The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

UN Investigator: Israel commits “massive violations of international law”

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Richard Falk, U. N. Special Investigator for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, spells it out (h/t PeoplesGeography):

clipped from
The Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Convention, both in regard to the obligations of an occupying power and in the requirements of the laws of war.
'Israeli air strikes represent massive violations of international law'Those violations include:Collective punishment – the entire 1.5 million people who live in the crowded Gaza Strip are being punished for the actions of a few militants. […]

Targeting civilians – the air strikes were aimed at civilian areas in one of the most crowded stretches of land in the world […]

Disproportionate military response – the air strikes have not only destroyed every police and security office of Gaza’s elected government, but have killed and injured hundreds of civilians […]

Earlier Israeli actions, specifically the complete sealing off of entry and exit to and from the Gaza Strip, have led to severe shortages of medicine and fuel (as well as food), resulting in the inability of ambulances to respond to the injured, the inability of hospitals to adequately provide medicine or necessary equipment for the injured, and the inability of Gaza’s besieged doctors and other medical workers to sufficiently treat the victims. […]

Certainly the rocket attacks against civilian targets in Israel are unlawful. But that illegality does not give Israel any right … to violate international humanitarian law and commit war crimes … in its response […] The one Israeli killed today … is the first in over a year. […]

The Israeli air strikes today, and the catastrophic human toll that they have caused, challenge those countries that have been and remain complicit, either directly or indirectly, in Israel’s violations of international law. That complicity includes those countries knowingly providing the military equipment including warplanes and missiles used in these illegal attacks, as well as those countries which have supported and participated in the siege of Gaza, which itself has caused a humanitarian catastrophe

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Since 2000, fewer than 20 Israelis have been killed by Hamas’ primitive rockets – and only one in the last 12 months. By contrast, 3,000 Palestinians have died, and 300 of them perished in the last few days.

Israel’s enabler is the USA, which provides American gunships, missiles, and bombs. Israel kills with impunity because the US vetoes near-unanimous UN rebukes.

Dispensationalism’s blind faith that Israel’s barbarous government is the Israel of prophecy demands re-evaluation. For the pogroms this outfit carries out make it more resemble the Third Reich than the children of Abraham.

And the USA—with the backing of the Christian conservative set—once again has blood on its hands.

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  1. Thanks, Joe – you raise a really important issue. I read your post and, as you know, I left this comment there (I’m putting a copy of it here, in hopes people will read both posts):

    Excellent! These are exactly the questions that need to be asked if we are to have a faith with integrity.

    My hunches, for what they’re worth, are that:
    1) we do not yet understand the OT’s approach well enough to know how much of these stories are metaphorical, and, how much of them represents God’s view vs. a culturally-influenced perception of the author.
    2) while this sounds like an attack on the truth of the Bible, it is, rather, a confrontation of the difference in perception of truth between our age and the writer’s – and they are hugely different. We see truth as dependent upon verifiable facts. Most people of history (I think it could be said) saw truth as dependent upon meaning, instead.
    3) I think this also increases the distance between the NT and the OT. Jesus is our example of what God is like; certainly, what God in human form is like. And there is little resemblance between the God of this genocide and Jesus (to whom the outsider is especially treasured).


    December 31, 2008 at 9:14 pm

  2. “Dispensationalism’s blind faith that Israel’s barbarous government is the Israel of prophecy demands re-evaluation. ” – Amen.

    “For the pogroms this outfit carries out make it more resemble the Third Reich than the children of Abraham.” – I dunno, Monty. One of the great challenges to my faith has been the books about the Exodus and conquest of Canaan. I commented on it here:

    The history channel had an interesting piece on the 20th reviewing the exodus and conquest of Canaan as an essentially military venture. I think it was “Bible Battles” (

    This all might be more characteristic of Israel and it’s history than we’d like to think.

    Joe Hayes

    December 30, 2008 at 3:22 pm

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