The cluster bombs are aimed mainly at densely populated areas. There they can kill most effectively. That’s why the Israeli army wants them.
Israeli cluster bomb found in south Lebanon
Israel wants to kill as many innocent people as possible. Under no circumstances does it want to belong to the community of enlightened nations. There is no other way to understand Gili Cohen’s chilling report (Monday’s Haaretz) that the defense establishment decided to prefer an Israeli-made cannon that has yet to be completed to a German one, merely to sidestep the international ban on cluster bombs.
More than 100 states signed the international treaty banning the use of cluster bombs; Israel, as usual, isn’t one of them. What has Israel to do with international treaties, international law, international organizations – it’s all one big unnecessary nuisance. Israel’s fellow rejectionists are, as usual, Russia, Pakistan, China, India and of course the United States, the world’s greatest spiller of blood since World War II. This is the company Israel wants to keep, the club it belongs to.
Ten year old Mohammad Abd el Aal of Lebanon was injured by a cluster bomb on 27 March 2009. Photo: Cluster Munitions Coalition
Cluster bombs are an especially barbarous weapon, a bomb that turns into countless bomblets, spreading over a wide area, killing and wounding indiscriminately. They sometimes explode years after were fired. The world was appalled and disgusted by such a weapon of mass destruction, and for good reason. The world – but not Israel. We’re a special case, as is commonly known. We’re allowed to do anything. Why? Because we can.
This has been proved. We used cluster bombs in the Second Lebanon War and the world was silent. We also use flechettes, unmercifully. In 2002 I saw a soccer field in Gaza hit by IDF flechette shells, which spray thousands of potentially lethal metal darts. All the children playing on it had been hit.
Another time I saw the thousands of darts sprayed by the flechette shells stuck into the walls of houses in Gaza. It wasn’t hard to imagine what those darts did to people’s bodies.
Flechette shell darts fired on Gaza, 2014
Flechettes are also banned in the world but permitted to Israel. Why? Perhaps because we’re the Chosen People, perhaps because we’re allowed to do anything. We fight for our desperate, precarious existence, flimsy leaf in the wind that we are, so we’re allowed to use cluster bombs, flechettes, white phosphorus, you name it. We are, after all, fighting for our survival against the advanced army of the Republic of Gaza and the terrifying divisions of the West Bank armies. We’re pitted against the Balata air force and the Deheisheh naval fleet, and above all against “the appalling brutality” of the Palestinians. So we need weapons, as many as possible, with no restrictions.
The cluster bombs sowed shocking mayhem and destruction in Kosovo, Laos, Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel wants to do the same. The killing fields in the next war for the occupation, which will certainly come, will be like the killing fields in Laos, thanks to the cluster bombs fired by the new, sacred Israeli-made cannon. Otherwise, why do we need cluster bombs? Don’t we have enough regulation weapons in our arsenal? The cluster bombs are aimed mainly at densely populated areas. There they can kill most effectively. That’s why the IDF wants them.
Rasha Zayoun, 16, comes to terms with the loss of her leg to an Israeli cluster bomb that exploded in the family living room, also injuring her mother and brother with shrapnel, February 1, 2007 in Maarakeh village, southern Lebanon. The US State Department reported that Israel 'likely' violated usage agreements for US-made cluster bombs, by dropping an estimated one million cluster munitions in civilian areas across southern Lebanon during the final days of conflict with the Shiite Hezbollah militia, which continue to kill and maim Lebanese civilians.
The next time you use the argument that the whole world is against us and the criticism and animosity against Israel don’t stem from its actions – remember the cluster bomb. Israel is excluding itself with its own hands from the family of nations, joining the most brutal states, flouting international decisions – and then moaning that the world hates it for no reason. The next time you think of the IDF, the most moral army in the world, think about the cluster bomb.
The cluster bomb affair is no less atrocious than the submarines affair, yet sparks no interest in Israel. The submarines are money, state witnesses and suspects. It’s sexy to deal with them. The cluster bomb concerns the lives of innocent people, and who cares about that?
The submarines are the corruption, which the nation is against. The cluster bomb is the arrogant, ongoing disregard for international law, which doesn’t interest anyone in this country. That same defense establishment, rotten to the core, is behind both deals – corruption of one kind in the submarines case, and corruption of another kind in the cluster bombs case. But the defense establishment can calm down. Nobody will be put on trial for using cluster bombs.