Monday, July 12, 2004

They've found our vulnerability!

The recent "ruling" of the International "Court" of "Justice" against Israel's right to self-defense reminds me of various installments of assorted Star Trek series in which the captain and/or crew of the Enterprise, having exercised their ingenuity and stamina to save the universe from imminent destruction, are then hauled up before some tribunal, legitimate or tyrannical, on charges of violating military orders, interplanetary law, natural justice or what have you. (Take, for example, Star Trek IV, Star Trek VI, Encounter at Farpoint.)

Since ancient times, the Jewish people have been strong believers in universal justice and the rule of law. You can persecute us, you can massacre us, but don't you dare accuse us of lawlessness! Have the Arabs concluded that they can't defeat us with guns or bombs, but they can with lawyers and judges?

Unfortunately, they've presumably concluded that they can defeat us in the courtroom while they continue to assault us with guns and bombs. Apparently, bombing buses and cafes is an understandable reaction to Israel's outrageous lawbreaking.

I haven't read the "court"'s "opinion", but I did browse the dissent of the American judge, Thomas Buergenthal. He notes (after objecting to the court's decision to hear the case at all) that the court has, in effect, ruled that the right to national self-defense guaranteed in the United Nations Charter only applies "in the case of armed attack by one State against another State".

In other words, the court has ruled that a nation has no right to defend itself against terrorists, or other non-state threats! I wonder whether our European "allies" agree?

Many have noted that Israel is the only side in this conflict that even attempts to abide by national and international law towards its enemies. But one increasingly wonders why we bother.

This should go without saying, but the legitimacy of law is not inherent in its being law. It derives from its representation of some form of higher justice. Some laws may be closer to that ideal than others, but law which serves the purposes of the powers which define it, which is interpreted arbitrarily and which bears no visible relationship to the principles of justice, is nothing more than corruption.

See, for example, the story of Lot, newly arrived in Sodom, who was berated by the locals for trying to prevent them from raping his houseguests: "Has this one come to reside here and now he acts as a judge?" The city is soon destroyed by fire and brimstone.

The UN, too, is beyond salvation.

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