ALEXANDER DOWNER IGNORES PLIGHT OF GAZAN PALESTINIANS
It’s just as well that the Howard government is likely to be ousted at the next election if for no other reason than it will save the Palestinian people of the West Bank from being invaded by Australian troops. The warmongering Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer who lied incessantly about Iraq’s WMDs as he pushed for war against Iraq would like to see Australian troops in the West Bank in order to protect the Palestinian people from democracy and ensure that Hamas aren’t ever voted into government.
Downer told an audience of Jewish leaders in Sydney last night: "If the Israeli defence forces withdrew from the West Bank, Hamas will just take over.” Downer ignores completely the fact that the Palestinian people overwhelmingly asked Hamas to ‘take over’ when it convincingly won the majority of seats in the Palestinian government in free democratic elections held in the occupied territories back in January of 2006.
The last thing the Middle East needs is more foreign troops marching over their real estate – or at least what’s left of it. What Downer should be doing is making representations to the Israeli government deploring the fact that Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, is planning for the collective punishment of Gazan civilians in retaliation for the hostile actions of a small number of Gazan militia against Israel.
It should be made quite clear to the Israeli government that, under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 21 October 1950, the collective punishment of civilians is a war crime. The Israeli government’s crimes against the Palestinian people have included the killing of innocent Palestinian children and other civilians through bombardments and aerial attacks, indiscriminate so-called ‘targeted assassinations’ which are nothing more than extra-judicial executions of Israel’s enemies in which many innocent passers-by are also often killed, the bulldozing of homes and productive fields, the deliberate obstruction of the flow of basic goods and products into the Gaza and the denial of medical facilities to hospitals in the Gaza. These are actions and crimes against an oppressed people which modern societies should not tolerate, let alone condone. Alexander Downer will be seen to be doing both if he does not take steps immediately to at least remind the Israeli government that they are indeed about to commit a specific war crime.
Perhaps after the next election Australia will have a Foreign Minister who, on behalf of all decent people in Australia, will be able to tell the Israeli government that their actions are not tolerated in a modern civilised world.