Killing at Kana brings Tel Aviv protest
DEMONSTRATORS at Israeli Defence Ministry
FIFTY-FIVE civilians killed, half of them kids, in an Israeli air raid on Kana in Lebanon. Thank you Israel, and especially military commander and former air force chief Dan Halutz. He was asked a while ago what he felt when releasing a big bomb that would kill civilians, and replied "a slight bump in the cockpit". Thankyou America, for rushing those extra bunker buster bombs to Israel, just the thing for slaughtering people while they sleep in basement shelters.
Thank you Britain, and Tony Blair, and the authorities at Prestwick airport,
for seeing there was no hindrance to the US transports bringing those extra bombs, now believed to have carried depleted uranium.
And now thanks to Uri Avnery and Gush Shalom for this report of a protest in IsraeL:
"THE KANA MASSACRE -- A WAR CRIME!"
Immediately after the news about the Kana Massacre became known today (July 30), spontaneous protest demonstrations started near the Ministry of Defense compound in Tel-Aviv. In the evening, a larger demonstration was held. In spite of the fact that there was hardly any prior notice, more then 200
demonstrators gathered, including activists of Gush Shalom, Hadash, Anarchists Against Walls, Ta'ayush and other organizations.
This time, a group of Meretz members,who rebelled against their party leadership, was also present. They included former Meretz MKs Ya'el Dayan and Naomi Hazan. Also present were Hadash MK Dov Hinin and former MK Tamar Gojansky.
Conspicuous by its absence was Peace Now. The director of this organization,
which has ceased to exist as an active peace movement years ago, appears now
in the Media as one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the war. When a
journalist wrote by mistake that Peace Now had taken part in a demonstration, the director denied it vigorously.
Meretz leaders Yossi Beilin, Haim Oron and the others, except MK Zahava
Galon, also publicly supported the war.
"Peretz, Peretz, don't worry / Bush will meet you at The Hague!" shouted the
demonstrators through their megaphones, which could be clearly heard in the
ministry compound. The Hague, of course, is the seat of the International
Criminal Court. "Peretz, you have promised education and pensions / all you gave us is tanks and dead bodies!" - "Children want to live / both in Beirut and
in Haifa!" - "Killing Children is a war crime!" - "Labor in government /
brings only war!" - "Olmert's agreement with Bush: / War and occupation!" (All these rhyme in Hebrew.)
"It is rank hypocrisy to assert that the Kana inhabitants have been warned
to leave their homes," former MK Uri Avnery said. "From the first day of the
war, our army has bombed the roads and whole families were killed on the way.
They have concluded that it is safer to stay in a shelter at home than to move
on the roads." Avnery added that a commander who bombs and shells an
inhabited area must know such disasters are bound to happen."
"The criminal returns to the scene of the crime," commented Gush Shalom
spokesman Adam Keller, referring to the massacre that happened in Kana in 1996, when Shimon Peres started a war in Lebanon. "That massacre compelled Peres to break off his war. The conclusion is that we must stop this war at once, before it is too late."
Opposite, a small counter-demonstration took place. Usually, the fascists of
the Kahane group play this role, but this time they were Labor Party members,
who support the war completely.
In the course of the demonstration, a special unit of the riot police
appeared and for a moment it seemed that they were about to attack the protesters, but they only drove them off the road.
After two and a half weeks of suppressing every voice against the war, this
demonstration was covered on TV and the radio.
At the same time, demonstrations were held around the country, mostly by
(Some Notes: Meretz - party formed by merger of "socialist-Zionist" Mapam with some liberals.
Hadash - Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, consisting of Communist Party and allies.
Yael Dayan - writer, daughter of the famous eye-patched general.
Peace Now - what Uri says about the Israeli group is largely true also of its UK support group. Nowadays barely a fig-leaf for Zionist apparatchniks and pseudo-peaceniks, dubbed "Peace-but not now!" by former genuine members who have joined with Jewish Socialists in Just Peace UK, or become Jews for Justice for Palestinians).
EARLIER WE RECEIVED A STATEMENT FROM RESIDENTS IN GALILEE AND THE NORTHERN VALLEYS.
These areas have been hit by Hizbollah rockets, which do not discriminate between whom they kill or injure. But this has not prevented the signatories seeing who was responsible for the flare up of hostilities.
Saturday, April 29
For wide distribution
We, residents of the Galilee and the Valleys, Arabs and Jews, do not believe the declarations of the government of Israel and the military.
We, residents of the Galilee and the Valleys, Arabs and Jews, do not believe the government of Israel and the military who maintain that war is being waged in self-defense and for the purpose of releasing the captured soldiers. We do not believe them because it is now common knowledge that the military steps were planned a long time ago. We know that about a month before the Hizballah attack on the army patrol, a military exercise was conducted as a rehearsal for an attack on Lebanon. Similarly, the kidnapping of the ministers and Parliament members of the Palestinian Authority was planned weeks ahead of the capture of the soldier Gilad Shalit by the Hamas.
We do not believe the government of Israel and the generals because there is a huge gap between the declared aims of the war and Israel's actual military operations. What is the connection between the declared aims of this war and the destruction of Beirut? How are the declared aims of the war served by the demolition of a baby-food plant? Or by the destruction of the city of Nabatiyeh? Or the bombardment of Gaza's power station? Or the destruction of the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and Gaza? Or turning over half a million Lebanese civilians into refugees?
We cannot believe them because one cannot allegedly protect a civilian population by a cruel and deliberate attack on another civilian population.
We refuse to allow the government of Israel and the generals to use our names, the residents of the Galilee and the Valleys, in destroying a whole neighboring state, Lebanon. This cruel and brainless act will not carry our name! This is not the way to defend the population of the Galilee and the Valleys. We have already learned from earlier Lebanon wars that the aggressive approach that leads to war crimes and crimes against humanity, to the total destruction of a state, also leads to the destruction of any prospects for peace and calming. The present tragic situation is a product of a similar policy conducted in Lebanon by Ariel Sharon in 1982. Each military step taken by the IDF ends up hurting the civilian populations on both sides, though first and foremost inflicting an intolerable price on civilians on the Lebanese side.
We do not believe the government of Israel and the generals because we are convinced that this war mainly serves the interests of the American policy in the Middle East. The government of Lebanon has requested a ceasefire. Hizballah has agreed to a ceasefire. The European Community has requested a ceasefire. Only the government of Israel has refused to consider a ceasefire. The Bush administration is encouraging the government of Israel not to stop the military action.
We, residents of the Galilee and the Valleys, along with all the peoples of the region, are victims of the plans for the reshaping of the Middle East, victims of a desire to establish a new order in the Middle East that does not serve the interests of its peoples. The American army did not bring peace to Iraq. The Israeli army will not bring peace to Lebanon. The American army will not establish a democracy in Iraq, the Israeli army will not bring democracy in Lebanon. The American policies have brought chaos and destruction upon Iraq. The implementation of similar policies in Lebanon by the Israeli army will only bring more chaos and destruction.
We refuse to allow our name to be used in bringing disaster to another civilian population. Even if the government of Israel and the generals could convince us that their policy is the quick road to ridding the northern border of the threat posed by Hizballah, we would not have accepted this policy on moral grounds. We refuse to accept a policy that justifies deliberately harming any civilian population, whether it targets civilians in Gaza, in Lebanon, as well as in the Galilee!
We believe that there is an alternative to this aggressive policy, a policy predicated upon the violation of the Geneva Conventions. We demand that the government of Israel declare an immediate ceasefire. Every moment of fighting generates more victims. We are convinced that an Israeli ceasefire will lead to a ceasefire on all other fronts.
We demand that the ceasefire be used for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and for the negotiated release of prisoners-of-war - Israeli, Lebanese and Palestinian. The question of political prisoners and prisoners-of-war is now the central issue. Only such a move of an immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and negotiations regarding exchange of prisoners-of-war can offer the region a way out of the threat of a comprehensive war, bringing the peace and calming that all the peoples of the region all crave.
Residents of the Galilee and the Valleys, Arabs and Jews,
against the war.
Rafik Bakri (B'eina)
Uri Davis (Skhnin)
Bilha Golan (Beit She'arim)
Rémy Mendelwzeig (Manof - Misgav)
Nakad Nakad (Shfar Amer)