Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I mentioned last week that the anti-Israel crowd has latched onto a new meme: that Israel, under international law, has no right to defend itself.

One of the most-quoted "proofs" of this comes from Noura Erekat, writing in Jadaliyya, in a post that was "liked" nearly 20,000 times on Facebook.

Her argument is similar to John Dugard's argument I had responded to, claiming the nonsense that Israel is occupying Gaza and therefore cannot claim self-defense against an area that is occupied. As with Dugard, her own words prove otherwise:

Occupation Law is part of the laws of armed conflict; it contemplates military occupation as an outcome of war and enumerates the duties of an occupying power until the peace is restored and the occupation ends. To fulfill its duties, the occupying power is afforded the right to use police powers, or the force permissible for law enforcement purposes. As put by the U.S. Military Tribunal during the Hostages Trial (The United States of America vs. Wilhelm List, et al.)

International Law places the responsibility upon the commanding general of preserving order, punishing crime, and protecting lives and property within the occupied territory. His power in accomplishing these ends is as great as his responsibility.
Erekat, who teaches international law, allows that an occupying power is allowed to use police powers, and her own quote defines police powers as "preserving order, punishing crime, and protecting lives and property within the occupied territory." This is true: and it is proof that Israel cannot be occupying Gaza, because Israel does not have the ability to perform the duties required of an occupier, of setting up functioning security and judicial structure. By definition, if a state cannot exercise that level of control over an area, it cannot be considered an occupier. (This is derived from the Hague conventions, article 43.)

International law does not require a nation to be placed in an impossible situation where it cannot defend itself, either by policing or by war, but Noura Erekat and her ilk are actively trying to create a legal framework where Israel, and only Israel, is not legally allowed to defend itself under any circumstances (except, ironically, by forcibly conquering Gaza which would involve a death toll in the tens of thousands.)

The real agenda is clear. None of these people care about human rights. They simply want Israel to be destroyed.

This can be seen on a much more basic level by this recent incident in Sweden:

Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven has been flooded with thousands of negative comments after he posted on Facebook that "Israel has the right to defend itself" in a post about the ongoing Gaza crisis.

The election favourite posted the comment on Saturday night and within minutes he was on the receiving end of angry replies from users of the social network.

"Israel must respect international law but obviously has the right to defend itself. It is a huge tragedy that the violence escalates," Löfven wrote.

Most of the comments were critical of the political party leader's stance with one user posting; "Israel kills right now Palestinian children every day. Is that self-defence?"

Several other people said they had no intention in voting for Löfven in September following the remark.

Löfven's comment appears to clash with a statement released by the Social Democrats' foreign policy spokesperson Urban Ahlin. In a press release issued on Thursday Ahlin stated that the party needed to be clear in its reaction against the Israeli bombing of Gaza.

He also condemned the Hamas rocket fire against Israel and called for a peaceful two-state solution.

"It's very surprising (what Löfven wrote) as it differs from what the party's foreign policy spokesperson Urban Ahlin said the other day," Ulf Bjereld, a professor of political scientist at Gothenburg University, told Aftonbladet.
Yes, saying that Israel has the right to defend itself while respecting international law is considered hugely controversial to large swaths of Sweden's citizenship.

This is a human rights issue.

The entire purpose of the State of Israel was to afford Jews the right to defend themselves. Noura Erekat and John Dugard and the Swedish protesters and many, many others want that right to be stripped away, and to bring back the old days where Jews could be slaughtered without protest.

(h/t Yoel)



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