To accuse Israel of using excessive force in the face of an armed rebellion is not all that unusual for the United Nations. When they deal with Israel, the nations have always employed double standards. One standard for their countries' actions and policy for riots, insurrection - even war - and a totally different standard for the Jewish State of Israel.
Congressman Eliot Engel, (Dem. NY) co-chair of the bipartisan congressional U.N. Working Group, castigated Mary Robinson for calling on Israel to dismantle settlements and urging the international community to send a protection force to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Engel said: "I do not believe that under your mandate as High Commissioner for Human Rights you should comment officially on political issues that Israel and the Palestinians have chosen to resolve in bilateral negotiations... In particular, your recommendation 'that the construction of new settlements should cease and those located in the midst of heavily populated Palestinian areas should be removed' is not a human rights issue and must be settled at the bargaining table. Moreover, I fear that your suggestion that Israel withdraws in the face of organized violent action by Palestinians will only bolster those who choose to employ such violence to coerce Israel to pull its forces back." (1)
So, in its typical arrogance, when making life and death decisions for Israel, the U.N. continues its biased attitude and a 'modus operandi' driven by the Arab/Muslim nations. The Mitchell committee has been assembled for a much more far reaching goal that to merely study the conflict and offer an opinion. The Committee's report is to establish a basis upon which the U.N. can initiate 'corrective action' against Israel. That translates into first placing unarmed U.N. observers in the region, followed by an expanded, armed U.N. force.
Look for a preponderance of American troops, accompanied by French, English and Russians as was done in Kosovo under a U.N. mandate. The end product is to establish a Palestinian State, forcing Israel to withdraw first to the pre-67 borders and beyond. President Clinton presumption is that a pacified Palestinian State will not turn into a terrorist State, subverting Jordan and linking up to Syria, Iraq and Iran in order to take over Saudi Arabia and the Gulf oil nations. This plan is a slight variation of the U.S. State Department/Pentagon plan to place American troops on the Golan Heights in phased stages using a U.N. observer force as a false screen for phase one. (This is still in the hopper.)
Will George Mitchell actually research the matter objectively and possibly go against Mary Robinson and the U.N.'s biased conclusions - thereby upsetting the regional plan? Probably not. But, on the off chance that Mitchell and his Committee will do an honest and diligent job, let us outline some of the work which they must do first.
As the riots did not occur in a vacuum, one must explore the events that preceded the so-called 'spontaneous' riots themselves and the expansion and continuations of the riots. Note! The word and meaning of 'riots' must be thought of as a flexible condition since what was initiated as riots immediately ramped up into a preplanned controlled state of armed insurrection, using children and civilians as human shields, concealing armed shooters. The word "riot" was only correct in part, as Arafat signaled his regional control agents to engage in an armed insurrection using civilian rioters as cover.
But, before the Mitchell Committee creates its own scale of acceptable force vs. excessive force, one must explore existing standards and policies which nations use within the U.N. for dealing with riots, insurrection and armed conflict. What is on their books by way of policy and law? Also, how have they themselves actually used force within their countries during the past 50 years? These are member nations of the U.N. who have voted condemnation of Israel - despite their own sometimes abominable track record of suppression (necessary or otherwise.)
Some examples to study should include:
Kuwait attacked Arafat's local Palestinians after they rose up as a fifth column to assist Saddam Hussein in taking over Kuwait. 350,000 Palestinians were forcibly transferred to Jordan. Similarly, Saudi Arabia forcibly transferred more than 300,000 Palestinians to Jordan who were considered as an imminent threat to their rule.
On the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza, Egypt killed rioting Palestinians to eliminate their first 'Intifada' in December 1987.
Syria liquidated 20,000 of its own civilians, destroying the town of Hamma.
Saddam liquidated Iraqi Kurds.
We, Americans had the advantage of bombing the Iraqis from miles up with 'smart' bombs. Most of the Gulf War was conducted with massive force at safe distances. Our ships sent cruise missiles hundreds of miles. Rules of engagement were laid down by President George Bush and implemented by General Colin Powell and General Norman Schwarzkopf. Compare this to Israel's dilemma of having to protect her citizens within rock-throwing or sniper rifle distance from their enemies.
Then there is the example the U.N. forces in Kosovo with Americans and British planes once again virtually safe as they bombed their targets from thousands of feet in the air. Here again, the U.N. approved attack plans used overwhelming force to end the conflict quickly with minimum casualties. This would be called "Excessive Force" except when it is the U.N. defining the terms.
The use of force to suppress insurrection has many faces. Many of those countries in the U.N. choose maximum force when faced with rioters rather than exercising restraint.
The Arab nations and Arafat in particular cynically use their own civilians as human shields by putting children, women and unarmed men in harms' way. They deliberately enlisted them to become involuntary extensions of their planned violence, especially when the televised 'war' shows children and women as victims and martyrs.
Recall the use of force by the United States against Vietnamese civilians because they were forced to be Human Shields as an organic extension of the Viet Cong. Remember how those pictures of the naked, napalmed girl aroused antiwar sentiment in America? How many other remembrances would we have to regurgitate to properly study the use of so-called excessive force against protesting civilians in America? Which nation's conscience is clear enough to cast the first stone?
Within the 52-year conflict between the Arab nations and Israel, documented history indicates that civilians were consistently used by the Arabs in various ways to advance the war goals of the Arab nations. Civilians were often used as 'Human Shields' just like those the American soldiers faced in Vietnam. The use of civilian Human Shields was fairly common during the six wars initiated by the Arab nations against Israel.
Egypt quite often placed Triple AAA (anti-aircraft guns) on top of school roofs - serving 2 purposes. 1. It delayed offensive targeting by Israeli aircraft. 2. If the anti-aircraft guns were hit, there was an immediate hue and cry that Israel was targeting schools and children. Egypt also placed ground-to-air missiles in parking lots of hospitals and school yards for the same goals. The public relations propaganda, then as now, intended to present Israel as using excessive force against civilian targets.
In Lebanon, Arafat used underground bunkers and various apartment buildings as storage facilities for ammunition, explosives and weapons - deliberately located in the center of densely populated refugee camps. Using human Shields was a primary motivation. In the Lebanon war, Arafat sent kids with Rocket Propelled Grenades, called the RPG kids, against Israeli soldiers who were often killed while they hesitated to shoot at kids. Recall the silence of the United Nations when Syria invaded Lebanon and bombed the Palestinian arms depots in the center of the refugee camps.
During the 8-year war between Iran and Iraq, Iran sent children (holding tickets to Muslim Paradise) running across minefields to clear the way for the Iranian soldiers.
Were the riots spontaneous? No! There were several killings of Israelis by Palestinians before September 28 (the eve of Rosh Hashana) when Arik Sharon walked around the Jewish Temple Mount, our holiest Jewish site. The preparations and incitements of the Arab populace began weeks and months before that. Civilians were told to store food, medical supplies, generators and all materials needed if Israel declared martial law after the preplanned riots started. American and European Intelligence were well-aware of these preparations but neither did anything - as in the past.
Arafat increased what Oslo allowed as a "lightly-armed Police force of 24,000" to some 50,000 well-armed Paramilitary forces in uniform - plus between 9 to 20 Secret Services with an unknown number of armed non uniformed men, estimated at 30,000. This Palestinian buildup preceded what they called the 'spontaneous' Al Aksa riots.' In fact, they began the same week Barak hosted Arafat for a cordial dinner at his home. But, Arafat ignored Barak's hospitality and all his concessions because he needed and wanted an armed uprising - for which he gave one of his infamous 'green lights'.
Arafat engaged in a major buildup of smuggled arms that were illegal under Oslo including, heavy automatic machine guns like AK 47 Kalashnikovs, shoulder-fired missiles, antitank and antiaircraft missiles, plastique explosives, armored vehicles, huge quantities of weapons and ammunition. The monies donated by the U.S., European countries and Israel to build Palestinian Infrastructure for the civilians, instead went to build an army, deep concrete bunkers for the elite and to stockpile these masses of stockpiled illegal arms. Here, again, U.S. and European Intelligence were fully aware of these preparations which were ignored by the leaders of the nations. The CIA has been training the Palestinian Authority Police and Secret Services since the 1993 signing of Oslo.
Arafat also organized the working associations and integration of various known terrorist groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Tanzim (fighters of his own Force 17). Shortly after the 'spontaneous riots' began, he progressively released Hamas terrorists from prison, many of whom had expertise in bomb-making and planning of terrorist operations. Releasing these terrorists resulted in an immediate increase in sophisticated bombings and skilled sniper shootings.
The so-called spontaneous 'Intifada' (uprising) was actually a synergistic operation, with linkage to civilians (especially children). Arab civilians under the Palestinian Authority and those Arabs within Israel who held Israeli citizenship were expected to perform as a fifth column (and they did). This is why Kuwait and Saudi Arabia forcibly transferred more than 700,000 Palestinians to Jordan after the Gulf War. Civilians were armed as was Arafat's armed Para-Military Police. Each segment was expected to participate, sometimes on their own or in connection with each other under Arafat's military command.
Casualties were not only expected but mandatory. During the staged and well-coordinated street scenes, children (preferably) and teens would place themselves in positions of jeopardy in order to insure world media photos and video pictures of pathetic child victims or Israeli 'excessive force. Why would Israel shoot at these children and teens 'only' throwing stones? Stones can and do kill. But, behind the children were the well-armed Palestinian Para-Military forces and their snipers - carefully concealed - often in civilian homes. For example, Arafat's Muslim Palestinians took over the Christian town of Beit Jalla, just south of Jerusalem, and fired nightly into the Gilo residential neighborhood of Jerusalem. As the Palestinians were firing over the main road to South Israel via two tunnels, these roads were closed due to the danger almost every night - and often during the day - from Rosh Hashana until now. This was the paradigm or pattern in dozens of locations within Israel and Judea, Samaria and Gaza. This was not a riot of civilians but a full scale armed conflict masquerading as an insurrection - with all the terrorist operations directed increasingly against Israel's civilians.
Because the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) under orders of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, did NOT employ sufficient force to stop the shooting, Arafat's hoped for disruption of everyday living was wildly successful. Arafat's propaganda war was even more successful. Arafat, through his Palestinian Authority Television, school curricula and summer camps, etc. had inculcated in the children, the heroic concept of 'Shahada': Muslim Martyrdom for Allah which was easily taught and absorbed by impressionable children. To them it was a wonderful game wherein death was an exciting experience to aspire to. These mind games inflicted on children produced a high that easily surpassed any drug stimulant. Children, even their parents, were euphoric while confronting Israeli soldiers in the streets with rocks and gasoline bombs (Molotov cocktails) against Jews they were taught to hate and kill.
The so-called 'spontaneous' riots were, a carefully orchestrated set of steps, designed to ramp up violence with many casualties and staged for the accommodating world media while simultaneously using the Arab block countries in the U.N. to vote condemnation of Israel for the use of 'excessive force'.
This was something like the boy who killed his parents and then demanded mercy from the judge because he was an orphan.
The Mitchell Committee, pressed by the U.N. through Mary Robinson will be hard put to take all of these factors into account and be truthful.
Behind all of this is Arafat's desire to force the placement of U.N. troops to 'ostensibly' protect the civilian Palestinian population from Israel's 'excessive force'. Just as they did in Lebanon under the 'non-watchful' eyes of the U.N.I.F.I.L. (United Nations International Forces In Lebanon), this will allow the Palestinian terrorists to mount assaults and then hide behind the U.N. troops. Of course, they (U.N. Forces) will be forced into harm's way by the Palestinians and the necessary Israeli defense. So, Israelis will find it very difficult to respond as the U.N. troops might be hit. In the past U.N. troops had no effect against Arafat's terrorists, refusing to stop or disarm them. In a way, they provide a voluntary Human Shield for Arafat's Terrorism against justifiable response by Israel.
Strangely, Israel has been out of step with her own neighbors in terms of dealing with uprisings. When Arafat's Palestinians broke over 20 agreements with King Hussein of Jordan threatening his regime, King Hussein and his brother mounted a force in September 1970 and liquidated a minimum of ten thousand (10,000) Palestinians and creating a 'Black' September. This was not considered the use of excessive force by Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq or the U.N.
Israel has exercised significant restraint which has led to the escalating insurrection.
What then can we conclude from all of this? Quite simply (as mentioned earlier) the U.N., the U.S. State Department Arabists and the E.U. (European Union) have coalesced into a strike-force, dedicated first to truncating Israel and then eliminating her. Minimally, they wish to establish a Palestinian State which presumably will not be another terrorist nation threatening Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Oil States.
Mary Robinson and George Mitchell's investigating Committee are merely tools for subverting Israel strength and sovereignty. Look for their written condemnation, followed by a creative punishment from the U.N. Look for the E.U. to attempt embargoes after the Mitchell Committee concludes that Israel has used excessive force. And then look for someone or some country to stand up for Israel's right to exist and right of self-defense. You won't find them, unless our new President ins a stand-up guy.