Israel

Page 24 of 25

Filter category

Goldstone Report on Gaza: A Question of Trust

I have just skimmed through the Goldstone Fact-Finding Mission’s Report on Gaza that was released yesterday. It is a beast at almost 600 pages, so I was necessarily more quick than thorough. All in all, my impression of the Report is that it is balanced, corroborated and credible. But this is, mind you, no more than an impression. I can pass no judgment on the Mission’s many factual determinations – in line with what I have said before, I can only consider them more credible (or not) than those of the Israeli government and its rival version of reality. Regrettably, the bias of the majority of the UN Human Rights Council against Israel is evident, as was the case with the Human Rights Commission that preceded it. To what extent this taints the credibility of the Goldstone Mission is, of course, a hotly disputed matter. For Israel, that taint was such that no cooperation with the Mission was possible. For others, the authority and reputation of the Mission’s members and their decision to look at the…

Read more

The Wikipedia Approach to Reality

I was reading the news today, and was again struck for the umpteenth time by the ease with which people slip into what I now like to call the Wikipedia approach to reality - a phenomenon that I'm sure psychologists have defined in a much more sophisticated way as some form of cognitive bias or another. Take a look at…

Read more

US Appeals Court holds that Former Foreign Officials Entitled to Immunity in Civil Suit alleging War Crimes

The Second Circuit of the US Court of Appeals has recently (April 16, 09) held  in Matar v. Dichter that the former head of the Israeli General Security Service is immune in a civil suit brought under the US Aliens Tort Claims Act (28 USC  § 1350) alleging war crimes and extrajudicial killing. The suit relates to Dichter's participation…

Read more

Is Gaza Still Occupied by Israel?

While the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas was still ongoing, I was wary of commenting on what is a very contentious legal issue - whether Gaza is still to be considered as occupied as a matter of international humanitarian law, even after Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005. I was wary of doing so primarily because the issue…

Read more

Who is a Civilian? A Follow up on the Status of Hamas Police Officers

At the end of 2008, I put up a post in which I suggested that a key issue in assessing the lawfulness of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza was determning the status of Hama police officers. Before attempting to make the proportionality calculation International Humanitarian Law (IHL) requires, one has to first answer the question who is a civilian and…

Read more