Emirati FM said “Israel kills children.” But it’s all smiles now

The Faustian Contract |

Partners in war crimes

These cruelties and crimes are bad enough at any time, but even more sadistic during the pandemic.

So what changed for Abdallah bin Zayed, such that those he once accurately called killers of children who should face trial have now been transformed into “excellencies”?

There is of course the UAE’s long-standing cozying up to Israel, as part of an American-led alliance to ramp up conflict and tension with Iran.

And in 2015, the UAE launched its own campaign of bombing innocent people from the air, as part of the ongoing American and Saudi-led war on Yemen.

Now Emirati officials and others complicit in war crimes in Yemen face international calls for ICC investigations and arrest.

Perhaps one of the areas of “cooperation” that UAE leaders hope to benefit from as a result of their “peace” with Israel is learning how to evade justice for killing children.

The United Arab Emirates’ top diplomat came out in defense of U.S. President Donald Trump’s order temporarily barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

On Sunday, United Arab Emirates foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a phone call with his Israeli counterpart.

It’s all part of the UAE’s US-brokered “peace” agreement with Israel.

The UAE foreign ministry spokesperson referred to the Israeli minister as “HE Gabi Ashkenazi” – which stands for “His Excellency.”

Man cries over body of child as others look on
Palestinians carry the body of a boy from the Shaibar family, whom medics said was killed along with two other children from the same family by an Israeli air strike, during their funeral in Gaza City, 17 July 2014. Ezz al-Zanoun APA images

That honorific is a far cry from how Abdullah bin Zayed addressed Israeli leaders back in the summer of 2014, when Israel was bombing Gaza, killing an average of 11 children per day.

On 27 July 2014, Abdullah bin Zayed tweeted in English, Arabic and Hebrew, “Israel kills children.”

He accompanied it with graphic photos of what bombs do to babies – though it was unclear that they were from Gaza.

The minister added the hashtag #ICC4Israel – a call for Israeli war criminals to be tried by the International Criminal Court – and urged followers to retweet his tweet.

Ashkenazi was not the head of Israel’s army in 2014. That role was held by Benny Gantz, currently Israel’s deputy leader.

But Ashkenazi was the army chief of staff during Israel’s 2008-2009 attack on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead, a three-week orgy of slaughter that killed about 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and more than 300 children.

It is unclear if Ashkenazi’s name appears on a secret Israeli government list of hundreds of officers and officials who are likely to be pursued for war crimes as the International Criminal Court moves towards a formal investigation.

That is only because Ashkenazi’s term as army chief ended in 2011, and due to legal technicalities, the ICC can only investigate Israeli crimes committed after 13 June 2014.

But Gantz and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu certainly are on the list and as a member of their government, Ashkenazi remains a full participant in Israel’s ongoing war crimes.

UAE foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed’s words were accurate in 2014, and sadly remain accurate today. Nothing has changed.

‘Did I tell you about the power behind the throne?’

Gaza remains under a lethal Israeli siege and blockade, subject to bombing whenever its people resist or protest the massive and cruel collective punishment Israel has decreed for them – a strategy Israeli leaders call “mowing the lawn.”

When civilians stage mass protests along Gaza’s boundary with Israel, the Israeli response is to murder them with snipers.

Last week, Israel tightened that siege even more, further restricting the entrance of supplies into Gaza, including fuel for the territory’s only electricity plant.

This was supposedly in retaliation for incendiary balloons launched by Palestinians over the boundary, a symbolic effort to draw attention to the deteriorating situation inside the besieged territory.

Gisha, an Israeli human rights group that monitors the siege, said it “strongly condemns these [Israel’s] acts of blatant collective punishment, which have absolutely no connection to concrete security needs.”

“Due to rising temperatures and increased demand, the supply of electricity available to residents of the Strip has dropped recently,” Gisha noted, with the daily supply at about 10 hours per day.

Those hours are expected to drop to just four to eight hours of electricity per day, the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights warned.

Gaza’s electricity authority announced Sunday that the power plant would shut down by next Tuesday thanks to Israel’s refusal to allow fuel in.

Israel announced on Sunday that it would entirely prohibit fishers from sailing off of Gaza’s coast, following a decision to severely restrict them last week.

Those restrictions target Gaza’s economy and its two million inhabitants, half of them children, and constitute collective punishment – a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and thus a war crime.

 

⚠ While We’re Distracted

Once again, COVID-19 is being used as a “smokescreen” to distract worldwide attention while illegal and aggressive movements are taking place in specific regions of the planet, as has recently become clear with the Israeli advance in the West Bank and the arrival of thousands of American troops to Yemen

MSNBC Has Done 455 Stormy Daniels Pieces This Year—ZERO on US-Sponsored Genocide in Yemen

How might we understand what it would mean in the United States for fourteen million people in our country to starve?

The world pays constant attention to the coronavirus, occupying the news agencies with a high coverage of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, on the global periphery, geopolitics continues at full throttle, with several conflicts occurring unnoticed by most people outside the affected regions.

The case of Yemen is a clear example of what we are talking about here.

Recently, the conflict in the country completed five years of uninterrupted fighting, reaching the regrettable marks of more than 10,000 killed in the confrontation, in addition to almost 100,000 killed by the social ills caused by the war, such as hunger, mainly among children.

The Long, Brutal U.S./Israel War on Children in the Middle East

The poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula has become a strategic area in strong dispute and a real geopolitical thermometer for Middle East tensions, especially between the two regional powers most involved in the conflict, Iran and Saudi Arabia, which are increasing their rivalry day after day.

The most noteworthy attitude is that of Saudi Arabia, which, aligned with the western axis, has been taking increasingly aggressive stances in the country, causing unnecessary suffering to the local population and prolonging the terror and fear in the region.

Human Rights Watch data show that Saudi Arabia has been behind fundamental rights abuses against the Yemeni population, especially in the al-Mahrah region, since at least June last year, when such crimes began to be investigated. HRW Middle East Director Michael Page stated in an interview with PressTV:

“Saudi forces and their Yemeni allies’ serious abuses against local-Mahrah residents is another horror to add to the list of the Saudi-led coalition’s unlawful conduct in Yemen (…) Saudi Arabia is severely harming its reputation with Yemenis when it carries out these abusive practices and holds no one accountable for them”.

Among the abuses reported by HRW, we highlight illegal arrests, torture, kidnappings and compulsory transfer of detainees to Saudi Arabia.

Once again, COVID-19 is being used as a “smokescreen” to distract worldwide attention while illegal and aggressive movements are taking place in specific regions of the planet, as has recently become clear with the Israeli advance in the West Bank and the arrival of thousands of American troops to Yemen

In addition, other international crimes had previously been reported by the organization as being committed by the American coalition against Houthi resistance in the region, including bombing homes, businesses and hospitals.

In February, at least 30 Yemeni civilians died from airstrikes conducted by Saudi military in the north of the country, in the district of Jawf al-Maslub.

The attack was said to have been conducted in response to the downing of a Saudi aircraft by the Houthi forces. In the words of Houthi movement spokesman Yahya Saree:
Yemen Is Today’s Guernica

“As usual, when the most brutal US-Saudi aggression receives painful strikes in the military confrontation fields, it replies with great folly by targeting civilians.”

In March, a fleet of 450 American soldiers landed in Yemen, in addition to an uncertain number of troops from the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

According to information from al-Mashhad, this was the first stage of a project to send 3,000 American and British troops to Yemen, which will land in the regions of Aden, Lahai, Saqtari, Shabweh and al-Mohreh, thus completing a true siege of the country in all geographical directions.

Saudi warplanes targets horses’ stables in Yemen

In addition, two American warships docked at Balhaf, Yemen’s main natural gas export port. American movements would be motivated in the region to supposedly “fight terrorism”, but several military analysts have already made it clear that the United States intends to intervene in the Yemeni government and install fixed bases in the region, “stabilizing” the situation in the country.

The crisis in Yemen is a real humanitarian catastrophe, with dimensions similar to those of the Civil War in Syria. However, the attention given to the poorest country in the Middle East is minimal, especially in times of the pandemic.

Once again, COVID-19 is being used as a “smokescreen” to distract worldwide attention while illegal and aggressive movements are taking place in specific regions of the planet, as has recently become clear with the Israeli advance in the West Bank and the arrival of thousands of American troops to Yemen.

The ZIO-United States are starving hundreds of thousands of Syrian children to death, following the same strategy that caused 576,00 Iraqi children to die due to UN sanctions imposed the 1990’s.

Yet, another factor that is absolutely ignored, being even more serious than military aggression, is the public health crisis and food insecurity generated by Saudi aggression.

Yemeni Health Minister Saif al-Haidri recently warned of the neglect with which international society has dealt with the situation, which he called a “disastrous in the shadow of war”. These are his words:

“approximately five and a half million children under the age of five are suffering from malnutrition (…) One child dies every ten minutes in Yemen (…) 80 percent of children in Yemen live in a state of stunting and anemia due to malnutrition (…) Two hundred thousand women of childbearing age or some of they are pregnant or have given birth to malnourished children, which threatens the lives of children”.

Indeed, while the world is distracted by the coronavirus, crimes against humanity are committed with impunity and millions of people starve to death without any humanitarian assistance.

Yemen has yet to record any cases of COVID-19, but what can we expect for the near future when Western troops arrive in the country at all times, since the US and Europe are the regions most affected by the pandemic? What will be the future of the Yemeni crisis? Will the West bring peace or the pandemic to the poorest country in the Middle East?