Monday, July 19, 2004

International Law takes a beating

That's the conclusion from Andrew Apostolou in this editorial on the ICJ's preposterous advisory opinion on the Israeli Fence.

Here's some more from Apostolou:

The ICJ mentioned that "Israel has to face numerous indiscriminate and deadly acts of violence against its civilian population", but did not characterize this violence as terrorism. The justices of the ICJ thereby turned a blind eye to illegality. Terrorism is a war crime, an act of unlawful belligerency that knowingly and deliberately violates the laws of war. Individuals and states that use terrorism ought to be considered political and moral pariahs. Instead, the ICJ has made the Israeli victims international legal outcasts while giving the Palestinian movement, which glorifies terrorism, a legal seal of approval.

The ICJ was particularly concerned about Israeli territorial ambitions in the West Bank. While there is no doubt that Israel wants to retain parts of the West Bank, the route of the barrier has been dictated overwhelmingly by security rather than territorial acquisition. Indeed, confirmation of this had been provided just a week before the ICJ ruling when the Israeli supreme court had ordered the barrier's route to be changed to provide less security for Israel, but improved economic well being for the Palestinians.

Note that from here on out, I'm calling the West Bank barrier the Fence -- it's rarely an actual wall; for about 85% of its length it is wire fencing. The concrete wall portions were erected at places where (1) the Palestinians were shooting onto Israeli highways; (2) the Palestinians were shooting into Israeli residential areas.

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