Why the World Court Decision on the Israeli Fence Is too Important to be Forgotten





Mr. Meyer is author of THE WORLD COURT IN ACTION, a study of the International Court of Justice written for the lay reader. He has been a member of the American Society of International Law for eighteen years

An important lesson for Israel, America and the world will be seen in a comparative examination of two separate votes of the United Nations General Assembly, addressed to a single problem. The first was on December 8, 2003; the second was July 9, 2004, half a year later.

First question voted on was whether to ask the International Court of Justice (commonly called the World Court) to render an Advisory Opinion on whether it was legal for Israel to construct a barrier (a wall or fence) outside of Israel's borders, claimed to be to protect against cross-border incursions by alleged"terrorists."

Second question voted on --the question of legality having been argued at the Court and answered in an Advisory Opinion to the effect (by a vote of 14:1) that the construction violated International Law--was whether the Assembly approved and adopted the opinion and a request of compliance with the rule of law found by the Court to apply.

Under its statute, agreed upon by the San Francisco founding U.N. Conference, the Court not only handles what are called" contentious" cases, where one (or more) nations sue one or more others. It is also trusted with and empowered by its founders to give Advisory opinions, after hearing all nations that might be affected by the rule announced. Any organ of the UN may ask legal advice, and international agencies also grant the privilege by the Charter. Any state member of the U N may appear at the Court to submit its views, by brief or oral presentation or both.

Israel is no stranger to the Court and is familiar with the Advisory type of case. She has participated in or been concerned with several such cases over the years and has seemed satisfied with the manner in which the Court handled them, and the result. Especially gratifying was a 1980 case between the W.H.O. and Egypt. The problem was caused by the hostility to Egypt of twenty Arab or Muslim states. They sought to"punish" Egypt for making a separate peace with Israel; the weapon was to demand removal of the Mediterranean office of the W.H.O. from Cairo to Amman in Jordan. The Court heard the parties and ruled, acceptably to Egypt and hence to Israel that to make the change required notice and negotiations. The only dissenter to this ruling was the judge of Soviet nationality.

The Advisory ruling now in the news was the Court's July 9 answer to the Assembly's December question: Answer: the fence is illegal and so are the settlements themselves. Comparison of the two Assembly votes shows:

(12/03) To submit the question to the Court: 90 for, 8 against, 78 Abstain
(7/04) To Approve/accept the Court's Answer: 150 for, 6 against, 10 Abstain

This disparity does not mean that the members of the Assembly changed their minds. To abstain from putting the question meant, as many expressly told the Court in their submissions, they preferred that the Court not act at this time.

Not only did that not mean that they thought Israel's actions legal; indeed some of them made clear before or at the hearing that they viewed the disputed construction to be definitely illegal. Consistent with this is the report from the Courthouse from one seasoned Hague observer, Dr. Peter H. F. Bekker, who wrote in an essay published as an"Insight" by the American Society of International Law:"Forty four UN member states (including Israel)… submitted written statements….While some participants questioned the propriety of the ICJ ruling on the matter, none voiced support for the legality of the wall."

America's usual allies have joined with the rest of the community of nations to say in no uncertain terms that they accept the Court's view of the legal question. Israel and the United States should consider seriously the grave implications that must be drawn from the two separate Assembly votes and the Court's 14-1 ruling.

Can we decently disregard the mandate of the Law of Nations in the face of the Court's confirmation of what everybody knew all along?

The consequences are fraught with danger to the future co-existence of the members of the community of nations, whose mutual respect for the Rule of Law must not be undermined.

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Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


Dear Mr. Pettit,

Thank you for the link to the sobering article in Haaretz, a fine newspaper whose existence cannot be willed away by the denial of those within whose compartmentalized and closed minds it does not fit. The article is not exactly relevant to the topic of this page, but most of the other comments here aren't either, and the Haaretz story does relate quite well to the broader issue of the hypocrisy endemic with dupes of Bush and Sharon.

I hope you will not throw in the towel and adopt the fatalistic attitude towards humanity sometimes expressed by your philosophy professor friend, just based on your experiences with a few posters on this website. It is also worth reiterating, though you probably already know this, that success in the profession of history is not based on having the time and the unrestrained and juvenile egotistical desire to spout an endless stream of inconsistent and misspelled rhetorical BS onto a non-scholarly website run by non-historians.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


I have never "defended" or "legalized" terrorism in any way shape or form. Mr. Simon's assertions to that effect are offensive, ridiculous, and all too typically irrelevant to the subject at hand. We seem to have a set of commenters on this website who skipped second grade when the lesson, "two wrongs don't make a right", was explained. That moral blind spot leads to the absurd notion that because of Palestinian terrorism, whatever bumbling warmongers are running Israel can do whatever they please without consequences and America must give them carte blance or it is "with the terrorists".


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


After your bogus arguments have run dry, Mr. Um, you resort to silly one line putdowns. Do they work well for you in your high school ? You might find college different. Or maybe not.

For the benefit of anyone wasting time reading this irrelevant tangent, thinking it might have something to do with history, I will simply point out that "Deutschland über alles" was written eighty years before the Nazi party appeared.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


I have nothing more to say here about international law or the Mideast policy of the G.W. Bush administration. Rather, this posting reflects my belief that an "olive branch", even one with barbs, should not be rejected out of hand, and I do think there are a few wider matters worth briefly addressing.

I looked at your blog, Derek, and found the latest entry therein well written and insightful, although I personally had a rather different set of reactions to last night's speech by John Kerry. In any case, I can certainly agree with you that you and I are both capable of more useful commentaries than those exhibited in this particular thread this week.

In the past, I have not been reticent at pointing out what I consider to be important flaws of the HNN comment boards. This is not the place to reprise all of those issues, but the postings here on this page, taken in toto, are a fairly good example, I think, of why other forums such as H-Net use a editor who screens all comments for relevancy and constructiveness to the topic of discussion. On that basis, I freely admit that my initial comment above would have been at least abridged, if not rejected altogether. On the other hand, under a policy of moderated discussion, a great many, if not most, of the roughly 160 comments on the World Court and West Bank Wall page last week
( see http://hnn.us/articles/6349.html ) would have been similarly severely edited, if not thrown out completely, and there would, in any case, have been no grounds for me to have ever made my initial comment this week.

Derek, you and I have both been around the HNN comment boards for some years. Here are a few personal conclusions of mine, which I offer by way of general constructive suggestion. They make sense to me, maybe you will find them useful as well:

1. Respectful disagreement is a better basis for constructive dialogue than disrespectful agreement is.

2. It is better to be wrong for the right reasons than to be right for the wrong reasons.

3. The Golden Rule did not expire on September 11, 2001.

4. Tangents away from the original topic posed should be the exception, not the rule.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


Clutching at the straw of "self defense" does not impress. Of course the Israeli people have the right to a state and the right to defend themselves. The Palestinians, by the same logic, have the same rights. None of the horrors committed by the IDF under Sharon against innocent civilians on the West Bank, however, give the Palestinians a right to build a wall deep inside Israel. And conversely. The issue remains hypocrisy. Sharon is a hypocrite, Arafat is a hypocrite, and Bush is a hypocrite. None of this hypocrisy is justified and that is why we see the international community voting by margins such as 100-2 against Palestinian terrorism and against Israeli provocation of terrorism, over and over and over again. And it is probably the main reason why Bush is despised globally like no other American president before him, ever. Will your grandchildren be clutching at the same straws, 50 years from now, Mr. Simon ?


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


Mr. Catsam is right in saying that I have not countered his arguments. One reason for this is that he has made none in this thread, except for a ridiculous and uninformed attack on the semantics of my earlier post.

Germany as a country dates from 1871 not 1850. A few minor wars occurred in between which even high school students should be able to recall.

The phrase "über alles" in the 1841 nationalistic ode to a German nation that became a state only three decades later, is normally taken to mean, "before everything else". Not conquering everything else, or slaughtering everybody else. "Israel First" is, in any case, what I meant by "Israel über alles".

Nothing convincing I have ever read, and absolutely nothing I have ever said, suggests that Israel is comparable to Nazi Germany, although I can see how someone ignorant of European history and blindly pro-Israel might leap to such a conclusion based on my possibly too-sophisticated wording earlier. It is perfectly obvious to me that Israel is never going to march through the Mideast the way Hitler marched through Europe. Nor is there the slightest detectable hint that anyone in Israel is even fantasizing about such impossibility. Just look at the difficulty Israel is having holding on to a few miserable bloodstained square miles of the West Bank.

I don't expect the World Court decision to be "forgotten". I also don't expect that decision to be heeded, or that the wall will stay forever where it is now. But these are political science prediction questions. I am a mere historian. If that makes me a sly fox, so be it.




Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


Of course, the issue is the wall - where Sharon is foolishly choosing to erect it. Would Mitzna have put it in the same place ? I would like to see the "historical record" that would support such an improbable theory. What I can clearly see from the "English-speaking media", most of hardly seems to have even heard of Mitzna (or Rabin), is that after three years of perpetrating senseless murder and mayhem not primarily against Palestinian terrorists, but against ordinary non-terrorist Palestinian civilians -appalling crimes that will shame and cost Israel dearly for years to come- Sharon is finally trying to ape the ideas of his political opponents, but continues to also try to appease the fanatical Israelli “settlers” who are as much of an obstacle to Israel's security as Hamas and Al Aqsa. Why anyone (in the one foreign country without whose support he could not persist) who tries to criticize Sharon (and Arafat and the other bungling criminals in that part of the world), has to almost inevitably be branded anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, is a question of mass paranoia and insanity for another time and place.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


It is useful to know that you don't mind gratuitous insults, Mr. Catsam. Have you ever paused to consider that other people might not appreciate the steady stream of such insults found in your excessively copious HNN comments ?

Since your high school apparently does not offer European history, or you have not chosen to take it, you may be interested to learn that the National Socialist Party of Germany began (under that name) in April, 1920.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


The absurd and unfounded attempt to paint me as a Nazi is the latest in a long string of pitiful efforts to derail attention from the issue of this page (and its predecessor last week): the immoral, wrongly-placed barrier fence erected by the Ariel Sharon government.

For the record, I am not "anti-Israel" or anti any other country or people, notwithstanding Mr. Catsam's ridiculous blustering to cover up his own ignorance by hurling such utterly unfounded charges (above).

I have consistently spoken in this forum against the specific action of the specific current ruler of Israel in using a legitimate device of self-defense as a cover for an illegitimate and deliberately provocative land grab, and for needlessly sacrificing Israeli lives and American tax dollars in his bungling attempts to appease the fanatical wing of his political coalition. I have pointed out repeatedly that other actions of other actors, e.g. the Palestinian authorities (and of course the Nazis), have been more egregious and more atrocious than those of Ariel Sharon, but that their sins do not justify foolish and immoral behavior by others, e.g. those funded by my taxes.

I am also opposed to immature Americans who have foamed at the mouth in hundreds of HNN posts to defend every maneuver of the Israeli government ever discussed here, in defiance of common sense, elemental morality, basic historical facts, the fundamental international security interests of the United States, and relevancy to the original topic raised.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


The only connection between the West bank wall and German history (pertinent to this comment thread) is in Derek Catsam's semi-informed imagination. It is possible to mention a phrase of German origin (for example, in a sentence such as "Did you learn how to be a motor-mouthed disruption in Kindergarten, or only later on ?"), without any comparative argument about German history being intended, implied or relevant.

In the unlikely event that any suffering souls may be trying to wade through the morass of Derek Catsam's many inconsistent proclamations and misstatements of fact bogging down this now overly long series of remarks (as so often on this website), here is the actual historical spot where the "insults" he has just accused me of starting actually began, in the "conversation" between the two of us "about" Sharon's wall:

Re: Civilization and its non-adherents (#38611)
by Derek Charles Catsam on July 22, 2004 at 12:22 AM


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


My last comment above omitted the actual address referred to at the end.

The full "url" showing the full comment thread is:

http://hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=38606#38606


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


Why is this issue being re-hashed again here ? Did we run out of space last week for advocates of Israel Über Alles to tie themselves into moral and philosophical knots ? Having space for another couple of hundred attempts to square the circle is not going to lead to some magical change in basic principles of morality that will justify prime minister Sharon's ugly and senseless policies.

Nevertheless, if the futile shouting matches are about to begin again, I may as well get my two bits in before the dust is stirred up:

1. "Respect for the Rule of Law" is under assault these days in all sorts of ways. The bungling Sharon government is but one, and not the most severe, of many threats. I am reading Zakaria's "Future of Freedom" and recommend it, notwithstanding the rather potted history therein, to all.

2. The real unpunished culprit in the Israeli wall of provocation story is not Ariel Sharon, despite his corruption of what could and should instead have been a wall of protection on the border. Sharon's disdain for morality, international law and the long run future of Israel was old news two decades ago in Lebanon. The great amoral and amok blunderer here is George W. Bush. He, with a little arm-twisting in Congress and an even littler application of common sense to American security interests, could force that wall to be moved to its proper route, or removed altogether as fast as anyone here could say "suspension of foreign aid". Instead, for the most unoriginal and cowardly of selfish political motives, he continues to give carte blance to a rogue regime that is sacrificing Israeli lives, and America's security, for no useful purpose.


Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


"The "cheap Nazi metaphor" referred to something you said, not something you are", Mr. Simon clarifies.

It is a false accusation either way, born out of ignorance, and irrelevant to a discussion about the West Bank policy of 2004 (unless one argues that Sharon is the Hitler of his time and place, as some far, far from HNN might try to. That would be an argument with which I would certainly disagree).

I also do not agree that Derek Catsam (or Ephraim Simon) are "pro-Israel". They are pro-Sharon and that is a vastly different thing.


Arnold Shcherban - 8/1/2004

Once again you prove the characteristical pattern running
with red thread through all your comments, which I pointed out before: hook up on words, distorting their specific contextual meaning beforehand, and avoid commenting on the essence.
Boy, what a consistency!


Arnold Shcherban - 8/1/2004

Chris,

Don't you realize that you are talking law, humanism, and elementary decency to folks that scream about all these values only when they consider fit their ideological interests and Pan-Amerikana scheme?
Don't you realize that no matter how overwhelming is the argument one forwards, they will continue to stick to their arms, i.e. contempt for and violation of the international laws, principles of peaceful coexistence, and rule of force (as long as they feel they possess the superpower).
Don't you know that everyone who's not with US/Israel, is against US/Israel?
They call themselves "historians", while they actually are ideologues ala-US-US-uber-alles-type; try to find
a shred of historically objective, non-ideologically biased analysis in their "works".
That's why I'm rarely mistaken in my prognosis on their
reaction to this or that international or national events (I guess, you can assert the same). When they say "A" I can bet money on what their "Z" is going to be...
Do I have to say more?


Arnold Shcherban - 7/31/2004

Once again you prove the characteristical pattern running
with red thread through all your comments, which I pointed out before: hook up on words, distorting their specific contextual meaning beforehand, and avoid commenting on the essence.
Boy, what a consistency!


E. Simon - 7/31/2004

Mr. Clarke,

I have just re-read your most recent discussion with Derek Catsam and regret that I had overlooked the substantial change of course with regards to tone. I wish that my postings from this morning, could have somehow been more reflective of this development (both in regards to topic and tone), but believe that it is entirely possible that this dialogue could have developed similarly, if it hasn't begun to already. I hope it seems as likely to you as it does to me that the points of disagreement, if any remain, are clearer if not less pointed.


E. Simon - 7/31/2004

Chris,

I didn't follow the link, really because I'm unfamiliar with the computer (Macintosh) that I'm at and don't want to cut and paste at this moment. I've read stuff from the Daily Star before. If I'm not mistaken, sometimes it seems balanced in "blaming both sides" but not generally deep in how fully it is willing to explore contentious topics - as is generally typical of the region's media. Maybe another time.

My problem with the international community, as with everything else, is not just in its biases. All of us are biased to the way we're used to seeing things. My general problem is that it doesn't go far enough in exploring these biases. My specific problem is that its political structure is not geared favorably toward promoting freedom and individual rights. I believe it sometimes sees its political existence as an end, in itself. That I find troubling - especially given its current form.

I never recall making an appeal to nationalism. So much for "calling a spade a spade."

It's been good talking with you, given the circumstances.

P.S. On the previous issue, I guess I have to apologize... I wasn't aware that there wasn't universal agreement in allowing nations to decide their own boundaries in consultation and agreement with each other. Never mind the fact that it seems to be the way it's always been done when considered legitimate. Sorry if this takes us off track.


E. Simon - 7/31/2004

Well, you're conflating again, it seems. I don't recall branding you anti-Semitic or anti-Israel, and I wasn't the one who began the thread with a comparison to campaigns of German nationalism. I just think that were we to actually stick to discussing the issue at hand, self-defense and how it can be balanced against the rights of non-belligerents caught in the crossfire, then we could come somewhere closer to delineating the issues over which we actually do disagree.

There are, I'm sure, many routes that the barrier could have taken. What I do know is that 2 acts of mass murder per day to one or less a month is progress from a defensive standpoint. The IDF has, obviously, a proven track record when it comes to working against incredible odds to provide tangible improvements in security, and I'm sure that their input was at least as considerable and influential in determining the route of the barrier as was the concerns of the settler movement. I doubt Mitzna would have been as dismissive of IDF input as you seem to imply. The green line is different from the armistice line between Gaza and Israel (and the barrer which currently sits on it) in that highly populated centers exist right over the other side that could not be alerted in sufficient time were a terrorist to cross through.

I am not condoning excesses by the IDF (either individual or structural) that do not serve defensive measures or disregard the humanitarian issues against which they must be balanced, and I prefer a political settlement. My disagreement with you seems to be in your implication that if Israel treated Arafat with more kindness, their gestures would be respected and rewarded. My preference for a political settlement that respects the wishes of all parties concerned does not preclude me from concluding that at this time, such an outcome is not possible. Recent events in Gaza, political instability in the PA, the ongoing corruption, the inability and unwillingness to control security or evolve toward a more politically liberal and democratic condition convince me that the time is not ripe for the Palestinian authority to deliver on the goods with regards to a peaceful settlement. I am convinced that previous elections, referenda and polls in Israel confirm their willingness to conclude a peaceful settlement when this situation changes.

If you think that the settler movement are a bigger obstacle to this scenario than is Arafat and the situation in the PA, I would simply disagree.



E. Simon - 7/31/2004

In 2003, Amram Mitzna, the mayor of the most enlightened bastion of Arab-Jewish coexistence in the Middle East - the city of Haifa, ran unsuccessfully on the Labor party in an attempt to unseat Sharon. He ran on a policy of attempted negotiation with Arafat, to be followed by unilateral disengagement and separation should that prove unsuccessful. There is no implication in his proposal that the barrier would have been able to run 100% on the green line. Due to ten years of dealing with Arafat until the point of two mass murders per day, the Israeli electorate decided that they couldn't go with his proposal and kept Sharon in power to do essentially the same job - minus the sure-to-be unsuccessful prelude that was proposed.

All politicians are somewhat hypocritical, Mr. Clarke, but to berate a web site for not reflecting an accurate appeal to the historical record, given this immense oversight on your part - the issue is the wall, not Sharon (as you twisted the subject against us), is it not (?)- is surely just as bad. My hope for understanding events and how to deal with them 50 years into the future is much more optimistic, my outlook more improved, if a historian today, adept at using the English language, did not have such a problem with understanding how to glean and interpret basic facts from the English-speaking media, and beyond, that were well reported just over one year ago.


chris l pettit - 7/31/2004

Mr. Simon...I am fully open to conversation...if someone is too self righteous to talk to me, that is their problem and their choice. It is their perceptions and biases that make them unwilling to engage in conversation, not mine. I have never, and will never retreat from a conversation or from calling a spade a spade.

On this issue, DC and yourself are quite simply in the wrong and continue to spout rhetoric befitting of US and Israeli state terrorists. The disrespect for the international community, international human rights, and the authority and insight of the remarkable jurists of the ICJ is terrifying and disgraceful coming from supposedly enlightened scholars.

I suppose you would call the following authors and signatories traitors to the Israeli cause and idealists who don't recognize reality.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&;categ_id=15&article_ID=6707

CP
www.wicper.org


E. Simon - 7/31/2004

I am not pro-Sharon, rather pro self-defense. To me it doesn't matter who avails themselves to self-defense, whether it be Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres, Yasir Arafat, Kofi Annan, or Peter K. Clarke. Self-defense is the issue at hand, which is why we should be debating and exploring it, its merits, the issues surrounding its use, how it should be used. So far, it seems you've avoided doing that, however. I wonder why.


E. Simon - 7/31/2004

Chris,

Reasonable people can disagree with each other. However, in order to confirm that an appeal to reason has occurred in the first place, there are rules for logical argumentation. Argumenti ad populi and hasty conclusions do not give your case legs to stand on.

It's difficult to understand why someone would go on to condemn all use of force as illegitimate or conflate the act itself with its own justification. This is called a "circuitous argument," and it is logically fallacious. Perhaps you would prefer to live in a world where convicted criminals are incarcerated on a voluntary basis, since "might" does not make right. I, on the other hand, have no problem with forceably constraining menacing individuals not because I can, but because they have been found to constitute a threat to my liberty. I don't care if this bothers you; trust me, I lose no sleep over it. The fact that al Qaeda has done what it has, or that the Janjaween have done what they have does not mean that might is right, but that power is a reality that might as well be reckoned with. Your preference for being on its receiving end is not something you will be able to automatically convince others to accept for themselves, myself included. Your mistaken belief that I think that power should be used against others for no reason either speaks to your own deficiencies in reading comprehension, or it is a straw man.

I don't have a (G)od syndrome, I simply believe (G)od helps those who help themselves. Asking for and receiving legal permission to improve one's own life should not necessarily be the norm, in my book.

I regret that you were too thick-headed to understand the sarcasm in my reference to Sykes-Picot...

Another author who refuses to discuss w/you put it best: As long as you believe that any legal judgment is, by definition, morally infallible then we will always disagree. As I said, the immoral, but legally acceptable Dred Scott decision also placed greater importance to property over liberty. Its reversal required a forceable change in power structure. This I do not regret, although through the extension of your own ideology, this decision would have to be correct. How unfortunate.

I only remember one conversation with you that has bordered on any appeal to reason, Chris, despite repeatedly invoking it in an attempt to pull the discussion back on to a rational track. It seems you prefer emotion, rhetoric and ideology -- things that are harder to agree on because the ground rules are not well defined as they are in logical argumentation. It's miraculous to think that you could get into law school with this lack of grounding, but maybe that is why you are becoming frustrated. There are basic books on logical argumentation that you would find, if you bothered to take the time to read them (and they're quite short), your arguments would become more coherent, regardless of the subject matter. I know that Might does not make Right, Chris, but in this case, you have the power. The definition of insanity is repeating the same action and expecting different results. Maybe now is the time to make a constructive change.

All the best,


chris l pettit - 7/30/2004

Zionists and supporters of Israeli government policies are no better than the terrorists of Palestine. Power politics rules the day. hence the waving of the flag...you have outlasted me this week and I tire of the conversation.

DC and Mr. Simon...we will have to agree on ideological differences. While I stand for international law and human rights for all, particularly the individual, you have consistently invoked power politics, "might makes right" ideology, denial of the rule of law and global democracy in the name of "democracy when it suits me", and denial of the international global community. This is what makes my profession so difficult and why i am sure I will eventually agree with a friend who is a professor pf philosophy at UF who thinks that human beings are nothing more than a parasitic species whose ability to reason and know right from wrong, supposedly overcoming animalistic tendencies and the desire to differentiate themselves from other humans who are no different than themselves. Maybe we deserve to kill each other off and we should take heart when the next terror strike hits our shores due to the support of vicious policies like those you back.

Call me an idealist, and maybe I am, but the idiocy of your positions, ignorance of international law, and willingness to decry morality and ethics are difficult to overcome. I obviously have had no success in asking you to at least admit the lack of law, ethics and morality in your positions, and come clean in saying that it is your one sided view of morality for those with power and nation states and denial of the rights of all individuals that dictates your "we are a law unto ourselves" ideology.

DC, how you can call yourself and admirer of Mandela is beyond me, as on this issue, your hypocrisy is a disgrace to the legacy of hope he has tried to leave to the international community.

To address a few last points...the Sykes Picot agreement is illegitimate...again no knowledge of the law (even of the nation-state principle you support). The parties had no right to partition the leftovers of the Ottoman Empire without regard to the people living within the territories...it was a foreign policy exercise based in colonialism and the desire to control Middle Eastern markets. You can't cite it as anything more than a footnote in history and power politics. There is no binding authority to it in international law, much as there is no binding authority in any other the other Accords or agreements you have cited. Customary law, if you try to tie it in, must be UNIVERSALLY recognized, not just by the parties concluding agreements, but by most of the international community. SP was a secret agreement made on a FP basis to foment rebellion against the Ottoman Empire to try and hasten its defeat in WWI. What it has to do with any point you raise is highly questionable.

By the way...the article was just meant to show the double standards and hypocrisy that exists in the support of Israeli action.

You are welcome to you views and you have shown that you believe them to be infallible and unassailable. I will warn you that god syndrome is highly dangerous. I have only pointed out the violations of international law and the fact that your claims of bias cannot be factually supported in any way shape or form. I do not claim to have the best answer, but know that the position you take is utterly devoid of legal, ethical or moral backing. I would hope that you would not illustrate your hypocrisy by claiming that any other party is ever subject to international law or the boundaries of ethics or morals, as acknowledging their right to partake in the same dastardly acts that you support from the Israeli government would at least be consistent with your position on the matter. Al Quaeda can do what it wishes, as can Hamas, the Russians in Chechnya, the Chinese in Tibet, the Sudanese in Dafur. Thus is the logical implications of your "might makes right" position. No more bitching about 9/11 except from a "how dare they attack the most powerful state in the world" position. Bush's "good versus evil" bs rhetoric fits very well with your position on this issue.

DC...don't you want to attack my references and background as well? Do a google search on my name and see what comes up. i have written a couple of texts and am working on a third on the Sri Lankan conflict, as well as editing one on international sustainable development law with McGill University. you won't find most of that on the web. Do you really think it matters? I could care less about my degrees, contacts, and accomplishments because it means nothing if I cannot accomplish the goal of helping people and promoting peace and the authority of international law on the world. On this issue, you are a major obstacle to that goal and I am saddened by the fact that such a fine scholar would take such an asinine position. You are entitled to your blind faith in the greatness of Israel and the US, as I am entitled to mine that peace and respect for international law can be achieved. Maybe neither of us is right...but it is not about us....at least for me.

We have much to do in this world, and we will only help people if we realise that we are not the main characters in the story...and that artificial entities that are meaningless such as nation states are simply incompatible with the idea of a global community based on human rights for everyone.

I hope you do get over yourselves one of these days...

CP
www.wicper.org


Derek Charles Catsam - 7/30/2004

Peter --
Mmae Culpa. Seriously -- the two of us look like asses.
I do not know what to say, Peter. I cannot speak for Mr. Simon, and I would not. But were I an Isreali citizen, I would be a mamber of the Labor Party, just as in the US I am a liberal Democrat. The fact is, I'd bet we are not that far apart on politics. And I guarantee i've written things on Africa and US politics with which you might agree. But you -- yes you -- personalize every single discussion, so that all possible points of comparative reference are cut off. So here I am, a scholar on civil rights and apartheid, who also has a significant background in antiterrorism, being told by you that my opinions are simply knee jerk. That's fine. More people have read my blog on the DNC in the last week than have read what you have written in the last year. It's too bad that someone cannot both support Israel and be your friend. I am both a civil rights and anti-apartheid historian. I have been on the ground doing antiterrorism work inisrael, Northern ireland, and beyond. I am reaching out an olive branch. I suspect that you'll spit on it.
If it will help give you a better vantage point on who I am. here is the URL for the blog: www.hnn.us/blogs/25.html
I am sick of fighting the same fight with you. i'd guess that we cannot possibly be the jackases we are presenting in public. i might well be wrong.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 7/30/2004

peter, pedro, pierre,
If you think we are Pro-Sharon, then it is your ignorance that is showing. I cannot speak for Ephraim. But I am absolutely not a Likud supporter. Were I an Israeli citizen, or even Jewish, I would be a member of the Labor Party. You do not understand Israeli politics: that is becoming more and more clear. The fact is, what is now Labor controlled the Isreali government up until 1977. So for someone to blame Likud, or Sharon, or anything else, on the issue of the '67 borders and the Israeli right wing simply displays a vacuousness of fact. I know not what else to say -- aside from Peter's invocation of German language (but not Nazi! after the Uber Alles invoction I'll just let the survivors decide if I am wrong here, or all ask my colleagues at Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, with whom I am a fellow, decide what they think -- oh, and i just did -- to a man, the response -- anti-semite, or as one guy said -- anyone who would use that phrase to describe us cleartly hates us -- and he is a lefty Labor guy. Huh.)) and the assertions that he only opposes Sharon, the actual facts on the ground indicate that he does not understand Israel. It is easy to blame Likud. (I oppose Likud, too, we must be soulmates) the fact is that Labor supports not the ICJ decision, but rather the Israel Supreme Court decision. So if you 'only oppose Likud' it might be fitting to provide the courtesy of letting the Labor folks know, just so that they know that you hate them as well. In other words -- the Labor party opposes your views too. So you oppose Labor. You oppose Likud. Exactly whom do you support in the Isreali context? Dying Jews deserve to know.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 7/30/2004

What is up with referring us back to the beginning of all of this? Funny that Ephraim Simon and I both pulled the same thing out of thos -- that your german reference was diostasteful and inappropriate. At least the rest of the vacuities -- references to high school and such -- have fallen away. At least you now have two more notches in your google search belt.
Good one with the kindergarten reference.
I think anyone reading at this point can see where this actually got bogged down. I think anyone reading this can see where the ad hominems actually started. And I think that anyone reading knows the difference between a word of Geman origin that has been fully appropriated into the English language and a phrase being used to slander Israel and those who support it.
dc
dc


E. Simon - 7/29/2004

It's interesting that despite all your appeals to an education level-appropriate discussion, basic reading seems to allude you. The "cheap Nazi metaphor" referred to something you said, not something you are. (Unless you know something I don't).


E. Simon - 7/29/2004

As is usual, Chris needs a little help making his own arguments. He's trying to say that international law as determined by the U.N. can somehow trump agreements entered into by sovereign states, at least as concerns something so basic as boundaries.

Chris, it's time to get to work. Muammar's on the other line requesting your services. Luckily the remaining 60% of the world's countries, being free democracies, don't seem to have this problem, or their need, apparently, to rectify it. No problem for Chris, however. I'm sure with his clout there's someone at the U.N. he can appoint to get on the case! Lookout Sykes-Picot, here comes Mr. Pettit!


Derek Charles Catsam - 7/29/2004

Chris --
I've no idea which disjointed portion of your argument this is intended to bolster nor whom you are arguing against. You might note that this appears in an Israeli newspaper. Where would it's equivalent argument appear in the palestinian or Arab world? You'll note that the IDF publicly apologized and claimed that they had made mistakes in these cases. Where is the equivalent in the Arab world or Palestine? You'll note that the legal system will take over in some of the cases here. Where would that happen in the Arab World? So what we have here is a country with an open and free press in which military and police are called to account for things they have done, in which there are legal and social ramifications. Yes, I can see why Israel is such a pariah state. What I cannot see is how you think this bolsters your argument and not those of us on the other side.
And who is defending IDF excesses anyway? Oh, no one.

dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 7/29/2004

The accusation does not prove the case. You can accuse me, and Ephraim, and others of ignorance of israel. It is not true. You make arguments like "immoral and wrongly-placed" as if they have any partcular force of righteousness over our arguments over right and wrong. You never have addressed the fact that far froma right-wing idea, the Wall is an outgrowth of the peace left. You have never addressed that a wall can be torn down, but that bpeople cannot be revived from death. You can pretend that you have some sort of superior claim, and yet you do not. If you would be willing to argue as equals, that woud be fine, Buit instead you deride us for our very ideology just because we disagree with you, using terms such as "immoral." And then every single thing you write is very much anti-Israel protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.
I also love how you seem to think that number of posts on HNN is relevant. I encourage anyone reading this to conduct a little experiment. Google Peter K. Clarke's name. See how many non-HNN posts you find under his name. Note that what pops up are almost solely comments here at HNN. See if you can find a single work of scholarship or essay or anything else that pops up in the first 2-3 pages. Then do the same for me. See if HNN articles (as opposed to comments), or conference papers, or review essays, or op-ed pieces pop up. Then ask yourself -- how is the number of posts I have written somehow any part of an argument whatsoever that ought to be germane? How is the fact that Clarke is no more of an entity than anyone else here allows him to decide what is of worth of of merit, and ask him why hundreds of posts in support of ideas that some of us believe in is really any sort of argument whatsoever, or if it is merely the last bastion of someone whose own ideas are not worth taking especially seriously.
The UN, which as a body clearly hates Israel, has decided against it in an advisory opinion. The US, using the UN's own rules, will veto any attempt to push this in the Security Council. I am not certain how the US acting within UN rules in the Security Council, the most important body in the UN, is less valid than an action by the ICJ, which simply does not have the same status or importance as the SC. So basically, let's let Chris take his argument for the UN's ICJ against the UN's charter. Then he can tell the UN that they are ignorant about the workings of the UN.
So far, those of us who support a two state solution but know that first the terror must end seem to be doing rather well against those who support, well, it is hard to know what they support. We know, however, what they do not. It is what they do not support that is telling.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 7/29/2004

Peter --
You keep pulling out these non sequiters and then you insult me, and then you think that you are somehow above the fray. What on earth are all of these high school references to? I have a PhD in history (minor field of European history under Jeff Herf, of whom you might have heard if you are such an expert -- and if you really think the founding of National Socialism -- and it was the national Socialist german Worker's party in 1920, but no matter -- is the germane question here, as oppose to its rise to power, then this really is hopeless) , teach in a reasonably reputable university system, have a book on the way and three others I am working on, publish innumerable articles in other venues and have a regular blog on HNN. You started the insults here. Mr. Clarke. You did. Look at the strain of this conversation. Rationalize all you want your use of the German language when talking about Israel, and as important, about its supporters. It was not simply an anodyne and obscure (also irrelevent) reference. It was cruel and malicious. It was at that point that you went after me personally, with the references to high school (I still don't get it -- you'll have to clarify) and other personal commentary. It then comes to pass that you accuse others of starting insults, even though the first post here, the very first comment, consists of you referring to those of us who take a passionate position opposite yours, as the "Israel Uber Alles crowd," as if our position is illegitimate and somehow is tied in to Germany. Once again, Peter, if you want to compare credentials on these issues, On Israel and terrorism, say, or on US or Africa, my main areas of scholarly and teaching interest, you ought to at minimum look at those against whom you argue. I have no idea who you are, and I have been tendentious in my criticisms of your arguments, but I have never devolved to the level of strictly personal attack that you do here. And anything I have said to you I would say to you in person. I daresay that you would not, say to me things like "Israel Uber Alles" and refer to my high school (!?) and my not having taken European history (!?). I promise you, face to face you would not say these things. And as I have said, I'm willing to prove that thesis if you'd like.
Now can we both stop acting like jackasses and at least pretend to provide a modicum of respect for one another, or at least not to start referring to each other's high school educations.
dc


chris l pettit - 7/29/2004

not going into your absurd claims regarding international customary law...an article for your perusal...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/452564.html

CP
www.wicper.org


E. Simon - 7/28/2004

Chris, I really envy you. What other branch of law allows for such blanket nullification of something so basic as contracts? And your prescription has tremendously important implications for global stability. Why not let the U.N. nullify the borders agreed to between Israel and Egypt, or between Israel and Jordan? Just because, you never know... they might want to. Hell, it's all up in the air if the U.N. gets to bypass any accord. Let's impose "solutions" on countries instead of encouraging them to be responsible and work out their problems, as best they can, among themselves. That way the Palestinians will never have incentive to end the conflict, end the terrorism, house and feed and clothe and employ their people and stop blowing up their kids. Mommy and Daddy Kofi Annan at the G.A. feel the pain of their hyperactive children leading the West Bank to perpetual destruction and bitch out the teacher for trying to quell the terrorism, protect herself and impose a modicum of sense and order.

You and your friends at the ICJ should stick to what you guys are good at: mediating disputes between countries that offer no access internally to a credible judicial process of their own to any of their citizens. This is the best way to continue incentivizing them to act out and misbehave. You've definitely got your work cut out for you.


Derek Charles Catsam - 7/28/2004

The accords are certainly as binding as an ICJ advisory opinion. And as the facts on the ground indicate, apparently moreso.
You are calling someone long winded? I think this comment can stand alone. Anyone who has read the comments on HNN are familiar with who consistently has the most long-winded and obfuscatory tactics on the boards.
God syndrome, Chris? What does that mean? I don't even know what the "bias question" is. Believe it or not, your screeds are not of such augmented status that they gain pithy two word titles. i am not certain what the bias question even is, and i was not aware that we were suddenly being held responsible to counter point-by-point what everyone writes here. Perhaps you ought to set the example if that is your new rule.
Yes, Chris, i am poorly versed on international questions. Forget my scholarship on Africa. Forget my terrorism work in Northern Ireland and Israel. Those who disagree with you are always ignorant or poorly versed. I bet Mr. Simon and Mr. Moshe are getting almost as tired of this technique as I am.
I could point out the list of established legal and political writers who have written about this issue in the past few weeks and have been equally as ardent as you about just how binding the ICJ decision is or is not. But they, of course, are ignorant and would cower in the very face of the sheer force of argument from Chris Pettit.
By the way, if you think dissenting opinions can not be used to make legal points, you must have been skipping Con Law classes while establishing yourself as the pillar of international Law before whom we ignoramuses all should cower.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 7/28/2004

Peter --
I know when Germany as a country began. I was clearly referencing your comments that "deutschland uber alles" was written "80 years before the Nazi party appeared" which, rudimentary math would indicate was 1850. This is also why I wrote the very particular phrase "lands that would become Germany." I dont mind the gratuitous insults if they are not borne of idiocy and ignorance of what I actually wrote. It is clear that i know the exact chronology here, and that I was responding to your comments.
You can say all you want that your invokation of the German language was harmless and not ill-intended. We've all seen this nonsense before. Why not just apologize and be done with it? Invoking the German langauge to indict the Israelis is at minimum insensitive, and in actual fact as you did it given your consistent anti-Israel bias, loathsome.
"Mere historian" sounds about accurate. I still look forward to that drink at a conference some day. I'm very interested to see if this is how you are in person.
dc


chris l pettit - 7/28/2004

You two seem to be misunderstanding the difference between legally binding SC resolutions and court decisions and the accords that you are citing. The Accords are not legally binding under international law, being little more than foreign policy manuevers designed to try and alleviate the threat (or take advantage of it), Citing the Accords is like citing a dissenting opinion to try and claim a legal point. When you see the words agreement, accords, etc, you are looking at a device that you cannot use to claim any sort of authority on the matter. To appeal to your positivism, there is no enforcement mechanisms, as both sides have proven by breaking the accords and agreements on many occasions.

DC, once again you show your "might makes right" roots. Although Israel may have won an illegal war instigated against it by the Arab states, this has absolutely no bearing on the Palestinian territory and the people inside of it. You will note that we are talking about the Palestinian state here, not Jordan, Syria, or Egypt. This makes a great difference in international law and I would expect you to understand that. Jordan, Syria and Egypt did not have palestine to lose. Your argument is like saying that because Iraq lost the last illegal war, Iran is now ours as well. Two separate entities...once again you enter into the realm of power politics and making the argument that all Arabs are the same in some strange way. Need I remind you that Jordan and Syria both reject the assimilation of Palestinian Arabs into their own populations? How can you possibly argue that by waging an illegal war, they somehow are responsible for the lives of individuals in a separate state body (that was at the time a UN protectorate)?

By the way...I like the dodge on the bias question...just because you have no defense, it immediately becomes long winded and outlasting...cheap tactic, but if you won't admit that you are stuck on the matter, so be it. Who am I to argue with someone who obviously suffers from god syndrome on this matter.

The legal borders were set during the partition of 1948, then legally altered after the 1967 conflict. you must take the UN resolutions and data on the matter as a flow of information, without singling out a single resolution. This is the way the UN system works...it is too bad that US academics are so poorly versed on the matter as to confuse its basic infrastructure and procedural aspects.

The ICJ decision, as I more than aptly demonstrated last week, is legally binding and interprets the international law correctly in a non-biased (except for the US judge) manner. If that bothers you...sorry. But except for power politics and total disregard for law, ethics and morals, you have no argument. Not that I expect that to stop you from, as Mr. Clarke accurately observed, "tying yourselves in moral and philosophical knots."

CP
www.wicper.org


E. Simon - 7/27/2004

thanks also, for pointing out Mr. Clarke's cheap Nazi metaphor for what it is.


E. Simon - 7/27/2004

Thank you, Derek. I would have assumed Chris understood all this... the nature of a ceasefire line not being a border. I am not sure why he sometimes takes to arguing against the opposite of what I state. It's almost like a mix between a straw man that begs the question, with an appeal to ignorance (in this case, that the ceasefire lines constitute borders) thrown in for good measure.

Of course I think that the final borders should be determined through agreement by the concerned parties, Chris. That's why I don't bother to get bogged down by the deontological details of the ICJ ruling, and refer back to its practical implications. To this extent, I wish to outline for Mr. Clarke how his support for the ICJ ruling has the *practical* effect of condoning terrorism when viewed in an historical context, all legalisms aside.

Hopefully none of you regard yourselves above considering some actual, historical facts:

1. 1993. Oslo accords signed on White House front lawn. Relations between Israel and Palestinian self-governing political entity formally initiated. Interim measures to be implemented shortly or immediately, with final status negotiations to encompass, among others, borders.

2. 2000. Camp David talks addressing final status break down. Arafat declines opportunity to offer constructive counter-proposals. Talks end, inability to broker deal ultimately forces Israeli Labor PM Ehud Barak out of office. President Bill Clinton, having staked his legacy for the prospect of Middle East Peace on the political rehabilitation of Yasir Arafat as the Palestinian leader and interlocutor, angrily denounces him as the cause for the failure, in public, having received congratulatory phone call upon leaving office.

3. 2001. Resurgence of terrorist murder-suicide attacks on Israel's unarmed civilian non-combattant population begins in earnest following light beginning in 2000. 2002 - IDF reoccupies West Bank in attempt to quell terrorist activity, including supporting military, financial and moral infrastructure which can be traced back, in instances to Arafat or underlings. Documents of Arafat uncovered describing renewed Intifada as attempt to regain historic Palestine and bypass negotiations. Videotapes made of Arafat supporters publicly stating planned nature of Intifada as real motive for appearing at (and one would conclude, not attempting successful outcome at) Camp David.

4. 2003. Having brought Palestinian murder-suicide attacks from two per day to less than one a month, IDF begins construction of security barrier. Security barrier will facilitate decreased need for massive military presence in West Bank which has accomplished above, but hopefully with same results as barrier in Gaza has achieved, (from which almost no attacks have since emanated).

5. 2004. World Court, having acknowledged Israel's responsibility to the lives of its citizens, decides contrarily based on apparently superior legal claim to property by Palestinians, that barrier is "illegal." Security barrier is explicitly stated by Government of Israel as just that, not a political barrier, and not a determinant of final borders, in keeping with spirit of Oslo declarations and Road Map. Apparently others, by implication, disagree.

No terrorism, no barrier. Proponents of ICJ ruling against right of Israeli self-defense, in demanding barrier along green line, would then necessarily state that a border has been drawn, and defended. They have therefore allowed terrorism to prejudge final status negotiations.

In this regard, Chris and I are incidentally in agreement vis-a-vis his third paragraph. The only difference is, the ICJ didn't retroactively endorse an effective judgment favoring specific demographic trends.




Derek Charles Catsam - 7/27/2004

Peter --
There you go again. Yes, we know the timing of Deutschland Uber Alles. We also know that the sly reference was not to that but rather to Nazi Germany. Lie now and deny what you intended, but do not pretend that you did not say it and mean what you meant. At least have the guts to stand behind your references and don't couch them in terms that only the most ingenuous reader would believe. If you are honestly claiming that your invocation of the german language against Israel was intended as a sly commentary on the lands that would become Germany in 1850, then you really are pushing the envelope on non-sequiter references.
I have no idea what the high school to college comment is about. i suppose it was an attempt at cleverness. better luck next time.
You have yet to counter my arguments with anything but anti-Israel drivel. Then you try to bolster that anti israel drivel by claiming that you were actually making a reference that thus makes your post make no sense. Yeah, you are one sly fox, Peter.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 7/27/2004

Chris --
the fight got old last week. You don't win these things just by outlasting everyone.
One example of how the Green line is not necessarily the established border? you mean other than the evidence I've already provided, which is the UN cease fire language explicitly not referring to "all teritories' or the territories" but rather simply to "territories" with the intent (because it was the Americans who made sure their language won out) being that the borders might well look different from what they ahd before June 1967? Israel won a war declared upon it. When you declare war and lose, there are consequences. Egypt and Jordan (note thay they, not the palestinians controlled that land in 1967 -- funny that no one ever recognizes this) started a war. Egypt and Jordan lost. This is why the language reads as it does.
dc


Derek Charles Catsam - 7/27/2004

Um, anyone who would invoke the Nazis and their slogans to condemn Israel is not wrth taking seriously.
dc


chris l pettit - 7/27/2004

Please provide any legally binding evidence that you have that there is any other recognised border other than that set at the Green Line...

I know of none, and can cite cases as well as GA Resolutions (non-binding, but citing relevant sources) that establish the boundary as that set in the 1967 agreement.

So you are advocating a change in the international boundary...which should be done through the proper channels, not through aggression that is prohibited by legally binding agreements signed by the Israeli government.

In addition, since Israel is in violation of the Geneva Conventions with its illegal settlements and economic incentives offered to those settlers willing to move into the occupied territories, who exactly do you think is responsible for the change in demographics? Does the outcome of an illegal action therefore somehow become logical and the legal basis for changing a boundary? it sounds as though you are arguing for ends without considering the means through which they are accomplished again.

How is terror legalized in any way? I see no law or decision legalizing torture? This is propaganda...mere rhetoric. Terrorism is declard illegal in both international and state law...it is state failure to prosecute the terrorists (both state..Israel and US...and individual (PLO/PA/Hamas) that perpetuates the cycle of violence.

Once again you step away from morality, ethics and law and into the realm of power and military might.

By the way...if you look at the partition agreement of 1948, there is a definite establishment of the boundaries that you are calling subjective. there is an affirmation of those boundaries after the 1967 hostilities, so there is a definite legal basis for the Green line. I would urge you to (re) read the agreements from the two periods.

While Mr. Clarke's comments can be interpreted as one-sided...yours are no less so.

CP
www.wicper.org

PS - by the way...I was interested to see that neither you nor DC could take up the challenge last week and that all Adam could muster was the weak "institutionalisation" without any evidence whatsoever defense. Maybe you care to try this week? I can show pro-Israeli bias...


E. Simon - 7/27/2004

I like the Zakaria book, as well. If you read into it in sufficient detail, you may be disappointed to learn that he doesn't go very far into international law. It's just as well. His discussions on law are peripheral to its role in maintaining political and civil freedoms. It doesn't take much observation to see how difficult it is to defend terrorism tactically on those grounds.


E. Simon - 7/27/2004

Mr. Clarke,

You stated on the last article that building a security barrier on the green line would somehow bestow legitimacy on Israel's defensive maneuvers because it would be acceptable legally and demographically.

You are wrong on both counts. The green line no longer provides a meaningful distinction between Arab and Israeli demographies. Further, any detailed atlas I've ever looked at describes the green line as "ceasefire lines" or "armistice lines." No border has ever been determined and no part of the West Bank (or Gaza Strip for that matter) has ever been a part of any sovereign, legally recognized entity. For you to presume that a future Palestinian state should comprise the whole of the area, to be demarcated by a security barrier that serves no such purpose, is to pre-empt the outcome of final status negotiations as a result of terrorist actions.

I am not the one claiming that the barrier constitutes boundaries. Neither is the government of Israel, for that matter. However, since you have sought to define it as such, I ask you how you decided to legalize the use of Palestinian terrorism to demarcate borders between two parties that have yet to decide what borders exist between them?


Derek Charles Catsam - 7/27/2004

Look in the sentence that concludes the second paragraph. See those last two words? "alleged 'terrorists'," with the scare quotation marks and everything? I think that tells you everything you need to know about this author and this piece.

To answer the question posed toward the end: Yes we can. And we will, and I am not certain what it is that "we knew all along." all along I've known that there is nothing "alleged" about the passover attack in Netanya; the murder of young people at the Dolphinarium; the murder of civilians stopping for a bite to eat at Sbarro. To deny that the attacks were terrorist is willfully to deny the detahs, and thus the lives of innocent civilians. I think I shan't be lectured to about propriety from someone whose very denial of terrorism as a daily fact in Israel proves him to be an illegitimate source of commentary.

dc

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