< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Anne Bayefsky: Israelis are sitting ducks

Bayefsky is an international lawyer and a member of the governing board of the Geneva-based UN Watch.
According to the United Nations Charter, every U.N. member state has ''the inherent right of . . . self-defense if an armed attack occurs against'' it.
Every nation, of course, except Israel. Bayefsky provides the evidence - -

August 19th - HAMAS massacred 23 people and mutilated 115 others on the streets of Israel's capital.

August 21st - Israel killed HAMAS leader Ismail Abu Shanab.

Kofi Annan said, "Israel does not have the right to resort to extra-judicial measures, as it used today . . . "

Sept. 6th - Israel tried to take out HAMAS founder Yassin by targeting a meeting of eight top HAMAS leaders (see DEBKAfile exclusive report: "Behind the Scenes of Yassin Strike.") Out of concern for possible civilian deaths and injuries, a relatively smaller bomb was used; Yassin escaped with only minor injuries.

Sept. 8th - Annan "condemned the attempt by Israel to assassinate the Hamas spiritual leader."

Sept. 9th - HAMAS bombed Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem.

Sept. 10th - Israel attempted to kill senior HAMAS leader Mahmoud al-Zahar.

Terje Roed-Larsen, UN special coordinator for the Middle East "peace process" said he "deplores Israel's bombing of a Hamas leader's house in a densely populated Gaza neighborhood . . . "
In these cases, Israel was unable to arrest them and the Palestinian Authority made it clear it had no intention of doing so. In such circumstances, international law makes them legitimate targets.

The U.N.'s denial of the necessities of self-defense when it comes to Israel takes another form. The key international rule governing the use of force against terrorists is the requirement of proportionality. The Geneva Conventions say an attack on a military target ''which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life'' is prohibited if ''excessive.'' Only in Israel's case does the U.N. apply this rule to mean zero civilian deaths.
Bayefsky points out that "It is the Palestinian Authority that violates international humanitarian law by putting civilians, deliberately and directly, in harm's way. Permitting killers to live, socialize and plot freely in densely populated civilian neighborhoods is the violation of international law. "

In a speech this past Monday, at the start of the debate in the UN, Roed-Larsen said that "Arafat embodies the Palestinian identity and national hope" (Norway Post). He's right about that.