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Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Israeli "law"

In Israel, the Supreme Court asserts that Israel is "required to act against terror organizations in accordance with the norms of international law and abstain from deliberately harming the civilian population located in the Gaza Strip," which might sound encouraging if it wasn't part of a decision which does exactly the opposite, that is, to reject the petition of Israeli human rights groups which claimed that the Israeli sanctions constitute collective punishment and target civilians in violation of international law. As if the whole point of the sanctions was not precisely to inflict enough pain on the civilian population to force them to change the behavior of their leaders.

Actually the decision is even stranger, since the court says "We emphasize that the Gaza Strip is controlled by a murderous terror group." Surely if that were true, that is all the more reason not to punish the civilian population, since they are (according to the Court) under the control of a "murderous terror group," and therefore should bear no responsibility for what is happening.

Meanwhile, back at the U.N., to no one's surprise, the U.S. prevented any condemnation of Israel's obvious violation of international law, even in a resolution which also condemned Palestinian rocket fire. According to the U.S., the resolution made Palestinian rocket fire and collective punishment too "equal": "It is imperative not to equate acts of self-defense with terrorist rocket attacks" according to the U.S. representative. Personally, I'd say it's imperative not to equate the acts of the oppressed with the acts of the oppressor, but that's just me.

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