The Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council harshly criticised Israel for not wanting to help rebuild Gaza after the latest round of war
(lifted from dagen.no – google translate)
Egeland criticized Israel for not contributing to the Gaza Strip
Monday 13, October 2014, at. 12:07 Updated: Monday 13, October 2014, at. 12:07
ISRAEL That Israel did not take part in donor meeting for the Gaza Strip, must be a huge paradox for donors and taxpayers, said NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland.
Participants at the donor meeting for the Gaza Strip promised to contribute $ 5.4 billion, equivalent to around 35 billion when they met Sunday. Israel was not among the 90 countries and organizations attended the conference.
– Those who have bombed civilian homes smithereens do not pay for the reconstruction. It shows that the occupation, blockade and strangulation attempt of the Gaza Strip continues, Egeland said.
If Israel does not lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip, will not the money that is promised in the donor conference to benefit in the long term, he said.
– We must put an end to this eternal war, otherwise we have to rebuild the Gaza Strip over again. And once again we come to see the wounded women and children, says Egeland.
With this, Mr. Egeland showed his enormous contempt for Israel and his ignorance of the many and unusual efforts Israel has done and continues to do to alleviate the suffering on the Gaza strip. Nor does Mr. Egeland pay heed to the fact that Israel itself needs to recover after again and brutally being attacked by the Hamas. We, the regular Israeli tax payers first and foremost have to shoulder the cost to our own economy and help our farmers, small business owners, our frightened and deeply traumatised children recover from a devastating summer. Mr. Egeland should first and foremost inform himself before pointing an accusing finger at Israel, and once he has done his homework he could perhaps find it in his ice-cold stone heart to apologise to Israel for wrongfully criticising her for not wanting to help reconstruct the Gaza strip, since Israel was not invited to the event.
Mr Egeland could however, let facts speak for themselves and acknowledge the many Israeli contributions to restoring calm on the strip:
Offering free health care to Gazans in Israel – the Hamas response Mr. Egeland chooses to ignore: Hamas shoots at Gazan civilians waiting to come to Israel for medical treatment
Gazans are treated for free in Israel – I pick up the tab over my tax bill
In contrast, Norway has bombed Libya into dangerous disintegration, yet we have not seen any efforts from the Norwegian Refugee Council to lift as much as a finger to help the Libyans who now live in one of the most dangerous “countries” in the world (inverted commas due to the fact that Libya is no longer a functioning state, very much as a consequence of Norwegian bombs).
Also, we have been informed by Norwegian media in the last few days, on the topic of Libya. The then PM Stoltenberg (now the NATO secretary general) shocked the Swedes for his reasoning to join the illegal war on Libya: it would be excellent training for the Norwegian Air force.
And on that reckless attitude, plus many more international law-breaking and violent adventures in foreign countries, John Peder Egenæs, the Secretary General of the Norwegian Amnesty International, has just published an oped (lifted from nrk.no poor google translate)
NATO’s fatal error
Norwegian authorities can no longer close our eyes to the fact that Norway has participated in military operations in which civilians have been killed and mutilated – likely in violation of international law.
John Peder Egenæs
Secretary General, Amnesty International Norway
Norwegian forces have the last fifteen years has been involved in numerous military operations abroad. The operations have either been in NATO auspices or in alliances with both NATO and others. Common operations is that they are either completely or partially had the protection of civilians as targets.
The stated goal is in stark contrast to the Amnesty investigation has concluded repeatedly over the years: That the allied forces in all probability behind war crimes, that is unlawful killings of civilians under international humanitarian law. And that they do little or nothing to take responsibility afterwards. The examples are numerous:
Amnesty International in 2000 went through a number of situations where NATO bombed apparently illegal civilian targets in Kosovo and Serbia. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia considered five of these without restarting the investigation, but the Court’s report said that NATO had been unwilling to answer specific and clear on some of the questions that were asked.
The injured and survivors still live with many unanswered questions. The same questions are attached to NATO’s reputation.
From Afghanistan, Amnesty at a number of cases largely been able to document the unnecessary killing of civilians and other abuses committed by the allies. Everything from torture, at worst, to death, to the bombing in which only civilians have been killed.
No later than August 11 of this year, Amnesty published a report which went through ten specific bombings and night raids in which at least 140 civilians were killed. This has not yet been investigated. In some cases there are also clear indications that the United States and ISAF have tried to explain away or hide events.
Murder and mutilation
Amnesty International has also documented numerous killings and mutilations of civilians through drone attacks in Pakistan conducted by the Norwegian ISAF partner USA. The Amnesty investigators have seen and heard on the ground in Wasiristan, stands in stark contrast to the American government claims that the drone attacks almost never affects civilians.
Otherwise, most of the information about the American drone attacks and who they actually hit, marked secret, making it virtually impossible for innocent victims to claim compensation.
In Libya, where Norwegian aircraft and pilots were very active during the bombing of the country, Amnesty International documented civilians were killed by NATO bombs under the circumstances there is great reason to question.
Once again NATO has responded in general terms, apparently without conducting a thorough investigation. Or perhaps they did conduct an investigation, but decided to keep the results secret because they were too unpleasant?
Liability for offenses
As if the possible war crimes is disturbing enough in itself, it has thus been done minimally to take responsibility afterwards. Amnesty known only to a few cases where individual soldiers have been prosecuted for having committed war crimes.
In numerous other cases in which civilians have been killed under suspicious circumstances, there is little or no information about what the Allies or the individual states have done afterwards. There is little evidence that they have followed their obligations to investigate and possibly prosecute the guilty and provide adequate redress and compensation to the victims.
Altogether it forms a picture of that Norway and Norwegian forces have been and are in military operations where you do not take their own crimes or wrongs seriously.
It is most serious for the victims who are killed or injured, and their families, but it is also very serious for the participating nations and the credibility surgery. It undermines the law of war and creates a perception that NATO and its member states require less of themselves than their opponents.
An honest look back
When the Norwegian forces now go into enough an operation against the armed group IS in Iraq and possibly Syria, Amnesty it is important to have an honest look back at our recent history’s fatal mistake. Amnesty International demands that the Norwegian authorities are clear that the killing of civilians must be avoided as far as possible. If civil enough away to be killed under circumstances that can be questioned, this should be investigated and explained. If it turns out that the law of war is broken, those responsible will be held accountable, and the victims compensated.
In addition, Amnesty believes that it is high time Norwegian authorities require their allies that the many civilian victims of the aforementioned acts of war or their families to know the truth about what happened. As participants in a coalition Norwegian authorities have a responsibility they must take seriously.
If NATO and other alliances to be credible when they claim the wars for the greater good, they even take all allegations of unnecessary killing of civilians with the utmost seriousness. Otherwise they risk becoming part of the problem rather than part of the solution for the civilian population.
NATO’s new commander, Jens Stoltenberg, must now use his time as Secretary General to set new standards of accountability and transparency.