by Jerry Alatalo
peaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner’s blatant breaking of foreign policy protocol in inviting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak before Congress may backfire in ways unimagined by both Mr. Boehner and Netanyahu. First and foremost on the list of negative unintended consequences for the most powerful man in the republican party is the American people becoming aware that Benjamin Netanyahu committed war crimes during the war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, known as “Operation Protective Edge”.
After three teenage Israeli males became kidnapped, Israel unleashed a harsh military assault on Gaza – Operation Protective Edge – in what resulted in more than 2,500 Palestinian deaths, over 10,000 injured, and, in the words of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon upon traveling to Gaza in the aftermath: “unimaginable destruction”.
One can imagine an analogous situation where two adjacent cities/populations anywhere on Earth experience the same circumstances. As an example, let us say that the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota in America experienced an incident of kidnapping where three teenage boys became abducted. Let us say that Minneapolis is Israel and its neighboring city St. Paul is Gaza. In this imagined situation illustrating what Benjamin Netanyahu ordered during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, the mayor of Minneapolis orders a blanket, indiscriminate, disproportionate bombing campaign over a 50-day period leading to the deaths of over 2,500 residents of St.Paul, over 10,000 injured – mostly innocent civilians, and “unimaginable destruction”.
Now, if such massive human killing and physical destruction ever occurred in Minnesota, Dallas/Fort Worth in Texas, or any neighboring cities/populations in America, the mayor who ordered it would be in some extremely hot legal water, and without a doubt he or she would end up in prison for the rest of his/her natural life – if not facing the death penalty.
As unbelievable as Benjamin Netanyahu being granted the opportunity, the “honor”, to address the United States Congress in a matter of days is, what is of highest importance for the American people is becoming aware that the Israeli prime minister is guilty of horrific war crimes. Through America’s history, men and women foreign leaders have received what they understood as the honor of speaking to America’s elected representatives. With the exception of Benjamin Netanyahu, it is near impossible to produce names of any of those honored foreign guests/dignitaries who were in reality perpetrators of crimes against humanity.
Mr. Netanyahu coming to Washington is a matter of profound seriousness necessitating equally profound soul-searching by all equally capable serious persons, and raises clear, unavoidable questions of whether fundamental justice exists on this Earth. Furthermore, of paramount concern is tackling the questions raised when considering that the current prime minister of Israel – a nation historically connected to the Middle East region where wars and violence have resulted in millions of men, women and children perishing – is an unprosecuted war criminal who has a proven record of willingness to unleash weapons and kill innocent human beings by the thousands.
Given the seemingly endless war and violence suffered by the people of the Middle East for decades, the time has come for the International Criminal Court to carry out the difficult-but-necessary reason for its creation. Perhaps the only deterrent to crimes petty and of great magnitude is the moral, wise, effective implementation of true justice. According to the findings of the Nuremburg trials held after World War II, crimes of aggression represent the “supreme crime against humanity”.
John Pilger recently wrote: “To initiate a war of aggression…,” said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, “is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
The highest-priority question becomes, with regard to Benjamin Netanyahu and other willing, able, and active military aggressors the world over, “how will humanity act in response to destructive actions taken by supreme criminals?”
In these days leading up to Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the United States Congress, it is impossible to answer that truly all-important question in any way whatsoever conveying association with the commonly understood moral, ethical concept of bestowing upon another human being an “honor”.
For information on war crimes committed during Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014 against the people of Palestine, please visit:
(Thank you to Frank Barat at YouTube)