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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Death Toll Mounts for Cats and Other Animals Slaughtered and Left Homeless in Lebanon by Israeli War Criminals

"... His (man's) chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species..."
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Although the western media have tried mightily to cover up the Israelis' war crimes in Lebanon, they have largely been unsuccessful thanks in no small measure to the stellar reporting of Robert Fisk, Jonathan Cook and others. That is not to say that the Israelis will not get away with their crimes; au contraire, they will get off scot-free just as they have always done for the past one-hundred years or so. The only difference is that this time around they have exposed themselves and the eyes of the world have been opened and everyone now fully comprehends the full extent of both their ambition and total moral depravity.

In spite of all the politicians and media outlets that they own, it is impossible for them to hide from view the corpses of the thousands of Lebanese that they have slaughtered, more than ninety per cent of which have been non-combatants, and the more than a million refugees that their bombing campaigns have left stateless.

Nor can their massacre at Qana, their unprovoked attack upon UNIFIL at Khiam, and their bombing of refugee camps, fleeing civilians, and ambulances be swept under the rug and forgotten. The same can be said for the Israelis' destruction of countless apartment blocks, hospitals, power plants, milk factories, roads, bridges, and airports. They have already been branded war criminals by Human Rights Watch in its report entitled "Fatal Strikes: Israel's Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon."

As the racist war criminals continue to bomb Lebanon's infrastructure back into the Stone Age, forgotten amidst the mounting human casualties is the plight of millions of Lebanese cats and other animals. It is an often overlooked petit fait but cats are just as easily maimed and killed by bombs and bullets as people. (See photo above of a wounded cat walking next to the wreckage of a fishing boat in the Beirut suburb of Ouzai.)

Plus, the Israelis are using cluster bombs, white phosphorous and possibly even depleted uranium against civilian targets. Cats also die when buildings and bridges collapse on top of them. (See photo at the top of the page of a cat picking its way through the rubble of a collapsed bridge in the Beirut suburb of Naameh.)

They also die agonizingly slow deaths brought on by disease and from ingesting poisons. In their weakened condition they additionally become easy targets for marauding packs of hungry dogs. Worst still, there are very few people left to feed, water, and attend to their injuries even should provisions be available.

No one knows how many cats have been killed so far but the number surely must be in the thousands. Since the Israeli aggressors have no intention of letting up until they have exterminated every Lebanese man, woman, and child and reduced all of Lebanon to ruins, many more thousands will surely die in the weeks and months ahead as the war continues. Agence France Presse reported on August 3rd that hundreds of hungry cats are already roaming the deserted streets of Tyre in search of sustenance. (See "Street Cats Take Over Tyre.")

News concerning animal rescue efforts in the war zone is scarce but the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is reporting on its website that Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) is rescuing cats, kittens (See photos above and below), and dogs from the streets as well as taking in some pets from fleeing residents.

Before the outbreak of hostilities, BETA operated three shelters which housed around one-hundred-thirty dogs and about one-hundred cats, but the Associated Press reported on July 26th that the organization has been forced to relocate its cats to a safer neighborhood in Beirut and to remove its dogs to Moneverde (See photo further down on the page), nine miles east of Beirut.

BETA has also taken over rescue efforts at a zoo in Ghbayri which was home to, inter alia, five monkeys, a camel, a crocodile, a donkey, an owl, three eagles, and an unspecified number of goats, rabbits, chickens, birds, and snakes.

The animals' already dire situation has been compounded by the decision of the United States and other countries not to allow their nationals to take their pets with them when they were evacuated. Obviously the Americans did not learn anything from their mistakes in New Orleans last September because if they had they would have made plans beforehand to have evacuated the pets of their nationals.

Sadly, the conduct of the fleeing evacuees has been just as heartless and brutal. For instance, Agence France Presse reported on August 6th that the roads of Lebanon are littered with the carcasses of cats, dogs, goats, sheep, and other animals mercilessly mowed by motorists hellbent upon savings their own skins at any cost. (See "U.S. Rights Group: 'War is Absolute Hell for Animals Too.'")

PETA is also involved in the rescue effort and wherever this phony-baloney, diabolical animal rights group goes it takes along its warped morality with it. For instance, it has been handing out fliers urging people to release tied up animals, water them and, if possible, to give them a home. If that is not feasible, it is recommending that individuals shoot them at point-blank range. (See Agence France Presse's August 6th article cited supra.)

Although it would be a bit much to expect a people as bloodthirsty and larcenous as the Israelis to care about animals, their heinous treatment of them in both the Occupied Territories as well as in Israel is nonetheless nothing short of shocking. For example, when they pulled out of twenty-one colonies in Gaza and four in the West Bank a year ago they abandoned thousands of cats, at least seventy dogs, and numerous parrots and pigeons to their own devices.

That was an encore performance of what they did when they pulled out of the Sinai Peninsula in the early 1980s. On that occasion they even left dogs chained in their yards! (See Cat Defender post of November 7, 2005 entitled "Israeli Colonialists in Gaza and the West Bank Leave Behind Thousands of Cats to Die of Thirst, Hunger, and Predation.")

In May of 2004, the Israelis slaughtered ostriches, turtles, raccoons, ducks, guinea fowl, goats, and deer when they attacked the Rafah Zoo in Gaza. About the only animals that they did not either maim or kill were several valuable African Grey parrots which they stole. During March and April of last year colonialists in the West Bank used rat poison to decimate the Palestinians' cows, sheep, and goats in southern Hebron; these indiscriminate poisonings also claimed the lives of numerous birds and other wildlife.

The Israelis' barbaric treatment of animals is not limited to those belonging to its neighbors but rather it extends to those living within its own borders. For instance, between 1999-2005 hundreds of cats suspected of carrying the rabies virus were systematically poisoned in the streets. Veterinarians also routinely confiscated and exterminated cats brought to their offices for medical treatment or vaccinations.

On March 23rd of this year, Ha'aretz reported that a cat was decapitated and its head mounted on a tree in Holon. In Tel Aviv, someone broke the legs of two cats and then tied the two felines together. (See "Tel Aviv and Holon: Two Cases of Cat Torture.")

The Israelis likewise have little or no regard for Mother Nature. Three weeks ago they purposefully bombed a coastal power plant in Jiyyeh (See photo below), twelve miles south of Beirut, releasing 110,000 barrels of crude oil into the Mediterranean.

The oil spill, which cannot be treated until the Israelis lift their naval blockade and the fighting stops, has destroyed one-third (approximately seventy-five miles) of the Lebanese coastline and threatens the coasts of Syria, Cyprus, Turkey, and Greece. (See Associated Press, August 2, 2006, "Bombardment Unleashes Oil, Killing Fish and Turtles in Lebanon.")

The oil spill also has pretty much destroyed the entire marine system along the Lebanese coast. Countless endangered turtles and thousands of fish have already died, fishermen have been put out of work, and consumers are now afraid to eat fish from the Mediterranean. People coming into contact with the spill are also in danger of contracting cancer as well as doing severe damage to their endocrine systems. The cleanup, once it is able to get under way, is expected to cost around $50 million and it will take at least ten years for marine life to recover.

The Israelis' destruction of the Lebanese environment is a continuation of what they have been doing to Palestinian land for decades. In the West Bank, the colonialists routinely use Palestinian territory as a dumping ground for sewage, trash, construction debris, boulders, junked autos, pesticides, old batteries, and fiberglass. Besides creating eyesores and unsanitary conditions, these toxins also contaminate Palestinian waterways and farms.

The inescapable picture of the Israelis that emerges from their treatment of both the Lebanese and the Palestinians is that of a people so racist and morally bankrupt that they are totally incapable of having an iota of regard for any non-Jew, animal, or the environment. Insomuch that it arms, bankrolls, and supports them politically in every atrocity that they commit, the United States is every bit as much of an enemy of humanity and nature as the Israelis.

Those individuals in both the media and the universities who know what is going on but yet remain silent should bear in mind what Dante said about people who remain neutral in times of great moral crises.

Photos: Agence France Presse (cat amidst the rubble), Associated Press (injured cat, dogs in Moneverde, and Jiyyeh power plant), and BETA (rescued cats and kittens).