A systematic pattern of war crimes amounts to crimes against humanity, which Israel is certainly guilty of this year, even if the international institutions are too cowardly to indict the Netanyahus and the Liebermans
photo above: 2018 was the year Israel finally went completely rogue and ensured that it can no longer be considered to be in the club of liberal capitalist democracies. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
WN: The article highlighted below speaks for itself.
Somewhat astonishingly, the assemblage of far-right Israeli parties that rules Israel has managed to worsen its wretched human rights record in 2018 and to depart from liberal capitalist democracy almost entirely. Not only is Israel not the only democracy in the Middle East (that distinction now belongs to Tunisia), it isn’t a democracy at all in the sense of a state of equal citizens able to vote for the government that rules them.
Informed Comment reported that on July 19, the Likud-led government passed a new Nationality Law formally vesting “sovereignty” solely in the hands of the 75-80% of the population of Israel that is Jewish. (About 21% of Israelis are of Arab Palestinian heritage and another 300,000 or so persons are not recognized as Jews by the Grand Rabbi and so would not participate in sovereignty; these are mostly immigrants whose mothers were not Jewish).
The horrible conditions of civilian siege under which people in Gaza labor (and half the residents of the strip are children) has become intolerable, and this year they began conducting marches demanding the right to return.
These marches could have been a public relations disaster for Israel if the Western press actually did its job when it comes to Israel and Palestine (it does not, viewing the situation through a racialized and colonial lens rather as it used to view South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s).
I do not believe any of the US news networks so much as mentioned the weekly protests in Gaza after the initial two or three.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his officer corps decided to deal with these marches by shooting the demonstrators down in cold blood on the Gaza side of the border. The American press, which despises the Palestinians with a passion for the crime of having been victimized by an American ally, invented entirely imaginary headlines claiming that the Palestinians had been killed or injured in “clashes.” But there were no clashes. They with perhaps one exception never reached the Israeli border or actually encountered Israeli soldiers. They were shot down well inside Gaza even though they posed no danger to any Israeli military personnel.
As of October, Amnesty International reported that 150 Palestinians had been killed, 10,000 had been injured, “including 1,849 children, 424 women, 115 paramedics and 115 journalists. Of those injured, 5,814 were hit by live ammunition.” The death toll rose by early December to 175 and by the end of the year to an alleged 220, and those shot in the legs are by now at least 6,392.
One Israeli soldier has been killed and one injured.
The rallies are still being held every Friday and almost no one reports on them despite the creepy casualty tolls. The Israeli snipers appear to have deliberately aimed to cripple the Palestinians they shot in the lower limbs.
So there you have it. Israel at the end of 2018 is now unambiguously an Apartheid state, admired only in the US Deep South among those who are nostalgic for their own Jim Crow Apartheid. Its leaders deprived nearly a quarter of Israeli citizens of any share in national sovereignty. They sped up the colonization program in the Palestinian West Bank and coddled armed, violent squatters (who are often secretly subsidized by the Israeli state).
But worse of all, the Israeli elite decided just to shoot down unarmed protesters in the thousands, a clear war crime.
A systematic pattern of war crimes amounts to crimes against humanity, which Israel is certainly guilty of this year, even if the international institutions are too cowardly to indict the Netanyahus and the Liebermans, and even if the even more cowardly (or just frankly neocolonial) American press has been largely afraid to say these things out loud. (There are significant exceptions here, and the print press has been better than TV for the most part).
2018 was the year Israel finally went completely rogue and ensured that it can no longer be considered to be in the club of liberal capitalist democracies. It is now formally an Apartheid state even inside the Green Line. It is also the year when the Israeli elite consciously decided to shoot down with live ammunition unarmed, peaceful demonstrators in the thousands. These authoritarian policing methods most resemble those of fascist states of the interwar period.
Please click on: Israeli Apartheid