Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Who are the real criminals?

Written by Henry Srebrnik

A number of human rights organizations accused Israel of committing war crimes in its recent war against Hamas in Gaza.
A report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council made the same charge. (The Council includes such stalwarts of democracy as Angola, China, Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.)

Similar allegations were made during Israel’s incursion into Lebanon in 2006, when battling the Hezbollah guerrillas. Israel denied this and after conducting its own investigation found the charges to be without merit.

But who has really been engaged in war crimes? We need look no further than Sudan. Its president, Omar al-Bashir, was indicted by the International Criminal Court in early March on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

He is accused by the court of orchestrating attacks that have involved killings, rapes and other atrocities against civilians. Hundreds of thousands of people have been murdered.
But for Israel’s opponents, including Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, crimes against humanity seem to be in the eye of the beholder. While all three have accused Israel of genocide, especially after the recent war in Gaza, they all jumped to Sudan’s defence. Sudan and its allies have called the whole campaign to stop the killings in Darfur a “Zionist plot.”

Of course, as the world discovered recently, Sudan has also been a pipeline for Iranian weapons bound for Hamas in Gaza. In March Iranian Defence Minister Mustafa Muhammad Najar visited Sudan and signed a series of military cooperation agreements. This followed a visit to Iran two months earlier by his Sudanese counterpart, Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein.

Meanwhile, Bashir seems to have taken a “victory lap” around the Arab world to mock the ICC indictment. Qatar’s leader gave him a red-carpet welcome as he arrived to attend an Arab League summit at the end of March, and Bashir took a prominent role at the two-day meeting. The Sudanese leader had earlier visited Eritrea, Egypt and Libya.

Even before the summit began, Amr Moussa, the general-secretary of the Arab League, said the member states would “continue our efforts to halt the implementation of the warrant.” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, opened the conference by asking all Arab leaders to reject the court’s action.

“What is happening now with regards to Sudan is a new chapter in the chapters that consider the Arabs weak and disrespect the sovereignty of their countries,” he declared.

“We must also take a decisive stance of solidarity alongside fraternal Sudan and President Omar al-Bashir,” added Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. And he’s the moderate! Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

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