Iran Commentary Assesses Outcome of Gaza War, Changes in Palestinian Resistance
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Commentary by Saber Gol`anbari: “The New Generation of Palestinian Resistance”
Almost seven decades ago, the founder of the Israeli regime put forward the well-known slogan and political topic entitled “elders die and children forget”, which for many years formed the basis and foundation of future research studies by the Zionists. A variety of programs and scenarios was planned on this basis and accordingly, hundreds of thousands of Jews, living in various countries, were encouraged to emigrate to occupied Palestine.
Almost seven decades have passed since this event and current developments in Palestine, the source of which is general awakening and populist intifadas, indicate a current that is contrary to Ben-Gurion`s plan. They lay emphasis on the point that the negative metamorphosis, which the first prime minister of the occupying Zionist government was hoping would take place in the minds of Palestine`s survivors and future generations, has taken another shape. Today, the political and theoretical ideas of Palestine`s children of yesterday, who have become the middle-aged and the elders of today, show a direction that puts an end to all that has been sown by the founders of Zionism and the Israeli regime.
A brief look at Israel`s domestic and neighboring situation confirms the claim that ever since the seedlings of resistance and armed conflict rose out of the ground in the land of olives, Palestine`s children of yesterday, have been shaking the foundations of this regime and have seriously and destructively challenged its doctrines, concepts, and strategies in the political, military, social, and cultural fields. In truth, the best testament to the fact that Palestine`s children of yesterday have never forgotten the occupation, and the crimes that have been committed against their fathers, are the wars that Israel has initiated, particularly since the 1980s, after it despaired of Palestinian youth forgetting the events of Palestine`s history. It must also be noted that in addition to these wars, the resistance and the Palestinians` struggles are themselves further emphasis on the fact that not only the generations after the two destructive wars of 1948 and 1967 have not forgotten the occupation of their lands and the crimes that have been committed, they have stepped into the combat arena to reclaim their homeland, with more determination than their fathers and forefathers.
Having lost hope of failing to entrust the history of Palestine`s occupation to oblivion, and disappointed of the outcomes of its previous wars, the Zionist regime once again suffered a kind of insanity and tried to bring about what time was unable to do, through brute force and bullying. The war that this regime initiated against the Gaza Strip cannot be analyzed or interpreted outside of this framework. Therefore, having been defeated in the issue of wiping the Palestinians` historical memory clean through various cultural, social, political, and military conspiracies, the enemy has once again turned to the policy of “eliminating the existence of the Palestinian nation” through the complete and uncontroled implementation of force majeure actions. This new policy, the first version of which we witnessed in the 22 day war in Gaza, was once again executed in Gaza, so that in addition to Zionism`s strategic goal based on the “gradual elimination of the Palestinians` existence”, it would bring other major objectives for the Zionists, especially after the failure of their first war:
1- The imposition of a permanent ceasefire in the southern borders of occupied Palestine
News leaked from consultations between Arab and western sides to restore calm to this situation, indicate that the Netanyahu government is seeking to reach a permanent ceasefire with the Gaza Strip. This very wish by the Zionists is based on reasons, the most fundamental of which is to take out the Gaza Strip from any equation for resistance that will create great troubles in the future in the West Bank and Qods (Jerusalem) for the Zionist government. In addition, the institution alization of an internal rift is another reason for this wish. In fact, Netanyahu`s government is trying to create peace of mind for itself regarding possible future troubles in the Gaza Strip by imposing a permanent ceasefire within the framework of an official agreement. It is at this juncture that resistance groups must pay attention to this conspiracy by the Zionists, and not allow the Gaza Strip situation to be used for future negotiations over other parts of Palestine outside the framework of the perceptible realities of occupation. At present, in view of the conditions governing the Arab and the Islamic world, the awakening of Arab nations, and the coming to power of democratic systems in important Arab countries, the resistance front has an open hand in imposing its own wishes on the Zionist side, more than it has ever had before. Also, taking into account the fact that the enemy does not have the ability to tolerate a long-term erosive war, the best opportunity has been provided to shorten the life of Palestine`s occupation and in the words of Imam Khomeyni, to rid it of this cancerous tumor, by launching the third intifada in the occupied lands and a general revolt by Arab and Muslim nations.
2- Providing propaganda fodder for Netanyahu in the upcoming election is another objective that the prime minister of the Hebrew government is pursuing through widespread strikes on the Gaza Strip. Israel`s politicians have been pursuing this same policy for many years before any election in occupied Palestine and this has not remained hidden from the eyes of the Zionists` friends and foes. This same issue led to Erdogan accusing Netanyahu of pursuing election objectives in his military action against Gaza two days after “Operation Cloud Column.” It was for this reason that Israel`s governing system once again tried to renew its political life before the Knesset elections by spilling the blood of innocent Palestinians. In order to reveal the Zionist governments` criminal and barbaric nature, it is sufficient to point out that the blood of Palestinian women and children provides the best propaganda fodder for guaranteeing victory in any type of election. This fact, in addition to the silence of influential global communities and powers that claim to be champions of human rights and democracy, constitute the best testament to the anti-humanitarian approach of the Zionist community, which sees the criteria for its leaders` loyalty to the ideals of Zionism and Herzl, to be in the killing of women and children.
3- An assessment of the Arab Spring and the Egyptian revolution in particular, is one of the other goals behind the attack on Gaza. Political observers and analysts believe that one of the most important reasons behind the attack on the Gaza Strip is the assessment of the reaction of the new ruling order in Egypt, which has theoretical bonds with the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement. The Washington Post wrote in its edition published on Friday 16 November: “Israel`s attack on the Gaza Strip is the biggest opportunity to assess the policies of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt`s elected president. Therefore, Morsi`s action in recalling the Egyptian ambassador from Tel Aviv and the dispatch of this country`s prime minister to Gaza, constituted an extremely furious reaction that the new Egypt is showing to the attack on Gaza.” Egypt`s extensive diplomatic moves, from the early hours of the start of this aggression, are Egypt`s new language after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak`s regime. The Zionist regime, which did not anticipate that Egypt would recall its ambassador on the first day of war, was terrified that if it did not end this war, things would come to such a pass that the Camp David Treaty would also be canceled and ties would be cut off. If such an event had happened, not only the Palestinians` blood would not have been a winning card for Netanyahu in future elections, it would have led to his complete removal from Israel`s political arena. Netahayahu, who wanted to place Egypt, which was involved in its own domestic problems, in an impasse by attacking Gaza, and to challenge its new regime, has now turned desperately to Egypt to find a way out of its current quagmire; something that was evident in the remarks made by the leader of the Hamas political office in Cairo. He emphasized that the person who is seeking a ceasefire and begging for it, is Netanyahu, and not the resistance.
4- The testing of the Iron Dome system, a new version of which was put into operation with the budget supplied by the United States
Another important point that has been paid less attention in the explanation of the Hebrew government`s objectives for the war in Gaza, is this same Iron Dome system. Ever since Amir Peretz was the Zionist regime`s war minister to this day, millions of dollars have been invested on the construction and launch of the Iron Dome system, with US cooperation and aid, so that it may provide a way to save themselves from Palestinian resistance rockets. This project, which finally came to fruition a few months ago after several failures, required an opportunity to have its efficiency level tested. In fact, the Zionists had defined two goals for this system; one was to confront rockets fired by Palestinian resistance in Gaza, and the other was to deal with Iranian missiles on a wider scale. Currently, in order to carry out a preliminary test of the level of success of this military plan, they saw no way to assess its effectiveness other than in a confrontation with Palestinian resistance rockets, and consequently, they defined this objective for the war in Gaza. Zionist military analysts have for years stressed the point that in order to ensure the effectiveness of its new and invented weapons, Israel must test them in Palestinian lands and on the Palestinians themselves. At present, realities in the operational and combat fields indicate, as admitted by the Zionist regime`s leaders, that the Iron Dome system has not acted successfully in attaining its expected objectives. Zionist sources have announced that out of the 1,400 missiles fired at Zionist regions, this system has been able to neutralize around 300. The most important disastrous failure of this anti-missile system is its inability to prevent the rockets belonging to the resistance from reaching the depth of occupied Palestine (Tel Aviv) and even beyond (Herzilia); so much so that so far hundreds of rockets have hit these regions.
Ehud Barak, the Hebrew government`s minister for war, points out that the Iron Dome system has colossal costs and it has so far fired more than 350 rockets, worth $20 million, toward the Zionist settlements in the south of the occupied lands and Tel Aviv, in order to neutralize the rockets fired by the resistance. But the financial value of every Iron Dome system is more than $200 million, and the Zionist regime`s army has installed a fifth system in Al-Naqab and the sixth in Tel Aviv. The Al-Hayat newspaper, published in London, has stressed that Barak wants a budget to be approved for 13 of these systems to be installed.
Among the other objectives of Operation Cloud Column, one can refer to the following:
- An assessment of Gaza`s ability to resist after the 22 day war
- To convey a protest message to the United States after it opposed an attack on Iran and to put Obama in an impasse in the Middle East
- A revival of Israel`s deterrence power (after the defeat in the 2008 war in Gaza and the 2006 war in Lebanon; a power that for years had created terror and fear for the Islamic world`s political systems.
As far as this goal is concerned, the Zionist regime`s wars in recent years have generally been unable to revive even a little of its lost deterrence power. On the contrary, they have inflicted serious damage on this regime`s domestic front. This has manifested itself in the form of reverse emigration from occupied Palestine and according to the Arab saying that “the witch was caught in her own magic” (original in Arabic with P ersian translation here and throughout), more than any resistance groups, it is the Zionists themselves who have suffered from the destructive consequences of these wars. This has made them think of returning to countries from where they were dispatched to Palestine. Now that the resistance has forced Israel into accepting a ceasefire by imposing its own conditions, as admitted by the Zionists themselves, none of the aforementioned goals have been realized and the war that was initiated by Netanyahu to increase the possibility of his victory in the upcoming parliamentary election, has now turned into a nightmare, which according to the Zionist analysts, will put an end to the political life of the prime minister of the right-wing Zionist government.
With regard to the same issue, Michael Ben-Ari and Ariyeh Eldad, two members of the Israeli regime`s parliament, strongly criticized Netanyahu and said that a ceasefire is the same as raising the white flag against the resistance. These two members of the Zionist Parliament stated: “Instead of allowing the Israeli army to destroy the resistance, Benjamin Netanyahu`s government came out of this attack with humiliation and degradation, without having realized any of the military operations` objectives.” Ben-Ari and Eldad also stressed the necessity of the point that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Zionist regime`s prime minister, must resign from office. The shortening of the three wars that Israel has initiated since 2006, from 33 to 22, and then to eight, is indicative of the truth that we are closer to Palestine`s liberation more than any other time. If in 1967, the Hebrew government was able to defeat Arab countries in six days and occupy certain regions because there was no strong willpower among Arab rulers, it has now raised the white flag after eight days of war with Gaza and has surrendered to a ceasefire. This is despite the fact that up until the year 2000, meaning the time when its consecutive defeats began, an event called a ceasefire had no place in the Zionists` political and military dictionary. In the light of the weakness of Arab and Islamic nations, Israel was always the one that initiated and put an end to wars, but since its retreat from southern Lebanon in 2000, a retreat from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and the subsequent defeats at the hands of resistance forces in these two regions in the 33 day and the 22 day wars, things have come to such a pass that it begs for a ceasefire, forcing its allies including the United States into action. As we said previously, Israel began and put an end to wars until the year 2000, but the two wars in 2006 and 2008 showed that this regime can only be the initiator of war and it no longer has the power to control the situation and to put an end to war in favor of itself; it is in fact the opposing side that determines the fate of war.
Today, in view of the great victory achieved by Palestinian resistance in the unequal eight day war, one must say with absolute conviction that the Israeli government will no longer be able to start another war and even if the Zionists engage in another stupid act in the future and initiate a new war, Israel`s destruction must undoubtedly be celebrated. It is quite likely that just as the resistance took the initiative in the three recent wars and changed their outcome in its own favor, it will in the future take the initiative as far as beginning the war for the liberation of Palestine and other Arab occupied lands is concerned and itself initiate this fateful battle.
Now that Palestinian resistance has broken the taboo of attacking deep into Israel (Tel Aviv) and has shown that there is no longer any safe region for the Zionists in Palestine, a lesson was given to the Zionists to not even dare to harbor dreams of attacking Iran. A country that did not even have the power to confront the Islamic Republic of Iran`s Fajr-5 rocket, will not be able to withstand the considerably more advanced missiles such as the Shahab-3 and Sajil. Nowadays, the language of Palestinian resistance is this well-known Arab phrase: all that has been taken by force can only be reclaimed by force.
(Description of Source: Tehran Iran Online in Persian -- an official government newspaper published by IRNA, the state news agency; URL: www.iran-newspaper.com)
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Israel Writer: UN Recognition of Palestine To Revive Battle on `War Crime` Charges
The Jerusalem Post Online
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Analysis by Yonah Jeremy Bob: “Round 2 of `Israel, Palestine at the ICC`”
On April 3, 2012, Israel won round one of a crucial legal battle with the Palestinians, slamming the door shut on their attempt to bring Israeli soldiers and leaders before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges. The Palestinian Authority first filed a declaration attempting to accept the ICC`s jurisdiction, after which it intended to file war crimes cases against Israeli soldiers and leaders relating to Operation Cast Lead, on January 22, 2009. Israel`s win was on a technicality, though not a small one.
According to the Rome Statute governing the ICC, cases can only be filed with the court by referral from the UN Security Council or by a “state.” There is a third path that the court appears to be applying in the case of Kenya, but for various reasons no one has made, or is likely to make, a serious push to use that exception on behalf of the Palestinians. The technical problem the Palestinians had, and have, at least for another two weeks, is that Israel argued the Palestinians were not a “state.” Therefore, Israel argued the Palestinians did not have standing or authority to file a case with the ICC. In other words, the ICC could not even start looking into the merits of individual cases.
After more than three years debating the issue, including soliciting around a dozen legal opinions from governments, academics and interested parties across the spectrum, the ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, took Israel`s side and said that the PA could not file cases with him because, at the time, there was no state called “Palestine.” Had the decision gone the other way, the fact that “Palestine” would only have become a state party to the ICC even years after the Cast Lead offensive against Hamas would have been irrelevant. The Rome Statute gives jurisdiction to hear cases from states who join the ICC, even ad hoc and retroactively, as long as the cases arose after July 1, 2002, when the statute took effect.
In the media, the decision was reported as an unequivocal win for Israel, and the Palestinians were openly disappointed, having thought from the three-year process, their success in gaining membership in UNESCO and the solicitations of legal briefs on the issue, that they had a solid chance of winning. One would have thought that Israel`s Foreign Ministry would have had a public celebration, after saving the nation`s soldiers and leaders from prosecution. Instead the ministry`s reaction was unexpectedly muted, merely “noting” (as opposed to at least “noting with satisfaction”) Moreno-Ocampo`s decision, and expressed, in diplomatic- speak, disagreement with part of it, saying Israel had “reservations regarding some of the legal pronouncements and assumptions.”
Why would Israel have reservations about a decision closing the door to PA war crimes cases? It turns out that Moreno-Ocampo closed the door, but left it ajar for a “Round 2.” First, in most of his decision, he focused on the UN General Assembly as the decisive organization for defining who is a “state” for the purposes of filing a case with the ICC. This is crucial, because he could have focused on the Security Council, the body that must approve any country to become a member of the UN. The US has pledged to veto any vote in the UN Security Council declaring Palestine a member state, making that a dead end.
Thus, Moreno-Ocampo`s focus on the General Assembly gave the PA a future opening for an end-run on being able to file war crimes cases with the ICC by getting recognized as a non-member state, without Security Council recognition, but with General Assembly recognition. Moreno-Ocampo even almost told the Palestinians what road to go down to beat the jurisdictional problem, remarking that Palestine`s status was only as an “observer,” and not a “non-member state,” - as if to suggest to the PA that if they had been a non-member state already, his decision might have been different.
Finally, Moreno-Ocampo said that his office could reconsider the “allegations of crimes” in Palestine in the future should compet ent organs of the UN give him direction that the statehood problem was resolved. He also mentioned the Assembly of State Parties, the “parliament” and governing body of the ICC, as being empowered to accept “Palestine” as a state, but procedurally that could be much harder than a simple up-or-down vote in the UN General Assembly. In essence, Moreno-Ocampo said that if the PA gets voted as a non-member state by the UN General Assembly in two weeks, it can try again to re-file the war crimes cases.
Some commentators have said that Moreno-Ocampo`s “advice” to the Palestinians was non-binding, that the only relevant part of his decision was his ruling that the PA was not a state and that without UN Security Council approval, a “political” vote alone from the UN General Assembly will leave the PA at the same dead end of still not being seen as a state by the ICC. Besides statehood, there are still plenty of question marks and other obstacles.
In June 2012, Moreno-Ocampo finished his term as the first ICC prosecutor, replaced by Fatou Bensouda of Gambia, who was elected to a nine-year term. While some felt that Moreno- Ocampo would have liked to have filed cases against Israel if his hands had not been tied, there is less known about Bensouda, and whether she would take the same stance as her predecessor in a relatively new office with little precedent for how to operate. Also, in theory, if the Palestinians risk filing with the ICC, Israel (though currently not a party to the ICC) and others might also file against them for human rights violations. Also, as a new institution, diplomatic pressure from the US (though not a party to the Rome Statute) and from some European states could delay or stop a case from moving forward, even if the initial jurisdictional problem was cured.
Further, Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute, so it could be difficult or impossible to actually conduct a case against Israel`s citizens without its government`s cooperation. Finally, it is far from clear that the ICC would make a final decision to indict any Israelis, in light of the fact that Israel has completed a process of investigations -- including some prosecutions -- of its soldiers` actions in Operation Cast Lead.
Generally speaking, the ICC is only supposed to make a final decision to file indictments if the state of the accused citizens has done nothing to investigate the allegations. Many argue that only credible investigations are required, not convictions. Despite all of these question marks, there is no question that a vote recognizing Palestine as a non-member state in two weeks would start a “Round 2” on the war crimes allegations relating to Operation Cast Lead.
(Description of Source: Jerusalem The Jerusalem Post Online in English -- Website of right-of-center, independent daily; URL: http://www.jpost.co.il)
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