Friday, September 10, 2010

During War There Are No Civilians

Sitting in on the Rachel Corrie trial alarmingly reveals an open Israeli policy of indiscrimination towards civilians.

by Nora Barrows-Friedman, Al Jazeera, Sep 8, 2010
“During War there are no civilians,” that’s what “Yossi,” an Israeli military (IDF) training unit leader simply stated during a round of questioning on day two of the Rachel Corrie trials, held in Haifa’s District Court earlier this week. “When you write a [protocol] manual, that manual is for war,” he added.
[The Corries' lawsuit charges the State with recklessness and a failure to take appropriate measures to protect human life, actions that violate both Israeli and international laws. (Photograph: Denny Sternstein/AP)]The Corries’ lawsuit charges the State with recklessness and a failure to take appropriate measures to protect human life, actions that violate both Israeli and international laws. (Photograph: Denny Sternstein/AP)

For the human rights activists and friends and family of Rachel Corrie sitting in the courtroom, this open admission of an Israeli policy of indiscrimination towards civilians — Palestinian or foreign — created an audible gasp.Yet, put into context, this policy comes as no surprise. The Israeli military’s track record of insouciance towards the killings of Palestinians, from the 1948 massacre of Deir Yassin in Jerusalem to the 2008-2009 attacks on Gaza that killed upwards of 1400 men, women and children, has illustrated that not only is this an entrenched operational framework but rarely has it been challenged until recently.

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