Forty-Four Years of Occupation - by Stephen Lendman
On March 7, Palestinian Prisoners Society head Qadura Fares presented a paper to the UN International Meeting on the Question of Palestine, addressing the plight of political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention facilities, saying:
Palestine "has been under criminal occupation for 44 years. During that time, (Israel) committed the worst crimes against humanity, violating every international instrument. The occupier has killed tens of thousands of our struggling people, most of them defenseless civilians. There have been over 800,000 instances of imprisonment. Tens of thousands of people have been injured," 30% left with permanent disabilities.
Moreover, thousands of homes, crops, and other property have been destroyed. "All this has been done in full view of the world." Even Israeli rabbis "legitimized the slaughter of Palestinian babies (claiming they'll) grow up to become enemies."
Citing many other lawless examples, Fares asked for UN help to end "the occupation and (let Palestinians) live in freedom in an independent sovereign State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif (Jerusalem) as its capital."
June 6 marks 44 years of occupation, a crime against humanity by any standard. Yet world leaders ignore it, denying Palestinians equity, justice, and freedom, putting a lie to those endorsing democracy. Israel long ago spurned it, especially for anyone not Jewish.
In 1948, in fact, its war without mercy depopulated villages and cities, massacred innocent victims, committed rapes and other atrocities, destroyed Palestinian homes and other property, and prevented them from returning after seizing 78% of historic Palestine.
During its Six-Day War, it took the rest, claiming self-defense against neighbors it attacked preemptively during its long-planned aggression it knew it could win and did easily.
The New York Times quoted Prime Minister Menachem Begin's (1977 - 83) August, 1982 speech saying:
"In June, 1967, we had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches (did) not prove that (President Gamal Abdel) Nasser (1956 - 70) was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him."
In February 1968, two time Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (1974 - 77 and 1992 - 95) told the French newspaper Le Monde:
"I do not believe Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it."
General Mordechai Hod, Commander of Israel's Air Force at the time said in 1978:
"Sixteen years of planning had gone into those initial eighty minutes. We lived with the plan. We slept on the plan. We ate the plan. Constantly we perfected it."
General Haim Barlev, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief told Ma'ariv in April, 1972:
"We were not threatened with genocide on the eve of the six-day war, and we had never thought of such a possibility."