| #ResistIllegalOccupation: A legal and moral case for Hamas rocket fire!

A legal and moral case for Hamas rocket fire ~ Jonathan Cook, the Blog from Nazareth.

 

Two leading intellectuals make separate and eloquent cases that the people of Gaza have the right to resist by any means – including by firing rockets – Israel’s efforts to slowly extinguish their right to self-determination, and possibly to life itself. They argue that the Palestinians have this right most certainly at a moral level, but also almost certainly at the level of international law.

I recommend reading each article in its entirety but, knowing the constraints on readers’ time and attention, I have extracted the most salient points they make.

Norman Finkelstein:

It is not altogether clear what constitutes an indiscriminate weapon [a reference to Human Rights Watch’s judgment that all Palestinian rockets from Gaza are war crimes by definition because they are not “precise”]. The apparent standard is a relative one set by the available technology: If an existing weapon has a high probability of hitting its target, then any weapons with a significantly lower probability are classified as indiscriminate. But, by this standard, only rich countries, or countries rich enough to purchase high-tech weapons, have a right to defend themselves against high-tech aerial assaults. It is a curious law that would negate the raison d’être of law: the substitution of might by right. …

The United States and Britain, among others, have staunchly defended the right of a state to use nuclear weapons by way of belligerent reprisal. By this standard, the people of Gaza surely have the right to use makeshift projectiles to end an illegal, merciless seven-year-long Israeli blockade or to end Israel’s criminal bombardment of Gaza’s civilian population. Indeed, in its landmark 1996 advisory opinion on the legality of nuclear weapons, the [International Court of Justice] ruled that international law is not settled on the right of a state to use nuclear weapons when its “survival” is at stake. But, if a state might have the right to use nuclear weapons when its survival is at stake, then surely a people struggling for self-determination has the right to use makeshift projectiles when it has been subjected to slow death by a protracted blockade and recurrent massacres. …

Fully 95 percent of the water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption. By all accounts, the Palestinian people now stand behind those engaging in belligerent reprisals against Israel. In the Gaza Strip, they prefer to die resisting than to continue living under an inhuman blockade. Their resistance is mostly notional, as makeshift projectiles cause little damage. So, the ultimate question is, Do Palestinians have the right to symbolically resist slow death punctuated by periodic massacres, or must they lie down and die?

 

Chris Hedges:

If Israel insists, as the Bosnian Serbs did in Sarajevo, on using the weapons of industrial warfare against a helpless civilian population then that population has an inherent right to self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The international community will have to either act to immediately halt Israeli attacks and lift the blockade of Gaza or acknowledge the right of the Palestinians to use weapons to defend themselves. …

Violence, even when employed in self-defense, is a curse. It empowers the ruthless and punishes the innocent. It leaves in its aftermath horrific emotional and physical scars. But, as I learned in Sarajevo during the 1990s Bosnian War, when forces bent on your annihilation attack you relentlessly, and when no one comes to your aid, you must aid yourself. When Sarajevo was being hit with 2,000 shells a day and under heavy sniper fire in the summer of 1995 no one among the suffering Bosnians spoke to me about wanting to mount nonviolent resistance. …

The number of dead in Gaza resulting from the Israeli assault has topped 650, and about 80 percent have been civilians. The number of wounded Palestinians is over 4,000 and a substantial fraction of these victims are children. At what point do the numbers of dead and wounded justify self-defense? 5,000? 10,000? 20,000? At what point do Palestinians have the elemental right to protect their families and their homes? …

The Palestinians will reject, as long as possible, any cease-fire that does not include a lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza. They have lost hope that foreign governments will save them. They know their fate rests in their own hands. The revolt in Gaza is an act of solidarity with the world outside its walls. It is an attempt to assert in the face of overwhelming odds and barbaric conditions the humanity and agency of the Palestinian people. There is little in life that Palestinians can choose, but they can choose how to die.

PalSol5

 

#Call4Action: Arab and Islamic countries not providing help to Gaza need their leaders removed now!

 

 

5 thoughts on “| #ResistIllegalOccupation: A legal and moral case for Hamas rocket fire!

  1. I personally do not support the firing of rockets into Israel.
    Apart from anything else, they are a crude and puny type of weapon which – as we have seen – have very little real effect where the conflict between the Zionists and Gazans is concerned.
    The use of such weapons is – up to a point – counter-productive.
    The real point at issue is the continued blockading of Gaza by Israel, with support from the US, EU, Egypt and some Gulf State countries over many years.
    This slow-motion genocide is the real point at issue – not firing of piddling rockets or even the grossly disproportionate “retaliation” by the Zionist military.
    The slow mass murder of all Gazans – preparatory to a similar fate for all other Palestinians in the West Bank – has to stop. The blockade on all Palestinians has to be ended.
    The world is at fault, for allowing racist supremacist Zionists to behave in the way they have for the last 65 years. We must get a grip on this situation and tell the Zionists their day is over.
    The world must no longer stand by and simply watch the mass genocide of Palestinians.
    This is why BDS is so important and why the application of harch sanctions against the Zionists must be implemented.
    Can the types of sanctions being applied and threatened against Iranian and Russian politicians and their economies serve as a useful model for the kinds of sanctions that should be applied to Netanyahu and his “cronies” in government, as well as their military-industrial complex?

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    • I understand the point you’re making but equally, it must not be forgotten that for those unfortunate victims subject to ILLEGAL OCCUPATION, resistance by ALL MEANS NECESSARY is an inalienable human right under International Law on par with the right to life. Hence, one must be wary of creating an impression of lecturing such victims of illegal occupation as to one preferred form of resistance over another given they lack our amenities and the luxuries we take for granted in their desperate daily grind for survival. After all, what would you have an entire besieged population do? Respond to missiles and artillery barrages by tossing back roses and singing KUMBAYA? The history of the world shows that resistance works using all means necessary. Otherwise, this negates the other inalienable right to self-defence and instead righteous violence and use of force becomes the exclusive preserve of Western hegemonic political powers hell-bent on moulding and regime-changing the middle-east for their own geopolitical ends. That said the surging growth in the #BDS movement worldwide is actually rooted in Palestinian CIVIL SOCIETY and is entirely non-violent too.

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  2. I am highly sympathetic to the Palestinian plight but bombing civilian targets is a war crime no matter who perpetrates it. Just because the Israis are better at it doesn’t mean it’s justified for Palestinians to kill non-combatants. As a practical matter, it also diminishes the moral force that must attend the BDS movement, the only thing about which monstrous Zionists are concerned. Every decent country should join in implementing a worldwide boycott Israeli products and services until Israel lifts its blockade of Gaza and stops its bombardment of civilians and civilian buildings. I’d appreciate a UN resolution stating that the Zionist doctrine of “human shields” is a cruel mockery of international human rights embodied in articles 32 and 33 of Part 3 of the 4th Geneva Convention that establishes that collective punishment is a war crime. Zionist atrocities must be stopped as soon as possible.

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    • I understand the point you’re making but equally, it must not be forgotten that for those unfortunate victims subject to ILLEGAL OCCUPATION, resistance by ALL MEANS NECESSARY is an inalienable human right under International Law on par with the right to life. Hence, one must be wary of creating an impression of lecturing such victims of illegal occupation as to one preferred form of resistance over another given they lack our amenities and the luxuries we take for granted in their desperate daily grind for survival. After all, what would you have an entire besieged population do? Respond to missiles and artillery barrages by tossing back roses and singing KUMBAYA? The history of the world shows that resistance works using all means necessary. Otherwise, this negates the other inalienable right to self-defence and instead righteous violence and use of force becomes the exclusive preserve of Western hegemonic political powers hell-bent on moulding and regime-changing the middle-east for their own geopolitical ends. That said the surging growth in the #BDS movement worldwide is actually rooted in Palestinian CIVIL SOCIETY and is entirely non-violent too.

      Like

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