When Criticism of Cluster Bombs is "Anti-Semitic"
"The Israeli paper Ha'aretz reports that the head of Germany's Jewish community accused a minister in Angela Merkel's German government of "anti-Semitism" because of the minister's statement on Israel's use of cluster bombs. Development Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul had asked for a United Nations probe into Israel's use of cluster bombs in civilian areas of Lebanon."
"Cluster bombs are delivered by a large canister and disperse over a wide area, a sort of lethal piñata. The bomblets come in many sizes. Some are tiny, even smaller than 2 inches in diameter. Kids are constantly trying to kick them or pick them up with the result in the loss an arm or leg or even death. "Every day people are maimed, wounded and are killed by these ordnance," said Egeland. The UN official based his estimate on the reports of the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre which has traveled through 85% of Lebanon. The casualty figures as of 29 August from unexploded ordnance rose to 59 people, including 13 killed and 46 injured."
"Responding to U.N. reports of cluster bombs being found in Lebanese civilian areas the U.S. government has begun an investigation to determine if cluster bombs have been responsible for civilian casualties. It seems far fetched that the Bush Administration would do anything other than shower Israel with more money, but the Reagan administration did ban export of cluster bombs to Israel for six years for its misuse during its 1982 Lebanese invasion."
"In a very encouraging development hundreds of U.S. Jews are calling for strong measures to be taken against the Israeli government including a cut off of U.S. aid and U.N. sanctions. Over 800 have signed the statement calling for "U.S. Jewish Solidarity with Muslim and Arab Peoples of the Middle East". It states "we are outraged by the violence being perpetrated in our name both as Jews and as U.S. citizens. We, the undersigned, represent Jews across the United States who are choosing to stand in solidarity with the peoples of Gaza and Lebanon". It includes the statement, "There is no Jewish safety in a country that rehearses the violence and persecution which Ashkenazi Jews experienced for centuries through the annihilation of the Palestinian people and their homeland." The signers are collecting money for a full page in the New York Times and are just $800 away from their goal. The petition can be found at http://www.jewishsolidarity.info/petition.php"
By Stanley Heller
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Saying that we should not be too critical of Israel because it is not fair to hold it to higher moral standards has to be the cruelest argument i heard so far in this war. This is something that Netanyahu would say about Clinton in reference to Kosovo or to Assad in reference To Hamah (and he actually did). This is a reasoning one strong (er) nation could throw at another in a 'leave us to our business like we left you to yours' logic that usually is not thrown at the actual victim. Allow me to be blunt here, a Jew being criticized by a German today might go as far as saying, like your government was better? The US, with Iraq in the equation, has definitely lost its superior moral posture (not that it ever deserved it) and it gets the same argument from Israeli leaders. To actually tell a Lebanese however, why should Israel be blamed when most countries resort to mass punishment in order to achieve their strategic aim is like saying to the Jews in WWII why should Germany act any better? An example of the Israeli action in Lebanon in 82 here shows you that we are well aware of the Israeli tactics and practices and that we do not, by any means hold Israel at any moral standard. To say that to a Lebanese or a Palestinian or any Arab for that matter is just a cruel joke for we have lived to know better. I do not expect any morality on the part of the Israeli government but I hold people at a higher moral standard than their governments.