The Root of Palestinian Misery – Editorial (National Post- Canada) :
On Sunday, Palestinians in Gaza were celebrating the victory of their “human shields” in thwarting an air strike against the home of wanted terrorist Wail Barud. But the tactic may have backfired from a propaganda perspective. It is clear the Palestinians themselves do not believe their own propaganda about Israel’s alleged thirst for blood. Otherwise, they never would have been able to recruit all those human shields. And if Israel really were as sadistic as its critics claim, it wouldn’t have called off Sunday’s bombing run.
Just imagine if the shoe was on the other foot, and hundreds of Israeli “human shields” positioned themselves in an unguarded cafe in the West Bank. Palestinian suicide bombers would be stepping over each other in an effort to attack the target. “Human shields” work only when your enemy fights like a human. A second irony is that it is men like Barud who are at the root of Palestinian misery – for if they were not firing rockets at Israel from Gaza, and smuggling in weapons from Egypt, there would be no need for Israeli counterterrorist operations in Gaza. If Palestinians were more rational about where their society’s interests lie, they would go to Barud’s house not to offer protection, but to arrest him so that others in the area could live in peace.
A discredit to the UN:
The New York Times
November 22, 2006
The old, unreformed UN Human Rights Commission was selective and one- sided, but occasionally managed to do some good work. That may be more than can be said for its successor body, the Human Rights Council, born earlier this year of a weak-kneed compromise from which the United States stood honorably apart. If this is the best the United Nations can do at reforming itself, it isn’t worth the effort.
The council is new, but its deliberations have already fallen into a shameful pattern. When it comes to the world’s worst and most consistent human rights violators, like China, Iran, North Korea, Myanmar and Sudan, there has been a tendency to muffle words and conclusions and shift the focus from individual and political rights to broader economic and social questions.
But when it comes to criticizing Israel for violations committed in a wartime context that includes armed attacks against its citizens and soldiers, the council seems to change personality, turning harshly critical and uninterested in broader contexts.
As the council prepares to resume deliberations next week, an ad hoc coalition of human rights violators is pushing for an end to the practice of singling out individual countries for special criticism and follow-up investigations. More here.
HRW: Palestinians must not use civilians as human shields:
The New York-based Human Rights Watch on Wednesday blasted Palestinian terrorist organizations for urging Palestinian civilians to protect terrorists whose homes had been targeted by the IDF.
“There is no excuse for calling civilians to the scene of a planned attack,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW. “Whether or not the home is a legitimate military target, knowingly asking civilians to stand in harm’s way is unlawful.”
The statement came in the wake of reports that hundreds of Palestinians rushed to the homes of two terrorists who had been warned by the army to leave their homes before they were destroyed. One case involved a commander in the Popular Resistance Committees, Muhammad El-Barud, who was given 30 minutes to leave his house in the Jabalya refugee camp. A similar warning was reportedly given to Wael Rajab, an alleged Hamas member in Beit Lahiya.
El-Barud summoned friends and relatives to his house to deter the air force from destroying his house. In Beit Lahiya, mosques broadcast a call to neighbors to flock to Rajab’s house.
The IDF called off the attacks for fear of causing heavy civilian casualties.According to HRW, Palestinian officials and leaders praised the tactic. More here. KGS