Terrorist Lawyers And The Civilians They Help Kill

Alan Dershowitz says that civilians in Lebanon are not "civilians" like civilians in Israel. Civilians in Lebanon, according to Dershowitz, must be graded on a sliding scale of terroristness or "the continuum of civilianality." Dershowitz’s argument is the same tired argument used by tyrants and murderers all throughout history. Dershowitz is in notorious company. He can count his peers as Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussain and Pol Pot.

Mr. Dershowitz, the apologist for murderers, has this to say:

Hezbollah and Hamas militants, on the other hand, are difficult to distinguish from those "civilians" who recruit, finance, harbor and facilitate their terrorism. Nor can women and children always be counted as civilians, as some organizations do. Terrorists increasingly use women and teenagers to play important roles in their attacks.

The Israeli army has given well-publicized notice to civilians to leave those areas of southern Lebanon that have been turned into war zones. Those who voluntarily remain behind have become complicit. Some — those who cannot leave on their own — should be counted among the innocent victims. [Emphasis added by me.]

At this point, I could cite all the international laws and conventions that debunk Mr. Dershowitz’s ridiculous claims, but I will not waste my time with defending something so obviously basic to the law of war and human rights. What Mr. Dershowitz is advocating is terrorism. Dershowitz is inciting and condoning terror. In that he is behaving like a terrorist.

Instead, I want to tell you two stories from Lebanon and let you judge for yourself the merits of Mr. Dershowitz’s argument. These two stories are only a small part of the larger story of death in Lebanon.

Ali and his mother

Ali Sha’ita is a 12 year-old Lebanese boy. Ali and his family were fleeing Israeli bombing of Southern Lebanon. His family was traveling in a caravan of 3 minivans, having abandoned their homes, at the order of the Israeli military. Ali’s family only made it as far as 9 miles from their home before an Israeli helicopter fired upon their minivan. Three of his family died instantly – 16 others were injured. In the carnage that followed, Ali held his mother’s hand:

The ambulanceman gave Ali the job of keeping his mother alive. The 12-year-old did what he could. "Mama, mama, don’t go to sleep," he sobbed, gently patting her face beneath her chin. Behind her black veil, her eyelids were slowly sinking. "I’m going to die," she sighed. "Don’t say that, mama," Ali begged, and then slid to the ground in tears.

On the pavement around mother and son were the other members of the Sha’ita family, their faces spattered with each other’s blood. All were in varying shades of shock and injury. A tourniquet was tied on Ali’s mother’s arm. A few metres away, his aunt lay motionless, the white T-shirt beneath her abaya stained red. Two sisters hugged each other and wept, oblivious to the medics tending their wounds. "Let them take me, let them take me," one screamed.

Their mother was placed on a stretcher, and lifted into the ambulance. "God is with you, mama," Ali said. She reached up with her good arm to caress his face.

Of course these people are not really "civilians", they are something less according to Dershowitz. Let him bear their deaths and their injuries. Let him carry these atrocities on his conscience. Ali’s life doesn’t count; neither does his mother’s. Why check to see whom you are killing if there is the slightest chance that you may get a Hezbollah fighter. In either case, these people, even if they were not Hezbollah, surely had the potential of becoming Hezbollah.

Zeinab HaidarZeinab Haidar is a 13 year-old Lebanese girl. Zeinab is a survivor of an Israeli attack on her three-car convoy fleeing Israeli bombing. She is lucky to be alive. Only four of her convoy escaped death:

Zeinab, 13, is one of four people still at Tyre’s Najm Hospital who survived an ill-fated civilian convoy that left the village of Aitaroun last Friday to escape from one of the most bombed areas in south-east of Lebanon near the Israeli border.

As the convoy’s three cars approached Tyre, the first was hit by an air strike, killing everyone on board.

The two remaining cars tried to escape, but one was also hit by an missile, causing more deaths and injuries.

The Haidars jumped out of their car and ran to a nearby orchard, but the Israeli jets returned to drop two more bombs, wounding Zeinab, her mother and grandfather, and killing her grandmother.

After about 30 minutes hiding among the trees, Zeinab’s father went back to the car. He found it was still working and drove to Najm hospital, on the southern edge of Tyre.

Ambulance drivers say two charred bodies still remain trapped in the first car, and two days later dogs and cats have started to eat their remains.

So, there you go. Zeinab escaped the death that Dershowitz believes she deserves. Maybe now she will grow up to be a terrorist.

The balance of firepower between Israel and Hezbollah is not even close. Even with such superior firepower if Israel feels compelled to fire indiscriminately at anything that moves, then Israel has already lost this war. In 18 years in Lebanon, Israel failed to destroy Hezbollah. This time they are succeeding mightily in blowing up women and children.

Shame on Israel for presiding over these killing fields. Shame on Dershowitz for his inhumanity. Shame on the Bush Administration for providing the weapons that are doing the killing.

This isn’t self-defense. This isn’t war. This is slaughter, pure and simple.

Hey, hey, Olmert, how many Hezbollah did you kill today?

Hey, hey, Olmert, how many kids did you kill today?

This entry was posted in Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Middle East Conflict, Terrorism. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Terrorist Lawyers And The Civilians They Help Kill

  1. I believe I can answer some ..

    Hey, hey, Olmert, how many Hezbollah did you kill today?

    None ..

    Hey, hey, Olmert, how many kids did you kill today?

    These are terrorists.. they are Not children. .

  2. Aunty Ism says:

    I have been reading Alan Dershowitz’s book “Why Terrorism Works”. I am up to chapter 5, “Striking the Right Balance”. He makes his case methodically, logically, and backs up his claims with footnotes and references. Terrorism works because it pays.

    Yet, I don’t understand how he can back up one form of terrorism over another. “It must become a firm pillar of American foreign policy that no nation or international organization be allowed to reward terrorism and that all must punish it.”( p 168, Scribe paperback ed. 2002)

    So, Hezbollah is lobbing bombs at Israelis, and Israelis lob bombs back. They both get publicity, and foreign financial support. Big Cheeses, Muftis, Polititians, Radical Rabbis, Carlysle, KBR, Fox, CNN, Righteous Fundies from all places of worship of God, Fearmongers, and other Fishers of Men reap benefits. Keep topping up the fear and hate. Ensure a steady supply of future revenging warriors, all for lies spewed by those who benefit. Strike at a market with suicide bombers, strike at families fleeing from war. Sell the bombs, sell the concrete and antibiotics needed to rebuild. I’m sorry to sound cynical, but as General Smedley Butler said, “War is a Racket”.

    Who benefits if the Middle East is in perpetual turmoil? Who benefits if we learn to learn from each other’s collective wisdom preserved in religious and cultural traditions? How do we measure benefit? In dollars or pounds of ordnance, or in laughter and wisdom? I know how the current world leaders measure it.

    Let’s not let them make us hate. Let us learn and laugh, share meals, baby burping tips, barn raisings, celebrations. We are all targets, but we can be strong together. See through the lies.

  3. Ingrid says:

    Mash, I don’t normally ‘tout’ my own blog, but I posted part of a letter that Cecilia Cissell Lucas wrote to Amos Oz, which you can find the complete version on Kel’s Osterly Times (don’t remember off hand the date, but I am linking to his/her (?) site in where Cecilia says to Amos;
    South Lebanon was illegally occupied from 1982 to 2000, enabling Israel to exploit Lebanese resources, most notably water. (In 1987, you wrote about your friend A. who in 1982 suggested that “maybe we should keep everything up to the Litani, so we’ll have enough water for our country.”) To this day there are hundreds of thousands of land mines planted by Israel in Lebanese soil, the locations of which they refuse to disclose so that they might be deactivated. In 2004, there was a prisoner exchange. There could have been one in 2006. Do you really think, Amos Oz, that in the absence of the trigger event being pointed to for justification of Israel’s terrifying acts another one would not have been found?

    Found Kel’s date, july 21..click HERE for a full version of the open letter. So here are just a few of the trigger events one of them being water. Killing innocent civilians has to be for a reason however barbaric.

  4. Ingrid says:

    ps. an israeli online magazine wrote an oped on my initiative to try to set up a blogger round table.. apparently it is written using part of my (emailed)interview and I believe something of the blog but I am not sure. Here is the LINK. I asked the journalist to send me a translated version so I’d know ‘what I’d said exactly’ lol, but..haven’t gotten it yet.. I did get more hits from Israel but no replies.. yet!

  5. Yeh, Alan Dershowitz is one slimy character, no doubt about it. He also advocates torture – ‘not torture’, as he says, but what the US does – stress positions and waterboarding and the like. Disgusting.

    The debate he recently had on DemocracyNoow! with Norman Finkelstein was excellent – Finkelstien tore him to pieces:

    “It is not the O.J. trial. This is not the O.J. trial. We’re not going to play a game.” 😀

  6. Ingrid says:

    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him when I went to Carlton U (ottawa ca). He’s one passionate individual who ended up being ostracized for his beliefs by his own parents.. I do not understand such a thing.I really don’t

  7. Miraj says:

    I feel so sad for the innocent people and pray that there will an end for those radicals who are not giving us a chance to live under the tag of their false religion, on the other hand, this is what Israel was waiting for.
    The media now is giving tons of attention to Israel people while running away from bombs , talking about them in details and not even mentioning the Arab women , children and other civilians who are getting killed everyday.

    By the way Mash, I just answered your inquiry regarding conditions in Iraq in my blog.

  8. Mash says:

    Ingrid, congrats. Let me know when you get the translation. Otherwise I will have to get my hebrew speaking friends to read it for me.

    Aunty, hear hear!

    Miraj, thanks for responding. I just read it. I will incorporate your response into my next post. Stay safe!

  9. Milkyway says:

    Karma. Karma..Karma…

    We have made our bed with Israel and now we must prepare ourselves for the wrath of those civilians…opps…terrorists to attack us in the US proper. :)>-:)>-

    Israel requested to speed up the bunker buster bombs shipment from US few days ago. I guess US now will have even more direct hands in killing those innocent…oopps..terrorists 12 year olds. **==^:)^[-x


  10. Mash says:

    Mamma don’t let your kids grow up to be terrorists! :(|)

  11. Milkyway says:

    Civilian -> Terrorist -> Civilian -> Terrorist


    I would like to know at what point in our culture the Terrorist lexicon was introduced.

    Can you shed some light on this word? :-c

  12. Milkyway says:

    Hmm..I answered my own questions. WOW! I didn’t realize that the ex-Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Shamir, is officially considered a *terrorists* according to the definition of the word terrorists in the Wikipedia website. Here is the link and you can read it for yourself. He and his terrorist organization killed so many British ministers, etc.:


  13. Mash why does you focus on the kids that git kilt…..Think about how many of them thar little terrorists that did not git kilt…only injured hideously…Them thar kids is a threat…

    Maybe you are not familiar with the pre-emptive strike doctrine…These kids is goin ta grow up hatin freedom, so we better git em now before they can grow up..

    Y’all librals caint unnnerstand that we has ta make war in order ta have peace…We show our sanctity for life by killing them thar ankle biters what dont love freedom…

    I though you wuz on our side now……

    I agree with the fat wizard…they aint kids…they is little midget terrorists…I am shore that if fat wizard had any kids (with a name like that you know he has more 20-sided dice than girlfriends) then he would gladly kill them if they disagreed with GW….

  14. Group Captain Mandrake says:

    Milkyway is correct that they requested more bombs…and according to MSNBC yesterday, the US is sending smart bombs to Israel (not just bunker busters) as fast as the cargo planes can be loaded. Heck, why don’t we start sending some F-16s with American pilots to start shooting missiles at Lebanese civilian convoys? It’s not much of a step from where we are now. This is yet another reason why Bush’s foreign policy is not just criminal, it’s just plain STUPID. Say what you want about Nixon and Reagan, at least they had the brains to TRY TO HIDE this kind of thing and preserve SOME sense of distance. Sheesh.

  15. Mash says:

    Group Captain! I’ve been meaning to talk to you about those “precious bodily fluids”!

    By the way, Bush doesn’t do nuance. :-“

  16. Group Captain Mandrake says:

    So true, Mash, so true…all the more unfortunate because effective diplomacy is 90% nuance. Which explains the “effectiveness” of Bush’s policy…he’s “effectively” pissed off everyone in the world except the British and Israeli govts…and I’m sure you could hear some of the groans he’s elicited from Her Majesty’s Foreign Ministry all the way over in Dublin.

    “No, Jack, I didn’t talk. Thing is, I don’t think they WANTED me to talk…just having a bit of fun, the swines. Dashed thing is, they make such bloody good cameras.”

  17. Group Captain Mandrake says:

    BTW, glad I found you. What’s not to love about a blog named for the BEST MOVIE EVER?

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