Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to be morphing into George W. Bush. Faced with findings of a respected former war crimes prosecutor that Israel may have committed war crimes in its Gaza offensive, the prime minister instructed his government to seek changes to the international laws of war to retroactively justify any actions taken in Gaza.
The prime minister’s office announced that “the prime minister instructed the relevant government bodies to examine a worldwide campaign to amend the international laws of war to adapt them to the spread of global terrorism.”
Netanyahu justified the post hoc move in truly Bushian terms: “We are struggling to delegitimise the ongoing attempts to delegitimise Israel.”
Israel’s position in resisting the war crimes investigation is undermining the very foundation of international law and the law of war. Israel has a right to defend itself, but the report is challenging the specific means used in the offensive. I am amazed at how transparent and counterproductive this campaign is for Israel. To seek a retroactive change in the law of war puts the country on the wrong side of history.
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