As I follow the drama and tragedy that is the Israeli Palestinian Conflict, I find myself wondering…”Is Hitler in Hell with his buddies Mussolini, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein,and Djevdet Bey, laughing their asses off, as Hitler tells a joke he just heard from Lucifer himself. “Have you heard the one about the Jews…” he pauses for dramatic effect. “…they’re being investigated for…and here is the punchline…they’re being investigated for Crimes Against Humanity!” he finishes to peel of laughter. He probably goes on, but he doesn’t have to-that’s already too far.
As a so-called African-American, growing up in Texas in the 70’s, I’d always found myself admiring the Jews. A people, ancient, resilient, and proud I’d always assigned to them a stoic kind of romanticism. My imagination saw them carry their faith and identity from Babylon to Egypt. Never changing, but seeking to evolve. Sitting at the tables of their elders, and learning the history of their forefathers.
The story of Moses and his appeal to Pharaoh”…let my people go!”(in my mind it’s always Charleton Heston. Sorry!),and Pharaoh, at first, deafened by his pride, watching as all that he loved was taken from him. Moses asking again”…let my people go!”. This time, the Pharaoh responded with wrath and lost everything. Even now, I am struck by the imagery of Joshua in his righteous conviction, facing the powerful Amorite Kings…
But nothing captured my imagination or respect as much as the way they emerged from The Holocaust. Grim, determined, righteous, and united. Focused, not on vengeance, but justice, and then…justice came! The Nuremberg Trials, The creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC), The Geneva Convention. Blacks were dying for equality, but the Jews were done dying, and they were demanding something more than equality…they were demanding justice!
I saw a model. A model of surviving with dignity. A model of maintaining Identity. A model of righteous restraint-in pursuit of Justice. A model that should be followed by any group that was forced to look into the cold soulless eyes of evil.
Last week, when the Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said there was “clear evidence” of war crimes by Israel during its Gaza Offensive, it made me sad… not because I question the allegations, but because, the question even exists, symbolizes a tragedy of biblical proportions.
As I’ve become a man, my admiration for the Race of David remains strong, but now it’s tempered with a sad, simple understanding…history is a wheel, and today Moses is the Pharaoh.
The Question: Is Israel Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity?
What Does History Say
The term “Crimes Against Humanity” was around long before WWII and the Jewish Holocaust. It dates back to the 19th century, and was used to describe other instances when evil reigned and millions of innocent people died. So,when a definition was needed that encapsulated, not only the war crimes that had been committed by Hitler’s Third Reich upon the world, but also addressed the degradation, dehumanization, and inhumane treatment inflicted upon the Jews in particular, this term was to hand, and the Jewish Holocaust became the yardstick of Crimes Against Humanity for most of the 20th Century. The link above provides you with a more detailed history.
What Do The Numbers Say
16, 16, and 19- The ages of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Schaer, and Eyal Yifrah respectively. Follow this link to find out more.
7/8/2014- Israel launched Operation Protective Edge. (link to source)
83,000- The number of Palestinian families taking shelter at U.N. Facilities.(link)
273,000- The number of Palestinians displaced as of 31 July 2014 according to The Office for the Coordination Of Humanitarian Affairs. (OCHA)
1948- Is the total number of Palestinians killed in Gaza since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge according to OCHA. This number includes 1402 civilians and 693 women and children.(link)
64- Is the number of IDF (Israel Defense Force) soldiers killed since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge according to OCHA. This number includes 2 civilians. (link)
30 to 1- Is the ratio of Palestinians to Israeli’s killed since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. (link)
3- The number of cease-fires agreed to and abandoned as of 12 August 2014.
Tell Us What You Think
Some Of The Answers
Tune in to my show this Friday night @ 7 PM PDT to listen to my guest and I discuss the Israel Palestine conflict and it’s history. Is the State Of Israel really guilty of Crimes Against Humanity?
Special Guest Are:
Professor James Gelvin: Professor of Near Eastern History at the University of California Los Angeles, and Author of several books including :
The Arab Uprising: What Everyone Needs To Know
Israel Palestine: One Hundred Years Of War.
Ms. Iris Keltz: Renowned Author, Educator, and Activist. Member of the Jewish Voice For Peace.
Ms. Susan Schuurman M.A.: Cofounder of The Coalition To Stop $30 Billion To Israel, Coordinator for the Center For Peace and Justice in Albuquerque New Mexico.
When: Every Friday Night @ 7 PM PDT