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Prevention is better than war

Reader comment on item: Gaza's Not the Key, Philadelphi Is

Submitted by R.B. (United States), Nov 27, 2012 at 17:25

Hamas, by all hard facts and their brief history, is a war-making machine, and Gaza is simply their factory. They consistently arm themselves with offensive-only weapons, not defensive. No one is interested in attacking a poor, over-populated, block of land that can barely feed itself. Therefore all weapons that enter it are for planned future aggression against Israel. And with Iran the primary supplier of these offensive missiles, Iran is comitting indirect aggression through its Hamas proxy.

To avoid future disproportionate responses and the Hamas-designed collateral damage to its sacrificed citizens, it would seem obvious that Israel has a moral duty to proclaim its prevention of more weapons into Gaze based on the well-established doctrine of "anticipatory self-defense." The only other choice is to wait and then have to invade Gaza, naturally destroy more than is required, and try to defend their action to the Arab-block supporters in the U.N. The same group that ignores massive and continual violations of war crimes by Hamas and Hezbollah.

According to Antonio Cassese, a foremost expert on international law and author of a main textbook on the subject, "international practice shows that military aggression increasingly takes the form of a gradual infiltration of armed forces and groups, . . . . [and] this sort of aggression can also consist in organizing, assisting, fomenting, financing, inciting, or tolerating subversive or terrorist activities carried out against another State." As the judges in the case of Nicaragua vs. United States in 1986 made clear in deciding against the U.S., "training or providing economic or military or logistical or other assistance to rebels fighting against the central authorities in another country may be regarded as a threat or use of force . . ."

Since Hamas can use offensive-only missiles for one purpose, it's better for everyone to prevent weapons moving into Gaza and having to later destroy them with a pre-emptive attack. Acting in self-defense in anticipation of their future use is the most logical step. Once the U.N. security council is made publicly aware of the new weapons flow, either they stop it or they must acquiesce to others doing it. Egypt and the U.N. would also be held accountable also since they are allowing it to happen again. In any case, the U.S. has used "anticipatory self-defense" on many occasions, ie. Cuba, Libya and Sudan.

As another expert on the subject, M. McDougall made clear, "to impose on States the attitude of 'sitting ducks' when confronted with an impending military attack 'could only make a mockery' of the U.N Charter."

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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