Sunday, January 11, 2009

International Law and the Fighting In Gaza

Earlier today the Global Law Center issued a report titled International Law and the Fighting In Gaza. The report finds that Hamas has repeatedly violated international law and also cites "Israel's exemplary conduct." Here are a few key excerpts:
"Each one of the 6,000 rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian terrorists on civilian targets in Israeli towns is a war crime. Both the terror squads carrying out the attacks, as well as their commanders, bear criminal responsibility."


"A consortium of Palestinian terrorist groups have held Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit incommunicado and out of reach of the International Committee of the Red Cross since 2006. This is a clear violation of international law concerning prisoners of war."


"The Palestinian attacks must be seen as terrorist attacks under the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, which makes it a crime to bomb public places (such as city streets) with the intent to kill civilians. Under this Convention, the Palestinian attackers are considered international terrorists and Israel is required to assume criminal jurisdiction over them."


"The Hamas attacks fall within this definition of genocide. The Covenant of Hamas explicitly advocates a religious holy war aimed at creating a regional Islamic entity encompassing the territory of Israel and the disputed areas."


"In contrast to the illegal Palestinian attacks from Gaza, Israeli counter-measures have been legal. Indeed, Israel’s responses to Palestinian terrorist attacks and war crimes have been limited to far less than the full measure of actions Israel could legally have undertaken. In fact, Israel’s responses may be properly criticized on the grounds of international law, if at all, for being insufficient rather than excessive.

Many of the legal criticisms of Israel are implicitly based upon misinterpretations of the relevant international law. Moreover, many of the charges are disingenuously based upon misstatements of fact or misuse of legal terminology."


"Under international law, it is certain that Israel has the right to use force in defending itself against Palestinian attacks from Gaza. If Gaza is an independent sovereignty, and entitled to all the rights of states under jus ad bellum, Israel would be entitled to use force against Gaza by authority of the inherent right to self-defense referenced by Article 51 of the UN Charter. Gaza would have lost its general immunity from attack by repeatedly striking at its neighbor state and Israel’s use of force would therefore be permissible on the grounds of self-defense."


"At the same time, it is clear that Palestinian actions in conducting military operations from within built-up civilian areas, thereby increasing Palestinian casualties, constitute war crimes. It is important to note that Israel is not required to refrain from attacking Palestinian combatants simply because they have chosen to hide behind civilians. As Article 28 of the Fourth Geneva Convention makes clear, the presence of civilians 'may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.' The article also makes Palestinian attempts to use civilian shields unlawful. "

All of the accusations made against Israel to date have come from organizations with a long history of an anti-Israeli bias. These include Arab sources, the United Nations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The U.N., in particular, stands accused of conducting a diplomatic and political war against Israel in an editorial published in last Thursday's New York Daily News by Anne Bayefsky of Eye On The U.N. Ms. Bayefsky believes that the 63 "Islamic [states] chokehold on the UN" leaves the organization incapable of even defining terrorism. She points to all the various condemnations of Israel and notes that the General Assembly has never found fault with other nations even in clear cases of genocide.
"The same Assembly never managed to hold a single emergency session on the 800,000 people who died in the Rwandan genocide, or the 3 million who are dead or displaced in Sudan."

A former President of the International Committee of the Red Cross once equated the Jewish Star of David with the Nazi swastika. Enough said.

Unfortunately much of the international media seems to share the anti-Israel agenda and serve as willing accomplices in the attempt to strip Israel of any ability to defend itself. Consequently I expect the Global Law Center report will get little or no media coverage. Both the organizations making the war crime changes against Israel and many in the media count on the fact that most people just aren't educated about international law or what it really has to say. We can't have the truth actually get out to people, can we? Rather the media assumes that a lie, repeated enough times, will become the truth.

No comments: