web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



On The Difference Between Murderers And Freedom Fighters


Beres-Louis-Rene

Moments after the latest bus bombing in Jerusalem this morning (January 29th), the group claiming responsibility, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, identified its action as an expression of “freedom fighting.” Plainly, however, there is NO cause on the face of this bleeding planet that can ever warrant the deliberate mutilation and murder of defenseless civilians riding on a municipal bus. Those who can find cause for celebration amidst the mangled and burned bodies of young children must always be called by their correct name. By any reasonable standard of civilized human behavior these celebrants support a uniquely unheroic form of slaughterer, a contemptible dreamer who discovers sheer ecstasy only in massacre and who sees in unrestrained terrorism a gloriously sacrificial form of religious worship.

What is plainly evident to reasonable human beings is also an incontestable part of current international law. Supporters of Palestinian violence against Israeli citizens frequently claim that the insurgent force is directed against an “occupation, ” and therefore warrants “any means
necessary.” From the standpoint of authoritative international rules of behavior, this claim is entirely incorrect. Even where the use of insurgent force may be justified – and in the case of the Palestinians such justification is hotly debatable – deliberate attacks upon noncombatants are always illegal. Indeed, there is no more ancient and sacred principle of law than the immutable imperative to protect the innocent.

“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” There is NO basis in law for this especially facile and shallow expression. The issue here is not one of subjective interpretation. On the contrary, there do exist precise and settled criteria that are readily available to distinguish the terrorist from the freedom fighter. According to international law, any insurgent who intentionally causes the explosive incineration of men, women and children at lunch or at prayer or at a wedding ceremony or on a bus is a TERRORIST! Period!

It is true that certain insurgencies can be judged lawful. Yet, even these insurgencies MUST always conform to the laws of war. The ends can never justify the means in international law. Never. Where the insurgent group resorts to unjust means, as in the case of exploding a public bus, its actions are unambiguously terroristic.

How shall we know precisely when insurgent means are just or unjust? The determinable standards that must be applied in judgment are known in law as Just Cause and Just Means. These standards, and these standards alone, allow us to differentiate lawful insurgency from terrorism.

National liberation movements that fail to meet the test of Just Means are NOT protected as lawful or legitimate. Leaving aside the very doubtful argument that Palestinian organizations meet the standards of “national liberation,” especially after the prior Barak Government offered the PA/PLO control of over 97% of West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and Gaza, it is assuredly clear that they do not meet the standards of discrimination, proportionality and military necessity. These formal standards, applicable under the Laws of War, have been applied to insurgent organizations by the common Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and by the two protocols to these Conventions of 1977. They are binding upon ALL combatants by virtue of both customary and conventional 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, the avowed objective is a Palestinian state built upon the charred ruins of a dismembered Israel) and once with regard to the justness of the means used in pursuit of that objective. A Palestinian organization that deliberately targets indiscriminately with intent to maximize pain and suffering can never claim to be “freedom fighters.”

American and European supporters of a Palestinian State presume that it will be part of a “two-state solution,” that is, that the new Arab state will exist side-by-side with the existing Jewish State. Yet, this presumption is dismissed everywhere in the Arab/Islamic world. Indeed, the “Map of Palestine” at the official website of the Palestinian National Authority includes all of Israel. There are NOT two states on this map; only one. Palestinian insurgents who resort to terrorism against Israel will never acknowledge that a Jewish State has any right to endure. Why should this should be so difficult to understand today, when even the most “moderate” Palestinians themselves have been so cartographically honest on their own website?

Terrorist crimes, as part of a broader category called CRIMEN CONTRA OMNES (crimes against all), mandate universal cooperation in apprehension and punishment. In this connection, as punishers of “grave breaches” under international law, all states are expected to search out
and prosecute, or extradite, individual terrorist perpetrators. In NO circumstances are any states permitted to characterize terrorists as “freedom fighters.” This is especially the case for the United States, which incorporates all international law as the “supreme law of the land” at Article 6 of the Constitution, and which was formed by the Founding Fathers according to the timeless principles of Natural Law.

Palestinian terrorists are NOT “freedom fighters.” They are “Common Enemies of Mankind” who exceed all moral and legal authority in their persistently barbarous attacks upon Israeli citizens. They should always be called by their correct name.

 

2004 The Jewish Press. All Rights Reserved

LOUIS RENE BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books and articles dealing with terrorism and international law.

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 “On The Difference Between Murderers And Freedom Fighters”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a government meeting.
Proposed Conversion Bill, Change in Local Rabbinate Power Nixed by Netanyahu
Latest Indepth Stories
Map of Syria-Turkish border area, pinpointing Kurdish border town of Kobani, just taken by ISIS terror forces Oct 7, 2014.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

The Rosenstrasse area of Berlin, where Jewish husbands of non-Jewish German wives were held.

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

NY rally against Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera. Sept. 22, 2014.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Guess who's behind the door?

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

If Hamas is ISIS, the world asks, why didn’t Israel destroy it given justification and opportunity?

That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.

We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.

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/on-the-difference-between-murderers-and-freedom-fighters/2004/03/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: