Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quick. When is it Legitimate to Cause Civilian Deaths in a Military Attack against Islamist Terrorists?



'Haaretz' could not be more wrong – or misleading



In its attempts to portray IDF soldiers as violators of judicial rulings and war criminals, the newspaper would not let itself be distracted by the actual facts.



Many in the media say that what Anat Kamm uncovered was an important revelation. The IDF, they claim, violated High Court of Justice orders, and conducted targeted killings while violating judicial guidelines. The IDF, they continue to assert, committed war crimes, and there is no journalist out there who would have remained silent, were he or she to receive documented proof of this.

Let us put aside the thousands of documents that have nothing to do with the leaks she gave to Haaretz journalist Uri Blau and which contain military information with no journalistic value. And let us put aside the fact that the IDF was forced to alter its military plans due to the stolen information. And the fact that the possession of such material constitutes a criminal offense, which an Israeli paper is aiding.

Let us deal with the heart of the matter this time.
Were the documents revealed and brought before the public indeed proof that the IDF violated judicial orders? The headline, at the time, was "The chief-of-staff and IDF leadership authorized killings of wanted and innocent men." The word "innocent" appears almost 20 times in the article in which the documents were published. The impression is that the IDF has been committing war crimes, an impression Haaretz intentionally attempted to create.

We should rise to the challenge, and examine what these documents show exactly.

The main argument was regarding the High Court of Justice and the legality of targeted killings. It was no other than former president of the Supreme Court Aharon Barak who made the determination in 2006: that it is impossible to determine a priori that all targeted killings are forbidden by international law, just as it is impossible to determine a priori that all targeted killings are permissible according to international law. This is a very clear statement that is somewhat at odds with the impression received when reading Haaretz back in 2008, when the documents appeared in Blau's article, and certainly today, as the paper attempts to hide behind the guise of exposing the truth.

The documents, it should be noted, deal with the need either to arrest or target an Islamic Jihad cell – clearly terrorists, who have committed acts of murder and planned more attacks. They consistently roamed the land with rifles and bomb belts. Any army of a democratic nation would regard their assassination as something both legitimate and desirable. This would not involve any troubles of conscience. According to Haaretz, however, it was more appropriate to arrest these righteous cell members than harm them.

THE DOCUMENTS indicate that the IDF rigorously abided by the ruling. They reveal four matters.

First, that OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh ordered an arrest rather than an assassination. Only if these turned out to be the Islamic Jihad members that, as stated earlier, were walking around with bomb belts and rifles, and only if events developed into a situation that both necessitates and allows this, should they be killed.

Second, it appears that the implementing force received an additional order: if there are women or children in the area, assassination must be avoided. Here then, argues the sanctimonious Haaretz, is the proof that there was an alternative to assassination and that arrests were possible. Nonsense. This proves one thing only: that when there are innocent civilians on the premises, particularly women and children, IDF troops take on themselves a far greater risk.

Third, it shows that the IDF places restrictions on the implementing force, in all things concerning the possible harming of innocent civilians. In the course of the meeting conducted by Naveh it was decided that only if there were as few as two unidentified men in addition to those that are wanted, could the operation take place.

In a second meeting, this time under Gen. Tal Russo, it was decided to restrict this further and allow only one innocent individual to be accidentally struck. The matter reached the chief-of-staff, and there too, Ashkenazi ordered that the operation against the arch-terrorists from Islamic Jihad take place only "if there is no more than a single unidentified individual" on the scene. Not even two.

In other words, if there are women and children, the operation is off. And if there are two unidentified figures, the operation is off. And it should be stressed that there was certainly no order to take out the unidentified figure. Does this violate the High Court of Justice's rulings? Let us examine. In the ruling, Barak states that "collateral damage in which innocent women and children are harmed shall be legal only if it abides by proportional standards."

Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that we are talking about the accidental killing of two innocent civilians, compared to the striking down of five murderers belonging to a terrorist cell. Is this proportional? The man who was in charge of targeted killings in the Pentagon, Marc Garlasco, a former defense intelligence analyst at the Pentagon – yes, he of the Nazi memorabilia fiasco in 2009 – was interviewed on 60 Minutes, where he told interviewers that when it came to the assassination of a senior Iraqi terrorist, the guidelines were to kill as many as 29 innocent individuals, in order to take the man out. For them the
US, it is one to 29 innocent men, and in Israel, permission is only given if there is one unidentified figure on the scene. And no, there is no order take him or them out. There is a huge gulf between Israel and the United States. Garlasco, incidentally, is responsible for the killing of some 200 innocent civilians, as part of pursuits of wanted terrorists – all while no terrorist was actually struck. No international arrest warrant was issued against Garlasco. On the contrary, he later became a senior member of Human Rights Watch. These are the ratios. This is the proportionality. Haaretz has failed to explain what it regards as proportional. Nor will it ever explain.

FOURTHLY, IT appears that in order to authorize any operation against Islamic Jihad members, many deliberations across different echelons take place. In these deliberations it was determined that innocent civilians shall not be harmed. That arrests are preferred over assassination. That women and children must be protected. That proportionality must be rigorously defended.

And these were not merely debates, the OC Central Commander himself could not approve the operation, and the authorization of the chief-of-staff was required. Can this complex process, of wavering, of debate after debate, of orders to safeguard the lives of women, children and innocent civilians, of clear definition of proportionality, be called a war crime, or murder?

In the course of the mission discussed by the Haaretz article, two terrorists were killed, Ziad Tzubahi Mahmad Malaisha and Ibrahim Ahmad Abed-El Latif A'abad. The two, not only according to the IDF but also according to a statement published by Islamic Jihad, were killed as they attempted to resist arrest, and while they were armed with M-16s in the throes of a battle with IDF troops. Islamic Jihad regards them as fallen troops. Haaretz created the impression that they were victims of war crimes.

In the very same article, the newspaper presents at length the views of three legal experts, Motta Kremnizer, David Kremnizer, and Moshe Hanegbi. They conclude, each in his own way, that the the troops on the mission has violated IDF orders, and that their actions constituted war crimes.

Based on what? What evidence do they present? Any search would be in vain. Haaretz turned to three legal experts whose opinions it knew in advance. The aim was to implicate the IDF. The legal experts brought home the bacon.

But, there was one other opinion. Following the report, two attorneys, Michael Shepherd and Avigdor Feldman, approached the attorney general and demanded that the matter be investigated. The attorney general at the time, Menahem Mazuz wrote in a reply: "the military sources in the IDF General Staff received constant legal council, were aware of High Court of Justice guidelines, stressed and executed this in every state of planning and approval of the mission."

Haaretz would not allow itself to be
distracted by the facts. After all, legal advice is not an exact science. Therefore, the paper chose to approach legal experts who would recite exactly what it wanted to hear.

One could, of course, add that the number of targeted killings in recent years stands at approximately zero. There were targeted killings during the second Intifada but following the 2006 High Court ruling, the number of assassinations did indeed decline, and the number of innocent civilians killed in the process fell to zero.

And now, in order to justify the view it has long held, Haaretz attempts to create the opposite impression, one of mass targeted killings and harming of innocent civilians, contrary to the High Court's ruling.

Anyone reading the paper gets the impression that the IDF is deeply engaged in the criminal act of assassination when nothing could be further from the truth.

The demonizing, and delegitimizing of
Israel got some help these past days thanks to Haaretz.

The paper has the right to hold its views and run any story it pleases. However, this recent affair should be called by its name: a libel manufactured by Haaretz.

The writer is a regular columnist at Maariv.




2.   The Left's Genocidal Peace


Promoting a Genocidal "Peace"

Posted By Kenneth Levin On April 16, 2010 @ 12:10 am In FrontPage | 19 Comments

Indoctrination to genocidal anti-Semitism is epidemic among Palestinians and in Arab and other Muslim states. "Peace" plans that do not recognize this as the major obstacle to genuine peace, but rather push steps which ignore it, inexorably lead to more violence and are doomed to fail. Even worse, by their silence on this issue they pander to and help promote such deadly hate-mongering.

Demonization not only of Israel's Jews but of all Jews, and calls for their mass murder, are a staple of Palestinian institutions, those controlled by Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority as well as those of Hamas.

Hamas's charter quotes a Hadith in which Allah declares that the Day of Judgement will not come until the Jews are all killed and even the stones and trees will help in murdering them. The charter adds that Hamas "aspires to the realization of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take."

Hamas systematically employs its media, mosques and schools to convey the same message. Its schools and children's television programming teach their young audience the virtues of killing Jews.

The Palestinian Authority hardly lags behind its Islamist rivals in peddling genocidal Jew-hatred. PA media depict Jews as a cancer that must be excised and, like Hamas, insist it is a religious duty to do so. PA indoctrination includes delineations of the nature of Jews that entail virtually every hoary anti-Semitic caricature. While PA leaders such as Mahmoud Abbas talk of "peace" to Western leaders and media, they use their vehicles of incitement to instill in Palestinians not only commitment to annihilating Israel but also dedication to extirpating the Jews.

For example, a recent official Palestinian Authority Friday sermon, broadcast on PA TV and translated by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), had the preacher declaring: "The Jews are the enemies of Allah and His messenger… the enemies of humanity in general… Our mutual enmity with the Jews is a matter of faith more than an issue pertaining to occupation and land… The prophet Muhammad said: 'You will fight the Jews, and you will kill them…'"

In the wider Arab world, even in countries allied to the United States, the same message is incessantly promoted. A recurrent feature of Saudi government television is of clerics or other authority figures demonizing Jews, often with the speaker having children present to whom they are imparting their Jew-hating wisdom.

Even in countries with which Israel is officially at peace, such as Egypt, variations on the same theme are prominent in government-controlled media. Egyptian television and government newspapers have, for example, featured clerical and academic authorities confirming the Jews do indeed use the blood of non-Jews in their recipes for Passover matzoh.

Robert Wistrich, a leading authority on the history of anti-Semitism and author of the recently published book on the subject,  A Lethal Obsession, has written:

"In the Middle East, [anti-Semitism] has taken on a particularly dangerous, toxic and potentially genocidal aura of hatred, closely linked to the 'mission' of holy war or jihad against the West and the Jews…

"The scale and extremism of the [anti-Semitic] literature and commentary available in Arab or Muslim newspapers, journals, magazines, caricatures, on Islamist websites, on the Middle Eastern radio and TV news, in documentaries, films, and educational materials, is comparable only to that of Nazi Germany at its worst."

Also noteworthy is that, aside from the exacerbations introduced by the rise of Islamist groups in recent decades, similar anti-Jewish depredations permeated much of the Arab world before the 1967 war and Israel's presence in the West Bank and Gaza, and even before Israel's founding.

What has been the Western response to this promotion of genocidal Jew-hatred? Largely silence. In the Palestinian arena, the indoctrination has actually been paid for in part by the European Union and individual European states, the United Nations and even American government funds.

But no less morally obscene is the virtual absence of any acknowledgment of this hate indoctrination from all discussions of "peace." There are, here and there, some bland references to ending "incitement," but no evident outrage over the level and nature of the incitement or discussion of what must be done – or the time it will take – to reverse the impact of decades of hate-inculcation.

Nor is there any recognition of Israel's need to be able to defend itself from the onslaught that it has faced in the past and will inevitably face in the future as a result of this indoctrination. The need for Israel to have defensible borders – recognized in 1967 by the authors of UN Security Council Resolution 242 in the wake of the Six Day War, and by various U.S. presidents in the ensuing decades – gets scant recognition from today's self-styled promoters of peace, even as the intensity and impact of Palestinian and broader Arab genocidal Jew-hatred has only grown.

Territory beyond the pre-1967 cease-fire line that Israel has every right under 242 and under international law to claim for the purpose of national defense, territories that should, given their legal status, be depicted as "disputed," are declared "Palestinian" by Western politicians and media.

Israel's claims are dismissed as illegitimate land-grabs and the threats against her are ignored.

Those interested in a genuine peace would recognize that true peace is a long way off and will never be achieved as long as Israel's enemies continue to indoctrinate their people in genocidal anti-Semitism. They would draw public attention to this obscenity and to its obstruction of possible movement toward a real peace. And they would seek in the interim lesser, and less murder-enabling, goals entailing a separation of Palestinians from Israel to the degree commensurate with Israel's retaining strategic territories necessary for its defense; goals that, for example, would not put Israel's major population centers within range of the type of assaults that have followed upon Israel's withdrawal from Gaza.

Genuine peace-seekers would aspire to arrangements that enable Palestinians to pursue their own, separate political course without rendering Israel more vulnerable to those whose agenda is the annihilation of its people.

Promoters of anything less, of any plan that is silent about the hate-indoctrination and the existential threat it represents to Israel, or gives it no more than a passing nod of acknowledgment as a problem, are not pursuing peace. Promoters of any formula that talks of "peace" as reachable in short order and dismisses Israel's need for defensible borders are not agents of serious attempts to attain peace. Whether such formulas emanate from gentile or Jew, from the EU, or individual European states, or the UN, or the Quartet, or the State Department or the White House, or are advanced by Israel's Meretz party, or the devotees of Peace Now, or the beneficiaries of the New Israel Fund, or the groupies of J Street – their promoters are in reality silent appeasers and accommodators, and not infrequently abettors, of those who are both propagandizing for and actively aspiring to another genocide of the Jews.

Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian and author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege.



3.    That volcano in Iceland with the impossible name that is driving everyone crazy?  Its official name is Eyjafjallajokull. 


In Hebrew that works out to

עייף?  יאלה!  יאכלו!

Or translated – Are you tired?  Then Yalla – Go Eat!



4.  Who has the damned torpedoes?

The 'Rachel Corrie' ship to try to breach Gaza blockade next month

Left-wing groups planning on trying to reach Gaza with 8 ships containing 600 passengers, journalists. 




5.  How the Left rules Israel even when the "Right" is in power:,7340,L-3878505,00.html



6.  Im Tirtzu continues to drive the Israeli Left to Soiling its Nappies:



7.  Well, it is buried in small print on an inside page.   But the news that the US had sent three of the leaders of Al-Qaeda in Iraq to meet their virgins also carried one other interesting news tidbit.  It seems that a German army officer in the Allied forces in Afghanistan was indicted for causing civilians deaths when he ordered the bombardment from the air of a Taliban concentration in Afghanistan last Sept 4.  It was feared the Taliban would rig the trucks as bombs to attack NATO troops. The planes fired at the two fuel tanker trucks.  Dozens of Afghans died.  The officer was investigated by a German prosecutor but cleared of all charges.  In war, the prosecutor declared, such bombardment is legitimate and the officer was UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO RISK THE LIVES OF HIS OWN TROOPS IN ATTACKING THE TERRORISTS WITH GROUND FORCES, and that this is what international law itself proclaims.  (Haaretz April 21)


Of course the German officer was not a Jew.


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