Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Teasing About War Crimes

In an interview in which +972's Joshua Leifer and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man spoke with B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad recently, one topic was his decision to describe Israel’s actions against Palestinian communities in the West Bank as war crimes and whether that should also be the case for settlements.

The question was

Will you be using war crimes language to describe other Israel policies, like the expansion and legalization of settlements...?

The answer:

I don’t know. Of course, there is a lot of concern that over-usage of this language — that [it] will end up losing its effectiveness, to the extent that it even has that. We try to use the appropriate language and speak with the right moral conviction as it is relevant to the current reality — not overdoing it and not under-doing it.
...this reality, this slowly moving strategy in the West Bank to displace Palestinians through these tactics of creating unbearable living conditions — it is not new...[it] means that...thousands of people have to endure living under conditions that are absolutely unacceptable and unjustifiable. And all this is done out of a planned policy to displace them.
...this ongoing reality...For us that’s the most important thing that we have to try and reverse.

So what happened to the "war crime" angle?

Was this nothing but a journalistic teaser?

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