Prisoner Swap Bolsters Hizbullah, Endangers IDF Soldiers

The prisoner exchange has been completed, and Hizbullah has not missed the opportunity. They are proclaiming victory in the Second Lebanon War, since they carried out the initial ambush with the goal of kidnapping soldiers to gain the release of Samir Kuntar. The Hizbullah commander in Southern Lebanon, Nabil Kaouk, said,

“The signatures of Olmert and Peres on the swap means official confirmation of the defeat and failure of the July aggression in the face of the will of the resistance.”

This achievement is just what Hizbullah needed- facing domestic pressure after their violent clashes with pro-government forces, they now have justification for remaining an independent militia inside Lebanon.

Israeli soldiers are more likely to be kidnapped every time that Israel reinforces its enemies’ notion that this is the best way to free terrorists, and to raise their own prestige. Hamas has recognized this as well, and has stated so publicly.

Israel should be commended for its efforts to bring every soldier home, and some abroad may see the contrast between Israel’s solemn drive to bury their soldiers properly, and Hizbullah’s celebration of a child killer. But Israel should be more concerned with the perceptions of those who attack its citizens. Their incentive to kidnap has been elevated by this deal.

The world likely ignores the fact that Abbas, the man with whom Israel is supposed to negotiate some sort of peace, praised Kuntar as hero. Regardless of Abbas’ feelings for Kuntar, Abbas likely made the proclamation to bolster his image among Palestinians. But a leader who cannot even stand up to those celebrating a killer like Kuntar is not the man who can bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Jonathan Spyer, senior research fellow at GLORIA at the IDC in Herzliya, published his Jerusalem Post op-ed “Homecoming for a Child-Killer” on the GLORIA website. Keep in mind that this was written before the swap, but the reaction thus far from Israel’s enemies validates his predictions.

The deal for the return of convicted terrorist Samir Kuntar, four Hizbullah men captured in the 2006 Second Lebanon War and a number of corpses in return for the remains of kidnapped IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser comes at an opportune moment for the Hizbullah leadership.

Indeed, some analysts have suggested that group leader Hassan Nasrallah accepted a less favourable deal than he had originally held out for, in order to conclude the negotiations as speedily as possible. What is clear is that the prisoner swap is having the desired effect for Hizbullah – rebuilding its legitimacy. Most (though not all) of the leaders of the pro-western and pro-Saudi March 14 movement appear to be accepting the portrayal of the swap as a victory for Lebanon, and the consequent depiction of the infanticidal Kuntar as a Lebanese national hero.

Why did Nasrallah need the deal so badly? In May of this year, Hizbullah brought 18 months of smoldering political tension to a head. The March 14-led government had attempted to move against Hizbullah’s control of security at Rafik Hariri Airport in Beirut, and to limit the growth of Hizbullah’s extensive internal communication system within Lebanon.

Hizbullah saw this as an assault on its independent military infrastructure. The movement, which had been engaged in a campaign to bring down the Saniora government since the end of 2006, reacted swiftly. Hizbullah and its allied forces poured onto the streets of West Beirut and other key parts of the country – inflicting an unambiguous military humiliation on their enemies in the Sunni-led al-Mustaqbal movement of Saad Hariri and Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, which leads the March 14 coalition. Hizbullah then went on to negotiate a deal reflecting this victory with Qatari mediation in Doha.

But Hizbullah’s achievement had come with a substantial price. Throughout its history, the movement, despite its Shi’ite nature, had tried to claim for itself a role above the Lebanese sectarian framework. It had justified its uniquely-tolerated military infrastructure by claiming that it existed for the sole purpose of fighting Israel – and would never be turned against fellow Lebanese. This pledge had now been broken. Hizbullah was in increasing danger of appearing unambiguously as a Shi’ite Islamist client of Iran.

The attempts to swiftly form a government following Doha have also run aground, amid wrangling over portfolios. Hizbullah was therefore in need of a gesture, a spectacle which could enable it to recall the 2006 war, and wrap itself in the flag of victory against Israel.

The prisoner swap looks set to provide this opportunity. Hizbullah long ago made the cause of Samir Kuntar its own. Kuntar, a Lebanese Druse and member of the Palestine Liberation Front, took part in an operation in Israel in 1979, in which he was responsible, among other things, for the murder with his own hands of a four-year-old girl, Einat Haran. Prior to killing Einat, Kuntar had shot and killed her father, Danny, before the child’s eyes.

The freeing of Kuntar was the purpose for which Hizbullah carried out the raids – intended to secure captive IDF soldiers for use as bargaining chips – which began the Second Lebanon War. Securing his release would thus add significant weight to Nasrallah’s claims of victory in 2006, despite the extensive damage and loss of life among Lebanese Shi’ites.

The news of the planned swap has been greeted with enthusiasm from politicians on both sides of the divide. Lebanese President Michel Suleiman has told Hizbullah that he would like to take part in the welcome-home ceremony for Kuntar. Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Druse Progressive Socialist Party and a major March 14 figure, said that a PSP delegation would visit Kuntar to welcome him home and congratulate him on his release. He called the return of the Lebanese prisoners a “national occasion” which would bring people together.

Other March 14 leaders spoke in similarly glowing terms. Saniora said that “the success of Hizbullah in the negotiations led by a third party is a national success for the party and for the struggle of the Lebanese because it secured national goals which Israel always refused to respect.”

Saniora, according to one Lebanese newspaper, As-Safir, is “inclined in principle” toward taking part in planned events to welcome the prisoners home. As-Safir also reported that there are plans to make the day of the return of the prisoners a national holiday.

From Israel’s point of view, the remarks made by the March 14 leaders, while edifying, are of secondary interest. Israel has never placed a great deal of faith in either the intentions or the abilities of the individuals in question. Of greater importance, however, is the extent to which the prisoner swap is serving to strengthen Hizbullah. In so doing, it is delivering a very significant achievement to the movement, and to its regional supporters – Israel’s sworn foes – in Damascus and Teheran.

34 Responses to Prisoner Swap Bolsters Hizbullah, Endangers IDF Soldiers

  1. [...] The Augean Stables: Prisoner Swap Bolsters Hizbullah, Endangers IDF Soldiers [...]

  2. E.G. says:

    Two editorials from today’s Haaretz provide hindsights that may, unfortunately, be useful lessons for the future:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1002769.html
    “We call the abductees ‘the boys.’ They are everyone’s children – even that expression is enough to weaken those who must withstand the pressure,” said Breznitz, a former Kadima Knesset member. Breznitz says there was no counter voice to the families’ campaign, “because it is difficult to face the media terror.”
    (Prof. Breznitz is a top expert in stress situations)

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1002789.html
    “Last of all, the role played by the media in this matter is scary. It turned a difficult human tragedy and serious strategic dilemma into something akin to a soap opera. Sometimes it is possible to approach the grieving families and ask for their opinions and their feelings: It is precisely those who feel their pain who must restrain themselves and not see their troubles as a tool for raising ratings. Some people in the media must look in the mirror and ask themselves whether they are ashamed of their role in this story. “

  3. The Danger of “Counting Coup” in the Middle East…

    The prisoner exchange between Israel and Hezbollah is widely considered a terrible defeat for Israel and another great victory for Hezbollah, much as the summer war of 2006 is widely considered a victory for Hezbollah and a disastrous defeat for…

  4. diane says:

    I’m not so sure this is all good for Nasrallah. Here are some downsides:

    1. he lives in hiding, before the war he didn’t have to.

    2. he lost hundreds of fighters for the sake of this child-killer who wasn’t even from his Shia faction, but the Marxist PLF. How do the widows and mothers of his fallen Hezbollah fighters feel about this exchange?

    3. yesterday, the world saw a dignified, grieving Israel and a slavering beast in Lebanon.

    4. The March 14 capitulation by giving this brute a hero’s welcome damages all of Lebanon in the West’s eyes. In the short run, that might help Hezbollah, but in the long run it brings the nation less sympathy as it inches toward the next civil war. As sympathy dries up, so will the foreign aid.

  5. [...] Hezbullah to abduct Israeli soldiers for the express purpose of initiating such a trade.  Is this recent trade of an iconic terrorist (convicted of killing a father and beat to death his 4 year old) and [...]

  6. E.G. says:

    diane,

    I agree with you that in the mid-long term Nasrallah will find out he’s much less of a winner he thinks/shows.

    Regarding your point 3 – depends what part of the world. The choice of sequences and the voice over differed greatly according to channel and country… (Charles E. did not utter the T-word in his report)

  7. diane says:

    Knee-jerk multiculturalism may be on the wane at the Los Angeles Times, judging by this remarkable story blasting the practice of polygamy by Muslim immigrants living in Italy. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-polygamy15-2008jul15,0,293378.story
    Reporter Tracy Wilkinson exposes it for the systematic oppression of women that it is, and pays no lip-service to cultural sensitivity or “journalistic balance.” Could the tide be turning? Let us hope.

  8. oao says:

    one story does not a change make

  9. oao says:

    it’s sad to see those in the west who belabor so hard to find positives in the exchange.

  10. Arius says:

    Diane,

    Nasrallah and the widows and mothers couldn’t care less, and the West doesn’t care about Lebanon. I don’t like having to say this but thats the way it is. You act and think like a civilized person – don’t make the mistake of projecting it into Muslims or the general West.

    Lebanon is lost to the West. There was some attempt by the US and France but its over. There are even stupid Christians in Lebanon that are allied to Hezbullah. You may know about Anon, but I have contacts with the Armenians in Lebanon, and I almost threw up when told that the Armenians are split, with one side supporting Hezbullah. I told them they might as well drink poison.

    America’s policy in the Middle East is collapsing. Led by Sarkozy (that betrayed his base) the EU is pursuing its agenda (call it ‘engaging dhimmitude’) with Islam. Israel is turning more and more to the EU, especially Germany. Israel is heading toward a great betrayal. The fate of Israel is the fate of the West but the latter is oblivious and self destructive.

  11. oao says:

    i am with arius.

  12. diana hamilton says:

    the saddest part is that Israel couldn’t or wouldn’t demand from Hezbollah proof of both or one boy being alive. Thus the weakness to exchange bodies for a Kuntar……… At least we know that Shalit is alive……….

  13. E.G. says:

    diana hamilton,

    Israel did demand proofs of life/death, to no avail. Those savages don’t care about Intl. law or Red Cross etc.

    A report from IsraelNN.com stated (sorry, lost the link):
    “According to Israeli officials, the bodies were received in a severely-damaged state which may have lengthened the confirmation of their identities. Former IDF Medical Corps and Chief Military Rabbinate officials have noted the tragic expertise Israel has gathered in years of conflict, but remained shocked by what they saw yesterday at the Rosh HaNikra border crossing.  
    Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, former Chief Rabbi of the IDF, who was present during the transfer of the fallen soldiers yesterday, said that “the verification process yesterday was very slow, because, if we thought the enemy was cruel to the living and the dead, we were surprised, when we opened the caskets, to discover just how cruel. And I’ll leave it at that.”

    A Hezbullah site dedicated to the commemoration the Bint Jbeil “heroes” dares put online photos of Israeli soldiers’ body parts and remains.
    http://www.bintjbeil.org/?show=news&action=article&id=7780

  14. E.G. says:

    And they were not boys. They were men.

  15. Cynic says:

    Israel did demand proofs of life/death, to no avail. Those savages don’t care about Intl. law or Red Cross etc.

    Even Jesse Jackson strung the families a line:
    Jesse Jackson Conveyed Hizballah Propaganda to Murdered Soldiers’ Families

    E.G. Savages is not strong enough for their demented behaviour.
    Pity the Israelis don’t release information about the state of the bodies, which were more than butchered.

  16. Cynic says:

    E.G.

    You from England?
    Then you should know that they were “boys” to the local population. If you don’t then you don’t appreciate the zeitgeist.
    If you speak to Israelis they will react as if they, the two “kidnapped” soldiers, were their own boys, as if they were their own kids!
    As distinct from other countries Israel treats its boys with respect, apart that is from Olmert’s dysfunctional daughter who throws stones at them when protesting at Bilin.

  17. Jonathan Levy says:

    Another interesting opinion piece in Haaretz, by David Landau:
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1003237.html

    I think it’s a good critique of the way the Israeli media has been covering the prisoner swap over the last few weeks.

    Excerpt:

    “Udi and Eldad [have] come home.” This deliberate butchery of words and the cynical distortion of their meaning, a kind of Israeli newspeak, is an etymological-psychological symptom of the suicidal tendencies gnawing at the soul of the country, culminating in a swap of the living for the dead…

    … But Olmert is not the only one guilty of castrating the language and obfuscating the meaning of words with his constant talk of “our boys coming home.” Many others in the world of policymaking and shaping public opinion are just as much to blame. After all, they knew that “Udi” was not Udi anymore, and the same for Eldad. They knew that “coming home” no longer applied.

  18. E.G. says:

    Cynic & Jonathan Levy,

    Yes , even our Neanderthal forefathers took great care of their dead. Gives some meaning to Honor-Shame cult (but not culture). And I don’t think Israel should release more info regarding the remains’ state than here: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331024079&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
    What would releasing more details achieve?

    And I may seem from Mars or the BBC to you, but to the best of my knowledge this “boys” denomination is new in Israel and absurd. As Landau points out (this is the sole part of his article I agree with), and he’s not the only Israeli journalist to do so. Israelis have always been very concerned about their soldiers’ fates but termed it diffrently – and in more dignified and accurate ways (fraternity, mutual responsibility, our soldiers/forces, etc.). In this case there’s been a deliberate confusion between “children of Israel” and “our children”.

  19. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    David Landau aside, I was among Israelis during the war in 73 and I can assure you that the feelings they expressed for the soldiers even those from miles away was as loving and caring as if they were their own.
    And recently as long ago as 2006, I saw the expressions of people in the street to adults called up and running and hugging them and pleading with them to be careful! Adults they didn’t even know.
    And some volunteers from Europe in 73 muttered the equivalent of; “shit, that my parents cared enough about me”!

  20. oao says:

    What would releasing more details achieve?

    In fact this is EXACTLY what needs to be done. Because the so-called world has blinded itself to the acts of animals and accept arab propaganda at face value and even channel it, I would throw the worst of arab atrocities at them. That’s what arabs do, with a lot of impact. And it’s not because I believe Israeli deaths will have an impact, but to force them to look at it.

  21. Cynic says:

    BY the way E.G. I don’t know what you know about the town of Damour in Lebanon and the manner in which Arafat’s PLO desecrated the grave yard of that Christian town aside from from massacring more than 500 Christian men, women and children in 1976.
    Read about it and ponder why they were no different with Jewish bodies.
    The worst I saw of animal behaviour was an elephant trampling a lioness which tried to attack a calf. The enraged mother trampled the cat until it was no more than a dirty skin; the people Israel has around it are far worse as they seem to get a psychopathic pleasure out of their behaviour.
    And the Vatican and Orthodox Church went about its business of supporting the PLO and smuggling arms from Lebanon into the West Bank in official Vatican cars.

  22. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    My point was not about caring or affection. These existed and will continue existing. It was about the infantilization (denying rights and duties) underlying the “boys” denomination. It’s inappropriate in that it’s inaccurate and lacks respect.

    The Israeli military are brothers and fathers and husbands and cousins, neighbours and friends and sons – “our guys” or “our own” if you wish. That the whole country is worried about them is normal in Israel. But they’re not children. Israelis don’t give rifles to conscripted children nor to reservist kids, do they?

    In more than 30 years it took to locate them, they never called the missing Dakar submarine crew “boys”, did they?

    Just as a POW is not an abducted citizen, nor is a terrorist a militant or a fighter, a soldier is not a boy. One of the few who seem to think so is, paradoxically, Ehud Goldwasser’s mother.
    Another was my aunt whose only son fought in the IDF in 1948 and was butchered beyond identification. These soldiers fell doing their duty. Their rights were not respected by those who killed them and they deserve their fellow countrypeople’s respect and gratitude.

  23. E.G. says:

    I thought the pre-Neanderthal characterization was clear enough.
    They treat non-Moslems as animals (pigs and monkeys), and non-Aryans used to be treated as under-Human, so I wouldn’t use this language.

    Hezbollah and Fatah and Hamas atrocities are meant to hurt Israeli/Jewish feelings and I’m far from sure they’d hurt anybody else’s. Indeed even Christians’ fate in the M.E. and elsewhere doesn’t seem to affect much Christian authorities. But Christian and Jewish notions of suffering and mutual responsibility are quite different.

  24. diana hamilton says:

    the following comments published in the “Blacksmiths of Lebanon” blog: And there was a certain sleight of hand in all this. Mr Nasrallah had promised to retrieve the bodies of Palestinian “martyrs”, and they included the remains of 19-year-old Dalal Moghraby, which were supposedly stacked on the first lorry to cross the border yesterday. She was the girl who led 11 Palestinian and Lebanese gunmen in an attack on the Israeli coast road north of Tel Aviv. Cornered by the Israeli [sic] army, she decided to fight it out. Thirty-six people died and a surviving videotape shows an Israeli agent, a certain Ehud Barak – yes, the man who is now Israel’s Defence Minister – firing shots into her body and dragging her across a road. Mr Barak was one of the Israeli cabinet members who voted for the return of her corpse yesterday. But the Palestinians, it turned out, did not want their dead returned to Lebanon. Dalal Moghraby’s mother Amina Ismail, for example, wished her remains to lie where she was buried in Israel – the land which she and millions of other refugees still regard as part of Palestine. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command said it wanted its dead “martyrs” to remain on “Palestinian land” as they would have wished, and asked Hizbollah to exclude them from the returning corpses. No such luck. For Hizbollah had other ideas and – with the agreement of the Israelis, of course – brought them back to the land of their exile.

    Also from the same blog:

    Net gains:
    Sami Kuntar
    199 bodies of Lebanese and Arab fighters.
    *Kohdor Zaidan
    *Maher Kourani
    *Mohammeda Srour
    *Hussein Suleiman

    *Technically not a net gain, as they were captured during the 2006 war.

    Net Losses:
    1200 civilians dead,400 of them under 13.
    4400 civilians injured, 770 if them permannetly.
    1 million people displaced from their homes.
    125000housing units damaged or destroyed.
    250 Hizbollah fighters killed.
    80% southern villages destroyed.
    5 billion economic damage.
    15 billion long term economic looses.
    91 bridges destroyed.
    Northern Gaharreoccupied.
    The continuing brain drain of Lebanon, etc.etc.

    And they have S. Kuntar.

  25. oao says:

    the people Israel has around it are far worse as they seem to get a psychopathic pleasure out of their behaviour

    it is instilled in them by indoctrination and socialization. the gap between the supremacist notion of the muslims and the reality of their utter failures relative to israel and western civilization is unbearable, hence the sadistic behavior.

    And the Vatican and Orthodox Church went about its business of supporting the PLO and smuggling arms from Lebanon into the West Bank in official Vatican cars.

    not different than what they did to the jews during the holocaust. read HITLER’S POPE.

  26. E.G. says:

    diana hamilton,

    The first part you cite is a copy of part of Fisk’s July 17th article (he wrote “Cornered by the Lebanese army”). Barak shot to ascertain she would not activate the grenades surrounding her waist, she had been shooting at people trying to escape the burning bus.

    Here’s one account of the attack, a few days later:
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,919454-1,00.html

    And another version – PMW’s translation of a 2003 PA daily article:
    “On the morning of March 11, 1978, a woman Palestinian fighter [Fedayeen], Dalal Mughrabi, created a legend that would be taught for many years, when she and her Fedayeen unit infiltrated the Palestinian coastal plain near Tel Aviv [Edit: the Palestinians routinely define all of Israel as "occupied Palestine"] causing tens of killed and injured, after taking Israeli passengers as hostages on a bus along the coastal highway.
    She and her unit opened fire at the military vehicles in the vicinity, resulting in hundreds of injuries among the occupying soldiers, especially because this highway is frequently used by military vehicles transporting soldiers between the Zionist colonies in the suburbs and Tel Aviv. [Edit: Palestinians define all of Israel's cities as illegal "colonies"]

    The army, headed by [Ehud] Barak, and with the assistance of tanks and helicopters, pursued the bus until it was finally stopped near the colony of Herzliya. A real battle took place between Dalal and her unit and the occupation forces …
    Journalists’ cameras captured the blind hatred that overcame Barak and his soldiers during the operation…

    Twenty-five years after this heroine’s death as a Shahida [Dying for Allah], many Palestinian women are following in her footsteps every day. Examples include Wafa Idris, [First woman suicide bomber] and Ayyat al-Akhras, [second woman suicide bomber] who performed acts of Shahada- Seeking during the blessed al-Aksa Intifada to protect the homeland.
    The Shahida Dalal Mughrabi shall remain one of the symbols of the Palestinian national struggle.”
    [Al Hayat Al Jadida March 11, 2003]

    And an interesting blog entry:
    http://staringattheview.blogspot.com/2008/07/tale-of-two-women.html

  27. Eliyahu says:

    one of the dumb mistakes that our catatonic, retarded govt, especially foreign ministry, made during the hostage situation was not to point out that international law requires that the Red Cross [ICRC] be given access to prisoners. And this demand should have been made over and over since the enemy is always accusing Israel of violating Int’l law. The claim that settlements in Judea-Samaria violate int’l law is a lie but it is constantly made.
    Now, not only should the complaint have been constantly made that Hamas and Hizbullah were violating int’l law in this regard, but the ICRC should have been denied access to Gaza as long as Shalit was held there by Gaza’s govt under these illegal conditions [denial of Red Cross access to Shalit]. The respect for int’l law must be mutual and reciprocal. Otherwise, Red Cross access can be legally denied. An attempt should also have been made to stop Lebanese red cross services to Hizbullah-held parts of that country.

    bear in mind, that during the Holocaust, the Int’l Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC, in French CICR], a Swiss govt agency, collaborated with Nazi Germany, sending physicians to treat the Wehrmacht wounded on the Eastern Front, withholding info that these physicians had about the Holocaust at an early stage, sending inspectors to Theresienstadt camp that whitewashed it, etc. Indeed, the Holocaust was known to these Swiss Red Cross physicians on the Eastern Front, and to the ICRC officials very early and some of the info leaked into the Swiss press. But the ICRC refused to announce what was going on since that would supposedly be against their mandate under int’l law, or some such excuse.

  28. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    One of the asymmetries in the war against terror is the state vs. organization status that makes the first, but not the second, abide by Intl. law (Geneva convention, ICRC etc.). Now Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the Lebanese political system. The ICRC record predicts that nothing will change. But now there is more solid ground to denounce ICRC selective missions.

    It’s not the same with Hamastan (illegitimate, non-recognized “government”).

  29. Eliyahu says:

    we can split hairs, EG, about whether Hamas is or is not the legit, “legal-like” govt in Gaza. But in practice the Israeli foreign ministry should have constantly vocally complained about the lack of access to Shalit and the Hamas’ violation of int’l law.

    Further, Norway has formally recognized Hamas control of Gaza, as far as I know. So the Hamas regime –which goes by a clearly Nazi-like ideology as seen in its charter– is recognized by at least one non-Arab, non-Islamic state. This should have been grounds to downgrade relations with Norway to the charge d’affaires level. Likewise, Israel should have restricted Norwegian citizens and state agencies from working on “humanitarian” projects in Gaza or Judea-Samaria. That would have gotten rid of a lot of obnoxious, self-righteous hypocrites as Norwegian “humano” workers so often are.

  30. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    The whole Israeli govt. can do better. They too often forget that one of their duties to their people is to make it clear that Israel has rights, not only obligations.

  31. oao says:

    The respect for int’l law must be mutual and reciprocal.

    You gotta be kidding. The west has given up on that a long time ago. They are actually FUNDING TERROR GROUPS, so you expect them to demand anything from them? if reciprocity were an issue, hamas, hezbollah and iran should have been destroyed a long time ago.

    But in practice the Israeli foreign ministry should have constantly vocally complained about the lack of access to Shalit and the Hamas’ violation of int’l law.

    perhaps it should have, but it wouldn’t have made a difference.

  32. Eliyahu says:

    oao, of course I know that about int’l law. It is usually disregarded and when referred to the claim is usually hypocritical and, further, int’l law is often deliberatedly misrepresented. Such is the case with claims that Israel is violating int’l law by allowing Jews to settle in Judea-Samaria. Actually, Geneva IV forbids “transfer” into occupied territories. But these Jews are not being “transferred”, they are moving voluntarily, even eagerly. Furthermore, describing Judaa-Samaria & Gaza as “occupied” is also false, also a misrpresentation of int’l law.

    Nevertheless, how can Israel defend itself against the libels as to violations of int’l law without, inter alia, showing how the other sides violates it. I think that such an approach might be helpful. Otherwise, our foreign ministry is shamefully supine.

    It is ironic, horrifyingly ironic, as professor Wald shows on a more recent post here, that analogies between Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto are made. Likewise, the shameless propagandists of today do not acknowledge that the no “transfer” clause in Geneva convention IV was supposed to be in response to lack of int’l law forbigging the transfers [deportations] to concentration camps in occupied Poland during the Holocaust.

  33. oao says:

    But these Jews are not being “transferred”, they are moving voluntarily, even eagerly.

    yeah, well, without the support of the israeli govt — financial and administrative they would not be able to move there. that’s not the correct argument.

    the west bank was occupied by israel during a defensive war by israel, who was attacked with intention to destroy. the land belonged to jordan who gave it up. until such time as the so-called palestinians strike an agreement with israel, the area
    belongs to israel and it can settle jews there. the arabs attacked and lost — tough, but that’s the cost of attacks.

    now, to be honest, i would not want to live there as a jew and the settlements were a mistake in the sense they they (a) offered the arabs a fake pretext to distract from their real motives (b) it is a security burden for israel (although it has some advantage too), but that’s a separate issue. as far as I know there is no international law according to which the settlements are illegal.

    how can Israel defend itself against the libels as to violations of int’l law without, inter alia, showing how the other sides violates it.

    I already agreed to that, but I just don’t believe it would have had any significant effect. the west is too busy appeasing the arabs due to financial reasons, fear induced in large part by the MSM to pay any attention to what israel says.

    It is ironic, horrifyingly ironic,…

    when you have an elite and population who has been conditioned by oil, fear, indoctrination and ignorance, that’s the kind of horrifying ironies you get. It is entirely predictable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>