Friday, March 20, 2009

Israel Accused Of War Crimes


A United Nations human rights envoy has accused Israel of war crimes for failing to distinguish between civilian and military targets during the recent incursion into Gaza.

The accusation comes in an annual report issued by Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories.

Falk says in the report that it is "inherently unlawful" to launch an attack when civilian and military targets can't be distinguished.

There are several problems with this observation, however.

First, the Palestinian combatants were and continue to attack Israel from within the civilian population.

Second, Israel isn't facing a uniformed military opponent, making the distinction that Falk seeks nearly impossible.

Third, virtually every modern day war results in civilian casualties. War is no longer fought on designated battlegrounds like Gettysburg, where civilians could stand on a ridge and watch without fear of becoming victims.

My question is, does this report actually encourage Hamas to ramp up its attacks on Israel? Obviously the conflict between the Israelis and Hamas has as much a publicity component as a military one. One could suggest that Hamas can now increase the number of rockets it fires into Israel. If Israel doesn't respond the attacks can continue with impunity. If it does, it can be accused of war crimes.

Falk reaches the conclusion because Israel's unrelenting attacks on densely populated areas gave civilians no chance of escape.

We talk about issues like this and more weekdays at 5 PM New York time on News Talk Online on


Consumer Kim said...

I am tired of the blame for Middle East casualties falling on Israel. Israel defends herself, and she is labeled a terrorist. Israel protects her turf, and she is also labeled a terrorist. Hamas and Hezbollah are the terrorists here, and while I do not condone innocent killings of children and others not involved in these terrorist activities, Israel needs to be allowed -- and not criticized for it -- to defend herself to the best of her ability.

I agree with Gary's observations and commentary on this one completely. And I wonder, when will we have peace in the Middle East? What is the best way to reach this goal? I am not sure anyone really knows how to answer these questions anymore, but negotiating with terrorists will never work. I am sure of that!

Anonymous said...

What an incredible surprise that a member of the UN Human Rights watch is criticising Israel (AGAIN). Say it's not so Gary!!
With the extremely laughable Durban 2 Human Rights conference due to take place next month it's not surprising that they have started propogandising more broadly (especially since they have had to moderate their pre-conference statements that villify Israel and serve only to protect Islam)
The media widely advertised what they deemed to be GROSS ATROCITIES during Operation Cast Lead, such as the shelling of the UN school in the Gaza - what they failed to do was make an apology for their miss-reporting when it was proven that this shelling DID NOT occur. They did not mention that humanitarian aid was still flowing into the Gaza. Nor did they mention that the areas that were due to come under attack were leafleted and texted prior to any attacks taking place. They fail to mention that what the use of white phospherous was used within acceptable limits and for the purposes of illumination, as attested to by Red Cross officials.
No, all of these things were ignored......... after all, we all know that the UN is anti Israel and bows down to the oil rich Middle Eastern Bloc. If the UN can't do a better job than this why do we keep paying to keep them going?
Israel has fought for its survival from day 1, it will continue to fight, it has no alternative.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The UN makes another false, pointless (beyond merely bolstering anti-Zionist comradery) and ignorant statement. Surprise, surprise...

Why do we continue to host these ignoramuses? Let some other nation (and, hey, how 'bout a nation that isn't constantly referred to as "the worst offender?) host these "dignitaries?" Let some other country have some fun with the crimes they commit under the protection of diplomatic impunity - oops, I mean immunity.

Why are we hosting them? They need to go. Someone, or a group of 'someones' need to grow a pair and toss these idiots out of our borders.

nancy bas mo 3agram said...

I believe that both sides are commiting war crimes. Like Falk said, we should send someone to see what's going on there live, and then take action, because in the end, it's mainly the innocent people who are seriosuly being affected.