Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Death by Nuance

By       Message Russ Wellen     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It


Author 129
- Advertisement -
See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged.

In an article in the Forward, Ori Nir writes: "While intentionally targeting civilians or civilian property is forbidden, international law takes a more nuanced approach to the unintentional striking of civilians when pursuing military targets." [Editor's italics and underscore]

"When targeting such sites," he writes, "the impact of the attack on civilians must be carefully weighed against the military advantage that the attack serves."

Then he quotes Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study's Michael Walzer, who he terms a leading authority on ethics in war-time: "From a moral perspective, Israel has mostly been fighting legitimately." If Israeli commanders were brought up before an international tribunal, Walzer maintains that thanks to the Hezbollah human shield defense -- apparently accepted wisdom now -- "the defense lawyers will have a good case."

Maybe when these laws were cooked up in the Hague or wherever they sounded like a good compromise. But, assuming Walzer is interpreting them correctly, they clearly don't work as well in practice as in theory -- at least from a PR point of view. Israel is getting some fugugly press from the rest of the world, which doesn't care about the letter of the law, even if it is international. If it walks like a war crime. . .

Worse, this kind of legal parsing over how many angels (newly minted from dead Lebanese children, one presumes) can fit on the head of a pin is almost as dreary of that of fanatical Islamists and their fatwahs calculating how many Westerners deserve to die for their sins against Islam.
- Advertisement -

Why not call Israel's bluff? If asked to convene a beth din (rabbinical court) -- like, yesterday -- how can it refuse? One suspects Israel knows that, even if permissible in a court of international laws, its questionable military strategy isn't likely to secure the imprimatur of Talmudic scholars.
- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Russ Wellen is the nuclear deproliferation editor for OpEdNews. He's also on the staffs of Freezerbox and Scholars & Rogues.

"It's hard to tell people not to smoke when you have (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Foxy Knoxy and the Case of the Honorary Missing White Woman

You All Know Hanoi Jane, Now Meet Tehran Todd

School, Mall and Workplace Shootings: Why So Many?

What's It Like Waiting Around to Be Bombed?

Is a Preemptive Strike Ever Justified?

Surf-veying the Progressive Web