Monday, January 26, 2009

World Court of Conscience

I was trying to sleep last night but I kept seeing in my mind's eye the ghostly procession of Gaza's dead children.  Perhaps I am also a casualty of the Gaza war, like many others who watched the war on Gaza on Al-Jazeera.  I cannot let go. The images of what befell them keep invading my very being. I might forget the women the men, the old folk but I cannot forget the children. Why? The answers are many but paramount among them is that, like in many other cases in the Occupied Territories and all over the world, especially Africa,  the killers are going to escape justice.The giant world media will see to it that Israel will emerge whiter than white, fully vindicated or forgiven should any blame be attached to it. Look at the tears Olmert and his entourage are shedding for the victims of the war in Gaza. Doesn't it break your heart?
The problem is that the handkerchief he is holding to dry up his tears is dripping blood. Never the less we are asked to suspend belief and listen to his verdict.  It was the Hamas.  It was the Hamas who butchered the children, burnt Gaza and leveled its districts to the ground. This gets me worried indeed but what gets me even more worried is the way some of the big European countries are behaving. What defies understanding even the most pragmatic forms of it is the manner with which they are conducting themselves. They seem to have enlisted themselves in the Israeli defense forces. Gaza's blockade by land is not enough.  Now it is going to be blockaded by sea. O the tunnels, the tunnels. The tunnels which mainly brought food, medicines, live stock, clothing, and served as Gaza's windows on the world because of the closure of the crossings, the tunnels have emerged on our world stage as a weapon of mass destruction deserving the attention of the most sophisticated navies in the world and the latest cry in the-state-of-the-arts surveillance equipment. Gaza is  going to be a Warsaw Ghetto indeed. And they say they are going to rebuild Gaza.
Are they going to build a nicer and a more modern prison?  Is the prison of Gaza going to be the pride of the free world? A prison is a prison and not all the cosmetics of the world are going to sweeten and beautify its confines. And this Gaza they are besieging, where is it, how gigantic are its proportions and size.  I advise you not to try to locate it on the world map. You will not find it with the naked eye.
In view of all this I have very little hope that the International Court of Justice and the UN Human Rights Organizations and all the other official world legal bodies will condemn  Israel for the war crimes it committed in Gaza. War crimes?  What war crimes? The most virtuous army of Israel, according to Olmert  does not commit crimes. The Israeli government is preparing the defense for the soldiers and officers who were ordered to Gaza purely as an exercise in procedure.
No army in the world can be described as virtuous. In the very training of soldiers brutality is almost a requirement. Only it is expected from regular armies to abide by the Geneva conventions for the very reason that the beast in the human nature, usually released by bloodshed, should come under control and be restrained. I am not going to retell the tale of the savage bombardment of Gaza. Nor Am I going to be engaged in the description of the terrible destruction of land, tree and farm. I am also leaving aside the barbarous annihilation of entire districts and the assassination of a city. But I am not letting go of the murdered children.
When finally the Israeli soldiers left their armoured tanks and advanced on the suburbs of Gaza, adjacent to the countryside, one of the darkest chapters in the history of warfare was etched on the memory of the surviving Palestinian children, in particular. Almost hidden by a canopy of weapons.they penetrated the broken shattered houses in which the civilians huddled together, defenseless, hungry and cold or wounded by the bombardment. What they did exactly we shall never know   in many parts. A team of forensic experts might unravel some of the facts.There are no such teams in Gaza.
The corpses of some of the dead children and the bodies of some of those who were saved  carried evidence of bullets, shot wounds aimed at the chest , the legs and arms. I shall never forget the gaping holes in the chests of two small children aged between two and three.  Their father, a simple farmer kept showing them to the people around him in the hospital and screaming, why kill my babies? His words were slurred and impaired. He was almost incoherent. I do not believe he will ever recover from the shock. From about three years old to fourteen years old, the surviving children told the same terrible story of executions, murder and barbarous ruthlessness committed amidst peals of laughter and sick jokes.
Therefore I ask , shall we let go or try to bring the perpetrators to justice? If they escape justice sooner or later the killer soldiers will end in mental or psychiatric hospitals. If not, they will condemn themselves to a life of remorse, haunted by their dark deeds.  Most likely,  n their remaining lives they will behave like psychopaths.
While the International experts are looking for evidence of war crimes in Gaza and endlessly debating, the nature, the facts or lack of facts, the reliability or lack of reliability of evidence, the applicability of the Geneva Conventions or the inapplicability, while they are looking for clues for war crimes under the most evident crime of all: the wanton and unnecessary destruction of Gaza and the lives of its civilians,  the souls of the dead children of Gaza roam the nights unappeased.  Their shades will haunt our failings. our bias, our convenient pragmatism  and our, at the end of the day, indifference. Our colonial heritage is mightier than our humanity ( this is my British side speaking). the scapegoat will remain the scapegoat goat. The choice is simple. Israel at any cost. Israel is always innocent until found innocent. The many people like Tony Ben, one of the last Knights of the Round Table, will not be listened to.
Since there is very little hope that Israel will be made accountable by any International law and human rights organizations, since there is very little hope that the International Court of Justice will be anything but selective in the way it dispenses justice, and since its selectivity is governed by the world powers, we should feel obliged to look for an alternative. A world Court of Conscience. What has given me the idea is that about 250 legal prosecuting forums and groups at the moment are preparing evidence against Israel in order to present to the International legal and human rights authorities. They have vowed not to rest until justice is done, now or even in 60 years time or more . This and The Prisoners of Conscience Organization made me think that we should bring into being the proposed World Court of Conscience. The presiding members of such a court will not come from politicians or politically manipulated members but from humanitarians, writers, artists, lawyers, magistrates,law makers,doctors, nursed and medics, philosophers, intellectuals and individuals whose services to mankind are recognized. Its judgments of conscience cannot be enforced legally but they will have moral authority and the spiritual might of the universal values and rights of mankind. Another dream. Perhaps.  But something is already in the making.


  1. Hmmm justice? Conscience? What are these?
    It is nice to have dreams but we have to wake up sometime....

  2. Khairat answers that to stop believing is to give up and let the dominion of the powerful prevail.