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Friday, August 31, 2007

Human Rights Watch's amusing advice for Iran and Syria

Human Rights Watch just published a report that shows, not surprisingly, that Hezbollah targeted Israeli civilians during the Lebanon war. Even though this was fairly obvious, HRW used a couple of interesting methods to prove it - for example, Hezbollah's urging Arabs on August 9 in Haifa to evacuate shows that they were clearly targeting civilians and only wanted to kill the Jews.

One of the stranger sections of the report was in HRW's recommendations section:
We urge the governments of Syria and Iran, as longtime supporters and reported arms suppliers to Hezbollah, to:
• Not permit the transfer to Hezbollah of weapons, ammunition, and other
matériel, including rockets, that have been documented or credibly alleged to
have been used in violation of international humanitarian law in Lebanon or
Israel. Do not provide funding or support for the acquisition or use of such
weapons in the absence of concrete steps by Hezbollah to ensure their use in
a manner consistent with international humanitarian law.
Use their influence to ensure that Hezbollah forces do not undertake attacks
that violate international humanitarian law. Impress upon Hezbollah that its
obligation to respect humanitarian law does not depend on reciprocity;
violations by Israel do not justify its own violations.
Condemn attacks not only by Israel but also by Hezbollah when they target
civilians or cause indiscriminate harm to civilians.
Disingenuously, HRW pretends that Iranian and Syrian support for Hezbollah is only for the most peaceful and pure purposes. Asking them to use their influence to pressure Hezbollah to act within human rights law, when the entire purpose of Hezbollah is to act as a terror proxy for those states, must have required world-class mental acrobatics.