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International law is not a suicide pact

By: Larry 2014-07-31 20:00

INTERNATIONAL LAW IS NOT A SUICIDE PACT

In response to the recent article on MYNEWS24 “The War Crimes in Gaza” by the amateur thinker and master copy/paste nom de plume Brolloks En Bittergal.

In the first line of his ‘writings’ he gives it all away by stating that in his ‘professorial’ view “…Israel MAY be committing war crimes…”. Well the jury is out on that and will be hard pressed to find Israel guilty. On the contrary, Hamas has and continues to commit war crimes of the most egregious kind, not only upon Israel, but on its own citizens of Gaza. No ‘MAYBE’ about that.

International Law prohibits the firing of military ordinance on civilian populations. Legally, Israel is therefore immunized from any responsibility for inadvertent counterterrorism harms done to Palestinian civilians due to Hamas’ profligate violation of the International Laws of War in the first instance. Even with the legal permission to match Hamas’s barbarity, the Israeli Defense Force will be found to be at “Purity of Arms” in its conduct towards its enemy, and to have acted legally in the defense of its citizens.

Hamas’ characteristic mode of "battle" is not purposeful military engagement, but rather that of primal religious injunction that has involved all of Gaza in a ‘suicide pact’. For Palestinian terrorists, this is a plainly sacred expression of worship, and therefore the ‘deterrent of dire consequences’ for the Gaza people is not a factor in the Hamas mentality. The Western leaders do not seem to have understood this fact, mouthing useless platitudes about ‘warring sides needing to sit down and have a discussion’. There is no talking to religious extremists of the Islamic variety.

The only form of victory open to Hamas in this senseless war is to win condemnation of Israel and approbation for Palestinians and Palestinian terrorism. In order to achieve this, Hamas has coated their terrorist organization with the veneer of dying babies, purely for the purpose of garnering sympathy and outrage. They have done this through ‘sacrificing’ the very same people they were elected to protect.  In seeking this victory, Hamas has caused all of Gaza to fall on its sword.

Many try to rationalize and insinuate that the cause of this war, and the cause of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, rests solely with Israel. This in itself is a perfidious perpetration of on-going suffering of the Gaza innocents. The blood of Gaza spreads thickly onto their hands as well.

Why do you not join the call to eradicate the scourge of Islamic terrorism, so that all of the Middle East and the world can live in peace, rather than wittingly or unwittingly giving their tacit support to Palestinian terrorists by passing the onus of humanitarian action and responsibility solely onto Israel?

Israel as a sovereign nation is also supposedly protected by international law. In the case of Israel however, who are defending against a genocidal doctrine, international law cannot be a suicide pact either, and because international law applies to all nations equally, international law is therefore NOT a suicide pact.

It is easy to feel sorry for the Palestinians during this Israeli assault on Gaza. Televised and print images of their apparently unrelieved misery suggest Israeli cruelty in the creation of shortages and in the use of armed force. Exactly the opposite is true. The moment that flagrantly illegal Hamas rocket attacks upon Israeli noncombatants were to cease, no harms of any kind would be imposed by Israel.

Hamas commits other egregious violations of international law. It is always a codified war crime to use civilians as "human shields." This cowardly act even has a precise legal name - "perfidy." By persistently placing their most impoverished women and children in harm's way - especially in those areas from which they launched terrorist rockets into Israel - Palestinian terrorist leaders deliberately created Palestinian casualties.

There is more here than meets the eye. Several Palestinian terror groups, including Hamas, have and are forging conceptual and tactical bonds with Iran. These criminal organizations are now actively planning for mega-terror operations against Israel, the USA and European Union states. If they cannot be stopped, such attacks would involve (at a minimum) chemical and/or biological weapons of mass destruction. Over time, especially if Iran should begin to transfer portions of its growing inventory of nuclear materials to selected terror groups, Israel could also face Palestinian-directed nuclear terrorism, exploded under Israeli cities via their underground tunneling networks.

What government could be expected to sit back passively and render its population vulnerable to instantaneous mass-slaughter? This would be utterly ludicrous. Would we allow such carnage to continue with impunity? Can capitulation and surrender ever be the proper or excusable reaction of a sovereign state sworn to protect its populations? For as long as political philosophers have written about the essential obligations of sovereignty, no state responsibility has been as important as the fundamental assurance of protection.

Although not widely recognized, Israel has always been willing to keep its counter terrorism operations in Gaza consistent with the settled standards of humanitarian international law. Palestinian violence, on the other hand, still remains in violation of all civilized rules of engagement. And all this after Israel very painfully "disengaged" from Gaza on the US-backed promise that the Palestinians - finally - would put an end to their relentless barrage of terror. Significantly, this barrage also remains strategically senseless, as it does absolutely nothing to advance any vital Palestinian interests.

International law is not a suicide pact. Rather, it offers an authoritative body of rules and procedures that permits states to express their inherent right of self-defense. When terrorist organizations celebrate the explosive "martyrdom" of Palestinian children, and when Palestinian leaders unashamedly seek religious redemption through the mass-murder of Jewish children, the terrorists have no legal right to demand sanctuary. Anywhere, - and this includes UN compounds or proximity.

Under international law terrorists are always hostes humani generis, "Common enemies of humankind." Even according to the most ancient sources of international law, such murderers must be severely punished wherever they are found. For their arrest and prosecution, jurisdiction is "universal." Palestinian terrorism, even during its "slow" period (when contending Hamas and Fatah factions were too busy attacking each other), was far worse than most people ever imagine. Using bombs filled with nails, razor blades and screws dipped in rat poison; the killers maim and burn Israeli civilians with abundant cheers from their neighbors and with warmest blessings from local clergy. As for those "commanders" who actually direct and control the suicide-bombers, they typically cower for protection in assorted hiding places. At times they issue loud calls for their wives, mothers and daughters to stand between themselves and the Israelis.

This is the documented "heroism" of Palestinian terrorism. What is unknown to most observers is that carefully trained IDF counter-terrorism units operate in exactly the opposite fashion. These Israeli soldiers always identify and target only the terrorist leaders. Always they seek to minimize collateral harms. There are times, of course, when such harms simply can't be avoided. Even the IDF, which follows its code of "Purity of Arms" far more stringently than any other nation's army, cannot undo the deliberate barbarism of Palestinian perfidy.

Deception can be legally acceptable in armed conflict, but The Hague Regulations forbid placement of military assets or personnel in heavily populated civilian areas. Further prohibition of perfidy is found at Protocol I of 1977 additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It is widely recognized that these rules are also binding on the basis of customary international law. Perfidy represents an especially serious violation of the Law of War, one identified as a "grave breach" at Article 147 of Geneva Convention IV. The critical legal effect of perfidy committed by Palestinian terrorist leaders is to immunize Israel from any responsibility for inadvertent counterterrorist harms done to Palestinian civilians. Even if Hamas and their several sister terror groups did not deliberately engage in perfidy, any Palestinian-created link between civilians and terrorist activities would always give Israel full legal justification for defensive military action.

International law is not a suicide pact. All combatants, including Palestinian terrorists, are bound by the Law of War of international law. This requirement is found at Article 3, common to the four Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, and at the two protocols to these Conventions. Protocol I applies humanitarian international law to all conflicts fought for "self-determination," the stated objective of all Palestinian fighters. A product of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts (1977), this Protocol brings all irregular forces within the full scope of international law. In this connection, the terms "fighter" and "irregular" are charitable in describing Palestinian terrorists. These fanatics are plainly criminals who intentionally target civilians, and whose characteristic mode of "battle" is not purposeful military engagement, but primal religious sacrifice.

In the final analysis, Israel faces a Palestinian terrorist enemy, backed by Iran and others, who embraces violence not for land, and not for national self-determination, but for God. For this determined Jihadist enemy, terrorism is now a plainly sacred expression of worship. Israel, like every other state, has the indisputable right and obligation under international law to protect its citizens from such an enemy and will no doubt continue to do so regardless of UN political machinations, or the hand-wringing pleadings of its allies and supporters.

While great emotional pain at the war deaths of innocent children is understandable, once ‘reasonable’ people begin to apply their own intellect to the Gaza conflict, reason will prevail.

Reason will apportion blame where it belongs. Only the children of Gaza are innocent and their blood is on Hamas’s hands.

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