WOW. Anne Bayefsky
in the National Review
The recent decision on Israel's security fence by the International Court of Justice... is a classic example of how the vilification of Jews does not end with Jews.
United Nations mistreatment of the Jewish state takes many forms, from the refusal to admit Israel into the negotiating and electoral groups of many U.N. operations, to Israel's demonization by U.N. human-rights machinery applied to no other state. Though antithetical to the U.N.'s founding principle of the equality of nations large and small, many believe that the consequences of these facts of U.N.-life can be confined to Jewish self-determination. The ICJ has proved them wrong.
The Court has declared four new rules about the meaning of the right of self-defense in the face of terrorism today.
- There is no right of self-defense under the U.N. Charter when the terrorists are not state actors.
- There is no right of self-defense against terrorists who operate from any territory whose status is not finalized, and who therefore attack across disputed borders.
- Where military action is perpetrated by "irregulars," self-defense does not apply if the "scale and effects" of the terrorism are insufficient to amount to "an armed attack...had it been carried out by regular armed forces." (The scale in this case is 860 Israeli civilians killed in the last three years — the proportional equivalent of at least 14 9/11's.)
- Self-defense does not include nonviolent acts, or in the words of Judge Rosalyn Higgins: "I remain unconvinced that non-forcible measures (such as the building of a wall) fall within self-defence under Article 51 of the Charter."
These conclusions constitute a direct assault on the ability of every U.N. member to fight international terrorism. The U.N. Charter was not a suicide pact and Security Council resolutions in response to 9/11 were intended to strengthen the capacity to confront violent non-state actors, not defeat it.
Having couched their analysis in general terms, however, some of the judges were concerned that the go-ahead for Palestinian suicide bombers might not be obvious enough. So Judge Abdul Koroma of Sierra Leone wrote:"It is understandable that a prolonged occupation would engender resistance."
Judge Nabil Elaraby of Egypt said,"Throughout the annals of history, occupation has always been met with armed resistance. Violence breeds violence."
He "wholeheartedly subscribe[d] to the view" that there is "a right of resistance."
Judge Hisashi Owada of Japan spoke of the"the so-called terrorist attacks by Palestinian suicide bombers against the Israeli civilian population."
The judges need not have worried. Within hours a joint statement from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Yasser Arafat's Fatah organization announced: "We salute the court's decision." Proclaimed a Hamas communiqué"The racial wall represents the true image of the Zionist entity...The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, welcomes the ICJ's decision and considers it a good step in the right direction.... We stress the need to continue our efforts and use all available means to stop the construction of the racial wall and remove its effects."
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued a statement hailing the ruling as "a step forward." This judgment clearly played very well to an audience from the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations.
There are other disturbing features . . .