Stop the Hypocrisy

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Stop the hypocrisy — Let the IDF finish the job!

After weeks of unrelenting rocket attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the Israeli government has concluded that the only method of eradicating the terrorist murderous actions is by a ground operation and demilitarization of Gaza.

Within minutes of the IDF’s entry into Gaza, a number of world leaders were quick to condemn Israel’s military response. Currently, US President Barak Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are pressuring Prime Minister Netanyahu to restrict military operations to the Hamas tunnels, and to exercise “reasonableness and restraint” and abide by rules of “proportionality.” 

There is a clear double standard at work in the US leaders’ rhetoric. The US has a long history of destroying armed enemy forces without restraint, causing mass civilian and military casualties when it assumed the role of a foreign military intervener in regional conflict, or actively invading a country to prevent potential danger to the lives of US citizens.

Several examples below shed light on this truth:

1.      During the Kosovo War, NATO, led by the US, fought an unauthorized military campaign against Yugoslavia.  In the course of the “humanitarian” campaign, NATO launched 2,300 missiles at 990 targets and dropped 14,000 bombs, including depleted uranium bombs and cluster munitions. Over 2,000 civilians were killed, and NATO airstrikes destroyed more than 300 schools, libraries, and over 20 hospitals.

2.      The War in Afghanistan followed the attacks of September 11, 2001, with the aim of dismantling al-Qaeda. The United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom and estimates of casualties vary from 18,000 to 50,000 deaths. In the first stage of the war, the US killed 1300 civilians by bombing the Tora Bora mountains; by contrast, the IDF has killed less than 500 civilians while operating the world’s most densely populated region. 

3.      During the US’s armed conflict in Iraq, estimates vary from 90,000 to 600,000 deaths attributed directly to American forces.   

Conveniently, America typically carries out its military operations far from its shores. Israel does not have this luxury.  Israel is forced to defend its home against an enemy that uses its own population as human shields. Worse, Hamas places its artillery in populated civilians center to deter the IDF from engaging with the terrorists.

It is unreasonable of the US to demand that Israel abide by rules of warfare that the US has rejected for its own armed forces, and to exercise more restraint than the US would under similar circumstances. 

 

Read the White House Press Release calling for Israelis to do “more” here.

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Let Israel Get the Job Done

Eitan barak

Israelis who went to last Thursday night with mixed emotions over reports that the Gaza ground operation had been commenced, awoke this morning saddened to hear that an IDF soldier had been killed in the the first night’s fighting.  The funeral of  z”l of Herziliya (pictured here) took place Friday morning, and unfortunately, the number of fallen soldiers has increased.

After weeks of  Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians, the government arrived at its conclusion that there was no way to stop the terrorist attacks short of sending in ground forces and chose not to wait any longer. Reports in the media are saying that the foiled Hamas tunnel attack aiming to carry out a massacre at  Gaza border kibbutz on Thursday morning tipped the scales in favor of a ground operation. Although the publicly announced goal is to destroy Hamas’ dangerous network of  tunnels in the Northern Gaza Strip, the IDF and intelligence branches, in fact, have many different operational objectives — eradicating arms depots and launchers, arresting terrorist commanders, capturing Hamas political leaders and seizing the terrorist’s economic assets — they are hoping to accomplish. 

Moving forward cautiously, it will likely take the IDF many days to carry out these crucial missions.

Within minutes of the IDF’s entrance into the terrorist enclave several of the world leaders who remained largely silent during the weeks Israelis were being sent daily into bomb shelters, suddenly sprang back to life and now felt the need to focus their attention and comments on the Gaza conflict. The UN immediately demanded Israel enter into another unilateral ceasefire with the terrorists. EU leaders bizarrely condemned the IDF entry into Gaza as “collective punishment”. The US State Department called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to restrict military operations to the Hamas tunnels. Most annoying of all was the statement by France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who swiftly announced that: “‎France is extremely concerned by the Israeli decision to launch a ground offensive in Gaza. It calls on Israel to show the utmost restraint.”  France which cannot even secure the Jewish community of Paris’ safety and which allows Islamic radicals to siege synagogues,  is worried about the Palestinians and wants the IDF to show restraint.

All of these condemnations and demands for restraint by world bodies and allies within the first hours of the operation are truly troubling.

Many Israelis opposed the IDF’s decision to send foot soldiers in Gaza for ethical reasons. Why, we insisted, did IDF soldiers like Eitan Barak have to be killed when the Israeli air force could have done the job from the skies?   Why was such dramatic concern over safeguarding the lives of Gaza’s civilians given special priority and importance over the lives of Israeli civilians and soldiers?  Why endanger infantry troops and the residents of Israeli cities when there are less dangerous alternatives available?

The commencement of the ground operation last evening has made these questions largely academic now. The main concern is that once the IDF has entered Gaza that it now be allowed to carry out all its tasks and deliver to Hamas and Islamic Jihad the destructive punishment they justly deserve. Israel must be allowed to dismantle as much of the terrorist infrastructure as we can. Now that we are in Gaza we must accomplish everything we have been waiting years to carry out. We are paying the price already with the blood of our young people.  

We are, however, very fearful that as the condemnations of the IDF operation in Gaza continue to escalate and the global media begins to accuse Israel of war crimes again, that our political leaders will give in to the intense international pressure for a ceasefire with the terrorists.   This cannot be allowed! The main thing that needs to be done and which Israel’s supporters around the world need to ensure is that the IDF be permitted to finish its work in Gaza. The IDF and intelligence branches need to be allowed the time to get the Gaza job done.

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Summer Internship Update with Photos

On top of dedicating their time and valuable hard work to our cases, Shurat HaDin’s summer interns are exploring Israel, taking trips to Jerusalem, Masada, and the Dead Sea, as well as experiencing Israel’s culinary delights.  Check out some photos below.

CIMG3074 IMG_5420 IMG_5507 IMG_5508 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Stop Funding Convicted Terrorists’ Salaries!

Parliament

The Dutch parliament unanimously passed a vote to halt funds to the Palestinian Authority. The lawmakers intend to review budgets submitted by the PA to determine where the funds are going, in advance of approving any future transfer of funds, and called to end the Palestinian Authority’s payments of salaries to terrorists.

The Netherlands donates $88 million annually to the Palestinian Authority in addition to another about $24 million that it donates to UNRWA, according to De Telegraaf daily.

The parliament asserts that since 2011, the Palestinian Authority transfers money to Palestinian convicts in Israeli prisons, effectively rewarding and encouraging criminality and terrorism.

Shurat HaDin calls on the U.S. government, the European Union, and the Israeli government to follow Holland and freeze annual donations to the Palestinian Authority.

Lawmakers, stop the flow of terrorist funds now! If you stop the flow of the money, you stop the flow of the terrorism!

 

Read full article at http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.604785

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Shurat HaDin Fights for Human Rights at the ICC

ICC

 

Press Release

Fighting against terror and for human rights around the world

Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, is currently at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, where a coalition of Cypriot human rights organizations are pursuing legal action against Turkey with the help of Shurat HaDin. 

Turkey repeatedly and audaciously condemns and attacks Israel; it has even sued the state of Israel for tens of millions to compensate for the death on several participants on the Mavi Marmara, a flotilla carrying provisions to Gaza in 2010. Ironically, Turkey has been committing war crimes for over 40 years crimes against the population of northern Cyprus, which it invaded in 1974.

Shurat HaDin, in response to the Cypriot human rights organizations’ request for assistance, has collected the necessary legal materials for the lawsuit and prepared an indictment. 

The current cause of action against Turkey continues Shurat HaDin’s mission of standing side by side with human rights organizations and victims of state supporters of terrorism around the world, such as North Korea, the PKK, and others.  We continue to stand guard and strike terror organizations and their State sponsors through courts, and through their wallets, one lawsuit at a time.

Shurat HaDin

Fighting Terrorism – Doing Justice

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Shurat HaDin Calls on IDF to safeguard Israel’s citizens, not Hamas

unnamed

By Nitsana Darshan-Leitner

 

As the the IDF operation against the Hamas and Islamic terrorist regime in Gaza continues, thousands of Israeli reserve soldiers are being called to their bases in the South of the country. At the same time, rockets fired by the Palestinians in Gaza continue to target Israeli civilian communities all across the Jewish State. The country remains very unified and strong but the constant state of alarm and the warning sirens sounding throughout the day have disrupted the lives of millions of Israelis.  Repeatedly throughout the past 24 hours, we in the Shurat HaDin offices in Tel-Aviv have had to take shelter in our building’s protective area in response to the sirens and the reports of missiles fired towards the Gush Dan region. It is very startling to hear the alarms go off and then the sounds of the aerial explosions, as the Iron Dome system intercepts the terrorists rockets.

It is shocking that in 2014 no other Jewish community anywhere in the world has faced these sorts unrelenting terrorist attacks attempting to murder their woman  and children. And for too long we have been willing to put up with it.

One of the reasons that the Israeli Air Force has had such trouble taking out the terrorist commanders and their rocket crews is because they are deeply embedded within the Gaza civilian population. The terrorist learned from the brutal beating they were administered by the IDF during Operation Cast Lead in 2008 and have changed their tactics.  Today, the Hamas leaders operate solely from inside schools, mosques, apartment buildings and hospitals. The rockets and their launchers are also hidden away inside of these civilian centers. It is virtually impossible for the IDF to strike at the launchers without endangering the lives of the Gaza civilians who act as human shields for the terrorist infrastructure.  They just cannot get a clear shot. Each alleged civilian causality is widely publicized in the international media to brand the IDF as war criminals. This, at the same time Hamas and Islamic Jihad deliberately target Israeli civilians!

The IDF has tried to cope with this challenging situation by adopting policies of restraint designed to minimize the Palestinian civilian deaths. Perhaps most troubling is the “knock on the roof” policy enacted by the IDF to warn the terrorists before the Air Force strikes. The IDF  has been telephoning  the terrorists’ homes and warning them to get out before they are bombed. Sometimes the IDF fires a small warning shot before a larger bomb is dropped in order to allow whomever wants to escape to flee. Frequently, the terrorist utilize this Israeli warning to send children up to the roofs of their houses to compel the IDF not to rocket them.

Unfortunately, these IDF warnings and the “knock on the roof” policies have resulted in numerous terrorist leaders being able to flee before the army can target them. Since the start of  Operation Protective Edge, Israel has destroyed the homes of Hamas military brigade commanders, political leaders, rocket manufacturers, field officers and buildings that housed explosive factories but has not managed to kill these dangerous terrorists themselves. This means the leaders then have the opportunity to organize and order further missile attacks on Israeli cities and towns. The result is they have additional opportunities to murder our civilians.

Shurat HaDin is calling on Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and the IDF senior leadership to discontinue these misguided policies. As long as the terrorists are embedded in the Gaza civilian population, hide in civilian homes and hospitals, refuse to wear military insignias and launch missiles from heavily populated Gaza neighborhoods, the IDF has a right and a moral obligation to carry out the targeted killings of the terrorist leaders and missile crews without warnings. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are in clear violation of international law and the IDF has an operational necessity to hit the terrorists before they kill any additional Israelis. There is no need to warn the terrorists before the IDF strikes them and no moral reason to give the Palestinian civilian population a preference over the Israeli civilian population’s safety and protection. The IDF was formed to protect Israel’s civilians and it is to Israelis it owes its first obligations. As the great sage Hillel said: “If I am not for myself, who is for me?”

Thousands of  young Israeli soldiers do not have to risk their lives going into the terrorist enclaves of Gaza simply because the IDF wants to show the world how ethical we are.  The IDF must place Israel’s own interests above and beyond everything else. Hamas started this war, let them be responsible for safeguarding their own civilians. Discontinue the telephone warnings and the “knock on the roof” policies that allow the terrorists to fight another day.

Let us pray that this will end soon.

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Kicking off our Summer 2014 Internship Program

Shurat Hadin-Israel Law Center's Summer 2014 Interns

Our interns have arrived!

Hailing from an array of law schools and backgrounds, the interns have set to work on a multitude of legal research and writing projects.

Below is a small sampling of their current projects:

  • forensic work on bank accounts used for terror fund transfers
  • research relating to damages in anti-terror cases, such as I-CANN 
  • an appellate brief relating to funding of terror activities
  • jury instructions for a current case

In addition, our interns have taken field trips to Jerusalem and participated in number of briefings and lectures from noted speakers, professors, lawyers, and anti-terror experts.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts about the program! 

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The Arnie Silverman Internship Program

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Schooling the ASA on boycotting Israel (Times of Israel)

By Nitsana Darshan-Leitner

Last week, the American Studies Association’s (ASA) national council, unanimously passed a resolution calling for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The ASA, which bills itself as the “oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history,” then took the unusual step of asking its reportedly 5,000 members to cast their own votes on upholding the anti-Israel policy. While the deadline to reject the resolution runs out today, Sunday, December 15, the ASA scholars, which fancy themselves as the leading authorities on all things American, seem to have overlooked one small matter – a boycott resolution of this nature violates international, federal and state law in the United States. They leave the ASA and its membership open to both civil and criminal liability.

Continue reading on Times of Israel

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Make Iran pay for terrorism it sponsored (The Hill)

By Nitsana Darshan-Leitner

As lawyers representing the bereaved families and victims of terrorist attacks funded, supported and perpetrated by the Iranian regime, we are both surprised and dismayed at Under Secretary Wendy Sherman’s failure to respond to our letter last month calling for the remembrance and due reparation of the victims of terror in her diplomatic effort with the Iranian regime in the most current round of negotiations. As the negotiations with Iran led by Under Secretary Sherman continue, we call on Congress to ensure that the U.S. government is working to keep the interests of the terror victims’ families on the table.

As a result of lawsuits taken by American victims of terror in U.S. courts, the Iranian regime currently owes billions of dollars from decades of terrorist activity resulting in dozens of victims and severed families. This debt has yet to be recognized or paid by the Iranian government with no sign of an intention to do so.

Our letter called for justice.  We wrote that “Iran must not be allowed under any circumstances to avoid making payment of reparations and due compensations to the families of those whose lives they have destroyed through terrorism…and through the terror organizations it supports: Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah”.

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