Terrorism And Law

Lee A Casey and David B. Rivkin Jr. dissect the argument that the assassination of Ahmed Yassin was "illegal" and find it sorely lacking. For years the EU has demanded that the Israelis apply the protections of the Geneva Convention to those who attack Israel, despite the fact that the Palestinians have not done the same for Israel.

Yet under the rules of warfare, targeting an enemy combatant is perfectly legal – in fact, its the way wars are fought. You destroy the ability for the enemy to command and control his forces so that they can’t attack you. As Casey and Rivkin notes:

In condemning Yassin’s killing, then, Europe contradicts itself. It has made clear that Israel must apply the laws of armed conflict vis-à-vis the Palestinians. Now, however, it says that individual militants cannot lawfully be targeted. Indeed Europe’s outrage over the Yassin assassination is far more troubling than a little Israel- (and by implication America-) bashing. It reveals, once again, the ever-widening canyon that separates the United States, and Israel, from its NATO allies on the question of fighting terror and on the laws of war themselves.

Terrorism is not a crime, it is an act of war. Terrorists are waging war outside the dictates of the Geneva Convention – they are not in uniform, they do not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, and they frequently use civilians as human shields. Offering terrorists Geneva Convention protection to guerilla forces guts the entire notion of the Convention, which is not designed to shield terrorists from attack but make terrorism an act which deserves no protection.

3 thoughts on “Terrorism And Law

  1. Only the twisted logic of the conservative classifies a cripple in a wheelchair as an “enemy combatant.”

  2. only a fool would say that someone who had ordered the deaths of 277 israelis in the last two years is not an enemy combatant. hamas is no different than the nazis, and taking out yassin is like taking out hitler. you dont have to be able to hold a gun to kill someone.

  3. I’m sorry, did I say that he was a good guy somewhere?

    Of course not. But the rule of law is threatened when states feel free to waste people with rockets instead of prosecuting them under due process.

    It’s called “being better than terrorists.”

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