Power & Market

Bibi Netanyahu May Find Himself In the Dock, In The Hague

If you know in advance that your actions will cause the death of thousands of civilians; attached to your criminal actions (actus reus) is a guilty mind (mens rea), which means malice aforethought, also known as intent, in Western jurisprudence and judicial philosophy.

The razing of Gaza and the ongoing murder of tens of thousands of civilians by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), with western imprimatur, is a war crime. Strafing civilian populations and pulverizing entire neighborhoods to ostensibly “soften” the few embedded targets within—this violates natural law, international law, libertarian law and Just War Theory.

It was true when Genghis Bush dropped daisy cutters and cluster bombs on Iraqi civilians, killing and displacing hundreds of thousands of them; it was true when allied forces firebombed Dresden and Hamburg, and it was true when Harry Truman dropped atomic bombs on Japanese civilians.

Not that it helped his victims, but Truman icily expressed some “regret” for “the [beastly] necessity of wiping out whole populations”: “I know that Japan is a terribly cruel and uncivilized nation in warfare,” Truman told an ardent supporter, “but I can’t bring myself to believe that because they are beasts, we should ourselves act in that same manner.”

Likewise, the mildly sociopathic supporters of the war on Gaza’s civilians assert that Gaza can be “a terribly cruel and uncivilized nation in warfare,” to commandeer Truman’s elegant line. They say that the sympathies expressed by Gazans toward their neighbors, victims of the October 7 slaughter, are meager and grudging.

It is true that leadership in Egypt and Jordan is less than candid as to why they refuse to welcome Gaza’s refugees into their midst as the Polish welcomed the Ukrainians. In fact, the Egyptians have no intention whatsoever of allowing Palestinians, whom they view as a radicalizing element, into their country. Like President Hosni Mubarak before him; President El-Sisi is fearful of swelling the already-swollen ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Mubarak had periodically conducted mini-massacres against the Brotherhood—the organization that sired Hamas—with no particular outcry from the West.

Not that pro-war agitators know anything about the history of the region; but it is also true that, in 1970, King Hussein (ibn Talal) of Jordan massacred thousands of Palestinians for fomenting a coup against the Hashemite monarchy. The King then expelled the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) and many thousands of Palestinians to Lebanon.

Inarguably, the West’s Disneyfied, angels-and-demons foreign policy meme, whereby Hamas is an oppressor of its people is a mirage. The Palestinian People had voted for the “Islamic Resistance Movement” (Hamas). In the last election, Hamas got a majority in all but two of the 16 districts in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. According to Mark Mellman, a pollster, “If new presidential elections were held with two candidates, Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh, Abbas would receive 37 percent of the vote, and Haniyeh would win in a landslide with 58 percent.” Substantial majorities in the West Bank and Gaza favor “armed conflict” over peaceful, political solutions to the conflict.

These uncomfortable facts do nothing to invalidate the libertarian axiom of non-aggression. Murder with majority approval is always murder, whomever the perpetrator. Whether it is committed by actors within or without the State; by the designated “good guys” or the “bad guys”; murder of innocent, non-combatant civilians is still murder.

Thus, the razing and ethnic cleansing of Gaza by Benjmain Netanyahu, abetted by Joe Biden and his Uniparty accomplices, in the course of which tens of thousands civilians are dying: This is murder with malice aforethought, a concept that includes “deaths resulting from actions that display a depraved indifference to life.” Further depraved indifference to life was Israel’s throttling of supplies of water, food and power to the millions of aid-dependent Gazans, as Israel knows full-well this will imperil civilians indirectly.

Silly soliloquies poured into our ears about “Hamas using civilians as human shields” amount to morally bankrupt non sequiturs. True: Hamas has invited the IDF to “come get us if you can find us among Gaza’s civilians.” The IDF and its handlers, however, have accepted Hamas’ invitation to pulverize communities of civilians.

In other words, Hamas’ culpability does not absolve Israel from blame. One agenda of wrongs doesn’t change another.

As to the utilitarian aspect of its mission; the IDF is handsomely equipped to fail. “To be very good at something inherently stupid,” said a great English novelist, “is not the mark of high intelligence.” In addition to betraying its own citizens by abysmally failing to defend their basic rights on October 7; the unthinking IDF has effectively bombed Gaza back to the stone age. This will do nothing to eradicate Hamas; to the contrary; it guarantees it recruits for posterity! Previous forays into the West Bank and Gaza signally failed to accomplish this mission.

Gazans, in an extremity of suffering, are instructed to “evacuate to the southern part of the strip.” That exhortation reminds me of Ivanka Trump’s counsel to men in hard hats, whose occupations had become obsolete: “Learn how to code.” “Evacuate to the southern part of the Gaza strip” is but a cruel meme, given that Gaza has been levelled. There is nowhere left to run.

Tragically, Israel has squandered much of the goodwill generated by the diabolical October 7 pogrom. In the end, Bibi has obliterated the memory of the October 7 martyrs by creating new martyrs in Gaza. Never did I think I’d say this, but Mr. Netanyahu may just find himself in the dock, in The Hague.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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