Sunday, August 3, 2014

Jon Voigt Parrots Israeli Propaganda

Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Pedro Almodovar have condemned the Israeli attacks against civilians in Gaza. Their act was a brave one, given Hollywood's unquestioning (but questionable) support of Israel, no matter what atrocity the Israelis perpetrate.

Make no mistake about it, the recent invasion of Gaza is an atrocity.

Jon Voigt, who scores no points for those who question his intelligence, if not his sanity, writes a letter that accounts the history of Israel since 1948. No one is interested in that history. We are looking at what Israel is doing today, a vicious attack with tanks and artillery against a defenseless civilian population of Palestinians in Gaza, where Israel is keeping them penned up like animals. Israel recently warned 100,000 residents of Gaza to leave their homes immediately and not return.

In response to this threat against a civilian population ( itself a War Crime under Article 6 of the Rome Accord), the UN offered shelter at its schools in Gaza. Up to 3,000 Palestinians, who had nowhere else to go, were huddling together in one of these schools when it was targeted by Israelis (either with tanks or artillery--hard to say which, one bombed out building looks much like any other), who scored a direct hit, killing more than 10 and injuring others. This was only one of many authenticated attacks against civilians in Gaza.

Attacking a civilian population is a war crime and a crime against humanity, as defined by the UN's Rome Statute. Forcing a civilian population to leave its homes is a crime of genocide, also as defined by the Rome Statute.

Cruz, Bardem, and Almodovar should be commended for their defense of the Palestinian victims of war crimes in Gaza. Voigt, on the other hand, should do some more research about Israel's recent violations of international law. He should start by reading the Rome Statute. There is no provision there that permits killing of civilians under any circumstances, much less the targeting of shelters where civilians are known to seek refuge.

Belatedly, the Obama administration has condemned Israel for this inexcusable action. White House spokesman Josh Earnest condemned Israeli actions as "totally unacceptable and totally indefensible." Israel's assaults on a defenseless civilian population are likely to continue unless and until the US refuses to support a nation who routinely defies international laws and the good opinion of the family of nations.

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