AUGUST 19, 2006 -- - The outcome of Israeli military's own inquiry into Qana II was to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International something far from the truth. HRW said that the massacre of at least 28 Lebanese ľ mostly children and women -- on July 30 was the "latest product" of Israel's indiscriminating bombing. Amnesty added that Israel had a history of either not investigating civilian deaths or conducting flawed inquiries. It was the same excuse this time as the one Israel offered for the horrific killing of 106 Lebanese refugees and four UN soldiers by artillery fire on a UNIFIL compound at the same village of Qana in Lebanon ten years ago. On both occasions, Israel did not know there were civilians at the targeted points. So pretended Israel's leaders. And they claimed that they were aiming only at Hezbollah each time. Where was Hezbollah? Among so many dead there was not one Hezbollah body nor any relic of its equipment either in 1996 or in 2006.
Israel has a history not only of trying to cover up its massacres of harmless civilians but of downright lying to camouflage every one of its dark designs. It goes back to the beginning of political Zionism and its "spiritual father", Theodore Herzl (1860-1904), Hungarian-born journalist, who was fascinated by the French proverb: Qui veut la fin, veut les moyens (he who desires the end, desires the means). In an explanation of what made him start thinking of a Jewish State in Palestine he came out with a doctored view of his own hindsight. He wrote in an essay in defence of his Zionism that during the trial and public humiliation of Dreyfus in France, he had heard crowds shout "Death to the Jews". Herzl had reported the notorious trial of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish captain in the French army, for a Vienna newspaper, a few years earlier. His news dispatches said that the crowds had roared: "Death to the Traitor." Herzl gave away his own game later when he admitted that the Jews in France saw themselves as almost within the social mainstream. Faced with charges from the French Jews that his Zionism was hindering their total assimilation in the French nation, he turned sarcastic and wrote: "If any or all of French Jewry protest against this scheme [of a Jewish State], because they are already 'assimilated', my answer is simple. They are Israelite Frenchmen? Splendid. This is a private affair for Jews alone."
Herzl spent his final years waiting at the gates of European monarchs and Turkey's Sultan, begging for any kind of a signal for him to carry Occidental civilization to Palestine by turning "this plague-ridden, blighted corner of the Orient" into a Jewish State. He spoke also of "spiriting the penniless Palestinians away" from Palestine. But when an Arab notable in Jerusalem asked him if he was really contemplating driving the Palestinians out of their homes, Herzl wrote: " Who would think of sending them away? It is their well being, their individual wealth which we will increase by bringing in our own."
The forked tongue is a constant in the history of Zionism. Over long years the Zionists worked single-mindedly for a take-over of Palestine but kept on denying that aim until they had achieved it. Who exactly coined the crisp slogan of a "land [Palestine] without people to a people [Jews] without land" is not known. The credit is given sometimes to Herzl himself and sometimes to his English collaborator, Israel Zangwill. Max Nordeau, another Hungarian-born associate of Herzl , had a twinge of conscience when he learnt that Palestine was not a land without people. He said: "I did not know that ľ but then we are committing an injustice!" But he quickly recovered and claimed that the word "homeland", used in the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate to camouflage the contemplated State for the Jews in Palestine was his idea. The infamous Balfour Declaration (1917) was the first tall feather in the cap of Chaim Weizmann, an arrogant Jewish biochemist who dined with British prime ministers and helped British war efforts in 1914-18. In fact, his was the first draft of the document by which one country pledged to give away another to some people scattered over the world. Albert Einstein, who opposed the idea of a Jewish State and later refused to become Israel's first President, asked Weizmann: "What about the Arabs if Palestine were to be given to the Jews?" Weizmann replied: "What Arabs? They are hardly of any consequence." To Emir Feisal, son of Sherif Hussein of Mecca, whom Lawrence of Arabia had courted for help against Turkey during World War I, Weizmann said: "The Jews do not propose to set up a Jewish government." Even as late as in 1930, the cunning Weizmann thought it politic to keep his scheme under wraps: He said: "If a Jewish State were possible, I would be strongly for it. I am not for it because I consider it unrealizable." When near the goal, thanks largely to Jewish terrorism, Weizmann made a show of his anguish at UN and in his own words, hung his head in shame because the Jews had violated the commandment: Thou shall not kill. That, of course, did not prevent Weizmann from feeling "proud of our boys" when they blew up Hotel King David, administrative headquarters of Britain's Palestine Mandate in Jerusalem, killing 92 and injuring 58 Britons, Arabs and Jews. When the Jewish State was realized Weizmann became its first President.
Israel is the only State admitted to UN membership on condition that it would be obedient to the world body and be bound, more specifically, by two General Assembly resolutions ľ of November 1947 for partition of Palestine and of December 1948 enshrining the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or be satisfied with compensation. A document on UN record, dated 29 November 1948, reads: "On behalf of the State of Israel, I, Moshe Shertok, Minister for Foreign Affairs, being duly authorised by the State Council of Israel, declare that the State of Israel hereby unreservedly accepts the obligation of the UN Charter and undertakes to honour them from the day when it becomes a Member of the United Nations." Four days after Israel had been accepted by UN as one of its members, David Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, declared in the Knesset that UN's Palestine partition resolution no longer held any moral force because the Arabs had violated it and for Israel the resolution was "null and void" as far as Jerusalem was concerned. The Zionists needed a UN resolution as a birth certificate for their State and a second one to attain UN membership or the mark of the minimum in international respectability. Once they thought they had overcome all doubts about the legitimacy or viability of their State, they no longer needed the United Nations, currently the main source of international law. Israel has been condemned or censured by UN many hundreds of times for its lawlessness and for going back on its words but no leader in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem has ever betrayed any concern. Some Israelis have even taken to calling its legal creator its enemy.
Punyapriya Dasgupta is a journalist and author of Cheated by the World: The Palestinian Experien