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(en) Israel-Palestine, Media, As in Tiennamen square (On yassin assasination) by Tanya Reinhart

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 31 Mar 2004 10:33:23 +0200 (CEST)

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An extensive discussion has already taken place in Israel regarding the cost-benefit
ratio of Yassin's assassination. But the question of justice has hardly been raised.
According to international law, the execution of any person in an
occupied territory is not allowed. The Geneva convention, born out of
the horrifying experience of the second World War, sets limitations on
the use of force even in times of war. The convention distinguishes
between war and a state of occupation. Its fundamentals are, first, that
occupied people are "protected", and that the occupier is responsible for
their safety. Second, it determines that the occupied people have the
right to fight for their liberation. International conventions are one of the
means people have developed for self-preservation. Without them,
there is a danger that the human race would annihilate itself - first the
strong would wipe out the weak, and then each other.

During its 37 years of occupation, Israel has already violated every
article of the Geneva convention. But what it did now is
unprecedented. As Robert Fisk stated it in the British Independent, "for
years, there has been an unwritten rule in the cruel war of
government-versus-guerrilla. You can kill the men on the street, the
bomb makers and gunmen. But the leadership on both sides -
government ministers, spiritual leaders were allowed to survive." Even
when the leader advocates violence and terror, the norm has been that
he may be imprisoned, but not killed.

Ahmed Yassin viewed himself as struggling against the occupation. As
reported in Yediot Aharonot, his demand was a full withdrawal of the
Israeli army from the occupied territories, back to the borders of 1967.
In 1993, Hamas agreed to the principles of the Oslo accords, but did not
believe that Rabin would translate these principles into action, and
urged the Palestinian people to remember that the occupation was not
yet over. During the iron-fist period of Barak and Sharon, Yassin
proposed a long term 'hudna' (cease fire), but he also believed that
Israel would never end the occupation of its own will. "The enemy
understands only the language of war, bombs and explosives" - he
preached to his followers, and declared that "every Israeli is a target for

The Geneva convention recognizes the right of the occupied people to
carry out armed struggle against the occupying army, but not to use
terror against civilians. Terror has no moral justification, and is not
defended by international law. But it is necessary that we Israelis
examine ourselves in this regard as well. What other way do we leave
open for the Palestinian people to struggle for their liberation? Along
the route of the wall in the West Bank, a new form of popular resistance
has been formed in the last few months. Palestinian farmers whose
land is being robbed sit on the ground in front of the bulldozers,
accompanied by the Israeli opponents of the wall - the veterans of the
Mas'ha camp. What could be more non-violent than this? But the
Israeli army shoots at sitting demonstrators, like in Tiennamen square.

The Israeli army blocks all options of non-violent resistance from the
Palestinians. With the arrogant elimination of a leader and a symbol,
as he was leaving a mosque, the army knowingly created a new wave of
violence and terror. It is hard not to get the impression that terror is
convenient for Sharon and the army. It enables them to convince the
world that the Geneva protections do not apply to the Palestiians,
because they have terrorists in their midst, and that, therefore, it is
permitted to do anything to them.

Since September 11th, as part of its “war against terror,” the
U.S. has
Been pushing to destroy all defences provided by International law. But
even the U.S. has not yet dared to publicly execute a spiritual-religious
leader (of, for example, the Taliban in Afghanistan). Now Israel has
determined, with the U.S. blessing, that even this is permitted. Under
the military rule, Israel has become a leading force in the destruction of
the very protections that humankind has established, out of World War
Two, for its own preservation, protections that we too may need one
day, as history has already shown us.

* Ed. Note: Tanya Reinhart define herself as anarchist.
She is a life long activist in the Israeli left. She is
a linguist and proffesor in Tel Aviv university.
have a regular "corner" in the Israeli main daily Yediot Aharonot,
most Israelis read.
In previous elections she openly opposed the supporting of the
lesser evil....
The article was printed March 30, 2004. Translated
from Hebrew by Netta Van Vliet

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