Saturday, August 05, 2006

War Crimes Committed At Qana

In today's Wall Street Journal, Orde F. Kittrie, professor of international law at Arizona State University, wrote an excellent article titled War Crime At Qana? [subscription required]. His argument is that, indeed, war crimes were committed. Here are some relevant excerpts:
The Qana tragedy has intensified accusation that Israel's actions in Lebanon violate international law. . . . but there is no evidence Israel has committed any war crimes. In contrast, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria have clearly violated international law . . .

International law has three major prohibitions . . . one forbids deliberate attacks on civilians. Another prohibits hiding forces in civilian areas . . . A third prohibition, the proportionality
restriction . . . involves a complicated and controversial balancing test . . . governed by 'customary international law', it [hinges] on the intent of the combatant.

At Qana, . . . the aircraft did not deliberately target civilians; but Hezbollah rockets are targeted at civilians, a clear war crime. . . . If Hezbollah used Lebanese civilians in Qana as human shields, the Hezbollah not Israel, is legally responsible for their deaths. . . . Hezbollah and Iran--which provides this terrorist group with arms, direction and over $100 million a year--are in continual violation of international law. Their calls for Israel's destruction violate the international genocide treaty's prohibition of 'direct and public incitement to commit genocide.' . . .

Israel is acting in self-defense . . . the track record of many Israel's most powerful accusers--including China, Russia and the European Union--is not nearly as good at balancing civilian risk against military goals. . . . Compared with how China, Russia and the EU have dealt with non-existential threats . . .Israel's responses to the threats of its existence have been remarkably restrained rather than disproportionately violent.

It seems that there are two standards of international law among Israel's accusers at the U.N. and elsewhere: one for Israel and one for everyone else.

[NOTE: This piece also appears in Blogs of Zion.]

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3 comments:

Thrud said...

I understand your premise but the following list of UN resolutions ignored by Isreal is the general yardstick that most people would judge isreals actions against, this is not a full list,


* Resolution 106: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for Gaza raid".
* Resolution 111: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people".
* Resolution 127: " . . . 'recommends' Israel suspends it's 'no-man's zone' in Jerusalem".
* Resolution 162: " . . . 'urges' Israel to comply with UN decisions".
* Resolution 171: " . . . determines flagrant violations' by Israel in its attack on Syria".
* Resolution 228: " . . . 'censures' Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control".
* Resolution 237: " . . . 'urges' Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees".
* Resolution 248: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan".
* Resolution 250: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem".
* Resolution 251: " . . . 'deeply deplores' Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250".
* Resolution 252: " . . . 'declares invalid' Israel's acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital".
* Resolution 256: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli raids on Jordan as 'flagrant violation".
* Resolution 259: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation".
* Resolution 262: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for attack on Beirut airport".
* Resolution 265: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for air attacks for Salt in Jordan".
* Resolution 267: " . . . 'censures' Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem".
*Resolution 270: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon".
* Resolution 271: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem".
* Resolution 279: " . . . 'demands' withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon".
* Resolution 280: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli's attacks against Lebanon".
* Resolution 285: " . . . 'demands' immediate Israeli withdrawal form Lebanon".
* Resolution 298: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's changing of the status of Jerusalem".
* Resolution 313: " . . . 'demands' that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon".
* Resolution 316: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon".
* Resolution 317: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to release Arabs abducted in Lebanon".
* Resolution 332: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's repeated attacks against Lebanon".
* Resolution 337: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for violating Lebanon's sovereignty".
* Resolution 347: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli attacks on Lebanon".
* Resolution 425: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon".
* Resolution 427: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon.
* Resolution 444: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces".
* Resolution 446: " . . . 'determines' that Israeli settlements are a 'serious
obstruction' to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention".
* Resolution 450: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to stop attacking Lebanon".
* Resolution 452: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories".
* Resolution 465: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's settlements and asks all member
states not to assist Israel's settlements program".
* Resolution 467: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's military intervention in Lebanon".
* Resolution 468: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of
two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return".
* Resolution 469: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's failure to observe the
council's order not to deport Palestinians".
* Resolution 471: " . . . 'expresses deep concern' at Israel's failure to abide
by the Fourth Geneva Convention".
* Resolution 476: " . . . 'reiterates' that Israel's claim to Jerusalem are 'null and void'".
* Resolution 478: " . . . 'censures (Israel) in the strongest terms' for its
claim to Jerusalem in its 'Basic Law'".
* Resolution 484: " . . . 'declares it imperative' that Israel re-admit two deported
Palestinian mayors".
* Resolution 487: " . . . 'strongly condemns' Israel for its attack on Iraq's
nuclear facility".
* Resolution 497: " . . . 'decides' that Israel's annexation of Syria's Golan
Heights is 'null and void' and demands that Israel rescinds its decision forthwith".
* Resolution 498: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon".
* Resolution 501: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops".
* Resolution 509: " . . . 'demands' that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon".
* Resolution 515: " . . . 'demands' that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and
allow food supplies to be brought in".
* Resolution 517: " . . . 'censures' Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions
and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon".
* Resolution 518: " . . . 'demands' that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon".
* Resolution 520: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's attack into West Beirut".
* Resolution 573: " . . . 'condemns' Israel 'vigorously' for bombing Tunisia
in attack on PLO headquarters.
* Resolution 587: " . . . 'takes note' of previous calls on Israel to withdraw
its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw".
* Resolution 592: " . . . 'strongly deplores' the killing of Palestinian students
at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops".
* Resolution 605: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's policies and practices
denying the human rights of Palestinians.
* Resolution 607: " . . . 'calls' on Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly
requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
* Resolution 608: " . . . 'deeply regrets' that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians".
* Resolution 636: " . . . 'deeply regrets' Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians.
* Resolution 641: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's continuing deportation of Palestinians.
* Resolution 672: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for violence against Palestinians
at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.
* Resolution 673: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to cooperate with the United
Nations.
* Resolution 681: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's resumption of the deportation of
Palestinians.
* Resolution 694: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's deportation of Palestinians and
calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return.
* Resolution 726: " . . . 'strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of Palestinians.
* Resolution 799: ". . . 'strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of 413 Palestinians
and calls for there immediate return.

Assuming that the United nations is in fact the voice of the world how can israelis possibly justify their actions.

Summer said...

It also does not help that the MSM is doing all it can to paint Israel in a bad light. CNN has been so bad that I actually wished I was able to watch Fox News.

Plus it came out that two (so far) pictures that Reuters was using were photoshopped.

Caitlyn said...

Thrud: It isn't my premise. It is the premise of a prominent American legal scholar. Alan Dershowitz, Professor of Law at Harvard, says the same.

Thank you for documenting the long history of U.N. bias against Israel. Just because much of the world hates Israel and the Jewish people doesn't make it right, does it? I have long called for abolishing the United Nations, which is run by dictators and the worst abusers of human rights. You simply have given me more ammuntition.

The "rest of the world" let the Holocaust happen. Israel is not only justified, but it is on moral high ground in defending itself.