To read this article, click here.


"Now that Operation Cast Lead is under way, these charges have reached obsessive levels. As of January 11, NGOs have issued more than 175 statements condemning Israel’s ‘legal’ infractions in Gaza. (In contrast, these same NGOs have issued zero statements about the massacre of 189 Congolese villagers by Ugandan rebel forces from December 25-27.) Amnesty International, for instance, accuses Israel of ‘unlawfully’ killing ‘scores of unarmed civilians, as well as police personnel who were not directly participating in the hostilities.’ Amnesty has no basis to relabel Hamas operatives as ‘civilian’ police officers and presents no evidence to support its claim that these men were not ‘directly participating in the hostilities.’ In fact, a Hamas-linked Web site claims that these men were members of Hamas’ Izzadin Kassam Brigade. By cloaking its unfounded claim in Geneva Convention terminology, Amnesty transforms Israel’s lawful attack on a legitimate military target into a war crime. Oxfam, Gisha, and B’Tselem insinuate or claim outright that Israel has engaged in ‘disproportionate force,’ highlighting emotive ‘testimonies’ and anecdotes from Gazans in their reports. These NGOs, however, are not trained military experts nor are they privy to Israeli targeting decisions. Moreover, as the esteemed philosopher and ‘just war’ theorist Michael Walzer has noted, the concept of proportionality must be evaluated with caution and cannot be applied ‘speculatively.’ In his view, those leveling the charge of ‘disproportionate’ do so only when it is ‘simply violence they don’t like, or it is violence committed by people they don’t like.’ Therefore, ‘Israel’s Gaza war was called ‘disproportionate’ on day one, before anyone knew very much about how many people had been killed or who they were.’"