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Amnesia International: Forgetting the Real Culprits in Gaza

Amnesia International: Forgetting the Real Culprits in Gaza
Justus Reid Weiner and Dimitri Teresh  |  Collective Punishment

Amnesty International’s briefing paper is replete with references to international law, without once pointing to any specific provision being violated. Flogging the purportedly dire humanitarian situation distorts the overall picture of Gaza and forgets the actual cause for the clearly less-than-optimal circumstances in which Gazans live.

Reasons not to join the International Criminal Court in The Hague
Alan Baker  |  International Law

While it is highly unlikely that the Security Council would call for criminal action by the court against Israel’s leaders, even without the court’s having jurisdiction over Israel, Israel has nevertheless much to lose by joining the International Criminal Court at the present juncture and in the present international atmosphere, since it would open itself much more directly and openly to claims against it.

Gaza Fact-Finding Mission: Responses to the Goldstone Report

Gaza Fact-Finding Mission: Responses to the Goldstone Report
Editor  |  Gaza Fact-Finding Mission

On September 15, 2009, the Gaza Fact-Finding Mission, headed by Justice Goldstone, released a 575-page report in which it analyzed the military actions during Operation Cast Lead, also known as the Israel-Gaza war of December-January 2008-2009. The report has been criticized as being one-sided, out of context, and unprofessional. Presented here are studies which address both the report and Israeli actions in Gaza. In addition, critical, introspective editorials and selected news articles are offered.

Video Available from Conference

Video Available from Conference
Editor  |  International Humanitarian Law

The video recording from the conference, Hamas, the Gaza War and Accountability under International Law is now available.

Summaries from International Law Conference
Editor  |  International Humanitarian Law

On June 18, 2009, the Global Law Forum hosted a conference entitled Hamas, the Gaza War and Accountability under International Law. It featured many prominent speakers who discussed issues under international humanitarian law concerning non state actors, proportionality and self-defense. This blog features summaries of their presentations.

International Committee of the Red Cross's Bias
Avi Bell  |  International Committee of the Red Cross

Why is it that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) feels so free to violate its mission when it comes to matters related to Israel? In its statements lobbying for the diplomatic advancement of Hamas, the ICRC is not being impartial and neutral, and it is certainly not sticking to an exclusively humanitarian mission. It is, in fact, being exactly the opposite: partisan, biased and political (rather than humanitarian).

On War Crimes in Gaza
Avi Bell  |  Gaza

While the human rights organizations are pointing an accusing finger at Israel due to the operation in Gaza, according to international law it is precisely Hamas that committed war crimes. The widespread accusation regarding disproportional use of force does not meet the test of international law that places the emphasis on intention rather than results.

Hamas' War Crimes
Avi Bell  |  Gaza

I have yet to see any of the major NGO's or other players in the internation law field turn any serious attention to Hamas war crimes and other violations of international law committed during the current fighting in Gaza. To fill in the gap, I will, as I get to it, list reports of Hamas war crimes, primarily as reported by media outlets outside of Israel. I will update the list as I run across items, and will be delighted to get emails from readers with further suggestions. Just to get things rolling, here's a start.

Averting Abuse of Universal Jurisdiction
Irit Kohn  |  Universal Jurisdiction

Starting in the early 1990s, universal jurisdiction spread rapidly without a comprehensive public debate. This resulted in people standing trial in a country that had no connection to the suspects, victims, or place of the crime, before judges that had no international law experience. The entrance of politics into the universal jurisdiction process may be seen in many actions brought by NGOs that are supported financially by special interest groups or even states for the benefit of their own agendas.

What Khalidi doesn’t want you to know about Gaza
Avi Bell  |  Gaza

In an op-ed in the New York Times about the Gaza fighting (What You Don't Know About Gaza, January 7, 2009), Columbia professor and former PLO flack Rashid Khalidi demonstrated why President-elect Barack Obama took pains to disassociate himself during his campaign from the campus radical. In the New York Times article, Khalidi claims that he is trying to acquaint his audience with what he claims are five unknown "facts" about Gaza; in fact, each of the facts is a myth. Together with the incredible omissions --- Khalidi never mentions that Hamas is a terrorist organization and legally labeled as such by the US, Europe, Canada and Israel, or that Hamas is explicitly anti-Semitic and calls for eternal war against the Jews, or that Hamas explicitly aims to destroy Israel and rejects any possible peaceful compromise --- the article’s fabrications once again demonstrate why Khalidi’s reputation as a disingenuous anti-Israel propagandist is well-deserved.

Rivkin and Brown on Libel Tourism
Avi Bell  |  Law

David Rivkin and Bruce Brown have a fascinating op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on libel tourism.

Legal Blogs on the Fighting in Gaza
Avi Bell  |  Gaza

There are a number of interesting posts (as well as an op-ed) by legal scholars (Kevin Jon Heller, Eric Posner, Alan Dershowitz, Ole Pedersen and Marko Milanovic, so far) on the application of the rule of proportionality to Israel's battle against Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Everyone rejects the bizarre notion being pushed by Amnesty International, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy (then speaking as rotating president of the European Union) that Israel’s use of greater military power in its defense than used by Hamas in attacking Israel (and the greater number of Palestinian casualties) is illegally disproportionate.

Israel and the Egyptian-Gazan Border
Avi Bell  |  Gaza

CAMERA has put out an excellent summary of the status of border controls along the Egyptian-Palestinian border of Gaza, noting that, not surprisingly, the border is controlled by Egypt and the Palestinians (subject to European monitoring), without an Israeli presence, and has been acknowledged as such by senior Palestinians. This is exceptionally inconvenient for those who want to argue, contrary to the plain facts, that Israel controls all entry and exit into Gaza and therefore “occupies” Gaza.

JCPA Briefing Paper on International Law and the Fighting in Gaza
Justus Reid Weiner and Avi Bell  |  Gaza

Israel has also gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent the emergence of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, having established the “Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA),” where representatives of the IDF and government ministries work to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Notwithstanding its legal right to refuse to provide any aid, Israel continues to provide fuel, medical care and other assistance to the population of Gaza.

Universal Jurisdiction
Avi Bell  |  Universal Jurisdiction

The problem with universal jurisdiction is that, well, it's universal. Thus, what Kenneth Roth hails as the "emerging system of international justice" is pushing Danish cartoonists into Jordanian courtrooms to face charges of violating international human rights law by "insulting the Prophet."

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