Rabbi Avi Weinstein

The NYT Doesn’t Let Facts Get In the Way

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2009 at 2:15 am

Blinded by the “necessity” of equal airtime, the NYT has to give free space to a George Bisharat whose “heart is in the ‘right’ place, even though his mind is somewhere else. Noah Pollack has the goods on his post entitled “He forgot the poison wells”.

Bisharat continues by charging that Israel is violating Article 33 of the Geneva Conventions by imposing “collective punishment” on Gaza. This claim depends on every resident of Gaza being considered a “protected person” under the Geneva Conventions, which they are not, because Israel is not occupying Gaza. The blockade may be a bad policy, an ineffective policy, or an immoral policy — but it is not a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Side question: Why do people like Bisharat never condemn Egypt for its involvement in the blockade?

As more information comes out regarding the Gaza incursion–see my post a few weeks ago, Israel bashers under the guise of Professorial “authority” don’t let the facts get in the way. I also rushed to believe the worst stories being peddled by a recalcitrant anti-Gaza activist, because in any war, such instances are entirely plausible. But that’s the point, Israel is never worse than others who are engaged in mortal combat, and is probably marginally better.

The fact is once again Hamas is not responsible for targeting exclusively civilian populations across the green line because “why exactly” Mr. Bisharat?

Hat tip to Jonathan Cohen.

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  1. It may be a bit more complex.

    Article 33 of the Geneva Conventions is defined as follows:

    http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/92.htm

    http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/COM/380-600038?OpenDocument

    As can be seen, the Geneva Conventions assign a special role of the Internation Commission of the Red Cross.

    So, a question is whether the ICRC sees Gaza as “occupied” inasmuch as the other parties do not agree on this.

    The ICRC does seem to refer to Gaza as an “occupied” territory.

    See:

    http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/palestine-israel-news-120109?opendocument

    http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/map_israel!OpenDocument

    This does not render invalid the other points made, but it does bring into question the point made that Gaza is not ‘occupied’, inasmuch as the party defined as the arbiter to decide these questions does seem to refer to Gaza as ‘occupied.’

  2. Thanks for unpacking this a bit for me. I guess the question is whether the ICRC is being legally precise in its definition, and whether the fact that Israel has retreated from Gaza has been acknowledged.

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