Hamas’ War Crimes

In a short New Atlanticist piece on “Hamas’ War Crimes,” I remind people that, while Israel isn’t the only party in the ongoing conflict in Gaza whose conduct deserves scrutiny.

By flouting rules designed to protect noncombatants from the ravages of war, they themselves are making it more probable that their own people will be killed. From their perspective, that’s a feature rather than a bug, in that the Israelis will get most of the blame and thus more funding and recruits will come in Hamas’ direction.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, Terrorism, World Politics, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. mike says:

    Are we taking bets on whether the UN or World Court will bring charges? I am guessing they will not.

  2. caj says:

    Israel’s actions will only encourage more and more Palestinian people and other’s to take more aggressive action toward them, Israel does not take criticism well from any quarter.
    No one flounts the international law better than Israel, it’s like they think the law does not apply to them!!! We cannot have laws put in place for whoever it may be and then just tossed side like it does not matter or apply to them.

  3. mike says:

    caj – I hope you were exaggerating – there are dozens of nations that “flount” international law more than Israel – the difference is that Israel is considered a modern/western country and thus the rules that everyone else follows applies – even then, if canada or mexico fired rockets at US civilian targets, you would change your tune – we would obliterate those countries if the government did such things to us as Hamas is doing to Israel.

  4. Moonbat Boy says:

    The left and terrorists don’t care how many civilians die or who’s responsible – as long as they can blame the US and their proxies.

  5. caj says:

    caj – I hope you were exaggerating – there are dozens of nations that “flount” international law more than Israel – the difference is that Israel is considered a modern/western country and thus the rules that everyone else follows applies – even then, if canada or mexico fired rockets at US civilian targets, you would change your tune – we would obliterate those countries if the government did such things to us as Hamas is doing to Israel.

    Posted by mike | January 11, 2009

    Israel may not be alone here but they sure take some beating when it comes to doing just as they please and giving the US and rest of the world the finger!!
    Of course if you are being bombarded you attack, my argument here is the level of fire power and military might that Israel have compared to Palestine. Not many see the significance of how powerful Israel is in comparison and they want to be seen as the victims as if Palestine is not important and that they are also losing people as well….lots and lots of people!!!!
    So, I really don’t have any time for this constant support of Israel at all costs, their lives are no more important than the Palestinian people.

  6. Sadly James, some people do seem to need to be reminded. Maybe I’m readng too much into it but this does help to illustrate the double standard that is in effect.

  7. Bithead says:

    As an aside to a previous conversation… ( https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/hamas_is_not_an_iranian_proxy/ ) anyone who thinks Iran isn’t on the opposite end of the Palestinian puppet strings ought to check this article out in the Jerusalem Post this morning.

    Iran is exerting heavy pressure on Hamas not to accept the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with Israel, an Egyptian government official said on Sunday.


    The Egyptian official said that the two Iranian emissaries, Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, and Said Jalili of the Iranian Intelligence Service, met in the Syrian capital with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ramadan Shallah.

    “As soon as the Iranians heard about the Egyptian cease-fire initiative, they dispatched the two officials to Damascus on an urgent mission to warn the Palestinians against accepting it,” the Egyptian government official told the Post.

    “The Iranians threatened to stop weapons supplies and funding to the Palestinian factions if they agreed to a cease-fire with Israel. The Iranians want to fight Israel and the US indirectly. They are doing this through Hamas in Palestine and Hizbullah in Lebanon”.

  8. G.A.Phillips says:

    So, I really don’t have any time for this constant support of Israel at all costs, their lives are no more important than the Palestinian people.

    dude why? This is not a game, like us they use so much restraint that it is foolish in the name of fighting a PC war with a mortal enemy.

    and to say that we should not support Israel at all costs, man were could you be coming from with that?

    and to say their lives not being more important is a strawman from the depths of irrationality.

    what you are trying to say is that Israel is not as important as any one else, lol please find some true world history and read it.

    They bend over backwards not to kill bystanders, as do we, how about the guys you are so worried about, me thinks not.

  9. Floyd says:

    caj;
    Do you really believe that Israel has no right to self defense? Perhaps their big mistake was made in 1967, by not deporting all inhabitants of all land taken, instead of wasting decades trying to accommodate their mortal enemies within their borders?

  10. Bithead says:

    Do you really believe that Israel has no right to self defense? Perhaps their big mistake was made in 1967, by not deporting all inhabitants of all land taken, instead of wasting decades trying to accommodate their mortal enemies within their borders?

    Ding,Ding,Ding,Ding,Ding!!!
    We have a winner!

    It is long past time for us to disabuse ourselves of the notion that this business with Israel and its neighbors is going to come to some kind of mutually agreeable end, anytime soon without the full weight of warfare being brought to bear against the Palestinians. It’s time to dismiss the notion that civilization is going to ultimately have any sway whatever over a group of people who insist on remaining in the fourteenth century and who are by their own words willing to kill a thousand of their own people for the purpose of killing one Jew

  11. Michael says:

    Perhaps their big mistake was made in 1967, by not deporting all inhabitants of all land taken, instead of wasting decades trying to accommodate their mortal enemies within their borders?

    They wouldn’t have had to deport them, they could have incorporated them. The Palestinians are not the Israeli’s mortal enemy, they lived together for decades in relative peace prior to the creation of the state of Israel. If it weren’t for the two-state solution that defined and divided them, they could still be living together peacefully.

  12. Michael says:

    It is long past time for us to disabuse ourselves of the notion that this business with Israel and its neighbors is going to come to some kind of mutually agreeable end, anytime soon without the full weight of warfare being brought to bear against the Palestinians.

    I don’t suppose that Israel’s other neighbors are going to just say “oh well” when Israel completely subjugates Palestine. Either there will be genocide that will require direct confrontation, or there will be refugees that will require their continued opposition. Since no Arab country is going to incorporate dispersed Palestinians into their national identity, this would not end Israel’s problem with them.

  13. Bithead says:

    Apparently, the entire concept of dealing from a position of strength has given you a total slip.

  14. Michael says:

    Apparently, the entire concept of dealing from a position of strength has given you a total slip.

    Please explain.

  15. caj says:

    caj;
    Do you really believe that Israel has no right to self defensePosted by Floyd
    | January 12, 2009 | 11:01 am.

    There is a difference between self defense and genocide which is what they are doing in Gaza!!!

  16. Bithead says:

    Please explain.

    Had a buddy in high school who used to get beat up and otherwise harrased as a matter of routine. Finally, one day, he said ‘that’s enough’ and proceeded to retaliate. Turns out, he was better with his fists than he’d led himself to think. And guess what? The nonsense stopped. Obviusly, the reason for that was that they didnt want retaliation happening to them. Kept the peace for the remainder of the high schol years. He even got fairly freindly with a few of them.

    There is a difference between self defense and genocide which is what they are doing in Gaza!!!

    The context of that statement can be found on any stable floor, though in lesser amounts.

    How many peple considering genocide, call the people in the places they’re about to attack, letting them know they’re going to do so? Sounds to me like they’re hoping to minimise civilian casualties. That hardly strikes me as anything like genocide.

    As opposed to Hamas, who simply lobs missiles willy nilly into Israel. And you charge Israel with genocide? Do you actually think about this stuff or are you simply saying what your pals are telling you to say?

  17. Michael says:

    Had a buddy in high school who used to get beat up and otherwise harrased as a matter of routine. Finally, one day, he said ‘that’s enough’ and proceeded to retaliate. Turns out, he was better with his fists than he’d led himself to think. And guess what? The nonsense stopped. Obviusly, the reason for that was that they didnt want retaliation happening to them. Kept the peace for the remainder of the high schol years. He even got fairly freindly with a few of them.

    Lets examine that situation. Said bully had little to gain by continuing violence, and it turns out much to lose. Said friend had little left to lose by resorting to violence,and much to gain by doing so.

    In regards to the situation in the middle east, Hamas has little left to lose from the violence, and much to potentially gain. Israel, on the other hand, doesn’t have much left to gain, and stands to lose quite a bit.

    The only difference is that, in your situation, the ending of violence was the goal of your friend, while it is not the goal of Hamas.

    Lets suppose that said bully had, over the years, taken a significant amount of lunch money from your friend. Now, once your friend decides to fight back, he is no longer willing to stop if the bully stops, he decides he will keep fighting him until he repays all that lunch money.

  18. Bithead says:

    Lets examine that situation.

    Yes, let’s.

    Said bully had little to gain by continuing violence, and it turns out much to lose.

    But never learned that lesson until he got his butt kicked in a rather decisive fashion. Funny; once that happened, the friends around him giving him legitimacy, kinda shrank away.

    Any more questions?

  19. G.A.Phillips says:

    There is a difference between self defense and The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.

    which is what they are doing in Gaza!!!

    Good golly,

    The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group, dude why, ain’t this what most Arabs try to do to Jews,not to mention all the countries who have tried to do it to the Jews, and what liberals do to babies.

    -The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group-. hmm………

  20. Michael says:

    But never learned that lesson until he got his butt kicked in a rather decisive fashion. Funny; once that happened, the friends around him giving him legitimacy, kinda shrank away.

    But there was never any question about Israel’s ability to harm Hamas, or really any question about Hama’s ability to pose an existential threat to Israel. And I don’t see any of Hamas’ international supporters shrinking away because of it, if Hamas is no longer in the fight they’ll just find someone else to back.

    Delivering a crushing blow to Hamas won’t up-end this situation like it did with your friend.