Aloni – Our Army Chiefs are War Criminals

Shulamit Aloni (born in 1928 in a Polish Rabbanical family) and during her youth was a member of Jewish terrorist group Hagana. In 1948 war – she took part in the capture of Jerusalem, and was captured by Jordanian forces. She has been a newspaper columnist and politician. She was Minister of Education in Yitzhak Rafael’s cabinet and later served as Communication Minister till 1996 when she retired from politics.

Aloni is recipient of ‘Israel Prize’ and she defended Jimmy Carter for his use of word Apartheid for Zionist entity, saying – “I hate to cover up things that should be open in the sun.”

In her latest statement, she said that she would be pleased if Palestinian sue Istarl Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who she termed a warmonger, in the International Court in The Hague. Other worthy of The Hague Court is former Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz, she also called him a war criminal.

On Tuesday, Aloni was interviewed by an Arab paper and in a free-for-all attack on the current Israeli government and military and said that the hands of IDF commanders were “soaked in blood,” adding that she was not proud of her country. The IDF, she said, was an “occupying army.”

She termed Barak’s decision to reduce the supply of gas and electricity to Gaza “inhumane and a collective punishment against civilians.”

“I would like to say openly that Barak is the most dangerous man in the State of Israel. His decision is a crime against humanity, if implemented. Cutting electricity from residents, children, women and hospitals is a crime against humanity. That’s the UN’s definition.”

When asked why she viewed Barak as dangerous, the former education minister said, “Because of his personality, because he’s looking to start wars, because of his vanity and condescending nature and because he chooses extreme measures.”

“In my view, if he continues his extreme ways, he will beat [Likud chairman] Binyamin Netanyahu in the coming election. Right now he is more right wing than Netanyahu.”

On January 9, 2002 – speaking at  Gush Shalom Forum, she said:

“I would like to continue from the point at which the last speaker ended. The violation of International Law goes on, day after day – with impunity. We just don’t understand the limitations of power. We explain to the gentiles that the laws should not apply to us, and if they don’t get the message it means that they are antisemites.

Golda Meir said that after the Eichmann Trial we have the right to do everything. During the Lebanon War Begin said that no one has the right to tell us what to do, definitely not those who bombed Dresden. He also made a very rude attack on the German Chancellor Schmidt, even though he knew perfectly well that Schmidt’s grandfather was Jewish and that no blame attached to this family from the time of the Holocaust. One day after Begin made this statement came the worst bombing of Beirut. Because if everything is allowed, then indeed everything is allowed.

Our diplomats are trying to sell to the UN the version that the Territories are not at all occupied, despite the fact that we never annexed them but rather placed them under a military administration, which is the hallmark of an occupation. But Prof. Yehudah Blum, whose legalistic theories are declaimed whenever our diplomats speak at the UN, came up with the brilliant idea that we conquered these territories from an occupier, and therefore they are ours.

The fact is that the West Bank had been transferred to Jordanian rule in the 1949 Armistice Agreements, with the full concurrence of all parties and under the auspices of the UN. And the Jordanians, unlike us, did not behave there as occupiers. They gave citizenship to the Palestinians, and the possibility of entering the Jordanian parliament and army.

Earlier, the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations’ mandate over Palestine, documents which are often cited on our side, did promise the creation of a Jewish National Home in this country – but this was made contingent on preserving the rights of the existing population, a reservation which is nowadays conveniently forgotten.

The new Israeli Ambassador to the UN sat down with me for two hours and tried to convince me that there is no occupation and the whole territory belongs to us. I told him that if you reject the map of the 1949 Armistice, which held until June 1967, then the logical conclusion is not that everything is ours. The logical conclusion then would be to go back to the partition plan of 1947, which we would like much less.

We did not sign any Human Rights Treaty. There is no regional treaty in our own region, and we did not join the European one. We want so much to be Europeans, we clamor for the right to join any possible European institution, but not where it comes to human rights, no sir! And we did not join the Treaty of Rome, we have no desire for it to be applicable to us.

Since 1995 we have ceased to be a democratic state. The law was enacted that if you don’t recognize Israel as “The state of the Jewish People” you are not allowed to run for the Knesset. The victory of Kahane!

The settlements are illegal. Everybody knows they are. The first settlements had pretexts that they are needed for military and security purposes, and the Supreme Court collaborated with this pretence. When the settlement of Shilo was created, they claimed at first to be engaged in archaeological diggings… From settlement to new settlement their greed is growing, the crimes increase, land robbery in broad daylight.

Considering what is going on nowadays in the Territories, there should have been international observers coming in, to put a stop to this greed. But the observers will not come. They will not come because of the tactic of abusing the guilt feelings of the Western Christian World. When the proceedings against Sharon were instituted in Belgium, what was his reaction? “This is against me. This is against Israel, against the Jewish People, against all the generations of the Jewish People.” So, he, Sharon, he is Israel. He is the Jewish People. He is all the generations of the Jewish people. He is sacrosanct. And if the Belgians still go on with prosecuting him, then it means that the Belgians are antisemites…

How much arrogance, how many techniques to avoid all laws! What was invested in these brutal estate owners, the Gaza Strip settlers who cultivate the land by the labor of imported migrant workers, could have easily solved the problems of the disabled who demand to have just a slightly higher allowance. The Ambassador of the US to Israel, who happens to be Jewish, said just that. And then, what did the settler Knesset Member say, our King of the Hill? The settler said that the ambassador is “a little Jew-boy”.

The government has no plans how to restart or advance the peace process. Nothing is further from its real intentions. The US gives its backing, because in the US there are Jews and there are politics and electoral considerations. Therefore, there will probably be no international observers in the Territories, nor indictments of Israelis at the war crimes court.

Our public has become a collaborator. People are just parroting the government line. Once I heard on the radio a news item which I knew to be wrong. I called the news editor, and she told me: “I know, but that is what the bosses want me to broadcast”.

The government is steadily escalating the situation, and Shimon Peres is inside, bearing his share in the collective responsibility for what is going on. Does the Labor Party not know what it means to be in the opposition? Peres says that if he were in the opposition he would have had to beg journalists for two lines on a back page. Uri Avnery had been in the Knesset and had been in the opposition – sometimes constituted the opposition, all by himself. If Peres had been on the outside, our situation would have been much easier, far easier for the many people who want to keep their humanity and not become collaborators.

I don’t have many hopes from the International Court, because of that manipulation and the accusations of antisemitism. For example the Germans, with all their power in Europe, will never dare to confront the government of Israel on anything. Chancellor Kohl was Israel’s senior representative at the gatherings of the European Union. All because of a feeling of guilt and apprehension which is being systematically and cynically manipulated.

It can change if we, the Israelis who believe in peace and justice, explain to the Europeans that what is happening now is worse than antisemitism. Every single Palestinian village or town has become a virtual detention camp. They are prevented from travelling, the roads are closed to them. The greed is increasing all the time. They are talking of demography, of a “demographic threat”, in order to preapare the ground for a “Grand design” of conquest and deportation, like what Sharon tried to carry out in Lebanon. Benni Elon and Avigdor Liebermann, the extreme right ministers, speak about it openly. Sharon praises them, and speaks about “our right” to both banks of the Jordan River, and about the possible “generosity” he may show by “giving up” the eastern one. We have never really understood what it means to be a state of law, to adhere to laws and rules. Before 1948, our leaders thought it was praiseworthy to steal from the British, and such attitudes have a way of sinking deep in.

We citizens must organize to protest and raise our voice. Otherwise, we will end up as the world’s pariahs, and we will deserve it. We here are a big part of the public. We can raise our voice in protest, we can stand with picket signs. The media would not be able to ignore us forever. We can’t rely on the international community or the international courts. We can’t, unless we ourselves call upon them to come and to ignore the emotional blackmail of being called antisemites. We must call a spade a spade. Our Government is committing war crimes. We must reiterate it again and again, as Cato the Elder repeated his admonition. Repeat it without flinching. The time has come to prepare the War Crimes Dossiers!”

Her son, Udi Aloni 49, is a New York-based writer and artist. His 2006 movie Forgiveness, released after Israeli humiliation in Summer 2006 at the hands of Hizb’Allah – won acclaims at Berlin Festival.


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