Alan Dershowitz shares a rather odd spotlight with Rupert Murdoch today.
In The Jerusalem Post, American Constitutional expert Dershowitz blogs about the recent call by “a group of 16 self-described experts on ‘international justice and reconciliation of conflict'”, among them Bishop Desmond Tutu, for the establishment of “a United Nations Commissions” to conduct an “independent and impartial investigation” of possible Israeli war crimes stemming from its handling of the Gaza conflict.
Bishop Tutu has gone as far as to call the Israeli self-defense actions “unchristian”, indicating that whatever else His Excellency may claim expertise on, religion doesn’t appear to be included among them.
Dershowitz comments on Hamas and the suggestion by that group of sixteen “experts” (excerpted):
There is of course no need to conduct any investigation into whether Hamas has committed war crimes: they readily admit – indeed they boast – that they are trying to kill as many Jewish Israeli citizens as their anti-personnel rockets are capable of killing. They also acknowledge, as a Hamas legislator did on television, that they use women and children as “human shields.”
Only a group as skewed against Israel as this one is would regard the UN as capable of conducting an “independent and impartial investigation” of anything involving Israel.
A UN investigation of Israel – in the face of that body’s absolute refusal to investigate Russia, China, Zimbabwe, Iran and so many other countries that routinely violate human rights in an egregious manner – would constitute a major victory for Hamas’s strategy. It would send a powerful message to all terrorist groups that provoking democracies into responding to attacks on its civilians will result in United Nations condemnation.
Ruport Murdoch strikes a similar position on the Israeli/Hamas conflict in the Opinion section of the publication, within a transcript of his speech to the American Jewish Committee on receiving its National Human Relations Award.
For months now, Hamas has been raining down rockets on Israeli civilians. Like all terrorist attacks, the aim is to spread fear within free societies, and to paralyze its leaders. This Israel cannot afford. I do not need to tell anyone in this room that no sovereign nation can sit by while its civilian population is attacked.
Hamas knows this better than we do. And Hamas understands something else as well: In the 21st century, when democratic states respond to terrorist attacks, they face two terrible handicaps.
THE FIRST HANDICAP is military. It’s true that Israel’s conventional superiority means it could flatten Gaza if it wanted. But the Israel Defense Forces – unlike Hamas – are accountable to a democratically chosen government.
THE SECOND HANDICAP for Israel is the global media war. For Hamas, the images of Palestinian suffering – of people losing their homes, of parents mourning their dead children, of tanks rolling through the streets – create sympathy for its cause.
But I am curious: Why do we never hear calls for Hamas leaders to be charged with war crimes?
Why, for example, do we hear no calls for human rights investigations into Hamas gunmen using Palestinian children as human shields? Why so few stories on the reports of Hamas assassins going to hospitals to hunt down their fellow Palestinians? And where are the international human rights groups demanding that Hamas stop blurring the most fundamental line in warfare: the distinction between civilian and combatant?
Bishop Tutu and the cause of justice would be better served by demanding that Hamas be investigated for war crimes against both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.
Now THAT would be the Christian thing to do.