Thursday, June 10, 2010

Israel Right to Self-Defense -- Sameh Habeeb

Israeli self-defense

The legal dictionary of Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill
(1981-2005 by) defines self-defense as,” self-defense n. the use of
reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from
bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has
reason to believe he/she/they is/are in danger. Self-defense is a
common defense by a person accused of assault, battery, or homicide.
The force used in self-defense may be sufficient for protection from
apparent harm (not just an empty verbal threat) or to halt any danger
from attack, but cannot be an excuse to continue the attack or use
excessive force.”

You only have to look at the last six decades. Before its
establishment; Israel ethnically cleansed more than 800,000
Palestinians. More than 530 villages were viciously destroyed before
it even existed. Wars then were launched against Syria, Egypt, Lebanon
and Jordan. Attacks and military operations of Israel in the name of
self defense reached Tunisia, Iraq, Algeria and Morocco. Add to that,
a hundred or more operations that took place across Asia, Africa,
Europe and North America.

From 1967 to 2008 more than 800.000 Palestinians were imprisoned by

From 29/9/200 to 31/12/2008 more than 5901 Palestinians were killed.
The same period witnessed up to 40,000 injured people. On the other
side, around 1000 Israeli were killed. There is a huge and vast gap
between the numbers. Additionally, 1440 Palestinians were killed in
Gaza. The ratio is around 8 Palestinians killed for each Israeli.

Rockets Issue and Self-defense

The official website of the Israeli Foreign Affairs ministry states
that 1,750 rockets and 1,528 mortar bombs fired from the Gaza Strip
struck southern Israel in 2008. This is understandably shocking for
anyone who reads this. The term rocket or mortar or missile induces
fear in any ordinary onlooker. Israel uses such statistics and numbers
to deflect the attention of the international mainstream media and
those who consume it. If we suppose Israel is right about this, then
why don’t we see Israel giving more details about these rockets? Why
does Israel not show the pictures of the victims of these rockets? Why
don’t we see the damaged cities, town, and village?

Clearly these rockets are ineffective and useless. According to the
BBC, since 2001, when the rockets were first fired, more than 8,600
have hit southern Israel, nearly 6,000 of them since Israel withdrew
from Gaza in August 2005. The rockets have killed 28 people and
injured hundreds more.

This is 28 people killed and hundreds injured too many. But note that
there is a huge gap between the number of victims and the number of
rockets. If this leads us to any conclusion, it must be that these
rockets are primitive, inexact and ineffective. The rockets are just
another scapegoat that Israel uses to justify its ongoing attacks
against Palestinian civilians.

Some Palestinian factions have now stopped firing these rockets as
Hamas did, from June to December 2009. What happened? A full- scale
war was launched in late 2009 that took the lives of more than 1440
Palestinians, mostly civilians. The arithmetic is like this: 28
Israelis killed by rocket attacks in nine years while 1440
Palestinians were killed in only 3 weeks in the last war on Gaza.
There is no way to compare the two sides. The self defense argument
deployed by Israel should be renamed its policy of aggression. Self
defense empowers victims to use sufficient power to defend themselves.
But from the Israeli government we only see excessive force used
against civilians.

By Sameh A. Habeeb

The Palestine Telegraph Newspaper

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