In Mid-October Yale Law School's Schell Center sponsored an Israeli law professor who was going to give a talk about Jenin. When we saw that she was going to lecture about the Palestinian movie "Jenin, Jenin" and also "The Road to Jenin", a film dedicated to whitewashing Israeli actions in Jenin our "spider sense" started tingling. MECC went and leafletted (see below).
Just a few people showed up and all the lecturer would talk about was whether it was OK for the Israeli government to ban showing of the movie "Jenin, Jenin". After showing portions of both movies on Jenin she said the government shouldn't ban movies in advance even if they spead falsehoods that hurt the feelings of families of soldiers who died. How noble of her.
How disingenuous to hold an event on an obvious point of law while ignoring the big issue, whether Israel committed a war crime in attacking the refugee camp in Jenin and whether there were individual war crimes committed by Israeli soldiers.
Here's the leaflet we distributed.
It was a "military operation" against a "terrorists". "The Road to Jenin" by French director Pierre Rehov, depicts a moral Israeli army fighting a just war against armed Palestinians in a hotbed of terrorism.
It was an army illegally enforcing a 30 year old occupation, brutally smashing resistance. 2002 saw a stream of attacks on Palestinians and Palestinian attacks on Israelis ranging from shooting of invading soliders to terrorist suicide bombings.
Rather than seek a peaceful settlement based on human rights and U.N. Security Council decisions Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did what he knew best, smash and kill.
One U.N. official, Special Envoy Terje Larsen was able to get into the camp and described conditions as "horrific beyond belief". He protested Israel's refusal to let rescue workers into the camp.
The U.N. wanted to have a team of observers on the ground in Jenin to do a thorough study, but the Israeli government denied them entry.
At least 63 were killed in Jenin, half civilian. Was it a "massacre"? How many died in the Boston massacre of 1770? 5 men who had been resisting the British
The "moral" Israeli army let a soldier named Moshe Nissim drive a huge D-9 bulldozer for hours through the Jenin refugee camp. By his own account he was drunk. He said, "Many people were inside the houses we started to demolish. They would come out of the houses we were working on . I didn't see with my own eyes people dying under the blade of the D-9. And I didn't see the houses falling down on live people. But if there were any I wouldn't care at all. I am sure that people died inside these houses, but it was difficult to see, there was a lot of dust everywhere and we worked a lot at night. I found joy with every house that came down, because I knew they didn't mind dying…I left them with a football stadium so they can play" - May 31, 2002 Yedioth Ahronoth
for a good account of what happened at Jenin read "Searching Jenin" Edited by Ramzy Baroud, Preface by Noam Chomsky