1. Rantissi in his own words: "Nazis crimes tiny compared to Israel"
2. The Observer (Sunday version of the Guardian): Rantissi "loved children" and "knew that a negotiated settlement was inevitable"
3. No, it is not an "assassination"
4. Quoting the UN Charter correctly
5. Terrorists are not protected by the Geneva Convention
6. Sen. John Kerry backs Israel
7. Some Pakistani reaction
8. Russia continues its targeted killings while criticizing Israel
9. Israel puts teenage would-be bomber on trial
[All notes below by Tom Gross]
I attach some further information you probably won't have read in The New York Times, or The Financial Times, or Le Monde, or heard on the BBC or NPR.
RANTISSI IN HIS OWN WORDS, CONTINUED: "NAZIS CRIMES TINY IN COMPARED TO ISRAEL"
Here is a further quote to add to those listed in yesterday's dispatch "Dr Abdel al-Rantissi, 'the Pediatrician of Death,' in his own words."
In an article for the Hamas weekly al-Risala in 2003, Rantissi wrote that "When we compare the Zionists to the Nazis, we insult the Nazis.The crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against humanity, with all their atrocities, are no more than a tiny particle compared to the Zionists' terror against the Palestinian people."
THE OBSERVER: RANTISSI "LOVED CHILDREN" AND "KNEW THAT A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT WAS INEVITABLE"
A professor at Harvard (a subscriber to this email list) notes an article in The Observer (which is the Sunday edition of The Guardian of London) on Rantissi:
By Peter Beaumont
April 18, 2004
"... The man who loved the Palestinian children so much that he admitted openly that he was prepared to slaughter Israeli infants to guarantee the future of their Palestinian counterparts - and could see no contradiction.
He spoke hate, and ordered the suicide bombers into Israel. But, despite speaking of driving the Jews into the sea, he knew that a negotiated settlement was inevitable, that neither his organisation nor the other militias could defeat Israel.
His organisation had the influence and discipline to deliver a real settlement as well as carnage.
And it is hard not to believe that Rantissi was killed following the 'green light' Sharon was given by Bush to annexe large parts of the West Bank in exchange for abandoning Hamas's stronghold..."
Those who want to read the transcript of a CNN Q&A program in which I and David Horovitz now editor of The Jerusalem Post debated with Peter Beaumont in 2002 can do so at: edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0206/06/i_qaa.01.html
IT IS NOT AN "ASSASSINATION"
The word "assassination" is designed to be used for the murder of a prominent person or public official for political motives. The pinpointing of terrorists on the other hand is designed to save lives.
The term "extra-judicial killing" implies a feasible legal alternative which has been deliberately disregarded. Israel has targeted terrorists only when no alternative legal recourse is available. (By way of example, see the final item in this dispatch about the trial of a would-be suicide bomber.)
QUOTING THE UN CHARTER CORRECTLY
Presenters on the BBC and elsewhere in the media have repeatedly stated (as though this were fact) that Israel is in breach of international law.
In fact, Article 51 of the United Nations Charter stipulates that "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security."
(i.e.) Israel, a Member of the United Nations, is not required by international law to remain passive in the face of armed and future promised armed attacks by Hamas.
As journalist and commentator Melanie Phillips (who is a subscriber to this email list) writes in today's (London) Daily Mail in relation to the killing of Rantissi: no state is obliged to "sit on its hands while its citizens are systematically murdered."
While stating or implying that Israel is behaving in an undemocratic way, many news organizations are treating Hamas as though it adheres to democratic principles. For example, the front page of the Wall Street Journal Europe states today that "Mr. Rantisi was elected the head of Hamas in Gaza last month."
His election was in fact about as fair and transparent as Yasser Arafat's or Saddam Hussein's - i.e. not at all.
NO, TERRORISTS ARE NOT PROTECTED BY THE GENEVA CONVENTION
News reporters and anchors have suggested Israel is in breach of the Geneva Convention. This is untrue.
The Geneva Convention is only intended to prevent the targeting of civilians. Individuals who actively promote and engage in terrorist activities, use weaponry and armaments, or lead a hostile military organization, are not defined as civilians.
JOHN KERRY BACKS ISRAEL
Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry backed the killing of Rantissi on NBC's "Meet the Press," as well as President Bush's "Letter Clauses on Borders and Palestinian Refugees."
(See www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4772030/ for details)
The previous dispatch noted that former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook continues his ongoing criticism of Israel. The London correspondent of Ha'aretz (who is a subscriber to this email list) adds:
Regarding your reference to Robin Cook in "Rantissi 2," while criticizing Israel, Cook has refused repeated requests to be interviewed for Ha'aretz, on Rantissi and on previous matters.
SOME PAKISTANI REACTION
Pakistan students burn US, Israeli flags to protest Hamas killing
Report in the Pakistani newspaper "The News," April 19, 2004
Hyderabad: The Islami Jamiat Talaba held a protest demonstration outside the Hyderabad press club against the assassination of Palestinian resistance leader Abdul Aziz Rantissi. The protesters were carrying banners and placards and chanting slogans against Israel. They also burnt flags of the United Sates and Israel. IJT leaders Abdullah Siddiqui and Abdullah Danish, addressing the rally, condemned the atrocities of Israeli forces against the Palestinians. They alleged that the Israeli government had started open terrorism, adding that during one month its forces had killed two top leaders of Hamas. They said the US and United Nations authorities were tight-lipped on these acts of tyranny. They asked the government of Pakistan to lodge a strong protest against Israel's atrocities.
RUSSIA CONTINUES ITS TARGETTED KILLING WHILE CRITICIZING ISRAEL
Russia has been vehement in its criticism of Israel for targeting Hamas leaders. Meanwhile Russia has been continuing its own targeted killings. I attach an example from today - a report from Russia's Itar-Tass news agency. Few news outlets bother to report on these killings by Russia, let alone criticize them. Russia has not suffered terror attacks on anything like the scale Israel has.
Chechnya verifies reports about liquidation of Al-Qaeda emissary
April 19, 2004
The Chechen Interior Ministry has been verifying media reports to the effect that Abu al- Valid, a successor to notorious terrorist Khattab, has been liquidated in the south of Chechnya. Chief of the Chechen Interior Ministry Alu Alkhanov said that they did not have exact information yet, but a special group was created for verification of this information.
Chechen President Akhmat Kadyrov told Itar- Tass that if Abu al Valid were really killed, " it would be good news". The liquidation of Abu Al- Valid would have a positive effect on the situation in Chechnya, Kadyrov said.
The Russian secret services have declined to comment on the media reports. The regional headquarters in charge of the anti-terrorist operation based in Khankala and the FSB pubic relations department in Moscow have made no comment.
Abdel Aziz al- Ganidi known, as Abu al- Valid, is a descendant of Saudi Arabia, aged 36-37. According to the data available, he appeared in Chechnya in 1997. Abu al-Valid created a compound for training mercenaries. He was notorious as an instructor for subversive operations with a good knowledge of explosive technique.
After Khattab died Abu al- Valid became his successor and headed the so-called military wing of Arab mercenaries in Chechnya and was believed to have links with Al- Qaeda.
ISRAEL PUTS TEENAGE WOULD-BE BOMBER ON TRIAL
Israel Puts Teenage Would-Be Bomber on Trial
April 18, 2004
Israeli prosecutors indicted a teenage would-be suicide bomber Sunday whose globally televised surrender last month brought condemnation of Palestinian militants.
Sixteen-year-old Hussam Abdu had a bomb strapped to his body when soldiers stopped him at a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus. TV footage of the bewildered-looking boy trying to remove the bomb belt was shown around the world.
According to the charge sheet, Abdu told investigators that he was recruited by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat (news -web sites)'s Fatah (news - web sites) movement.
They gave him the explosives belt with which he was meant to carry out the attack on March 23, it said.
Abdu will be tried in a military court, starting on July 8. If found guilty, he could face a maximum of life in prison. But military sources said his youth could be a mitigating factor.
Abdu was arrested the day after Israel's assassination of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Palestinian factions have vowed to avenge his killing and that of his successor, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, Saturday.
There was a surge of anger among Palestinians that militants would send someone so young to carry out an attack. "I'm angry at those who recruited him and angry at Israel because its measures lead to all this," said Abdu's father Bilal.
Suicide bombers have killed hundreds of Israelis during the 3-1/2-year-old Palestinian uprising against Israel.