Peace Now ban in Israel for satire


This video from Israel is called Peace Now demo 011009 (during the Gaza war).

From the daily Haaretz in Israel:

15:18 26/10/2009

Peace Now director barred from Knesset after Borat-style video

By Haaretz Service

The Knesset speaker barred the director of Peace Now from entering the parliament on Monday, after activists from his left-wing group interviewed rightist MKs while posing as students.

Following the incident, Peace Now said it had wanted to make a “Borat-like” film to expose the lawmakers’ embarrassing remarks, referring to comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s alter ego, a clueless Kazakh journalist.

The group subsequently condemned the ban imposed on Yariv Oppenheimer.

“Peace Now rejects this attempt to punish the movement in the actual place that is supposed to guard the freedom of movement for all of society – whether left- or right-wing,” the organization said in a statement.

On Sunday, three Peace Now activists were arrested at the Knesset for asking to interview right-wing MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) while posing as students.

The three were released from custody shortly after the arrest, but a complaint was filed against them for impersonation and for trying to deceive an MK.

The Israeli military has admitted that it fired white phosphorus shells into a United Nations compound in Gaza where scores of civilians were seeking shelter during last year’s Operation Cast Lead: here.

HRW: IDF hasn’t proved it will thoroughly probe Gaza war: here.

Israel charges soldiers with misconduct in Gaza war: here.

10 thoughts on “Peace Now ban in Israel for satire

  1. Uri Avnery
    24.10.09

    “Where Have All the Friendships Gone…”

    ACCORDING TO a Chinese saying, if someone in the street tells you that you are drunk, you can laugh. If a second person tells you that you are drunk, start to think about it. If a third one tells you the same, go home and sleep it off.

    Our political and military leadership has already encountered the third, fourth and fifth person. All of them say that they must investigate what happened in the “Molten Lead” operation.

    They have three options:

    to conduct a real investigation.

    to ignore the demand and proceed as if nothing has happened.

    to conduct a sham inquiry.

    IT IS easy to dismiss the first option: it has not the slightest chance of being adopted. Except for the usual suspects (including myself) who demanded an investigation long before anyone in Israel had heard of a judge called Goldstone, nobody supports it.

    Among all the members of our political, military and media establishments who are now suggesting an “inquiry”, there is no one – literally not one – who means by that a real investigation. The aim is to deceive the Goyim and get them to shut up.

    Actually, Israeli law lays down clear guidelines for such investigations. The government decides to set up a commission of investigation. The president of the Supreme Court then appoints the members of the commission. The commission can compel witnesses to testify. Anybody who may be damaged by its conclusions must be warned and given the opportunity to defend themself. Its conclusions are binding.

    This law has an interesting history. Sometime in the 50s, David Ben-Gurion demanded the appointment of a “judicial committee of inquiry” to decide who gave the orders for the 1954 “security mishap”, also known as the Lavon Affair. (A false flag operation where an espionage network composed of local Jews was activated to bomb American and British offices in Egypt, in order to cause friction between Egypt and the Western powers. The perpetrators were caught.)

    Ben-Gurion’s request was denied, under the pretext that there was no law for such a procedure. Furious, Ben-Gurion resigned from the government and left his party. In one of the stormy party sessions, the Minister of Justice, Yaakov Shimshon Shapira, called Ben-Gurion a “fascist”. But Shapira, an old Russian Jew, regretted his outburst later. He drafted a special law for the appointment of Commissions of Investigation in the future. After lengthy deliberations in the Knesset (in which I took an active part) the law was adopted and has since been applied, notably in the case of the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

    Now I wholeheartedly support the setting up of a Commission of Investigation according to this law.

    THE SECOND option is the one proposed by the army Chief of Staff and the Minister of Defense. In America it is called “stonewalling”. Meaning: To hell with it.

    The army commanders object to any investigation and any inquiry whatsoever. They probably know why. After all, they know the facts. They know that a dark shadow lies over the very decision to go to war, over the planning of the operation, over the instructions given to the troops, and over many dozens of large and small acts committed during the operation.

    In their opinion, even if their refusal has severe international repercussions, the consequences of any investigation, even a phony one, would be far worse.

    As long as the Chief of Staff sticks to this position, there will be no investigation outside the army, whatever the attitude of the ministers. The army chief, who attends every cabinet meeting, is the largest figure in the room. When he announces that such and such is the “position of the army”, no mere politician present would dare to object.

    In the “Only Democracy in the Middle East”, the law (proposed at the time by Menachem Begin) stipulates that the Government as such is the Commander in Chief of the Israel Defense Forces. That is the theory. In practice, no decision at variance with the “position of the army” has ever been or will ever be adopted.

    The army claims to be investigating itself. Ehud Barak represents – willingly or unwillingly – this position. The cabinet has postponed dealing with the matter, and that’s where things stand today.

    ON THIS occasion, the spotlight should be turned on the least visible person in Israel: the Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, the ultimate Teflon-man. Nothing sticks to him. In this debate, as in all others, he just is not there.

    Everybody knows that Ashkenazi is a shy and modest man. He hardly ever speaks, writes or speechifies. On television, he merges into the background.

    This is how he looks to the public: an honest soldier, without tricks or ploys, who does his duty quietly, receives his orders from the government and fulfills them loyally. In this he differs from almost all his predecessors, who were boastful, publicity-crazy and loquacious. While most them came from famous elite units or the arrogant Air Force, he is a grey infantry man. The Duke of Wellington, seeing the huge amount of paperwork in his army, once exclaimed: “Soldiers should fight, not write!” He would have liked Ashkenazi

    But reality is not always what it seems. Ashkenazi plays a central role in the decision-making process. He was appointed after his predecessor, Dan Halutz, resigned after the failures of Lebanon War II. Under Ashkenazi’s leadership, new doctrines were formulated and put into action in the “Molten Lead” operation. I defined them (on my own responsibility) as “Zero Losses” and “Better to kill a hundred enemy civilians than to lose one of our own soldiers”. Since the Gaza war did not lead to a single soldier being put on trial, Ashkenazi must bear the responsibility for everything that happened there.

    If an indictment were issued by the International Court in The Hague, Ashkenazi would probably be accorded the place of honor as “Defendant No. 1”. No wonder that he objects to any outside investigation, as does Ehud Barak, who would probably occupy the No. 2 place.

    THE POLITICIANS who oppose (ever so quietly) the Chief of Staff’s position believe that it is impossible to withstand international pressure completely, and that some kind of an inquiry will have to be conducted. Since not one of them intends to hold a real investigation, they propose to follow a tried and trusted Israeli method, which has worked wonderfully hundreds of times in the past: the method of sham.

    A sham inquiry. Sham conclusions. Sham adherence to international law. Sham civilian control over the military.

    Nothing simpler than that. An “inquiry committee” (but not a Commission of Investigation according to the law) will be set up, chaired by a suitably patriotic judge and composed of carefully chosen honorable citizens who are all “one of us”. Testimonies will be heard behind closed doors (for considerations of security, of course). Army lawyers will prove that everything was perfectly legal, the National Whitewasher, Professor Asa Kasher, will laud the ethics of the Most Moral Army in the World. Generals will speak about our inalienable right to self-defense. In the end, two or three junior officers or privates may be found guilty of “irregularities”.

    Israel’s friends all over the world will break into an ecstatic chorus: What a lawful state! What a democracy! What morality! Western governments will declare that justice has been done and the case closed. The US veto will see to the rest.

    So why don’t the army chiefs accept this proposal? Because they are afraid things might not proceed quite so smoothly. The international community will demand that at least part of the hearings be conducted in open court. There will be a demand for the presence of international observers. And, most importantly: there will be no justifiable way to exclude the testimonies of the Gazans themselves. Things will get complicated. The world will not accept fabricated conclusions. In the end we will be in exactly the same situation. Better to stay put and brave it out, whatever the price.

    IN THE meantime, international pressure on Israel is increasing. Even now it has reached unprecedented proportions.

    Russia and China have voted in favor of the endorsement of the Goldstone report by the UN. The UK and France “did not take part in the vote”, but demanded that Israel conduct a real investigation. We have quarreled with Turkey, until now an important military ally. We have altercations with Sweden, Norway and a number of other friendly countries. The French Foreign Minister has been prevented from crossing into the Gaza Strip and is furious. The already cold peace with Egypt and Jordan has become several degrees colder. Israel is boycotted in many forums. Senior army officers are afraid to travel abroad for fear of arrest.

    This raises the question once more: can outside pressure have an impact on Israel?

    Certainly it can. The question is: what kind of pressure, what kind of impact?

    The pressure has indeed convinced several ministers that an inquiry committee for the Goldstone report has to be set up. But no one in the Israeli establishment – no one at all! – has raised the real question: Perhaps Goldstone is right? Except for the usual suspects, no one in the media, the Knesset or the government has asked: Perhaps war crimes have indeed been committed? The outside pressure has not forced such questions to be raised. They must come from the inside, from the public itself.

    The kind of pressure must also be considered. The Goldstone report has an impact on the world because it is precise and targeted: a specific operation, for which specific persons are responsible. It raises a specific demand: an investigation. It attacks a clear and well-defined target: war crimes.

    If we apply this to the debate about boycotting Israel: the Goldstone report may be compared to a targeted boycott on the settlements and their helpers, not an unlimited boycott of the State of Israel. A targeted boycott can have a positive impact. A comprehensive, unlimited boycott would – in my opinion – achieve the opposite. It would push the Israeli public further into the arms of the extreme Right.

    The struggle over the Goldstone report is now at its height. In Jerusalem, the rising energy of the waves can be clearly felt. Does this portend a tsunami?

    permlink: http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1255784867

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  2. Uri Avnery

    31.10.09

    Count Me Out

    A YEAR before the Oslo agreement, I had a meeting with Yasser Arafat in Tunis. He was full of curiosity about Yitzhak Rabin, who had just been elected Prime Minister.

    I described him as well as I could and ended with the words: “He is as honest as a politician can be.”

    Arafat broke into laughter, and all the others present, among them Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Abed-Rabbo, joined in.

     

    FOR THE sake of proper disclosure: I always liked Rabin as a human being. I especially liked some traits of his.

    First of all: his honesty. This is such a rare quality among politicians that it stood out like an oasis in the desert. His mouth and his heart were one, as far as is possible in political life. He did not lie when he could possibly avoid it.

    He was a decent human being. Witness the “dollar affair”: when his term as Israeli ambassador in Washington DC came to an end, his wife Leah left behind a bank account, contrary to Israeli law at the time. When it was discovered, he protected his wife by assuming personal responsibility. At the time, unlike today, “assuming responsibility” was not an empty phrase. He left the Prime Minister’s office.

    I liked even his most evident personality trait – his introversion. He was withdrawn, with few human contacts. Not a fellow-well-met back slapper, not one for lavishing compliments, indeed an anti-politician.

    Also, I liked the way he told people straight to the face what he thought of them. Some of his expressions, in juicy Hebrew, have become part of Israeli folklore. Such as “indefatigable intriguer” (about Shimon Peres), “propellers” (about the settlers, meaning electric fans which spin noisily without going anywhere), “garbage of weaklings” (about people leaving Israel for good).

    He had no small talk. In every conversation, he came to the point right at the start.

    His H

    One might imagine that these characteristics would alienate people. Quite to the contrary, people were attracted to him because of them. In a world of pretentious, garrulous, mendacious, back-slapping politicians, he was a refreshing rarity.

     

    MORE THAN anything else, I respected Rabin for his dramatic change of outlook at the age of 70. The man who had been a soldier since he was 18, who had fought Arabs all his life, suddenly became a peace-fighter. And not just a fighter for peace in general, but for peace with the Palestinian people, whose very existence had always been denied by the leaders of Israel.

    The public memory, one of the most effective instruments of the establishment, is trying nowadays to obliterate this chapter. Throughout the country one can buy postcards showing Rabin shaking hands with King Hussein at the signing of the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement, but it is almost impossible to find a card showing Rabin with Arafat at the Oslo agreement signing ceremony. Never happened.

    As I have recounted before, I was an eye-witness to his inner revolution. >From 1969 on, until after the Oslo agreement, we had a running debate about the Palestinian issue – at the Washington embassy, at parties where we met casually (generally at the bar), in the Prime Minister’s office and at his private home.

    In one 1969 conversation, he objected strenuously to any dealings with the Palestinians. One sentence imprinted itself upon my mind: “I want an open border, not a secure border” (a play of words in Hebrew). At the time, his former commander, Yigal Alon, was spreading the slogan “secure borders”, in order to justify extensive annexations of occupied territory. Rabin wanted an open border between Israel and the West Bank, which he intended to give back to King Hussein. After this conversation, I wrote him that the border would be open only if there was a Palestinian state on the other side, because then the economic realities would compel both states – Israel and Palestine – to maintain close relations.

    In 1975, after the start of my secret contacts with the PLO, I went to brief him (in accordance with the express wishes of the PLO). In the conversation that took place at the Prime Minister’s office, I tried to convince him to give up the “Jordanian option”, which I had always considered silly. He refused adamantly. “We must make peace with Hussein,” he told me. “After he has signed, I don’t care if the king is toppled.” Like Shimon Peres and many others, he entertained the illusion that the king would give up East Jerusalem.

    I told him that I could not follow the logic of this line of thought. Let’s imagine that the king signed and was then overthrown. What next? The PLO would take over a state extending from Tulkarm to the approaches of Baghdad, in which four Arab armies could easily assemble. Was that, I asked, what he wanted?

    In this conversation, too, one sentence imprinted itself on my mind: “I will not take the smallest step towards the Palestinians, because the first step would lead inevitably to the creation of a Palestinian state, and I don’t want that.” In the end he told me: “I oppose what you are doing, but I will not prevent you from meeting with them. If these meetings reveal things to you that you think the Israeli Prime Minister should know about, my door is open.” That was Rabin all over. The contacts, of course, broke the law.

    After that I brought him several messages from Arafat, conveyed to me by the PLO representative in London, Sa’id Hamami. Arafat proposed small mutual gestures. Rabin refused all of them.

    Consequently I was all the more impressed by Oslo. Later Rabin explained to me, one Shabbat at his private apartment, how he arrived there: King Hussein had resigned his responsibility for the West Bank. The “village leagues”, set up by Israel as pliant “representatives” of the Palestinians, were a dismal failure. As Minister of Defense he summoned local Palestinian leaders for individual consultations, and one after another they told him that their political address was in Tunis. After that, at the Madrid conference, Israel agreed to negotiate with a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation, but then the Jordanians told them that all Palestinian matters must be discussed with the Palestinian members alone. But at every meeting, the Palestinian delegates asked for a pause in order to call Tunis and get instructions from Arafat. Rabin’s conclusion: if all decisions are made by Arafat anyhow, why not talk with him directly?

    It has always been said that Rabin had an “analytical mind”. He did not have much of an imagination, but he viewed facts soberly, analyzed them logically and drew his conclusions.

     

    IF SO, why did the Oslo agreement fail?

    The practical reasons are easy to see. From the beginning, the agreement was build on shaky foundations, because it lacked the main thing: a clear definition of the final objective of the process.

    For Arafat it was self-evident that the agreed “interim stages” would lead to an independent Palestinian state in the whole of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with perhaps some minor exchanges of territory. East Jerusalem, including of course the Holy Shrines, was to become the capital of Palestine. The settlements would be dismantled. I am convinced that he would have been satisfied with a symbolic return of a limited number of refugees to Israel proper.

    That was Arafat’s price for giving up 78% of the country, and no Palestinian leader, present or future, could be satisfied with less.

    But Rabin’s aim was unclear, perhaps even to himself. At the time he was not yet ready to accept a Palestinian state. Absent an agreed destination, all the “interim phases” went awry. Every step caused new conflicts. (As I wrote at the time, when traveling from Paris to Berlin, one can stop at interim stations. When traveling from Paris to Madrid, one can also stop at interim stations – but they will be quite different ones.)

    Arafat was conscious of the faults of the agreement. He told his people that it was “the best possible agreement in the worst possible circumstances”. But he believed that the dynamics of the peace process would overcome the obstacles on the way. So did I. We were both wrong.

    After the signing, Rabin began to hesitate. Instead of rushing forwards to create facts, he dithered. This gave the opposing forces in Israel time to recoup from the shock, regroup and start a counterattack, which ended in his assassination.

    Perhaps this mistake could have been foreseen. Rabin was by nature a cautious person. He was conscious of the heavy responsibility that rested on his shoulders. He had no taste for drama, unlike Begin, nor was he blessed with a vivid imagination, like Herzl. For better and for worse, he lived in the real world. He had no idea how to change it, though he knew that he had to do just that.

     

    BUT THESE explanations are only the foam upon the waves. Deep under the surface, powerful currents were at work. They pushed Rabin off course and in the end they swallowed him.

    Rabin was a child of the classic Zionist ideology. He never rebelled against it. He carried in his body the genetic code of the Zionist movement, a movement whose aim from the beginning was to turn the Land of Israel into an exclusively Jewish state, which denied the very existence of the Arab Palestinian people and whose logic ultimately meant their displacement.

    Like most of his generation in the country, he absorbed this ideology with his mother’s milk, and was raised on it throughout. It shaped his ideas so thoroughly that he was not even aware of it. At the critical juncture of his life, he fell victim to an insoluble inner contradiction: his analytical mind told him to make peace with the Palestinians, to “give up” a part of the country and to dismantle the settlements, while his Zionist genetic heritage opposed this with all its might. That manifested itself visibly at the Oslo agreement signing ceremony: he offered his hand to Arafat because his mind commanded it, but all his body language expressed rejection.

    It is impossible to make peace without a basic mental and emotional commitment to peace. Impossible to change the direction of a historic movement without reassessing its history. Impossible for a leader to steer his people towards a total change (as Ataturk did in Turkey, for example) if he is not completely devoted to the change himself. Impossible to make peace with an enemy without understanding his truth.

    Rabin’s inner convictions continued to evolve after Oslo. Between him and Arafat, mutual respect grew. Perhaps he would have arrived, in his slow and cautious way, at the necessary mental change. The assassin and his handlers must have been afraid of this and decided to forestall it.

    Rabin’s failure will find its expression at the memorial rally next week at the very place where we witnessed his murder, 14 years ago. The main speakers will be two of the gravediggers of the Oslo agreement, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak, as well as Tzipi Livni and Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who belonged to the forces that created the climate for the murder. Rabin, I assume, will turn in his grave.

    Will I be there? Not me, thank you very much.

    permlink: http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1257023364

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  3. Belgian minister’s Gaza visit banned

    Israel: The Foreign Ministry has refused permission for the Belgian minister of co-operation to visit Gaza declaring that “such visits not only strengthen Hamas, but give it legitimacy.”

    Minister Charles Michel pointed out that Hamas was the democratically elected government of Gaza, and that his visit was “intended to express support for the population.”

    Mr Michel added that he did not find the Israeli decision “acceptable,” and promised to bring the case before the European Union.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/85979

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  4. THE SECOND BATTLE OF GAZA:

    ISRAEL’S UNDERMINING OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

    Jeff Halper

    The Israeli attack on Gaza in December 2008/January 2009 was not merely a military assault on a primarily civilian population, impoverished and the victim of occupation and besiegement these past 42 years. It was also part of an ongoing assault on international humanitarian law by a highly coordinated team of Israeli lawyers, military officers, PR people and politicians, led by (no less) a philosopher of ethics. It is an effort coordinated as well with other governments whose political and military leaders are looking for ways to pursue “asymmetrical warfare” against peoples resisting domination and the plundering of their resources and labor without the encumbrances of human rights and current international law. It is a campaign that is making progress and had better be taken seriously by us all.

    Since Ariel Sharon was indicted by a Belgian court in 2001 over his involvement in the Sabra and Chatila massacres and Israel faced accusations of war crimes in the wake of its 2002 invasion of the cities of the West Bank, with its high toll in civilian casualties (some 500 people killed, 1500 wounded, more than 4000 arrested), hundreds of homes demolished and the urban infrastructure utterly destroyed, Israel has adopted a bold and aggressive strategy: alter international law so that non-state actors caught in a conflict with states and deemed by the states as “non-legitimate actors” (“terrorists,” “insurgents” and “non-state actors,” as well as the civilian population that supports them) can no longer claim protection from invading armies. The urgency of this campaign has been underscored by a series of notable setbacks Israel subsequently incurred at the hands of the UN. In 2004, at the request of the General Assembly, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Israel’s construction of wall inside Palestinian territory is “contrary to international law” and must be dismantled – a ruling adopted almost unanimously by the General Assembly, with only Israel, the US, Australia and a few Pacific atolls dissenting. In 2006 the UN Commission of Inquiry concluded that “a significant pattern of excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force by the IDF against Lebanese civilians and civilian objects, failing to distinguish civilians from combatants and civilian objects from military targets.” together with the harsh criticism of the UN’s Goldstone report on Gaza accusing the Israeli government and military again of targeting Palestinian civilians and causing disproportionate destruction, has made this campaign even more urgent.

    Fortunately, it is an uphill battle. The thrust of just war theory, from which international humanitarian law (IHL) draws,

    is to limit warfare, and in particular to regulate its conduct and scope. Wars between states should never be total wars between nations or peoples. Whatever happens to the two armies involved, whichever one wins or loses, whatever the nature of the battles or the extent of the casualties, the two nations, the two peoples, must be functioning communities at the war’s end. The war cannot be a war of extermination or ethnic cleansing. And what is true for states is also true for state-like political bodies such as Hamas and Hezbollah, whether they practice terrorism or not. The people they represent or claim to represent are a people like any other (Margalit and Walzer 2009).

    Protecting the lives, property and human rights of civilians caught up on warfare from the power and impunity of states is especially relevant in our age when, as British General Rupert Smith (2005) tells us, modern warfare is rapidly moving away from the traditional inter-state model to what he calls a “new paradigm” – “war amongst the people” – in which “We fight amongst the people, not on the battlefield.” A more popular term used by military people, “asymmetrical warfare,” is perhaps more honest and revealing, since it highlights the vast power differential that exists between states and their militaries and the relative weakness of the non-state forces confronting them.

    Now the issue of adapting laws and ethical approaches coming out of traditional inter-state warfare to new forms of “asymmetrical warfare” is a legitimate and vital endeavor. As Judge Richard Goldstone indicated in the report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (2009:5), “The Mission interpreted [its] mandate as requiring it to place the civilian population of the region at the centre of its concerns regarding the violations of international law.” Two prime issues of concern arise here: protecting all non-combatants finding themselves caught up in armed conflict, whether from state or non-state adversaries, and the degree to which non-state actors must be held accountable under IHL, no matter how just their cause may be. Thus the Goldstone Report, recognizing the limitations under which non-state actors operate, specified as well the obligation of Palestinian armed groups “to exercise care and take feasible precautions to protect the civilian population in Gaza from the inherent dangers of the military operations.”

    Common sense and justice argue against a symmetry of responsibility between heavily armed and coordinated state-sponsored armies able to exert enormous force in order to exercise effective control over a territory and its people (Israel over the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in this case) and the military weakness, financial constraints and fundamental difficulties of non-state actors resisting oppression in either protecting their people or creating a neutral “battleground” separate from its civilian populations (as in the case of the Palestinians). Nonetheless, even a certain implied symmetry introduced by the Goldstone committee in which non-state actors possess legitimacy as “a side” is unacceptable to Israeli political and military leaders. This, despite the fact that, in 1960, the UN General Assembly’s Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples endorsed the right of peoples to self-determination and, by extension, their right to resist “alien subjugation, domination and exploitation” – again, with the obligations set out by the Goldstone Report. Nor is the notion that states and their armies should be significantly constrained in their military actions by IHL acceptable to Israeli decision-makers, political and military. They seek, therefore, to alter international law in ways that enable them – and by extension other states involved in “wars on terror” – to effectively pursue warfare amongst the people while eliminating both the legitimacy and protections enjoyed by their non-state foes.

    This campaign is led by two Israeli figures: Asa Kasher, a professor of philosophy and “practical ethics” at Tel Aviv University, the author of the Israeli army’s Code of Conduct, and Major General Amos Yadlin, former head of the IDF’s National Defense College, under whose auspices Kasher and his “team” formulated the Code of Conduct, and today the head of Military Intelligence. And, Kasher vigorously asserts, it is completely appropriate and understandable that Israeli should be leading it. “The decisive question,” he says,

    is how enlightened countries conduct themselves. We in Israel are in a key position in the development of law in this field because we are on the front lines in the fight against terrorism. This is gradually being recognized both in the Israeli legal system and abroad. After the debate before the High Court of Justice on the issue of targeted killings there was no need to revise the document [on the ethics of fighting terrorism] that Yadlin and I drafted even by one comma. What we are doing is becoming the law. These are concepts that are not purely legal, but also contain strong ethical elements.

    The Geneva Conventions are based on hundreds of years of tradition of the fair rules of combat. They were appropriate for classic warfare, where one army fought another. But in our time the whole business of rules of fair combat has been pushed aside. There are international efforts underway to revise the rules to accommodate the war against terrorism. According to the new provisions, there is still a distinction between who can and cannot be hit, but not in the blatant approach which existed in the past. The concept of proportionality has also changed (quoted in Ha’aretz, Feb. 6, 2009; italics added)….

    Customary international law accrues through an historic process. If states are involved in a certain type of military activity against other states, militias, and the like, and if all of them act quite similarly to each other, then there is a chance that it will become customary international law…. I am not optimistic enough to assume that the world will soon acknowledge Israel’s lead in developing customary international law. My hope is that our doctrine, give or take some amendments, will in this fashion be incorporated into customary international law in order to regulate warfare and limit its calamities (Kasher 2009:7)..

    In their assault on protections afforded to non-state actors and the populations that support them by IHL, Kasher and Yadlin go after two of the most fundamental principles of IHL: the Principle of Distinction and the Principle of Proportionality.

    The Principle of Distinction, embodied in the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their two Additional Protocols of 1977, lays down a hard-and-fast rule: civilians cannot be targeted by armies and, on the contrary, must be protected. Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “Persons taking no active part in the hostilities…shall in all circumstances be treated humanely….To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: violence to life and person…and outrages upon personal dignity.”

    The Principle of Proportionality, embodied in the 1977 Protocols to the Fourth Geneva Conventions (to which neither the US nor Israel is a signatory, but which nevertheless, as customary law, binds them), considers it a war crime to intentionally attack a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage. “The presence within the civilian population of individuals who do not come within the definition of civilians,” says Protocol I, Article 50 (3), “does not deprive the population of its civilian character.”

    Undermining these principles is therefore a key to what Kasher and Yadlin (2005) put forward as their “new doctrine of military ethics.” It is based on privileging states in their conflicts with non-state actors and on giving them the authority to deem an adversary “terrorist,” a term lacking any agreed-upon definition in IHL and one which obviously removes any legitimacy a non-state actors so labeled might otherwise have. Indeed, Kasher and Yadlin’s “Just War Doctrine of Fighting Terror” is grounded on a tendentious definition of “terrorism” custom-tailored to legitimizing state policies and actions. We define an “act of terror,” they (2005:2) write,

    as an act, carried out by individuals or organizations, not on behalf of any state, for the purpose of killing or otherwise injuring persons, insofar as they are members of a particular population, in order to instill fear among the members of that population (‘terrorize’ them), so as to cause them to change the nature of the related regime or of the related government or of policies implemented by related institutions, whether for political or ideological (including religious) reasons.

    By defining terrorism is defined as “an act” carried out by an individual or organization, Kasher and Yadlin both de-contextualize and de-politicize the protracted struggles of non-state actors, including those of all peoples oppressed by state (and corporate) regimes. Although they admit a certain legitimacy to “guerilla warfare,” by reducing a popular struggle to a series of discrete acts they makes it possible to label an entire resistance movement “terrorist” purely on the basis of one or more particular acts, with no regard to its situation or the justness of its cause. Once this is done, it is easy to criminalize non-state resistance, since terrorism is, in Kasher’s words, “utterly immoral.” When, for example, Palestinians or the Hizbollah attack Israeli soldiers on active duty, Kasher refers to these acts as “kidnapping” rather than “capturing” them.

    This very language and approach also has the effect of privileging state actors, since it implies that state actions are by definition legitimate and not “utterly immoral.” Even when a country is accused of war crimes, it is often able to justify its actions by “military necessity.” It is extremely difficult to actually sanction or punish a country for war crimes even when they are deemed to have occurred, and even when all this takes place, “war crimes” possess a different meaning than the type of criminalization applied to non-state actors. States may be sanctioned, but their existential legitimacy is not removed. Germany was judged as having committed horrendous war crimes during the Nazi era, and paid certain penalties, but that did not prevent it from rejoining the international community immediate after the war. Thus Kasher and Yadlin define an act as terror by its “purpose” of terrorizing a particular population without the slightest thought of applying that principle to Israel’s own policies and actions over its occupation of 42 years, despite exhaustive documentation of that terrorization.

    Just how self-serving the tendentious use of the concept “terror” can be is evident in Israel’s own attempts to have the Iran Revolutionary Guards declared a “terror organization,” even though, being an agent of a state, it would not fit into Kasher and Yadlin’s own state/non-state dichotomy. What, then, should prevent the international community from naming the IDF and various covert Israeli agencies such as the Mossad or the Shin Beit (the General Security Services) as “terror organizations”? The Goldstone Report itself concluded that Israel’s offensive against Gaza during Operation Cast Lead was “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population.” Cognizant of this contradiction, Kasher and Yadlin are careful to add a caveat: they define an act of terror as one carried out “not on behalf of any state.”

    Having de-legitimized state-defined “acts of terrorism,” Kasher and Yadlin then go on to further legitimize state actions such as those taken by Israel against Hizbollah, Hamas or, indeed, all Palestinian resistance by invoking “self-defense” – again, a claim which, according to Just War Theory and Article 51 of the UN Charter, only a state can make. In order to do so they begins the narrative of events leading up the attack on Gaza with what the “terrorist” organization alone had done, launching rockets on the town of Sderot and its vicinity. Nothing of the fact that the vast majority of Gazans are refugees from 1948, denied their right of return and deprived of all their properties and assets. Nothing of the occupation since 1967 and the deliberate de-development of the Gazan economy; nothing of the exclusion since 1989 of Gazan workers from the Israel job market upon which they had been made dependent, and thus their subsequent impoverishment; nothing of the years of settlement in which 7000 Israelis lorded it over a million and a half Palestinians at a cost to the Palestinians of much in terms of their lives and livelihoods; nothing of the siege illegally imposed since 2006, or of the transformation of Gaza into the world’s largest open-air prison; nothing of the fact that until today much of the land of Gaza – and the sea – are off-limits to Palestinian farmers and fishermen; nothing of the fact that Gazans live in mud and sewage created by Israel’s wholesale destruction of their infrastructure; nothing of the wasted lives of the young people; nothing of the fact that Hamas observed an 18 month cease-fire and was willing to extend it, until Israel broke it on Nov. 4, 2008, setting off the rocket attacks. Nothing, in short, which would call into question whether the assault on Gaza was genuinely an act of self-defense.

    Indeed, the process of de-contextualization is a prerequisite to the ethics Kasher offers as the basis of international morality, law, political practice and warfare. Rather than taking into account of Israel’s four decades and more of occupation over Gaza and the West Bank, in which the Occupying Power may be said to have at least a modicum of responsibility for what transpires, Kasher instead bases his entire moral justification on what Israel has done over the years on a disembodied “double effect” principle, according to which, “when we are seeking a goal that is morally justified in and of itself, then it is also morally justified to achieve it, even if this may lead to undesirable consequences – on the condition that the undesirable consequences are unavoidable and unintentional, and that an effort was made to minimize their negative effects.” As if maintaining a belligerent occupation for almost a half century is unavoidable and unintentional, and Israel actually took steps to minimize its negative effects.

    This, then, sets up a hierarchy of priorities – indeed, “obligations” on states – that turn IHL on its head. The Principle of Distinction cannot be honored, Kasher and Yadlin argue, because “terrorists do not play by the rules.” Nothing less is required than a fundamental “updating the concept of war.” “As we sought to try and formulate how to fight terror,” Yadlin (2004) writes,

    we understood that we were in a different kind of war, where the laws and ethics of conventional war did not apply. It involves not only the asymmetry of tanks… The main asymmetry is in the values of the two societies involved in the conflict – in the rules they obey….

    A new model of warfare – the counter-terrorism war – requires a new set of rules on how to fight it. The other side is fighting outside the rules and we have to create new ethical rules for the international law of armed conflict. The duty of the state is to defend its citizens. Any time a terrorist gets away because of concerns about collateral damage, we may be violating our main duty to protect our citizens. We look for alternatives so as not to cause collateral damage, or to cause the minimum amount of collateral damage, but the main obligation is to defend our citizens….

    Thus, says Kasher, in an area such as the Gaza Strip in which the IDF does not have effective control, “the responsibility for distinguishing between terrorists and noncombatants is not placed upon [Israel’s] shoulders, since it is not the effective ruler.” Military commanders must thus place prime importance on achieving their military objectives, since this is what self-defense depends upon. Next in priority is protecting soldiers’ lives – indeed, Kasher and Yadlin define soldiers as “civilians in uniforms,” thereby eliding the principle of a state’s duty to protect its citizens with its deployment of trained and armed combatants sworn to pursue its military aims. Only then does the army have to worry about avoiding injury to civilian non-combatants. “Sending a soldier [to Gaza] to fight terrorists is justified,” writes Kasher, “but why should I force him to endanger himself much more than that so that the terrorist’s neighbor isn’t killed?” asks Kasher. “From the standpoint of the state of Israel, the neighbor is much less important. I owe the soldier more. If it’s between the soldier and the terrorist’s neighbor, the priority is the soldier. Any country would do the same.”

    Kasher’s introduces a radically new principle of distinction – that in territories where it does not exercise effective control a country does not bear the moral responsibility for properly separating between dangerous individuals and harmless ones (Kasher 2010) – as if simply asserting it lends it the necessary authority. And this is, in fact, the point. “If you do something for long enough,” says Colonel (res.) Daniel Reisner, former head of the IDF’s Legal Department, “the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries…. International law progresses through violations. We invented the targeted assassinations thesis [that extra-judicial killings are permitted when it is necessary to stop a certain operation against the citizens of Israel and when the role played by the target is crucial to the operation] and we had to push it. Eight years later it is in the center of the bounds of legality” (quoted in Kearney 2010:29). Or, as Kasher (2010) puts it, “The more often Western states apply principles that originated in Israel to their own non-traditional conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, then the greater the chance these principles have of becoming a valuable part of international law.”

    Even the attempt to distinguish civilians from combatants was abandoned in the assault on Gaza. According to another report in Ha’aretz (3.2.10), “The Israel Defense Forces chose to risk civilians in Gaza in order to protect its soldiers during Operation Cast Lead, a high-ranking Israeli military officer told the British daily The Independent on Wednesday. The IDF officer claimed the traditional ‘means and intentions’ engagement principle – stating that a suspect must have both a weapon and a visible intent to use it before being fired at – was discarded during Israel’s Gaza incursion in late 2008 and early 2009.”

    Does that mean that states cannot engage in terrorism? This is a pretty bold claim. In fact, the non-state “terrorism from below” which so concerns Kasher and Yadlin pales in its horror when compared to “terrorism from above,” State Terrorism. In his book Death By Government (1994:13), R.J. Rummel points out that over the course of the 20th century about 170,000 innocent civilians were killed by non-state actors, a significant figure to be sure. But, he adds,

    during the first eighty-eight years of this [20th] century, almost 170 million men, women and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed or worked to death; buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed or killed in any other of the myriad ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens and foreigners. The dead could conceivably be nearly 360 million people.

    And that doesn’t include Zaire, Bosnia, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, Saddam Hussein’s reign, the impact of UN sanctions on the Iraqi civilian population and other state-sponsored murders that occurred after Rummel compiled his figures. It also does not account for all the forms of State Terrorism that do not result in death: torture, imprisonment, repression, house demolitions, induced starvation, intimidation and all the rest.

    “We do not deny,” Kasher (2009) concedes, that a state can act for the purpose of killing persons in order to terrorize a population with the goal of achieving some political or ideological goal.” He then adds another crucial caveat:

    However, when such acts are performed by on behalf of a state, or by some of its overt or covert agencies or proxies, we apply to the ensuing conflict moral, ethical and legal principles that are commonly held to pertain to ordinary international conflicts between states or similar political entities. In such a context, a state that killed numerous citizens of another state in order to terrorize its citizenry would be guilty of what is commonly regarded as a war crime [italics added].

    Kasher’s caveat – “a state that killed numerous citizens of another state in order to terrorize its citizenry” – apparently means that states can neither be accused of terrorism nor held accountable for war crimes arising out of killing or terrorizing civilian populations such as the people of Gaza, since the latter are not citizens of another state.

    As for the Principle of Proportionality, that, too, is a casualty of Kasher and Yadlin’s assault on IHL. Their alternative is what is known by the IDF as its Dahiya Doctrine. Coming out of the second Lebanon war of 2006, in which Israel destroyed the Hizbollah stronghold of Dahiya in Beirut, the Dahiya Doctrine states attacks against Israel will be deterred by “harming the civilian population to such an extent that it will bring pressure to bear on the enemy combatants […] through the damage and destruction of civilian and military infrastructures which necessitate long and expensive reconstruction actions which would crush the will of those who wish to act against Israel” (PCATI 2009). According to the Goldstone Report (2009:48),

    The tactics used by Israeli military armed forces in the Gaza offensive are consistent with previous practices, most recently during the Lebanon war in 2006. A concept known as the Dahiya doctrine emerged then, involving the application of disproportionate force and the causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations. The Mission concludes from a review of the facts on the ground that it witnessed for itself that what was prescribed as the best strategy appears to have been precisely what was put into practice.

    It then goes on to quote the head of Israel’s Northern Command, Gen. Gadi Eisenkott: “What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. […] We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases. […] This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved.” But here again, it is the assertion of a new version of the principle that is important. Thus, declares Kasher, the Principle of Proportionality does not have to do with inflicting civilian injuries clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage, as the international community now thinks, but the exact opposite: “Proportionality is justifiability of the collateral damage on grounds of the military advantage gained” (Kasher 2010).

    The upshot of Kasher and Yadlin’s “updating the concept of war” was clearly evident in the attack on Gaza. “When senior Israel Defense Forces officers are asked about the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians during the fighting in the Gaza Strip,” Ha’aretz (Feb.6, 2009) reported,

    they almost all give the same answer: The use of massive force was designed to protect the lives of the soldiers, and when faced with a choice between protecting the lives of Israeli soldiers and those of enemy civilians under whose protection the Hamas terrorists are operating, the soldiers take precedence. The IDF’s response to criticism does not sound improvised or argumentative…. And it operated there not only with the backing of the legal opinion of the office of the Military Advocate General, but also on the basis of ethical theory, developed several years ago, that justifies its actions.

    Prof. Asa Kasher of Tel Aviv University, an Israel Prize laureate in philosophy, is the philosopher who told the IDF that it was possible. In a recent interview with Ha’aretz, Kasher said the army operated in accordance with a code of conduct developed about five years ago for fighting terrorism. “The norms followed by the commanders in Gaza were generally appropriate,” Kasher said. In Kasher’s opinion there is no justification for endangering the lives of soldiers to avoid the killing of civilians who live in the vicinity of terrorists. According to Kasher, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi “has been very familiar with our principles from the time the first document was drafted in 2003 to the present.”

    Kasher’s argument is that in an area such as the Gaza Strip in which the IDF does not have effective control the overriding principle guiding the commanders is achieving their military objectives. Next in priority is protecting soldiers’ lives, followed by avoiding injury to enemy civilians…. Prof. Kasher has strong, long-standing ties with the army. He drafted the IDF ethical code of conduct in the mid-1990’s. In 2003 he and Maj. Gen Amos Yadlin, now the head of Military Intelligence, published an article entitled “The Ethical Fight Against Terror.” It justified the targeted assassination of terrorists, even at the price of hitting nearby Palestinian civilians. Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, who was the IDF Chief of Staff at the time, did not make the document binding, but Kasher says the ideas in the document were adopted in principle by Ya’alon and his successors. Kasher has presented them to IDF and Shin Bet security service personnel dozens of times.

    Such arguments are also being taken up by “pro-Israeli” critics of IHL. Amichai Cohen (2010), for example, writing in the Global Law Forum of the neo-con Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, sums up Kasher and Yadlin’s argument succinctly (though marshalling numerous legal citations just as Kasher mobilizes ethical arguments): “The concept of proportionality permits military personnel to kill innocent civilians, provided that the intended targets of the operation are enemy forces and not civilians.”

    And yet, when challenged, the philosophy, ethics and principled argumentation of Kasher and Yadlin dissipate, and one is found in the same kind of emotional and half-baked discourse that typifies shouting matches in bars or on the street. When, for example, Uri Avnery (2009) challenges Kasher’s reduction of the Gaza operation as merely a justified defensive reaction to “continued rocket attacks on Israel by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip,” Kasher (2009) retreats from his philosophical argumentation into personal attacks: “Nor is it a surprise,” he writes, “that Avnery does not want us to use the term ‘terrorists’ to describe the Palestinians – with whom he identifies – because of these negative moral connotations. He himself does not wish to be morally tainted as someone who identifies with terrorists.”

    From here Kasher abandons intellectual analysis completely and descends into mere personal opinion and unsupportable suppositions. “Some people claim that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would provide Israeli citizens with the best protection against rockets and missiles, suicide attacks, and other horrors of terrorism,” he begins.

    It is true that a democratic state is required to seek peace agreements with neighboring states and peoples. However, the idea that it is possible to reach a political settlement with the Palestinians that would be upheld by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist organizations is quite doubtful. Even if we accepted the plausibility of such a claim, it is all but certain that rocket attacks on Israel would continue throughout the negotiations. In fact, they would likely increase. Leaving a state’s citizens vulnerable to persistent threat is not morally justified by the mere fact of ongoing negotiations. Nor can the fact that negotiations are taking place justify avoiding the last-resort option after all alternative courses of action have failed…. There are those who call on Israel to engage in direct negotiations with Hamas, in order to rid its citizens of the threats posed to them by rocket attacks and other kinds of terrorist activity. This argument warrants a similar response. From a moral standpoint, demanding that Israel engage in direct negotiations with a terrorist organization that does not recognize its right to exist cannot be justified (Kasher 2009. italics added).

    Apparently this method is common when Israelis attempt to alter IHL in order to justify unjustifiable practices. A few years ago (April 15, 2005, p. 34) the Up Front weekend magazine of The Jerusalem Post published an interview with an Israeli “expert in international law” who, tellingly, chose to remain anonymous. This what s/he said:

    International law is the language of the world and it’s more or less the yardstick by which we measure ourselves today. It’s the lingua franca of international organizations. So you have to play the game if you want to be a member of the world community. And the game works like this. As long as you claim you are working within international law and you come up with a reasonable argument as to why what you are doing is within the context of international law, you’re fine. That’s how it goes. This is a very cynical view of how the world works. So, even if you’re being inventive, or even if you’re being a bit radical, as long as you can explain it in that context, most countries will not say you’re a war criminal.

    This is a serious stuff. We are in the midst of the second battle of Gaza, a campaign not only to refute and defame the UN’s Goldstone Report and sanitize Israel’s actions there but to change international humanitarian law in a way that protects the powerful states and their armies while removing the fundamental rights of the world’s poor and downtrodden to resist. The stakes are high. What will happen to the Palestinians – or oppressed peoples everywhere – if Kasher & Co. succeed in striking the Principles of Distinction and Proportionality from international law? Imagine an entire world unprotected against occupation, invasions, exploitation and warehousing, a global Gaza. It would be world that reflects current reality: everyone would be either an Israeli Jew, part of a privileged global minority who main ethical responsibility is towards defending itself against “terrorists,” or a Palestinian, part of an impoverished, occupied majority with no control over its resources or its future, which nevertheless carries responsibility for the well-being and security of its violent “zero-tolerant” masters.

    Standing on the ramparts of international law to guarantee its integrity should be an integral part of the struggle against oppression everywhere. If the people of Gaza can become fair game, so can any of us. In terms of vulnerability as well as solidarity, we are all, indeed, Palestinians. If IHL needs to be altered to take into account the rise of no-state actors in international conflicts – and here we should note the increased use of “outsourced” private military contractors by states and corporations, the emergence of “failed states,” many of which combine state apparatus with criminal activity, and even the role played by NGOs – then it must be done in a way that continues to protect civilians and oppressed peoples against states, often their own. Kasher and Yadlin’s assault on IHL, sponsored and legitimized by the Israel government “in the name of” other states engaged in so-called wars of terrorism, threatens to give powerful governments, their militaries and allied corporations a free hand in bringing about a global “order” friendly to their interests at the expense of the world’s peoples.

    Given what Michael Klare calls “the new landscape of global conflict” – state-initiated resource wars (initiated or fueled, it must be noted, primarily by the powerful democratic states which control the global economic system and account for more than 80 percent of the world’s arms trade, whose revenues reached $1.46 trillion in 2008) – the prospect of states free of the constraints of IHL should give us all pause. For, as it turns out, the sites of future wars are largely in the very areas where people – framed as “terrorists” – are resisting the plundering of their resources, neo-colonialism and their own permanent warehousing. These sites, Klare (2001) tells us,

    will be places that harbor particularly abundant supplies of vital materials – oil, water, diamonds, minerals, old-growth timber – along with supply routes that connect these areas to major markets around the world. These regions will command attention from the media, dominate the deliberations of international policy makers, and invite the heaviest concentrations of military power…. [They comprise] a wide band of territory straddling the equator.

    Israel’s attempt to globalize its legal, moral, political and military justifications for what it did – and continues to do – in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon should concern us all. Just as Israel used Gaza as a laboratory for tactics and weapons of “counterinsurgency” and urban warfare, so, too, is it attempting to export its “new doctrines” in a way that fundamentally compromises the well-being of people caught in conflicts worldwide. As (Kasher and Yadlin 2005:4) write explicitly,

    the proposed principles are meant to be justified and practically applicable under any parallel circumstances. Moreover, those principles are intended to be universal in an additional crucial sense…. The different defense agencies of a democratic state that faces terror should follow principles that rest on universal moral grounds and on the professional and organizational ethical grounds related to each of those state agencies on its own, be it military, regular police, combat police or preventive intelligence.

    In this sense, everyone resisting oppression is a Palestine. The stakes involved in losing this second battle of Gaza are high indeed. Israel’s attempt to “globalize” Gaza imperils us all.

    References

    Avnery, Uri 2009 Operation Cast Lead and Just War Theory. Azure 38 (Autumn.

    Cohen, Amichai 2010 Proportionality in Modern Asymmetrical Wars. Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

    Kasher, Asa 2010 A Moral Evaluation of the Gaza War – Operation Cast Lead. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Brief 9(18).

    —- 2009 Respnse to Uri Avnery. Azure 38 (Autumn).

    —- 2009 Operation Cast Lead and the Ethics of Just War. Azure 37:43-75

    Kasher, Asa and Amos Yadlin 2006 The Military Ethics of Fighting Terror: Principles.” Philosophia 34.

    —- 2005 Military Ethics of Fighting Terror: An Israeli Perspective. Journal of Military Ethics 4(1):3-32.

    —- 2005 Assassination and Preventive Killing. SAIS Review 25(1):41-57.

    —- 2003 Ethical Counterterrorism.

    Kearney, Michael 2010 Lawfare, Legitimacy, and Resistance: The Weak and The Law. ms.

    Klare, Michael T. 2001 Resource Wars. New York: Henry Holt.

    Margalit, Avishai and Michael Walzer 2009 Israel: Civilians and Combatants. New York Review of Books 56(8). (May 14).

    McMahan, Jeff 2009 Killing in War. New York: Oxford University Press.

    The Middle East Project 2009 Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? A Re-assessment of Israel’s Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories Under International Law. Capetown: Human Sciences Research Council.

    The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) 2009 No Second Thoughts: The Changes in the Israeli Defense Forces’ Combat Doctrine in Light of “Operation Cast Lead.” Jerusalem.

    Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (“Goldstone Report”) 2009 Geneva: Human Rights Council.

    Siboni, Gabriel 2008 Disproportionate Force: Israel’s Concept of Response in Light of the Second Lebanon War INSS Insight 74.

    Smith, Rupert 2005 The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World. New York: Vintage Books.

    Yadlin, Amos 2004 Ethical Dilemmas in Fighting Terrorism. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Brief 4(8).

    (Jeff Halper is the head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). He can be reached at .)

    The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions is based in Jerusalem and has chapters in the United Kingdom and the United States.

    Please visit our websites:
    http://www.icahd.org
    http://www.icahduk.org
    http://www.icahdusa.org

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