Suing for Peace with Justice

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Soon after the commotion of the Al-Aqsa uprising awakened me to the holy cause of Palestine, I concluded that the best choice of weapons would be the law. I saw that appeals to conscience through the media fell mostly on cotton ears. The little hearing we writers received was only carried in on the din of tanks, rockets and the wailing of the bereaved, and not by the force of our cogence or eloquence. To buy airtime with blood was dear, but was the only deal on the street.

Yet the enemy always exacted a double price in repression. Since to win in war means to give more damage than you take, we “internationals” strive to find a less punishing path [1] to coverage and sympathy – in this calamity of international making, that originated far across the sea from tiny Palestine.

No one knows if non-violent protests would attract the world’s attention, because it has not been tried on a mass basis. Certain is that peace negotiations have been a catastrophe. The latest “ceasefire” and Tenet agreement are only a cover for gradual ethnic cleansing that won’t make the news – death by a thousand pinpricks

Lawsuits can have many advantages over other forms of resistance.

1. Not even a terror regime can bomb villages in retaliation for a war crimes suit in the high courts of the world.

2. A king-catching courtroom drama is big box office é look at the Pinochet case.

3. The medium of law is our message itself: justice for injustice. Injustice of the occupation, the Nakba, and the rest. No hearing for chicanery about even-handedness, about Arafat control this or that. Only the wrongdoers will be defendants and targets.

A fourth factor is deterrence. The law more directly threatens the ultimate culprits than stones, mortars or editorials. Even if lawsuits are still difficult to win now, the guilty can not feel safe from a war crimes tribunal someday.

Fifth, court cases enforce disciplined attention to a single event. The media’s zionist-bent, sensationally superficial reporting slivers attention on passing details like a paper shredder. The debate shifts from one pixel to another, without the picture ever coming in focus. [3] The fascist disinformation machine is now swamping the media market with “policy of restraint and unilateral ceasefire”é during which their settlers and soldiers killed dozens more Palestinians and wounded several hundred. To any proposal to rein in its planned expansion and aggression, the Intransigent State always attaches the strings of the impossible. Make mud bricks without straw, or incur Pharaoh’s wrath. No one even asks why Arafat has to keep every stone glued down to the dusty streets of Gaza when the IDF constantly assists the settler vigilantes. If anyone does raise this question, they shift the subject again.

The real picture must be camouflaged from the world, the big picture that is so stark and simple: a land and its innocent people raped and plundered, encaged and tormented in camps, while the pundits of “civilization” spun sophistry for decades, diddling with their coward consciences to distract themselves from the horror. That is also history, and we must repeat, repeat, repeat the bare fact of genocide until it gets to the ears of the reckless drivers at the world’s wheel. We must show the murderers to themselves until they are sick of the sight and sound of it. What will it avail their commentators to curse in hysterical columns, when the chronicle of history gets through to world opinion.

When the main message gets through, pixel-splitting can stop. It will be clear that every act of a Palestinian against the Israelis is in self-defense, against intruders bent on extinguishing him and his family in his own home. As Yasser Arafat pointed out at the UN in 1974:

“The difference between the revolutionary and the terrorist lies in the reason for which each fights. Whoever stands by a just cause and fights for liberation from invaders and colonialists cannot be called terrorist. Those who wage war to occupy, colonize and oppress other people are the terrorists….

The Palestinian people had to resort to armed struggle when they lost faith in the international community, which ignored their rights, and when it became clear that not one inch of Palestine could be regained through exclusively political means…

The PLO dreams and hopes for one democratic state where Christian, Jew and Muslim live in justice, equality, fraternity and progress. “ [4]

Not much to ask for tiny Palestine, the standard conditions that prevail over millions of square miles in the USA!

It is fundamental history that the Israeli regime was founded by force and terror and is maintained in the same way. A law court is an ideal forum to concentrate minds on these salient facts, and to consolidate advances made. So I am delighted to read of lawsuits launching against Sharon in Belgium. [5]

But I would like to add a twist. Have you seen the online booklet, “Origin of the Palestine Israeli Conflict”?. [6] There is a fascinating chapter on Zionist complicity in the Holocaust, showing in their own words how the Jewish Agency sabotaged international efforts to rescue Hitler’s victims. The Zionists needed the foil of Nazism to pull off their impossible mission and to justify their own extremism.

To Ben-Gurion, saving Jewish lives was a threat to the Israel project. Now why in the name of Moses haven’t the Zionist agencies, and their successor, the Israeli state, been sued for bottling up six million Jews in the death camps ???? [7] By Jewish or any other law, it should be the same.

And the method has been shown by Simon Wiesenthal. If I haven’t missed a beat, there is money coming from Swiss banks that the Zionist regime wants to get hold of. Is there a lawyer in the house who can file a restraining order?

Israel has cashed in on guilt for decades to build a Fourth Reich on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. How about compensating real victims in person, including Palestinians?

October 24, 2001

This article has lain unfinished and unpublished for over four months. Not being a lawyer, I did not want to appear to advise any specific legal action that might prove fruitless. We need to bring suit in real courts, but American law seems to be a minefield for human rights plaintiffs. [8] One has to understand that a symbolic court in absentia [9] such as the Ramsey Clark War Crimes Tribunal against US genocide in Iraq has no real teeth at present.

Yet such actions can build the awareness that may result in a real judgment many years later, especially in Europe [10]. Legal action remains an effective branch of media action.

With the above disclaimer, and emboldened by the unexpected media success of the Brussels lawsuit (thanks especially to the BBC’s coverage on its weekly Panorama) [11], let us conclude with a bit of brainstorming about potential legal avenues.

Perhaps a legal aid website can be established with the recommended procedures by country for people who want to sue.

Survivors or relatives of massacres at Qibya (Kibya) [12] and victims of war crimes being carried out daily under the command of prime minister Sharon in Palestine now (deaths incurred as a result of illegal settlements) could file subsidiary claims to the Mallat suit to step up the pressure; for instance, relatives of victims of assassination, settler violence and retaliation attacks such as the one on Beit Rima.

Survivors and descendants of the Nakba could sue any surviving leaders of the Jewish Agency or Palmach in the same court.

Israel Shamir has proposed that the American Jewish lobby is a possible target for a war crimes suit! [13] He has proposed other innovative legal approaches as well: he finds that the Zionist monopoly of the media in America is in violation of our laws on fair competition, racial equality and equal access. He points out that the media in particular, as the very nervous system of society, must be free of undue ethnic influence.

Jaffer Ali proposed media pressure on US corporations to divest from Israel and legal requirements for Jewish Americans with double citizenship to choose between Israeli or American passports. [14]

In July a French judge opined that Israel could be sued in European Courts for violations of international conventions banning apartheid practices.[15]

If only avenues existed to sue George Bush and other living ex-presidents of the US, and the EU for collaboration with a criminal state and demand sanctions as part of the settlement!? We could sue Putin as well for the destruction of Chechnya.

But today, October 24, 2001, the stormtroops of the illegal state of Nazion bloodied their tank tracks in another Lidice-like massacre a la Nakba 1948 – or Qibya 1953. They smashed the village of Beit Rima with overwhelming force behind a No Press, No Ambulances cordon, demolishing houses and shooting to kill at anyone on the street.

My friends, Retaliation and retribution against innocent civilians is way up there on the list of war crimes!

WHY CAN’T WE SUE THEM AS THEY SPILL BLOOD, INSTEAD OF WAITING UNTIL 20 YEARS AFTER?

Is there no way to sue Sharon and his henchmen for the assassinations, the expansion of settlements, the denial of medical care and all the other ongoing war crimes he has committed since his election, with the full machinery of state terrorism he has at his disposal?

AND TO SUE BUSH AND HIS CIA FOR GENOCIDE IN AFGHANISTAN?

Not yet. A lot of work is still needed to change the political atmosphere. To study human rights law is certainly as fine a form of “jihad”, of struggle against oppression, as any.

Notes:

[1]. A favorite tactic is non-violent marches, with TV cameras to catch the occupiers’ violent response, used by Vigils of Women in Black, Sabeel, Christian Peacemakers Team etc.

[2]. So easy that one is tempted to look for an Israeli hand, as with the apartment bombings in Moscow, linked to the Russian secret police FSB, which paved the way to crush Chechnya and elect Putin. Some sites about the Moscow conspiracy: Jeff Jacoby at http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a381848e4126a.htm , http://www.ichkeria.org/a/2001/8/com2808-en9311.html . Ex-FSB (ex-KGB) lieutenant Litvinenko has applied for asylum in the UK and his book, “The FSB Blows up Russia”, has been serialized by Novaya Gazeta. In it he tells the story of one bombing in the series attributed to Chechens in order to create a pretext for an invasion and get Putin elected (sound like September 11?) – it was the one that was aborted when the apartment manager caught FSB agents red-handed in the act of planting sacks of the explosive Hexogen in the cellar of his apartment block.

[3]. “Why has it been almost impossible to overcome the barriers to understanding the Palestine question? The staple diet of propaganda – obfuscation, mythology and mendacity.” http://167.160.86.106/jasarat4.html

[4]. PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat’s First Appearance at the United Nations, by Donald Neff, www.washington-report.org/backissues/1194/9411070.htm

[5]. The Belgian suit is in a regular court against A. Sharon, see Lebanon Daily Star, www.dailystar.com.lb/05_06_01/art4.htm, “Case against Sharon mounts”.

[6]. Published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East, www.cactus48.com

[7]. Holocaust deniers should shut up, or smart up! Granted, deniers may have sensed that something in the Holocaust story doesn’t fit, but they are looking in the wrong direction. The Zionist betrayal of European Jewry makes the entire atrocity greater, not less than imagined é a crime not only against humanity, but also against one’s own blood.

[8]. One of the main workers in the US is immigration lawyer Susan Akram, who has posted information on the Badil.org website, e.g. Fora Available for Palestinian Refugee Restitution, Compensation and Related Claims http://www.badil.org/Publications/Briefs/Brief-No_2.html. However, Ms. Akram is not optimistic about class action suits in the United States, based on precedents explained at http://www.nsulaw.nova.edu/student/organizations/ILSAJournal/6-2/MacKinnon%206-2.htm . An excellent general treatment of the right of return, based on interviews with the director of Badil, is at the American Bar Association website, http://www.abanet.org/journal/dec00/frefug.html .

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