just something to say

Further reflections (media and international law)

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A destabilizing factor within the Israel-Palestine conflict, has been the division between the followers of the Palestinian dream, skilfully orchestrated by the western mainstream, particularly after the 2006 elections. On the one hand, we find an entity openly collaborationist, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, with the legacy of Fatah, on the other, there’s the faction we are used to summarize (but it’s not entirely correct) as Islamic Resistance, headed by Hamas.
In this respect the Western world has given its worse with the help of the media. In fact, the US-Israeli bloc, with its clients and contingent valets, has omitted to consider the political process initiated by the movement of Hamas, and has stubbornly refused to advance the dialogue and appreciate its proposals. In short, Western countries have embraced U.S. and Israeli propaganda. They made themselves accomplice in the blackmail to the Palestinians, and consented to the unacceptable collective punishment imposed on those, who – anything one can think – had chosen democratically their leadership.
Thus, the definition given by Israel to the Gaza Strip controlled by Hamas, as “hostile entity”, has been a step toward new, disturbing scenarios. To some extent a leap of faith, unsusceptible of analysis. Hard to imagine that this development would have lead to positive consequences. Moreover the usual Ehud Barak, defined by Avnery, of the Israeli left, “criminal of peace” (referring to the facts of Camp David) and later by Hamas – more prosaically – “brutal murderess of children,” had elaborated a plan of gradual strangulation of the Gaza Strip, saying, according to the Palestinian agencies, that he wanted to be sure that very little food and medicines could reach Gaza, and specifying that the Strip should be forbidden from being provided with electricity, pace the message of the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who had to declare the international lack of legitimacy of the siege.

In relation to the intention of starving the population of the Strip – regardless of the provisions of international law, discussed below – the path to peace (I speak of a path, but it is something completely different from those that are normally described as peace processes) needs fixed points determined. It should simplify, with the few tools available. And this after having excluded, a priori, the reserves and the apparent pathology of the mind (and soul), favoring a minimum of ethical behavior, outside of obvious lust for power, for expansion, far from the claims of moral heritage, and from result of millennia of fabulous and anachronistic divine investiture. And even beyond (is intuitive) of a principle now elected as a justification of all evil, that the end – as the disproportionate response to the Qassam craft missiles – justifies the means. The same principle that led people in justify aberrations such as the use of torture and targeted assassinations, Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, the brutality of mercenaries and their misdeeds in occupied Iraq, and Afghanistan, and so forth.

Take in good faith a way for peace requires, as we said, some tools. One is the international law. There are rules that must apply to the mere fact that they are basically aimed at the peaceful coexistence of peoples and are in each case the best tool that the international community has managed to develop. But the law is nothing if its application is not fair and, moreover, equally applied to all its members. First of all, if you do not get that these rules are considered mandatory, and if you do not impose the principle that those who claim to be freed from these rules, are not worthy of protection. A goal still unattained. Specifically, the sponsorship of the only remaining superpower, the USA, has introduced an unnatural imbalance in the whole affair Middle East, opposing, its veto to dozens of UN resolutions sponsored or endorsed by the rest of the world. As a matter of fact it is equally important to understand that international law, when filtered by power relations, diplomacy, compromise, greed and bad faith, turns away from his ability to be an instrument of peace, a starting point and a calming element for the prediction of international events, with security and benefits that may ensue.
An illuminating example. The Resolution No. 242 of 22 November 1967 issued by the UN Security Council immediately following the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, later part of the Resolution n. 338, October 22, 1973, is a compromise on the actual words and his most important pronouncements do contradict with the premises. In this case, also law becomes susceptible of discussion, however outlandish, unfounded or pretentious. It becomes a simulacrum of the rule and instead of providing a fixed point becomes useless. In fact, how many people are willing to defend and assert the principle that a rule of law, that tries to commit suicide with a clear contradiction within it, must be interpreted so that its rulings have a concrete meaning (it is an elementary principle general) rather than no one?
Specifically, precisely talking about what is still a pillar of international law recognized and invoked in order to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem, the Resolution 242 had confirmed and emphasized “the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war”, but the subsequent “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from [?] territories occupied in the recent conflict,” has annihilated with its ambiguous wording its terse clarity. The diplomatic artifice that suggested the omission of the definite article (territories vs. the territories) in the Resolution – at least, in his official English text, but not in French – has built the reasons of its ineffectiveness, giving inspiration to a discussion never appeased and entirely specious. Forty years after its enactment, no need to point out that Lord Caradon, the chief author of the text, has declared: “It was from occupied territories that the Resolution called for withdrawal. The test was which territories were occupied. That was a test not possibly subject to any doubt. As a matter of plain fact East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan and Sinai were occupied in the 1967 conflict. It was on withdrawal from occupied territories that the Resolution insisted” (Lord Caradon et al., U.N. Security Council Resolution 242: A Case Study in Diplomatic Ambiguity (Washington DC 1981.)
The ambiguity was the result of a compromise. But bringing the still point of law, self-sufficient in itself, to its natural utility (which is to be a rule that can not be neglected,) it would have needed at least, as the next event, the good faith of the related players, to derive the consequences and benefits denied from the outset of its wording. Good faith on which even today cannot be counted. It ‘s an example of how, in fact diminishing the effectiveness of international law, namely the ability to be practical source of obligations, a possible instrument of peace is rendered useless.

The information. A great tool for knowledge, communication and peace. But if it’s flawed, like the law, by the power relations, is compromised by bad faith and becomes an instrument of ignorance and death. We’re seeing – in fact, grows in front of us – his umpteenth betrayal in relation to the Iranian nuclear issue, for which there is fatalism (“God forbid”), and powerless, looking at the re-release of the Iraqi situation. The conflict is instigated in the media going crazy over the world, depicting as it were fresh water come to a war, a scenario unbearable and unpredictable. Perhaps in this regard we must wake up and look specifically at what is happening day by day under our eyes. Someone is threatening to wage war on a country consisting of 70 million people, mostly young and well educated, who never moved war, nor threat of war to anyone. And on the same track, some other one is building stories of unlikely alliances, aimed at equally improbable ambition for hegemony in the region.

Similar impulses and similar lies have led to the disastrous situation in Iraq and Aghanistan, still unresolved. But evidently there is no limit to the arrogance and stupidity , and no limit to the myopia of those who favour the seeds of another war in the Middle East, as they could earn some possible contingent advantage. Under this aspect is disastrously suspect the EU intervention in Iran’s nuclear debate. Nor we can trust in the recent attitude assumed by IAEA, though it’s not possible to forget the reserves formulated by the former Director General in view of the aggression on Iraq, unfortunately fallen into the void.

The fact that Iran, attacked by the media for years, does not intend to lower the head, even from the aspect of communication, and asserts the possibility of openly fool the logic of double track, which sees U.S. and the West, uncritically aligned, as bearers of different behaviors in similar situations. So the Islamic Republic has officially asked the United Nations inspection on Israeli nuclear capabilities. And I wonder till what extent the old Europe will be willing to turn a blind eye, fancying as legitimate the official policy of Israel, namely of recognized and institutionalized (nuclear) “ambiguity”, when threatening are the winds of war directed, for the same reason, against another sovereign State. A State that officially – at least in a world governed by law – will not surrender to the medieval rule of the strongest. That criticized by Chomsky, namely the infamous imperial pattern: “what we say goes”.


Written by pipistro

May 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Iran, Israel, Palestine

Tagged with , , ,

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