Monday, November 3, 2014

The Academic Intifada?


This is from an academic lawyer at the University of Edinburgh. 

As we know, the Clown of Ramallah recently accused the Jews of genocide thereby once again proving that Israel has no partner for peace. It is extraordinary to have to note that there are people in our universities who have been tasked to know about these things as a matter of law and who actually take this spiteful bad faith slur seriously.  

Look at this piece about "this summer's Israeli offensive".

That's the starting point. Anything before or to the side never happened and what ever misery came after is the result of a crime that only an expert can define. 

Not a word about the attack on Israel. The starting point is a military attack by Israel on civilians.  At face value there is no distinction between a Hamas fighter killed in a war launched by Hamas out of the blue and an innocent civilian caught in the backwash. Their role as "Palestinians" martyred in the war with the Jews defines them now. It is taken as read that the war was the Jews' fault. Or if the war was not their fault then they should not have defended themselves. Or they should have defended themselves more nicely; or something. 

Proportionate is the word of last resort. The last lie in the stitch up.

Define it please. They never do.

How Scotland would behave if suddenly confronted by a vicious army of trained zealots fuelled by some crazy Dark Ages ideology jumping out of tunnels at random while shelling the towns from the rear? 

It would not be a long dig back into Scottish history to note how Scots behave with a fraction of the provocation and none of the threat. 

If we cannot hold Scotland up as the standard on proportionality, with a straight face, who can we? England? Give us a break. Alan Dershowitz has asked Ed Miliband some fair questions that the British may feel  also have a right to know.   France? Sure. Ask the Rainbow Warrior. New Zealand?

New Zealand has pretty much evolved into a gutless excuse for a country with a moral spine bypass, so who knows,  NZ may be proportionate and allow its population to be terrified and murdered rather than respond, if faced like something out of Gaza.  

You can only daydream on what the NZ national defence strategy would be. Hand out Kiwi passports to the population of Gaza and register them  with the Australian social security system?

As NZ was among the first to respond to the war against the Nazis and fought on gamely until the end, on that account alone, the offspring have one free pass. 

Norway perhaps. It has form. The country managed to Quisling out of World War Two and there is every sign the Norwegians are once again leading the world fascist appeasement and surrender campaign.

Here is a definition.  Proportionate is what it takes to put an end to the violence and get the country back to normal as soon as possible and with the minimum impact on life and limb; especially life and limb of those in the forces deployed to end the violence, and the life and limb of civilians and most especially the country's own civilians. 

Operation Protective Edge is at the leading edge of the meaning of proportionate. Polls indicate most Israelis feel that Protective Edge did not go far enough. The opportunity could have been taken to root out Hamas once and for all, leave Gaza a vacuum doubtless to be warred over by the PA, Islamic Jihad ISIS and whatever else pops out of the ground like a jihadist killer on a mission.

That is proportionate.  It is about as proportionate as it gets.

It is a sad fact of history that the most inhumane thing to do to the "Palestinians" is to leave them to themselves. There is nothing else for it. 
The role of Hamas, the rockets, the threats, the attack tunnels and serviced bunkers so elaborate it would impress a James Bond villain, the actual attacks, the kidnappings, the Hamas ordered murder of those kids, the relentless rocket attacks, hundreds a day, the pain of everyday life under the dome, the call up ,... all of this not relevant as it does not fit the narrative and is immaterial to whatever manner of war crime the Israelis are guilty of by prearrangement of the Russell Tribunal, the "international law" industry  or whatever other abomination of the law that has been petrodollared out of near extinction for a purpose.

Not a word of course about the sixty six young men who lost their lives that summer defending their homes and homeland because one of the branches of raging Islamic imperialism decided that a sudden vicious attack on the Jews was the thing to do that summer and would do wonders for its self esteem, standing and survival. 

Not a word about the murdered civilians.

The starting point for this legal academic is the crime. But what crime? Take out self defence, as this legal academic appears to have done, or at least admits only partially and grudgingly, like a Glasgow condom, then anything short of submission to massacre is a war crime.   

There is a crisis in our universities. There is a crisis in the law. We see it everyday.

The full piece is here.

First a response as published on the thread. Note the IDF reckoning (the only source known not to by tainted by the Hamas propaganda machine) in excess of 2,100 Gazans were killed in the most recent Hamas attack of whom 55% were civilians. 

What did this summer’s Israeli offensive amount to? EPA

When, in armed conflict, civilians are killed on a large scale, when schools are attacked and children are orphaned, charges of genocide are often not far behind. In discussions about Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli military attack on Gaza earlier this year, accusations of genocide have therefore played an important role.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, recently accused Israel of carrying out a “war of genocide”. The National Lawyers Guild of America raised the charge of genocide in a letter to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requesting that the matter be investigated. Genocide was also investigated in a special session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which resulted, a few weeks ago, in one of the most detailed assessments of Operation Protective Edge to date. It is a crime for which the international authorities can impose a sentence of life imprisonment (as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda did on several occasions following the 1994 atrocities in that country).

Tribunal gathering

The Russell Tribunal was originally set up by Bertrand Russell in the 1960s to investigate allegations of US crimes in Vietnam. It is not a court of law, but its jury contains prominent legal minds (including Prof John Dugard, Prof Richard Falk and Michael Mansfield QC), as well as people who have made their mark in other fields of life (including the film director Ken Loach, the writer Paul Laverty and the author and activist Christiane Hessel).

Ken Loach and Roger Waters EPA
Click to enlarge

I was invited to address the tribunal on the legal elements of genocide (but was not involved in the drafting of its findings). For some, it may have been a somewhat surprising presentation. Lawyers have traditionally given genocide a very restrictive interpretation – and a good part of my talk thus dealt with the reason why applying it to the situation in Gaza is not straightforward. To my mind, “genocide” is simply not the correct term for the Israeli offensive.

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