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March 31, 2015 11:33 am

Human Right Watch Deferential Towards Saudi Airstrikes That Kill Civilians

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Here is how Human Rights Watch reported on the beginning of Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza last summer:

Israel/Palestine: Unlawful Israeli Airstrikes Kill Civilians
Bombings of Civilian Structures Suggest Illegal Policy

Israeli air attacks in Gaza investigated by Human Rights Watch have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war. Israel should end unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian propertyDeliberate or reckless attacks violating the laws of war are war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.

Prosecutor, judge and jury. Without any relevant information as to what Israel’s targets were, HRW flatly said that Israel was violating international law and said that Israel was targeting homes simply to kill Gazan civilians, apparently for kicks.

Now compare that with how HRW reports on Saudi airstrikes in urban areas that are killing scores of civilians:

Yemen: Saudi-Led Airstrikes Take Civilian Toll

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Arab countries that conducted airstrikes in Yemen on March 26 and 27, 2015, killed at least 11 and possibly as many as 34 civilians during the first day of bombings in Sanaa, the capital, Human Rights Watch said today. The 11 dead included 2 children and 2 women. Saudi and other warplanes also carried out strikes on apparent targets in the cities of Saada, Hodaida, Taiz, and Aden.

The airstrikes targeted Ansar Allah, the armed wing of the Zaidi Shia group known as the Houthis, that has controlled much of northern Yemen since September 2014.

…”Both the Saudi-led forces and the Houthis need to do everything they can to protect civilians from attack,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “Reports of air strikes and anti-aircraft weapons in heavily populated areas raise serious concerns that not enough is being done to ensure their safety.”

Human Rights Watch has not been able to determine whether specific attacks complied with the laws of war, which apply to the armed conflict in Yemen. The laws of war prohibit attacks that target civilians or civilian property, or that do not or cannot discriminate between civilians and fighters.

Look at that! The mind-reading skills that HRW “researchers” have in Gaza are suddenly malfunctioning in Yemen! They know that Saudi Arabia is targeting terrorists, and they are simply not sure if the bombs that killed 34 civilians were simple mistakes, or maybe there was a legitimate target there.

All that certainty that HRW has in declaring Israel to be criminal is nowhere to be found when Saudis are dropping their bombs on houses and children.

I can’t wait to see how HRW reports on yesterday’s news:

An air strike killed dozens of people at a camp for displaced people in northwest Yemen on Monday, aid workers said, as Arab warplanes bombard rebels around the country.

The International Organization for Migration said at least 40 people had been killed and 200 wounded at the Al-Mazrak camp in Hajja province where it has staff on the ground, revising an initial toll of 45 dead.

IOM spokesman Joel Millman said 25 of the wounded were in severe condition.

“It was an air strike,” said Pablo Marco of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which has a presence at the hospital.

Another thing: I haven’t yet found a scorecard showing how many Yemenis have been killed compared with how many Saudis.The score is probably about 250-0 at this point, which in other contexts would be considered by ignorant pundits as proof of “disporportionate force.”

Scorecards are particular to cases when the winning side’s name begins with ISR and ends in AEL.

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  • In my opinion Israel needs our help now.
    2g’s and 3g’s please unite as one voice. Sometimes we quarrel among ourselves and the other day things we got bad on face book. I am trying to unite all the sites to convince our government that Ira means what is says .They want Israel destroyed, another holocaust. The following was sent to me and I was moved by it. PLEASE NOTE…. I am a Rabbi of a small synagogue who does not have rich or influential congregants so I need your help, democrats and republicans, Jews and non- Jews’

    As we begin the Passover holidays and sit with our families and extended families during the seders lets try to focus on a few things this year.. First of all the truth is we are an extended family who have survived for over 5,000 years even when the Church, Islam, and anti-Semites have made it their missions in life to usurp the truth of our faith , our rituals, and we finally as human beings all because we dared to be ‘Jews’. This year we are in the middle of the most contentious debate as a Commnity that we have had since the conception of the Third Jewish Commonwealth in May, 1948… Jews as a people are known for their interfamily disagreements on many different issues whether we are reform, conservative or orthodox. We simply don;t agree on much. What we do agree on is that still; we are a family and that as a part of a family it is awful when we call one another names or hurl insults at each other that are truly hurtful and call into question the idea of one person being less Jewish than another. When we do this we are violating perkei avow, the mitzvoth and all the laws of halacha and Tanach. I am asking that during the seders we begin to consider a new way of debating one another about the state of affairs in Israel right now without the need to debase or degrade the feelings of fellow Jews who after all are merely expressing opinions. There are no traitors; there are no self haters, and there are no Kapos. There are only Jews. Even as we have survived the pogroms, the Inquisition, the blood libels, the ghettos, and the Holocaust because we refused to die or let our Covenant die……..lets not destroy that now by giving Hitler posthumous victories by screaming things at each other that gentiles in Europe greedily accept as emus. Also; our dirty laundry has never in history been aired so openly in front of the World. This gives the anti-Semites and those who wish us illi will more ammunition to attack us when we ourselves are attacking each other. Please; let us keep our disagreements within the Jewish family and no give the haters more ammunition. I wish each and every Jew who reads this without our extended family a beautiful and loving Pesach and know that all of us who share our holiday wants peace, happiness, love and health for you and may next year be a time of peace in Zion. L’Shanah Habah Yerushalyim.
    : Thomas Borin


  • Chui

    Human Rights Groups anywhere in this world are just organisations in office to earn their living. They are not agitators of rights. In most cases they defend the criminals more than fighting for the victims. How did they grow roots in the first place?