Sunday, June 25, 2006

Just Say After Me: Firing Kassams Is A War Crime

On Thursday, Justice Minister Haim Ramon spoke to Ynet about a number of topics, but one thing stands out if for no other reason that it has been so long in coming:
Firing 40 Qassams a day on Sderot and trying to intentionally kill civilians is a war crime.

...Accidents during battle happen to every superpower that is engaged in the war on terror; it happened in London, in Spain, it is happening in the United States – it happens everywhere
True, this is only one Israeli official saying this, but:
  • Imagine if Olmert would say that too--instead of just issuing apologies.
  • Imagine if the Israeli government as a whole issued such a statement.
  • Imagine if Israel made of point of saying this and hammering the point home at every opportunity
  • Imagine if the Media started saying this.
To a degree some in the media do seem to be making the point.

Justice Minister Ramon:
...these incidents that may be deemed war crimes by the international community can be easily avoided if Israel ceases to be a target of daily terror emanating from the Gaza Strip; and this is taking place after Israel withdrew from the entire Strip and evacuated 8,000 Israelis from the area.”
Cliff May:
Is there no one – in Gaza, in Europe, at the UN – who will say that it is at the very least irresponsible to set up a launch site for a missile attack on Israel so close to areas where Palestinian civilians swim, sunbathe and picnic?

Also, note how every story on this emphasizes that Hamas has been “observing a truce.” How is permitting the firing of missiles from territories under its control, not a violation of this “truce”?
Charles Krauthammer:
But the obvious question not being asked is this: Who is to blame if Palestinians are setting up rocket launchers to attack Israel — and placing them 400 yards from a beach crowded with Palestinian families on the Muslim Sabbath?

Whether the rocket bases are near civilian beaches or in remote areas, why are the Gazans launching any rockets at Israel in the first place — about 1,000 in the past year?

To get Israel to remove its settlers, end the occupation and let the Palestinians achieve dignity and independence? But Israel did exactly that in Gaza last year. It completely evacuated Gaza, dismantled all its military installations, removed its soldiers, destroyed all Israeli settlements and expelled all 7,000 Israeli settlers. Israel then declared the line that separates Israel from Gaza to be an international frontier. Gaza became the first independent Palestinian territory ever.

And what have the Palestinians done with this independence, this judenrein territory under the Palestinians’ control? ...They declared war instead.
The point sounds so simple.
"What we're doing is self defense," Ramon said. "Contrary to the Palestinian terror, we try not to hurt civilians. The situation with them is completely different. Their aim is to target our civilian population in Sderot and the near-Gaza communities."
It just bears repeating.


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