Legal Right and Wrongs of War.
Recently I saw an ‘ABC, 7:30 Report’ interview with Don Rothwell who is a professor of international law at the Australian National University. In this interview he addressed the legal questions arising from the conflict in Gaza. I have taken the liberty of removing any loaded anti-Israel biased questions and comments made by ABC Australia host Scott Bevan and present you the answers of the legal expert:
1) … international criminal law is certainly sufficiently developed over the last few decades that there would be no reason to stop an organisation like the (UN) Security Council, for example, calling upon the recently created International Criminal Court to conduct an investigation into war crimes committed by Hamas military or Hamas political leaders.
2) …Israel of course, as any state, has a right of self-defence in the face of ongoing armed attacks, whether it's from another state or whether it's from a non-State actor like Hamas. …until such time as the Security Council of the United Nations has sought to intervene in the matter. (Hamas also has an obligation to stop its attacks after the UN resolution – hasn’t it?)
3 …law (the Geneva Conventions etc) basically provides that civilians are to be protected during the course of an armed conflict, but most importantly, it does need to be understood that civilians do not have absolute immunities. …unfortunately in the context of a war there is inevitably going to be civilian casualties and the major issue is whether the combatants have sought to minimise those civilian casualties.
4) Israel can certainly point to, it would need to verify, by very, very accurate intelligence that it was facing fire coming from that facility (the UN agency school) or that it anticipated that there would be Hamas activity before it can could seek to really target that school in any way at all. (Is the same scrutiny applied to Hamas?)
5) It does make it the legitimate military target (if there are militants inside) but the point is that Israel should be able to target that facility in a way, which minimises civilian casualties as much as possible. (In the heat of the battle, when civilians are willing participants of a shield for terrorists? And the school was booby-trapped)
6) (Re: treatment of the wounded) Israel has responsibility for the security within that region. It needs to make sure that any movements within that region are appropriately secured and to that end it can say to humanitarian workers such as the Red Cross, "We're not permitting you to move throughout this area because we don't think the area is secure." (They were not in such a rush to move into a war zone in Afghanistan and Iraq! But eager to provide an additional international human shield for Hamas?)
Professor Rothwell also mentioned that Israel, in compliance with international law, has been providing humanitarian corridors and treated wounded Gazans in Israel’s hospitals. (What was not said is that Hamas and Egypt are deliberately keeping the civilian population in Gaza to maximize the civilian casualties for propaganda purposes! I just wonder, do Hamas terrorists and thier leaders actually care about the international law of war as Israel does? You know the answer. Last time I checked, we still have not heard anything about Gilad Shalit and Hamas has not allowed the IRC visit him!)
The government of Israel approved a unilateral truce as Hamas continued to attack.
Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak
How many parties does Israel need? Why is political representation and national security based on age or religiosity of people? Why do Israeli voters tolerate the bunch of self-serving, pathetic idiots in the Knesset?
‘Useless Nothing’ is Outraged Again. A senior Israeli military officer says Israeli troops shelled the U.N. headquarters in Gaza after coming under fire from Hamas terrorists inside the compound, who had fired anti-tank weapons and machine guns. (U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed "outrage" and demanded a "full explanation", but the UN has done nothing to prevent terrorists from using the UN’s sponsored facilities like schools and other buildings! No “explanation" is demanded from Hamas! Hezbollah enjoyed the same UN ‘tolerance’ in Lebanon.)
One-Sided Three-Hour Truce. While Israel again ceased fire for three hours allowing safe entry to approximately 100 trucks and distribution of humanitarian aid to Gaza last Wednesday, Hamas continued to fire rockets ignoring the ceasefires. (This is the same behaviour Hamas exhibited during the time of ‘Quiet’. and the same will happen when the next ‘ceasefire’ begins!)
Fighting for the Fame of a Bigger Traitor. Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (Kadima) claims that he personally called United States President George W. Bush and told the president point blank to instruct Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to abstain in a United Nations Security Council vote on a Gaza ceasefire resolution. Earlier, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (Kadima) took credit for forcing Rice to change her intention to back the resolution.
Where Did ‘Palestinian’ Refugees Came from? The first British Governor, Herbert Samuel writing in the Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine to the League of Nations, June 1921, entitled "On the Condition of Palestine after the War" revealed that “There are now in the whole of Palestine (including Jordan) hardly 700,000 people.” (This is after some 40 years of economic and political migration of Muslims under the Ottoman Empire! Where did those ‘Palestinian’ refugees mysteriously appear from just 27 years later?)
Why is Israel Singled out for ‘Special’ Approval? The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution "recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza" by a majority of 390-5. (Isn’t it patronising to approve that Israel is allowed the normal right of any country: to defend itself against the attacks of an enemy?)
Hamas Steals International Aid to Gaza. Hamas terrorists have hijacked at least two convoys of aid trucks, one carrying fuel and one carrying other supplies. Hamas takes a cut of all aid that arrives in Gaza from Israel. Supplies that are not kept are sold to Gaza residents to raise money for Hamas operations.
Quote of the Week: “The objective of this stage is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the area of operation, while taking control of some of rocket-launching area used by the Hamas, in order to greatly reduce the quantity of rockets fired at Israel and Israeli civilians.” - Israeli government statement – Sadly, the objective is not to end the treat of terror and end the conflict, only to “reduce the quantity of rockets”. Did it work in Lebanon?
Traditional anti-Semitic Yup from Vatican. Cardinal Renato Martino, the Pope's top official on peace and judicial issues, told an Italian newspaper, "Look at the conditions in Gaza: It looks more and more like a big concentration camp." (The Vatican’s statements are always deliberate and calculated! We can’t dismiss them as the talk of a drunken idiot.)
War Could be Short and Easy. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation against terrorists in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip will be neither short nor easy, said Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Barak told the nation that Israel was not eager to wage war, but could not abandon its citizens, residents of the south, who have been victimized by Hamas rockets. (Wars are only won when clear and right objectives are set. Destroying weapons and creating a buffer zone will not resolve the existing problem. Israel had tried it in Lebanon and failed. Only the removal of the hostile population from Gaza to Sinai will end Hamas terror attacks!)
Hero of Independence War is Pardoned.
60 years after he was sentenced to jail, Charlie Winters, an Irish Protestant from Boston, who took up the clandestine cause from his perch in Miami and helped ferry military planes to Israeli fighters, even flying a B-17 bomber across the Atlantic Ocean himself, was pardoned by President Bush last Tuesday, nearly a quarter-century after his death.
In 1948 and was imprisoned for 18 months for violating the 1939 Neutrality Act and breaking an embargo on weapons to Israel by the United States.
The US as a country, unlike its people, has never been a wholehearted friend of Israel! The fear of the Soviet influence pushed the US to vote for the creation of Israel. Immediately after the UN partition resolution, which was rejected by the Arabs, the United States was a willing and active participant in the international blockade of Israel. This was designed to allow the Muslim states to destroy the newly created Israel which had no army or weapons!
During the Six Day war, in 1967, the US spied on Israel and had a contingency plan of invading Sinai in order to prevent Israel’s advance. Even today, Jonathan Pollard is still imprisoned 22 years into a life sentence for passing information to Israel, the best ally of the United States in the ongoing fight against common enemies. This information, in accordance with the agreement between the two countries, had to be provided to Israel but was not! Isn’t it time to pardon him?
Even the Oslo accord, which was considering autonomy for the fake Palestinian nation, is being forsaken by the US, and the best friend of Israel is actively pushing the two-state solution and generously offering Jewish land to Islamic terrorists, perfectly understanding that even this ‘generosity’ will not bring peace. It will bring only more suffering to Jews in Israel, as deportation of Jews from Gaza, and even the possible demise of Israel. Not much has changed in 60 years!