Friday, October 5, 2012

Article Announcement

The Harvard-MIT journal International Security,  has just published a long article of mine, "Just War Moral Philosophy and the 2008–09 Israeli
Campaign in Gaza,"  some parts of which have previously appeared on this site.

The hard copy of the journal won't be out for a couple of more weeks, but it can be read now, free, on the journal website: ttp://

Here is the abstract of the article:

The Israeli attack on Gaza at the end of 2008--"Operation Cast Lead"--is best understood in the context of the overall Israeli "iron wall" strategy that has been at the core of Israeli policies in the Arab-Israeli conflict since the 1930s. The iron wall strategy emphasizes the need for overwhelming military power to break Arab resistance to Zionism and then Israel’s goals and policies; from its outset, the strategy has included attacks on civilians and their crucial infrastructures. Such attacks violate the just war moral principles of discrimination and noncombatant immunity. In addition, Cast Lead violated the just war principles of just cause and last resort: wars must have a just cause and even when it does, must be resorted to only after nonviolent and political alternatives have been tried. Israel did not have a just cause, because its primary purpose was to crush resistance to its continuing de facto occupation and repression of Gaza. Further, Israel refused to explore the genuine possibility that Hamas was amenable to a two-state political settlement. Thus, the iron wall strategy in general and Cast Lead in particular have been political as well as moral failures, failing to serve Israel’s genuine long-term security.


Don Brady said...

Sir, you forgot a central point, I believe.

Hidden in the canon law and quite alive in the Israel policy is "State's Reason".

Such allows the most heinous crimes, mass murders--if the state's existence is in jeopardy--which like the just war argument is always! (0as in fact argued by any government or any freshman in logic.)

It is first found in Tacitus, but then mostly supported by the Jesuits--today sub rosa.
Don Brady

pabelmont said...

In the article PDF you say: "Throughout 2007 Israel stepped up its targeted assassinations and other attacks on militants in Gaza and the West Bank, using indiscriminate methods that resulted in the killing of civilians

I would ask you (and all others) to avoid using the slick Israeli jargon of "targeted" as in "targeted assassinations". One would surely hope that Israel would not perform un-targeted assassinations, and yet you also (here) refer to "indiscriminate methods" which itself seems to give the lie to "targeted assassinations".

pabelmont said...

Jerome Slater -- a fantastic essay. Especially for the analysis from 1930s-2005 etc. Thanks so much for this gargantuan effort.

In my view Israel has been an essentially criminal enterprise from 1930s til today by which I mean a group of people doing what they want, to the cost of others, by force, and it is in no way excused by saying that Israel is now a state -- because it was a state created by illegal and immoral violence without anything (neither Balfour nor Mandate nor UNGA 181) offering a STATE (nad 181 only suggesting a state IF an Arab state, co-operatively, were also created.

Since the essential violence was done in 1947 AFTER the UN Charter stated the principle of non-permissibility of taking territory by war, the creation of Israel was itself illegal.

This has of course caught the international community in a difficulty it has never escaped, presumably because of Holocaust guilt in Europe and USA's interventions on Israel's behalf.