web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



A State Won’t Turn Terrorists Into Statesmen


.

Even if the Palestinian Authority were to succeed with its strategy for incremental statehood at the United Nations, persisting expressions of violence against the innocent would still be terrorism. From the standpoint of international law, even a fully constituted “Palestine” would be unable to justify linguistic transformations of murder. In fact, no matter how hard they might try in any post-independence milieu, those Palestinians who would continue to identify the willful maiming and execution of Israeli noncombatants in the name of a now-expanded goal of “national liberation” (all of Israel proper is “occupied Palestine”) would still be criminals.

Terrorism is a crime under international law. To date, whenever Palestinian insurgents claim the right to use “any means necessary” because they are victims of an alleged “occupation,” they are flat out mistaken. Even if their relentlessly disingenuous claims for “national self-determination” should soon become supportable at the UN, there will remain utterly firm jurisprudential limits on permissible (1) targets of insurgent violence and (2) levels of insurgent violence.

The limited rights of insurgency under international law do not include the use of nail-filled bombs, dipped in rat poison. Under their most generous definition in jurisprudence, these rights can never supplant the settled rules of humanitarian international law, rules also known as the law of armed conflict. Nowhere is it written that there are certain political goals so overwhelmingly worthy of implementation that they can therefore allow the deliberate incineration of infants in their cribs, or of children at play. One doesn’t need to be a professor of international law to understand such an elementary proposition.

From the beginning, supporters of Palestinian terror violence against Israelis have argued passionately that the ends of their insurgency (Palestinian “independence”) justify the means (willful attacks upon Jewish civilians). Leaving aside everyday and ordinary ethical standards by which this argument is already manifestly indecent, the ends can never justify the means under conventional or customary international law. For more than two thousand years, the binding legal principles of world politics have clearly stipulated that intentional forms of violence against the innocent are always repugnant, and hence always prohibited.

Although fashionable to repeat at cocktail parties, the phrase “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is a shallow witticism entirely devoid of any serious legal meaning. While it is true that certain insurgencies can be judged per se lawful (after all, the idea of “just cause” can be found in the Declaration of Independence of the United States), these residually permissible resorts to force must always conform to the laws of war.

Whenever an insurgent group resorts to openly unjust means, its actions are unambiguously terroristic. It follows that even if the ritualistic Palestinian claims of a hostile Israeli “occupation” were reasonable rather than invented, their corresponding claim of entitlement to oppose Israel “by any means necessary” would still remain false.

International law has determinable form and content. It principles and practices cannot be fashioned and re-fashioned by individual terror groups only to satisfy their own presumed geo-political interests. This is especially the case, of course, wherever terror violence purposely targets fragile and vulnerable civilian populations.

National liberation movements that fail to meet the test of just means can never be protected as lawful or legitimate. Even if we could somehow accept the intrinsically spurious argument that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah fulfill the codified criteria of “national liberation,” it is plain that they do not meet the recognizable standards of discrimination, proportionality, and military necessity. These authoritative standards are applicable to insurgent organizations by the common Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, and by the two 1977 Protocols to these Conventions.

They are also binding upon all combatants by virtue of broader customary and conventional international law, including Article 1 of the Preamble to the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907. This rule, called the “Martens Clause,” makes all persons responsible for the “laws of humanity,” and for the “dictates of public conscience.”

Under international law, the ends can never justify the means. As in the case of war between states, every use of force by insurgents must be judged twice, once with regard to the justness of the objective (in this case, a Palestinian state to be built upon the charred ruins of a dismembered Israel), and once with regard to the justness of the means used toward achieving that objective.

Murderers of young children who take undisguised delight in the blood of their victims are never “freedom fighters.” If they were ever entitled to such a designation, we would have to concede that international law itself was nothing more than a mannerly-veneered authorization for consummate evil in world affairs.

American and European supporters of a Palestinian state in the United Nations continue to presume that “Palestine” will be part of a “two-state solution.” For these naive believers in “peace,” a new and 23rd Arab state will cheerfully exist side-by-side with the extant Jewish state. Yet, significantly, this kindly presumption is dismissed everywhere in the Arab/Islamic world.

About the Author: Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A State Won’t Turn Terrorists Into Statesmen”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A general view of the Bat Ain community at Gush Etzion.
US Pushes PA Agenda and Tells Israel to Cancel New Gush Etzion Town
Latest Indepth Stories
Tibets spiritual leader Dalai Lama.

Dalai Lama: In the interest of Tibetans today to have peaceful co-existence with the Chinese.

Hamas Quote on Death

However, 40+ countries still use capital punishment for a variety of offenses.

0.5-Shekel-hatasham-RJP

The War projects to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP 0.5% but will have little influence on foreign investors

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres
Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Louis Rene Beres

Once upon a time in America, every adult could recite at least some Spenglerian theory of decline.

President Obama’s core argument is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Specific strategic lessons from the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose between two strategic options.

For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.

So much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs continues to concern space.

An undifferentiated or across-the-board commitment to nuclear ambiguity could prove harmful to Israel’s’s overall security.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/a-state-wont-turn-terrorists-into-statesmen/2011/12/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: