Hat Tip: BB
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
CNN’s Chris Cuomo had his heart in the right place when he “interviewed” paid Russian propagandist Peter Lavelle. “We are live in front of the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, in Netherlands,” Cuomo said. “This is where MH17 began its journey.” Cuomo was genuinely moved by the great loss of life suffered by the people of the Netherlands when the plane was shot down by pro-Russian terrorists. Among other things, he wanted answers about the desecration of the bodies at the crash site by the Russian-backed and managed forces, usually described as just “rebels” or “separatists.”
But he was not prepared for the blizzard of lies told by Lavelle, whose channel, Russia Today (RT), has been hit by resignations over Moscow-dictated lies about events in Ukraine. RT is financed by the Kremlin and called KGB-TV by its critics.
“I want to ask you,” Cuomo said to Lavelle, “why hasn’t Russia, specifically Vladimir Putin, why hasn’t he come out and strictly and in a straight way condemned how the crime scene was handled, how the dignity of the dead was abused, how crime scene investigators weren’t let in? Why hasn’t Russia? Why hasn’t Vladimir Putin come forward and condemned how this crime scene has been handled?”
Lavelle, whose Facebook page features a photo of him sitting next to Putin, said, “Well, I think the answer to that is very, very straightforward and simple. Ukraine is not in Russia. Vladimir Putin doesn’t control a crime scene in a foreign country. I think it’s quite ludicrous for you to ask that question.”
This was a lie so big that it seemed to throw Cuomo for a loop. After all, the plane crashed in a part of Ukraine not under the control of the central government. The plane crashed in a part of the Ukraine under the control of Putin-supplied troops. What’s more, a Russian anti-aircraft weapon had brought the plane down.
But here was Peter Lavelle saying Putin had no role in any of it. It was “ludicrous” to suggest otherwise, he claimed. He went on to suggest the U.S., not Russia, was hiding information.
Putin and his propagandists are notorious liars. You may remember that Putin denied that Russian soldiers had invaded the Crimean part of Ukraine at the end of February and had taken over the government buildings and military bases there. Later, he acknowledged that the troops in unmarked uniforms, who captured Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, were indeed Russian soldiers.
Cuomo had just come from the crime scene, where he noted that the Russian forces in control had left bodies “in the sun for days” and were “scaring away monitors who want to come in to look…”
Lavelle shot back: “Oh, that’s Vladimir Putin’s fault. That’s ludicrous. That’s ludicrous.” It was Putin, he insisted, who had called for a “thorough investigation.”
Cuomo had the facts on his side, but he wasn’t prepared for the verbal assault from someone whose job it was to defend Putin and his regime at all costs.
Cuomo has to understand that Lavelle works for someone who murders journalists—as well as KGB dissidents, such as Alexander Litvinenko. (The British government has just announced a new inquiry into the circumstances of how the Russian regime murdered Litvinenko in London.)
Tragically, this story is an old one. Analyst Pawel Styrna, a researcher at the Institute of World Politics (IWP), has written about the Russian role in the April 10, 2010 plane crash that killed nearly 100 members of the military and political elite of Poland, at the time a key U.S. ally on NATO’s border with Russia. Those killed were mostly pro-American, anti-communist members of the Polish government. They were on the way from Warsaw, Poland to Russia to attend an event marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Forest massacre, a mass execution of Polish citizens in 1940 by the Soviet KGB. The plane crash occurred in Smolensk, Russia.
“The similarities are striking,” Styrna tells Accuracy in Media, “especially in terms of Russian behavior: the denials, the contamination of the crash site (including the removal of plane parts), the desecration of the bodies (i.e., dumping them onto trucks), the failure to secure the site (allowing the credit cards and other belongings of the victims to be plundered), etc.”
In the wake of the destruction of the plane, understanding the sheer terror of what had transpired, the Polish government went along with the Russians, blaming “pilot error” for the crash. You can imagine that the Poles were scared to death of what Moscow was able to accomplish and what they were capable of. An invasion of their country, two years after the Russians invaded the former Soviet republic of Georgia, could not be ruled out.
Earlier this year, on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the crash, physicist Dr. Kazimierz Nowaczyk delivered a lecture at the IWP in Washington, D.C. on what happened. He presented evidence that explosions occurred, bringing down the plane, and noted how Russians on the scene contaminated and desecrated the crash site and tampered with the evidence.
The truth about what happened in eastern Ukraine is already at hand, despite what Peter Lavelle told Chris Cuomo on CNN.
In this case, the RT propaganda channel has an ally in Iranian Press TV, which has run an article claiming that an American Stinger missile brought down the Malaysian plane.
The source of the allegation is Rodney Martin, identified as “the director of the World View Foundations, a website, and a host at the American Nationalist Network, an internet radio station.” In the video version of the story, Martin is identified as a “former U.S. congressional staffer” who defends the “Russian nationalist movement” in Eastern Ukraine.
On his website, he identifies himself as an “American Ethno-Nationalist,” whose work has “not gone unnoticed by Movement heavyweights” such as David Duke, the former KKK leader. Duke, you may recall, surfaced as an associate of Aleksandr Dugin, an adviser to Putin with communist and fascist links who is helping shape Russian geopolitical strategy. (Duke is also a favorite of Iranian Press TV, and attended a Holocaust deniers conference in Iran.)
All of these connections are important in understanding what the people of Ukraine are up against, in terms of propaganda channels with a global reach—even deep inside the United States.
In retrospect, the Peter Lavelle interview went badly for Chris Cuomo. As one publication put it, “the gloves came off.” The hapless CNN anchor didn’t understand what he was getting unto. He thought he could have an open and honest discussion with a paid Putin propagandist. Lavelle is one step above a “useful idiot,” to use a term from the Cold War.
But this is just one round in an information war. It should be a wake-up call for CNN and the rest of the American media.
What we now need from the media is an in-depth analysis of RT and its operations, and how the channel is working hand-in-glove with the Iranian propaganda apparatus to deceive the world about Moscow’s—and Iran’s—intentions. After all, Iran’s nuclear weapons program wouldn’t be possible without Putin’s help.
Then, an analysis is needed of what, if anything, the United States is doing through the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to counter the lies.
By: Bethany Stotts
Accuracy in Media
The courts this week issued two conflicting rulings regarding whether the federal government has the ability to provide subsidies to persons purchasing health care on the federal exchanges under the so-called Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The battle of the courts has the potential to affect not only the provision of federal subsidies, but also the enforcement of the individual mandate and the employer mandate.
“The ruling also could undermine the requirement for larger employers to offer health coverage to their employees,” reports The New York Times’ Robert Pear on the 2-1 vote by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. “That requirement is enforced through penalties imposed on employers if any of their employees receive subsidies to buy insurance on an exchange.” Thus, the Washington Examiner noted back in March that, if the plaintiffs ultimately win, “anti-Obamacare states could become more attractive to businesses trying to get around the employer mandate.”
Accuracy in Media’s Roger Aronoff reported on this ruling’s potential back in March of this year, when most of the media were focusing on the Hobby Lobby case. At that time, he predicted that it was likely that the ruling would be in favor of the plaintiffs, who support the plain language of the law, i.e., that federal subsidies are only supposed to go to individuals who have signed up for healthcare on state exchanges, and that an en banc review was likely, meaning the full court will hear the case.
As Aronoff pointed out, MSBNC’s Adam Serwer hopes that an en banc review would rule in favor of the government because the President has stacked the court. “Though judges’ opinions don’t always track with those of the party that appointed them, thanks to the changes to the filibuster, more Democratic appointees than Republican appointees would rule on the matter,” Serwer wrote. “Of the 11 judges that could rehear the case, seven are Democrats and four are Republicans,” reports Fox News. Indeed, an en banc judgment could easily overturn this ruling and favor the government.
Fox also reports that the D.C. Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the plaintiffs dealt Obamacare a “major blow” because there are only 14 state-run exchanges. The Washington Times calls it a “massive setback” that could “blow a massive hole in President Obama’s signature domestic achievement.”
The Obama administration seems unconcerned about the ruling. Little surprise, considering that the Fourth Circuit ruled in their favor on the same issue on the same day, within hours. “While this ruling is interesting to legal theorists, it has no practical impact,” said press secretary Josh Earnest about the D.C. Court of Appeals ruling, which had described the Justice Department as “tilting at windmills.”
After the “en banc” hearing, this case may go the Supreme Court.
But the media—even conservative media—are committing malpractice in their coverage of this issue.
Currently, according to Fox News, the government estimates that it will pay $1 trillion in subsidies over the next 10 years. The average subsidy is about $4,400 per person this year, according to Pear. But what are they purchasing? Is it “affordable” care?
Fox News and other outlets fall into a dangerous trap in talking about the provision of “affordable” health insurance. As we have discussed earlier, there is no such thing as an “affordable” Affordable Care Act, which depends on the redistribution of monies from one group to another through subsidies and taxes.
And it seems like those with Obamacare sometimes may not even receive treatment while covered. Yet, Fox’s Barnini Chakraborty writes, “Nearly 90 percent of the federal exchange’s insurance enrollees were eligible for subsidies because of low or moderate incomes, and the outcome of the case could potentially leave millions without affordable health insurance.” If the health care’s not affordable, it’s likely because the costs have skyrocketed due to the law, not despite it. The Washington Times’ Tom Howell calls the subsidies “critical to making coverage affordable.” Pear writes, “Subsidies, in the form of tax credits, are a crucial element of the Affordable Care Act. Without them, insurance would be unaffordable to millions of Americans.”
And thus a new entitlement upon which members of the populace have artificially been made dependent is defended in the guise of helping the helpless.
This isn’t affordable coverage; this is highway bank robbery.
You want free, cheap or subsidized health care? Then you’ll take what the government gives you, whether that means you can see your doctor or not. We’ve long known that Obama was lying when he said, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.” But now that reality is coming home to roost.
Consider, for example, Shawnna Simpson, who I reported about in January. She was unable to find a family doctor who accepted her insurance within her county due to a narrow network. That was in Tennessee. Politico’s Brett Norman reports more recently that “In New Hampshire, for instance, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield was the only insurer on the market, and it cut 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals out of its network.” And, he reports, “Even if a patient goes to an in-network hospital, not all the doctors are necessarily part of the plan. For instance, patients can get stuck with thousands of dollars in bills for anesthesia, even if surgery is covered.”
These types of shenanigans have become a major electoral issue. “But since the beginning of 2013, more than 70 bills have been introduced in 22 states to clarify the network rules, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures,” writes Norman. He casts the issue as a waiting game for consumers: next year will be better. But customers shouldn’t have to pay a whole year for a failing product just because the government takes a year to fix itself. Nor should they have to swallow the line that subsidies make Obamacare “affordable,” when the Heritage Foundation has shown that 45 out of 50 states saw price increases in the first year of this law. Now, faced with a potential broadening of their narrow networks, insurers threaten that they cannot control costs, according to Norman.
Heritage called savings under Obamacare a “fantasy” back in 2013. It’s still a fantasy now, and one that the conservative media should not be furthering alongside the mainstream media.
An ode to the rise of the street art resistance… You guys rock!!! Freaking epic – vampire, RINO and Progressive hunters, unite!
Of all the places I never thought to be mentioned, HBO’s True Blood vampire show would have to be near the top of the list. Sunday night, they aired a misogynist and profanity-ridden episode where Texas Republicans are murdered attending a “Ted Cruz fundraiser.”
Well, I’m sorry to have lost the vampire vote, but am astonished (and amused) that HBO is suggesting that hard-core leftists are blood-sucking fiends…
Then again, I guess I never had a chance w/ the vampire vote since the dead tend to vote overwhelmingly for Dems.
Truth Revolt: LA Street Artist Blasts Obama for ‘Scandalous’ Fundraiser
Alea iacta est… the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
“One of the critical issues that we have to confront is illegal immigration, because this is a multi-headed Hydra that affects our economy, our health care, our education systems, our national security and also our local criminality.” – Allen West
“Poor Mexico, so far from G-d, so close to the United States.” – Porfirio Diaz, Former Mexican Presidente 1876-1911
“BREATHES there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,’This is my own, my native land!’… – Sir Walter Scott, Innominatus
Terresa over at The Noisy Room has been all over the story of what’s going on at our southern border and her winning essay, Orchestrated Invasion – The Eradication Of America’s Borders is a great read that examines what’s going on in-depth and shows exactly how it happened, who’s responsible and where we’re headed unless we fix it. Here’s a slice:
If you had any doubts whatsoever that the whole border crisis was planned, this should fix that. Obama and Biden will meet with Central American leaders next week at the White House to discuss promoting legal, orderly migration. In essence, they will discuss the eradication of our borders, the end of American sovereignty and the furtherance of a collaborative, communist plan to redistribute wealth, people, assets and to create, in the end, a North American Union.
America, you have been betrayed by your leaders and your country is in the final stages of a destructive conspiracy that benefits a few elitist Marxists and destroys your liberty forever. How’s that hope and change working for you now?
For decades, US corrupt officials have sent billions to Central and South America to line the pockets of corrupt officials there. The thought was that it would placate them and keep them from attacking us, but that only makes your enemies hate you more. Virtually every country there is now ruled by a Communist and/or dictator. We have declared the Monroe Doctrine dead and now Russia, China and Iran are moving into our backyard en force.
For those who missed what the Monroe Doctrine was all about, it was basically a declaration that those Latin-American nations which had declared themselves independent should be free from European interference and aggressive colonization. America had only recently achieved her own independence and considered “any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.” Declaring the Monroe Doctrine “dead” basically says, “we no longer care about our national security, so we invite our aggressively colonial buddies — communist and otherwise — to subvert and conquer our Southern neighbors.”
Instead of fighting back against an ever growing terrorist threat, Obama and Biden are enabling them by actively recruiting a precursory invasion force of so-called children in the 10′s of thousands to come across our border, using American’s heart strings as a garrote to strangle us with. Obama is then shipping them to every corner of the country and then the real invasion comes when the families follow by the millions, changing the voting demographic in America once and for all, ensuring Marxist control no matter what happens here. Obama has three years left to finish the destruction of America and it is right on schedule. Now, he goes to meet leaders who have signed agreements to fast-track this atrocity. Faster, faster pussycat… kill.
From Ironic Surrealism:
(The Hill) –President Obama and Vice President Biden will meet with the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador on July 25, the White House announced on Friday.
Obama and Biden will meet with President Otto Pérez Molina of Guatemala, President Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador and President Juan Hernández of Honduras, to discuss the recent surge of migrants across the U.S. border.
In the meeting, the leaders will discuss how the governments are “cooperating to promote safe, legal, and orderly migration” between the countries “in a spirit of shared responsibility” including “with respect to the return of family units,” a process which began this week for the three Central American countries, according to the White House.
The meeting is also expected to include discussions on how the countries can work together to bolster economic growth and development along with security in the central American region as well as address the “factors” that are causing the migrants to attempt to cross the border.
Everything about this incursion reeks of evil. Obama is directly involved in human trafficking, the heartless deaths of who knows how many children, rape, murder, the importation of deadly infectious diseases, gangs, drugs and weapons and the furtherance of the spread of poverty and misery throughout the United States. Obama hates America and wants her brought to her colonial knees. This is his gift to us – the gift of death, destruction and slavery.
Much more at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Sultan Knish with It’s Another “Death to the Jews” Weekend, submitted by The Noisy Room. It’s interesting that Knish’s piece and the second place winner, Mark Steyn’s – Fields Of Blood, submitted by Bookworm Room cover very similar ground, but from different aspects, with the Sultan focusing on a more narrow canvas, while Steyn broadens his. Great reads and recommended, both of ‘em.
Here are this week’s full results:
- *First place with 3 votes! – The Noisy Room – Orchestrated Invasion – The Eradication Of America’s Borders
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Joshuapundit – The Border? The Mideast? Scandals? For The Obamas It’s Luxury Vacay Time Again!!
- Third place with 2 votes – The Right Planet – The Radical Left’s ‘Islamophobic’ Reaction to the Hobby Lobby Ruling
- Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – VA Right! – Remember – The Illegals at our Border Are Pink Tide SOCIALISTS!!!
- Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Bookworm Room – Daniel Hannan goes to the heart of things, praising the rule of law
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – Profs Given Grant to Overcome White Male Hegemony in Science Fiction. Or Something
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Independent Sentinel – Stunning audio of border patrol in active pursuit of Muslims
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Nice Deb – What Crisis? Obama’s ‘Gonna Stick to the Schedule – a Cheeseburger, Fries and Two Fundraisers’ (Video)
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Rhymes With Right – Why We Need To Focus On Juan Garcia Rather Than Stefan Kowalski
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Simply Jews – Jewish/Muslim clashes in Paris. POV means: Point Of View
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Ask Marion – Clinton Inc. – The Ugly Just Does Not Stop
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Valkyrie Day
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Razor – A Trip to Mt. Hiei, Kyoto Japan
- *First place with 4 votes! – Sultan Knish – It’s Another “Death to the Jews” Weekend submitted by The Noisy Room
- Second place with 3 1/3 votes – Mark Steyn – Fields Of Blood submitted by Bookworm Room
- Third place with 1 1/3 votes – The New Republic – How The Israel/Palestine Peace Plan Died submitted by The Watcher
- Fourth place with 1 vote – Between Jerusalem And Tel Aviv – How do you say “Chutzpa” in British? submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Sic Semper Tyrannis – Did Kiev shoot down MH -17? submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Tara Servatius/American Thinker – The brutal Obama policy that’s really driving the Border Crisis submitted by Nice Deb
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Isabel Matos/A Time for Choosing – What in the Heck is Wrong With the “D” Word? JUST Get Over It Already. It’s Exasperating. Readers, Chime In! submitted by Ask Marion
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 votes – To Understand The Present, Remember The Past – How Obama & The Democrats Are Repeating The History of Vietnam – And Will Get The Same Result submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 votes -PJ Tatler – Is Sen. Elizabeth Warren a Mere Hack or an Out-and-Out Sociopath? submitted by The Watcher
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The American Interest – Anti-GMO Activists Are Harming Hungry Africans submitted by The Razor
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Foreign Affairs – How Hamas Won submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Doug Ross – CHANGE: Since Obama became President, 1.5 MILLION people have been added to secret “suspected terrorist” list submitted by The Independent Sentinel
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!
Kerry has left Israel, for consultations in Cairo. He’ll be back, undoubtedly. But it’s nice to know he’s not here.
The FAA ban on US airlines flying in and out of Ben Gurion has been lifted. They say it’s because they have been “working with its US government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewing both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation,”
Yea, right. They were simply called out on this decision and backed off.
And I suspect that the forthright and public response of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) may have had something to do with it. The Senator wanted to know whether the decision to ban flights amounted to an economic boycott of Israel, expressed himself dubious about the exact timing of that decision, and posed five specific questions. Among those questions: Why, if the issue is safety, was Israel singled out when flights are permitted into Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen?
When a state department spokesperson called the questions “offensive and ridiculous,” he countered that, “Serious questions were asked about the nature of a decision that handed Hamas a public relations victory…the only thing ‘ridiculous’ is the state department’s response to basic questions.”
In his full statement – which you can see here: http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1593 – he declared that “Ben Gurion has rightly earned the reputation as one of the safest airports in the world due to the aggressive security measures implemented by the Israeli government.” (Emphasis added)
He then said he would hold up the approval of state department diplomatic nominees until he got answers to his questions.
It’s important to recognize that we do have good friends in the American government (if not in the executive branch).
As to the need to take out all of Hamas’s tunnels…
Chief of Staff Benny Gantz made a statement yesterday when he visited soldiers on the front lines:
“we must stick to the targets for which we entered [Gaza] and continue our maneuvers as long as it takes.”
And then there was an interview late in the day yesterday given by member of the Security Cabinet Finance Minister Yair Lapid (head of Yesh Atid). It perhaps has added significance because he’s center-left and until recent days talked a great deal about “peace.” Said Lapid (emphasis added):
“…the objectives of the operation needed to be met ‘before they talk to us about a ceasefire.’
“Lapid defined the objectives as cleansing ‘Gaza of its terrorist tunnels and delivering a significant blow to Hamas’s rocket infrastructure.’
“Even amid all the talk of a ceasefire, Lapid said the government was telling IDF to ‘go, achieve your objectives.’”
While Communications Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) who is a member of the Security Cabinet, said today that we are not seeking a ceasefire at present – we must complete our ground offensive first, something he estimates will take another week or two. After that, he said, if Hamas is still launching rockets, we may have to go further, and find Hamas leadership “hiding in their holes.”
As I wrote yesterday, “Hold on, hold on!” If this remains the policy of the government, we will be OK.
I share here an article put out from The Investigative Project on Terrorism, headed by Steve Emerson.
It raises some serious questions regarding the identification of all of Hamas’s tunnels. It’s pointless to talk about taking them all out if they haven’t all been identified. Additionally, it raises troubling questions about whether the US necessarily shares all of its information on the tunnels with Israel and whether Israel is utilizing all possible hi tech equipment for identifying tunnels deep underground. (Please be assured, Israel is aware of this equipment.)
According to Emerson, US officials believe that Israel is underestimating the number of tunnels. American information on this has been acquired via satellites equipped with special high resolution infrared detection technology.
And then we have this information:
“It is believed that the construction of the more advanced Palestinian tunnels began right after the 2012 cease-fire agreement, when Israel agreed to lift restrictions for humanitarian aid, including large quantities of steel and concrete,” he [Emerson] said, adding that the agreement to lift the blockade was overseen by Hillary Clinton.
“…the tunnels are quite sophisticated, with water, sewage, and lighting allowing for months-long stays.” (Emphasis added)
Much is being made these days of a shift in international opinion that reflects a greater acknowledgement of the nature of Hamas. There is some shift, true (and I’ll explore this further in a coming post), but I think it would be foolish to rely upon this in any significant way.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council released a statement with regard to the Gaza war two days ago. And it has been pointed out that the EU foreign ministers for the first time said: ”All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.” (Emphasis added)
Yes, good. But it also said:
”The EU condemns the loss of hundreds of civilian lives, among them many women and children. While recognizing Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against any attacks, the EU underlines that the Israeli military operation must be proportionate and in line with international humanitarian law.” (Emphasis added)
So there we are. A “balanced” assessment that levels fallacious charges against Israel.
Here, as elsewhere, the concept of “proportionate” is either misunderstood or deliberately distorted.
International law defines proportionality in the context of legitimate military goals.
If there is a military necessity – e.g., striking a launcher – then it is considered legitimate to act even if there may be civilians injured or killed.
As Col. Richard Kemp – former commander of British forces in Afghanistan – explained in a talk he delivered here in Jerusalem just this evening, the question of proportionality comes in with regard to how much is force is required to achieve that legitimate goal. If the force used is not excessive, then even if there are civilians hit, it is proportionate.
What would be “disproportionate” would be an intentional attack directed against civilians or an attack launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage.
Ambassador Alan Baker, an international lawyer, in a new piece for JCPA, also addresses these issues. He writes (emphasis added):
“International law recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself, whether by the conventional international right of self-defense as set out in the UN Charter or by the international customary right to self-defense.
“Accusations that Israel is collectively punishing the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip have no basis. Israel’s military actions are solely directed to one strategic and tactical purpose, not to punish the population, but to halt the indiscriminate rocket fire and terror infiltration into Israel’s sovereign territory.
“The allegation leveled against Israel that it uses disproportionate force, is a misreading of the international rules of proportionality in armed conflict which are intended to regulate the extent of force needed in relation to the military challenge anticipated.”
Speaking of proportionate force…
A topic that I must mention here (and will return to in considerably more detail soon) is the prospect of a “Goldstone II,” which we are now facing. Remember the Goldstone Report? Libelous accusations regarding Israel’s “war crimes” committed during Operation Cast Lead (at the beginning of 2009) were leveled at us in this major report. It followed an “investigation” that was headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, as mandated by the UN Human Relations Council.
I mention it here because that same UN Human Rights Council, which is consistently and notoriously anti-Israel, has now voted to appoint an “international commission of inquiry” to look at Israeli actions in “the Palestinian territories” and most specifically Gaza.
Only the US voted against this. While 29 countries approved it and 17 nations – including those considered allies, such as the UK, Germany and France – abstained.
Israel has called this action a “travesty.” A statement from the prime minister’s office said, “This investigation by a kangaroo court is a foregone conclusion.”
Indeed. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has already come out with a statement that, “There seems a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”
This is not at all unexpected. It was at a seminar discussing this issue that I heard Col. Kemp speak tonight.
The battle with Hamas inside of Gaza continues. The count of young soldiers we have lost is now 32.
In a ceremony in the Knesset that was very low key because of the war, Ruby (Reuven) Rivlin was sworn in as president of Israel today, succeeding Shimon Peres His term of office is seven years.
After reciting the Shehechiyanu prayer, he said: “With this prayer, in awe and humility, on your behalf and at your command, I come to faithfully fulfill my role as tenth president of the State of Israel.”