Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Frightening

This is one of six "spies" murdered in Gaza today. It reminds me of the dragging death of James Byrd in Texas many years ago. That was called a hate crime and his killers got the death penalty.

Update: Diane Feinsteinsaid, “I hope people see Hamas for what it is, and that is using their own people as human shields,” Feinstein said. “Putting these missiles and rockets in places right in the middle of residential areas, in homes and mosques and parks — you don’t do this. I mean, this borders on being an international war crime. Now the problem is, Hamas isn’t a member of either of the organizations — the Geneva Conventions or others that would hold this as a war crime. So, it’s a very difficult situation. Our solidarity has to be with Israel. This is a point where Israel has been under attack for a long period of time, and nothing has solved it.”

Uh, actually, something being a war crime does not depend on whether Hamas agrees to abide by the Geneva Conventions. The nature of the act does not change just because they haven't joined the club. The issue with this is that it's an internal conflict, rather than an international conflict. In internal conflicts, not a state v. state conflict, the full Geneva Conventions do not apply. This is clearly a crime because it appears those killed were not given due process before being executed. The technical charge of "war crime" still might properly apply under Article 3 of the Conventions that governs internal conflicts. Any application of the Conventions requires a multi-step analysis. If the motorcycle gang above can't be linked to an organized group, this couldn't be called a war crime, only mob violence or a riot.

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