Friday, August 13, 2010

13-Aug-10: Did Israel use illegal chemical weapons to deal with terrorists?

For those of us troubled by the way norms accepted by the global community are trampled underfoot by a well-connected, highly-ideological central government, there's a truly horrible story emerging today via the German media. It  involves breaches of international law beyond, it has to be said, any reasonable doubt about who did what to whom.

Yet again, a weak but determined minority find their efforts to assert a fragile independence crushed via the brutality of an arrogant government willing to go to any lengths. Der Spiegel magazine's current edition lays it out in simple but sickening terms:
"German experts have confirmed the authenticity of photographs that purport to show Palestinian fighters killed by chemical weapons. The evidence puts increasing pressure on the Israeli government, which has long been suspected of using such weapons against Palestinian militants. German politicians are demanding an investigation... It would be difficult to exceed the horror shown in the photos, which feature burned, maimed and scorched body parts. The victims are scarcely even recognizable as human beings."
Read the whole appalling piece here. When you do, you may quickly realize that the story does not concern Palestinians or Israelis, despite the slightly doctored text and illustration above. [Clue: It's about what the Turks have done and are doing to the Kurds.]

The original undoctored Reuters image is at,1518,711536,00.html
Now that you know the real elements of this horrifying abuse of power and breach of international norms, let's ask a few questions:
  • Where is the international outrage? Is the BBC covering this? The New York Times? CNN? [As of now, the answer is no.]
  • If those who grew apoplectic over the events on board the Mavi Marmara in June see the grotesque actions of the Turks as somehow less report-worthy, are they being challenged to answer why?
  • If the outrage of international organs like the UN Security Council, Human Rights Watch, global church groups, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and others is so blatantly selective and does not extend to demanding the Erdogan regime gives an account for its actions, then how authentic is their outrage when it's directed at Israel as it so often (out of all proportion) is?
If you check Google News online right now, as we just did, you are likely to find that no news publication other than Der Spiegel, who broke the story, along with several Israeli sources, have published anything about this. 

Here is the Jerusalem Post's Benjamin Weinthal reporting from Germany:
"A forensic report from Hamburg University Hospital confirmed that the eight Kurds had been murdered by “the use of chemical substances. Turkish Kurdish human rights members delivered photos in March to a delegation of German politicians, Turkey specialists, and journalists. The bodies in the photos were severely deformed and torn to pieces; the photos formed the basis for the forensic report. Hans Baumann, a German expert on the authenticity of photos, confirmed that photos had not been doctored. The eight Kurdish PKK members were killed last September. The 31 photos, according to German media, are so disturbing that news organizations have been reluctant to publish them. The murdered PKK rebels – two women and six men – range in age from 19 to 33."
 Let's see what else we can learn in the coming days from the German spotlight on this atrocity.

1 comment:

heplev said...

Well, you can learn that German politicians are calling on Turkey to investigate the incident.
Sound familiar? Yeah, they always call an Israel to investigate "her" incidents - no wait, they call for international investigations...