Let us see if we can give you the ICRC and Israel in a nutshell:
ICRC refuses to let Magen David Adom join for decades; relenting only when they agree to use a “diamond” encapsulating the Star of David.
ICRC has yet to gain access to either the Israeli prisoners held in Lebanon, or the prisoners held in Gaza.
ICRC gets access to Palestinian prisoners on the asking. Pretty much any time.
And then the ICRC manages to slam Israel in a “private” report that just happens to get leaked to the New York Times.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, in a confidential report about East Jerusalem and its surrounding areas, accuses Israel of a â€œgeneral disregardâ€ for â€œits obligations under international humanitarian law â€” and the law of occupation in particular.â€
The committee, which does not accept Israelâ€™s annexation of East Jerusalem, says Israel is using its rights as an occupying power under international law â€œin order to further its own interests or those of its own population to the detriment of the population of the occupied territory.â€
With the construction of the separation barrier, the establishment of an outer ring of Jewish settlements beyond the expanded municipal boundaries and the creation of a dense road network linking the different Israeli neighborhoods and settlements in and outside Jerusalem, the report says, Israel is â€œreshaping the development of the Jerusalem metropolitan areaâ€ with â€œfar-reaching humanitarian consequences.â€ Those include the increasing isolation of Palestinians living in Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and the increasing difficulty for some Palestinians to easily reach Jerusalemâ€™s schools and hospitals.
Yeah, about that Jerusalem thing: Where was the ICRC in 1948, when the Jews of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City (which happens to be in—gasp! East Jerusalem!) were murdered and driven out by the Jordanians? How is it that from 1948 to 1967, this was never an issue with the UN, the ICRC, or any other nation in the world?
In the main plaza, an arch stretches skyward where one of the walls of the Hurva Synagogue once stood. Originally the Great Synagogue, the Hurva was built in the 16th century, but was destroyed by the Ottomans. The synagogue was rebuilt in the 1850’s, but was damaged in the 1948 war and then destroyed after the Jordanians took control of the Old City. Some consideration has been given to rebuilding the synagogue, but, for now the arch remains as a memorial.
Oh, wait. Of course. Israeli Double Standard Time. My bad. Muslim destruction of holy Jewish sites in Jerusalem and Israel get a bye.
And now, to the ICRC, which has at least one member trying to make Israel look bad. I’m guessing there will not be an investigation into the leak, and nobody will be fired for leaking this information to the Times. Just as I know the Israeli response will be buried way down deep in any news article that picks up this story—just as the Times reporter did.
The Red Cross committee, which is recognized as a guardian of humanitarian law under the Geneva Conventions of 1949, does not publish its reports but provides them in confidence to the parties involved and to a small number of countries. This report was provided to The New York Times by someone outside the organization who wanted the reportâ€™s conclusions publicized. The leak came just days before Israelâ€™s celebration of Jerusalem Day this Wednesday, observing the 40th anniversary of the unification of the city.
[…] â€œWe reject the premise of the report, that East Jerusalem is occupied territory,â€ said Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry. â€œIt is not. Israel annexed Jerusalem in 1967 and offered full citizenship at the time to all of Jerusalemâ€™s residents. These are facts that cannot be ignored.â€
Sure they can. The world has spoken: Even though the Jews of Israel recovered the Jewish parts of Jerusalem nineteen years after they were captured from them by Jordan, Israel doesn’t get to keep them. Because they’re Muslim. Got it?
Yeah, whatever. 96% of Israeli Jews refuse to give up the Wall or the Old City. Suck on that, ICRC.
And a happy Jerusalem Day to you, too.