Attack, Defense, and the Law of War

Our Flemish correspondent VH has compiled various materials on international law and the right of Israel to act in self-defense. VH says that he began with an article from Het Vrije Volk:

I read and translated the HVV article, and that got me interested in the topic. I finally found the original (excellent) German article (pdf) that the HVV article points to in the archives of the Allgemeine Jüdische. I translated some of that as well.

I made a few unnecessary additions of international law (as backup material, just in case; there must be a lot more), and then added an afterthought.

First, from Het Vrije Volk:

Attack and defense in international law

“Law and international law are without doubt on the side of Israel.”

By E.J. Bron

In the newspaper Allgemeine Jüdische [General Jewish News], the German political journalist Hannes Stein has written a very enlightening article on Jus ad bellum and Jus in bello [“Angriff und Verteidigung — Der Begriff ‘Unverhältnismäßigkeit’ im Kriegsvölkerrecht”, pdf here, “Attack and Defense — The Concept of Disparity in Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts”]. According this law Israel would have been allowed to act long ago — contrary to all the talking of Ban Ki-Moon and our mainstream media.

The right to war (Jus ad bellum) applies in principle to any state as soon as the first hostile act against its own country occurs, even when if the attackers are only a splinter group that is being tolerated by its own government. With this we can also think for instance of Hezbollah and Lebanon. With the first firing of Kassam rocket Israel would have had the right to march into Gaza and destroy the military installations.

According to the UN resolution the first Kassam rocket would also be an act of genocide, because Hamas is not just some war party, but a party with the intention to deliberately eradicate another people, what the United Nations in fact defines as genocide, and would therefore have justified countermeasures.

That war should only target military installations and not the civilian population is governed by the law of war (Jus in bello). The civilian population must be protected and its survival be made possible.

Under Article 58 of the Geneva Convention, every state also has the duty to keep military installations outside of populated areas in order to avoid civilian casualties, which Hamas has deliberately not done

Therefore, despite what the media say, the law and the international law are without doubt on the side of Israel.

Second, from the archives of the Allgemeine Jüdische (pdf) provided by Politically Incorrect:
– – – – – – – –

Attack and defense

The term “disproportionate response” in the law of armed conflict

By Hannes Stein

In the present day conflict, Israel is accused of responding “disproportionately”. This raises the question of what the meaning of “proportionate” looks like.

The international law of war is clear. This means that the Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, as well as the Geneva Conventions apply two standards to this: firstly the “ius ad bellum” (“The right to war”), and secondly the “ius in bello” (“The right in war”). It is also about the question of when if a state enters a military conflict, what obligations and treaties should then apply to such military conflict.

The “ius ad bellum” means the following:

When state A commits military aggression against state B, the attacked immediately acquires the right to a comprehensive response towards the aggressor. State B obtains with the attack on its state, so to speak, a carte blanche to destroy the military facilities of the other party. For that matter, this applies even when it is not the regular battle forces of state A that attack, but an irregular formation that encamps on its territory.

When, for instance — as an absurd example — Danish terrorists fire rockets at nearby Lübeck, because they believe that Schleswig-Holstein is an eternal and indissoluble part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and the Danish government allows the terrorists to freely encamp on its territory, then the Army acquires the right to bomb all military facilities in Denmark. It is sufficient for a single rocket to land in front of the Holsten Gate [in Lübeck] to make it justified to start a counter-offensive. Nobody then has the right to stop the German Air Force before their military objective has been achieved: the defeat of the aggressor.

What does “disproportionate” mean?

When the defenses of civilians are made into targets. There is in international law no excuse for such things — regulated by the “ius in bello”. The same applies to facilities that enable the continuation of the lives of civilian population: waterworks, electricity plants, hospitals.

Even religious buildings (churches, synagogues, mosques) shall not be attacked, unless they are misused for military purposes. Article 58 also serves to protect of the civilian population [(a), (b), and (c), of Protocol I], of Geneva Convention: “The parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible: (a) without prejudice to Article 49 of the Fourth Convention, endeavor to remove the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control from the vicinity of military objectives; (b) avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas; (c) take the other necessary precautions to protect the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control against the dangers resulting from military operations.”*

Besides the law of war, there is also the UN convention against genocide. This is based purely on the nature of intent: Apart from the act itself, also the purpose is taken in consideration. If an organization is committed to the total extinction of an opposing collective, even the killing of one single person — with a Kassam rocket for instance — fulfills the conditions of the statutory offense of genocide.

The world community thus has the duty then to go after such organization and bring their leaders to justice.

Additional articles that may apply are, amongst others:

1. Article 37, paragraph 1, of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I)[2]

It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary and resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy.

The following acts are examples of perfidy: (a) the feigning of an intent to negotiate under a flag of truce or of a surrender; (b) the feigning of an incapacitation by wounds or sickness; (c) the feigning of civilian, non-combatant status; and (d) the feigning of protected status by the use of signs, emblems or uniforms of the United Nations or of neutral or other States not parties to the conflict.

3. Article 44, paragraph 3, of Protocol I

In order to promote the protection of the civilian population from the effects of hostilities, combatants are obliged to distinguish themselves from the civilian population while they are engaged in an attack or in a military operation preparatory to an attack. Recognizing, however, that there are situations in armed conflicts where, owing to the nature of the hostilities an armed combatant cannot so distinguish himself, he shall retain his status as a combatant, provided that, in such situations, he carries his arms openly: (a) during each military engagement, and (b) during such time as he is visible to the adversary while he is engaged in a military deployment preceding the launching of an attack in which he is to participate.

4. Article 51, paragraph 7, of Protocol I

The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favor or impede military operations. The parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations. [emphasis added]

An afterword by VH:

The sudden illogical (but predictable) call for a “proportionate” response coming from some European countries and quite a few leftist and even Christian Europeans may also have — apart from being a result of at least four decades of indoctrination by leftist and Multicultural ideologies and hypocrisy — an artificial “cultural” aspect.

Unlike the United States of America, in many countries in Europe, citizens have been disarmed (or let themselves be disarmed) for a century or more, and the monopoly on the right of defense by means of violence has been seized by their governments (police, army, etc.). Those governments therefore in return have the duty to defend and protect their disarmed populations and all individual citizens.

Adding to this, if a citizen does defend himself against an attacker, the amount of force or the means of defense (proportionate or disproportionate) may be a reason to prosecute the defendant instead of the attacker (Dutch Criminal Code, Art. 41 paragraph 2). This might give a clue about a small part of the “disproportionate” hysteria of the (another is, of course, the near total demoralization and Islamization).

An example from a Dutch court case, which is quite confusing because the original attacker is designated “the victim”, and the citizen who was attacked is “the suspect”: According to the suspect (the citizen), the victim (the attacker) hit him first before he started to retaliate. But the blow (by the attacker) was not very hard and did not really hurt, the court said. Although there was an immediate unlawful assault on the part of the victim (the attacker) this does not mean that the suspect (the citizen) was called to defend his own life or property, since the blow by the victim (the attacker) was not very hard and it was not likely that the suspect (the citizen) under the circumstances had to fear for aggression from the victim (the attacker). Thus: “disproportionate response”.

Another example: A lady sits in her car in Amsterdam and her handbag on the seat next to her is being robbed by a Moroccan. When the Moroccan tries to escape on the backseat of the motorcycle of his companion, she switches in reverse gear and smashes the Moroccan flat against a tree. Though the lady was of Surinamese background, she was instantly accused of racism and a “disproportionate” response. The Moroccan community along with Dutch native dhimmis then held a “silent march”, not to honor the brave lady, but the Moroccan scum.

Later on the public prosecutor did not bring the partner of the dead Moroccan to court for assisting the scum, but the lady, for defending herself, trying to retrieve her handbag, and incidentally killing the robber.

Once a citizen is forced (or lets himself be forced) to confuse defense with offense, a criminal with a victim (and vice versa), then at the same time he is conditioned and made to believe in a vague law on “proportionate response” the very second he feels he must defend himself, his family, or his property by any means available.

Such a person in the end might respond in contradiction to all common sense. The same people who accused politicians like Pim Fortuyn, and still accuse Dewinter, Wilders, Griffin and so on, of being racist, fascist, etc, associate themselves openly with bloodthirsty, fascist, racist, genocide-hungry Muslim colonizers who slit throats, bomb busses full of innocent civilians, crash airplanes in office buildings, use children as a defensive shield and even lock up fellow Muslims, woman and children, under rocket launchers.

Maybe those who have been victims of such governments and/or ideologies and were unable to resist all the brainwashing should be treated for multiple personality disorder…?

For whatever reason he had, this statement of former KGB officer Yuri Bezmenov comes to mind: “…despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country. “

Maybe we should add to this “their culture and civilization”.

* For instance warning in advance with the purpose of offering the civilian population the opportunity to clear the area that is considered a target, or assistance in, or enabling, the evacuation of civilians.

One thought on “Attack, Defense, and the Law of War

  1. Interesting… I just recently read an editorial asserting (wrongly) that Israel was committing war crimes with their attack on Gaza, and I’m planning on writing an article semi-inspired by it.

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