I am a member of the Friends of Israel Initiative (FOII) board — truly an honor, particularly at this time when the security of the State of Israel is at risk. Currently we are hosting the annual board meeting here in Dallas and today I will moderate a panel discussion on the Middle East, Israel, and the Iranian situation.
One of the topics of discussion we have had revolves around the West’s lack of resolve in thwarting the advance of Islamic jihadism. We see this Al Hijra Trojan Horse event occurring in Europe at this moment. I find it rather interesting that these military-aged Muslim males have adopted their modus operandi and are throwing rocks and protesting being denied entry into sovereign countries. In my mind, that is an immediate disqualifier for them EVER to gain entry.
In any event, one of the studies done by FOII through its High Level Military Group (HLMG) truly gives me great cause for concern. The study, “An Assessment of the 2014 Gaza Conflict,” centers around the actions of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in Operation Protective Edge.
Israel is constantly accused of committing war crimes when it is simply seeking to defend itself from an internationally classified terrorist organization, Hamas. The FOII case study sought to assess what tactics, techniques, and procedures were implemented by the IDF to reduce the instance of civilian casualties. Now, we have written and shared here video clips of Hamas leaders during that conflagration recommending civilians be used as human shields. The concern is that we are enabling the enemy to use the system of “lawfare” to gain an advantage over the West and individual sovereign states to constrain the prosecution of combat operations. We are basically supporting the enemy in developing sanctuaries where we are reluctant to attack.
The FOII High Level Military Group defines “lawfare” as the abuse of international norms and procedures and the judicialisation of International institutions to attain strategic goals that cannot be achieved by political and military means, and it has become a common feature in modern conflicts.
Between June and August 2015 the HLMG members and staff took two fact-finding trips and four additional research trips to assess every aspect of Israel’s conduct in the 2014 Gaza conflict. It was clearly deduced that the responsibility for the outbreak for the 2014 Gaza conflict belonged to Hamas. The HLMG concluded that during the Gaza conflict the IDF met and in many cases exceeded the standards and obligations under the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC).
Then the question must be asked, why is it that the International Criminal Court and the United Nations castigates Israel with accusations of committing war crimes?
Here is a sovereign state under attack from a declared Islamic terrorist organization seeking to defend its citizens, and it is accused of war crimes? Worse, the ICC and United Nations do not condemn the actions or seek to support the prosecution of the Hamas leadership for subjecting the civilian populace in Gaza as human shields.
And we all know the head of Hamas finds respite in Doha, Qatar — what about sanctions against Qatar for harboring a terrorist group leader? Nah, we lift sanctions on Iran, but the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) crowd wants to implement them against Israel for the simple crime of defending itself. Have we in the West come to the point where we are actually legitimizing Islamic terrorist groups? And think of this: we are instituting these overly restrictive measures against ourselves while allowing the enemy to violate any and every standard of decency and LOAC.
Ask yourself, how can it be that ISIS could have victory parades in broad daylight in Fallujah, Ramadi, Mosul, and not be attacked by any air assets? Every available A-10 Warthog and Apache attack helicopter should have rained down death and destruction. We know where ISIS has its command and control centers, and yet we do not engage because of the concerns over collateral damage. During the Gaza conflict we know very well — and it’s featured in the HLMG report — the instances of Hamas positioning rocket firing positions in civilian communities. We know Hamas was utilizing schools and hospitals for operations. And where are the charges levied by the ICC and UN? This is the result of the growing issue of lawfare, the enemy knows by way of propaganda and the biased liberal progressive media coverage that they can achieve ends which they could not attain by military means.
If this becomes the new norm on the 21st century battlefield, we are indeed allowing the enemy to establish sanctuaries, a caliphate, bit by bit. I find it unconscionable that we in the West would allow these “kangaroo courts” and collective international organizations filled with Islamic jihadist sympathizers to give legitimacy to a terrorist organization over a sovereign State. And if if is the coming norm, we will not be able to defeat the global Islamic jihad. But not only them, we also see the rise of other non-state, non-uniformed unlawful enemy combatants by other nations as well. Consider the paramilitary force Russia employed in Crimea, Ukraine, and now Syria — albeit with complete denial by Vladimir Putin that these troops existed.
The bottom line is that we need to delegitimize the ICC and the UN when they take the course of action to stand with terrorist organizations instead of a sovereign state defending itself. Ask yourself, what state would just sit back and allow its population to be shelled and rocketed? So why do we place such a prejudiced standard on Israel? If you consider the neighborhood in which the Israelis reside — just look at their neighbors: Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Al Quds, Al Aqsa Martyrs, Al Nusra Front, ISIS, and a soon-to-be nuclear Iran…and Israel is committing war crimes?
You can visit the Friends of Israel Initiative website and request a copy of the HLMG Assessment of the 2014 Gaza Conflict, and on page 39 you can see how Hamas embedded its military infrastructure in Gaza civilian neighborhoods. The civilians of Gaza have a responsibility in this episode — their continued allowance of such abhorrent behavior must be considered consent. The disparaging persecution of Israel is despicable and disconcerting. The acceptance of this denigration of Israel by these anti-Semitic organizations while the West stands by is telling, and if it continues, it means the growth of Islamic terrorism.
Genesis 12:3 (NIV) states in God’s blessing to Abram, “And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
To the United Nations and the International Criminal Court I say, make your choice. But it appears you already have.