Friday, July 07, 2006


Reciprocation And Proportionality

The The Jerusalem Post describes how IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit's fortunes are affected by the Third Geneva Convention.

IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit is not a prisoner of war and is therefore not entitled to the full protection that international law affords POW's, Hebrew University international law expert Yuval Shani told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. "The Third Geneva Convention applies to states and therefore only grants the status of POW when both parties in the war are states, or at least entities that are close to states," said Shani. "In the case of Gilad Shalit, the group that is holding him is not a state nor does it act on behalf of a state, or apparently, on behalf of an entity which is close to being a state." ...

Prisoners captured in non-international conflicts are not entitled to many of the benefits afforded POWs, including the right to be held as a cohesive group in a special facility for prisoners of war, to meet with doctors and ministers and to receive visits by the Red Cross.

...By the same token, however, Israel [is] also not obliged to treat captured Palestinian terrorists as POWs, continued Shani, because the Geneva Accords regarding POWs only apply when two states fight each other. He added that Israel indeed did not observe all of the provisions of international law when it captured and held terrorists.

The Palestinian government, such as it is, seems to believe they may selectively eschew the responsibility not only of governing but of even taking part in civilization. Gilad Shalit is being held by Hamas animals to whom international law means nothing unless it helps to destroy Israel, which is why the Palestinians cling so closely to the U.N.'s apron. His captors by their very act of kidnapping Shalit demonstrated their contempt for Geneva, negating any claim to its protections.

Further, the anti-Israeli argument for "proportionality" is only meant to hamstring Israel against a foe whose every action mocks the concept. In fact, "proportionality" would dictate that Israelis randomly fire rockets into Palestinian territory, commit mass-murder at their markets and restaurants with nail bombs, and call for the destruction of the Palestinian people. In other words, it would mean treating the Palestinians they way Palestinians treat Israelis. Instead, Israeli restraint keeps Palestinian civilian casualties to a minimum by way of assiduous targeting of terrorist assholes. One interesting result: dozens of Palestinian government cabinet officers are in Israeli custody, because they are mostly terrorist assholes.

The Israelis have answered appropriately by going into Gaza to establish a buffer zone against Palestinian rocket attacks until they can exterminate what remains of Hamas' vermin. Some civilians will get killed along the way, but it will be because the terrorists are using them as shields. And the IDF cannot be made responsible for Palestinian war crimes.

That's proportionality.

HT: Belmont Club

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