Usually, after writing a post I won’t come back to the same story unless it’s quite compelling and newsworthy. But I make an exception in the case of the legal nitwits who run Shurat HaDin, who I profiled yesterday when they lost a major U.S. Supreme Court decision. That ruling overturned a $700-million judgment by a lower court against the Arab Bank. I suppose they want to divert attention from their resounding defeat before our nation’s highest court with this new gambit. But after reading about it I couldn’t resist another profile of their lunacy.
As almost anyone with a heartbeat knows, Israel is killing Palestinians at a brisk clip every Friday at the border fence, where 41 have been murdered so far. The protesters are participants in a non-violent campaign called the Great March of Return. The goal is to commemorate Land Day and the Nakba, bringing the world’s attention to Israel’s ongoing theft of Palestinian land and patrimony.
The IDF snipers have murdered young boys, disabled men, even a deaf boy. On Israeli radio, an army general made this obscene statement:
The host Ron Nesiel asks Fogel if the Israeli army should “rethink its use of snipers,” and suggests that someone giving orders “lowered the bar for using live fire.”
Fogel adamantly defends the policy, stating: “At the tactical level, any person who gets close to the fence, anyone who could be a future threat to the border of the State of Israel and its residents, should bear a price for that violation.”
He adds: “If this child or anyone else gets close to the fence in order to hide an explosive device or check if there are any dead zones there or to cut the fence so someone could infiltrate the territory of the State of Israel to kill us …”
“Then his punishment is death?” Nesiel interjects.
“His punishment is death,” the general responds. “As far as I’m concerned then yes, if you can only shoot him to stop him, in the leg or arm – great. But if it’s more than that then, yes, you want to check with me whose blood is thicker, ours or theirs.”
Fogel then describes the careful process by which targets – including children – are identified and shot:
“I know how these orders are given. I know how a sniper does the shooting. I know how many authorizations he needs before he receives an authorization to open fire. It is not the whim of one or the other sniper who identifies the small body of a child now and decides he’ll shoot. Someone marks the target for him very well and tells him exactly why one has to shoot and what the threat is from that individual. And to my great sorrow, sometimes when you shoot at a small body and you intended to hit his arm or shoulder, it goes even higher.”
In other words, you blow the head off a small child instead of “merely” wounding him with a shot to the arm or shoulder. And that, if it can be believed, causes Gen. Fogel “great sorrow.” I’d say it causes him as much sorrow as killing a rat or a cockroach who tries to invade his home.
Returning to Shurat HaDin, those legal clowns have devised an entire new theory which should entertain anyone who likes to poke fun at legal lunacy. It is: Hamas is guilty of war crimes because it sends young children to the border fence deliberately, knowing they will be killed:
The centre [SHD] accuses Hamas of using children as human shields in the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip…
“The death of a 15-year-old boy near the Gaza border last week was a direct result of the war crimes committed by Hamas leaders against their own people,” Shurat Hadin Director Nitzana Darshan-Leitner told Israel Hayom. “It is not Israel that should face an investigation, or fend off criticism by the European Union and a demand by the UN for an investigation into the death of [Palestinian] children – it is Hamas leaders who send these children to be human shields, to be killed in battle.”
In truth, no one tells these youth to challenge heavily armed soldiers and die in the process. THey don’t need to be told by anyone to do that.
Palestinian resistance is, in some instances organized, as when a militant group launches a terror attack against Israel. But in Gaza, that’s not the case at all. These children are imbued with the Palestinian cause. They are acting spontaneously, seeking an expression of their rage against Israeli blockade and suppression of their dreams for freedom.
So if SHD wants to target the real culprit, aside from the obvious case of Israel, it should haul the entire Palestinian people before the ICC. It should demand that a people’s struggle for justice and freedom should be labeled a war crime. Obviously, the ludicrousness of the NGO’s position would become apparent to anyone who is sentient.
Of course, it is completely coincidental that the chief prosecutor of the ICC warned weeks ago that if the IDF killing-spree continued that she might be forced to open a file against Israel. SHD knows of course that the killing has continued and likely will continue until the Great March ends. So what better way to distract from the Israeli killing machine than to fool the world into believing that Hamas is the party that is guilty of these murders, rather than Israel.
SHD’s brief is replete with lies and half-truths. As this first-hand account indicates, the Great March is not sponsored by Hamas. It is not sponsored by any Palestinian political entity. It is a grassroots campaign by civil society groups and individuals:
Western media’s coverage of the Great Return March has focused on the images of young people hurling stones and burning tires. The Israeli military portrays the action as a violent provocation by Hamas, a claim that many analysts have blindly accepted. Those depictions are in direct contradiction with my experiences on the ground.
…The General Union of Cultural Centers, the NGO for which I serve as executive director, participated in planning meetings for the march, which included voices from all segments of Gaza’s civil and political society. At the border, I haven’t seen a single Hamas flag, or Fatah banner, or poster for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, for that matter — paraphernalia that have been widespread in virtually every other protest I have witnessed. Here, we have flown only one flag — the Palestinian flag.
True, Hamas members are participating, as they are part of the Palestinian community. But that participation signals, perhaps, that they may be shifting away from an insistence on liberating Palestine through military means and are beginning to embrace popular, unarmed civil protest. But the Great Return March is not Hamas’s action. It is all of ours.
And our action has been so much more than tires burning or young men throwing stones at soldiers stationed hundreds of meters away. The resistance in the encampments has been creative and beautiful. I danced the dabke, the Palestinian national dance, with other young men. I tasted samples of the traditional culinary specialties being prepared, such as msakhan (roasted chicken with onions, sumac and pine nuts) and maftool (a couscous dish). I sang traditional songs with fellow protesters and sat with elders who were sharing anecdotes about pre-1948 life in their native villages. Some Fridays, kites flew, and on others flags were hoisted on 80-foot poles to be clearly visible on the other side of the border.
Hamas no more ordered 16-year-old boys to the fence than Israel ordered its soldiers to hold fire against the protesters. Hamas certainly does control Gaza and could, if it wished, stop the protest. But that is far different from organizing, funding, and directing it, which Hamas has not done.
In summary, SHD is not a legal NGO. It is not seeking justice for victims of Palestinian terror, except as ancillary to its main purpose. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Israeli security apparatus. It has no purpose other than to engage in a war against the Palestinian people. It fights that war by any means necessary. Even if that “means” is based on a legal charade. When will the legal community come to see it for what it is?