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US and Israel: Phooey to international law

The Israelis, not for the first time, have "taught" the USA how to circumvent, if not entirely ignore, international law.   And what is anyone doing about it?   Nothin' - which may well be Israel's undoing in the fullness of time and certainly leave the Americans without any credibility in the Middle East.    

"In 2009, the former head of the international law department of Israel’s military establishment, Daniel Reisner, said that “International law progresses through violations. We invented the targeted assassination thesis and we had to push it. At first there were protrusions that made it hard to insert easily into the legal molds. Eight years later, it is in the center of the bounds of legitimacy.”

In disagreeing with such justification in the New York Times, George Bisharat points also to the Israeli claim that its army’s clashes with Palestinian protestors are “armed conflict’ justifying weapons of war, rather than the limited police measures that international law authorizes in dealing with protesting residents of illegally occupied Palestinian territory.

Bisharat also cites Israel’s definition of people who have not left a designated military strike area after warning as being “voluntary human shields,” the killing of whom is warranted, and civilian employees of the Hamas administration in Gaza as “terrorist infrastructure” and therefore legitimate objects of military attack. These acts, hitherto considered war crimes, have subsequently been without effective international condemnation since Israel created “facts on the ground” with respect to their use.

The United States has emulated this strategy for “progress” in dismantling international law. Its military and clandestine operations in recent years have included torture, kidnap, the use of anti-personnel fragmentation weapons, and the mass armored and artillery “shock and awe” assault tactic employed against Baghdad and Fallujah in Iraq, whose purpose is terrorization of civilian populations as well as enemy troops.

Washington’s adamant hostility to the creation or recognition of international war crimes courts, widely supported in the international community, has amounted to acknowledgement that American practices would be likely to expose troops and officials to international war crimes indictments, or civil actions similar to Italy’s indictment and recent trial in absentia of CIA officers charged with the illegal apprehension and rendition for torture of an Italian resident.

Now we have the case of the president of the United States himself implicated in drone-conducted assassinations of persons in foreign countries who are adjudged by American military and civilian operators, under authority of the Defense Department, CIA and the Executive office itself, to be unfit to live."

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