Among the many expressions of moral imbecility that have struck the Western “elite” as a result of their Israel Derangement Disorder, one of the more patently hypocritical comes from Spain, where Judge Fernando Andreu has launched a probe of Israeli officials for war crimes as a result of a targeted bombing in 2002.
Striking the Piñata
By Emmanuel Navon
Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu just launched a probe of seven current and former Israeli officials over an IAF bombing in July 2002 in Gaza that intentionally killed Hamas terrorist Salah Shehadeh and accidentally killed 14 Palestinian civilians. The probe includes most of Israel’s military establishment at the time, such as former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, former Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon, and former National Security Advisor Giora Eiland. Fernando Andreu claims that the attack against Salah Shehadeh in a densely populated civilian area might constitute a crime against humanity. Andreu is acting under a doctrine that allows prosecution in Spain of crimes such terrorism or genocide even if they were allegedly committed outside of Spain.
Andreu never launched a probe against Hamas or Fatah leaders for their acts of terrorism. Nor did he ever launch a probe against Russian officials for Russia’s war crimes in Chechnya and Georgia. In these wars, Russian troops killed tens of thousands of civilians, some of them intentionally, at close range and in cold blood.
Palestinian and Russian war crimes, to name a few, should not be used to absolve Israel. They just need to be mentioned to expose the hypocrisy and double standards of Fernando Andreu.
But the probe issued by this Spanish Judge is not only discriminating. It is also baseless.
International law recognizes any state’s right to take whatever military action necessary to protect its citizens from terror attacks. International law also prohibits the use of human shields to protect terrorists from military actions of states that use their right to self-defense. By using children, women, schools, mosques, hospitals as shields to protect terrorists from Israel’s retaliations, Hamas is violating international law.
Hamas purposely puts Israel in an impossible situation. On the one hand, Israel has the right, under international law, to take whatever military actions are necessary to stop the rockets randomly fired at its towns and civilians. But on the other hand, Hamas uses human shields so that Israel cannot destroy rockets without also killing Palestinian civilians. It is thus absurd and unfair to blame Israel for the death of Palestinian civilians. As opposed to Hamas and Fatah, Israel does not purposely try to kill civilians. When Israel kills civilians, it does so either by accident, or by lack of choice –a lack of choice cynically and cruelly imposed upon us by our enemies. As Golda Meir once said: “I can forgive the Arabs for what they did to our children, but not for what they compelled us to do to their children.” Israel takes reasonable precautions to minimize Palestinian civilian deaths while trying to prevent the murder Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists.
Israel both exercises its legal right to self-defense (which includes the killing of terrorists) and abides to its legal obligation to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties. For example, the elimination of Ahmad Yassin in March 2004 was delayed and pushed off precisely because Israel was eager to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties. There was undisputable evidence that Yassin was personally involved in the intentional murder of Israeli civilians. As such, he was a legitimate target. The decision to eliminate Yassin was approved by Israel’s Attorney General. After the Israeli Government secured the legal approval of the Attorney General, it pushed off the decision’s implementation out of concern for potential Palestinian civilian casualties. One day, for example, Israel’s Prime Minister was informed of a meeting organized by Yassin with key Hamas leaders in Gaza City. Yassin could have been eliminated on the spot.
However, it was decided not to eliminate Yassin because the meeting was taking place in an apartment building. Bombing the building would have caused many civilians casualties, and therefore Israel decided to keep Yassin alive. Israel waited until Yassin was almost alone to eliminate him.
One wonders if the Spanish Government would have shown similar concern and restraint. For Spain is ruthless in its treatment of ETA terrorists.
In February 2003, the Spanish Government closed the Basque newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria. The police arrested most of the newspaper’s staff, including its editor, who were accused of supporting ETA. The police sent the detained journalists to Madrid, held them for days and tortured them, before some were released on high bail. When the members of the newspaper’s staff publicly described their mistreatment, they were informed by the Spanish police that they might be rearrested for lying.
In March 2004, Theo van Boven, a Dutch UN human rights specialist, wrote in a report that the abuse of Basque prisoners was “more than sporadic and incidental” in Spain. He also found that legal safeguards against torture were not rigorously enforced by the Spanish Government.
According to van Boven, Basque detainees face beatings, exhausting forced physical exercise, asphyxiation with plastic bags and sleep deprivation, as well as insults and threats. Detainees are also commonly held incommunicado. The report added that the impartiality of procedures for investigating victims’ complaints are “questionable” and that people who win lawsuits against police have to wait almost a decade for compensation.
Spain hardly stands on a high moral ground when it comes to the treatment of terrorists. By launching his probe, Fernando Andreu is using Israel as a piñata. The piñata is traditionally shaped like a seven-pointed star which represents the devil and the seven deadly sins, while the contents are the goods or blessings he is withholding. Striking the devil with faith, symbolized by being blindfolded, releases the blessings. There couldn’t be a better metaphor. Israel is the piñata of a self-righteous judge blinded by his faith in the absolution of European sins by the striking of the devilish Jew.
Nice analogy, especially the part about blind faith. I have been deeply impressed since 2000 about how important it is for people to feel they are moral. This is not a matter of substance. If that were the case, then Judge Andreu would be seeking to improve Spain’s human rights record in dealing with terror. No, it’s a matter of appearance: in going after Israel, the good judge — and the Spanish and European audience to whom he plays — gets the thrill of looking like he cares about morality, gets to sit in judgment.
It’s hard to find a better case of the difference between honor and integrity. It would be amusing were it not at once vicious towards Israel, supportive of genuine war criminals, and, most astonishingly, suicidal.