After reading this, does anyone still defend Israel's actions and if so, why?

STATEMENT BY PROF. RICHARD FALK, UNITED

NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR FOR HUMAN

RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

"The Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip represent s evere and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war.

Those violations include:

Collective punishment – the entire 1.5 million people who live in the crowded Gaza Strip are being punished for the actions of a few militants.

Targeting civilians – the airstrikes were aimed at civilian areas in one of the most crowded stretches of land in the world, certainly the most densely populated area of the Middle East.

Disproportionate military response – the airstrikes have not only destroyed every police and security office of Gaza's elected government, but have killed and injured hundreds of civilians; at least one strike reportedly hit groups of students attempting to find transportation home from the university.

Earlier Israeli actions, specifically the complete sealing off of entry and exit to and from the Gaza Strip, have led to severe shortages of medicine and fuel (as well as food), resulting in the inability of ambulances to respond to the injured, the inability of hospitals to adequately provide medicine or necessary equipment for the injured, and the inability of Gaza's besieged doctors and other medical workers to sufficiently treat the victims.

Certainly the rocket attacks against civilian targets in Israel are unlawful. But that illegality does not give rise to any Israeli right, neither as the Occupying Power nor as a sovereign state, to violate international humanitarian law and commit war crimes or crimes against humanity in its response. I note that Israel's escalating military assaults have not made Israeli civilians safer; to the contrary, the one Israeli killed today after the upsurge of Israeli violence is the first in over a year.

Israel has also ignored recent Hamas' diplomatic initiatives to reestablish the truce or ceasefire since its expiration on 26 December.

The Israeli airstrikes today, and the catastrophic human toll that they caused, challenge those countries that have been and remain complicit, either directly or indirectly, in Israel's violations of international law. That complicity includes those countries knowingly providing the military equipment including warplanes and missiles used in these illegal attacks, as well as those countries who have supported and participated in the siege of Gaza that itself has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.

I remind all member states of the United Nations that the UN continues to be bound to an independent obligation to protect any civilian population facing massive violations of international humanitarian law – regardless of what country may be responsible for those violations. I call on all Member States, as well as officials and every relevant organ of the United Nations system, to move on an emergency basis not only to condemn Israel's serious violations, but to develop new approaches to providing real protection for the Palestinian people."

27 December 2008

http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/...

Update:

Sam, you speak boldly for someone 'hiding behind a computer'.

And you also failed to answer my question.

Update 2:

People are still failing to answer the question.

Does anyone still defend Israel's criminal actions, and WHY?

You can post your own question about Hamas, but if you want to speak here, then stick to the topic.

Update 3:

Emanuel, you should read this part of the statement again:

"Certainly the rocket attacks against civilian targets in Israel are unlawful. But that illegality does not give rise to any Israeli right, neither as the Occupying Power nor as a sovereign state, to violate international humanitarian law and commit war crimes or crimes against humanity in its response. I note that Israel's escalating military assaults have not made Israeli civilians safer; to the contrary, the one Israeli killed today after the upsurge of Israeli violence is the FIRST in over a year."

Where are the 'thousands of Israelis killed' that another poster talks about? All I see is F-16s and tanks and IDF soldiers armed to the teeth pointing rifles at women and children.

And who said Israel 'will listen' to the UN? Israel has broken MORE UN RESOLUTIONS than all the countries of the world put together. I agree with Eric, the UN is weak, but only because it fails to act against Israel in the same way it did with Iraq

Update 4:

Here is a list of UN Resolutions broken by Israel. Read it and tell me Israel 'will listen to the UN':

http://salemshalom.blogspot.com/2007/12/heres-list...

And then please post a similar list of resolutions broken by Palestine.

Update 5:

Quantril, if Israel want security and peace then they should create the conditions for it, i.e. abiding by international law and lifting the illegal 18-month blockade, returning full rights of passage and movement to the Palestinians, return all illegally occupied territory, and stop military incursions into Palestinian land.

They certainly will not get security and peace by bombing a thousand people (which is why this claim is fishy - read http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AoJNI... leaving a generation of widows and orphans who will remember these days very well.

Based on your logic, the Palestinians have a stronger right to resistance (which is actually their legal right -even militarily - although their methods may not be as legal) as they are facing the illegal brunt of Israel's blockade and military incursion, and are facing a more serious threat to their security, which causes the rocket attacks.

Update 6:

Am Yisrael, firstly I am not from the US and therefore did not vote anyone there to reperesent me.

And while people here are taling of not trusting the UN and it's supposed 'bias', I am astonished how these same people can stand by the current US administration (presumably because they falsely see it as 'patriotic') who clearly boast of its bias and 'historical ties' with Israel, whose hands are just as bloody as Israel's, who funds Israel billions of dollars each year, and who has a track record of atrocities to match those of Israel.

The US knows it depends on Israel (zionist lobby):

". . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."

Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001.

Which is why its simply playing along with Israel's propaganda game, claiming Hamas started this with its rockets. Clearly false. Please read:

http://www.creative-i.info/?p=3402

Update 7:

In addition to the above article, I've already mentioned that Israel has broken more UN resolutions than all the countries of the world put together, starting from more than half a century ago.

Hamas was only elected into Gaza (democratically by the way) two yeaars ago. So the big question is this:

if this all started with Hamas, who was responsible for the oppression, occupation, and countless broken resolutions before Hamas came into power?

This conflict didn't start 14 days ago (in which case it would've been Israeli agression and breach of the cease-fire which began it - see the link from the previous edit), this conflict goes beyond that, but most people have either forgotten or do not know:

We must do everything to insure they (the Palestinians) never do return." Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes. "The old will die and the young will forget".

David Ben-Gurion, in his diary, 18 July 1948"

21 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It boggles the mind.

    It also points out the total and complete impotence of the United Nations to enforce any substantive resolution.

    The UN Security Council has passed 103 Resolutions against Israel.

    None of which have been enforceable.

    The humanitarian situation in Gaza is horrific.

    Yet Israel is being painted as the victim.

    I am repulsed. Truly repulsed.

    Oh and to Paperback Writer:

    800 Palestinians killed.

    13 Israeli's. 10 of which were Israeli soldiers.

    Disproportionate much?

    To sheila: Did you even read what Richard Falk wrote? Are you COMPLETELY blind? How may I ask is Israel trying to prevent the killing of innocent life?

    Do the 207 CHILDREN killed mean nothing?

    Thank you for posting this question. And thank you for the intelligent way you responded to the frustratingly ignorant answers. At least someone is restoring my faith in humanity. =)

  • 5 years ago

    Let me assure you from first hand personal experience that the Israelis don't give a rat's fat @ss about what some other nation's court decides. They routinely thumb their noses at American law and we are what keeps them from being overrun. Oh lets say for example that a multi-million dollar piece of equipment is stolen from Detroit and that piece of equipment turns up in Israel. The owners photograph that piece of equipment sitting at this private firm in Israel and notify the Israeli government that they are seeking assistance to get it back. The Israeli government responds on something that looks like a Raiders of the lost arc scroll with one line that says essentially " You all can go f*ck yourself." I think the Israeli demeanor toward outside authority is well established by this example and other more well known examples.

  • 1 decade ago

    The UN is a bunch of "do gooder" wannabes that punish "more civilized" nations, all the while pussy-footing around the ones that harbor fugitives and allowed certain leaders to divert UN Inspectors.

    Israel has been bombed, the bad guys hide behind UN resolutions and want to fight dirty by hiding behind innocent people, Israel said "Screw you! You harbor fugitives, I am going to bomb your behind!" and that is that.

    Th UN wants Israel to stop? Well, then make harboring terrorist fugitives and blatant inactivity to capture them illegal, and against Geneva. So basically a terrorist can lob bombs out of an innocent person's house, onto adjoining foreign soil, and kill people, but that bombed country has its hands tied because "its against Geneva". Sorry, but if some wacky nut job is lobbing bombs at me from my neighbor's house, with my neighbor watching with glee, and if I owned a gun, I sure as hell should have the right to shoot the bastard, and don't care if my neighbor dies in the cross fire. Actually, by standing and not doing anything, and not being an innocent by-stander being forced into it, my neighbor would be charged with a crime if he lived.

  • 1 decade ago

    Personally, I'd like to knock both their heads together and say quit fighting, you're acting like petulant children whining over who owns a toy.

    Obviously land and homes are not a toy, but these millennia old grudges are getting old...literally. No man is higher than another so much as to govern that other man without his consent. People need to learn to agree to disagree and be at peace with it.

    Israel is not setting a good example for a peace process, and Hamas is trying to legitimize itself any way it can. This need for "legitimacy" is also hindered by its lack of recognizing a sovereign state. My suggestion is to make Jerusalem something like a city-state that only its residents can determine its laws by democratic vote.

    Of course that will never happen in this millennium and probably not the next one either.

    Source(s): From Beirut to Jerusalem
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  • 1 decade ago

    How could anyone not support Israel? All they seek is peace and security for their people. Are you really so caught up in the Palestinian propaganda machine?

    Hamas is using its own people as a tool to win. They attack Israel from amongst their own women and children hoping Israel will retaliate and they can turn around and show the world "Israeli abuses".

    As for the UN with 21 Arab country members do you honestly think them unbiased?

  • 1 decade ago

    The problem is that Hamas, which has repeatedly violated Geneva Conventions as well, shoots missiles from civilian sites. So when Israel targets those sites, civilians (including children) are inevitably killed. I'm not sure what the alternative is for Israel, unless it's just to "accept" Hamas periodically firing missiles at it, and trying to get help from the international community. When the U.S. attacks, we've found that civilian casualties are almost impossible to avoid. Perhaps Israel can do a better job on targeting -- we just don't know.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, for the same reasons the US Congress strongly supports Israel. You know, the representatives we voted into office to do what's best for the U.S. You probably missed the news since it's tucked deep inside newspapers and hasn't even surfaced on TV yet.

    Congress offers staunch support to Israel

    23 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US Congress is set to offer staunch and unwavering support for Israel as the Gaza conflict rages, recognizing its "inalienable right" to defend itself from attacks by Hamas.

    Democratic and Republican leaders united to introduce a resolution backing Israel in the US Senate and a similar measure will soon be pending in the House of Representatives with both expected to pass by large majorities.

    "When we pass this resolution, the United States Senate will strengthen our historic bond with the state of Israel by reaffirming Israel's inalienable right to defend against attacks from Gaza, as well as our support for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process," said Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.

    "Hamas must stop the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel -- that is the stated objective of the Israelis.

    "I acknowledge and appreciate the calls by some for a ceasefire.

    "Certainly we must encourage a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but we must be certain that any cease-fire is sustainable, durable, and enforceable."

    Republican leader Mitch McConnell also placed blame for the start of Israel's war on Hamas on the Islamist group, after the death toll rose to 760 as dozens more bodies were discovered in Gaza.

    "This resolution in support of the state of Israel has strong bipartisan support," McConnell said.

    "Hamas is a terrorist organization, it clearly started this current conflict by launching rockets on the civilian sites in Israel," he said.

    "The Israelis are responding exactly the same way we would if rockets were being launched into the United States from Canada or Mexico," he said.

    The resolution calls on Hamas to end the rocket and mortar attacks against Israel, and says any ceasefire reached in the conflict must be "durable, enforceable and sustainable."

    It calls for the lives of innocent civilians to be protected and says senators support a strong and secure Israel living in peace with an independent Palestinian state.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would take up a corresponding resolution on Friday.

    .

  • 1 decade ago

    Professor Richard Falk is an American Jew who has worked for the United Nations in USA for many years.

    He commands a great deal of authority within the UN - and is respected for his objective reports by many countries - including his own USA.

    UN Envoys are bound by a code to deliver to the UN Councils objective and factually correct reports.

    As impartial and accurate infromation is essential for the UN Council members - any country on a council can object to the appointment of a UN Rappoteur.

    No one has officially accused Professor Richard Falk of partial advice in his reports.

    Y!A members - like some who've posted on this page believe they know better than Prof Falk.

    Source(s): Anyone can Google "Professor Richard Falk" to check his credentials
  • 1 decade ago

    Anyone who could support Israel now, has to have serious issues. The only thing that keeps me from thinking that it should just be razed is that there have to be good people there who disagree with their government.

    I was against all of the crap that Bush started, and there where a lot of Americans who felt the same way.

    That is what I have to keep telling myself to stay calm about it.

    I just hope that once and for all the world will say "ENOUGH" to Israel, and then follow through. Don't give them aid, or trade with them until they change. If that does not work, then military force against Israel might be necessary.

    If the US government would take away our support I think that would be enough.

  • 1 decade ago

    So Israel should just sit there for what, another eight years, while Hamas sends suicide bombers to kill her civilians, and missiles as well?

    Thousands of Israelis have already been killed. Why do you lament ONLY Palestinian blood? What about the Israeli blood that has also been spilled?

    What you fail to get: Hamas, controlled by IRAN, is a THREAT to us all. Not just Israel.

    By your 'logic', the Brits should not have fought the Nazis, because the response was 'disproportionate'.

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