Jewish Committee On The Middle East
5 February 1997
What in the Middle East is known as "The Qana Massacre" took place in April of last year and the first year anniversary is approaching.
The absolutely grisly scenes of tremendous carnage were broadcast throughout the world. But that in itself has happened before in various ways, in various places, with various perpetrators.
In the case of Qana, however, there are some unprecedented aspects which make this particular massacre stand out different from others.
For the first time in the Middle East a large number of civilians specifically under United Nations protection were specifically targeted.
For the first time investigations by the United Nations, as well as independent organizations such as Amnesty International, uncovered not only that the attack was on purpose, but that a massive international cover-up of the massacre had resulted, one in which the government of the United States participated.
For the first time well-established journalists were able to document the details of the massacre cover-up.
And for the first time a Secretary-General of the U.N. was threatened that he must not endorse or release the U.N. report about Qana or he would not be supported for a second term in office.
Many American Jews are particularly outraged by the militant and racist attitudes and policies often exhibited by the Israelis. What they did at Qana, and how they then attempted to lie and deceive in front of the entire world, is a particular gruesome example of the results. Moreover, that the government of the United States accepts such behavior, often actually condoning it and helping the Israelis attempt to deceive the world about what they do, and why they do it, only makes the situation even more intolerable.
The compilation of documents Shifra Stern has put together -- finding the tie and energy to do so because of her own moral convictions as no one has paid her anything for these efforts -- assembles nearly all of the English-language press coverage of Qana. As the one-year anniversary of this massacre approaches, we certainly hope those in the media will understand that this is not an event which happened and is forgotten. Nor should it be forgotten.
JCOME Advisory Committee: Prof. Jane Adas, Rutgers Univ.; Prof. Alex Alland, Columbia Univ.; Prof. Michael Astour, Univ. of Southern Illinois; Prof. Howard Baumgartel, Emeritus Univ. of Kansas; Prof. Charles Black, Emeritus Yale Univ. Law School; Prof. Francis Boyle, Univ. of Illinois Law School; Mark Bruzonsky; Chairperson and Former Washington Representative, World Jewish Congress; Prof. Noam Chomsky, M.I.T.; Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General, New York; Mark Dow, Miami; Prof. Richard Falk, Princeton Univ.; Prof. Deborah Gerner, Univ. of Kansas; Prof. Sherna Gluck, Calif State Univ. (Long Beach); Prof. Clement Henry, Univ. of Tx; Prof. Herbert Hill, Univ. of Wisconsin (Madison); Prof. Elie Katz, Sonoma State Univ (CA); Prof. George Kent, Univ. of Hawaii; John F. Kennedy, Attorney, Washington; Ms. Guida Lechester, San Francisco; Jeremy Levin, Former CNN Beirut Bureau Chief and Lebanon hostage, Portland; Prof. Seymour Melman, Columbia Univ.; Dr. Alan Meyers, Boston; Prof. Tanya Reinhard, Tel Aviv Univ.; Henry Schwarzschild, New York (original co-founder, deceased); Prof. Herbert Schiller, Univ. of CA (San Diego); Prof. Stephen Shenfield; Brown Univ.; Prof. J. David Singer, Univ. of MI (Ann Arbor); Ms. Shifra Stern, New York.
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