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Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:41 AM

Juan Cole: Gaza’s Health Crisis and Israel’s Crimes Against Humanity


Gaza’s Health Crisis and Israel’s Crimes Against Humanity

Israeli air strikes for the past 6 days have killed over 100 Palestinians in Gaza, many of them women and children; one strike deliberately targeted a media building that Israeli government knew to house journalists. Medics announced Monday that they are running out of key medicines (Gaza is under Israeli blockade). Military strikes are also interfering in the delivery of medical and other aid by international organizations in the Strip.

This Arabic-language report says that Israeli warplanes targeted the Jordanian field hospital late on Monday. I have not been able to find confirmation for this report, but if it is true, and deliberate, it would be a war crime.

SNIP

Since small homemade rockets coming out of Gaza in 2012 had killed no Israelis before the Israeli Air Force started bombing the Gaza Strip last week, there is no doubt that Israel is engaged in a disproportionate use of force and a reckless disregard for the well-being of civilian non-combatants in its own occupied territory. Israeli army spokesmen claim they are precisely targeting only Hamas paramilitary personnel and blame Hamas for hiding among non-combatants. However, it is the Occupying power’s responsibility to do due diligence in ensuring the safety of the occupied population, and if Israeli pilots don’t have a clear shot at an enemy combatant, they simply should not take it.

These hostilities are deepening a longstanding crisis in Gaza health care that has resulted from deliberate Israeli policies.
SNIP

A recent World Health Organization Report worries that in just 8 years, in 2020, if current Israeli policies continue, Gaza will be virtually uninhabitable. Israel as the occupying power since 1967 is directly responsible in international law for the well-being of its occupied populations, and is in severe violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of the occupied. Moreover, since Israeli policies of Apartheid, discrimination, exile, restriction of movement and infliction of harm on Palestinians in Gaza are long-standing, deliberate and systematic, Israeli leaders are guilty in this regard of crimes against humanity.
SNIP

Gandhi told the Zionists who asked for his blessing for the creation of the state of Israel that Israel could not survive being both a democracy and a Jewish state. Looks like the Likud Party is proving Gandhi's point.
It's historically ironic that Israel is doing to the Palestinians what European Christians did to their ancestors-- regulate them to ghettos, like Gaza, and institute violent pogroms against the inhabitants of those ghettos from time to time.

In this same blog post, Juan Cole says,

Some 500 Egyptian activists, from the same youth groups that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in February, 2011, brought food and medical aid to Gaza on Saturday. Egypt is keeping its Rafah checkpoint with Gaza open for the transport of wounded to El Arish Hospital.

It would be interesting to see how the United States, Israel, and the world will react if these activists unite with Palestinians in a Palestinian-Arab Spring movement.

28 replies, 3009 views

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Juan Cole: Gaza’s Health Crisis and Israel’s Crimes Against Humanity (Original post)
Larkspur Nov 2012 OP
Purveyor Nov 2012 #1
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #10
King_David Nov 2012 #18
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #19
King_David Nov 2012 #21
dkf Nov 2012 #2
kayecy Nov 2012 #3
dkf Nov 2012 #5
R. Daneel Olivaw Nov 2012 #7
dkf Nov 2012 #6
R. Daneel Olivaw Nov 2012 #8
azurnoir Nov 2012 #13
Mosby Nov 2012 #4
oberliner Nov 2012 #9
King_David Nov 2012 #11
oberliner Nov 2012 #14
Mosby Nov 2012 #15
frylock Nov 2012 #26
Mosby Nov 2012 #27
frylock Nov 2012 #28
aranthus Nov 2012 #22
azurnoir Nov 2012 #16
Mosby Nov 2012 #17
azurnoir Nov 2012 #20
dlwickham Nov 2012 #12
Shaktimaan Nov 2012 #23
Larkspur Nov 2012 #24
Shaktimaan Nov 2012 #25

Response to Larkspur (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:46 AM

1. Things are getting rocky in Jordan.

Jordan's king fears Gaza conflict may further complicate his struggle for survival

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014313467

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 05:55 PM

10. Sick thing is, if Abdullah looked like he was really in trouble, HRC would probably push

for us to send in the Marines to save his sorry Hashemite ass.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:48 PM

18. I think Jordan should have majority rule,

You never know how the dynamics in the region may change with Palestinians ruling.

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Response to King_David (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 09:27 PM

19. Fine, it should be majority rule.

That wouldn't make it acceptable for Palestinians in the West Bank to be denied the vote
in Israeli elections(since it's likely that Israel would then push to formally annex the West Bank if Jordan was ever taken over by the ethnic-Palestinian majority). They live in Palestine...NOT Jordan...and they don't want to move to Jordan. They'd need to be allowed to stay where they've always lived. If Jordan became a majority-Palestinian state, those Palestinians in the West Bank would still have to be allowed to live in the West Bank, and there would no longer be any way to deny them the right to vote in Israeli elections. You can't have a large community of people living in one country but being forced to vote in another.

Besides, the whole argument that Israeli rightists made in defense of the now-discredited "Jordan is Palestine" canard was that it would mean that they'd deal with the Hashemite monarchs, not the Palestinians. If they had to deal with a Palestinian-run Jordan, why would THAT be acceptable to these guys when they couldn't deal with working with a Palestinian-run Palestine?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #19)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:22 AM

21. They could join a Belgian type federation with the west Bank,

More likely to suceed than with Israel.

But they wouldn't want Gaza.

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Response to Larkspur (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:51 AM

2. And would the US government allow another Country to shoot "small homemade rockets" at us?

 

Obama is already doing exactly what the Israelis are doing.

How strongly is Juan Cole condemning the US?

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Response to dkf (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:00 AM

3. 150 dead and 1,000 injured..When has Obama ever done that?.....n/t

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Response to kayecy (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:03 PM

5. How many drone strikes have we made?

 

We kill people with drones before they lob their bombs. You think it's less than 100 killed and 1000 injured? Do we even have a tally? Or is that "classified"?

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Response to dkf (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:59 PM

7. Yeah, we kill civilians: getting them before they even decide to become terrorists.

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Response to kayecy (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:15 PM

6. I found these numbers...

 

According to data compiled by the New America Foundation from reliable news reports, 337 CIA drone strikes in Pakistan have killed an estimated 1,908 to 3,225 people since 2004, of which 1,618 - 2,769 were reported to be militants.

http://counterterrorism.newamerica.net/drones

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Response to dkf (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:02 PM

8. Those 290-456 estimated civis certainly had it coming to them.

Now, anybody that knew them will be radicalized; so the USA can kill them as well.

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Response to dkf (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:00 AM

13. 'How strongly is Juan Cole condemning the US?" Google could be your friend

because Juan Cole has been extremely critical of US ME policies and actions for years, is this the first time you've ever heard of him?

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Response to Larkspur (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:25 AM

4. what health crisis?

Palestinian health figures are quite good in the west bank and gaza, much much better than palestinians in lebanon, jordan and syria.

They even get free health care in israel when needed.

Don't OPs need a link or something in IP?

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Response to Mosby (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:49 PM

9. This is Juan Cole

That should tell you all you need to know.

Surprised he doesn't have a top ten list on the subject.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:47 PM

11. +1

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Response to King_David (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 07:42 AM

14. And here's his top ten list!

Top Ten Steps that are Necessary for Lasting Gaza-Israel Peace (or, Good Luck!)

http://www.juancole.com/2012/11/top-ten-steps-that-are-necessary-for-lasting-gaza-israel-peace-or-good-luck.html

I called this one!

Boy does this man love top ten lists...

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Response to oberliner (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:52 AM

15. you did call it.

He is really putting his academic credibility on the line using that easily debunkable fake map. Also comes out as supporting a one state solution.

While it is unfortunate that small homemade rockets are sometimes fired by small militant groups from Gaza into Israel, it is impossible to expect social peace from a people being economically strangled.


Yes juan, terrorizing a million plus civilians month after month and year after year is "unfortunate", and I for one am overwelmed by the compassion you express for Israelis.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:33 PM

26. so your answer is collective punishment..

duly noted.

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Response to frylock (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:59 PM

27. your inability to comprehend my stmts is duly noted.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:28 PM

28. feel free to clarify

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Response to oberliner (Reply #14)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:47 AM

22. It's funny and sad.

It's funny that he thinks he's at all relevant or has any credibility, and it's sad that there are people who agree with him.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:16 PM

16. well the life span for Palestinians averages around 8 years less than Israelis

Palestinian Life expectancy at birth

total population: 71.97 years
male: 70.67 years
female: 73.34 years (2006 est.)

This page was last modified on 22 November 2012 at 04:15.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_Palestinian_territories#Life_expectancy_at_birth_2


Israeli Life expectancy at birth

Total: 79.46 years (2006 est.)
Male: 77.33 years
Female: 81.7 years

This page was last modified on 11 November 2012 at 21:29.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Israel
both are by and and large ruled b y the same government

and I note that the comparisons are other Arabs only which IMO is like comparing the lifespan of Black Americans to those in say Rwanda or any other African country and then saying see no problem they have it so much better here

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:36 PM

17. egypt: 60m/64f; lebanon: 68m/73f; SA: 68m/72f

Those are 2012 numbers. The Palestinians have a higher life expectancy than all those countries.

Palestinian life expectancy over time:

1960 43/46
1980 56/60
2000 70/74

Infant mortality has dropped from 190 per 1000 in 1960 to 27 per 1000 in 2000.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 09:58 PM

20. yep would you like to see the comparison between Blacks in the US and those in Rwanda?

bet you could make a case there too

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Response to Larkspur (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:09 AM

12. Gandhi had some strange ideas when it came to the Jews

Or would it? Gleaning through the elder Gandhi’s remarks, the picture that emerges is complex. This much is known: when asked what the Jews should do when they were taken to concentration camps, Gandhi said they should go willingly, their forced mass suicide itself constituting an unanswerable critique of the Nazis. John Lloyd, writing recently on Prospect’s blog First Drafts, said, “To attempt to overthrow tyranny, or even to oppose genocide, became for Gandhi an act almost as bad as tyranny or genocide itself.”

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/gandhiandthejews/

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Response to Larkspur (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:10 AM

23. Wow.

It's historically ironic that Israel is doing to the Palestinians what European Christians did to their ancestors-- regulate them to ghettos, like Gaza, and institute violent pogroms against the inhabitants of those ghettos from time to time.


You are conveniently ignoring the fact that 20% of Israel's population are Palestinians. Israel is hardly forcing non-Jews into ghettos. Gaza is not Israel first of all. Forcing non-Israelis to live in their own country is not exactly the same thing as forcing Jews into ghettos within Russia or Poland or wherever.

Accusing Israel of race-based segregation and committing pogroms is truly disgusting and requires ignoring the reality of the situation and the taking of facts out of context. Yes, the refugees were largely created based on their ethnicity during the nakba. This was because there was a civil war going on where the sides were largely determined along ethnic lines. The "pogroms" you speak of are in reality a military response to thousands of rockets fired against Israeli civilians, thousands of war crimes committed before Israel engaged in said military response. UNLIKE what occurred in eastern europe last century where segregation and pogroms were based entirely on racism.

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Response to Shaktimaan (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:34 PM

24. Archbishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela have both called Israel an apartheid nation

Take off your rose-color glasses about Israel. They are doing to the Palestinians what the US Government in the 19th century did to the Native Americans -- genocide + segregate onto reservations or ghettos.

And if you think that Israel has a right to collectively punish the Palestinians of Gaza when rockets are fired into Israel, who is blockading Gaza into starvation and misery, then you must believe that Pakistanis have a right to bomb the USA, who is bombing their land and killing innocents.

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Response to Larkspur (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:20 PM

25. Yeah, I don't think the problem is rose colored glasses on my side.

I'm well aware of Israel's shortcomings and of the travesties they've committed in the past. But I don't think you're able to distinguish between legitimate criticisms and factually incorrect propaganda that's disseminated to demonize Israel. Let's look at your claims.

Archbishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela have both called Israel an apartheid nation


Untrue. Well, half untrue. Mandela never called Israel an apartheid nation. Tutu did, but I'm not sure what that's supposed to signify. While it is doubtless that he knows about apartheid within the context of South Africa I don't know that he has any real knowledge of the I/P conflict, which could not be more different than what occurred in SA.

They are doing to the Palestinians what the US Government in the 19th century did to the Native Americans -- genocide + segregate onto reservations or ghettos.


Wow, that is quite an accusation to make. Let's start with the latter statement, segregating them onto reservations. Now there are three separate situations regarding the Palestinians… there are the Israeli Arabs who live in Israel as citizens; there are those who live in the occupied territories, the West Bank, Gaza or East Jerusalem; and there are those who are living in third party states, either as citizens like in the US or England or just as refugees like in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and so on. Unlike the American Indians there are different rules that apply to each of these groups.

First, the Israeli Arabs: They make up 20% of Israel's population and have equal rights under the law, the same as every other Israeli citizen. They aren't made to live in reservations; in fact, by court ruling they can not be discriminated against, giving them the right to live anywhere Jewish Israelis live. There are Arabs represented at all levels of the military, the government and in private industry; there was even an Arab President a few years ago. Obviously this doesn't resemble the 19th century American Indian's situation at all.

Next, the Palestinians living in the OPT: This is land that does not belong either to Israel or Palestine yet, from a legal standpoint but it is safe to say that most, (almost all), of the land will eventually become the independent state of Palestine. The key difference between these Palestinians and the Israeli Arabs is Israeli citizenship, which these people lack. Their goal is the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state and to that end they have their own government, their own elections, sovereignty over all of Gaza and the parts of the West Bank where 95%+ of the population lives. These areas aren't reservations, they are the future state of Palestine.

Lastly there's the Palestinian refugees in the diaspora: They're neither citizens of Israel or Palestine, nor are they usually citizens of their host state, even if they were born there, (if the state is Arab, except for Jordan.) Out of all groups these are the Palestinians that most resemble the Native Americans who were forced into reservations and ghettos. In Lebanon for instance the Palestinians do not get citizenship, are forced to live in refugee camps where unemployment is high and health services low. They are denied the right to work in most desirable fields and in most areas of Lebanon. They are denied access to the state's health and educational services. Even attempts to improve their standard of living within their camps are frequently quashed; efforts to build better structures have been denied on the grounds that doing so would make the refugees more comfortable and less committed to the goal of returning to Israel (this being the population that became refugees during the nakba in 1947-8.)

That is also the population that Israel has the least control over. It is Arab states and the UNRWA that keeps them in camps, not Israel. There were refugees created on both sides of the conflict, the difference being that Israel welcomed the Jews exiled from the Arab world and granted them citizenship, a right denied to the Arab refugees of Palestine.

You also accuse Israel of genocide… or the collective slaughter of the group with the goal of wiping them out entirely. This requires ignoring the fact that the population of Palestinians in all areas have been increasing exponentially in the past decades. Not to mention that the casualty rate of this conflict is far, FAR below what we have seen historically in any similar circumstances. Israel has killed less Palestinians in the past 65 years than Jordan killed in a month during Black September. What about this conflict do you think even remotely resembles genocide?

And if you think that Israel has a right to collectively punish the Palestinians of Gaza when rockets are fired into Israel, who is blockading Gaza into starvation and misery, then you must believe that Pakistanis have a right to bomb the USA, who is bombing their land and killing innocents.


Starvation? Who is starving? Both the Red Cross and the UN investigated and found that no humanitarian crisis in Gaza exists whatsoever. No one is starving there. If they were then I suspect someone would have taken a photo of it. While none of the photos I have seen show starving people I HAVE seen quite a few of Gaza's new air-conditioned mall and swimming pools! If the Palestinians are miserable then perhaps they should go to the water park. Oh wait, they can't. The water park in Gaza was burned down by Hamas because it allowed men and women to mingle. That sucks. But since Israel did not do it you may not have heard about it.

And the situation in Pakistan with the drones and bombs is so entirely different than the I/P conflict I don't think we can learn much from trying to draw tortured parallels between them. The most we can say is that both situations involve bombs and people dying and controversy. But the events of one do not in any way influence what's going on with the other one, and any similarities require taking events out of context, rendering them meaningless.

I do think that Israel has a right to defend itself. Whether that is by sanctions, a blockade or an invasion, it should be accomplished using the least destructive means possible. If you have a solution that Israel hasn't yet tried that you think would be more ethical, then I'd love to discuss it with you. I mean, do you even agree that Israel has a right to defend itself against the thousands of rocket and mortar attacks it's weathered over the past few years?

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