Why the Israeli Apologetics are Wrong
Commenting the joint declaration of international law scholars, Julian Ku recently concluded in the opiniojuris blog that “I am not convinced (as the Joint Declaration seems to allege) that killing civilians is actually the basic intention and goal of the Israeli government.” Really??!
Recent attempts to whitewash Israeli war crimes are appaling and arise from a false understanding of friendship. Some people seem to deliberately ignore the sad reality that Israel does in fact intend to clear the Gaza strip once and for ever. Israeli officials have repeatedly explained they were following policy known as the "Dahiye doctrine" .
This doctrine has been described by the Commanding Officer of the Israeli Army’s Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkott as follows:
“What happened in the Dahiye Quarter of Beirut in 2006, will happen in every village from which shots are fired on Israel. We will use disproportionate force against it and we will cause immense damage and destruction. From our point of view these are not civilian villages but military bases. This is not a recommendation, this is the plan, and it has already been authorized.”
Dr. Gabriel Siboni, Colonel in the Israeli Army reserves further stated that “[p]unishment must be aimed at decision makers and the power elite…attacks should both aim at Hezbollah’s military capabilities and should target economic interests and the centers of civilian power that support the organization [...] This approach is applicable to the Gaza Strip as well.”
Many international law experts have agreed on the fact that Israel has committed war crimes against the Palestinian civilian population in its previous operations in the Gaza strip. Jean-Philippe Kot in his legal analysis of the Goldstone report resumed that “civilians in Gaza were deliberately put at risk by a specific interpretation breaking down the flat rule of civilian immunity into a more complex construction opposing the Israeli soldiers’ right to life to the rights of an ‘enemy population’.”
Contrary to some western apologetics, Israeli officials themselves makes no secret of the fact they target the civilian population as a whole.
There are numerous recent calls for genocidal-scale violence against Palestinians made by leading Israeli politicians and even Rabbis. The views expressed by these individuals are not to be neglected for they mirror Israeli policy and public opinion.
In an article presenting the Endlösung for Gaza, Moshe Feiglin, member of Netanyahu’s ruling party, called for the expulsion of the Gazan population and the repopulation of the Gaza strip with Jews. He said the IDF should “[a]ttack the entire ‘target bank’ throughout Gaza with the IDF’s maximum force (and not a tiny fraction of it) with all the conventional means at its disposal. All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’”.
David Rubin, former mayor of Shiloh, called for the merciless bombing of the cities of Gaza, including “UNRWA-sponsored schools, hospitals, and mosques” regardless of the resulting civilian deaths.
Then there has been this despicable call for genocide made by Knesset member Ayelet Shaked who openly admitted that this was “not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority” but instead a war against “the entire Palestinian people” stating that “[t]hey are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”
And, on top of that, news-editor Seth Lipsky in an article in the New York Post deplored the fact that “in the entire Gaza campaign less than half a percent of the civilians” were killed compared those that were killed with the atomic bombs that were unleashed on Japan.
If that still doesn’t suffice to underline Israel’s disregard for Palestinian civilian lives and to proof its intent to commit genocide, consider these two recent columns by Yochanan Gordon and Martin Sherman in two leading Israeli newspapers, instigating genocide against Palestinians in Gaza:
"..any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring
about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."
Israel ratified the Convention in 1950. And on top of that the crime of Genocide is considered to be ius cogens.
 See Kearney, Michael; Lawfare, Legitimacy and Resistance: The weak and the law, XVI Palestine Yearbook of International Law (2010) 79-130, available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2153837.