Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Israel uses nerve gas against its enemies

No, I didn't believe it when I read it either but then I found this. If any of you haven't heard of James Longley he's the guy who directed the film Gaza Strip. He's lived in Gaza for years, documenting attrocities committed by the IDF and generally being a humanitarian legend. Anyway, I couldn't sleep (its 01:18 and the kittens keep waking me up just as I'm about to drop off) so I came down and started checking for more stuff on the "mystery weapons" and I happened to read through the page I linked to below about the dodgy fundamentalist website with the interview with the doctor and I realised that below it was the text of a report from a site called Wayne Madsen Report that alleged that Israel fired nerve gas shells into Lebanon during the genocide. Now, I've already said that this site rang a few bells in my objectivity centres- the language it used, the english was bad and reports were pasted in from other sites (the text referred to a picture but there wasn't one). However, the gas allegation seemed well written so I tracked down the original report and, lo and behold, there it was- a picture of an IDF soldier carrying a dirty great finned projectile. The text stated that "a former U.S. weapons expert who served in Iraq" had identified it as "a chemical weapon delivery device".

Now, I know that Israel probably has chemical weapon delivery systems (American ones, methinks) and I have no doubt that it would be relatively straight forward to find a picture, like the one in the report, regardless of where it was actually taken (on exercise, at a military base, wherever) and start shouting "look the Israelis are using nerve gas!" But the picture is not the convincing evidence at all and neither is the unsubstantiated statement regarding "gas dropped by the Israelis in villages in southern Lebanon" which " has resulted in severe vomiting among the civilian population". The convincing evidence is the document that I first linked to in this post from James Longley which contains his own eye witness report of the IDF firing gas shells into the Khan Younis refugee camp in 2001 and the subsequent trauma of the civilians, including children, who were exposed to it. I quote:

"As I made my way through the wards of Amal and Nasser Hospitals that day and for many days afterward, I observed many patients that had been brought to the hospitals suffering from these symptoms. Room after room, women, children, men. Some were vomiting. Some alternated between a coma-like state and violent convulsions, their entire bodies twisting and arching, members of their families struggling to hold them down on the beds. On and on, for days. One boy, who had inhaled a large amount of the gas in question, suffered in the hospital for an entire month with recurrent convulsions. It is difficult to describe the sensation of sitting in a room for hours and days with people suffering so terribly, and knowing that this was done by human beings."

So there it is people. And it wasn't even the only reference I found, from Longleyor from other websites.

"How," I hear you cry, "can these animals get away with such abuses?"

"How can they elude the justice that they so clearly deserve?"

Longley offers a convincing explanation that, when heard in conjunction with the knowledged imparted in the document by the Harvard professors, that I linked to in my last post, regarding the power of the Israeli Lobby to silence or bury dissent, makes convincing reading:

"The incident went largely unreported. No articles were written in major US newspapers. Fox News and 60 Minutes did not produce special reports. The story gradually grew old and fell through the cracks. Out of sight and out of mind – and who would believe that the Israeli military would do such a thing to civilians in a refugee camp?"

I don't know about you guys but I'm putting together a letter to my MP regarding Israel's multitude of war crimes that go uncondemned in this country. Now it is time for bed, sweet dreams children. Sweeter, for sure, than the average Palestinian.

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