Monday, December 27, 2010

'Legitimacy War' and the Destruction of Israel

Professor Richard Falk demonstrates why anyone of genuine moral clarity can't take current fashions of international law seriously. At Al Jazeera, "The Palestinian 'Legitimacy War'":

Collective Justice

The underlying rationale is that aggressive war, crimes against humanity, and severe violations of the law of war and international humanitarian law are crimes against the whole of humanity, and not just the victim state or people. Although the Nuremberg Judgment was flawed, 'victors’ justice,' it generated global norms in the form of the Nuremberg Principles that are considered by international law consensus to be universally binding.

These ideas underlie the recent prosecution of geopolitical pariahs such as Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milosevic, and several African tyrannical figures. But when it comes to the lead political actors, as understood by the American-led hegemonic hierarchy, the leadership of the rest of the world enjoys impunity, in effect, an exemption from accountability to international criminal law.

It is a prime instance of double standards that pervades current world order, perhaps, most prominently illustrated in relation to the veto power given permanent members of the UN Security Council or the Nonproliferation Regime Governing Nuclear Weaponry. Double standards severs any link between law as administered by the state system on a world level and pretensions of global justice. The challenge for those seeking global justice based on international law that treats equals equally is to overcome in every substantive setting double standards and impunity.

The world of sovereign states and the United Nations have not been able to mount such a challenge. Into this vacuum has moved a surging global civil society movement that got its start in the global fight against colonialism, especially, the Vietnam War, and moved forward dramatically as a result of the Anti-Apartheid Campaign ....

The Power of Solidarity

Various instruments have been relied upon, including boycott, divestment, and sanctions solidarity movements, informally constituted citizens’ war crimes tribunals (starting with the Russell Tribunal during the Vietnam War, and extended by the Permanent Peoples Tribunal in Rome, and in 2005 by the Iraq War Tribunal that held 20 sessions around the world, culminating in a final session in Istanbul), civil disobedience in various forms, especially refusals to serve in military operations that violate international law.

It was a coalition of civil society actors that created the political climate that somewhat surprisingly allowed the International Criminal Court to come into being in 2002, although unsurprisingly without the participants of the United States, Israel, and most of the senior members of the geopolitical first echelon.

It is against this background, that two contradictory developments are to be found that will be discussed in more detail in subsequent articles: the waging of an all out Legitimacy War against Israel on behalf of the Palestinian struggle for a just peace and a backlash campaign against what is called 'Lawfare' by Israeli hardliners. A Legitimacy War strategy seeks popular mobilization on the basis of nonviolent coercion to achieve political goals, relying on the relevance of international law and the accountability of those that act on behalf of states in the commission of crimes of state.

Legitimacy vs. Lawfare

The Goldstone Report illustrates this interface between a Legitimacy War and Lawfare, reinforcing Palestinian contentions of victimization as a result of Israel’s use of force as in the notorious Operation Cast Lead (2008-09) and driving Israel’s top leaders to venomous fury in their effort to discredit the distinguished jurist, Richard Goldstone, who headed the UN mission responsible for the report, and the findings so convincingly reached.

With Israeli impunity under growing threat there has been a special pressures placed on the United States to use its geopolitical muscle within the UN to maintain the mantle of impunity over the documented record of Israeli criminality, and to make sure that the UN remains a selective sanctuary for such outrageous grants of impunity. These issues of criminal accountability are on the front lines of the Legitimacy War, and provide the foundation for efforts throughout the world in relation to the growing BDS Campaign (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions).
There's more at the link.

And after you read that, check Elder of Ziyon, "
Richard Falk Admits His Goal is to Destroy the Jewish State." And following the links takes us to an earlier article by Richard Falk, "The Palestinians Are Winning the Legitimacy War: Will It Matter?" And the key paragraph there:

The essence of this legitimacy war is to cast doubt on several dimensions of Israeli legitimacy: its status as a moral and law abiding actor, as an occupying power in relation to the Palestinian people, and with respect to its willingness to respect the United Nations and abide by international law. Those that wage such a legitimacy war seek to seize the high moral ground in relation to the underlying conflict, and on this basis, gain support for a variety of coercive, but non-violent initiatives designed to put pressure on Israel, on governments throughout the world and on the United Nations to deny normal participatory rights to Israel as a member of international society.
Eliminating Israel from the "legitimate" community of nations is what "collective justice" and the "power of solidarity" are all about. Some on the left are more open in their proclamations for Jewish extermination (Hezbollah's Nazrallah, for example), but people like Richard Falk are valuable to the world's anti-Semites in the provision of academic respectability for the global left's demands for a new Shoah. The enormity of evil inherent in the project is clear, but more so for those who recognize that the battle for truth in today's world is being fought on the field of Israel's continued existence in the Promised Land.

Hat Tip:
Legal Insurrection.


Tom the Redhunter said...

Goldstone is "distinguished" only in the eyes of the transnational anti-Israel left. Everyone else sees through his nonsense.

But yes, there is most certainly a movement to delegitimatize Israel. It takes a number of forms and comes from a number of directions but it all adds up to the same thing: Israel should cease to exist.

I know I should get over it, but it never ceases to amaze me how those who criticize Israel for every little thing ignore the sins of her neighbors.