Thursday, March 1, 2007
Is the IDF using 'human shields' in the West Bank?
A recent ISRAELI report holds that the IDF has been using 'human shields' in its operation in Nablus. There was on-scene filming by Channel 10 news, and the Jerusalem Post reported this as using 'human shields.' Haaretz, Arutz Sheva, and Y Net News have not weighed in on this yet. What is it that happened? It is clear from the photos on JPost's website that a Palestinian was used to open the door to a home that might have weapons/guns/munitions, in order to basically prevent the person inside from opening fire on the IDF. This was already ruled illegal by the Israeli Supreme Court. I ask you kind folks whether this should be considered the use of 'human shields.' Lest we forget the difference between this and what the Palestinians do - they use human shields to protect weapons factories and terrorists. The IDF, in this instance, used the Palestinian to prevent open fire on the IDF, and a resulting return fire. Some of the human shields' Palestinians use are voluntary, and some are not. In the case of the Palestinian used by the IDF, it most probably was NOT voluntary. Is this morally the same thing? My thought is that this is NOT the same thing. Israel used this person in order to PREVENT gun fire from erupting (due to Palestinians protecting munitions sites), and SAVE lives. The Palestinians use human shields in order to shame Israel when it acts in its military capacity to seek out terrorists (by inadvertant death to civilians - in other words, the Palestinians WANT these civilians to die), or to prevent the IDF from going after weapon factories, and gun and drug smuggling tunnels. In short, the motives are totally different. War is hell. Sometimes tactics such as what was recently used by the IDF are necessary...and the term 'human shield' has a politically loaded implication and should NOT be used to describe what the IDF did. Yet the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that measures used to protect the lives of the IDF are illegal. They are hampering the war effort. And for that matter, just who is on the Israeli Supreme Court, anyway? This is an issue, as there evidently is a court limitation bill in the works. Carl in Jerusalem wrote a report...and it may surprise you.