by Moshe Dann
Agree with it or not, the Goldstone Report has set new parameters for future conflicts between Israel and Arab terror organizations and armies. And, as long as those parameters are used,
Based on what the ICRC calls International Humanitarian Law, the assumption of Goldstone's Report is that a clear differentiation was not made between civilian and military targets; even when the civilian population is sympathetic to and involved with the enemy and is used, willingly or not, as shields, the IDF has no right to attack.
According to the ICRC, Article 51 of the UN Charter does not allow
Such a position is obviously absurd in reality. In the context of modern urban warfare, terrorists deliberately imbed themselves within civilian populations in order to take advantage of humanitarian concerns.
Following these restrictions would endanger the lives of soldiers in favor of protecting the "rights" of terrorists. Yet the ICRC has determined the law and the UN uses this to condemn Israel, regardless of what caused the conflict, or the danger posed by terrorists.
This bias is explicit in the latest ICRC/Red Crescent Magazine (January, 2009) which contains an article entitled "
Using statistics supplied by Hamas, the article notes, "1,380 people have been killed and 5,640 wounded... a particularly high proportion of the victims were women and children."
As in the Goldstone Report, no attempt was made to determine how many of the casualties were terrorists, or how many were killed or injured by Hamas; nor, in citing the destruction of thousands of homes and other buildings, how many were blown up by booby-traps, or were used by Hamas as military positions.
Rules only applicable to
The ICRC also charged that "there was a lack of respect for (Red Crescent) medical teams." ("One volunteer was killed and six medical workers were injured.") There was no explanation of the circumstances, their identities, or efforts by IDF medical teams to help those in need. Nor is any proof offered for these charges.
To appreciate the impact of the ICRC's position and involvement in the conflict between
Following ICRC's rulings and interpretations, the UNHRC mandate, and using Hamas' propaganda, Goldstone concluded that
The IDF's use of overwhelming firepower against Hamas was justified militarily, to save soldiers' lives and to eliminate terrorists; but, even with extensive aerial documentation, there is no way of proving that the destruction of what appear to be civilian targets was necessary, thus creating a moral and humanitarian dilemma.
Moreover, these rules seem applicable only to
Arab terrorists will always be portrayed as victims, "freedom fighters," "militants," and "activists." The challenge for
As long as
Moshe Dann, a former assistant professor of History, is a writer and journalist.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.