Military cemeteries in every corner of the world are silent testimony to the failure of national leaders to sanctify human life. ”
—Yitzhak Rabin, 1994 Nobel Peace Prize lecture
In my DNA it is determined I am 2% Jewish. So, it looks like I have a relationship with Israel. What’s happening is an absolute atrocity. It’s absolutely cruel that we’re watching on as the death toll of Palestinian mounts. It’s now reached 100. And it’s crude to even count those numbers, because they remain nameless and faceless, when each of those lives affects an entire family. Approximately 300,000 Palestinians have been asked to move or be displaced in preparation for an imminent attack. What’s happening right now amounts to a massacre. It is not a war. And we should all be concerned.
Israel claimed that it has the right to self-defense, but an occupying power does not have the right to self-defense; it has an obligation and a duty to protect the civilians under its occupation. Even if it fails to meet that duty, it must abide by humanitarian law, principles of distinction, proportionality, of necessity. It has not abided by any of those. What’s happening in Gaza amounts to war crimes. It’s a repeat of what happened in 2008 and 2009. It’s a repeat of what happened in 2012.
Unfortunately, we can see this repeated again, unless Israel is held to account under international humanitarian law mechanisms, under international criminal law, under sanctions by other governments, in order to stop these massacres—not just now, but in the long run—and more importantly than that, to address the root causes of these flareups or symptoms of a much deeper problem, which is the structural violence of occupation, of apartheid and of settler colonialism.
It’s been well established that while Israel removed 8,000 of its settlers, which were already in Gaza illegally, and then replaced them in the West Bank, where the settler population continues to grow, in 2005, that it maintained control of the naval borders, of the land entries and exits, of the electromagnetic sphere, of the population registry of Gaza. It maintained the right to enter and continue its military occupations. Under international law, the occupation—Israel’s occupation of Gaza has never ended. It remains an occupying power.
Israel can repeat its propaganda over and over, but on the ground, the occupation remains and is well and alive, unfortunately. That’s why Palestinians in Gaza cannot leave, even if they want to become refugees right now, they don’t even have the right to become refugees, because they are held captive in an open-air prison.
Yitzhak Rabin, (born March 1, 1922, Jerusalem—died Nov. 4, 1995, Tel Aviv–Yafo, Israel), Israeli statesman and soldier who, as prime minister of Israel (1974–77, 1992–95), led his country toward peace with its Palestinian and Arab neighbours. He was chief of staff of Israel’s armed forces during the Six-Day War (June 1967). Along with Shimon Peres, his foreign minister, and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman Yāsir ʿArafāt, Rabin received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1994. Rabin graduated from Kadourie Agricultural School in Kfar Tabor.
Rabin served as defense minister in the Labour-Likud coalition governments from 1984 to 1990, responding forcefully to an uprising by Palestinians in the occupied territories. In February 1992, in a nationwide vote by Labour Party members, he regained leadership of the party from Peres. After the victory of his party in the general elections of June 1992, he again became prime minister.
As prime minister, Rabin put a freeze on new Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. His government undertook secret negotiations with the PLO that culminated in the Israel-PLO accords (September 1993), in which Israel recognized the PLO and agreed to gradually implement limited self-rule for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In October 1994 Rabin and King Ḥussein of Jordan, after a series of secret meetings, signed a full peace treaty between their two countries.
The territorial concessions aroused intense opposition among many Israelis, particularly settlers in the West
Bank. While attending a peace rally in November 1995, Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist. The Israel Labour Party is a Socialist International Party.
Issac Herzog states about current Labour Party position:It is not only that peace is possible, but I need to convince the Israeli public to see me as somebody able to lead in a responsible manner and protect the interests of the nation. I believe that my political record, my record as a minister, as a member of the Security Cabinet and as a member of the Knesset stands for me. I enjoy a certain good will in the public that I need to transform into political support.
“I speak in a very frank and open manner. I believe that Israel must move for peace. We must move towards the division of the land between the Palestinians and us in order to maintain the future of Israel as a Jewish democratic state. I say this very bluntly. I have a special affinity and respect for Britain and its history, not least its heroic role in the defeat of Nazism in World War Two. I take special pride in the fact that my late father, Chaim Herzog, served as an officer in the worst of battles in the war against the Nazis and was one of the liberators of Holland. Prior to becoming chairman of the Labour Party and Head of the Opposition”