Trashing the Laws of War — Again
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Operating by their own rules extrajudicially, the US, NATO and Israel consistently breach the laws of war, notably what’s been codified post-WW II in the UN Charter, Nuremberg Code, Fourth Geneva, and other key international laws.
In November 2012 — near the end of Israel’s preemptive Pillar of Cloud war on Gaza — Law Professor Francis Boyle explained the laws of war in testimony before the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Commission.
Indicting Israel for crimes of war, against humanity and genocide against defenseless Gazans, Boyle said his participation was “to explain the law to which you will apply the facts in formulating your indictments,” adding:
It’s “for you to decide whether or not to indict, or whom to indict.”
“But you have already received my recommendation that you should indict the state of Israel, and named officials that I have already provided to you that will be found again in the transcript of the proceedings, including and especially General Yaron for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.”
Witnesses provided damning evidence, what’s true about all Israeli wars — dating from aggression it waged in 1947-48.
Months of preemptive war, mass slaughter, vast destruction, expulsion of around 800,000 Palestinians from their homeland, and atrocities committed in forcing them out stole 78% of historic Palestine.
The rest was forcefully taken in June 1967.
Since December 2008, Israel waged preemptive war on Gaza four times, the latest aggression launched on May 10 — after weeks of fighting in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Gaza “is under military occupation,” Boyle stressed. The same, of course, applies to the West Bank and East Jerusalem — Palestinians confined to separated cantons for easier controlled.
Their rights throughout the Territories are systematically denied by Israel.
Under Fourth Geneva, Palestinians are protected persons as civilians, Boyle explained.
Their inviolable rights have been denied by Israel since it gained control of the Territories in 1967.
Israel flagrantly violated “almost each and every one” of Fourth Geneva’s 147 articles “with respect to the civilian population of Gaza” and rest of the Territories.
Yet it remains unaccountable for the highest of high crimes for the past 73 years — because of US/Western support and indifference toward Palestinians by most world community member states.
Israel falsely claims that it’s no longer bound by Fourth Geneva and other laws of war — because it formally withdrew forces from the Strip.
Boyle: “That does not change the situation legally. They are dead wrong.”
“Professor Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur for Palestine, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council itself had said, ‘No, this is nonsense.’ ”
“ ‘Israel is still the occupying power in Gaza.’ ”
Falk’s “predecessor, Professor John Dugard of South Africa, has also taken for the same position.”
“The International Committee of Red Cross has taken the same position.”
Occupation is based on control.
Israel maintains it illegally throughout the Territories.
“Gaza is a (besieged) concentration camp,” Boyle stressed.
Israel maintains control of its borders, air space, and offshore waters.
Its troops invade the Strip at the discretion of Israeli authorities.
IDF warplanes terror-bomb Gaza at their their discretion.
Israeli gunboats and artillery in its own territory shell Strip towns and villages time and again — daily since May 10.
Gaza’s border with Egypt is sealed. Its ruling authorities operate in cahoots with Israel and the US against long-suffering Gazans.
There’s no ambiguity about Israeli control over Gaza, Boyle stressed — according to international law.
The Jewish state “remain the belligerent occupant of Gaza subject to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 that protects all the civilians in Gaza, and the Hague Regulation of 1907 that also protects the land and the environment of Gaza as well as to some extent, the civilians.”
“So, this is the legal regime applicable to Gaza.”
Since at least 2007, Israel committed slow-motion genocide against Gazans.
In January 2006, Hamas was democratically elected historic Palestine’s legitimate government — the last time a free, fair, and open election was held in the Territories.
Current Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was virtually installed by Israel in January 2005.
His term expired in 2009. Ye he remains in office at Israel’s discretion, refusing to call new elections.
After scheduling one for May 22 — he postponed it on the phony pretext of how it would proceed in East Jerusalem.
When eventually held, Israel will control the outcome, a democratic one ruled out as long as Israel controls the Territories with an iron fist.
Before Yasser Arafat was assassinated by Israel in 2004 by radioactive polonium poisoning after falling out of favor with its ruling authorities, Boyle urged him to “sue Israel for committing genocide against Palestine and the Palestinians at the International Court of Justice.”
He gave Abbas the same advice.
To this day, Israel remains unaccountable for the highest of high crimes of war, against humanity and slow-motion genocide throughout the Territories.
Because its ruling regimes are backed the US, Boyle explained.
Throughout its history, Israel committed virtually every high crime imaginable against defenseless Palestinians — including theft of their land, resources, fundamental rights and lives.
Yet justice is always denied them.
Boyle’s extensive testimony before the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Commission covered much ground about Israeli high crimes.
Almost nine years later, things in the Territories are arguably worse than earlier.
Yet long denied justice for Palestinians is nowhere in sight.
Their liberating struggle continues — largely on their own because the US, West, and most other countries one-sidedly support Israel.
A Final Comment
At the time of his above testimony, Boyle said he’s “gone all over the world seeking justice for the Palestinians for the last 30 years.”
“And I am now coming here today and asking you to indict this criminal rogue state Israel, its aiders and abettors, and its highest level officials…Peres, Netanyahu, Lieberman, Barak, its chiefs of staff and their predecessors, the rapist Katsav, Olmert, Livni, Ashkenaz, and before that, General Amos Yaron.”
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”
“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”