Thursday, September 24, 2009

Catch 26: War and International Law

According to the new orthodoxy of the primacy of a specific version of international law over the right to wage war, the IDF can be castigated for acting without regard for the law; but when the IDF does rely on legal council, the lawyers will be indicted for supplying legal basis for actions the critics don't like.
A senior prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague said
Monday that he is considering opening an investigation into whether Lt. Col.
David Benjamin, an Israel Defense Forces reserve officer, allowed war crimes to
be committed during the IDF's three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip this
Dennis Davis - a South African district court judge and international law
lecturer at the University of Cape Town, who directed the conference - said he
firmly opposed the remarks delivered by Benjamin, who was once his law student.
Davis added that were Benjamin still his student, he would "fail him."

I was once a teacher, many years ago. It happened that some students understood what I had to offer and then rejected it from a position of knowing what they were talkling about. This always caused me professional pride. I guess in South Africa it's different: once a subordinate student, always subordinate.

Catch 26: if you accept the international law pacifists it's criminal to defend yourself from enemies; if you protect yourself using the tools of international law you're a criminal for having twisted the law as they intended it.

A similar dynamic is playing out in the US, of course. This is good. If it were only Israel, no-one would notice or care. If it's the United States being pilloried by the international law pacifists, however, sooner or later the mainstream may beat them back into the lonely corner they should be in.

1 comment:

annie said...

What is it with all these South Africans? What is their special animus against Israel?

As to the subject under discussion, did anyone ever think that the international community would NOT twist "international law" (whatever that is) to suit their own purposes and to castigate Israel? It was obvious to me right from the start. No one should have any illusions about anything to do with the UN.