Belgian Jewish Leader: Israel Committing War Crimes
By Selcuk Gultasli
Jewish associations have begun to react against the Israeli offensive into Lebanon. Head of the Union of Belgian Jewish Progressives (UPJB) Dr. Jacques Ravedovitch stated that Israel is committing war crimes in Lebanon.
In an interview with Zaman in Brussels, Ravedovitch said that while former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon committed indirect war crimes, current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is unquestionably a war criminal.
Dr. Ravedovitch said it is a shame that Jews who were once exposed to the holocaust are doing the same evil things against another nation today.
According to Ravedovitch, anti-Semitism is from time to time misused by Israeli statesman, and the recently intensified Israeli offensive into Lebanon has increased hatred for Israel.
The UPJB demands that both the EU and Belgium bring the Israeli attacks to an end.
UPJB, an active Jewish Association in Belgium, accuses Israel of committing war crimes despite the statements issued by the EU and US.
Some Jews still have dreams of a “Great Israel,” Ravedovitch noted, adding that the Israeli government is absolutely against negotiations and is acting aggressively to impose its own interests as a solution.
Seen as a traitor to the Diaspora cause, Ravdeovitch said: “Peace will not be secured without the return of Israel to its pre-1967 borders. Israel should stop destroying Lebanon. It should leave Eastern Jerusalem to the Palestinians and accept that Jerusalem is the common capital; they should sit at the negotiation table for talks.”
Calling the Israeli attacks shameful, Ravedovitch said: “Resistance in Palestine and Lebanon is justified. Israel is an invader. I do not approve of Hamas killing innocent people, but I defend that if there are invaders there will be resistance at the same time. What Israel is doing in Lebanon is terror.”
Accusing the West, and particularly Europe, of fearing to criticize Israel, Ravedovitch said: “The EU keeps saying that they treat Israel and Palestine equally, but how can we behave equally towards both the invader and the invadee? We asked the EU to suspend the Partnership Agreement with Israel, but they didn’t answer.”
Ravedovitch said the EU’s attitude indicates Europe still feels guilty about the holocaust, but that Israel is exploiting anti-Semitism.
He pointed out that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are different concepts.
“Anti-Zionism is a political stance. For instance, when a person criticizes Britain, he shouldn’t be called racist or anti- British. Similarly, when people criticize Israel, they do not become anti-Semites.”
The last point Ravedovitch compared the situation to the US’s failure in Vietnam, and suggested that it’s impossible for Israel to attain its objectives in Lebanon as the latest attacks into Lebanon only increased the hatred against Israel tenfold.