Israel did not violate international law

News item:

Residents of towns along the Gaza border have been instructed to remain vigilant in case Hamas tries to infiltrate the communities to carry out terrorist and kidnapping attacks…

The warnings collected by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) focus mainly on terrorist threats along the security fence, as well as infiltrations into Gaza-belt communities…

In June, a major terrorist attack that included 10 gunmen and explosives-laden horses was thwarted by the IDF near the Karni crossing. The attack was carried out by a group affiliated with al-Qaida.

On Monday, a mortar shell struck near a group of IDF engineers working on the security fence. The day before, two mortar shells and a Kassam rocket were fired into Israel. The shells hit near the Erez crossing, meters away from ambulances that were transferring a Palestinian heart patient to Israel for treatment…

According to a senior officer in the IDF Southern Command, troops deployed along the Gaza border have also been facing an increased spate of sniper attacks. In addition, there has been an increase in the number of bombs planted along the security fence.

Besides to the threat of infiltration by tunnel or over the fence, there is also growing concern in the army that terrorists will try to enter Israel by sea, either by swimming or in rubber boats.

This is what many predicted would happen because Operation Cast Lead was aborted before real damage was done to Hamas’ fighting ability and its leadership. The enemy will now continue to ratchet up the level of terrorism, until…? Who knows.

Lots of reasons were given for not finishing the job: it was too dangerous for IDF soldiers, the new American president wouldn’t like it, the world wouldn’t accept further Palestinian civilian casualties, etc.

But even so, Israel suffered — in addition to the soldiers lost and wounded — a massive beating in the information arena in which every imaginable ‘human rights’ NGO, every ‘progressive’ outlet, the UN, European foreign ministries and the mainstream media bashed Israel for ‘disproportionate’ use of force, callous disregard for civilian damage, violations of international law and even war crimes. As usual, left-wing Israeli groups led the charge.

Israel’s name was blackened so that in some circles it ranks with — or below — that of Nazi Germany.

And yet, it was all a bunch of crap. Rubbish. Lies. Bullshit. But the process of delegitimization which has been started years before had prepared the ground for the sowing of lies and the harvest of hatred that immediately burgeoned forth.

Now (to change the metaphor), the truth has finally got its pants on, and Israel’s Foreign Ministry has released an exhaustive 164-page report which argues that Israel had a right to do what it did under international law, that what it did was not callous, disproportionate or criminal, and — of course — that much of what it was accused of it didn’t do.

Those who need to, like Judge Richard Goldstone of the UN Fact-Finding team, will (I hope) read the whole thing. But for the rest of us there is a 20-page analysis of it written by Yaakov Lozowick, here. I highly recommend this.

Lozowick, a historian and former Director of Archives at Yad Vashem, argues that Israel’s critics couch their condemnations in the language of international law, without actually understanding it. The way to oppose this, says Lozowick, is not to attack the legitimacy of international law:

There is an unfortunate reaction to this posturing. The centrality of international law and institutions in international affairs is largely a response to the atrocities of Nazism and the murder of Jews which was its core. If the world’s response to the Shoah is to formulate principles which forbid the Jews from defending their political sovereignty and their very lives, many of us say, then a pox on the international order. The cards cannot always be stacked against the Jews with the Jews never responding – that’s our lesson from the Shoah.

The Foreign Ministry, he says, has done exactly the right thing in showing that Israel did indeed act in accordance with international law — and in fact had no choice but to act as it did.

Read Lozowick’s paper, because there is not the slightest doubt in my mind that the days of military confrontation between Israel and Hamas are far from over.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “Israel did not violate international law”

  1. DALevit says:

    You can’t see me standing and applauding, but I am -or was before I started typing. I have yet to dissagree with you, and look forward to receiving your newsletters. This was a particularly well-written piece. I enjoy and appreciate your passion.