Incredible, absolutely incredible! The words quoted in today’s edition of Ha‘aretz come from none other than Dennis Ross, former US Middle East “dishonest peace broker.” Read these words carefully, chew them like a rough piece of beef, turn them over and over, and digest these words. Then imagine applying this same standard to THE HOLOCAUST. How about applying this same standard to those who now, fifty-six years later, seek billions in reparations from German corporations? (See for example: Elinor J. Brecher, “Judge Suing for Nazi-era Reparations”, Miami Herald, June 19, 2001, 3B ).
“It’s hard to interpret it as anything but a step against the state of Israel. I don’t see what the point of raising it at this juncture is. This is an issue that was dealt with back at the time, and I believe that what we should be trying to do now is settle the problems of today and not be consumed by the problems of yesterday.“
Former U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, Dennis Ross, on the BBC’s recently-broadcast ‘The Accused’ documentary program, which raised the question of whether Ariel Sharon could be tried for war crimes over the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre. Ha‘aretz June 19, 2001.
According to Ross ï¿½ and his words are definitive proof that the US can never be an “honest broker” in the Middle East ï¿½ prosecution for War Crimes is not permissible if A) the victims were unworthy, i.e., Palestinians, Chilean Leftists, East Timorese, you get the picture; B) the issue was dealt with by the perpetrator to the satisfaction of no one save the perpetrators; C) if too much time has lapsed, thus nullifying the concept of no statue of limitations for War Crimes; or D) if and only if it involves his true homeland, the sacred State of Israel.
The History Channel just aired another one of those documentaries with purportedly “never before seen footage of Hitler’s genocide.” Of course, if you’re a documentary fanatic like I am (also a history buff) you will immediately recognize that the “never before seen footage” is part of your documentary collection. In other words, the footage has been viewed, perhaps not by many, but believe me, there was nothing new in that program.
But alas, the History Channel was interested in ratings, and what better way to dredge up viewers than to employ the old hook: “never before seen!” And of course, notice that unlike the program about the attack on the USS Liberty, this one was not cancelled.
So the BBC documentary could not possibly be a courageous investigative journalistic foray into one of recent history’s worst atrocities, committed under the auspices of the so-called only democracy in the Middle East? And the fact that the present leader of that so-called democracy was then in charge of the entire “Peace for Galilee” invasion and subsequent occupation, is somehow now irrelevant? Finally, Ariel Sharon was found indirectly responsible for the massacres by an Israeli commission of inquiry. His punishment? None. But please do not disturb our buddy Dennis Ross. He is too busy returning to form as a toady for AIPAC, too preoccupied with the usual pro-Israel, pro-status quo TV and radio Talk Show circuit that exists in this country. Only in country where education is valued, where intellectuals are admired and respected, and where television is used to advance knowledge and critically evaluate power would such a program like BBC Panorama‘s “The Accused” be produced. Poor Ross, such a prisoner of American news, with its corporate ownership, emphasis on “concision”, and deference to power, he is unable to see beyond the shadows. Like so many millions of Americans, he too has not escaped Plato’s Cave.
Mr. Michael Lopez-Calderon taught High School Social Studies in Miami, Florida for seven years until March 2, 2001, when he was asked to leave the Jewish Day school where he had taught for the past five years. Michael was asked to leave for having posted pro-Palestinian comments on Palestine Media Watch’s subscriber-only e-mail. He remains an activist in the Miami area.