Monday, July 24, 2006


UN appalled at Israeli action

Courtesy of Israel I'm pleased to see the international community finally doing the right thing and condemning the heinous obliteration of Lebanese towns and cities by Israeli forces.

The UN's Jan Egeland has denounced the devastation caused by Israeli air strikes in Beirut, saying it is a violation of humanitarian law.

Mr Egeland, the UN's emergency relief chief, described the destruction as "horrific" as he toured the city.

He arrived hours after another Israeli strike on Beirut. Israel also hit Sidon, a port city in the south crammed with refugees, for the first time.

A visibly moved Mr Egeland expressed shock that "block after block" of buildings had been levelled.

He said the "disproportionate response" by Israel was a "violation of international humanitarian law".

He appealed for both sides to halt attacks and said UN supplies of humanitarian aid would begin to arrive in the next few days.

"But we need safe access," he said. "So far Israel is not giving us access."

I welcome Mr Egeland's criticism of Israeli's pathetic and disproportionate action. What is occurring in Lebanon is overkill. Literally.

The Americans have stayed silent which is hardly a surprise. The neo-cons are probably secretly hoping that Syria or Iran interferes so they can go in and fight for freedom, liberty, greed, self-interest and so forth. The British meanwhile are content to sit silently in the shadow of the US like the good little lapdogs that they are. France and Russia have condemned the bombing but more needs to be done.

While the rest of the world has stayed largely silent, Israel has taken upon itself to tackle terrorism by engaging in mass murder. Any moral high ground they may have had has long since evaporated through their calculated decision to pummel homes, displace people and target civilians. The only modicum of superiority the maniacal Israelis now possess lies in their ability to unleash destruction and mayhem upon innocents.

While others try to bury their heads in the sand over this crisis, choosing to flaunt their tired, flawed paradigms in an ill-fated effort to justify Israeli murder, here is the reality of Israel's actions. This is the legacy they are leaving:

An innocent targeted

A survvior recounts his ordeal

This woman lost two of her aunts

This man was left in a coma

The first girl pictured above is Zeinab Haidar, 13, who was left with shrapnel wounds in her chest, arms and legs as a result of an Israeli air strike on a civilian convoy. As the convoy's three cars approached Tyre, the first was hit by an air strike, killing everyone on board. The two remaining cars tried to escape, but one was also hit by an missile, causing more deaths and injuries. The Haidars jumped out of their car and ran to a nearby orchard, but the Israeli jets returned to drop two more bombs, wounding Zeinab, her mother and grandfather, and killing her grandmother. Describing what happened, Zeinab said:

"The first cars in our convoy were bombed and when we tried to hide among the trees the planes came back and dropped two more bombs on us."

Fellow Irish blogger MacDara, who writes the blog 'Lebanon an Irish Experience', was part of an Irish contigent which managed to get out of Lebanon safely. I'm glad he and his family are well. MacDara drew my attention to a peaceful march which will take place tomorrow, 1 pm, in Dublin's city centre. The march will be from the Central Bank at Dame Street to the Israel Embassy in Pembrook Road. I urge you to attend to voice your disgust at what is happening to innocent people such as Zeinab Haidar. More details on the march can be found here.

What is occurring in Lebanon right now is, as Jan Egeland correctly stated, a violation of humanitarian law. Innocent people are dying, people no different to you or me. It is inexcusable and completely unacceptable and it is high time people from all over the world stood up in condemnation of it.

"Israel is grateful that America believes in us. Let me assure you that we will not let you down."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olbert addressing the United States Congress, 24 May 2006.


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