‘Lawfare:’ Another Weapon in the Jihad Against Israel

News Abroad

Mr. Cravatts, Ph.D., director of Boston University’s Program in Publishing at the Center for Professional Education, is writing a book about the demonizing of Israel on college campuses.

As Israel launched strikes against Hamas strongholds in Gaza over the past week, putting down temporarily a relentless barrage of some 3000 Qassam rockets and mortars that have been lobbed into southern Israeli towns this past year alone, Israel’s many global critics immediately denounced what they termed the “disproportionate” military response against the Palestinians. Many also chimed in again about the “humanitarian crisis” being caused in Gaza as a result of Israeli blockades, bemoaned the continuing “siege,” and complained how military retaliation against Hamas for its unbridled terror against Israeli civilians would create a “massacre,” a “genocide,” and “crimes against humanity”—all in violation of human rights law.

One thing the enemies of the Jewish state have learned in their 60-year jihad against Israel is that Arab armaments alone have been insufficient to complete the task. Equally effective, at least since the 1990s with the creation of an International Criminal Court (ICC), has been the reframing and manipulation of concepts of international rights law to hobble Israel’s ability to secure its borders and citizenry and to defend itself against unrelenting Palestinian terrorism.

Led by non-government organizations (NGOs) with an obsessive mission of hobbling Israel, this new “soft” assault on the Jewish state has been termed “lawfare,” what the Council of Foreign Relations defined in 2003 as “a strategy of using or misusing law as a substitute for traditional military means to achieve military objectives.” Anne Herzberg, legal advisor to the watchdog group NGO Monitor, has more recently described in an extensive study how lawfare is now being used as a diplomatic weapon almost exclusively against Israel, how it has become “a non-military means of warfare to advance the Palestinian cause, and to deter future acts of Israeli self-defense against terror.”

While the International Criminal Court and assumptions of international human rights were implemented as a well-intentioned way to provide protection to victims of despots, autocratic regimes, dictatorships, and oppressive or criminal governments, lawfare has devolved into what has become a one-sided, ideologically-driven campaign to delegitimize and weaken Israel, not only in actual courts where litigation can stymie their military operations and leadership, but also, as important, in the court of public opinion—a place where Israel frequently suffers defeat.

Lawfare, Ms. Herzberg contends, empowers NGOs, “non-accountable, nondemocratic actors,” to litigate in European or American courts, and “to circumvent the foreign policy of a State’s executive branch insofar as it conflicts with the NGOs’ partisan agenda, and thus attempt to impose policy that could not otherwise be obtained through regular democratic channels.”

Lawfare enables NGOs to interfere with the military policy of nations with whom they arbitrarily disapprove, and its current use has been focused almost exclusively on Israel, framing the Jewish state as the abuser of human rights and engaging in criminal acts against the perennially victimized Palestinians. The danger, as Ms. Herzberg sees it, is that such litigation, initiated by groups like Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International, World Vision, Save the Children, Al Haq, and others, is often based on a very narrow and preconceived ideology about who deserves rights and protection and who does not, and this bias is almost universally against Israel. In fact, says Herzberg, the actions are particularly dangerous because they enable terrorism to continue unchecked, since “these legal suits regularly ignore Palestinian responsibility and culpability under international law, and seek judicial declarations that Israel’s self-defense policies are illegal.”

One such self-defense tactic was the construction of Israel’s security fence, necessitated not, as its many critics claim, for a “land grab,” but as a response to the murder of some 1000 of its citizens by Palestinian terrorism during the Second Intifada. But by the summer of 2004, even though the barrier had successfully reduced Israeli deaths by 90 percent, the International Court of Justice found that the “apartheid wall” “gravely” infringed on the rights of West Bank Palestinians, and that the barrier, in the words of the Court, "constitutes breaches by Israel of various of its obligations under international humanitarian law." 

This legal decision, though not binding and merely an “advisory opinion” by the Court to the UN General Assembly at the request of the Arab states, has been exploited ever since by Israel’s worldwide critics who still reflexively refer to the security barrier as being “illegal” and “in violation of international law” on the basis of this decision. In this instance, says Jeremy Rabkin, professor of government at Cornell, lawfare had an insidious effect and the International Court of Justice unfortunately “admonished that the nations of the world are obligated not to pressure Palestinians to abandon terrorism, but to pressure Israel to dismantle its security fence.”

With their one-sided ideological approach to mediating legal and diplomatic issues that might better be left to state actors whose actions reflect the will of the populaces they represent, NGO’s use of lawfare against Israel also strengthens the efforts of Israel’s enemies by providing the cover of propaganda and distortion of actual facts on the ground in Gaza and the West Bank, for instance. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, two NGO ‘superpowers,’ have regularly chimed in with respect to Israel’s alleged offensives regarding its treatment of Gaza leading up to the present incursions by the IDF against Hamas. Even though Israel fully disengaged from Gaza in 2005, offering the Palestinians free reign to demonstrate their state-building potential and turning over all governmental control, Human Rights Watch continues to assert that Gaza’s social and economic dysfunction is Israel’s fault, that the Jewish state still is an occupying force. “Israel continued to occupy the Gaza Strip,” HRW says,  “by virtue of its effective control over Gaza’s borders, airspace, territorial waters, tax collection, and population registry."

The International Court of Justice, parroting many in the world community, refers to Israel’s actions related to Gaza a "siege" and further suggested, even before the December incursions, that Israel employs "indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force" against Palestinians. After Israel began clamping down on border crossings to shore up weapons smuggling and as a response to incessant shelling by Hamas into Israeli towns, it was not long before loud cries went out about the ‘humanitarian crisis’ being caused by Israel, not Gazans themselves, how, according to Amnesty International, Israel’s "blockade has prevented the entry into Gaza of all but the minimum and insufficient quantities of fuel, food and basic necessities." 

NGO Monitor’s Executive Director, Professor Gerald M. Steinberg, says that his organization’s reports expose “the NGO bombardment of the world’s courts with bogus claims against Israel. Given that not one court has upheld their complaints, it is clear that NGOs continue to manipulate judicial systems, not out of concern for human rights, but as part of the campaign to demonize Israel.” More telling is the fact that the investigations reveal that while Israel is hypocritically and repeatedly singled out for legal actions, “NGO Monitor was unable to find a single suit initiated by the self-proclaimed ‘human rights’ NGOs  . . .  against Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda; against their leaders such as Yassir Arafat, Khaled Mashal, and Hassan Nasrallah; or against their government sponsors such as the Palestinian Authority, Iran, and Syria.”

As proof that lawfare against Israel can embolden and even provide moral and legal cover for some of the world’s most egregious human rights offenders, Iran has inanely announced that it was establishing a special court to try Israeli officials, in absentia, for their war crimes committed in the current Gaza operations. Justified by a 1948 U.N. convention on the prevention of genocide to which Iran is a signatory, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki asserted that Israel obviously was committing "genocide against humanity" in Gaza, and that Iran, one of the world’s most deficient nations for the protection of human rights, would now stand in judgment of Israel. "The court is in a special branch in Tehran,” crowed judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi, “and entrusted with the task of dealing with the executors, planners and officials of this [Israeli] regime who have committed crimes."

In an inverted moral universe where enemies of the Middle East’s only democratic state regularly seek its destruction, the tactic of lawfare—with its once-meaningful language of genocide, international human rights, and war crimes—is now being used, by state and non-state actors alike, as an alternate, but equally dangerous, weapon in the unrelenting jihad against Israel.

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Edmond Dantes - 1/16/2009

I forgot about Dan Brown. I really enjoyed reading the Da Vinci Code (the movie did not impress me, though) and was appalled with the ridiculous Christian response. However, I do not recall any remuneration offered for his head.

R.R. Hamilton - 1/16/2009

It's always a pleasure to watch you, Mr. Dantes, demolish the unrepentant Communist, Lorraine Paul.

However, haven't you forgotten all those Christian fatwas calling for the killing of Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code?
/sarc off

As for Christians killing Ms. Paul because she is a (*COUGH!*) "free thinker", I bet she is afraid to go into the Amish country, the home of the most fundamentalist Christians in America.

Edmond Dantes - 1/15/2009

What a delightfully unbiased response from Ms. Paul. So now Israel is practising genocide? I'm sure Ms. Paul has plenty of unbiased sources to back that up. I would not be surprised if she also has no qualms with Palestinians intentionally targeting civilians and using civilians as shields. After all, the Palestinians are the true victims and any actions they take are justified.

Also, isn't it refreshing to have Ms. Paul advise historians not to use documentation in their interpretation of events? Why should we use charter documents, declarations, and statements their leaders have made to describe their motivations? How silly of us.

In addition, please provide the name of the last Christian denomination that actively persued the death of freethinkers? Were they the same ones chasing Salmon Rushdie?

omar ibrahim baker - 1/14/2009

The Arab and , progessively, the Moslem and third world attitude towards Israel is due to the unveiling and discovery of the latent agrresiveness and racism of Israel guiding doctrine :Zionism.
That is anti Zionism NOT anti Semetism.
The difference is cruical for any objective analysis of the conflict!

Lorraine Paul - 1/12/2009

Hamilton, The Aborigines were not all in one place. Various tribes lived from north to south and east to west, including Tasmania. Even before the state of Victoria was permanently settled by Europeans whaling ships were landing in Warrnambool.

Yes white people do lie and some of them are not very likeable, however, name we one ethnic group which do not lie to cover up a 'hidden agenda'.

There is one area which you don't acknowledge and that is the 'walkabout' of the Aborigines. Often their walkabout area covered many miles. For example, in summer they may travel to a beach area especially if fish were plentiful. In our capital city, Canberra, there is a time of year when moths hatch and the eating is good an Aboriginal tribe would set up camp.

If you ever have the privilege to travel to the Never-Never please understand that, as many indigenous peoples do, that Australian Aborigines have a strong association with the land. If you are very lucky and have an open mind you just might catch a glimpse of that wonder.

As for your 'history' professor, why should I believe you - you have admitted that 'white' people lie and are evil. You are 'white' are you not? I assumed this because of your last name and strident defence of European settlement.

As for Jews living under the Spanish Inquisition, do you argue that they were treated honourably or fairly? Ferdinand and Isabella were determined to drive the Moors out of Spain, and succeeded, are you saying they, and their descendents, would have had kindly feelings towards the Jewish people, who to them, would have been Christ-killers?

R.R. Hamilton - 1/12/2009

Yes, you're wrong about the Jews and the Spanish Inquisition. The SI, being set up to combat "heresy" (aka, "Protestantism") never had any authority at all over any Jews.

Second, regarding "Terra Nullis": You say there were "several hundred thousand" people living in Australia -- an expanse the size of the U.S. and bigger than Europe! -- and therefore it was not "Terra Nullis"?

It reminds me of a history professor I had (briefly) who claimed that there were 100,000,000 Indians in the Western Hemisphere when Europeans arrived, and so European claims of an "emptiness" were deliberate lies. This was at least twice as high as any other estimate I had ever heard (most estimates are 15-20 million). I pointed out to this buffoon that even if his 100 million figure was true, that on a population-per-square-mile basis this meant that modern Alaska is more crowded than was his America, so that it was perfectly plausible that Europeans could land in many parts of America and find it apparently "Terra Nullis". It didn't matter. He had an agenda: White people are evil and they lie.

Seems like that might be an agenda of some of the commenters here.

R.R. Hamilton - 1/12/2009

American militias hid behind trees, but they weren't the first to invent this tactic. The French had done the same thing to Gen. Braddock's expedition in 1754. But anyway, the Americans fought from behind trees, the Arabs fight from behind women and children -- literally, say American troops who have faced them in Somalia and Iraq ... It's the same thing says Mr. Butler.

R.R. Hamilton - 1/12/2009

Like "Brits" for the residents of Great Britain -- even more egregious since "Britons" were the original(?) Celtic settlers. The people there now are descendants of ... yes! racist imperialist Anglo-Saxons and Norman-French.

R.R. Hamilton - 1/12/2009

Mr. Butler,

You should give your house to an American Indian. If you don't, you're a racist imperialist.

Lorraine Paul - 1/11/2009

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Jews return to Muslim lands to avoid the persecution of the Spanish Inquisition? Who can blame them if having to choose between torture and burning at the stake and paying the equivalent of a tithe, they would choose the tithe!

Actually, during our 'correspondence', several times I have noticed the similarity between the indigenous peoples of Australia and the Arabs of Jerusalem and elsewhere in the region.
(As you refuse to admit that there is such a population defined as Palestinian I will use the above terminology when speaking of those who once occupied the region now known as Greater Israel. I am including their occupation of Arab lands and the Gaza Strip etc.)

Australia was settled under a fraudulent premise. It suited the British Government to signify Australia as Terra Nullis. Meaning that the land was empty. The fact that there were several hundred thousand Aborigines living there at the time was irrevelant to these liars and thieves.

As Jerusalem and surrounding land was outrageously declared by Zionists as not being 'used', therefore, according to them, it was quite legal and feasible for such land to be confiscated without even a penny compensation. As I said, much like the Australian indigenous people were forced to endure under British rule.

I hope that the land-grabbing in the middle-east doesn't last as long as it did here in Australia before the courts recognised indigenous title to land...over Two Hundred Years.

Lorraine Paul - 1/11/2009

Edmond such a silly comment is unworthy of you! However, I will answer it by saying that as long as you are not on it, under it, or in it, I am content!!

Lorraine Paul - 1/11/2009

Well, Mr Green, we can look at what a group say in their documentation and, truly, is what they say what they do? Especially when it comes to religion. Several Christians, including many of my friends, would be very surprised to know that because I am a free-thinker they are obliged to kill me! I'm sure if they did know that would certainly not do what their religion asks of them. Well, I, for one, hope they wouldn't!

At the moment the only country in this devastating conflict which is certainly practising a form of genocide would be Israel.

Edmond Dantes - 1/11/2009

Ms Paul checks under her bed for capitalists, imperialists, and Zionists every night before going to sleep.

Elliott Aron Green - 1/11/2009

Ms LP, we are not dealing with the history of the British Isles here but that of the Land of Israel or Middle East or Levant. Historically, it was the Arab conquerors who confiscated Jewish-owned land and subjugated native Jews in the country to the dhimma system of oppression, monetary exploitation, and humiliation [as Christian dhimmis were also oppressed]. Jews were forced to migrate from Israel by Roman and Byzantine/Christian oppression as well as by Arab/Muslim oppression. Instead of believing what you hear or read from "politically correct" sources, learn history.

As to Australia, I note that you don't mention the aborigines who preceded the English, the Irish, and the Scots in Australia.

Elliott Aron Green - 1/11/2009

Ms Paul, in your comment #131007, you ask about how to learn about Hamas' aims. You can find Hamas' charter on the web. Look closely at the last paragraphs of Article 7 of this document. It repeats a medieval Muslim fable about the rocks and trees calling out: O Muslim, a Jew is hiding behind me. Come kill him.

Is that not a succinct statement of genocidal aims by Hamas vis-a-vis the Jews??

Lorraine Paul - 1/10/2009

Edmond, where do you get your information?

Could you give some reference to the claims you make regarding Hamas' aims?

Lorraine Paul - 1/10/2009

I would say, Mr Green, that whatever name - Syrian, Palestinian, Middle-Eastern - or whatever the people of that area choose to call themselves, takes not one jot away from the fact that they were hunted off and had their land stolen.

Just as the Anglo-Irish stole land from the people of Ireland.

May I refer you to a book The Great Hunger by Cecil Woodham-Smith. It is all outlined in there.

This dispossession of the Irish (and the Scottish, a similar story) led to their own diaspora. Australia, my own land, was one country that benefited from Irish immigration. Many of our best bushrangers were Irish!

Elliott Aron Green - 1/10/2009

Mr Butler, John Connally explained that Britain retaliated for German attacks on UK civilians with massive bombing on Germany when the British were able to do so. Many more German civilians were killed than British. Likewise Japan and the US, with many more Japanese civilians being killed, although Japan was the aggressor state. How come Israel is accused when our purpose today is to prevent future Hamas attacks on us with even more far-reaching missiles than they have today?? Hamas has a clearly genocidal ideology which you and Ms Paul can ascertain from reading the Hamas charter which is available on the Net. See especially Article 7.

As to Mr Butler, there never was a "palestinian people" in all history. It appeared in 1964 with the founding of the PLO. Earlier the official Arab spokesmen before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in 1946 denied that there was such a place as "palestine," it was just part of Syria.

The name "Palestine" was applied to the Land of Israel by Emperor Hadrian ca. 135 CE after he crushed the Jewish revolt led by Bar Kokhba. Previously the Romans had called the country Judea [IVDAEA]. As an Irishman interested in restoring dispossessed peoples, your sympathy should lie with Israel. Judea was the Greco-Latin name for the country which the Jews [= Iudaei] traditionally have called the Land of Israel.

By the way, your compatriot Conor Cruise O'Brien wrote a book on Israel and Jews. Maybe you could learn something from it.

Elliott Aron Green - 1/10/2009

Ms Paul, do you then withdraw the claim that South Aftica used Israel as a model for apartheid? Could you indicate to me the name of a book or article that makes this baseless claim?

You choose to see Zionism as a form of imperialism, whereas we see it as a people recovering its ancient homeland and its dignity and self-respect. We see it as a liberation from domination by others, including Arabs who oppressed and exploited and humiliated Jews just as Europeans did, although there were different forms of oppression, etc. I supply more info about this in my recent article published here at HNN as well as in an article for Midstream (Sept-Oct 2008).

Now to your charge that I falsely impute Judeophobia to you. You wrote:

Further, why do you make such a statement that 'leftist' groups lie? It is not my experience that they do. In fact, leftists were right when they condemned the re-arming of Germany in the 30's; they were right when they demonstrated against the Vietnam War; certainly in more modern times they have been right about the invasion of Iraq. Was not your reference, August Bebel, himself a 'leftist'? Perhaps he is lying regarding his statement about socialism and anti-semitism.

August Bebel was a socialist indeed. His remark about antisemitism as the socialism of fools was not meant to be a disavowal of socialism but a defense of an intelligent, rational socialism, as he saw it. Now your last sentence could easily be interpreted to mean that antisemitism is not a foolish way of thinking. After all, if Bebel may be lying as you say, then antisemitism may be OK. Do you understand what you have written?? As to where Bebel is quoted, I have seen this quote in many places. I'm sure that you can find it easily enough on the Net.

Again, I see that you seem unaware of the "leftist" Soviet contribution to starting WW2. Communist USSR signed a treaty with Nazi Germany and both states invaded Poland in 1939. Izvestya carried an editorial that "Nazi ideology is a matter of taste." A mere matter of taste as it were. Germany and the USSR declared a joint "struggle for peace." If you are unaware of all this, then you need to do a lot of studying. Unfortunately, much of the research has been done in French but check out vol. 3 of Alfred Cobban's book [Penguin pubs.] on the history of modern France. Cobban discusses the pro-Nazi, pro-war policies of the French and British Communists in the so-called phoney war period.

Edmond Dantes - 1/9/2009

Not all Jewish children are Zionists either - http://www.yourish.com/2009/01/08/5971

Lorraine Paul - 1/9/2009

Many Jewish people are not Zionists, Edmond.

Edmond Dantes - 1/9/2009

Oops. I meant Hamas and Fatah, not Hezbollah.

Edmond Dantes - 1/9/2009

I know... why can't I just accept the fact that Israel is clearly in the wrong.

Does the victimization of the Palestinians justify their tactics of targeting civilians and using civilians as shields? Ms Paul and her ilk would say “yes.” Are civilian casualties incurred by Israeli surgical strikes against terrorist cells justified by the Jews continual efforts of self-preservation? I admit that in many cases, I would say “yes.” However, in my opinion, both sides are clear victims in this situation. Sponsors for both the Israelis and the Palestinians will keep supplying arms as long as it doesn't escalate into a global conflict (or drive up oil prices). Ms Paul believes that removing the Jews from the region (“My solution would be for Israel to recognize legitimate Palestinian claims to the land that has been appropriated by Israel.”) is the solution. Am I reading what I want to see from this comment? The PLO originally claimed rights to all of Israel. Since the late 1980s, they compromised and expressed an interest in settling for the West Bank and Gaza for a sovereign state of Palestine. However, parties such as Hezbollah and Hamas are now gaining control and their explicit goal is the extermination of all Jews, along with reclaiming ALL the land in Israel.

Lorraine Paul - 1/9/2009

Why doesn't this thread present comments in chronological order? What am I doing wrong that a reply to one comment sometimes ends up before the very comment that I am replying too?

Lorraine Paul - 1/9/2009

I am aware that you are using it as a fore-shortened form of Palestinian, Mr Kovachev. That is not the question I asked you.

Is it a pejorative to describe Palestinians?

Lorraine Paul - 1/9/2009

If you were the one to lay that on me Edmond, I would have no hesitation in doing so!

Lorraine Paul - 1/9/2009

You amaze me, Edmond.

james joseph butler - 1/8/2009

"Agitprop" might be the appropriate label for the American media that attempts to create an equivalence between the suffering of the people of Gaza and the Israelis. Thirteen days into this massacre the ratio of Palestinian to Israeli dead remains approximately 100 to 1. I'm not including the Israeli "friendly fire" victims. "Genocide" was a tendentious choice but I think any nation that blows up schools, graduation ceremonies, and numerous ambulances is a legitimate canditate for that label. Madeline Albright might think it's OK to be responsible for the deaths of half a million innocent Iraqis, primarily children, in the pursuit of strategic ends, Saddam, that doesn't seem much different from genocide to me. Netanyahu uses the example of Allied WWII bombing seeking to draw an equivalence, my earlier post addressed that.

Bibi, what's to "substantiate"? His grandparents were Lithuanian. He is an MIT graduate. And he was a frequent guest on American TV because he gave them what they wanted, a little Abba Eban PBS, anglo, psuedo sophisticated take on the good guys and the bad guys. A better George W. Americans love the Israelis because they remind them of themselves, cocky, love that God, and undefeated, well we used to be. So when Bibi says Hamas(of course you know Israel aided and abetted in the founding of Hamas) will, "throw the civilized world back into a new dark age", they're ready just like their Israeli kin to throw another log on the fire, drop another remote controlled bomb and to cinch the knot around the neck of Gaza one twist more. But those darned barbarian Palestinians just won't play warfare the civilized way and, be a man!, and stand in front of a tank,(pardon me I'm about to make another one of those annoyingly inappropriate historical comparasions) the way the redcoats would've preferred those colonists would've done.(Unless George W. was commanding) Oh and I really enjoy the way Bibi puts on his ten gallon hat and lassoes Afganistan, Iraq, India, and Gaza all under that same fight the Islamo Power theme to obscure what all those places have in common, which has nothing to do with Allah or any other super ineluctable goddess in the sky, but, yup, imperialism, good old fashioned Western, we don't have a clue but we think we can run the world, gonna get mine now, see Wall Street 21st century, imperialism.

One last thing, I recognize, the word genocide is loaded, but I never, at least till now, knew it's use, without prior authorization, equaled "anti-semitism". And are you sure that's how you spell "dufus"?

Edmond Dantes - 1/8/2009

If Ms. Paul isn't careful, someone may someday deem her a racist. But she could easily rationalize it away by calling the accuser stupid or infantile.

Peter Kovachev - 1/8/2009

Pals is a short form for "Palestinians." The quotations should serve to remind us that there was never, jor is there now such a nation or a people and that the name is a fictitious creation by Arafat and his buddies. Up until the 1960s the only Palestinians (real ones) were the Jews of British Mandate Palestine. I accuse Ms Paul of imbecility. That, and a lack of a reliable dictionary or the wherewithals on how to use it.

Edmond Dantes - 1/8/2009

Futility aside, I am guilty of "injustice" for not acknowledging the fact that the Jewish people have periodically fought back against a world that perennially seeks their destruction? There struggles for survival over time against overwhelming odds have been admirable and heroic. It's too bad everyone still wants them exterminated in the name of "peace."

Ms. Paul's statement: "My solution would be for Israel to recognize legitimate Palestinian claims to the land that has been appropriated by Israel." Go for it. Only a fool would believe that would bring peace and end violence against Jews.

Anyone notice how easy it is to deem one a racist for criticizing the actions of the Palestinians, but it's alright to lash out against the Jews of Israel?

Lorraine Paul - 1/8/2009

Is Pals a pejorative for Palestinian? If so, I accuse Mr Kovachev of racism.

Lorraine Paul - 1/8/2009

Mr Green, racial segregation was practiced mainly by the Afrikaans, or Boers, however, they were not the only European settlers in SA.

The English settlers, who were politically dominant until 1948, did not practice this harsh and inhuman doctrine.

May I refer you to a book by William Reinart - Twentieth Century South Africa, published by OUP 2001.

After 1948, when the National Party assumed government, Dr Verwoerd, along with others, set about formally legislating Apartheid. Up until then the implementing of existing legislation regarding the various ethnic and indigenous communities was lax. However, what mainly interests me in referring to this book is a small paragraph on the bottom of P145. Therefore, without getting too academic I quote -

Malan and his successors were indeed deeply committed to unity, anti-imperialism and anti-communism. But the rhetoric of cultural solidarity sat easily with racial exclusivity and the use of ethnic power for economic gain.

Can you see the similarity, Mr Green.

Unlike yourself, Mr Green, I am only too willing to do 'research' which may add to the knowledge and understanding of a given situation by others. I am also an old-time champion of books, although I find the internet a good resourse from which to start.

Lorraine Paul - 1/8/2009

As always Edmund you read into my remarks what you want to see. However, I will not reiterate as past experience in conversing with you has shown me how futile that experience is.

Edmund your knowledge of the history of the Jewish people is lacking. The Jewish people have not been 'persecuted' for 'thousands' of years. It is not 'the first time in their history' that they have had the capability of fighting back. To refer to just one - there was an incident on top of a mountain in Roman times which you may like to look up. You do them an injustice, Edmund.

As for the 'wall', it is a pleasant surprise to me that we can agree on this.

Lorraine Paul - 1/8/2009

As to YOUR very last sentence was your sly innuendo, which virtually accused me of justifying anti-Semitism and by implication being anti-Semitic myself meant to discredit my whole argument? A rather nasty response on your part, Mr Green, as I have already stated that I would be offended to be classed as such.

Mr Green, there is no point in me addressing the matters you raise in your second paragraph. They have little or no bearing on what is happening in Israel or the Gaza Strip, or even the West bank.

I did not ask you to do my research for me. I merely asked you to name the article or book from which you quoted. I would still have to search for the quote and the context in which it is written.

My response to your paraphrasing of Bebel is 'yes, I do see Zionism as a form of imperialism.' I will always oppose the forces of imperialism - in whatever form it takes. I was born foolish that way.

Elliott Aron Green - 1/8/2009

Ms Paul, re your bizarre claim or belief that South Africa copied its apartheid system from Israel and that this ridiculous notion is "generally accepted."

The Penguin published A Dictionary of Politics eds., F Elliott & M Summerskill [1961], has this to say about apartheid:
"Afrikaans word... meaning racial segregation as practiced by the National Party which came to power in South Africa in 1948. There had been racial segregation in South Africa from the mid-seventeenth century..." [p 20].

Apartheid was instituted in 1948 and was the program of the National Party before it came to power. As I stated earlier in this thread, Israel became an independent state in 1948. It did not serve as a model for South Africa. Racial segregation there went far back in time, in fact, as it did in the USA, long before reestablishment of the Jewish state in 1948. Ms Paul, you could have said more correctly that segregation or jimcrow in the USA served as a pattern on which apartheid was a further elaboration or development. Israel was not involved here and I point out that the Muslim system of dhimma was similar to apartheid, although based on religion not skin color or biological race. The dhimma system prevailed in Israel and other countries for many centuries.

Peter Kovachev - 1/8/2009

I note that you won't substantiate your interpretation of Mr Netanyahu's beliefs and statements with even a general reference, and yet you go on about some mythical crypto-colonial "Lithuanians" and a quote by Ya'alon. In any case, I agree with Ya'alon's statement, if he in fact stated it, but reject the comparisons with natives, many of whom feel insulted whenever compared to "Palestinians." The Pals have been defeated not so much by Israel, but by their own leaders; their clan chiefs, religious leaders, pretend-"governments" and outside parties, the latest exploiters being Iran and Syria. The depth of their psychological and moral defeat is evidenced by their eagerness to strap bombs around their women and children just to kill Jewish women and children. And, by advice of their leaders, as in http://www.road90.com/watch.php?id=vqj3CnvcIg.

Pinning the accusation of attempted genocide on Israel is not only a morally abhorent antisemitic libel, but a sign of sheer imbecility. It is the PA, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran who loudly and openly promise the annihalition of Israel and Jews worldwide, whereas it's Israel that has given its Muslim citizens more rights and liberties than they have in any Muslim country....France included! Facts do get in the way of a good agitprop, don't they?

Fahrettin Tahir - 1/8/2009

Why can't we be for peace without insulting Isrelis, Palestinians or the Irish for that matter?

Edmond Dantes - 1/8/2009

How do you end this - http://www.israelnationalnews.com/SendMail.aspx?print=print&;type=0&item=129290

If you think this doesn't happen, that it's just Israeli propaganda, take the blinders off and look around.

Edmond Dantes - 1/8/2009

For once I may actually agree with Ms. Paul on something. I agree that a wall seeking to separate the Israelis from the Palestinians does not help the situation. Historically, walls fail to protect and fail to promote peace. Ms. Paul provides an interesting perspective – that the “leftists” know what’s right in this situation, like, supposedly, in all other recent tumultuous events. With Israelis living in underground bunkers for protection and Palestinians huddled in squalid refugee camps, what would Ms. Paul’s solution to the problem be? What’s the “leftist” solution to this current crisis?

Do we establish a soveriegn nation-state of Palestine? If so, what land will fall within its boundaries? Would its government mirror other theocratic thugocracies in the region? Would Israel need to reliquish large tracts of land? What land "rightfully" belongs to each party? Would Israel also pay reparations to the Palestinians?

Do we force (through diplomacy or military action) neighboring Arab states to absorb the Palestinian refugees?

Do we relocate all the Jews from Israel to a location outside the Middle East? What land would we have to take from others to facilitate this?

Or, do we grant the wishes of many in the region and disarm the Israeli Jews so they can be exterminated?

These may be oversimplyfied options, but we’ve seen the failure of every complicated, multi-national, diplomatic initiative in the past. Would any solution keep Hamas and Hezbollah (along with sponsors like Iran) from actively seeking the extermination of the Jewish people?

In my opinion, the Jewish people (as a cultural group rather than a religious one) represent an oppressed minority group. For thousands of years they haved been marginalized, hunted, persecuted, and, in the Crusades and in Nazi Germany, systematically slaughtered. For the first time in their history, the Jewish people have the capabilities of fighting back against forces seeking their annilation and we condemn them for it. I’m not saying the Palestinians don’t represent an oppressed minority group themselves, but if leftists embrace Hamas and Hezbollah in this particular current event – claiming that they are the true victims fighting against tyranny – aren’t we perpetuating the persecution of Jews? After all, the charter documents for these Palestinian governing bodies explicitly state their goal as the eradication of the Jewish people. I thought leftists stood up for the oppressed.

james joseph butler - 1/8/2009

My "obsession" has everything to do with land theft. The Scots and English who went to Ireland were sent there by the British Crown to consolidate their theft of Irish land. The Lithuanians such as Netanyahu's grandparents who went to Palestine went there for a better future the same as my Irish grandparents did when they came to America. The difference is that the Indians in New York had been dead for generations, victims of germs and genocide. The Jews of Europe who came to Palestine are still trying to exterminate the native population or as Moshee Yaalon, IDF chief of staff said in 2002, "The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people." You know like the remaining natives in America. America's natives have reconciled themselves to their fate, with the highest rates of alcoholism and suicide in the land.

And by the way if you were Irish you'd drink your pint and debate the point.

Peter Kovachev - 1/8/2009

And I, in turn, never cease to be amazed by the occasional dufus who floats general and usually inane historical comparisons between diverse peoples. The Irish and "Palestinians"? You are comparing an old, island-bound population that has been in place since pre-Indo-European times to an invented, apropriated and politically designated identity (after 1967!), the so-called "Palestinians"? If I were a proud Irish, I'd pour a bottle of Guiness over your lap.

Why not compare the Pals to the English and the Scots who were lured to Ireland into the Pales with promises of work and and land, much in the same way the Turks and Syrian chiefs lured landless Arabs into the Land of Israel in the 1800s? One can have great fun with analogies, but usually to little profit.

I rarely ask anyone to back their claims with sources, especially when the related information is openly available. In your attack on Mr Netanyahu I would, though, be interested in where you got your conclusions. I'm familiar with Mr Netanyahu's political views and find your description totally out of whack.

Btw, what's with the obsession with Mr Connally's and Mr Netanyahu's ethnic backgrounds?

Elliott Aron Green - 1/8/2009

Ms Paul, are you aware that the "leftist" USSR helped start WW2 by its Nazi-Soviet Pact with Germany, August 1939?? As to South Africa learning "the basics of their own Apartheid policy from Israel," I find this claim quite absurd. As far as I know, this policy was introduced very shortly after WW2, in 1945 or 1946. Israel did not become independent until 1948. Israel's economic situation was very difficult for years afterwards, with food rationing, a housing shortage, etc. I don't believe that Israel served as a model for South Africa at that time.

Further, your point that "it is generally accepted that South Africa learnt the basics of their own Apartheid policy from Israel," is even more bizarre. Perhaps you travel in circles afflicted with deep ignorance. Indeed, some features of apartheid in SA go back long before WW2 and the formal institution of an "apartheid policy" after it. I don't know who "generally accepts" this groundless claim. It sounds to me like one of the medieval and post-medieval charges made against Jews that led to the Holocaust, such as the Jews poisoning wells [even if Jews drank from the same wells] or that Jews mix blood of non-Jewish children in Passover Matsah or that we have horns, etc. Yes, this false charge was made before Carter made it. But it was always a politically tendentious lie at best. I say that the Arab prohibition on Jews living in Judea-Samaria is tantamount to apartheid. The traditional status of non-Muslims in the Muslim state, called dhimma, is much like apartheid, albeit based more on religion than on race or color.

Now to August Bebel. Do you think that I should do your research for you? Indeed, it should be very easy for you to find out about Bebel by using the internet. Try to google or yahoo [or whatever search engine you like] for "August Bebel" + "antisemitism is the socialism of fools." Try different spellings of antisemitism. If you know German, try "antisemitismus." The phrase "anti-Zionism is the anti-imperialism of fools" is my own creation, paraphrasing Bebel.

As to your very last sentence, was it meant to justify antisemitism?

Elliott Aron Green - 1/8/2009

JJB, I think that P Kovachev answered you about numbers of civilians. Moreover, more Germans and Japanese died in WW2 than British or Americans, yet would you deny that both were the aggressors in that war and that both, especially the Germans, eagerly slaughtered civilians?? The deaths in Gaza include hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad gunmen/militiamen. Hamas deliberately tried to slaughter Israeli civilians. Hamas placed its heavy weapons stores and firing positions among its civilians. This is a violation of the law of war. Would you say that Israel has no right to defend its civilians?? Hamas forces Israel to defend itself against fire [of rockets, mortars, etc] coming from civilian areas. The death of Arab civilians is to be assigned to the guilt of Hamas.

I notice that you mention Warsaw. What is that supposed to mean? Do you mean the Warsaw Ghetto? Is there a rational equivalence between the Warsaw Ghetto and the Gaza Strip? Do you know how many calories the inhabitants of the Ghetto were allowed every day compared to how many allowed to Gaza denizens?
Can you compare the media coverage given at the time to the Ghetto revolt with that given to Hamas terrorism??
Do you compare the amounts and kinds of weapons in the two cases?

james joseph butler - 1/7/2009

I never stop being amazed at how ignorant so many people are about their own ethnicities. Mr. Connaly if you know anything about Irish history, which given your surname one might think would not be much of a stretch, you might see the many parallels between the Irish and the Palestinians. The Irish and any other indigenous people who were colonized by their betters. After all the British had the Magna Carta, Newton and lots of guns, the Irish were uncouth peasants who could learn to be obedient subjects if they would just recognize what's in their best interests. Imperialism - Kindergarten.

Netanyahu's grandparents were Lithunian. The "fanatical ideology" he's intent on destroying is the idea that indigenous people should have all the same rights that MIT graduates like himself have. Netanyahu uses his polished, patrician bull to impress the American media when his one sided message is little different from the ayatollahs' rants. Israel deserves the land because Yahweh said so.

Lorraine Paul - 1/7/2009

Dear Mr Green, I am afraid that snippets, taken out of context, can sometimes make little sense. As this quote is new to me would you please refer me to the article/book in which this statement was made by Bebel?

As for Jimmy Carter's book, long before it was written I had read much the same opinion from other sources. In fact, it is generally accepted that South Africa learnt the basics of their own Apartheid policy from Israel.

The situation is a very complex one but in this instance I have no doubt.

As for the 15-20% university enrolments of Arabs, I think this reflects a situation where Arabs were pushed aside. Where once they were the majority, they are now the minority. Where did they go? Oh! yes, refugee camps.

Further, why do you make such a statement that 'leftist' groups lie? It is not my experience that they do. In fact, leftists were right when they condemned the re-arming of Germany in the 30's; they were right when they demonstrated against the Vietnam War; certainly in more modern times they have been right about the invasion of Iraq. Was not your reference, August Bebel, himself a 'leftist'? Perhaps he is lying regarding his statement about socialism and anti-semitism.

Peter Kovachev - 1/7/2009

And what does your "ratio" have anything to do with anything? The death of five brave IDF soldiers is too many, in my opinion. The death of every civilian in Gaza is the responsibility of Hamas, whose leadership and operatives routinely hide behind the skirts of civilians. Since you're enamoured with numbers and ratios, do you happen to know how many civilians Hamas has killed with its daily daily bombardments of Israeli communities and purges among its own people since being elected? Or, how many women have been brutally murdered in "honour" killings, all winked at by Hamas and its Iranian keepers? And if so, where has your voice been up until now?

John Connally - 1/7/2009

“Imagine a siren that gives you 30 seconds to find shelter before a Kassam rocket falls from the sky and explodes, spraying its lethal shrapnel in all directions. Now imagine this happens day after day, month after month, year after year.

If you can imagine that, you can begin to understand the terror to which hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been subjected. Three years ago Israel withdrew from every square inch of Gaza. And since that withdrawal, our civilians have been targeted by more than 6,000 rockets and mortars fired from Gaza. In the face of this relentless bombardment, Israel has acted with a restraint that other countries, faced with a similar threat, would find hard to fathom. Israel's government has finally decided to respond.

For this action to succeed, we must first have moral clarity. There is no moral equivalence between Israel, a democracy which seeks peace and targets the terrorists, and Hamas, an Iranian-backed terror organization that seeks Israel's destruction and targets the innocent.

In launching precision strikes against Hamas rocket launchers, headquarters, weapons depots, smuggling tunnels and training camps, Israel is trying to minimize civilian casualties. But Hamas deliberately attacks Israeli civilians and deliberately hides behind Palestinian civilians -- a double war crime. Responsible governments do their utmost to minimize civilian casualties, but they do not grant immunity to terrorists who use civilians as human shields.

The international community may occasionally condemn Hamas for putting Palestinian civilians in harm's way, but if it ultimately holds Israel responsible for the casualties that ensue, then Hamas and other terror organizations will employ this abominable tactic again and again.

The charge that Israel is using disproportionate force is equally baseless. Does proportionality demand that Israel fire 6,000 rockets indiscriminately back at Gaza? Does it demand an equal number of casualties on both sides? Using that logic, one would conclude that the United States employed disproportionate force against the Germans because 20 times as many Germans as Americans died in World War II.

In that same war, Britain responded to the firing of thousands of rockets on its population with the wholesale bombing of German cities. Israel's measured response to rocket fire on its cities has come in the form of surgical strikes. To further root out Hamas terrorists in a way that minimizes Palestinian civilian casualties, Israel's army is now engaged in a ground operation that places its soldiers in great peril. Carpet-bombing of Palestinian cities is not an option that any Israeli leader will entertain.

The goal of this mission should be clear: To end the current round of missile attacks and to remove the threat of such attacks in the future. The only cease-fire or diplomatic initiative that should be accepted is one that achieves this dual objective.

If our enemies assumed that the Israeli public would be divided on the eve of an election, they were wrong. When it comes to exercising our most basic right of self-defense, there is no opposition and no coalition. We stand united against Hamas because we know that only by defeating Hamas can we provide security for our people and hope for a future peace.

We fight to defend ourselves, but in so doing we are also fighting a fanatical ideology that seeks to reverse the course of history and throw the civilized world back into a new dark age. The struggle between militant Islam and modernity -- whether fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, India or Gaza -- will decide our common future. It is a battle we cannot afford to lose.”

Mr. Netanyahu, Israel's ninth prime minister, is the chairman of the Likud Party and its candidate for prime minister.

Elliott Aron Green - 1/7/2009

Ms Paul, in the 19th century, August Bebel pointed out that antisemitism was the socialism of fools. In the 21st century, anti-Zionism is the anti-imperialism of fools.

It is deplorable that many people make judgements about Israel based on false claims in the media and made by NGOs which are also often fake in that they are funded by governments. Israel does not have an apartheid policy against Arabs. In contrast, the Arabs cleansed all Jews out of areas that they took in the 1947-49 war, that is, Gaza taken by Egypt and Judea-Samaria taken by Transjordan [now Jordan] were made Judenrein. Jews were forbidden by law to live in those places. Today, the Palestinian Authority has a similar law forbidding Jews to live in Judea-Samaria and Gaza. Israel does not have such a law regarding Arabs. Nor does Israel practice apartheid, despite jimmy carter's claim. Arabs spend money in our shopping centers, eat in restaurants with us, ride buses with us [how did the suicide bombers get on the buses anyhow?], go to school and university with Jews. The Hebrew U is probably about 15-20% Arab in its student body. Two of my sons have been students there. Actually, the way that Arabs have traditionally treated non-Muslims [especially Jews] has similarities to South African apartheid. Don't believe the lies on the media or those supplied by "leftist" groups or "NGOs."

Lorraine Paul - 1/7/2009

Dear Mr Knight, I am sorry that you have taken my comment in that way. Blame my age because when I was younger anti-Semitism defined one who disliked the Jewish people no matter where they were born or where they lived. In fact I remember my parents and their friends declaring that "Jew" did not define a race but a religion and those who denied that were 'anti-Semitic'.

Times change and I agree that the definition of words also changes over time, however, the inherent power of some words never diminishes. In the light of this I do not view my comment as petty and unnecessary.

There is a term which is much more accurate to describe those who are against the actions of the Israeli leadership - anti-Zionism. Many of my friends are Jewish and many of them also condemn the actions of Israel. Anti-Zionist would be the correct term to describe them and myself.

I would be offended to the core if someone accused me of being anti-Semitic because I do not, and never will, support Israel's Apartheid policy towards the Palestinians.

Edmond Dantes - 1/6/2009

I fear that no matter what concessions either side makes, the violence will continue. A place that three of the world's oldest and most prominent monotheistic religions claim as their holy land is not a place for peaceful coexistence. All three have embraced various forms of zealotry and martyrdom over the millennia (see God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism by Jonathan Kirsch). It seems that both sides in this current struggle will find new and imaginative ways to attack each other. My friends working on digs in Israel can attest to that.

I feel sorry for the Israelis (many of whom are Arabs), who have to spend endless days in bomb shelters under the barrage of thousands of rockets. I also feel sorry for the women and children in Gaza, who get caught in the crossfire.

Let's hope that peace talks, ceasefires, and negotiations continue and that they eventually stumble into some type of peaceful solution.

Erik Alan Knight - 1/6/2009

Ms. Paul, you know very well what is meant when Mr. Tahir refers to "anti-semitism." The context of the term has changed from its original intent, no longer meaning to include bias against all people of semitic background, instead referring to a specific bias against the Jewish population. Any attempt to take attention from the issues at hand to argue semantics is petty and unnecessary.

Fahrettin Tahir - 1/6/2009

anti semitizm, defined as hate against jews, is spreading in the moslem world, irrespective of who belongs to which race.

the solution would of course be, as you say, arab recognition of the 1947 borders. this would save a lot of bloodshed in wars nobody is winning.

Lorraine Paul - 1/5/2009

'Unfortunately', Mr Tahir I fail to see how anti-semitism can spread throughout the moslem world when many moslems are of the Arabic persuasion.

Arabs are also a semitic people. Why has this fact been denied for decades by the simple expediency of journalists, commentators and politicians choosing to ignore it? One is reminded of Basil Fawlty's admonition to all that they 'don't mention the war' in front of guests from Germany.

Other than that I applaud your statement on the 'wall'. If the world condemned South Africa's Apartheid policy it must also condemn Isael's.

My solution would be for Israel to recognise legitimate Palestinian claims to the land that has been appropriated by Israel. As the Gordian Knot was supposed to be cut by one swift stroke of Alexander's sword, perhaps this very simple solution may be the answer to the 'knotty' problems found in the middle-east.

james joseph butler - 1/5/2009

Elliot Aron, I'm sure your math is better than what this post reveals so I guess you missed "ratio". Regarding Allied bombing in WWII; the aggressor bears the burden for his actions. Both Germany and Japan used whatever means/weapons deemed necessary to further their ends, they certainly did not refrain from killing civilians as you assuredly know. Thus the logic however painful behind Dresden and Tokyo, by any and all means. Don't start the fight...

Which obviously segues to Gaza. Warsaw and Gaza. And just as obviously, for me, why Israel is the guilty party in 2009. I recognize that the Hamas charter contains vile, reprehensible hate but I ask where did come from? And my answer is that it came from the black heart of desperation. From a people/men who've had their land and dreams sliced and shrunk to the point where violence is the logical option, just as it was for Begin and Shamir. Barak, as you know, said he would be a violent foe of Israel if he had born Palestinian and he is not the only Israeli leader to say that.

The point is...where did it start? I read the posts re. Israel/Palestine and y'all are certainly knowlegable about the Crusades and Jews fightin' Muslims, pick a century, so Maimonides was cribbin with Muslims-Wash Post,Books,yesterday, newsflash*Bolton says blame the Iranians,OpEd,today, Post. and he's also on the Times' Op Ed page today with John Yoo. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, Bolton and Yoo,The Wash Post and the NYT, those liberal rags giving air time to those distinguished defenders of torture, sweet.- Oh yeah, Israel, Palestine...America.

500+ Palestinians dead, 5 Israelis dead.


American planes, American helicopters, American bombs. American dollars. Venal, empty, ignorant, American Congress.

Cravatts' NGO's with "an obsessive mission of hobbling Israel" boo hoo, didn't they get the memo, Israel is one of the good guys, you know like America.

Most horrifingly to Dr Cravatts', Israel, "frequently suffers defeat in the court of public opinion." So sad. One must assume the good doctor is either reading Al Jazeera religiously or his sabbatical allowance is overdrawn.

Where did IT start? Hertzel?Churchill? Ben-Gurion? Hitler? Truman?

Why is it that that no Palestinians come to mind when one reviews the roots of Modern Israel? We all know the answer. One fifth of the population of Israel is Palestinian.

The bastion of democracy in the Middle East didn't need those natives with their antiquated third world notions of justice, truth, and real estate. Like their stalwart allies-AMERICA. They were born pristine. A new land, an old land, what the hell, lobbyists, B-17s, and centuries of European hate make determined winners.

If the US Congress is all but unanimously behind you-you're bought and sold. As it was, as it is, and...


Fahrettin Tahir - 1/5/2009

Actually the European Union has systematically been using the European Justice system to force Turkey to obey its orders on a lot of foreign policy issues, from Cyprus to the Kurdish problem, an Armenian issue waiting fot the right political opportunity, so it ist not correct to claim that israel is the only "victim" of European ordered justice. In its present form this is a late colonialist instrument, it never works against the Europeans themselves. Neither against England with its bloodshed in Iraq nor against those who financed the PKK terrorism against Turkey not even the Cypriot Greeks who tried not so very far ago to terrorise the Turks to leave the Island. This was already the problem with the Haag Conventions of 1899 and 1907 which banned occupiers from committing atrocities against the population of occupied countries, like forcing them to move out or mass murder to change the demographic balance. In 1912 the Allies of WW I encouraged Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia to invade European Turkey, at that point the whole of what is now northern Greece, southern Bulgaria and Yugoslavia and slaughter and force out the moslem majority. It appears this was “liberated” and not occupied, so all atrocities were legitimate. It did not really help the allies who then started WW I over previously Turkish Bosnia, tens of millions died because justice was “what serves the (right) race”, as the Nazis later formulated what was being done long before they came along. 90 years later, the Balkans continue to bleed.
When “justice” is just another instrument in warfare, you either shoot back or you do not. What is proportionate of somebody kills your child?
That said, my opinion on Israels Wall: The point of critique is that it is not along the 1947 border but designed to include settlements built after 1967. Also the Israelis seem to expect the Palestinians to react to being bombed like the Germans did, by pacifism. They however get ever angrier feeling the Jews enjoy killing them. This is unfortunately leading to increasing anti semitism in the whole moslem world.
I am not saying I have a solution.

Elliott Aron Green - 1/5/2009

This article is very relevant to current events. What I wonder about is why none of the law warriors that Dr Cravatts mentions have thought to complain about the clear violation of the law of war by Hamas in its refusal to allow Red Cross [ICRC] access to captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. That is two and 1/2 years of captivity without ICRC access. Here, I would also fault the Israeli govt, especially the foreign ministry, for not making the continued captivity of Shalit [if he is still alive] a demand for fulfillment of international law.

As to Butler, he ought to know that the Hamas has a clearly genocidal aim in regard to Jews as a whole. See their charter, esp. Article 7 which ends with the medieval Muslim fable about Muslims killing Jews at Judgement Day.

I find Butler's seizure on the numbers of Israelis killed versus Gaza Arabs killed in the present war to be offensive. Did he ever consider the disproportion between the number of German civilians killed in the bombings of Hamburg and Dresden with the number of Britishers killed in the blitz of London, and the Battle of Britain generally, and by the buzz bombs and V2s?? I believe that many more Germans were killed. Likewise, the number of American civilians killed vis-a-vis the number of Japanese civilians killed in the war, as at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet, the Germans and Japanese were the aggressors in that war. In fact, thousands of Israelis have been killed in Hamas terrorism since the gang was founded in December 1987. In the present conflict with Hamas five Israelis, not one as you say, have been killed. Three out of the five were civilians, one of those a woman.
Ironically, one of the Israelis killed was an Arab, Hani al-Mahdi, a construction worker working in Ashqelon.

james joseph butler - 1/5/2009

The ratio of Palestinian to Israeli dead in the current Gaza conflict is well over 100 to 1. You have no problem with that. Did you consider the Vietnam War just? Over two million Vitnamese dead, 58,000 Americans, for what? Are the beaches of Tel-Aviv that much better than Coney Island? Oh, I'm sorry Yahweh said it was all yours. Well then you should've moved to Brooklyn or Kiev.