Spanish/European Moral Hypocrisy Strikes Again: Navon on Judge Andreu

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.

28 Responses to Spanish/European Moral Hypocrisy Strikes Again: Navon on Judge Andreu

  1. andrew says:

    There is a remarkable paper by Ben-Dror, illustrating the extremely high, if not downright impossible, demands made by Europeans from Israel, as opposed to those they impose on themselves: this is especially striking in relation to the NATO military activities over Yugoslavia in 1999. Unfortunately, I have no reference for the original Jan.10 version of the paper,
    but a French version, dated Jan.30, is currently available on http://www.desinfos.com. On the other hand, it seems absolutely crazy that any judge anywhere in Europe, motivated by political passion, if not by private interests, including (this will happen too if
    the trend continues unimpeded) greed, could make himself in a position to be such a nuisance to established states.

  2. chouraqui a says:

    i would like to have the judge andreu to take to court : the church of spain , plus the government , plus also ( why not ) the king juan carlos , for the crime to have expelled my ancestors in 1492 !!!

    and i would like to know if the judge andreu is ready to take the entire spanish government to a war crime tribunal for building a wall between morocco and ceuta / melilla .

    we are not talking anymore of anti-judaism ( up to the 19 th century ) or antisemitism ( 20 century ) , but of judeophobia .

    and the judge andreu is the 21 st century inquisitor. his action is only the result of his deep rooted judeophobia .

    a c

  3. E.G. says:

    andrew,

    You can find English translations of Ben-Dror Yemini’s articles here:

    (The French ones are not the best)

    The Hebrew original: http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/837/917.html

  4. E.G. says:

    chouraqui,

    Your reaction reminds me of my indignant one at the Sevillia Cathedral. It’s an immense Gothic, very austere and quite bare place – but for a huge silver and gold magnificently sculpted Baroque wall. I couldn’t reprimand the violent whisper: It’s all (made of) Jewish confiscated goods!

    Nothing personal. As far as I know, I don’t have any Sephardi ancestor in the past 1000 years or so…

  5. oao says:

    shadenfreunde, shmadenfreunde. tell me it’ll not be satisfying to see the good judge live under sharia.

  6. E.G. says:

    No, it won’t. If the good judge is good, he’ll delude himself into believing it’s a wonderful life. If that doesn’t work, you (or I) won’t see/hear him…

  7. andrew says:

    To E.G.,

    Many thanks for the very interesting reference (considerably more expanded than the French version).

    Coming back to the judge’s case: I have a feeling that the Spanish government is not too pleased with this
    development: also, I vaguely remember that the Belgians, or the British, or both, did try something analogous a few years ago. In all these instances,
    it is not in the governments’ interest to give the judges a too free rein: let us not forget that one of the foundations of democracy is supposed to be the independence of the three powers (executive, legislative, judiciary). One should really consider
    these outbursts of self-importance by judges in the light of psychoanalysis: still, this does not give any idea about how to deal with such nuisances.

    andrew

  8. Cynic says:

    chouraqui a,

    My son would say “Snap” because he came out with the same thoughts, but included the Spanish butchery of the Central and South American natives, in their drive for gold.
    Those who live in glass houses ….

  9. E.G. says:

    Well, I’m a lot more worried about some Israeli reactions. It’s been reported that the IDF’s chief lawyer’s appointment to lecture at the Tel-Aviv U. faculty of Law is contested by some of the officer’s future colleagues. They’re unwilling to let that lawyer spoil the students’ minds with the interpretation of Intl. laws of war that authorised the IDF to act as they did in “Cast Lead”.
    I guess the esteemed professors have full knowledge regarding the yet to be published but already condemnable acts. Their opposition cannot possibly stem from their often voiced concern for academic pluralism…

  10. E.G. says:

    andrew,

    The independence you’re writing about is theoretic. In practice it’s slightly different.

  11. E.G. says:

    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.

    That would be the “Trial and Error” part of the phenomenon Shmuel Trigano named the media Pogrom.

    Translated excerpts:
    “[…]it’s above all the symbolic person [of the Jew] that got hit. One’s dignity and self-image are also part of the human person, not merely her [physical] body. It’s these features that the media’s Pogrom aimed at. And the traits that hit [the Jewish person] are of a unique genre.
    Morality and humanitarianism have been drawn like arms. Clean. Moral. Total. The discourse about Israeli cruelty, directed by Hamas and Arab TV chains, was rehashed night and day, with the increasingly loud, feverish call to save a people from genocide. In Gaza there was only an army of children, hospitals, food storages, electricity stations…
    That is the essence of the violence against the person of Israel. It is virtuous! The more the concern for “children” and “civilians” is “disproportionate”, the stronger and more radical is the (symbolic) attack. And the more Israel is stigmatised and demonised. For humanitarian motives!”

    “The “humanitarian” concern is well within the broader ideological perspective that enshrines dead Jews at the same time it overcharges living Jews.”

    I’d add that a fighting (with either intellectual or actual arms) Jew, seems to make some people uneasy, put them off balance. They may have been a lot more “understanding” if the Israelis called them for help. It would have comforted a sense of superiority.

  12. Cynic says:

    Just as an indication of the hypocrisy surging through the world, Brazil, which condemned Israel this month in the UN, has given political asylum to an Italian sentenced to life for the murder of three people and acts of terrorism.
    Berlusconi has canceled his visit to Brazil.
    El ministro de Defensa de Berlusconi, Ignacio La Russa, calificó el asilo político concedido a Battisti de “desconcertante y ofensivo”.
    Shame, and some of his countrymen have demanded a boycott of Jewish owned businesses; that doesn’t appear to be “desconcertante y ofensivo”.

  13. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    I’m afraid you’re being unfair above. The Romans (other Italians?) immediately condemned the boycott demand and it was abandoned.

  14. Cynic says:

    Have tried to get this posted but it seems that WrdPress doesn’t like it for some reason so am attempting again.

    Unfair? To whom may I ask? The Brazilians or the Europeans?
    Just to put some more perspective on the Euro types heres another little bit to consider:
    Brazilian asylum for terrorist killer creates outrage

    More recently President Nicolas Sarkozy caused irritation in Italy by stopping the extradition of Marina Petrella, a former Red Brigades terrorist who developed anorexia while in prison.
    He was reportedly influenced by his Italian wife, the former model and pop singer Carla Bruni. It’s been suggested that Sarkozy and his wife have intervened again to thwart the Italians.

    Isn’t there a French expression something along the lines of all in the family to express this political sort of incest?
    And they preach morals to Israel.

  15. oao says:

    No, it won’t. If the good judge is good, he’ll delude himself into believing it’s a wonderful life. If that doesn’t work, you (or I) won’t see/hear him

    perhaps. but at some level he’ll get it. and that’s enough for me.

    Shame, and some of his countrymen have demanded a boycott of Jewish owned businesses; that doesn’t appear to be “desconcertante y ofensivo”.

    but that’s the point, no? to obscure one’s own lack of virtue by impugning it to the jews.

  16. Eliyahu says:

    To Chouraqui, I agree and would add, 517 years ago, Spaniards drove the Jews out of Spain. They didn’t want Jews in their country. 517 years later, many Spaniards don’t want the Jews in the Jews’ country.

    This latter group may include the royal shoemaker, el Sr Zapatero.

  17. E.G. says:

    The good judge will live jailed, tortured, and die believing he’s a martyr of the progressive cause. Whoever condemns him. So will most of his likes. Their belief in self virtue is too strong for facts to deter it.

  18. oao says:

    The good judge will live jailed, tortured, and die believing he’s a martyr of the progressive cause. Whoever condemns him. So will most of his likes. Their belief in self virtue is too strong for facts to deter it.

    but he’ll still get what he deserves.

  19. E.G. says:

    oao,

    My sole point is that he’ll most probably not realise he deserves it. Or why. I guess he’ll conceive it as a random event – a storm for ex. – not something he can be held accountable for.

  20. E.G. says:

    Cynic #15

    Unfair to the Romans on that specific case. Otherwise – “desconcertante y ofensivo” is an understatement.
    I believe that actually most Europeans are disconcerted and offended, but don’t realise by what and whom. That what makes it easy to lead them to believe that the big bad wolf is those nasty juice in the stolen land.

  21. E.G. says:

    That is what makes it easy…

  22. andrew says:

    Question: is it so safe for governments to play this kind of games ? what will happen if the Moroccans,
    say, pronounce that their tribunals, too, have ”universal competence”, and decide to try the Spaniards for their past activities in Western Sahara ? on the other hand, how will the Minister of Foreign Affairs consider this intrusion into what he certainly considers as being his prerogatives ? As a matter of fact, Mr Moratinos does not seem overjoyed with the judge’s attempt.

  23. E.G. says:

    andrew,

    The whole point about this kind of trials and tribunals is capturing attention and headlines. The Belgians, Brits and Spaniards know perfectly well that their status, especially in matters of human rights, is not very close to sainthood. The activists who initiate those actions probably know it very well too. But it’s excellent PR to induce the herd into believing that Israelis (they’re all military) are war criminals that ought to be tried.
    Maybe there’s also some moral Schadenfreunde in the background as well: They claim to be fighting a defensive war? OK, let’s see them defending themselves. But for once, they should do it without their military superiority (provided by those horrible Americans).

  24. E.G. says:

    Trying and condemning sometimes even killing people on news-paper is quite easy. Character assassination costs nothing. Rarely does one sue somebody for an opinion op-ed.

  25. Eliyahu says:

    The anti-Israel rhetoric of hrw and the other peacemongers –politicians, other NGOs, this Spanish judge [by opening such a case], etc– has had a very bad influence on the daily lives of Jews in various Diaspora countries. We know about France, but in Turkey the situation is much worse, as you can imagine, what with Erdogan’s fanatical incitement to hatred. Actually, Shimon Peres was too nice to him at Davos. Here’s a link to what’s going on in the land of Our Friends the Turks.

    http://jewishrefugees.blogspot.com/2009/02/antisemitism-is-out-of-control-say.html

    What’s cute here is that those who scream the loudest about “innocent civilians” being harmed in Gaza by Israel, seem to forget that the Jews in Diaspora lands ought to be considered “innocent civilians” too. Aren’t they? Or are all Jews guilty, whether in the Israeli army or not, on the decision-making echelon in Israel or not?? Indeed, I would say that the pro-Arab protestors in Europe and other Western countries [inc. the USA] have killed the whole notion of the “innocent civilian” by attacking Jews in those countries physically not as part of a justified military campaign which entails harm to non-combatants because Hamas hides its weapons [meant to kill Jewish civilians] among them. Anyhow, let’s not forget how Jews in France and Turkey and elsewhere are being harassed.

  26. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Juice are not innocent civilians.
    Recall Raymod Barre’s gaffe in 1980 – the attack on a Parisian synagogue… He, French PM, stated that the terrorist attack, aimed at a Jewish place of cult, unfortunately made French innocent civilian victims (non-Jews). Unfortunately for him, is was revealed a bit later that one of the innocent victims was an Israeli Jewish lady who happened to pass by…

  27. Eliyahu says:

    EG, you show that certain political leaders in the West do not see Jews as belonging to the West, whatever the Jewish contribution may have been to Western culture. So Jews are foolish to think that they are accepted as part of the West, whether or not they conduct themselves according to Western values, liberal principles, etc.

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