Canary in the Coal Mine


Evelyn Gordon, over at Commentary‘s Contentions blog, notes the following trend (not for the first time):

The international response to the Fatah-Hamas unity deal provides yet another example of a troubling development. Alone among the nations, Israel is increasingly denied the protections of the laws of war.

Thus, for instance, the West denounces Israel’s targeted killings of Hamas leaders even as it correctly deems America’s targeted killing of Al-Qaida’s leader perfectly legitimate (a double standard skewered by Alan Dershowitz this week).

Now the same double standard is being applied to Israel’s suspension of fund transfers to the Palestinian Authority. The U.S. and Europe have both demanded that Israel resume the transfers.

She needn’t worry.  The double standard won’t last long:

Former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt told German TV the operation could have incalculable consequences in the Arab world at a time of unrest there.

“It was quite clearly a violation of international law,” .

It was a view echoed by high-profile Australian human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson.

“It’s not justice. It’s a perversion of the term. Justice means taking someone to court, finding them guilty upon evidence and sentencing them,” Robertson told Australian Broadcasting Corp television from London.

Hey, they don’t call them kangaroo courts for nothing:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing a criminal complaint from a labor judge in Hamburg for saying she’s “happy” that U.S. forces managed to kill al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, Hamburger Morgenpost reported.

Judge Heinz Uthmann, 54, who’s served at Hamburg’s labor court for 21 years, claims the chancellor acted illegally by approving of criminal offences, the newspaper said, citing an interview with Uthmann. The judge, who said he was acting as a law-abiding citizen, asked prosecutors to investigate.

Those of us who seek to preserve Israel’s freedom to act in practice, and not merely in theory, are also looking to preserve the moral and diplomatic basis for our own latitude to do so.

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