Will Netanyahu face punishment for War Crimes or escape?

0
344
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses members of his right-wing party bloc at a conference in Tel Aviv

Has Netanyahu’s criminal conduct grown in leaps and bounds? It certainly has even though his coterie of fellow thugs and band of diehard white supremacists deny it.  The folly and contempt whereby he continues to commit violent and bloody massacres, suggests that for as long as the United States and Europe has his back, he cares not about any legal repercussions. 

To hell with abiding by the prescribes of international conventions, is his attitude. To him and the settler colonial state, these legal instruments alongside the UN Charter as well as the Geneva Convention, mean zero. The disposition to both ignore and defy global imperatives to abide by dictates which govern human rights obligations, has been and remains a defining characteristic of Zionism’s political ideology. 

A pattern of non-compliance is not only rampant, but abundantly clear. It is evident throughout Apartheid Israel’s seven-decade old history. One only has to take account of the huge number of UN Resolutions, both General Assembly and Security Council, demanding adherence and implementation, which to date have been defied, to understand the gravity of the situation. 

Except for Israel, other countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria have been pummelled to the ground as punishment for ostensibly failing to implement UN Resolutions. Despite political chicanery which underpinned US imperial designs in fermenting wide scale death and destruction under the guise of the so-called “War on Terror”, now known to have been manipulated, the UNSC was used to rubber-stamp full-scale wars of invasion and occupation. 

That Netanyahu and his predecessors have been spared the fate of Muammar Gaddafi, among others, reveals western double standards. And apart from imperial powers who view the apartheid regime as a strategic ally to sustain and extend their colonial dominance, it is equally outrageous for the International Criminal Court to wilfully allow Israel’s genocide of Palestinians to continue without any accountability. 

According to CCR (Centre for Constitutional Rights), there is no dispute that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians. It refers to “a long history of human rights scholarship and legal analysis that supports the assertion.” And it also claims that “prominent scholars of the international law crime of genocide and human rights authorities take the position that Israel’s policies toward the Palestinian people could constitute a form of genocide.” 

“Policies which range from the 1948 mass killing and displacement of Palestinians” to seven decades of military occupation and, “correspondingly, the discriminatory legal regime governing Palestinians, repeated military assaults on Gaza, and official Israeli statements expressly favouring the elimination of Palestinians.”

This is precisely what’s happening in Gaza currently. The genocidal carnage by Netanyahu’s killer forces unleashed upon its besieged population has wiped out entire families. Aya Al Ghazzawi, a BDS activist based in Gaza, relates how hard it is to explain to her little sister that they are being “killed, shelled and ignored because we are Palestinians not born to Jewish mothers.”

Al Ghazzawi’s concern and anxiety captures the essence of the epic struggle Palestinians are confronted with: “How can I comfort her while I myself still recall the three Israeli war aggressions I have experienced within less than a decade?  “How can I forget about the thousands whom these assaults reaped including my own cousin? How can I assure her that everything is going to be okay when I know that anyone of us can be the next target of an Israeli strike?”

We are reminded that the current wave of the settler colonial bombings isn’t the first time that it’s cruel army has wiped out an entire family. In 2014 they killed 11 members of the Balatas family in Gaza. In 2009, 48 members of the Samouni family were killed. Ethnic cleansing, forced removals, dispossession, detention without trial, torture and wanton maiming added to the colossal crime of genocide resulting in thousands of Palestinian deaths, have unfortunately been reduced by the corporate media to a narrative of “statistics”. 

It is this narrative that’s allowed sadists like Netanyahu and his cohorts to adopt fascist policies in furtherance of Zionist goals to annihilate Palestine. The “othering” of Palestinians as mere disposable statistics, while Israeli perpetrators, armed and financed by the west, are seen as the only “humans” in this sad saga, partly explains why international institutions remain ineffective in rallying to halt this modern day genocide. 

As the tide of global public opinion begins to mark a decisive turn in favour of Palestine’s legitimate freedom struggle and its legal right to resist the colonization of its land and people, Netanyahu will face the music. After all the Geneva Convention was written in the aftermath of World War II especially to deter and prevent the type of horrors Palestinians are subjected to. And failing that, to punish those responsible. 

 

Iqbal Jassat is an Executive Member of the Media Review Network based in Johannesburg, South Africa.