Monday, 14 January 2013

Hold Israel accountable for aggression and war crimes in Gaza

“If we can cultivate in the world the idea that aggressive war-making is the way to the prisoner's dock rather than the way to honors, we will have accomplished something toward making the peace more secure.”

So said US Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson in his opening argument before the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1945. The crime of aggression is one of the four crimes the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction to prosecute, along with genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

One exception to these crimes is defensive military operations taken under Article 51 of the UN Charter. This explains why Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted self-defense for Israel’s assault on Gaza in November, 2012. President Obama endorsed the self-defense claim, saying “we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself.” Obama gave Israel’s assault the full backing of the United States.

But facts about each of Israel’s assaults on Gaza, including “Operation Cast Lead,” and “Operation Pillar of Defense,” show that they were anything but self-defense. This article will show that neither of the operations actually defended Israel or Israeli civilians. It will also show that Israeli political and military leaders have a non-violent strategy to stop rocket fire that actually works.

Israeli leaders know that attacking Gaza causes an increase in rockets

Israeli political and military leaders have long known that attacking Gaza is not effective for quelling rocket fire. Indeed, rocket fire vastly increased during Operation Cast Lead, December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009 and during Operation Pillar of Defense November 14-21, 2012. As shown by a graph of rocket fire from Gaza on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ own web site, the number of rocket hits on Israel during each of these two major operations approached the number for entire years of heaviest rocket fire. More

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