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‘Elder of Ziyon’ fails ICRC reading comprehension test (Updated)

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“Elder of Ziyon” is the handle of an anonymous blogger who enjoys some popularity among pro-Israel circles. Despite concealing his identity even when he appears in public, he has been cited as an authority by those media sources for whom one’s level of expertise directly correlates to one’s conclusions: in Israel National News, the Jerusalem Post, Tablet magazine, and the Wall Street Journal online editorial section. Elder of Ziyon has also partnered with StandWithUs on collaborative projects.

EOZ_ICRC coverIn a recent blog post entitled “The Hypocrisy of the ICRC and the Definition of ‘Occupation,’” Elder of Ziyon (abbreviated hereafter as EOZ) claims to prove that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) applies a double standard when it comes to Israel.

EOZ bases his case on a 2012 ICRC report entitled Occupation and Other Forms of Administration of Foreign Territory. The report summarized the proceedings of three ICRC-sponsored meetings in which international law experts debated the parameters of occupation under international humanitarian law.

According to EOZ, the experts determined that the withdrawal of foreign forces from a territory would signal the end of an occupation. Thus, in light of the Gaza “disengagement” of 2005, the meeting concluded with the

near-total consensus view among international legal scholars surveyed in this ICRC document that Gaza cannot possibly be considered occupied by Israel in a legal sense.

EOZ contrasts this alleged finding with the fact that the ICRC still refers to the Gaza Strip as “occupied,” as evidenced in its latest annual report.

In other words, EOZ writes,

the ICRC indeed comes up with one conclusion and then ignores it when it comes to Israel.

The EOZ article was tweeted by kindred spirits such as NGO Monitor and Tablet writer Yair Rosenberg:

EOZ_tweets

EOZ even boasted that ICRC staff were reading his blog post:

EOZ_tweet2

The head of the ICRC’s delegation to Israel and the Occupied Territories, Juan-Pedro Schaerer, left a comment on EOZ’s blog:

The ICRC closely monitors developments in the Gaza Strip, since facts on the ground are crucial to determining whether the elements of effective control required for occupation continue to be met. While it cannot be said that the Gaza Strip is a “classic” situation of occupation, Israel has not entirely relinquished its effective control over the Strip. This control includes amongst other the almost total control over the borders of the Gaza Strip (except for the border with Egypt), the control over the airspace and the entire coast line, the control over who can move out of the Gaza Strip, the control of the population register, control over all the items that can be imported and exported from the Strip and the control over a no-go zone along the Gaza fence inside the Gaza Strip. These facts and others allow ICRC to determine that Israel exercises effective control and therefore remains bound by the law of occupation in the case of Gaza.

This article ignores such essential facts and concludes in a facile way that the ICRC is hypocritical, biased and politically-motivated…

And following responses from EOZ and others, Schaerer left a second comment:

[T]he ICRC does not maintain that Israel has retained all elements of authority and governmental functions in Gaza. Rather, our position is that even after the withdrawal of its forces in 2005 Israel continues to exercise effective control over certain key elements of authority in Gaza and therefore remains bound by obligations under the law of occupation within the territorial and functional limits of the competences it has retained. This reflects a functional approach to the law of occupation that emanates from the underlying purpose and rationale of that body of law. In simplified terms it means that to the extent that an occupying power retains control of key functions and authorities in the occupied territory it also remains bound by the relevant provisions of the law of occupation. Where there is control there is responsibility…

Here, Schaerer provides the grounds on which the ICRC determines the legal status of the Gaza Strip. However, he does not address EOZ’s interpretation of the ICRC report. In such absence, I have taken it upon myself to demonstrate the breadth of EOZ’s shoddy scholarship. The following, then, is an examination of what the hasbara industry accepts as a groundbreaking exposé.

1. EOZ mischaracterizes the nature and goals of the report

First, the very fact that EOZ attempts to determine an ICRC stance from the report reveals his dishonesty. The ICRC report’s introduction states, in boldface:

It must be noted that the report does not reflect the ICRC’s views on the subjects addressed at the meetings. (page 9)

That disclaimer alone is enough to dismiss the entire EOZ blog post. But let’s go further:

The views expressed during the discussions were not intended to reflect the views of the institutions or States to which the experts belonged. (p. 9)

So the views expressed at these meetings were not even representative of any institutional body but rather of the participants “in their personal capacity” (p. 5). What about the references to Gaza?

[I]t should be borne in mind that the purpose of the discussions was not to consider the legal status of the Gaza Strip for the purposes of IHL [international humanitarian law]. Nor was it the case for any other situation. (p. 27)

Quite explicitly, the report warned readers not to interpret the discussion in the way that EOZ eventually does. The meeting participants did not come to any collective conclusion on the legal status of the Gaza Strip—which was referenced only in two pages and one appendix in a 150-page report—nor was that the intent.

Instead the goal of the report was, according to the ICRC’s head of the legal division,

to analyse whether and how far the rules of occupation law might have to be reinforced, clarified or developed … [The report] aims only to document the debates that took place during the three meetings of experts. (p. 5)

And as noted by the report’s author, ICRC legal advisor Tristan Ferraro,

This report is not exhaustive; its aim is to furnish a faithful narrative of the main points discussed and positions expressed during these three meetings of experts on occupation and other forms of administration of foreign territory … It provides glimpses of the current state of debate on these subject matters. (p. 9)

In a later interview, Ferraro added:

The main objective is to assess whether the law of occupation can still meet the needs it was created for. The idea is that a clear assessment of the state of the law could ultimately enhance the protection provided by international humanitarian law for people under military occupation.

When asked whether the report “reach[ed] conclusions about the legal status of specific territories or countries,” Ferraro replied,

The report does not focus or even comment on any specific context. It approaches the law of occupation on the basis of issues, not of countries or territories.

When the ICRC needs to determine the status of a specific situation under international humanitarian law, it carries out its own research based on available information, and shares its positions first and foremost with the authorities and other parties concerned.

2. EOZ mischaracterizes the conclusions of the report

Quoting from the ICRC report, EOZ writes that “the report concludes:”

“…the specific proposition that the rules relating to occupation continued in the situation [in the Gaza Strip] after September 2005 […] would appear difficult to sustain granted the traditional rules about occupation with their strong emphasis on the factual basis of a continuing presence on the ground.”

From this, EOZ proclaims that there was

near-total consensus view among international legal scholars surveyed in this ICRC document that Gaza cannot possibly be considered occupied by Israel in a legal sense.

Yet what EOZ quoted was not from the report’s conclusion, nor was it a “near-total consensus” statement. Instead, EOZ was quoting from an appendix to the report, prepared by a single participant, Oxford University Professor Emeritus Adam Roberts.

The one conclusion that the ICRC drew from the series of meetings was the one it had tasked the participants to flesh out:

The conclusion that emerges from the ICRC project is that occupation law, because of its inherent flexibility, is sufficiently equipped to provide practical answers to most of the humanitarian challenges arising from contemporary occupations. Accordingly, it is the ICRC’s view that occupation law does not require any further development at present; it requires only some clarification, by way of interpretations made in the spirit of the law that ensure that the needs of the occupied population are met and the security interests of the occupying power preserved at the same time. (p. 5)

3. EOZ mischaracterizes the argument of Adam Roberts

Perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of EOZ quoting Roberts is that he gets Roberts’s intentions completely wrong. When Roberts wrote that the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip would make it “difficult to sustain granted the traditional rules about occupation,” he wasn’t making the case that Gaza was no longer occupied. Instead, he was making the argument that a traditional understanding of occupation was inadequate to address cases such as that of the Gaza Strip.

In the appendix, Roberts used Iraq and the Gaza Strip as case studies to “illustrate the salience of the question of whether occupation can have, as it were, an after-life”—or what he also refers to as “occupation after occupation” (p. 46). The “withdrawal of occupying forces from the territory,” wrote Roberts, “ is not the sole criterion for the ending of an occupation.”

Even if, as in Gaza, the occupying forces have withdrawn, the former occupant, for example on account of geographical closeness and involvement in the economy of the territory, may have a continuing role that some see as potentially analogous to occupation. This and other instances raise the question of whether there can be a satisfactory way of determining whether occupation has ended, and whether the application of humanitarian rules has to depend on such determination. (p. 41)

Indeed, Roberts has been making similar arguments for at least three decades. In 1984, Roberts wrote that

the question of when an occupation can be said to have begun, or ended, is sometimes easy to answer but is by no means always so.

In the same essay, responding to Israeli Attorney General Meir Shamgar’s contention that the Fourth Geneva Convention did not apply to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Roberts wrote,

The weakness of his argument on this point is that he nowhere mentions the existence of a custom of viewing the laws of war, including the law on occupations, as formally applicable even in cases which differ in some respect from the conditions of application as spelt out in the Hague and Geneva Conventions.

And in 2004, Roberts wrote of Iraq:

Most legal writings indicate that an occupation ends when the foreign troops leave … In many cases such a statement poses no problems. However, the withdrawal of occupying forces is not the sole criterion of the ending of an occupation … The essential feature of the ending of an occupation is often, though not always, an act of self-determination involving the inhabitants of the occupied territory.

4. EOZ falsely claims “consensus” among meeting participants

EOZ claims a “near-total consensus view among international legal scholars surveyed in this ICRC document” that Gaza is not under occupation. Yet all of the quotes that he takes from the ICRC report refer only to the first of three meetings, comprising sixteen of the total 36 participants—among whom there was much disagreement. Thus what EOZ claims is a “near-total consensus” is based on a skewed reading of a summary about an unspecified percentage within 44% of the total participants—in a meeting that was not even intended to determine the status of Gaza. Not “near-total consensus”—not even quantifiable—and not meant to be.

And of course the only other quote comes from an appendix—which EOZ falsely claims is a conclusion—authored by a single participant who makes a case that is contrary to what EOZ claims it to be.

This is especially ironic in light of EOZ’s attack on human rights attorney Michael Sfard for evoking a “legal consensus.”

EOZ also mischaracterizes the meetings as a “survey”—implying a mere tallying of expert opinions—while the report repeatedly refers to the discussions as a “debate.”

5. EOZ mischaracterizes the scope of the ICRC report

In his response to ICRC head Juan-Pedro Schaerer, EOZ claims that

The ICRC report allows “indirect effective control” [as a condition for occupation] if there is a local militia that answers to the occupant. That’s it.

Yet the ICRC report “allows” nothing. As already demonstrated, the report was never meant to be prescriptive. Nor was it meant to encompass all possibilities—“This report is not exhaustive” (p. 9). EOZ falsely suggests that if the ICRC report does not mention something, it cannot be applied—as if the report were a rulebook.

In truth, the scope of effective control, direct or indirect, is wider than that discussed in the report. In a separate article, the ICRC report’s author, Tristan Ferraro, presents a broader concept of effective control:

Effective control could be exerted by positioning foreign troops in strategic positions on the occupied territory: this would make it possible for the Occupying Power to dispatch troops, within a reasonable period of time, to make its authority felt throughout the area in question. Thus, effective control may, to a certain extent, take the form of remote control … One might wonder whether, in some specific instances (in particular when the belligerents’ territories are contiguous), the same result could be attained by positioning troops in strategic places located just outside the occupied territory.

Thus Ferraro provides an example that could match the situation of the Gaza Strip, within the realm of effective control.

6. EOZ dismisses the ICRC report when it is inconvenient

EOZ also writes in response to Juan-Pedro Schaerer,

If your argument is that control over airspace, coast and (most) of the borders, etc. constitutes “effective control,” then the ICRC is truly pursuing a sui generis definition that applies to Israel, and only Israel.

In fact, the ICRC report, which EOZ otherwise claims is authoritative, did invoke sui generis cases:

During the debates, the possibility that the sui generis character of some situations could have an impact on the criteria previously identified was also submitted by a few experts; this was not challenged. (p. 28)

This was actually mentioned in the footnote of a passage that EOZ quotes from, though he conveniently omits the footnote. Furthermore, the report participants discussed sui generis cases “particularly in terms of means to exercise effective control” (p. 11).

Moreover, the complaint that one would apply a sui generis case to “only Israel” is tautologous and certainly not a double standard.

7. EOZ relies on questionable authorities

It is no surprise, then, that EOZ took inspiration for his article from another dubious scholar. Robbie Sabel, a professor of international law at Hebrew University and a former legal adviser to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had previously misrepresented the ICRC report on similar grounds in an article for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs entitled “Manipulating International Law as Part of Anti-Israeli ‘Lawfare.’”

The shallowness of Sabel’s scholarship is emphasized during his attempt to refute charges of apartheid within the same article, in which he purports to address international law. When he confronts the apartheid label, the law professor ditches the legal definition of apartheid under the Rome Statute of the ICC in favor of definitions provided by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and a defunct website called AfricanaEncyclopedia.com.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article is not to debate international law or to determine whether the Gaza Strip is still occupied. Ultimately the status of legal occupation is significant to the extent that it imposes obligations on Israel in relation to the Gaza Strip. If those same obligations remain after a technical withdrawal of troops, as some of the experts in the ICRC report suggest, then the status of occupation is less relevant.

Yet here I have sought to challenge EOZ’s reading of the ICRC article, from which we must conclude that EOZ is either grossly negligent or willfully malicious—or a combination of the two. It also does not bode well for those who would rely on EOZ as an authority.

The extent that I do want to posit on the legal status of the Gaza Strip is this:

Before the Gaza “disengagement” of 2005, Israel supporters argued that the Gaza Strip was never occupied under international law. After the Gaza “disengagement” of 2005, the Gaza Strip was no longer occupied under international law. Thus an occupation that previously never existed now no longer exists. The occupation that never happened has now ended.

In fact, the Israeli government currently maintains that the Gaza Strip is not and was never occupied by Israel because Gaza supposedly had no “prior legitimate sovereign.” If that’s the case, then it shouldn’t matter whether there are Israeli forces in Gaza to determine its legal status, and such an argument made in defense of Israel only undermines Israel’s own assertions.

Elder of Ziyon has previously stated that he takes pride in issuing corrections when warranted. Since his article has been proven to be completely invalid, will he issue a full retraction? And will he apologize for misrepresenting the ICRC? Or will he attempt to weasel his way out by changing the focus and qualifying his claims based on some previously undisclosed—and hitherto unconceived—context?

Update:

Soon after this article was published, Elder of Ziyon (EOZ) appended a preliminary response to his original posting. The response is instructive in how EOZ deflects criticism by changing his story:

On misrepresenting Adam Roberts:

EOZ now:

[Adam] Roberts makes crystal clear that he is saying that the idea of Gaza being considered occupied after Israel’s withdrawal is problematic. [emphases mine]

EOZ then:

In other words, there is near-total consensus view among international legal scholars surveyed in this ICRC document that Gaza cannot possibly be considered occupied by Israel in a legal sense. [emphases mine]

There is a considerable difference between saying “Gaza cannot possibly be considered occupied by Israel,” and now saying “Gaza being considered occupied…is problematic.”

And to be specific, the whole of Roberts’s appendix, entitled “The Termination of Military Occupations,” concerns the problems associated with determining when an occupation truly ends, rather than whether it is okay to call something an occupation.

EOZ now believes he can affirm Roberts’s context by reprinting the whole paragraph, while I insist that one should read the entire appendix. It is clear that EOZ has not done so, since he previously confused the appendix for a conclusion and failed to notice the byline credited to “ADAM ROBERTS,” all caps, in 15-point Helvetica—consequently mistaking one person for a “near-total consensus” of thirty-six people.

On misrepresenting the provenance of the report

EOZ now:

I don’t think I characterized the report as being reflective of the ICRC’s official views, as Nguyen says.

EOZ then:

Because the ICRC acts like it is the ultimate authority on international humanitarian law, so when it says Gaza is occupied – against its own legal reasoning – it has gravitas. [emphasis in original!]

Surely EOZ remembers writing that since he recently scrubbed it from his posting (cached version here).

On misrepresenting the purpose of the report

EOZ now:

I read the report as being an attempt to determine the laws of occupation, period.

Despite offering the vaguest possible explanation (determine what about the laws of occupation?), EOZ still gets it wrong. Again, from the author of the report:

The main objective is to assess whether the law of occupation can still meet the needs it was created for.

Phan Nguyen
About Phan Nguyen

Phan Nguyen lives in New York and has a Twitter account: @Phan_N

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50 Responses

  1. amigo
    amigo
    October 11, 2013, 3:50 pm

    EOZ???.

    Equal opportunity Zionist.

    Willing to lie/cheat /steal/justify murder/Ethnic Cleansing and myriad of crimes committed by the Occupation Nation.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      October 11, 2013, 4:39 pm

      “the Occupation Nation.”

      LOL. Oh, I am so stealing that.

      • amigo
        amigo
        October 12, 2013, 8:28 am

        Woody, be my guest.Pass it around,it might catch.

        Note, I stole it from someone else.

  2. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    October 11, 2013, 4:17 pm

    ICRC: ” clear assessment of the state of the law could ultimately enhance the protection provided by international humanitarian law for people under military occupation.”

    Well, a change of the law could do that. The law could be changed laboriously by a new treaty or another additional protocol. It could also be changed, perhaps — on this, please consult an international lawyer — by a change in the practice of nations. On the one hand the nations have let Israel get away with so many violations of Fourth Geneva Convention (among other law) as to crweate the impression that the p0ractice of nations now allows all the Israeli horrors. However, the nations also quite frequently pass UNGA resolutions reminding Israel what the law is, suggesting it has not changed.

    One thing that has been clear to me is that there are TWO ways Israel’s occupations of W-B and Gaza are not as the treaty contemplated: First (as this article points up) Gaza is so small it can be effectively ruled by soldiers physically outside it (not to mention BULLETS, DRONES, CANNON, ROCKETS, MISSILES, BOMBS, AIRCRAFT which are normally outside it). Not sure if the Israeli military boats are actually outside Gazan waters.

    Second, the prohibition on an occupier sending its nationals into the occupied territory (rather than merely sending soldiers) raises many questions that Israel does (or could) take advantage of: [1] must these nationals RESIDE in the occupied territory or are they forbidden even to visit? what if they were invited by the government of the occupied territory (or issued a permit)? And could not such a permit be coerced by the occupier? [2] Must they be citizens of the occupier? what if Israel got a bunch of gung-ho Brooklynites to agree to live in settlements without being Israeli citizens — would that be forbidden by the current law?

    This whole discussion of “what is belligerent occupation” echoes the question in American law about what is “employment” and what is “independent contracting”. Judges must looik to the realities and the intentions of the definitions, not to surface matters.

  3. Bill in Maryland
    Bill in Maryland
    October 11, 2013, 4:19 pm

    Thanks Phan for exposing the shoddy scholarship of the anonymous EOZ. Regarding the question of Gaza’s current status, here is a good article in Jadaliyya by Professor Lisa Hajjar, the first sentence of which is “Yes, the Gaza Strip is still occupied,” that explores in depth many of the legal issues you raise.

  4. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    October 11, 2013, 5:27 pm

    Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison, controlled from the outside by Israel.
    It’s true that Israel withdrew Jewish settlers from Gaza, but Israel continues to control Gaza. The withdrawal of Jewish settlers simply converted Gaza into a big free-fire zone, which allowed Israel to assault Gaza in 2008 and again in 2012 from the land, the air, and the sea, without running any risk of killing Jewish settlers.

    • Angel
      Angel
      October 16, 2013, 4:00 am

      And would you mind telling us why Israel “assaulted” Gaza on 2008 and 2012? Just for the fun of it? For training purposes? Because they really have nothing better to do and were getting bored? Or could it have something to do with the incessant rocket fire from Gaza that Israel endured for more than 10 years without reacting, until it finally reached its limit and decided to teach the Hamas goons a lesson? And that was not just a few occasional rockets: we’re talking about an average of 1000 every year, which comes down to 2 to 3 every single day! No country on the face of the planet would have put up with this Palestinian nonsense for more than a few days. Israel held its fire for 10 long years. That’s unbelievable. And they could have given Gaza the Grozny treatment, when the Russians virtually destroyed the capital of Chechnia. TWICE! But Israel doesn’t behave that way. They took extraordinary precautions to minimize civilian casualties, when in fact Palestinian rockets were trying to hit Israeli civilians. But these are all details not worth mentioning, right, Nevada Ned? Why bother with the truth when it makes your guys look like the vile murderous assassins they are, not the heroes they fancy themselves to be? As for Gaza being a prison for controlling the airspace above it, do you realize how dumb that comment is? By your logic, the Vatican is an open air prison since its airspace is controlled by Italy. Ditto for Monaco, an open-air prison “occupied” by France, etc… Stupid is as stupid says.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 16, 2013, 5:44 am

        Let me help you Angel,

        Because you are clearly in need of it.

        And would you mind telling us why Israel “assaulted” Gaza on 2008 and 2012? Just for the fun of it?

        It sure as he’ll didn’t have anything to do with rocket attacks.

        Israel chose to break the ceasefires on November 4th, the day of the US presidential election – times perfectly to ensure as little coverage as possible.

        Israel’s own records show that only a handful of rockets had been fired over the ceasefire period – none by Hamas.

        The raid – which had nothing to do with rocket attacks – but was a cynical and blatant effort to incite a response from Hamas, which Israel would use to justify the subsequent Gaza massacre.

        We know this thanks to a Wilkileaks cable from September of that year that revealed the anxiety among Israeli leaders that Hamas were benefitting politically from the ceasefire. In their own words, “Hamas were very careful to observe the ceasefire”.
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/egypt-wikileaks-cables/8309338/DEFENSE-MINISTER-BARAKS-DISCUSSIONS-IN-EGYPT-FOCUS-ON-SHALIT-TAHDIYA-ANTI-SMUGGLING-AND-IRAN.html

        The other concern was that the ceasefire was set to expire in December, and it was expected that Hamas would demand Israel lift sanctions , as they were supposed to do in July but reneged.

        Israel’s policy had always been to reject long ceasefires, but didn’t want to be seen as the side opposed to peace. The cable revealed that Israel’s leaders agreed a military solution would be necessary.

        Or could it have something to do with the incessant rocket fire from Gaza that Israel endured for more than 10 years without reacting, until it finally reached its limit and decided to teach the Hamas goons a lesson?

        No it couldn’t because that would’ve complete BS. Israel had repeatedly attacked Gaza and between Sept 2005 and 2007, Israel had fired over 14,000 a shells into Gaza.

        When you include the bombs from Cast Lead and Summer Rain (2006), the total number of ordnance between 2005 and 2009 is well over 30,000 – 7500 bombs and shells every year.

        And bear in mind those bombs and shells have an average kill radius of 300 feet vs 10 for a rocket.

        No country on the face of the planet would have put up with this Israeli nonsense, not to mention the blockade (a act of war), or 65 years of occupation, ethnic cleansing and land theft and mass murder. Israel attacked Egypt over a blockade or have you forgotten that too?

        Israel had been giving Gaza the Grozny treatment since 2005.

        They took extraordinary precautions to minimize civilian casualties

        Rubbish. They launched Cast Lead during the time if day when school children are either going to school or arrive home – not only to maxumise civlian casualties, but to terrorize the popultion as much as possible.

        Why bother with the truth when it makes your guys look like the vile murderous assassins they are, not the heroes they fancy themselves to be?

        As for Gaza being a prison for controlling the airspace above it, do you realize how dumb that comment is? By your logic, the Vatican is an open air prison since its airspace is controlled by Italy.

        You forgot air, land and sea access. Sorry, I missed the part about the Italy imposing a no go zone that extends 300 meters into the Vatican, where anyone who enters gets shot by snipers. I missed the part about the Italy putting the Vatican on a diet and limiting the number of calories they are allowed to consume. I missed the part about Italy dumping raw sewage or setting fire to the gardens.

        Stupid is as stupid says.

        And what you posted is as stupid as it gets.

      • talknic
        talknic
        October 16, 2013, 7:49 am

        @ Angel “And would you mind telling us why Israel “assaulted” Gaza on 2008 and 2012? Just for the fun of it? For training purposes? Because they really have nothing better to do and were getting bored? Or could it have something to do with the incessant rocket fire from Gaza “

        Your dialogue opens the book more than half way thru. It leaves out the fact that Israel has for 65 years, that is over half a century, over six decades, over three generations, a life time, been illegally acquiring more and more non-Israeli territory after having already been given completely gratis over half of Palestine. Do you think the Palestinians fire their home made rockets in Israel’s general direction for fun?

        “that Israel endured for more than 10 years without reacting,

        Very funny. Israel over reacts almost every time, usually killing innocent civilians. Every now and then Israel INVADES Gaza, slaughtering hundreds and hundreds of civilians.

        ” No country on the face of the planet would have put up with … “

        Why should anyone have to put up with watching their territory being slowly taken from them for over half a century by a neighbour falsely claiming to want peace. But when peace if offered all it does is build n=more and more illegal settlements

        “They took extraordinary precautions to minimize civilian casualties”

        Nonsense, all the borders were closed, they had nowhere to flee except another part of the war zone

        “when in fact Palestinian rockets were trying to hit Israeli civilians. “

        Nonsense. The IDF Memorial site tells us more military has been targeted than civilian. According to Israeli propaganda there is only civilian collateral on the Palestinian side. However history has shown us there is collateral on both sides in a war.

        ” By your logic, the Vatican is an open air prison since its airspace is controlled by Italy. Ditto for Monaco, an open-air prison “occupied” by France”

        Er no, that’s your ‘logic’. The Vatican and Monaco bombed regularly are they?

        <em"Stupid is as stupid says"

        Indeed, as you have ably shown

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 16, 2013, 9:19 am

        >> Why bother with the truth when it makes your guys look like the vile murderous assassins they are, not the heroes they fancy themselves to be?

        That’s exactly why Zio-supremacists like “Angel” – a Zio-supremacist alternate spelling for “Apologist”, it seems – never bother with the truth.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        October 16, 2013, 11:44 am

        Poor lil’ Angel. Israel is making a fool of you with its own propaganda!
        See this previous from Phan, which analyzes the supposed figs of rockets fired and so called casualties:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/11/dissecting-idf-propaganda-the-numbers-behind-the-rocket-attacks.html

        It will also inform you of the number of bombs Israel dropped on Gaza “without reacting”. How does that work, eh?

      • jeff_davis
        jeff_davis
        March 14, 2016, 12:52 pm

        First of all, let me be clear, I’m an American and a Jew.

        For those of you thoroughly infected with the Judiasm-destroying poison of Zionism — that’s you, talknic — here is the antidote to your Kool-aid dreams. Drink deeply and wake up to reality.

        We often hear the phrase “Israel’s right to exist” and along with it, “Israel’s right to self-defense.” Hear them endlessly, by propagandists who repeat them endlessly. But endless repetition does not make a thing true. The phantom “legitimacy” of endless repetition is just the befuddlement that remains after well executed propaganda has corrupted the truth.
        Yet the truth exists.
        And here it is: a fact-based, truth-based, ethics-based summary.
        In 1917, the British Imperial elite and the World Zionist Organization joined forces to take Palestine from the people — 95% Arab — who had lived there for 70 generations, and give it to the Jews/Zionists. Taking what doesn’t belong to you has a name: it’s called stealing.
        This “plan” was a crime of conspiracy then, in its embryonic stage, as the theft and murder in it’s execution is a crime today. A crime is still a crime, despite 90 years of control of the media. A crime is still a crime despite 90 years of impunity from prosecution, or 90 years of protection through propaganda. Just as no amount of time can transform a lie into the truth, so too, no amount of time can convert a crime into a legal act.
        The Zionist entity called Israel is nothing less than a geopolitical crime-in-progress. This is the truth that the Jews will never be able to “disappear”, and that the digital age and internet have finally set free.
        So when next you hear about Israel’s supposed “right to exist”, consider: what crime has a “right to exist”?, what criminal enterprise has a “right to exist”? Add to that: what criminal has a “right to self-defense”? What criminal has the right to commit violence in the furtherance of a crime? What criminal has the right to fight back against the lawful authority that arrives to halt the crime and arrest the criminals?
        Israel, the Zionists, their enablers, and their supporters are criminals: thieves and murderers on a global scale. In their criminality they have no “right to exist”, and in their criminality they have no “right to self-defense”.
        Yet, they do have rights. And I support those rights. They have the right to surrender to a competent authority. They have the right to a fair trial. If found guilty, they have the right to a proportionate penalty. And finally, once the offenders have “done their time”, they have the right to rejoin society and resume a peaceful cooperative existence.
        A time is approaching when the Zionist criminals will not be allowed to continue their crimes. A billion — with a “b” — and a half Muslims outraged at the Zionist-directed war, against Palestinians in particular and all of Islam generally, and a world ever more unsympathetic with disproportionate Israeli brutality will not allow it. The Israeli post-holocaust get-out-of-jail-free card, dog-eared and threadbare from overuse, has expired.
        As an American and a Jew I see the danger for Jews the world over. Jews support their fellow Jews. This ancient and enduring tribal loyalty now leads the Jews into danger. They fail to see the likely consequences that arise from being complicit in Israeli crimes. A new holocaust is being built, the Jews are building it themselves, and the Zionist criminal project Israel is the foundation stone of that looming catastrophe.
        When the three hundred million non-Jewish Americans figure out that their country, its Congress, it’s executive, has been taken over by “the Jews” (the Zionists actually, but no one will bother with that distinction), as in ancient Egypt, and ancient Israel in the time of the Romans, and Spain and Portugal of early Roman Catholicism, or most recently during the era of the Nazis, resentment will rise, and time will have run out.
        Now is the time for Jews, American Jews in particular to rise above tribal exceptionalism and criminal apologism and ***fix the problem*** before the problem “fixes” the Jews,…yet again.
        Good luck.
        ********************************
        Here are the crucial sources for the truth underlying the situation the world finds itself in today vis a vis Israel.
        The last three are long, scholarly, and frankly, a bit dry. However, the first, for obvious reasons, is quite entertaining.
        “Concerning the Jews” by Mark Twain
        http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1898twain-jews.html
        The Hidden History of Zionism
        http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/mideast/hidden/
        Behind the Balfour Declaration
        http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p389_John.html
        Benjamin Freedman
        http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/israel/freedman.htm

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 14, 2016, 2:18 pm

        Jeff Davis,

        Your post was one of the best worded until now. It also is directed at exactly the right person.
        Unfortunately, posts to very old pages are soon lost out of sight in the absence of discussion.

        The aim of this response is to call for more posts so that a discussion may at good last take place, with particular reference to those who, like Talknic, seem to oppose the very presence of Zionism while recognizing the legitimacy of its initial foothold based only on the law of the jungle –the right of conquest.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 14, 2016, 3:03 pm

        “For those of you thoroughly infected with the Judiasm-destroying poison of Zionism — that’s you, talknic”

        “That’s you, talknic”? Somehow, I think not. Oh well.

      • jeff_davis
        jeff_davis
        March 14, 2016, 3:42 pm

        Mooser, talknic, and (scornfully) angel,

        I made a mistake in my earlier post. Talknic quoted Angel and I misread that post as coming from talknic. My mistake, my bad.

        Angel, not talknic, was the Zionist tool my post was intended to indict.

        So, my apology to talknic, and my thanks to mooser for pointing out my mistake.

        Jeff Davis

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 15, 2016, 2:15 am

        Jeff Davis,

        I may have given you more credit than you deserve for your acute observation.

        Ignoring, as it deserves, the “Angel” nonsense: Talknic is effectively the one who agrees in discussion that the very existence of the Zionist entity is illegitimate, but then in almost every post insists that their Partition proposal-preempting, self-defined “borders” within Palestine are legal and to be respected. Creating a discussion environment in which the existence by colonial right of conquest of the Zionist entity is stipulated by all parties.

        I don’t want to speculate about what provides such ability to simultaneously hold two ideas that cancel each other. Your post seemed to offer a possible explanation and that’s why I had congratulated you.

  5. Mike_Konrad
    Mike_Konrad
    October 11, 2013, 7:59 pm

    Elder of Ziyon, who labels himself as an, “international man of mystery,” is a nice guy.

    He seems educated and personable. Not everyone on his board is polite, but Elder of Ziyon is polite; and Elder of Ziyon will entertain opposing views, even when others on the board can get strident.

    Elder of Ziyon digs up facts that few others dig up.

    Just cuz you disagree with Elder ofZiyon, is not a reason to eviscerate him. He blog is the standard of pro-Zionist blogs. He tends to avoid acrimony, and aims for humor.

    This is not true of all those who post on his board. Go and debate on Elder of Ziyon. Ignore the naysayers. He will debate.

    • eGuard
      eGuard
      October 12, 2013, 5:59 am

      Why do you introduce an ad hominem (telling us that EOZ is a nice guy)? Phan Nguyen clearly pointed out that EOZ misread parts and whole of the report. That is not a disagreement, that is EOZ being factually wrong. After that, “He will debate” is not all correct. He changed his post secretly without admitting the wrong.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      October 12, 2013, 8:58 am

      Elder of Ziyon, who labels himself as an, “international man of mystery,” is a nice guy.

      No, he’s a Nakba denying liar and it appears you are a Deir Yassin massacre denying troll who it appears, fully supports the Nakba.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      October 13, 2013, 5:53 am

      No need to be THAT sarcastic, Mike_Konrad.

    • LanceThruster
      LanceThruster
      October 14, 2013, 4:44 pm

      The ‘Elder of Ziyon’ can be reasonably amicable at times (though I often find him using wholly unsupportable arguments on a regular basis), but many, many of his regulars are vile and rabid.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 15, 2013, 2:50 am

        EOZ is a Nakba denier.

        And his followers are indeed vile and rabid.

        Some went searching through my personal details, bringing up my children, my wife and other aspects of my personal life.

        It was pretty creepy but hardly surprising. It’s disturbing the lengths pro Israeli fanatics will go to on order to crush criticism. On at least 2 occasions, they hacked WordPress and posted vile anti Semitic comments under my sig tag. Other times, they created IDs that were a variant of mine to do the same thing.

        It just goes to highlight what sickness Zionism induces in it’s adherents.

      • LanceThruster
        LanceThruster
        October 16, 2013, 12:42 pm

        Agreed – as I have written in my Commenter Profile:

        I see on a daily basis the efforts by Zionists and their stooges to dismiss truth-tellers in the most reprehensible manner, up to and including threats of violence. Truth needs no army of thugs to establish it; only lies need enforcers.

        I should probably revise that to acknowledge actual violence.

    • talknic
      talknic
      October 16, 2013, 8:26 am

      @ Mike_Konrad LOL EoZ is just another apologist for Israel’s crimes looking for any justification no matter how bizarre and twisted.

      No ‘nice’ person attempts to justify the illegal acquisition of someone else’s territory.

      “Elder of Ziyon digs up facts that few others dig up.”

      = rehashes the same tired drivel dished out by everyone else attempting to justify Israel’s crimes.

      ” He tends to avoid acrimony, and aims for humor.”

      and allows and encourages streams of nonsensical abuse of the most vile kind from his acolytes

    • jeff_davis
      jeff_davis
      March 14, 2016, 1:20 pm

      EOZ is an accomplice to killers, thieves, and liars. He promotes, assists, enables their crimes. He is drenched in the blood of Palestinians. Engaging him politely cloaks his crimes in a false legitimacy that is an abomination to truth, justice, and human dignity. Would you engage the Gestapo in civil discourse? Monsters must at all times be outed as monsters. EOZ’s apologism and enabling of criminality requires at every opportunity the strongest possible condemnation.

      The Zionist horror is a geopolitical crime-in-progress.

      If you arrive home to find your father raping the girl next door, the proper thing to do is to take a baseball bat to the side of his head, provide care for the girl, and then call a doctor, a good Jewish lawyer, and a good Jewish psychiatrist for dad. The wrong thing to do is to ignore the entire business, or worse, to hold the girl down and take turns.

      Israel is raping the Mideast and you Mike, and Israel’s American supporters are helping by holding her down.

      • jeff_davis
        jeff_davis
        March 14, 2016, 1:43 pm

        Or is it possible that I missed Mike’s sarcasm?

  6. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    October 11, 2013, 8:47 pm

    Phan in self-congratulatory fashion frames a case here that is intended to delegitimitize EOZ for making supposedly inconsistent, unsupportable assertions. One might ask though why Phan has particularly targeted EOZ with his typical hateful aplomb. Does he think that he can shoot down an aeroplane load of hasbara with his fastidious carvings of convoluted logic?
    In fact EOZ has already responded openly to Phan’s barbed accusations at the site Phan has alluded to in his article http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/the-hypocrisy-of-icrc-and-definition-of.html#.UliQBBClq1w
    Phan insinuates that the most ridiculous “aspect of EOZ quoting Roberts is that he gets Roberts’s intentions completely wrong.” EOZ points out that “Roberts makes crystal clear that he is saying that the idea of Gaza being considered occupied after Israel’s withdrawal is problematic. Here’s the entire paragraph:

    Whatever one’s view of the main substantive part of the Supreme Court’s verdict in this case, the specific proposition that the rules relating to occupation continued in the situation after September 2005 (which was only one plank of the petitioners’ case) would appear difficult to sustain granted the traditional rules about occupation with their strong emphasis on the factual basis of a continuing presence on the ground.

    EOZ has had the magnanimity to “admit that the wording I used that the ICRC report ‘concludes’ that occupation relies on ‘boots on the ground’ was incorrect”, which has now taken the venom out of Phan’s attack, so will Phan now make a similar acknowledgement to EOZ for his preparedness to be aiming honestly for truth and clarity?
    And by the way is the ICRC accusing Egypt with the same breath of ‘occupying’ Gaza. Therein lies a true double standard and a major criterion for debunking the credibility of organisations like the ICRC – the real weasels in this whole saga.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      October 12, 2013, 5:07 am

      And by the way is the ICRC accusing Egypt with the same breath of ‘occupying’ Gaza.

      That might require the government of Egypt to authorize its armed forces to patrol the skies of Gaza with drones or have its navy patrols attack fishing boats inside Gaza’s territorial waters, like the Israelis. It might require Egypt to allow its armed forces the discretion to establish kilometers-wide kill zones inside the Gaza fence, and etc. You know, the factual situation described by the ICRC spokesmen in the article when he said:

      These facts and others allow ICRC to determine that Israel exercises effective control and therefore remains bound by the law of occupation in the case of Gaza.

      In this case, you should remember that it is the ICRC that is the internationally agreed-upon treaty monitoring body or watchdog, not the ad hoc project or the report on the debates during the meetings between the invited experts. The forward to the report explains that it merely reports on the discussions and that it does not represent the ICRC’s legal positions on these issues.

    • eGuard
      eGuard
      October 12, 2013, 6:13 am

      EOZ added (although the report was careful to state that conclusions like this should not be drawn about specific situations like Gaza, see update 2 below. I am basing this statement on the arguments of occupation given in the document. I would guess that the reason that the ICRC made that disclaimer is specifically for cases like Gaza where they want to make their own legal decisions independent of what international law actually says.) to his invented “there is near-total consensus view” conclusion. In other words, EOZ rewrites the premise of the report. How scolarly.

      The main point of Phan Nuygen stands: EOZ misread, if read at all, the report in part and in whole.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        October 12, 2013, 6:32 am

        I would guess that the reason that the ICRC made that disclaimer is specifically for cases like Gaza where they want to make their own legal decisions independent of what international law actually says.)

        No, he’s got that backwards. Even the teachings of the most highly qualified experts of the various nations, is only a subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law.

        The International Court of Justice has the necessary general jurisdiction to resolve any disputes, like this one, over the interpretation of a treaty. All of that is spelled-out in Articles 36 and 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, which is an integral part of the UN Charter.

        The reason that Israel doesn’t accept the Court’s jurisdiction or any other form of dispute resolution, is so that it can go-on making its own (il)legal decisions, despite what international law actually has to say on the subject.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      October 12, 2013, 8:08 am

      One might ask though why Phan has particularly targeted EOZ with his typical hateful aplomb.

      That’s what EOZ spends all his time doing. It’s time he was exposed for the liar and disseminater that he is.

      OZ has had the magnanimity to “admit that the wording I used that the ICRC report ‘concludes’ that occupation relies on ‘boots on the ground’ was incorrect”, which has now taken the venom out of Phan’s attack

      On the contrary. Phan’s analysis has had the desired effect and EOZ had to back down.

    • jeff_davis
      jeff_davis
      March 14, 2016, 1:32 pm

      Kool-Aid from just another hasbarist. The truth got it’s boots on and, freed by the internet, is opening the eyes of the world to the truth. Including substantial numbers of those American Jews who have “a thing” for the truth. And for justice. Endeavor to persevere. Justice is coming.

  7. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    October 11, 2013, 9:03 pm

    Was the law invented for people or waist other way around? Was the word produced by the human tongues to communicate the wider realms of the thoughts or was the thought created to reaffirm the boundaries of the meanings of the words?
    Lets start with Gaza was not a sovereign entity– what the F * does it mean ? Does it mean it did not have legitimate ruler ,elected or chosen ,or imposed? Does it mean its boundary was not defined? Does it mean it did not establish a constitution does it mean it did not define who belonged to this geographical entity calling it home ?
    Gaza was full of people with same attributes that any other land has or had anywhere in history and geography. Sovereign is being defined within a very strict boundary to legit particular line of logic that is , one failing to meet those requirements could be subject to any human behavior,to any restriction,to any exploitatation.The logic is also being expanded to include blockade,restriction,and suffocation for the expanded concept of the security of the state of Israel whose sovereignty was created with illegal means and maintained by illegitimate use of arms and procurements of arms.

  8. mig
    mig
    October 11, 2013, 11:28 pm

    Implementation of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Palestinian territories: history of a multilateral process (1997-2001)

    Annexe 1: Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention
    Declaration

    Geneva, 5 December 2001

    1. This Declaration reflects the common understanding reached by the participating High Contracting Parties to the reconvened Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Conference of 15 July 1999, recommended by United Nations’ General Assembly Resolution ES-10/6 in an Emergency Special Session, issued a statement as follows :

    “…The participating High Contracting Parties reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Furthermore, they reiterated the need for full respect for the provisions of the said Convention in that Territory. Taking into consideration the improved atmosphere in the Middle East as a whole, the Conference was adjourned on the understanding that it will convene again in the light of consultations on the development of the humanitarian situation in the field.”

    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/5fldpj.htm

  9. K Renner
    K Renner
    October 12, 2013, 12:27 am

    I wonder why does he bother writing all this out.

    At his level of “intelligence”, and that of the sort of people who seriously read his blog, you’d sort of expect him to just start whining “the Red Cross is anti-Semitic” or something along those lines.

    Granted, he probably does do that.

  10. asherpat
    asherpat
    October 12, 2013, 1:08 am

    The good old Elder has touched a raw nerve here, hasn’t he.

    If it is so obvious that Gaza is “occupied” (by Israel that is, not for example, by Egypt), then why is it necessary to write thousands of words to refute Elder’s argument?

    Let’s face it, for this website, Israel is evil no matter what, and reality be damned.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      October 12, 2013, 6:00 am

      If it is so obvious that Gaza is “occupied” (by Israel that is, not for example, by Egypt), then why is it necessary to write thousands of words to refute Elder’s argument?

      It really wasn’t. The quote from the Head of the ICRC delegation to Israel and Palestine, which listed the obvious reasons in just a few sentences, concluded:

      These facts and others allow ICRC to determine that Israel exercises effective control and therefore remains bound by the law of occupation in the case of Gaza.

      The ICRC acts as the guardian of international humanitarian law, a complex role that is closely connected with its own foundation and was later formally entrusted to it by the international community. — http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/about-the-icrc-311298.htm

      Let’s face it. Israel is never going to dispute treaty interpretations anywhere except on EOZ, or some other equally unofficial forum.

    • talknic
      talknic
      October 12, 2013, 6:28 am

      @ asherpat “The good old Elder has touched a raw nerve here, hasn’t he.”

      Fools don’t touch raw nerves, they just make fools of themselves

      “Let’s face it, for this website, Israel is evil no matter what, and reality be damned”

      The reality is any state that lies, slaughters and dispossesses people to illegally acquire territory, is essentially evil. Any state that intentionally lies to its own citizens, encouraging them to break a convention specifically adopted to protect them, is essentially evil. Any state that illegally sells its citizens land in territory that does not belong to the state, is essentially evil. Any state that continues to breach laws, UN Charter and conventions adopted in large part because of what the Nazis did to our Jewish fellows, is essentially evil.

      States can and do change their policies, Germany being one. It is no longer considered to be evil.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      October 12, 2013, 11:10 am

      “If it is so obvious that Gaza is “occupied” (by Israel that is, not for example, by Egypt), then why is it necessary to write thousands of words to refute Elder’s argument?”

      Because you zios are notorious for not seeing the obvious when it concerns the evil that your little Jewish Fantasyland commits. Gaza is occupied in the same way the Warsaw Ghetto was occupied.

  11. Hostage
    Hostage
    October 12, 2013, 3:18 am

    In fact, the Israeli government currently maintains that the Gaza Strip is not and was never occupied by Israel because Gaza supposedly had no “prior legitimate sovereign.”

    I think they flip a coin after each election. In any event they are not known as sticklers for logically consistency.

    In Gaza Coast Regional Council v Knesset of Israel, the Supreme Court called attention to government claims that Gaza had been occupied all along (para.29):

    The Government clarifies that, also on its merits, the decision to evacuate settlements was legal, let alone after it was promulgated in Knesset’s legislation. This emanates from the fact that the evacuated territory is held under belligerent occupation which is temporary in nature, as well as the settlements that were established on its basis.

    Even the current government continues to channel the comatose propaganda of the former regimes on its MFA website, when it describes the applicable legal framework for the on-going armed conflict. Under the heading “The General Normative Framework, A. International Armed Conflict,” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises that:

    In particular, Israel’s High Court of Justice has confirmed that in the ongoing armed conflict with Palestinian terrorist organisations, including Hamas, Israel must adhere to the rules and principles in (a) the Fourth Geneva Convention, (b) the Regulations annexed to the Fourth Hague Convention (which reflect customary international law), and (c) the customary international law principles reflected in certain provisions of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions on 1949. Israel is not a party to the Additional Protocol I, but accepts that some of its provisions accurately reflect customary international law

    – See Terrorism obstacles to peace, Hamas war against Israel, Operation in Gaza, Factual and legal aspects, Applicable legal framework, 5 Aug 2009 at the MFA website: link to mfa.gov.il

    • asherpat
      asherpat
      October 12, 2013, 6:13 am

      @hostage,

      how is the opinion of Israeli MFA relevant to the question in hand? Let me remind you, the question is whether ICRC ignored the opinion of a group of legal experts that it (the ICRC) have assembled to opine on a particular issue. Israeli MFA opinion has nothing to do with it.

      • talknic
        talknic
        October 16, 2013, 1:00 pm

        @ asherpat ” Let me remind you, the question is whether ICRC ignored the opinion of a group of legal experts that it (the ICRC) have assembled to opine on a particular issue”

        No the ICRC did not ignore their opinion. Read the report carefully.

        The panel was assembled to assess the Laws.

        Their discussion was based on law that preceded the invention and implementation of advances in technology. Satellite surveillance, guided missiles, advanced “pin point” targeting, drones, high altitude aircraft all of which enable control over such a small area as Gaza.

        Israel, the US et al boast about these advances rendering it less and less necessary to have boots on the ground.

        However, the Hague convention is very specifically worded

        Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907 Art. 42 SECTION III

        “Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.”

        Israel has shown time and again that it can be exercised, has been exercised thru it’s incursions into Gaza whenever it likes and from the outside with its advanced military technology.

  12. eGuard
    eGuard
    October 12, 2013, 7:25 am

    Here is another shifted reasoning. It occurs solely with the ICRC annual report 2012 statements EOZ uses near the end. EOZ uses this statement to conclude “The hypocrisy of the ICRC” that is in the title, so it makes half of the logical setup.

    ICRC describes the whole area as Israel and the occupied territories. For example in “In 2012, the ICRC assisted and helped protect millions of people in critical situations, including in Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Israel and the occupied territories, Mali, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.” This is the standard phrasing by UN and UNSC rule. And EOZ knows this assuming he read a link he provided himself: http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2013/10/does-un-consider-gaza-legally-occupied.html#.UlkvNH_h9Gh Clearly that is the formal and legal wording of UN/UNSC. When describing an emergency action, ICRC identifies a subarea: “Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (Gaza Strip)”. http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/annual-report/icrc-annual-report-2012-operational-highlights.htm

    It does not hold that ICRC does “call Gaza occupied”; it identifies Gaza by the UN/UNSC name: Occupied Palestinian Territory. When I call a certain country “New Zealand” I am not expressing an opinion that it is new.

  13. Hostage
    Hostage
    October 12, 2013, 7:46 am

    @hostage,

    how is the opinion of Israeli MFA relevant to the question in hand?

    International law is simply the rules that the international community of States have adopted to govern the mutual relations. The MFA is not only in charge of conducting mutual relations on behalf of the State of Israel, the Foreign Minister is one of the two government officials of any State who has plenipotentiary or “full powers” to act independently on behalf of the State without any other credentials in order to negotiate terms, and sign or accede to treaties that actually create the rules of international law.

    The Legal Counsel of the MFA also represents the State in international Court. See Dr. Alan Baker’s written statement on behalf of the Government of Israel in the ICJ Wall Case, i.e. Letter dated 29 January 2004 from the Deputy Director General and Legal Advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Written Statement of the Government of Israel, http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1579.pdf

    Let me remind you, the question is whether ICRC ignored the opinion of a group of legal experts that it (the ICRC) have assembled to opine on a particular issue.

    The purpose of the project to hold a debate among the experts and report on adequacy of existing law. There’s no evidence that the ICRC failed to document any views presented, that it ignored the consensus of opinion, or that each and every on of the participants was considered a reliable source for determining the rules of law in the first place.

    The ICJ Statute, which is an integral part of the UN Charter, merely repeats the sources of international law contained in the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice (1920), including:

    “judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law.”

    http://www.worldcourts.com/pcij/eng/documents/1920.12.16_statute.htm#_Toc160729737

    In this case the MFA was citing binding decisions on the subject of the applicable law handed down by the top legal experts in the Israeli Supreme Court. The ICRC routinely cites both the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli Supreme Court case law as evidence for the existence of the current Customary Rules of International Humanitarian Law, e.g.
    * Israel Practice Relating to Rule 14. Proportionality in Attack http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v2_cou_il_rule14
    * Practice Relating to Rule 105. Respect for Family Life http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v2_rul_rule105
    * Israel Practice Relating to Rule 150. Reparation http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v2_cou_il_rule150

  14. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield
    October 12, 2013, 7:54 am

    Why would a Jew want to identify himself as an “elder of Zion”? For anyone who doesn’t know, this refers to a notorious document about a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world forged by the tsarist secret police (the “elders of Zion” were rabbis who supposedly met at night in a Prague cemetery). The blogger says that his choice of moniker was “ironic” but I suspect that it reflects the natural symbiosis of anti-Semitic and Zionist fantasy.

  15. talknic
    talknic
    October 12, 2013, 1:17 pm

    Monumental fail by the Elder of Ziyon

    The ICRC hopes that this report, which addresses only some selected, albeit fundamental, issues in relation to occupation and which does not represent the ICRC’s legal positions on these issueshttp://www.icrc.org/spa/assets/files/publications/icrc-002-4094.pdf

    What a hopeless incompetent

  16. annie
    annie
    October 12, 2013, 1:24 pm

    phan, in your update, the “cached version here” link reads:

    The requested URL /search?q=cache:fOn1Y1VbuqAJ:elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-hypocrisy-of-icrc-and-definition-of.html was not found on this server. That’s all we know.

    not sure if that was your intent.

  17. Talkback
    Talkback
    October 13, 2013, 5:42 am

    Security Council resolution 1860, 8 January 2009:
    “… the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 …”

    Imagine Israel was occupied and occupying troops would no longer stand in Tel Aviv, but camp outside of it. EOZ would have to claim that Tel Aviv no longer constitutes an integral part of occupied Israel. LOL.

    Maybe his view is also that the Warsaw Ghetto was not a part of occupied Poland and even liberated. Who knows …

  18. eGuard
    eGuard
    October 13, 2013, 9:00 am

    In another update EOZ added that the term “hypocrisy” was perhaps too harsh. Even worse I say. It was a false conclusion.

    So he had to change “ICRC conclusion” to “Roberts’ appendix”; change “conclusions from the report” into “they disclaimed concluding, but still I do”; ICRC unambiguously stated on his blog that the Gaza Strip is still occupied; walks back from “hypocrisy” into eh something else. And still EOZ has the nerve to state that Phan Nguyen was only “concentrating on minor mistakes I made”. I say that you demolished his point greatly, Phan.

    Meanwhile EOZ promised to revisit the topic next week, about the “sui generis” reasoning (singling out Israel!) and about his “hypocrisy” conclusion. No doubt this time he has to read the whole 151 page report while finding Phan’s piece here lengthy :-). I’m looking forward to his next piece. Phan’s, I mean.

  19. just
    just
    October 16, 2013, 7:17 am

    EOZ earned his paycheck from the US and Israeli Fund for hasbara forever.

    Now that paycheck is not in the mail. (I hope)

    Thanks Phan.

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