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Targeting Civilians

by name Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 11:22:08 AM EST

I lifted this article in its entirety from xymphora's blog (xymphora.blogspot.com). Not only is it relevant to recent political developments, but the issue at hand is also contentious in the context of this blog (eurotrib).

hamas has been called to 'renounce violence' and 'recognize israel', and many other nonsense appeals have been going in their general direction since they won the elections, but not only since then. palestinians have been accused, as a group and irrespective of age, gender, religious or political affiliation, of being terrorists. "targeted killings" and other euphemisms have been cooked up by some PR agency from hell in order to justify, whitewash and make acceptable what is otherwise called state-sponsored murder, genocide, death-squad hits, crimes of war and other unsavory names whenever such activities are undertaken by the other side.

is it not weird that hamas (and palestinians in general) are called to task when they target the civilians who illegally occupy their lands, but OTOH those same illegal civilians occupying their lands are never called to task for their crimes ? (hint: the israeli army are ot the only ones doing the shooting, demolitions, razing orchards, terrorizing civilians ...)

but, let's see what xymphora has to say about hamas targeting israeli civilians. it is all after the fold.


xymphora writes:

I know there are certain things you are not supposed to say, let alone think, but if blogs are good for anything, they are a good place to air the unsayable and unthinkable. Much bloviation about Hamas concerns the fact that it targets civilians, a fact that apparently puts it beyond the pale. Some have pointed out that it hardly lies in the mouths of Israel or the United States to complain about the targeting of civilians. Israel has targeted far more civilians than Hamas, and the United States is the current undisputed world champion in targeting civilians. Hypocrisy is the playground of the powerful.

There is a big relevant difference between Israel and the United States, on the one hand, and Hamas, on the other. Hamas is fighting a war of national liberation against an illegal and immoral occupation. Israel and the United States are each involved on the other side, the side of the oppressive occupiers. Hamas has limited resources to resist the oppression, while Israel and the United States have unlimited resources to oppress. No one is allowed to mention it, but Hamas possibly - I would say probably - has a right under international law to target civilians if that is the only weapon it has to resist the occupation. International law is mostly how the international community reacts. There are and have been many respected world leaders, including many from Israel (although it is highly debatable whether the creation of Israel was a war of national liberation), who spent their younger days targeting, and killing, civilians (e. g., Menachem Begin). As long as you win the war of liberation, the international community seems completely accepting of the concept of targeting civilians. Of course, we're not supposed to mention this, as it doesn't sound very nice.


permalink: http://xymphora.blogspot.com/2006/01/targeting-civilians.html

it would be nice if somebody less lazy could find out if there exists any pertinent legislation.

if there is nothing appropriate to the situation in known legislation, here is a situation which somehow compares: here in europe illegals and asylum seekers are given short shrift. whenever caught they are thrown in jail and soon after packed on an airplane and sent back to wherever they came. given that we treat these rather peaceful people like that, is it valid for palestinians to treat the jewish illegals on their territory, most of them armed and dangerous militants, in a more resolute manner ?

my question has nothing to do with israel per se, but everything with what is going on 'behind' the armistice lines of 1967, in palestinian territory, where jewish "settlements" are not supposed to exist and where the israeli army has no legit business.

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