AS always, pretending what is isn’t becomes the proverbial elephant in the room…the 600 lb gorilla…monkey on the back too. And as onerous as it can be within family confines – yes, “it be” – imagine how much more so it is when embedded within a nation’s belly, especially one as endangered as Israel.
IN light of this week’s BELATED operation to deal with Hamas – strangely coined “Operation Protective Edge”…this American-Israeli prefers “Operation Pulverizer…Smackdown”…no matter…after hundreds of rockets/missiles have rained down in recent weeks, let alone over many years – little is more pressing than the oft misunderstood subject of “ceasefires”. They are the death of us.
SIGNIFICANTLY, time and again, Israel’s leaders negotiate “ceasefires/deathfires” with terror groups, be they Hamas, Fatah or Hezbollah. It makes no diff. And while said “ceasefires” aren’t worth the price of bupkes, the fact of the matter is not only are they worthless and exponentially dangerous – whetting their appetites for more of the same – they are ILLEGAL. Plain and simple.
The relentless war waged against Israel has absolutely nothing to do with land per se, and this is precisely why every insane concession, gesture and withdrawal offered by Israel’s (peace-obsessed) leaders has not elicited an expected reciprocal peace gesture, but paradoxically incites to additional jihadist behavior. And in a tangible realm it makes sense for Arabs/Muslims to become hyper-aggressive, particularly after each Israeli capitulation counter intuitively whets their insatiable appetites for more of the same. So as a result of the leadership’s desperate attempt to allay international pressure, thus abating another dangling sword, they have become wedded to peace delusions. A double whammy. Never mind the fact that murderous jihad hasn’t ceased within Israel from time immemorial. But logic escapes many of Israel’s “leading lights”, except for a handful. At the top of the list heralding Israel’s “intellectual warriors” stand Dr. Martin Sherman and Professor Paul Eidelberg.
IN certain high level legal/political circles, primarily in America and Israel, Professor Louis Rene Beres requires little introduction. But for the newly on board, introducing…
My “go to” expert on all matters pertaining to international law, and a country’s right to anticipatory self defense – via preemptive strikes – is none other than Professor Louis Rene Beres of ‘Project Daniel.’ The working group’s original policy paper is found herein. He was Chair of the above strategic nuclear policy paper given to PM Ariel Sharon in 2003 – and subsequently briefed the report to President George W. Bush and to current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – in relation to Israel’s nuclear strategy in the face of Iran’s pursuit of WMD’s. He is a man of great integrity and humility.
Professor Louis Rene Beres
Any time there is an announced “cease fire” between Israel and Hamas, it wrongly and foolishly bestows upon that terror organization
(1) an expressly legitimate status under international law; and
(2) a clear and newly incontestable condition of legal symmetry between the parties.
This is never a tolerable jurisprudential arrangement for Israel.
Moreover, no proper system of law can ever permit any sort of compromise or accommodation by a government with criminal organizations, even, in the case of Israel and Hamas, one that might involve a somewhat less formal arrangement than the currently proposed cease fire.
It follows that Israel ought never to unwittingly prop up its criminal adversary in Gaza by agreeing to a cease fire or similar “armistice”; instead, it should proceed immediately to do whatever is needed operationally, while simultaneously reminding the world that the pertinent conflict is between a fully legitimate sovereign state (one that meets all criteria of the Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, 1934) and an inherently illegal insurgent organization that meets none of these criteria, and that routinely violates all vital precepts of the law of armed conflict.
Hamas’ inherent illegality is readily deducible from the far-reaching codified and customary criminalization of terrorism under authoritative international law, and can never be challenged by even well-intentioned third parties (e.g., the United States) in the presumably overriding interests of “peace.” This is true even if Hamas were somehow mistakenly acknowledged to have “just cause” for its insurgency
Since the Hebrew Bible, there have always been clear and determinable rules of warfare. Now, moreover, especially since prominent codified changes enacted in 1949 and 1977, these rules bind all insurgent forces, not only uniformed national armies. In modern usage, they derive most plainly from the St. Petersburg Declaration (1868), which, in turn, followed upon earlier limitations expressed at the First Geneva Convention of 1864.
In any conflict, the means that can be used to injure an enemy are not unlimited. It follows that no matter how hard they may try to institute certain self-serving manipulations of language, those who would identify the willful maiming and execution of noncombatants in the name of some abstract ideal – any ideal – are always misrepresenting international law.
Whenever Palestinian insurgents (Hamas; Fatah; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; Islamic Jihad, it makes no difference) claim a legal right to use “any means necessary,” they are attempting to deceive. Even if their corollary claims for “national self-determination” were in some fashion legally supportable, there would remain fully authoritative limits on permissible targets and weapons.
Under binding humanitarian international law, the ends can never justify the means.
Intentional forms of violence directed against the innocent are always repugnant, and always prohibited.
While it is true that certain insurgencies can be judged lawful, any such permissible resorts to force must nonetheless conform to the laws of war. Even if incessant Palestinian cries of “occupation” were reasonable rather than contrived, any corresponding claims of entitlement to oppose Israel “by any means necessary” would remain unsupportable.
International law has precise form and content. It cannot be invented and reinvented by terror groups or aspiring states, merely to accommodate their own presumed interests.
Earlier, on November 29, 2012, the Palestinian Authority (PA) had been upgraded by the U.N. General Assembly to the status of a “nonmember observer state,” but significantly, the PA has since declared itself nonexistent.
On January 3, 2013, Mahmoud Abbas formally “decreed” the absorption of the “former “PA into the “State of Palestine.” While this administrative action did effectively and jurisprudentially eliminate the PA, it assuredly did not succeed in creating a new state by simple fiat. Leaving aside Abbas’ illegal refusal to follow the Palestinian Arabs’ binding obligation to negotiate full sovereignty directly with Israel, the evident criteria of “nonmember observer state” also fell far short of expectations of the only authoritative international treaty on statehood. This governing document is the Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (the “Montevideo Convention”) of 1934.
National liberation movements that fail to meet the test of just means are never protected as legitimate. Even if we were to accept the argument that Palestinian insurgent groups somehow met the criteria of “just cause,” they would not meet the additionally limiting standards of discrimination, proportionality, and military necessity. These compulsory standards have been applied to insurgent organizations by the common Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, and also by the two authoritative protocols to these Conventions of 1977.
They are also binding upon all combatants by virtue of broader customary and conventional international law, including Article 1 of the Preamble to the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907. This rule, called the “Martens Clause,” makes all persons responsible for upholding the “laws of humanity,” and for the “dictates of public conscience.”
Every use of insurgent force by Palestinian insurgents must be judged twice, once with regard to the justness of the objective (in this case, a Palestinian state to be built upon the charred ruins of Israel), and once with regard to the justness of the violence employed.
American and European supporters of a Palestinian State continue to believe that this 23rd Arab country will somehow be part of a “two-state solution.” Oddly, this wishful presumption is contradicted almost everywhere in the Arab/Islamic world. Cartographically, in this world, Israel has already been eliminated. On these maps, unambiguously, Israel exists only as “Occupied Palestine.”
Always, terrorist crimes mandate universal cooperation, in both apprehension and punishment. As punishers of “grave breaches” under international law, all states are expected to search out and prosecute, or extradite, individual terrorist perpetrators. In no circumstances are any states permitted to characterize terrorists as “freedom fighters.”
This expectation is explicitly and emphatically true for the United States, which already incorporates all international law as the “supreme law of the land” at Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution (the “Supremacy Clause”), and which was intentionally formed according to the principles of Natural Law. For the Founding Fathers of the United States, of course, these principles had already been “born” at Sinai.
Impairment of sovereignty or integrity of the State.
97. (a) If a person commits an act liable to impair the sovereignty of the state with the intention to impair that sovereignty, then he is liable to the death penalty or to life imprisonment.
(b) if a person commits an act liable to remove any area from the sovereignty of the state or place it under the sovereignty of a foreign state with the intention to bring that about, then he is liable to the death penalty or to life imprisonment.
IT is duly instructive that another of this site’s trusted contacts, the above named Professor Paul Eidelberg, joins the fray…
A Question of Treason Leading to Anarchy
Prof. Paul Eidelberg
In my June 2, 2008 report on Israel National Radio, I said, inter alia: “Knesset Member Arieh Eldad is to be congratulated for saying Prime Minister [Ehud] Olmert’s offer to yield the Golan Heights to Syria is nothing less than treason. But the same crime may be attributed to Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon – to say nothing of many other politicians who have been complicit in yielding Jewish land to Israel’s enemies.”
A year after my report of June 2, 2008 – on June 14, 2009 to be exact – PM Benjamin Netanyahu, in a speech at Bar-Ilan University, endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, and did so without Knesset or public debate.
If (former) MK Arieh Eldad could say “[PM Ehud] Olmert’s offer to yield the Golan Heights to Syria is nothing less than treason,” what shall we say of PM Netanyahu’s offer to yield Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority?
Is it any wonder that Israel today is verging on a state of anarchy?
CONSEQUENTIALLY, in light of continuous rocket/missile barrages – more accurately, blitzkriegs – on southern Israel, one has to stand up and shout unequivocally: today’s incessant barrages – responsible for over a million of Israel’s citizens running into bomb shelters – are the poisonous fruits of the absolutely illegal “ceasefire” from 2012!
Then, as always, PM Netanyahu “ceased” Israel’s firepower during “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008 (and in 2012 during operation עַמּוּד עָנָן, ʿAmúd ʿAnán, literally: “Pillar of Cloud”…as derived from the Bible…aka Operation Pillar of Defense…this is NOT for nothing…know your Bible well…), pulling the troops back both times, as they closed in on victory!
PERVERSELY, what kind of delusional and derelict leadership behaves as such? Will this go around be any different? Time will tell…