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War Crimes in Gaza

  1. Jan 25, 2009 #1
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7850085.stm

    While, I am unsure about any war crimes but I think it is bit disturbing that Israel wouldn't punish those who do war crimes.

    (There have been other threads about the war consequences or ethics but I making this thread only to discuss the above statement of the Israel PM)
     
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  3. Jan 25, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

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    A government can make any statements it likes about it's own behavior. Whether this stands depends on if the overseas courts can bring enough military/political/economic pressure to bear on the country to force it to hand over any accused.
    - in simple terms, war crimes are committed by the losers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  4. Jan 25, 2009 #3

    russ_watters

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    The quote/article doesn't say that. It just says that Israel would not let others punish Israeli soldiers. That Israel wouldn't punish them themselves is something you are assuming.
     
  5. Jan 25, 2009 #4
    Edit: I see he was referring to the oversees prosecutions .. But, there's little hope that he is willing to put any one on trail.

    But, Israel is also conducting some investigations like the following one:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7838465.stm
    So, my assumption might be wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  6. Jan 25, 2009 #5
    I still don't see though, how a state would have the power to protect war criminals in countries around the world. Would this have to be an agreement between the specific country after the fact. For example, do they mean that if you get arrested in state X, that Israel will fight state X to get you free?
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  7. Jan 25, 2009 #6

    mgb_phys

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    Or at least put political pressure through a third country to release them.
    If you are an Israeli artillery officer it might be a good idea to only visit countries friendly to Israel for a while - just to be on the safe side.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  8. Jan 25, 2009 #7
    If a soldier was arrested in France while on vacation for a war crime charge, Israel would not go to war with them. Israel would most likely claim the French police abducted the person unlawfully. Also, the USA might side with Israel, implying that the French did something unlawful, or otherwise inappropriate but it wouldn't come to use of physical force.

    Specifically what Israel has in mind is if Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Canada or anyone else for that matter asks Israel to extradite someone to face a war crimes tribunal, Israel is stating they have no intention of complying with such a request.

    The USA has made similar claims and I expect most other countries would have a similar policy but no one else has had much reason to make such a statement.
     
  9. Jan 25, 2009 #8
    i dont think canada will be requesting extradition of any war criminals. last time i checked canada took a very firm stance on the gaza crisis instead of what it normally does and observe for peace operations and getting help to where its needed.

    aside from that its not hard to refuse to hand over war criminals based on international findings that war crimes were commited. Especially with the US on your side.

    there are many many many people wanted in the world still (right now even say darfur crisis???) where the country will not surrender the convicted. i believe if Israel finds that any soldier or group of soldiers did any sort of crimes that they will punish themselves though so it isn't even like it matters that they don't give up the convicted...
     
  10. Jan 25, 2009 #9

    russ_watters

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    Ehh, the article's wording may have been a little sloppy.
     
  11. Jan 26, 2009 #10
    This is true, I can't imagine a possible scenario where Canada would make such accusations.

    I think you mean 'the charged', not 'the convicted' since I expect the person's presence at trial would be required for a conviction
     
  12. Jan 26, 2009 #11

    mgb_phys

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    Generally there isn't much precedence for a country willingly handing someone over for trial.
    Libya handed over the men accused of the Pan-Am attacks to the UK and France handed over the agents responsible for sinking the Greenpeace ship to New Zealand. However both of these involved giving up a couple of low level agents in the face of heavy economic sanctions.

    The first leader to be arrested while their state was still functioning and able to bring diplomatic pressure was probably Gen. Pinochet (former facist dictator of Chile) arrested in Britain at the request of Spain - even then Britain managed to find a loophole to release him (presumably trade with Chile was worth more than trade with Spain) and he was granted immunity by his own government on his return.
     
  13. Jan 26, 2009 #12

    tiny-tim

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    legal protection, not military protection

    That is the BBC's rather ambiguous reporting.

    This Jewish Chronicle (a weekly British newspaper) article makes it clearer …
    In other words, Israel has promised its soldiers the protection of lawyers, not military protection! :rolleyes:
    No … an extradition request for war crime is only lawful if the requesting country has jurisdiction, which means that the crime alleged was committed in that country, or (in a few cases) that a citizen of that country was a victim.

    Neither of those would apply to Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Canada or indeed anywhere but Palestine.

    The problem is not one of extradition, but of Israeli officers being arrested on holiday. :smile:
     
  14. Jan 26, 2009 #13
    There is a case where a Russian Billionaire who is wanted in Russia for all kinds of things, was granted permission from the UK to stay there. Russia wants him back, but the UK refuses. Russia became upset with the U.S. because one of George bushes Brothers does business with him. Essentially the guys money is dirty, and Russia would call it money laundering. But, what is russia going to do invade the UK?
     
  15. Jan 26, 2009 #14

    mgb_phys

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    The UK would also like Russia to hand over the agent that off'ed Litvinenko with the radioactive sushi - but as he is now a Russian MP it ain't going to happen.
     
  16. Jan 26, 2009 #15
    You are arguing about war crimes.

    WAR is a crime.
     
  17. Jan 26, 2009 #16

    tiny-tim

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    what's it all about, alfi?

    So if country A invades country B, then country B will be committing a crime if it resists?
     
  18. Jan 26, 2009 #17

    mjsd

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    There is too much gray area on the issue of WAR and it is misleading to view it in such a yes/no (or black/white) situation.
    People have different views as to what constitute a "crime", just as they may have different values and expectation in life.
     
  19. Jan 27, 2009 #18
    What constitutes a crime is the violation of a law. The strongest authority makes the laws. The idea is that countries joint together to make a strong enough authority to enforce certain laws. Yes certain acts of war are against a law. There is a rule that you cannot invade a country unless they are threatening you. Another law is that you cannot use collective punishment. Certain weapons which are especially damaging to civilians are illegal to use in certain situations. White phosphorous is illegal in densely populated areas because it causes heavy civilian injury, death, and destruction. It is anything but a precise selective weapon.

    The law gets kind of fuzzy when countries have enough power and influence to single handedly undermine the worlds attempts at global war authority.

    The reason it would be ironic for Israel to undermine these laws, is that they were once the victims of these types of crimes, and that is one of the main reasons why the laws were made.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  20. Jan 28, 2009 #19
    oh that's going to be a hard one for some to defend.

    coughcoughIraqcoughcoough


    there is a rule .... who makes the rules?
     
  21. Jan 28, 2009 #20

    tiny-tim

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    Pretending you have weapons is just as threatening as actually having them. :frown:
     
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