Stein TKilling illegal & immoral neg article

Stein TKilling illegal & immoral neg article - OF...

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RESPONSE TO ISRAEL'S POll OF TARGETED KILLING By Any Name Illegal and Immoral Yael Stein I srael filCes appalling attacks against its civilians. Since the beginning of the cur- rent intifada in September 2000 and until December 31, 2002, Palestinians have killed 443 Israeli civilians, among them eighty-three minors. Many more have been seriously injured. These attacks have spread fear and significantly affected daily life. While imple- menting its policy of "targeted killing:' chosen as one of Israel's responses to these attacks, lsrael has killed at least eighty-six Palestinians and another forty Palestinian bystanders. The policy of "targeted killing." as the Israeli government calls it, raises numerous questions concerning its legality and morali- ty. Steven David admits that this policy suffers from several shortcomings but never- theless considers it legal, moral, and effective and suggests only a few minor changes. Israel should, however, immediately forgo this pol- iL-Y, which lis illegal according to international and Israeli law and based on shaky moral grounds. Its effectiveness-although irrele~ vant to a moral and legal debate-is also con~ troversial. Even if this policy were legal, moral, and effective, the way Israel is imple- menting it provides, in and of itself, sufficient grounds for desisting from it. David refers to the policy as "targeted killing," claiming it is not assassination. His main argument is that "Israel is engaged in armed conflict with terrorists, those targeted are often killed by conventional military means, and the targets of the attacks are mostly combatants or are part of the military chain of command:' David does admit, how- ever, that "in those cases in which targeted killings did not fit these criteria, they may indeed by considered assassinations" (p. 114). The definition of the situation as "armed conflict" is highly controversial and the peo- ple killed do not meet the legal definition of combatants. Regarding the use of "conven- tional military means," David himself says, "In some of their killings, the Israelis have used deception, disguising themselves as women or Arabs to facilitate getting to their targets:' (p. 113) and he concedes that these cases could not be justified. But "treacherous means" have been used in more instances than David allows. In the vast majority of cases, the killings required the cooperation of Palestinian collaborators and informers, and no "targeted killing" would have been possi- ble without the information received from them.! Cooperation from these collaborators is usually obtained through the use of illegal means, such as threats to the collaborators or their families, extortion, or bribes. 2 I Michael L. Gross, "Fighting by Other Means in the Mideast: A Critical Analysis of israel's Assassination Policy," Political Studies, forthcoming.
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This note was uploaded on 03/06/2012 for the course DEBA 101 taught by Professor Bob during the Spring '12 term at Colby-Sawyer.

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Stein TKilling illegal & immoral neg article - OF...

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