The Guardian May 23, 2001


Editorial:
The Palestinian Holocaust

The deliberate and savage bombing of the Gaza Strip and Nablus by high-
powered F16 fighter planes provided to the Israelis by the United States 
Government and the many other acts of aggression against Palestinian 
territory, the endless shootings of unarmed Palestinian stone-throwing 
youths, reminds one of the Nazi crime committed against Jewish people in 
the Warsaw Ghetto uprising during World War II. The Israelis are operating 
as the Nazis did then  using overwhelming military force against a 
largely defenceless people. Like the holocaust, the Israeli war against the 
Palestinian people is also motivated by hatred and racism.

The actions of the Israeli Government have the aim of driving the 
Palestinian people out of the lands they have owned, lived on and 
cultivated for thousands of years. It is sickening to hear Israeli settlers 
claiming that it is their land when they have bulldozed the houses of 
Palestinians, expelled the Palestinians and turned them into refugees in 
their own homeland.

The Israeli Government claims it is responding to the "terrorist" acts of 
Palestinian organisations, ignoring the fact that it is the seizure of Arab 
land, the destruction of Palestinian homes and their replacement by Jewish 
settlements, the shooting of unarmed civilians and many other violent 
atrocities, that are the cause of Palestinian anger and determination to 
continue the fight to win their legitimate independence and their 
aspiration to establish a Palestinian state.

What is happening in Gaza and the West Bank is clear aggression but the 
United Nations does nothing.

The Australian Government, when it finally acted to protect the citizens of 
East Timor, was loud in proclaiming its humanitarianism but remains deathly 
silent as the same sort of killing goes on day by day in Palestine. Why the 
double standards, why the silence from the international community, why the 
failure of the UN to act, why the cowardice of many countries which fail to 
stand up for the principles of the UN Charter and their humanitarian 
obligations? Is it because they are cowed by the United States and the 
power it has to impose retribution on those who disagree with their 
policies?

One can imagine the screaming headlines in Australia's daily newspapers if 
the crimes being committed by the Israelis against the Palestinians were 
occurring in Cuba or China or in any other country.

Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza are "a war crime", said the 
head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Rene Kosirnik, in the 
area last week. He said that the settlements violate the fourth Geneva 
Convention  the treaty designed to protect civilians in areas of 
conflict. Even the US declared the settlements "an obstacle to peace" but, 
at the same time, has vetoed a proposal that the UN Security Council 
establish a force to separate the contending forces. For years, the UN has 
failed to implement its own decisions, taken in the 1970s demanding that 
Israel withdraw to the borders it held prior to Israel's 1967 war against 
neighbouring Arab countries. Once again the US and Australian Governments 
pursue double standards. When UN decisions apply to other countries, the US 
and Australia are loud in demanding that they be carried out, but when it 
comes to Israel they are routinely ignored. The fact that Israel also has 
nuclear weapons and has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 
is also routinely ignored  while India and Pakistan are condemned.

Israel has been set up as a client state of the US to be used against the 
Arab countries, particularly to protect US oil interests in the region and 
to frustrate the attempts of the Arab countries to achieve unified action 
to help the Palestinian people in their present hour of need. The Israeli 
actions are only possible because Israel is armed, financed and politically 
protected by the United States at every turn.

Help stop the cycle of violence! Help the Palestinian people now! Protests 
can be sent to the Ambassador, Embassy of Israel, 6 Turrana Street, 
Yarralumla, ACT 2600.
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