The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Thursday, May 27, 2004

              Israel and the Laws of War
Amnesty International released its annual report yesterday, and as would be expected, accused Israel of violations of the rules of war as well as the rights of Palestinians. Every other week, it seems, the UN and EU come out with a condemnation of Israel because of the deaths of Palestinian civilians. The US State Department expresses its "concern" over Palestinian deaths and tells Israel to be more careful. Yet all of these groups ignore a simple fact: Israel is acting completely within the rules of war and when Palestinian civilians are killed it is entirely the fault of the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian terror groups. Louis Rene Beres offers an explanation of what the rules of war actually are:
By deliberately placing young Arab children in the front of large mobs that advanced menacingly upon Israeli soldiers, Palestinian leaders openly committed major violations of the Law of War. There is, in fact, a precise legal term for these violations, a term that applies equally to the Palestinian tactic of routinely inserting scores of gunmen among the lines of children. This codified crime under humanitarian international law is called "perfidy."
Terrorism is a crime under international law. When terrorists represent populations that enthusiastically support such attacks, and when these terrorists also find easy refuge among hospitable populations, all blame for ensuing counterterrorist harms lies exclusively with the criminals. Understood in terms of ongoing Palestinian terrorism and Israeli self-defense, this means that the Palestinian side alone must now bear full legal responsibility for Arab civilian casualties.

International law is not a suicide pact. Rather, it correctly offers an authoritative body of rules and procedures that always permits states their "inherent right of self-defense." When terrorist organizations openly celebrate the explosive "martyrdom" of Palestinian children and unashamedly seek religious redemption through the mass-murder of Jewish children, they have absolutely no legal right to demand sanctuary anywhere. Under international law they are hostes humani generis, "common enemies of humankind," who must be punished wherever they are found.
Just wars arise from love of the innocent. Still, in the midst of such a war against uniquely cruel enemies, Israel must continue to root out the terrorists in Gaza to avoid further mass murders of its citizens - murders that could soon involve chemical, biological or even nuclear agents. Although perfidious provocations by assorted Palestinian terror groups may repeatedly elicit Israeli reprisals that bring harm to Arab noncombatants, it is always these provocations - not Israel's defensive responses - that are violations of international law.

|| Nudnik 9:34 AM
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