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Israel Shells U.N. Building in Gaza and Media Center -- Charged With Using White Phosphorus

 
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2024 11:02 am
@Glennn,
Do you think the Hamas-inspired cross-border raid into Israel and the subsequent slaughter and kidnapping of Israeli civilians was acceptable behavior and should go unpunished?
Glennn
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2024 11:32 am
@hightor,
Why are you changing the subject? We'll get to the Intelligence failure as well as the secrurity-barrier failure that day soon enough. And besides, how does what happened months ago change the fact that Israel is committing war crimes against innocent human beings in Gaza . . . or why biden can't be stopped from supplying the means to commit those war crimes? It seems that what biden dictates is what stands. Hmm.

Did you know that Israel had plans in the works to remove Gazans from Gaza and arrange for neighboring countries to take them in . . . permanently?
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2024 12:05 pm
@Glennn,
Quote:
Why are you changing the subject?

First we have to know whether we're in basic agreement as to the facts surrounding the conflict. As you yourself have repeated, many times


So, do you excuse the actions of Hamas militants, accept their invasion of Israel, and overlook its consequences, or not?

Quote:
Did you know that Israel had plans in the works to remove Gazans from Gaza and arrange for neighboring countries to take them in . . . permanently?

Yes, I've been well aware of it.

America Must Face Up to Israel’s Extremism

Quote:
Two far-right members of Israel’s cabinet — the national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, and the finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich — caused an international uproar this week with their calls to depopulate Gaza. “If in Gaza there will be 100,000 or 200,000 Arabs and not two million the entire conversation on ‘the day after’ will look different,” said Smotrich, who called for most Gazan civilians to be resettled in other countries. The war, said Ben-Gvir, presents an “opportunity to concentrate on encouraging the migration of the residents of Gaza,” facilitating Israeli settlement in the region.

The Biden administration has joined countries all over the world in condemning these naked endorsements of ethnic cleansing. But in doing so, it acted as if Ben-Gvir and Smotrich’s provocations are fundamentally at odds with the worldview of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to whom America continues to give unconditional backing. In a statement denouncing the ministers’ words as “inflammatory and irresponsible,” the State Department said, “We have been told repeatedly and consistently by the government of Israel, including by the prime minister, that such statements do not reflect the policy of the Israeli government.”

Representative Jim McGovern, a Democrat who has called for a cease-fire, thanked the State Department in a social media post, saying, “It must be clear that America will not write a blank check for mass displacement.”

But it’s not clear, because we’re writing a blank check to a government whose leader is only a bit more coy than Ben-Gvir and Smotrich about his intentions for Gaza. As Israeli news outlets have reported, Netanyahu said this week that the government is considering a “scenario of surrender and deportation” of residents of the Gaza Strip. (Some outlets reported that Netanyahu was referring only to Hamas leaders.) According to a Times of Israel article, “The ‘voluntary’ resettlement of Palestinians from Gaza is slowly becoming a key official policy of the government, with a senior official saying that Israel has held talks with several countries for their potential absorption.”

Some in Israel’s government have denied this, mostly on grounds of impracticality. “It’s a baseless illusion, in my opinion: No country will absorb two million people, or one million, or 100,000, or 5,000,” one official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Israeli journalists. And on Thursday, Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, released a plan for the day after the war that said that, contrary to the dreams of the ultranationalists, there would be no Israeli settlement in Gaza.

But with its widespread destruction of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure, including roughly 70 percent of its housing, Israel is making most of Gaza uninhabitable for the foreseeable future. Disease is rampant in Gaza, hunger almost universal, and the United Nations reports that much of the enclave is at risk of famine. Amid all this horror, members of Netanyahu’s Likud party — such as Danny Danon, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, and Gila Gamliel, Israel’s intelligence minister — are pushing emigration as a humanitarian solution.

“Instead of funneling money to rebuild Gaza or to the failed U.N.R.W.A.,” the United Nations agency that works with Palestinian refugees, “the international community can assist in the costs of resettlement, helping the people of Gaza build new lives in their new host countries,” wrote Gamliel in The Jerusalem Post.

Right now, this is a grotesque fantasy. But as Gaza’s suffering ratchets up, some sort of evacuation might come to appear to be a necessary last resort. At least, that’s what some prominent Israeli officials seem to be counting on.

After Hamas’s sadistic attack on Israel on Oct. 7, Israel was justified in retaliating; any country would have. But there is a difference between the war Israel’s liberal supporters want to pretend that the country is fighting in Gaza, and the war Israel is actually waging.

Pro-Israel Democrats want to back a war to remove Hamas from Gaza. But increasingly, it looks as if America is underwriting a war to remove Gazans from Gaza. Experts in international law can debate whether the forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza can be classified as genocidal, as South Africa is claiming at the International Court of Justice, or as some lesser type of war crime. But whatever you want to call attempts to “thin out” Gaza’s population — as the Hebrew newspaper Israel Hayom described an alleged Netanyahu proposal — the United States is implicated in them.

By acting as if Ben-Gvir and Smotrich can be hived off from the government in which they serve, U.S. policymakers are fostering denial about the character of Netanyahu’s rule. Joe Biden often speaks of his 1973 meeting with Golda Meir, then the prime minister, and like many American Zionists, his view of Israel sometimes seems stuck in that era.

If you grew up in a liberal Zionist household, as I did, you’ve probably heard this (possibly apocryphal) Meir quote: “When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.” There’s much to criticize in this sentiment — its self-regard, the way it positions Israel as the victim even when it’s doing the killing; still, it at least suggests a tortured ambivalence about meting out violence. But this attitude, which Israelis sometimes call “shooting and crying,” is now as obsolete as Meir’s Zionist socialism, at least among Israel’s leaders.

Among both American and European politicians, said my friend Daniel Levy, a former Israeli negotiator with the Palestinians who now heads the U.S./Middle East Project, there’s a “willful refusal to take seriously just how extreme this government is — whether before Oct. 7 or subsequently.” I’m tempted to say that Ben-Gvir and Smotrich said the quiet part out loud, but in truth they just said the loud part louder.

nyt/goldberg
Glennn
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2024 12:26 pm
@hightor,
Quote:
First we have to know whether we're in basic agreement as to the facts surrounding the conflict.

Yeah sure. What Hamas did was terribly wrong.

Now, does that justify the current war crimes being perpetrated against the Gazans by the Israelis? Does it justify biden lending a hand in any way that he can?
Quote:
Yes, I've been well aware of it.

Good. We can agree that there was some premeditation before the crime.
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2024 02:28 pm
@Glennn,
Quote:
Now, does that justify the current war crimes being perpetrated against the Gazans by the Israelis? Does it justify biden lending a hand in any way that he can?

Although I'm not a strict pacifist, I don't think anything "justifies" war. It can, at best, be rationalized and explained. At base we're dealing with flaws in our nature which are anachronistic responses to perceived threats and which no longer serve to promote the survival of the species, only the interests of nation states, many of which controlled by extremely bad actors.
Glennn
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2024 02:33 pm
@hightor,
Quote:
Although I'm not a strict pacifist, I don't think anything "justifies" war.

No, I said "war crimes."
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2024 03:31 pm
@Glennn,
Glennn wrote:

Quote:
Although I'm not a strict pacifist, I don't think anything "justifies" war.

No, I said "war crimes."
Since "war crimes" are violations of the laws or customs of war, there must be a war before.

Although the term “war crime” was first used in German in 1872 by Johann Casper Bluntschli,
The modern definition of what a war crime was laid down by World War II, the Nuremberg war-crimes trials.
The term "war crime" isn't controversial today because there's a fairly secure anchorage for it now in international law.

And according to that: there must be a "war" (armed conflict) before someone or a nation can be investigated and then accused to have committed a war crime.
Glennn
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2024 04:19 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
war crime

A war crime is a violation of the laws of war. The legal understanding of war crimes has been codified in several multilateral treaties, most notably the Geneva Conventions. More recently, the most comprehensive legal statement on war crimes was the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

To be liable for a war crime, the victim must be protected under the Geneva Conventions. GC I, II, and III apply to soldiers, while GC IV applies to civilians and "unlawful combatants."

The following acts are war crimes under Rome Statute Article 8:

wilful killing;
torture;
biological experiments;
mutiliation;
unjustified destruction and appropriation of property;
conscripting POWs;
denying POWs a fair trial;
unlawful deportation and transfer;
unlawful confinement;
taking of hostages;
pillaging;
intentional attacks against civilians;
intentional attacks against non-military targets;
intentional attacks against peacekeepers or humanitarian aid groups;
killing or wounding combatants who have surrendered;
employing poisoned weapons;
rape;
sexual slavery;
enforced sterilization;
forced pregnancy;
conscripting children under the age of 15.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/war_crime
________________________________________________________________________

Some of those sound familiar, like . . . recently?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jan, 2024 01:23 am
@Glennn,
I do know the Rome Statute.

In 1998 the US was one of only seven countries – along with China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, and Yemen – that voted against the Rome Statute.
Clinton originally signed the Rome Statute in 2000.

But president Bus then informed the UN that the U.S. no longer intended to ratify the Rome Statute, and that it did not recognize any obligation toward the Rome Statute.
The US says that the convention is Incompatible with the U.S. Constitution, e.g. trial of U.S. citizens by the ICC.

Israel has refrained from signing the Rome Statute because of its concerns about being the subject of prosecutions generating from the illegal status of the settlements in the Palestinian territories.


It's nice if you use the definitions of the Rome Convention and demand prosecution by the ICC (or criticise that the prosecutors there do too little), but don't want to have anything to do with this convention yourself.

Glennn
 
  -3  
Reply Sun 7 Jan, 2024 07:26 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Israel is committing 6 of the war crimes on that list, which is not surprising since they've made no secret of the fact that they see every Gazan as the enemy and are treating them accordingly. Women, children, and babies are on their wanted list.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Jan, 2024 08:06 am
@Glennn,
Walter Hinteler wrote:
But president Bus then informed the UN that the U.S. no longer intended to ratify the Rome Statute, and that it did not recognize any obligation toward the Rome Statute.
The US says that the convention is Incompatible with the U.S. Constitution, e.g. trial of U.S. citizens by the ICC.
[...]
Israel has refrained from signing the Rome Statute because of its concerns about being the subject of prosecutions generating from the illegal status of the settlements in the Palestinian territories.


It's nice if you use the definitions of the Rome Convention ... but don't want to have anything to do with this convention yourself.
Glennn
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 7 Jan, 2024 08:29 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
Israel has refrained from signing the Rome Statute because of its concerns about being the subject of prosecutions generating from the illegal status of the settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Criminals do tend to oppose laws that go against their nature and desires.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Jan, 2024 11:07 am
@Glennn,
Glennn wrote:

Quote:
Israel has refrained from signing the Rome Statute because of its concerns about being the subject of prosecutions generating from the illegal status of the settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Criminals do tend to oppose laws that go against their nature and desires.
Walter Hinteler wrote:
In 1998 the US was one of only seven countries – along with China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, and Yemen – that voted against the Rome Statute.
Clinton originally signed the Rome Statute in 2000.

But president Bush then informed the UN that the U.S. no longer intended to ratify the Rome Statute, and that it did not recognize any obligation toward the Rome Statute.
While the United States played a central role in the establishment of the Rome Statute that created the ICC, the United States is not a State Party.
Under Donald Trump's administration there a much more complicated relationship between the Untied States and the ICC - which wasn't easy at all from Bush onwards.

Criminals do tend to oppose laws, you said, and that certainly characterises Trump.
Glennn
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 7 Jan, 2024 11:58 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
While the United States played a central role in the establishment of the Rome Statute that created the ICC, the United States is not a State Party.

Yeah, that explains their complicity and participation in the war crimes going on in Gaza right now.
Walter Hinteler
 
  0  
Reply Sun 7 Jan, 2024 01:08 pm
@Glennn,
Glennn wrote:
Yeah, that explains their complicity and participation in the war crimes going on in Gaza right now.
Since the United States is not a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), which founded the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2002, it all started 22 years ago, you say.
Quote:
The position of the Bush administration during its first term in office was to unalterably oppose U.S. ratification of the Rome Statute, believing Americans would be unfairly treated for political reasons.[37] Moreover, the Bush administration actively pursued a policy of hostility towards the Court in its international relations, exceeding merely staying out of the statute, instead following the provisions of the American Service-Members' Protection Act,[38] in seeking to guarantee that U.S. citizens be immune to the court and to thwart other states from acceding to the statute without taking U.S. concerns into account. The U.S. vigorously pressed states to conclude "Article 98 agreements," bilateral immunity agreements (BIAs) with the U.S. that would guarantee its citizens immunity from the court's jurisdiction, threatening to cut off aid to states that refused to agree.[39]
Source: Wikipedia

Donald Trump wrote:
So the United States took the only responsible course: We withdrew from the Human Rights Council, and we will not return until real reform is enacted. For similar reasons, the United States will provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority. The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.

Source: Remarks by President Trump to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly | New York, NY
Glennn
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 7 Jan, 2024 01:39 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
In this case, immunity emboldens biden to ignore the victims of war crimes and unconditionally support the war criminals. He can say, "We never signed any agreement that would prevent us from ignoring the world's call to stop supporting Israel's war crimes against Gazans."
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 8 Jan, 2024 04:33 pm
Prime Minister of Israel
@IsraeliPM
·
Follow
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

. . . Israel and the IDF are operating in accordance with the highest standards of international law to avoid harming innocents. We will continue to do so until our victory.
3:05 AM · Nov 5, 2023
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Can you imagine if they had not been operating in accordance with the highest standards of international law? OMG!
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2024 07:16 am
@Glennn,
https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse3.explicit.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.QmPMgH2qtv9oX01nC2Mv8gHaEK%26pid%3DApi&f=1&ipt=42cd403abaf50b14f4b87daa80061e91648191e69b73793aa5e8ae399c5d788f&ipo=images
Glennn
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2024 08:05 am
@hightor,
What the Israelis are doing to Gaza and the Gazans is a war crime. About 150 women are giving birth every day in a shythole of destruction. What a stain on Israel and the U.S.

But don't you worry. The Israelis have no intention of making the place so uninhabitable that they can't replace Gazans with their own people and steal their gas fields. However, to the Gazans, Israel might just as well have nuked 'em. What's the difference. Israel dropped 45,000 bombs (65,000 tons of explosives) in a 25 x 7 mile area.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jan, 2024 11:49 am
An article from SPIEGEL (paywall, in German, below own translation)

Quote:
Israel before the International Court of Justice
How can genocide be proven, Mr Tams?

South Africa accuses Israel of genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza. International law expert Christian J. Tams explains how the proceedings in The Hague work - and what the consequences could be.

(Christian J. Tams, born in 1973, is a professor of international law at the Universities of Glasgow and Paris 1 (Panthéon Sorbonne), as well as part-time at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. He has been advising states in proceedings before international courts for many years.)

SPIEGEL: Mr Tams, South Africa has taken Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. The hearings begin on Thursday. What is Jerusalem accused of?

Tams: South Africa is accusing Israel of violating the Genocide Convention. This is a treaty that states concluded in response to the Holocaust. It stipulates three obligations: states must not commit genocide. They must punish individuals who may have committed genocide. And they must do everything in their power to prevent imminent acts of genocide from the outset.

SPIEGEL: That means the International Court of Justice in The Hague will now determine whether the military intervention in the Gaza Strip constitutes genocide?

Tams: No. The hearings this week are not yet about whether Israel is committing genocide or not - such a determination will only be made at the end of the proceedings, which will last for years. Thursday and Friday will be about so-called interim legal protection.

SPIEGEL: What does that mean?

Tams: As legal proceedings take a long time, plaintiffs often apply for so-called interim measures of protection for the duration of the proceedings. South Africa's initial request to the International Court of Justice is that it should oblige Israel to cease all hostilities for the duration of the proceedings, as the plaintiffs argue that they harbour the risk of leading to genocide. This procedure is perhaps familiar from normal proceedings before national courts: If someone takes legal action against the construction of their neighbour's house, there is a judgement at the end of the proceedings, but in the meantime, plaintiffs often apply for a temporary halt to construction so that the neighbour cannot create a fait accompli.

SPIEGEL: What does South Africa have to present to the court for it to impose such a temporary injunction?

Tams: South Africa must make it plausible that Israel's military actions actually harbour the risk of genocidal acts.

SPIEGEL: How is genocide defined in international law?

Tams: Contrary to what you often read, genocide is not simply about a high number of victims of a certain group, but about the intention behind it. The decisive factor is the intention to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group in whole or in part. This can be done by killing, but also by causing serious physical or psychological harm.

SPIEGEL: How can genocide be proven?

Tams: The minutes of the Wannsee Conference documented Nazi Germany's intention to exterminate the Jews of Europe; it was set down in writing. But these are exceptional cases; today it is often difficult to prove the intention required to constitute genocide. Typically, courts have to judge whether it is clear from the overall circumstances of the case that certain acts were committed with the intention of destroying an ethnic, racial or religious group. This may be the case, for example, if members of a protected group have been deliberately attacked or if a climate of hatred has been stirred up against them. Statements made by soldiers, military leaders or rulers are often important in this context.

SPIEGEL: What is South Africa trying to achieve with this complaint?

Tams: Since the beginning of the escalation in the Middle East following the Hamas-led massacres on 7 October, South Africa has acted as a state that is critical of Israel's acts of war. In my view, the lawsuit therefore also has a clear political objective - it is intended to increase the pressure on Israel to stop its military action. We will know at the end of January whether or not the judges will issue the orders requested by South Africa.

SPIEGEL: How do you assess the material that South Africa has collected in its more than 80-page statement of claim?

Tams: Even the critics of the proceedings would do well to read the statement of claim and analyse the South African accusations. South Africa reproduces a whole series of statements by Israeli politicians calling for extreme measures against Palestinians. However, this does not mean that South Africa will succeed with its request.

SPIEGEL: Why not?

Tams: Because Israel will also present its side of the story in detail; so far we only know the South African statement of claim. I assume that Israel will emphasise that it is not fighting against the entire Palestinian population, but against the terrorist organisation Hamas. That it has taken measures to minimise casualties. These circumstances would suggest that Israel is not acting with genocidal intent.

SPIEGEL: What role will the statements by extremist Israeli cabinet members or members of parliament, who recently called for Gaza's population to be expelled or even wiped out, play in the proceedings?

Tams: They will not be conclusively assessed in the examination of the interim injunction. But South Africa has of course explained in its statement of claim how Israeli politicians have commented on this conflict.

SPIEGEL: As the party being sued, Israel has the option of not making a statement. Why do you think Israel has decided to actively defend itself?

Tams: I can only speculate about the reasons, but two seem plausible to me. Firstly, a boycott of the ICJ would have a limited effect because the proceedings would continue in Israel's absence. Secondly, Israel now has the opportunity to present its side of the story to the public once again by participating in the proceedings.

SPIEGEL: If the ICJ orders a ceasefire, does Israel even have to abide by it?

Tams: Such an order would be binding under international law. But the ICJ cannot send police or judicial officers to enforce it. The practical effect of the decision is therefore another matter. But here, too, you have to look at the political component: Pressure from allies, such as the USA, would certainly also increase considerably if Israel simply refused to implement an ICJ order.

SPIEGEL: Where does the ICJ derive its authority from?

Tams: The ICJ should not be confused with the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is also based in The Hague. The ICC hears cases against individuals who are accused of having committed serious criminal offences. The ICJ, on the other hand, rules on disputes between states: Border disputes, questions of diplomatic protection or even genocide allegations. But it is not a criminal court; no one is sent to prison. The ICJ is a UN body, and all states that are UN members are also parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice.

SPIEGEL: What is the composition of the ICJ?

Tams: It has 15 permanent members who are elected by the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations - on the basis of a regional proportional representation. The current president is the American Joan Donoghue, the vice president is the Russian Kirill Gevorgyan.

SPIEGEL: What is the truth of the accusation that ICJ judges represent or at least reflect the political lines of their own countries?

Tams: In its more than 75-year history, the ICJ has regularly passed judgements in which judges have ruled independently of the political preferences of the states of which they are nationals. Nationality and character are of course one factor that determines the personality of the judges, but only one of many.
 

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