Portuguese / Spanish / English

Middle East Near You

Washington holds every country to account, except Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump during a joint news conference at the White House on February 15, 2016 [File photo]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and US President Donald Trump during a joint news conference at the White House on 15 February 2016 [File photo]

Reading a report by Amnesty International on the number of executions carried out last year, I saw that of the top ten countries with the highest number of executions, eight are Muslim states. However, the number of executions in the first and second countries alone totalled many more than the rest combined.

China carried out more than 1,000 executions in 2016; Iran had 567. The Palestinian Authority had three executions, Sudan had two and South Sudan and Vietnam had one each.

The US ranked 27 in the list, which is good for a country with a population of over 300 million. However, the US executions listed may be "official" — judicial murders, according to some critics — but the unofficial "execution" rate — murders by criminals — is much higher. While writing this I see that a man in Cleveland has killed an elderly man he didn't know and had never seen before. He posted a video of his crime on the internet and disappeared for two days before committing suicide after a police chase in Pennsylvania.

This is not rare in the US. In 2015, for example, a television presenter and the cameraman accompanying her were killed and the murderer posted the act on Facebook. Similar crimes take place every year, with the killers boasting about their crimes online.

Read: US troops deployed deep into Syria

The US has also been subject to major terrorist operations, such as 9/11, in which at least 3,000 innocent people were killed; 40 were killed in Orlando, Florida on 12 June last year; and another 34 were killed in New York and New Jersey on 19 September 2016. Many similar incidents have occurred.

I also read that the US immigration and tax departments arrested 21,362 immigrants between 1 January and mid-March this year; most were wanted for crimes. The figure for the same period last year as 16,104. Furthermore, there were 5,441 immigrants arrested even though they had committed no crime whatsoever.

Thus, nobody can object to the American authorities trying to provide security and safety for US citizens. What I do object to, though, is the US acting as a global policeman, without being authorised or mandated to do so. The raid on the Shayrat Airbase in Syria after the regime used sarin gas against the people of Khan Shaykhoun is an example of this. This was a crime that should have been addressed by the UN Security Council; it was not up to one country to decide unilaterally who was responsible and then hold the perpetrator to account.

Read: Abbas, Trump and the illusions of peace

Now we are witnessing a stand-off between the US and North Korea over the latter's missile and nuclear tests. I never heard the US threaten Israel with war, despite it possessing a confirmed nuclear arsenal, elements of which were stolen from America itself. Moreover, North Korea isn't occupying another country and killing its people, but Israel is.

The US isn't content with overlooking Israel's crimes; Washington also protects the Zionist state by using its veto in the Security Council, and provides it with $3.8 billion in declared aid annually (there is probably more undeclared aid) and then turns a blind eye when the arms and munitions it supplies are used to kill Palestinian civilians.

All of this indicates that the US-declared and led "war on terror" is actually very selective about whom it targets. It fights Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist gangs, and threatens North Korea, but embraces Israel's state-terrorism and oppression.

When I lived in the US, I always believed it to be a democratic country and a pioneer in human rights. All I want is for Israel and its crimes not to be excluded from the US list of those adjudged guilty of state terrorism and for it to be prosecuted like any other terrorist group. At the moment, though, Washington appears to hold every country in the world to account, except Israel. That is neither just nor particularly democratic.

Translated from Qudsnet, 4 May, 2017

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

Amnesty InternationalArticleAsia & AmericasInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestineUS
Show Comments
Show Comments