Sanctions alone, as they are most often applied, always harm the most vulnerable people in societies. Governments said to be the target of these so-called moral actions often survive the punishment.
The BBC’s Kate McGeown discovered this to be the case in Burma, where existing poverty worsened by sanctions imposes extreme hardships on the people, yet the government continues to act with impunity.
But if sanctions are to be used when bureaucrats act beyond reason, and often beyond the popular sentiment of the people they serve, then shouldn’t an international standard be a requirement or should sanctions continue to be one more weapon in the arsenal of war criminals?
Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak is planning to approve a list of civilian sanctions against the Gaza Strip in response to continued Kassam attacks.
What does Barak intend to do about this? Award a medal?
Juliette is a member of the 2007 Jewish Voice for Peace, Health and Human Rights Project’s delegation to Palestine and Israel, and will be blogging from there until 3 November.
Palestinian Home Ravaged by Israeli bullets — Inhabitants unarmed.
Two days ago in Naublus, Israeli soldiers repeatedly shot at and then evacuated a house, consisting of five one-family apartments, and an apartment inhabited by a seventy-year-old man – the man was shot in the heart that night when he opened his front door to the Israeli soldiers; he was unarmed, and he died.
Today, our delegation visited the rebuilding site – windows and nerves shattered by bullets, frightening clusters of holes in the ceilings and walls. And we experienced the most disturbing image: the white knit sweater of a three-year-old girl, Laura, scorched and ripped up by bullets. She wasn’t wearing the sweater. It was in her bed, while the girl was clutched to her mother’s chest nearby.