Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Morality Card

An IDF source explained that, considering that there are still a few hundred Lebanese citizens in Bint Jbeil, forces cannot attack the town aerially, and, thus, it is necessary to bring in ground troops. He emphasized that fighting in the area will continue.

Source: here.

I'm sorry but this just won't do.

An announcement should be made. A time limit of a few hours given and then the town is a fair target. For two days they've been fighting there and the civilians know what's in store.

My neighbor's son, Avihu Keinan, who was killed in Gaza almost three years ago also suffered from this warped morality of terrorists using civilians to hide.

It has to stop.

Here's an opinion of a Haifa University professor, David Navon:-

Harming the civilian population in Lebanon constitutes a war crime. Untrue.

War ethics calls for abstention from an intentional harm of non-combatant populations, and to prevent as much as possible unintentional harm to those populations. But it is not always possible to prevent all unintentional harm. It is much harder when enemy troops systematically use the cover of a civilian population, in order to put the opposing side in a cruel dilemma between the achievement of its goals and an attempt to abstain as much as possible from violating war ethics. In our case, Hezbollah intentionally operates from within a civilian population, often from house terraces and mosque courts. Furthermore, most of the civilians used for these ends do so in full consent and thus they cross the line from non-combatant to combatant.

Aiming for civilian infrastructure is a war crime as it is intentional. Untrue.

When a sovereign state makes no attempt to enforce its rule, and knowingly permits an armed force to operate from it against another state, responsibility lies on it. The government of Lebanon holds responsibility, since for the last six years it has done nothing to maintain the UN 1559 resolution that obligates it to practice its sovereignty also over Hezbollah.

Its weakness is no excuse since it is a result of a conscious decision not to maintain a force that can enforce a rule. An attempt to force it to follow its duties is therefore not unreasonable. In view of this, a measured attack on infrastructure is not illegitimate, more so when it is known that Hezbollah makes use of this infrastructure (i.e transportation routes to the south) for its hostile operations; the only option is to attack these infrastructures in the required measure. It therefore seems that while the wisdom and effectiveness of IDF operations is debatable, the "ethical fervor" should be chilled.

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