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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope


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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Israeli war crimes

Richard Falk,the UN's expert on the Palestinian territories and an "independent UN rights expert", whatever that means, believes that Israel should be investigated for war crimes committed during its Gaza invasion:
There needs to be an investigation carried out under independent auspices as to whether these grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions ... should be treated as war crimes," Falk said. "I believe that there is the prima facie case for reaching that conclusion."

Alan Dershowitz responds in this post - The phony war crimes accusation against Israel :
Any discussion of war crimes must be comparative and contextual. If Russia did not commit war crimes when its soldiers massacred tens of thousands of Chechnyans (not even in a defensive war) then on what basis could Israel be accused of accidentally killing a far fewer number of human shields in an effort to protect its civilians? What are the standards? Why are they not being applied equally or selectively? Can human rights endure in the face of such unequal and selective application? These are the questions the international community should be debating, not whether Israel, and Israel alone, violated the norms of that vaguest of notions called "international law" or the 'law of war."

If Israel, and Israel alone among democracies fighting defensive wars, were ever to be charged with "war crimes," that would mark the end of international human rights law as a neutral arbitrator of conduct. Any international tribunal that were to charge Israel, having not charged the many nations that have done far worse, will lose any remaining legitimacy among fair-minded people of good will,

If the laws of war in particular, and international human rights in general, are to endure, they must be applied to nations in order of the seriousness of the violations, not in order of the political unpopularity of the nations. If the law of war were applied in this manner, Israel would be among the last, and certainly not the first, charged.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good, this way Hamas will have to document and ID every one of the so called Victims to prove they WERE civilians and were living in those areas they were killed.

Bring it on U.N. , and make sure the Media and BBC report these facts so the World can see exactly what happened and ask why all these "Civilians" stayed in building used by Hamas to fire rockets at a U.N. Member to kill civilians only.