by Zafar Bangash (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 44, No. 6, Shawwal, 1436)
The moment Zionist crimes against the Palestinians are mentioned, their apologists immediately trot out the anti-Semitism charge. It has become tedious to argue that it is not anti-Semitism but a reflection of the grim reality the Palestinians face on a daily basis. It is not difficult to see why Zionist apologists resort to such devious arguments. As any smart lawyer would do, change the subject when you cannot defend a particular position.
Such devious conduct, amply backed by the pro-Zionist media in much of the Western world, cannot hide the ugly reality of Zionism. Last May when it was announced that the UN was considering adding Israel to the list of entities involved in “grave violations against children in armed conflict,” the Zionists went berserk. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was pressured to drop Israel’s name from the list. While such pressure tactics may have succeeded, the reality is that there is ample proof for such crimes, which are systemic and systematic. An article by Adam Leyland in the British daily, the Independent, noted [UN Special Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict Leila]… “Zerrougui’s draft reporte cited IDF attacks on schools and hospitals during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip…” (May 29, 2015).
While the UN was pressured to drop Israel’s name from the list, in doing so, it violated its own stated policy since 2009. The UN website notes, “…the Security Council decided to also list armed forces and groups who kill and maim children, commit sexual violence against children, and attack schools and hospitals.” Israel is guilty of killing and maiming children, the most recent of which was the gruesome killing of four Palestinian children playing on a Gaza beach. In Israel’s war on Gaza in 2014, out of the 2,200 Palestinian civilians killed, 623 were children. The killing of Palestinian children in Gaza as well as the West Bank continues. The Israeli army also routinely threatens and enacts sexual abuse against Palestinian children. Hospitals and schools are also routinely attacked with missiles and even phosphorus bombs. Gaza’s scarred hospitals bear ample testimony to such Israeli brutality. Members of the Israeli army themselves have admitted to such crimes. “Breaking the Silence,” a report by Israeli soldiers in “ Children and Youth — Soldiers’ Testimonies 2005–2011” noted, “This booklet reveals how physical violence is often exerted against children, whether in response to accusations of stone-throwing or, more often, arbitrarily.”
Abduction of Palestinian children is routine. One of the most horrific abductions occurred in the early morning of July 2, 2014 when Mohammed Abu Khdeir went missing while going to the masjid for Fajr prayers in occupied Jerusalem. His charred and mutilated body was found a few hours later. Illegal Zionist squatters (euphemistically called settlers) poured gasoline down his throat and set him on fire. They first beat the slightly built 16-year-old with a blunt object to the head. This macabre ritual was blessed by rabbis attached to the Israeli army as was the criminal assault on the Gaza Strip. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association’s April 2014 report noted that 182 Palestinian children are imprisoned by Israel including 26 under the age of 16. The report also noted that “…8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested since 2000.” The Israeli paper, Haaretz, and human rights organization, B’Tselem, have both reported such brutality by the Israeli authorities.
The Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-Palestine) has noted, “Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees. Interrogations tend to be coercive, including a variety of verbal abuse, threats, and physical violence that ultimately result in a confession.” DCI-Palestine further notes that most Israeli-imprisoned Palestinian children are nabbed in the middle of the night. Not surprisingly, some commentators have dubbed Israel a moral and political leper.