30 January, 2009

Olmert: War crime now official Israeli policy

Today Israeli PM Ehud Olmert announced that his nation will respond aggressively to further provocations from the Gaza Strip. Fine: in an counter-insurgency mission (which is basically what Gaza was supposed to be) gross overreaction is strategic blunder 101, and its unfortunate for Israel that its leaders insist on digging larger and larger holes to crawl out of, but that's Olmert's decision to make.

Then he said, by way of clarification, clearly and in quotes, that such response would be "severe and disproportionate". Olmert is literally declaring ahead of time that a preconceived and planned military operation authorized directly by him personally will have as a purposeful feature the direct violation of one of the most basic rules of waging war. And besides proportionality, this is also clearly a reference to a purposeful policy of collective punishment, an equally serious offense. I know its anti-semitic and unserious to say so too loudly, but Olmert is a confessed war criminal and he's admitting that Israeli military policy intentionally consists of massive war crimes. But it has to be said. This kind of thing obviously doesn't do the peace process any good but it also doesn't do Israel any good. US policy needs to save Israel from itself here by showing some tough love.

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