A Rapid Change of Mind- The International Law

April 10, 2010

Lots of fellows I’ve seen had been complaining about the double standard Israel-criticizers hold. The criticizers generally say terrorists kill people doesn’t mean that Israel can kill people. Meanwhile lots of Israel-criticizers I’ve seen had been talking about double standard pro-Israel people hold, i.e. Israel have nukes while other Mideast countries are prevented from owning it. Back then I was really confused by these double standards. I can always find a good reason for any ’eccentric’ act from Israel by using the magic word ‘security’. But even so, I held skepticism of myself.

A month ago, after a brief discussion, I was convinced by dad that the modern civilization couldn’t exist or continue to exist without international law. Any country or nation should abide by law. That sounds so nice. I didn’t complain that people held higher standard for Israel, thinking if Israel acts flawlessly, at least half of the world would be silenced and they would know who’s the real obstacle toward peace. Even if, as a matter of fact, no law is perfect, everyone should still obey the rules. But one can appeal to the world till the unreasonable rules are modified. This could be miserable, the appealing process may cost innocent lives, adding to that much bureaucracy. But that’s the price we pay for an ordered new world (not a new world order). It was then that I thought why not let international police in. I saw a comment like this

The land of Israel should be split in half. The northern half would be Palestine and the southern half Israel.
In the middle occupying Jerusalem would be the U.N. with a corridor that divides these lands from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. Stationed there should be 200,000 man Rapid Reaction Force capable of delivering a serious smack down to ANYONE in the region that acts out of line.This solution creates peace in the region and gets the U.N. out of New York .

and I thought (forget about the north/south saying) yes, things could be like that. Or we just regress to a state where everyone calls each other a “rogue nation”, which social-Darwinism envisioned two centuries ago. Since Israel is a creation of UN, her legitimacy relies on the UN resolution, how else should she treat the UN? And I value the international support, Israel can’t live without the international community. So how else should she regard the international law?

Dad’s words sort of enlightened me (to some degree, my dad is a liberal, eh?), and meantime deprived me of a bit sense of privilege for Israel as if she was the only one in the world that could act above law. I came to school and took the new basic principle with me. It didn’t last long though.

Weeks ago I talked to one of my Jewish friends and we came down to the same topic. To my surprise the law appears to be nothing to him. He said “when it comes to survive, force is the law” and he asked if I ever saw any law not manipulated by America. Then I was in trouble again. Afterwards, a member in aviation professionals group on LinkedIn expressed his opinions as well.

International law attempts to bring nations (states) into some sort of civilized interaction. However, since there are so many cultures and religions in the world with different views of right and wrong, legal, and illegal, then consensus is impossible. This is where the sanctity of sovereignty is exercised. A government can do what ever it wants within its borders. However if there are serious human rights issues then the world community or unilateral players could call that offending country’s sovereignty into question. Whether or not any of us like it or agree with it, international relations comes down to 2 very distinct factors; firepower and finances. This means there are only a few players on this earth while the rest are observers (includes non-state actors too). Basically, the UN just as the League of Nations is merely a façade of civility. Therefore international law is also a façade of civility.

In those days, I thought hard over and over. Finally, I now come up with a conclusion. I figure out why the relationship between Israel and the international law is so complicated. It’s just because of the weakness of the current law. In modern countries, domestic law has been essential and basically effective in a society. There are supervision, judgement and law enforcement. But look just how differently the international law is. There maybe are some sort of supervision mostly powered by NGOs, assuming they are not so badly biased. Where the hell is the law enforcement, please? If there is, how come Israel had to put up with up to a pretty eight-year-rocket terror before she finally launched a one-month-operation? If there is, why all these terror attacks happened? People are speaking loud law language but don’t exercise it then they require someone else to exercise it? Imagine what happens if Israel live up to all these requirements, full withdrawal, no roadblocks, divided Jerusalem etc. And the world community praises Israel. And these make terror attacks even easier. They go intifada and no one enforce the law or they simply aren’t able to and the attack continues… Let me say if a country’s domestic law is without powerful enforcement like that, then people would have been trying to chopping out each others’ heads. Since no one can keep Israel safe from harm, then sorry, let her do it herself. The fact that she tries so hard to avoid breaking the international law always saddens me.

So no, I do not believe in their international law anymore. Since there is no law, the conflict is to be forever. If the conflict is to be forever, I’ll go fight for Israel anyway. Theoretically there will be a real strong international law someday maybe before forever. I will change my mind on that day.

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