web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Gaza’s Palestinian Civilians Are Not Israel’s Responsibility


If you think one side in a conflict is under no moral or legal obligation to send supplies to the population of the other, you have not heard what The New York Times or Human Rights Watch’s Joel Stork have been saying about Israel’s duties toward Gaza. Both have claimed Israel has been “collectively punishing” Gazans when in, recent days, Israel has not cut electrical power at all and only reduced fuel supplies.

Stork has also claimed that Israel is an “occupier” of Gaza and as such responsible for the welfare of its people.

Consider the absurdity of this sort of argument. Israel has been assaulted continuously from Gaza, which is run by Hamas, an organization committed in its charter to the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7). Gazan Palestinians largely support Hamas, which declares itself to be in a state of war with Israel.

Gazan Palestinians voted Hamas into office in Palestinian legislative elections in 2006. Similarly, Hamas could not have seized Gaza last year without at least the tacit support of a large segment of the local population. By what logic, then, can Gazans expect to be insulated from the consequences of a war being waged by Hamas on their behalf?

It is absurd to suggest that withholding supplies from Gaza is a form of collective punishment. The only people who are being targeted collectively are Israeli civilians in Sderot and other neighboring towns near Gaza who are subject to incessant rocket barrages.

It is also simply a flat-earth statement to say that Israel is an occupier of Gaza. Article 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War states that a foreign power is only considered an occupier “to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory.”

Yet Israel withdrew from 80% of Gaza in 1994 and the remaining 20% in 2005. Its writ no longer runs there, nor does it any longer maintain law and order in the territory. By no stretch of the imagination can Israel be said to be occupying it.

Therefore, the responsibility for Gaza’s civilians and their well-being lies with the controlling power, which is Hamas. Why have Palestinians failed to build an infrastructure and functioning economy to maintain their well-being? After all, Palestinians have been the highest per capita recipients of international aid for years.

The answer is that the Palestinians’ elected leaders, Fatah in the past and Hamas today, have been too extreme and corrupt to devote themselves to building up the Palestinian infrastructure and economy. Instead, funds have gone to buying arms and lining pockets.

Why, then, should Israel, or the international community, be responsible for the welfare of Gazan Palestinians? In particular, why should Israel be obliged, as The New York Times insists, to provide supplies to Gazans? Did the United States supply electricity and other goods and services to Germans, North Koreans and North Vietnamese when we were at war with those peoples’ governments?

In fact, in those instances, Germany, North Korea and North Vietnam were fighting U.S. military forces. They were not targeting American civilians. Palestinians, by contrast, have gone out of their way to murder and maim as many Israeli civilians as possible. They celebrate each bloody suicide bombing with parties, cheers and the handing out of sweets.

In these circumstances, Israel is well within its legal and moral rights to use military measures to target terrorists in Gaza, even if civilians may be inadvertently harmed in the process.

Hamas, in permitting, supporting and often perpetrating these rocket attacks, is responsible for any Gazan Arab harmed by Israel’s consequent efforts to stop the continuing rocket fire into Israeli towns and cities.

Israel is also fully within its rights to impose economic sanctions on the Gaza Strip, including more wide-ranging measures than those it has actually adopted. Since Israel is under no legal obligation to engage in trade of fuel or anything else with Gaza, or to maintain open borders, it may withhold commercial items and seal its borders at its discretion.

After all, without Americans being shelled or bombed by Cubans, the United States has maintained a decades-long embargo on Cuba. Israel surely has at least as much right to maintain an embargo on trade with Gaza as the United States has with Cuba.

About the Author: Dr. Michael Goldblatt is national chairman of the board of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA); Dr. Daniel Mandel is director of the ZOA's Center for Middle East.


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 “Gaza’s Palestinian Civilians Are Not Israel’s Responsibility”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
rocket in a field near Kibbutz Mefalsim
Heaven on Earth (With Rockets)
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Dr. Michael Goldblatt and Dr. Daniel Mandel
Goldblatt-082412

When Barack Obama entered the White House, he promised to make Israeli/Palestinian peacemaking his priority from “day one.” And, indeed, in his own way he did. He pressured Israel into freezing Jewish construction in the West Bank for ten months in a bid to entice the Palestinians to negotiate.

If you think one side in a conflict is under no moral or legal obligation to send supplies to the population of the other, you have not heard what The New York Times or Human Rights Watch’s Joel Stork have been saying about Israel’s duties toward Gaza. Both have claimed Israel has been “collectively punishing” Gazans when in, recent days, Israel has not cut electrical power at all and only reduced fuel supplies.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/gazas-palestinian-civilians-are-not-israels-responsibility/2008/02/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: