Anti-Israel articles are a dime-a-dozen lately, although usually they don't appear in the opinion section of the Wall Street Journal. But today George Bisharat, a law professor in San Francisco -- big surprise there -- has an amazingly intellectually dishonest column entitled "Israel Is Committing War Crimes." Bisharat begins by making an obviously false assertion, writing
Israel's current assault on the Gaza Strip cannot be justified by self-defense.What about the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel? They don't count as attacks. No, really. According to Bisharat, firing rockets at Israel aren't "serious violations of the peace." It's just a "border skirmish," and therefore no big deal. Since being attacked by rockets is nothing serious, Israel's response is totally unjustified. That's actually the entire basis of his argument.
He extends this line of "thinking" to the truce between Hamas and Israel. Although he admits to violations on both sides, he writes that
Israel then broke the truce on Nov. 4, raiding the Gaza Strip and killing a Palestinian.But why did Israel do that? Well, Bisharat notes that prior to that action "Hamas permitted sporadic rocket fire."
Now to normal rational people who don't hate Israel, the Israeli action on November 4 might have had just a tiny bit to do with that rocket fire, and one might think that the truce had already been broken. But no, remember that Bisharat doesn't think rocket fire into Israel qualifies as anything significant. The Israelis should have just accepted it and done nothing. Therefore Israel broke the truce by responding to attacks that aren't really attacks, according to this lawyer. Since they had no justification for their actions, everything they've done since qualifies as a war crime in an illegal war. See how neat it is?
Bisharat goes on to make more ridiculous arguments about Israel targeting civilians in Gaza, conveniently ignoring everything about the way Hamas operates, the fact that civilian buildings often contain military targets, the fact that if Israel wanted to target civilians, there'd already be tens of thousands dead, and military reality in general. He concludes with a one-sided picture with poor oppressed Palestinians on one side, and the evil war criminals of Israel on the other.
The entire article is based on the completely irrational premise that rocket attacks on a country don't justify a military response. I'm not sure why the Wall Street Journal decided to give this clueless anti-Israel propagandist a forum. Maybe they just wanted to illustrate the intellectual dishonesty and inability to reason that characterize many who hate Israel.