The Truth and UNtruth of the Matter
By Amanda Berman
The Star (Johannesburg)
Last week, this publication featured several articles purporting to accurately assess the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict and the UN Human Rights Council Independent Commission’s subsequent investigation into alleged violations of the laws of war. These articles, like the Commission, conclude that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is guilty of various war crimes, most identifiably because of the disproportionate civilian casualty count and physical destruction of Gaza as compared to Israel. This conclusion, rabidly advanced by Jerome Slater, is both backward and illogical, misunderstanding and therefore misapplying the proportionality principle of international humanitarian law (IHL).
First, the civilian casualty count in Gaza was high because the publicly declared strategy of Palestinian militant leadership is to use civilians as human shields to guard its combatants and weapons. Allegations that Israel committed war crimes by failing to “alter its strategy” to avoid civilian casualties deny the fundamental reality that Israel could not alter its strategy without crippling its ability to accomplish the existential goal of the mission: to defend its citizens and territory from incessant rocket fire and destroy the weapons arsenals of its terrorist attackers.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, July 01, 2015 )