral suasion over Israel.
But withholding its Israeli billions would re-route the wall.
Bill Kaufmann, "Against wall: Cement barrier chokes life out of Palestinian villages," Calgary Sun, 08-Mar-2004 www.canoe.ca/Columnists/kaufmann.html