Thursday, January 8, 2009

How the Nutty Professor Misstates, Misrepresents and Misapplies the Law

The Dershowitz Check-Up Continues


"In the minds of some of his colleagues, and a law student reporter at the Harvard Law Record, Professor Alan Dershowitz's unique views of Israel's obligations under international law are reflected in the "private legal memoranda" that he churns out from time to time in his moonlighting job as "Of Counsel to the Government of Israel". In this role, as one of his former students explained, Harvard's Nutty Professor advises Israel "how to appear to be acting legally to the eyes of the American public".

One recent bit of international legal advice that Dershowitz is said to be particularly proud of is his recent Memorandum regarding the current 'Legal Standard' identifying those who the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) can 'legally' target in Gaza. These days one can witness his opus mini being read word for word off a cue card by IDF spokesman, Benjamin Rutland.

Mr. Rutland, speaking on January 3, 2009 to FOX TV by video-link, read to the interviewer,

"Our definition of who we can legally target is that it can be anyone, I repeat, anyone, who is involved in any way, as the Government of Israel shall determine, with terrorism or who supports Hamas, in any qualitative way. That person obviously becomes a lawful target. This ranges from the strictly military institutions and includes the political institutions that provide the logistical funding and human resources for the terrorist arm of Hamas."

The extremely broad scope of the IDF's new 'legal standard' would appear to mean that Israel can now legally kill anyone in Gaza including the 48 civilians seeking shelter in UNWRA's Fakhura girls elementary school or the three members of the Al-Sultan family, 15 hours earlier, as they emerged from the toilets in the courtyard of Asma school, in the Shati refugee camp north of Gaza City.

Philippe Sands, Professor of International Law, University College London notes, "Once you extend the definition of combatants in the way that IDF is doing and associate individuals who are only indirectly or peripherally involved, it becomes an open-ended definition, which undermines the very object and purpose of the rules that are intended to be applied."..... "

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