Monday, June 10, 2024

  • Monday, June 10, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ken Roth claims claims that the Israelis who entered the Nuseirat camp dressed in civilian clothing were guilty of the crime of perfidy:

"Disguising combatants in civilian clothing in order to commit hostilities constitutes perfidy," a war crime. .Israel's rescue team reportedly entered Nuseirat in a furniture truck "driven by a female soldier in civilian clothes."

An Israeli military spokesman "declined to say whether" the soldiers who conducted the rescue operation "were disguised as Palestinian civilians, a tactic that Israeli special forces have previously used." That's because it is the war crime of perfidy.
Roth's source, strangely, is an article in  a US Navy law journal  and not a link to actual international law. The article makes clear that it is only the opinion of the author. Why does Roth not link to actual international law?

Because it is not at all clear cut that pretending to be a civilian during a hostage rescue mission is perfidious. 

A 2014 monograph from the Israel Democracy Institute from 2014 looks at exactly this issue in great detail. Roth's blanket statement that this was perfidy is not accurate at all, but it is a complex question, depending on the exact nature of the incident and who does what. 

But it is clear that Roth doesn't really care about perfidy, and just wants to insult Israel, And we have proof from an incident in Colombia in 2008. That incident was far closer to classic perfidy than anything Israel did on Saturday.

On 2 July 2008, the Colombian government directed a daring operation took place at Apaporis River in the department of Guaviare to free several hostages including Íngrid Betancourt. The aim was to motivate the leader of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia)  known as Cesar that the hostages he held were to be moved to another hostage camp by helicopter, with the help of an international humanitarian NGO, so that negotiations could begin for their release. The Colombians decided to pose as an NGO ..

On Tuesday two helicopters painted white and orange and with a stylized red bird made up of wavy red lines above two curved branches of blue leaves on the sides of the helicopter which disguised it as a fictitious NGO left a military base in an Andean mountain valley and settled in a jungle clearing.  Another helicopter was carrying Colombian agents wearing Che Guevara T-shirts which landed to pick up the hostages. On board were Colombian military intelligence agents plus a doctor and two nurses. The rescuers included an agent, pretending to be Italian, another supposedly from the Middle East and an Australian with English ‘identical to Crocodile Dundee’. Two others wore Che Guevara T-shirts. The NGO group was accompanied by a TV crew of two who were Colombian commandos. 

15 hostages were rescued from the FARC and two guerrillas including the commander who was liable for the hostages were captured. 
So we have Colombian armed forces posing as FARC rebels, as humanitarian aid NGO employees, and as journalists, all as part of a successful ruse to fool Cesar into handing over the hostages. 

By any measure this is far more perfidious than what Israel did.

Did Human Rights Watch, headed by Ken Roth at the time, call out Colombia for its perfidy? Not at all. It said, "Human Rights Watch today welcomed reports that 15 hostages that had been held for several years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been rescued. Human Rights Watch called on the FARC to immediately and unconditionally release hundreds of others still being held...In light of reports that there were no civilian casualties, the Colombian security forces should be commended for carrying out an effective mission that respected international humanitarian law.  "

HRW declared the rescue operation that relied on feigning protected status of journalists, NGO workers and also the perfidy of pretending to be fellow rebels in their dress and actions followed international law. 

So why was that legal, according to Roth, but not the IDF action to rescue hostages? 

In fact, there are a number of legal analyses trying to figure out why world governments and NGOs all seemed to give Colombia a pass. The best explanation given is that everyone hated FARC so the ends justified the means. 

As always, the rules for Israel are different than for everyone else.

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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 19 years and 40,000 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.


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