Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Singling Out Israel For "International Investigation"


by Alan M. Dershowitz


In a world in which North Korea sinks a South Korean naval vessel killing dozens, Iran arms Islamic terrorists, who kill hundreds, Russia bombs Chechnya, killing thousands, and the United States and Great Britain, while targeting Al Qaeda and Taliban, kill an indeterminate number of civilians, only Israel is subjected to international "investigations" such as that conducted by Richard Goldstone and that being called for by the Security Council in the wake of the recent flotilla fiasco.


Why only Israel? Why is the United Nations silent about other situations that cry out for international investigations? Surely it's not because what Israel did was worse than what other member nations have done. Certainly it's not because Israel lacks self-criticism or mechanisms for internal investigation. Plainly it's not because the other "offenders" were provoked, while Israel was unprovoked.


There is only one answer--because Israel has long been singled out for public scrutiny and opprobrium by the United Nations in particular and the international community in general.


This is not to say that Israel has always been blameless. It foolishly took the bait and allowed itself to be provoked into overreacting to a well planned provocation by so-called "humanitarians," who love only those who hate the Jewish state. The best proof that the flotilla had little to do with providing humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza and everything to do with breaking Israel's entirely lawful military blockade of a terrorist enclave, is Hamas' refusal to accept the food and medicine that Israel removed from the captured boats. The leaders of the flotilla admitted that their object was the same as Hamas'--not to provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza but rather to break the military blockade that is designed to keep rockets and other anti-personnel weapons from the hands of Hamas terrorists.


Israel should have been smarter in its efforts to enforce its blockade, but it did nothing illegal--and what it did do certainly doesn't warrant being singled out for the stigma of an international investigation.


If the United Nations is to get into the business of ordering and conducting international investigations, it must establish neutral and objective criteria for when such an investigation is warranted. These criteria must be equally applicable to all nations, and not merely to the Jewish nation.


Primary among the criteria must be "the worst first." Under that rule, investigations must be conducted in the order of the seriousness of the offense, not the unpopularity of the offender. Israel's actions in enforcing its blockade ranks fairly low on the pecking order of offenses, compared to those that have never been subjected to a mandated international investigation. Until and unless North Korea, Iran, Russia and other nations are required to undergo international scrutiny, the demand that Israel do so is illegitimate.


The second neutral criteria should be the capacity of the accused nation to investigate itself and to be subjected to domestic scrutiny and criticism. Here too Israel fares must better than most. It has an activist Supreme Court, a free and aggressive press and a responsive political system. It doesn't need dictatorial tyrannies telling it how to defend its citizens.


For international law to have any credibility, it must be applied neutrally, objectively and fairly to all nations. Singling out Israel for special scrutiny and investigation, while far more serious offenders and offenses are ignored, is incompatible with the rule of law.



Alan M. Dershowitz

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well written and brilliantly stated!! I couldn't agree more.

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