Thursday, July 01, 2010

  • Thursday, July 01, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,
In a brilliant monograph written by Asher Fredman for NGO Monitor and JCPA, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch's seemingly factual statements regarding the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) are examined - and found to be sorely lacking.

Fredman goes through the NGOs' writings concerning Operation Cast Lead and shows that their conclusions concerning the use of white phosphorus and UAVs do not reflect international law as it is (lex lata) , but rather how they would like international law to be (lex ferenda.)

Excerpts from the summary:

It is shown that the NGOs’ [1] descriptions of the means and methods of warfare contain numerous unwarranted assertions and unsubstantiated claims. In other cases, the NGOs present unrealistic depictions of the nature of modern combat, leading them to problematic evaluations of Israeli actions. It appears that these result at least in part from a lack of expertise in relevant areas.

From the legal perspective, it will be argued that the NGOs’ presentation of several key LOAC principles is inaccurate or incomplete. In other instances, AI and HRW present controversial interpretations of LOAC treaties as widely accepted customary law. This suggests that the NGOs may be engaged in “standard setting” [2] rather than in objective evaluations.

On white phosphorus (WP):

Among the findings are that:

LOAC, as reflected in state declarations and practice, recognizes the right of a commander to consider military needs, particularly force protection, when evaluating what actions and precautions are feasible in a given situation.

HRW’s claim that Israel could feasibly have used a different type of smoke obscurant to the same effect as WP is contradicted on several counts by military sources and weapons experts.

AI and HRW's arguments regarding the feasibility of using other means and methods to deliver WP are unsubstantiated and based upon information unavailable to the NGOs. Suggested alternatives may, in fact, have posed a greater danger to civilians.

Contrary to the claim that Israel’s use of WP was indiscriminate and hence unlawful per se, its use was “directed at a specific military objective” and therefore lawful under LOAC.

On the use of UAVs:

Among the findings are that:

The evidence AI and HRW present to establish their claims regarding the weapons platforms and munitions allegedly used is rendered questionable by military and defense industry sources. In a number of instances, the witness testimony relied upon heavily by the NGOs is contradicted by widely published media reports or the NGOs themselves.

AI and HRW present an unrealistic depiction of the factors influencing targeting decisions on the modern battlefield. They fall prey to the “allure of precision” that leads “those beyond the battlefield [to] impose unreasonable demands on the military or postulate norms that go beyond treaty or custom” (Schmitt, 2004, p. 466).

Israeli actions are judged based on hindsight, in contrast to LOAC standards as affirmed by the declarations of 13 countries when ratifying Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions.
The NGOs misrepresent LOAC definitions of legitimate military objectives. On the basis of this misrepresentation, they presume the absence of legitimate military objectives in the vicinity of a strike.

Once presuming the absence of legitimate military objectives, the NGOs assume that civilians injured in a strike were deliberately targeted. This allows them to ignore LOAC’s recognition of the possibility and lawfulness of proportional collateral damage in attacks on military objectives.

The findings of this study indicate that at least in their reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, AI and HRW’s reports contain many factual inaccuracies and problematic presentations of international law. It is therefore suggested that AI and HRW, as well as other NGOs dealing with similar issues, carefully evaluate their areas of competency, and ensure that factual and legal assertions are made with the proper degree of expertise. It is further suggested that the NGOs take steps to maintain standards of objectivity and ensure that ideological predilections do not color their analyses. When claiming to evaluate the lawfulness of a party’s actions, the NGOs must not conflate lex lata (the law as it exists) with their preferred lex ferenda (what the law should be).
As I showed in AI's contradictory and HRW's bogus definitions of "occupation."

Policy-makers, diplomats, and journalists should more carefully scrutinize NGO-generated information. Subjecting NGO reports and statements to careful analysis will help ensure that these documents are produced at the highest standards. This would enable NGOs such as AI and HRW to most effectively fulfill their mission of promoting and protecting human rights.
Don't expect HRW or AI to respond in any substantial way. As we have seen, NGOs tend to get very shrill and defensive when light is shined on them.


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



Follow by Email



For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW hum Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion Opinon oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive