There was a kerfuffle recently when the International Committee of the Red Cross decided to make a Twitter thread about the violations of international law depicted in the fictional, excellent Israeli TV series Fauda.
Of course, people made fun of the ICRC for pretending that a fictional story is real.
But even more idiotic was Mondoweiss' take. The site outdid itself in its article about the incident in its sheer ignorance about, really, everything.
The writer, Jonathan Ofir, freely admits that he never saw the show. He then goes on to create a conspiracy theory that the people who responded to the ICRC tweet are a group of professional Israeli hasbarists who are part of a shadowy group:
The Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry under Gilad Erdan (who is now Israel’s UN Ambassador)– which has been the headquarters for the anti-BDS campaign, which included secret ‘black ops’ operations– has established an army of social media propagandists.
He's talking about Digitell, which is a very loose group of already-existing bloggers and pro-Israel activists who have met in person twice. I should know - I'm in the group. And while the ministry would love for us to have a unified strategy and messaging, we all still do whatever we want to, while sometimes consulting with others. (Ofir even proves that there was an inconsistency in messaging between the Zionist responses to the ICRC tweet, which undermines his entire argument.)
But Ofir really shows how little he knows when he adds his own non-expertise in international law to the discussion of why Fauda is so evil:
The central theme of Fauda is what is know in international law as Perfidy. ICRC provides the definition of Perfidy from standard International Humanitarian Law:Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with the intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy.In other words, it is about conducting a military operation under the guise of being a civilian, or impersonating an individual who is supposed to be offered special humanitarian protection. This act is dangerous also because it puts civilians and humanitarian workers at risk, as it creates a suspicion that they may be involved in the hostilities.Such perfidy is standard operating procedure for Israel.
For some reason, the ICRC didn't mention perfidy in its list of Fauda's violations of international law, but Ofir thinks he knows better.
Ofir has no clue.
When characters in Fauda go undercover, they are not acting as soldiers. They are acting as spies. And espionage is not against international law.
As the ICRC quotes US practice in its documentation on perfidy:
Customary international law does not … prohibit belligerents from using saboteurs, secret agents or other irregular forces feigning civilian status to attack legitimate military targets. Wear of civilian clothing during an attack, or during a spying or sabotage mission behind enemy lines, may subject combatants to punishment if captured by the enemy.
Spies do not have the protection of international law given to soldiers. Their risk is much greater, and if they are caught they can be executed if that is the law of the capturers.
How much ignorance can Mondoweiss fit in one article?