Israel and the Struggle over the International Laws of War (Koret-Taube Task Force on National Security and Law)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The author argues that Israel stands on the frontlines of a new struggle over the international laws of war and exposes abuses of law that have been promulgated by international human rights lawyers, UN bodies, and intellectuals to illegitimately circumscribe the right of liberal democracies to defend themselves against transnational terrorists. The Goldstone Report, which was published by the United Nations in September 2009, and the Gaza flotilla controversy, which erupted at the end of May 2010, are examples of those abuses. This book criticizes the flawed assumptions and defective claims arising from both the Goldstone Report and the Gaza flotilla controversy, showing how the legal principles and conclusions advanced by many of Israel's critics threaten not only Israel's national security interests but the United States' as well.
May 28, 2009, as Goldstone and his team were proceeding with their work, the Human Rights Council passed resolution S-11/1, which “reaffi rm[ed]” the UN Charter’s “principle of non-interference in matters that are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of States.”28 The only condemnation the resolution offered was directed at the defeated Tamil Tigers. The Sri Lankan government received nothing but encouragement from the Human Rights Council for its conduct. Eight months later, in January
population of Gaza. In fact, humanitarian goods had been arriving in Gaza over land through Israel, and Israel had repeatedly volunteered to deliver the flotilla’s humanitarian cargo through the established land crossings. The flotilla’s real and obvious goal 51 52 israel and the struggle over the international laws of war was, as stated by Greta Berlin, one of the organizers, “breaking Israel’s siege.”1 The international outcry in response to Israel’s raid on the Mavi Marmara was immediate.
ability to deploy troops at will in Gaza is a mark of occupation is exposed to an immediate objection: “Military superiority over a neighbor does not itself constitute occupation. If it did, the United States would have to be considered the occupier of Mexico and 23. Erakat, “It’s Not Wrong, It’s Illegal,” p. 14. 66 israel and the struggle over the international laws of war Canada, Egypt the occupier of Libya, Iran the occupier of Afghanistan, and Russia the occupier of Latvia.”24 In fact,
reasonableness, 75 “Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and War Crimes” (Goldstone), 1–7, 19 “Report of the SecretaryGeneral’s Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident,” 56, 56n8, 75–76, 80 “Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Confl ict.” See Goldstone report Robinson, Mary, 30n18 Rome Statute, 38–40 Rwanda, 42 Sampson, Elizabeth, 59–60 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 53 self-defense Erakat on, 62–63, 76–77, 78–79 with Gaza Freedom Flotilla, 57–58, 73–80, 81 in
boobytrapped neighborhoods. To the extent that the Goldstone report got the facts wrong and mischaracterized or downplayed Hamas’s strategy and tactics—and the evidence is that it did so egregiously—its legal findings must be rejected. The Goldstone report not only got facts wrong but also, as Laurie Blank shows in considerable detail, failed to apply the proper legal tests arising out of the principle of distinction and the principle of proportionality.14 The report concludes that much of the