Aliran strongly protests United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Malaysia in conjunction with the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference this week. We take this position in view of the United States’ implicit complicity in its ally Israel’s naked military aggression against neighbouring Palestine and Lebanon.
The United States’ deafening silence in the face of the terrifying violence unleashed against the innocent civilians of Palestine and Lebanon reflects its global double standards. As if to rub salt into the wound, Rice has reportedly said no to a proposed ceasefire. All she could express was “regret”.
We condemn all forms of aggression and the killings of civilians – whether by the state of Israel or by Hezbollah. But Israel’s military action has gone even further. It has targeted fleeing civilians and it is destroying the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon. Even hospitals, ambulances and a United Nations observation post have been struck. There are even reports that white phosphorus, banned by the Geneva Convention, and cluster bombs have been used in areas populated by civilians. These are all war crimes and those responsible must be prosecuted in an international war crimes tribunal.
We call upon the United States and the international community, particularly Europe, to address the underlying cause of the violence and mayhem in the region: Israel’s vicious occupation of Palestine and its inhumane treatment of the Palestinian people.
It is shameful that the rest of humanity, whose representatives sit in the not-so-august United Nations, can sit by idly as hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians are blown to pieces or maimed for life by the killing machines of the Israeli military – which are supplied by the United States. Some 380 Lebanese and 40 Israelis have been killed, 1,200 have been wounded in Lebanon while hundreds of thousands of others have fled their homes. A further 9,000 Palestinians languish in Israeli jails, even as Gaza remains under siege.
Given such raw aggression and gross violations of human rights, we call upon Malaysians, irrespective of their ethnicity, religious preferences and political affiliations, to come together to protest the presence in our midst of the very symbol of such injustice and inhumanity: Condoleezza Rice.
Aliran Executive Committee
26 July 2006