I am a Jew and I want Palestinians heard in court


The Islamic University of Gaza bombed by Israel in 2014

Marilyn Garson writes in The Palestine Chronicle:

I am not Palestinian but I was a witness to the assault of 2014. I want its alleged war crimes to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court. Those warriors who were ‘brave’ enough to direct an assault on a trapped populace should be brave enough to account for their choices in a well-lit courtroom.

Why is a court of law important?

Because the menace that underpinned the assault of 2014 is still present: the dehumanization of Palestinians. Walled off and vilified, anything can be done to the people of Gaza. A trial will amplify their story of being under intensive attack behind a wall. Let Gazans tell their story.

Because people will still be living with the memory and the imprint of this war. The body remembers the singed smells that linger on your skin, the sight behind your eyelids of neighbors racing toward rubble to rescue neighbors, the sound of children with chattering teeth. The drifts of white dust in the corners of window sills. The screams of people in the streets, seeking shelter before nightfall – but there is no shelter behind a wall.

Because courts prosecute individuals, not nations. Individuals make choices and are accountable. Individual responsibility lets everyone else get beyond blaming whole states. Someone wrote the doctrines, chose the weapons and the targeting parameters and the order of battle. They should be judged for their handiwork.

Because of the 18,000 homes destroyed, the 100 family homes targeted in the first week, and the millions of tons of rubble that altered the very landscape of the Gaza Strip. In 51 days, Gazan forces fired roughly 6000 rockets and artillery shells while Israel’s armed forces acknowledge dispatching 5000 tons of munitions to fire at a trapped populace. The tonnage and the stated doctrines of disproportionate force like the Dahiya Doctrine await judgment.

Because someone knew that the UN shelter-schools were filled with displaced Palestinians. They knew, because I told them. As a member of the UNRWA team operating those shelters, one of my tasks was to confirm the pre-existing protections of each flagged United Nations school building that was sheltering displaced people. Over and over they were told. Those schools were clearly marked on military maps. Everyone knows their location and their signature colors. Someone in Israel knew and fired at them anyway. Seven times they fired, killing 44 Palestinians and injuring 227. Let those people explain their actions to a judge.

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