Fifteen prominent public health professionals and current and past deans of the country’s schools of public health have denounced statements by retired general Giora Eiland, former head of the Israeli National Security Council and then a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) a Tel-Aviv University research institute, for writing an opinion article in Yedioth Aharonoth on November 19 that argued that Israel should let Gaza be destroyed by letting go wild. The retired general wrote that epidemics in the south will bring about a faster victory over Hamas. The Palestinian population there is not divided into two – “terrorists and innocent civilians who are suffering at no fault of their own,” he argued.
A Palestinian young girl raises the V sign on top of the rubble of her family’s home destroyed by the Israeli attacks in Gaza (Photo: WAFA)
“Gaza is very much like Nazi Germany and underwent a similar process, so it’s correct for Israel to carry out the war accordingly. Gaza women are the mothers, sisters, and spouses of Hamas murderers…Epidemics in the South [of Gaza] will bring victory closer and will decrease casualties among IDF soldiers.”
The public health academics and physicians strongly opposed the general’s views, declaring that “we firmly assert our commitment to preserving the health of all civilian populations, even in time of conflict. This moral stance is both our conviction and our strength… General Eiland’s statements are strategically, medically, and morally wrong and do not reflect the sentiments of the majority of Israeli people. General Eiland’s statement places him among a destructive minority among our people, and they are harmful to us. Moreover, they endanger Jews throughout the world, reinforcing the worst Jewish stereotypes, as poisoners of wells and so on.”
As professionals devoted to preventing disease and preserving health everywhere and for all peoples, “we vociferously object to this statement and demand that General Eiland retract it, and more importantly, newspaper editors and responsible Israeli leaders publicly reject it and its sentiments. In the end, two peoples share this land, as well as its pathogens, and will continue to do so. Both will have to strive for a safe and healthy future for our children and future generations,” they concluded.
In another statement issued in response to the call of the racist Israeli minister Amichai Eliyahu to drop a nuclear bomb on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, the head of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, and former Knesset Member Issam Makhoul called on the international community and relevant international organizations to remove the threat of Israeli nuclear weapons from the Palestinian people and the peoples in the region, and oblige Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
“The call of the fascist minister in the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, Amichai Eliyahu, to drop a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip, in the light of the war of extermination and transfer waged by Israel, is a call that fits integrally with the genocidal rhetoric launched by the Israeli government and its security establishment towards the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian occupied territories.”
“The massacres and crimes against humanity committed against the Palestinian people in Gaza are not secondary consequences of the war, but the war itself. The call to drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza is only part of the bloody racist and vengeful mood prevailing in Israel. The call to commit a nuclear crime against a defenseless people, issued by a minister in the government of an aggressive nuclear state that has been accumulating a huge nuclear arsenal for decades, must urgently be a source of real concern for the entire civilized world,” Makhoul said.
“Launching an international campaign to demand the opening of the Israeli nuclear arsenal to international inspection control and demanding that Israel must join the NPT, should be pushed firmly to the forefront of the global anti-nuclear agenda, of the IAEA, the countries in the Middle East, international organizations and non-governmental popular forces opposed to nuclear weapons. It is now urgent to push forward the idea of a regional and global initiative to create a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East, including the dismantling of Israeli nuclear weapons stocks.”
Former MK Makhoul quoted his warning in the Knesset since February 2, 2000, regarding the dangers of Israel’s nuclear policy as follows: “Today, the so called the policy of ambiguity applies only to the citizens of Israel. They are unable to function as Democratic critics of their government because the latter conceals from them the truth about an issue on which their lives depend. We have no information about the people who have their fingers on the nuclear button, what is their chain of command, or what is our defense if a nuclear Baruch Goldstein (the perpetrator of the massacre at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron in February 1994) should infiltrate the system and equipped with a religious sanction from some settler rabbi, launches a nuclear Armageddon.”
Makhoul concluded his statement saying: “Now it has become clearer than ever, that under the fascist government in Israel no body in our world can continue turning a blind eye to what happens around the nuclear buttons in Israel. This danger is not and cannot be an internal Israeli issue per se. It is a global responsibility.”