Monday, July 31, 2006

Fisk: 'How can we stand by and allow this to go on?'

07/31/06 "The Independent" -- -- They wrote the names of the dead children on their plastic shrouds. "Mehdi Hashem, aged seven - Qana," was written in felt pen on the bag in which the little boy's body lay. "Hussein al-Mohamed, aged 12 - Qana',' "Abbas al-Shalhoub, aged one - Qana.'' And when the Lebanese soldier went to pick up Abbas's little body, it bounced on his shoulder as the boy might have done on his father's shoulder on Saturday. In all, there were 56 corpses brought to the Tyre government hospital and other surgeries, and 34 of them were children. When they ran out of plastic bags, they wrapped the small corpses in carpets. Their hair was matted with dust, most had blood running from their noses.

You must have a heart of stone not to feel the outrage that those of us watching this experienced yesterday. This slaughter was an obscenity, an atrocity - yes, if the Israeli air force truly bombs with the "pinpoint accuracy'' it claims, this was also a war crime. Israel claimed that missiles had been fired by Hizbollah gunmen from the south Lebanese town of Qana - as if that justified this massacre. Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, talked about "Muslim terror" threatening "western civilisation" - as if the Hizbollah had killed all these poor people.

And in Qana, of all places. For only 10 years ago, this was the scene of another Israeli massacre, the slaughter of 106 Lebanese refugees by an Israeli artillery battery as they sheltered in a UN base in the town. More than half of those 106 were children. Israel later said it had no live-time pilotless photo-reconnaissance aircraft over the scene of that killing - a statement that turned out to be untrue when The Independent discovered videotape showing just such an aircraft over the burning camp. It is as if Qana - whose inhabitants claim that this was the village in which Jesus turned water into wine - has been damned by the world, doomed forever to receive tragedy.


Post a Comment

<< Home