Israel To Seek Change in Law of War to Block War Crimes Investigation

225px-BenjaminNetanyahuIsrael’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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12 thoughts on “Israel To Seek Change in Law of War to Block War Crimes Investigation”

  1. “Serious countries have to think about adapting the laws of war in the age of terrorism and guerrilla warfare. If the terrorists believe they have a license to kill by choosing to kill from behind civilian lines, that’s what they’ll do again and again. What exactly is Israel supposed to do?” Netanyahu said.

    He is right. Strict application of rules drawn up with “conventional warfare between nation states” in mind, leads to absurd results when applied to newer situations such as Gaza. They do translate into a recipe for launching murderous attacks on civilians of a neighbouring state which that state is not allowed legally to respond to.

    Do you really want to defend that? Where does it lead, if not to more and more attacks on civilians, launched with impunity, with no fear of reprisal. In the long run, that’s a far worse result for the world than allowing the state under attack to defend itself so long as it is with the minimum force required to achieve a successful defence.

  2. This guy wants to take every Jew on Earth with him if he can’t have his way. This is what happens when the state is in bloodthirsty mode, having melded with fundamentalists and redoubling power. Sound familiar?

  3. “We are struggling to delegitimise the ongoing attempts to delegitimise Israel.”

    Israel has been doing an outstanding job of ‘delegitimizing’ itself for decades.

  4. “”It is in the interest of anyone fighting terrorism. We must give the IDF (Israeli army) the full backing to have the freedom of action,” Barak said.”

    Hmm … how can we launch a diplomatic campaign in support of drawing and quartering? The means justify the ends … ????

  5. “Orwellian-Machiavellianism.”

    I do not think those mean what you think they mean.

  6. Those Israelis who personally identify with the Holocaust should know that when Israeli policy rejects the, agony-authored, International Law of War, they defile every tragic account that contributed to a conviction in the Nuremberg Trials.


  7. I don’t believe that the neo-con philosophy came from here and moved to Israel. I believe it has always been there. There are factions in many countries from US, to Canada, to Israel, to the UK.

  8. A law of retroactive immunity. Sounds Cheneyesque–and a tad Machiavellian. Just think of all the crimes a government could commit and not be prosecuted for.

    I’m sure Former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey might be willing to help draft the changes to the international laws of war.

  9. Hmm, Sounds like former Federal Prosecutors are trying to seek justification of wrongs committed. Sounds good to me. Now if I could have cases not charged because of having the laws changed….

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