Is­raeli mil­i­tary em­bold­ened by Trump’s Blan­ket sup­port: Int’l lawyer

Tehran Times - - ANALYSIS & INTERVIEW -

TEHRAN (Tas­nim) — A se­nior Cana­dian hu­man rights at­tor­ney con­demned Is­raeli at­tacks on un­armed peace­ful Pales­tinian pro­test­ers in Gaza as “crimes against hu­man­ity” and said the Tel Aviv regime’s mil­i­tary has been em­bold­ened by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s blan­ket sup­port.

“Ne­tanyahu and Is­rael’s mil­i­tary are be­com­ing em­bold­ened be­cause of the blan­ket sup­port they have ob­tained from US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and U.S. Neo­cons like na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser John Bolton and UN Am­bas­sador Nikki Ha­ley,” Ed­ward Cor­ri­gan from On­tario said in an in­ter­view with the Tas­nim News Agency.

“Is­rael’s many at­tacks on Syria, and Le­banon and the shoot­ing down of the Rus­sian plane is ev­i­dence that Is­rael thinks it is un­touch­able no mat­ter what they do,” he added. The fol­low­ing is the full text of In­ter­view: Q: In a speech to the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly on Thurs­day, Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu once again ac­cused Iran of de­vel­op­ing a nu­clear weapons pro­gram. He claimed he was re­veal­ing the ex­is­tence of a “se­cret atomic ware­house” in Tehran but of­fered no proof of the claim or de­tails. In re­sponse, Ira­nian of­fi­cials dis­missed the claim as a de­spi­ca­ble lie and said such lies are aimed at cov­er­ing up the Tel Aviv regime’s heinous crimes against the de­fense­less peo­ple of Pales­tine. This is while Is­rael is the only pos­ses­sor of nu­clear weapons in the Mid­dle East, but its pol­icy is to nei­ther con­firm nor deny that it has atomic bombs. The Tel Aviv regime is es­ti­mated to have 200 to 400 nu­clear war­heads in its arse­nal. What do you think about Ne­tanyahu’s com­ments?

A: Is­rael and Ne­tanyahu has a long his­tory of ly­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Com­mu­nity and the In­ter­na­tional me­dia in sup­port of its claims and po­lit­i­cal ob­jec­tives. The Is­raelis even have a term for it, “has­bara.” This trans­lates into pro­pa­ganda. Many claims by the Is­raelis have been proven false. Yet the North Amer­i­can me­dia and to a lesser ex­tent the Eu­ro­pean me­dia fre­quently fall for these lies and mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions. It is all part of a me­dia and po­lit­i­cal cam­paign to de­mo­nize en­e­mies like the Pales­tini­ans, the Ira­ni­ans and now even Rus­sia and China. This cam­paign is de­lib­er­ate and spon­sored by the Mos­sad, CIA and MI6, the in­tel­li­gence agen­cies of Western Pow­ers. The Mos­sad, Is­rael’s In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice, has as its motto, “By Way of De­cep­tion.” There are false sto­ries planted and even “false flag” at­tacks de­signed to ma­nip­u­late pub­lic opin­ion and to sup­port mil­i­tary ex­pen­di­tures and for­eign in­ter­ven­tions. The “fake news” is on the front page and the re­trac­tions are buried with lit­tle or no me­dia cov­er­age. Ne­tanyahu’s the­atri­cal per­for­mance gets mas­sive me­dia cov­er­age. The In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency’s (IAEA) re­jec­tion of the Is­raeli claim is largely ig­nored in the Western Me­dia. Q: As you know, Is­raeli troops last Fri­day killed seven other Pales­tini­ans, two of them chil­dren, and wounded dozens more in the dead­li­est day in re­cent weeks as Gazans stepped up protests along the bor­der fence. Since March 30, Is­raeli forces have killed at least 191 Pales­tini­ans dur­ing the demon­stra­tions dubbed the “Great March of Re­turn” along the Gaza bor­der. Most of the dead and the thou­sands wounded were un­armed civil­ians against whom Is­rael was us­ing ex­ces­sive force. What is your opin­ion about the de­vel­op­ments and the Is­raeli regime’s crimes? A: Is­rael’s at­tacks against un­armed peace­ful Pales­tinian pro­test­ers in Gaza are def­i­nitely “war crimes” and “crimes against hu­man­ity.” Ne­tanyahu and Is­rael’s mil­i­tary are be­com­ing em­bold­ened be­cause of the blan­ket sup­port they have ob­tained from U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and U.S. Neo­cons like na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser John Bolton and UN Am­bas­sador Nikki Ha­ley. Is­rael’s many at­tacks on Syria, and Le­banon and the shoot­ing down of the Rus­sian plane is ev­i­dence that Is­rael thinks it is un­touch­able no mat­ter what they do. The Is­raelis even had the gall to de­mand that Rus­sia not sup­ply S-300’s to Syria af­ter Is­rael’s at­tack on Syria re­sulted in the down­ing of the Rus­sian plane.

Q: Is­rael has re­jected in­ter­na­tional calls for probes into re­cent deaths and in­sisted that its open-fire rules for Gaza will not change. Some Western states, par­tic­u­larly the U.S. and Bri­tain, who call them­selves cham­pi­ons of hu­man rights, have sup­ported the Tel Aviv regime’s crimes against Pales­tini­ans. The UN has also failed to re­store the rights of the peo­ple. What is your assess­ment?

A: My assess­ment is bleak with some room for op­ti­mism. Is­rael con­stantly ig­nores calls for probes and crit­i­cism of Is­rael’s poli­cies, es­pe­cially those em­ployed against the Pales­tini­ans. As long as the United States and the United King­dom use their veto power at the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to pro­tect Is­rael there is lit­tle that the UN can do. Is­rael sees it­self as be­ing above in­ter­na­tional law and can do vir­tu­ally any­thing it wants. Things are, how­ever, chang­ing. The sup­port Is­rael re­ceives from the World Jewish com­mu­nity is in de­cline. Jewish or­ga­ni­za­tions like Jewish Voice for Peace in the United States and In­de­pen­dent Jewish Voices in Bri­tain and Canada have voiced se­vere crit­i­cism of Is­rael’s poli­cies.

Per­haps the most im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment is the Bri­tish La­bor Party crit­i­cism of Is­rael’s treat­ment of the Pales­tini­ans. Leader Jeremy Cor­byn, if elected to head the Bri­tish Govern­ment, has pledged to rec­og­nize Pales­tine as a State. At the just con­cluded La­bor Party Con­ven­tion the del­e­gates adopted a Mo­tion “lay­ing the blame for vi­o­lence at the Gaza bor­der in re­cent months squarely at the door of Is­rael, pledg­ing a halt to arms sales to the Jewish state if La­bor comes to power, and call­ing for the “im­me­di­ate un­con­di­tional end to the il­le­gal block­ade and clo­sure of Gaza.”

In the United States, 35 Se­na­tors led by U.S. Se­na­tors Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Dianne Fe­in­stein (D-Calif.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) pre­sented a let­ter to Pres­i­dent Trump to ex­press strong op­po­si­tion to his de­ci­sion to cut more than $500 mil­lion in aid to the Pales­tinian peo­ple – fund­ing that was passed into law to pro­vide clean wa­ter, food, ed­u­ca­tion, and crit­i­cal med­i­cal ser­vices to fam­i­lies in the West Bank and Gaza. The Se­na­tors wrote, “We are deeply con­cerned that your strat­egy of at­tempt­ing to force the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble by with­hold­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance from women and chil­dren is mis­guided and des­tined to back­fire. Your pro­posed cuts would un­der­mine those who seek a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion and strengthen the hands of Ha­mas and other ex­trem­ists in the Gaza Strip, as the hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis there wors­ens.” So there are signs that things are im­prov­ing for the Pales­tini­ans.

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