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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Hamas' Goldstone defense: Israel has no right of self-defense

Jonathan Dahohah HaLevi explains Hamas' line of defense against the few accusations against it that are contained in the Goldstone Report. The bottom line is that Hamas claims - without accepting the 1947 UN partition resolution - that Israel has no right to be anywhere not designated for the Jewish state by the 1947 UN partition resolution, and that therefore it has no right of self defense. It's worth it to read the whole thing, because he really goes through the argument clearly and step by step, but I wanted to highlight and comment on a couple of the points he raises.

Hamas' defense was written by a group of Palestinian jurists headed by Diya Al-Din Muhsin Al-Madhoun, the former legal adviser to Hamas 'Prime Minister' Ismail Haniyeh. Al-Madhoun is the chairman of the Tawtheeq (documentation) organization that was the key factor assigned by Hamas’ government, on which the Goldstone committee relied for sources of information in its fact finding mission.
Madhoun argues that Israel’s claim that Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations launched rockets at its sovereign territory is groundless. Relying on UN resolution 181 (known as the Partition Plan for Palestine), but without accepting it, Madhoun said that all rockets targeted only areas which were designated to the “Arab state” by UN resolution, and as Israel has no internationally recognized borders with the Palestinian territories, their areas are still under conflict. Consequently, he concludes that Israel violated the rights of the Israeli civilians for security in settling them illegally in this military disputed area and thus risking their life.
This is an incredible claim. It's one that cannot be made without accepting a Jewish state at least in the areas designated by Resolution 181, but Hamas does it anyway. Moreover, most of the Gaza belt, and many of the areas at which Hamas fired rockets before and during Operation Cast Lead, is within the area designated for the Jewish state under Resolution 181 (see map). The double standrard that says that Israel's areas are 'still under conflict' while the Arabs' areas belong to them - making the Israelis 'occupiers' - is absud. Moreover, given that Israel has been admitted to the United Nations, it cannot be said that Israel's entire area is 'under conflict.'
Madhoun unconditionally negates justification for any Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip. In addition to the aforementioned arguments denying Israel’s right for self defence, Madhoun noted that the international law prohibits attacks on any target when there is a doubt whether it is combatant or civilian. “My stand is that all targets bombed in the Gaza Strip are under the category of doubt”, he said.
That's a complete misstatement of international law and vitiates Article 28 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. If Madhoun's view is accepted, any country or army that is fired on by persons hiding among civilians would be completely unable to respond. Israel is not the only country that cannot accept that result.
Madhoun regards the Goldstone report as a one sided document against Israel, saying that more than 500 pages were dedicated to describing a myriad of widely documented accusations against Israel, while for the Palestinian side only ten pages were allocated and even they didn’t include any evidence or documentation. Confidently, he asserts: “I can say as a jurist that all allegations mentioned in the [Goldstone] report do not mount to significant accusations of violating the humanitarian international law and the [Hamas] independent investigative committees will prove it.”
Except for the last clause of that paragraph about the Hamas 'investigative committees,' he's 100% right about that. But that doesn't prove that Hamas didn't do anything wrong - only that the Goldstone Report is hopelessly biased against Israel.
Tawtheeq organization, headed by Madhoun, is backed by the Law Committee of the Palestinian parliament and its Hamas members include Dr. Yunis Al-Astal who advocates the extinction of all the Jewish people, Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabia who urged suicide attacks in Jerusalem and Jamila Al-Shanti who identifies with terrorist attacks against Israel.

The reality is illusive and strikes time and time again in our faces. A declared terrorist organization, which adheres to the Islamic law (sharia) as the only source of legitimacy and promotes ideology of genocide, receives legal support from human rights organizations and internationally respected jurists in its lawfare waged against a democratic state. Even more peculiar is Judge Richard Goldstone’s decision to rely without reservations on Tawtheeq and its experts in preparing its report, while they publicly make a travesty of the international law and argue that Israel violated the Palestinians’ rights to kill Israelis in the armed struggle for the liberation of the land of Palestine and to destroy Israel.
I don't recall even Dore Gold calling Goldstone on this. In fact, I never heard of this organization until I read this article. But we need to get these facts out front and center.

I wonder if Tawtheeq is supported by the New Israel Fund.

Read the whole thing.


At 4:49 PM, Blogger Talknic said...

Israel has every right to self protection under the UN Charter, Laws of War, Geneva Conventions.

Israel's borders:

The Jewish People's Council accepted and declared Sovereign Independence over the boundaries outlined by UNGA res 181, informing the International Community of this 'unilateral' decision.


//Letter From the Agent of the Provisional Government of Israel to the President of the United States, May 15, 1948 “MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to notify you that the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/decad169.asp //

Based on this notification, Israel was recognized by the majority of the International Community of States by the boundaries of UNGA Res 181, over riding the Arab States legal objections.

The territories slated for the Arab State remained as a non-state entity (Palestine), outside of Israel's Sovereign boundaries. This is confirmed by the British recognition. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1950/apr/27/jordan-and-israel-government-decision

Israel has never legally annexed any territories. Unilateral annexation is illegal. The unilateral annexation of "territories occupied" is illegal. http://wp.me/PDB7k-Y#annexation

"territories occupied" and not withdrawn from are still OCCUPIED. http://wp.me/PDB7k-6r

The UNSC through it's resolutions, tells us it is inadmissible to acquire territory by war.

That the Arab States didn't recognize UNGA Res 181 is irrelevant.

They were not obliged to. It was a non-binding resolution and it has no article requiring that both parties co-sign. Nor could it. INDEPENDENCE is, by it's very nature unilateral.

UNGA Res 181 is STILL enshrined, without reservations, in the Declaration of a Jewish State. .

The territories acquired by war by 1949 have never been annexed. http://wp.me/PDB7k-Y#northern-border



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