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.]