In previous articles, I discussed some of the ethical and legal concepts that were aired during the Israeli war on Gaza. As a part of the war discourse, which attempts to invent political and moral justification for the ongoing war, despite its enormous and painful human cost, which has made it the subject of genocide crimes according to recently released International Court of Justice materials. Has been reduced to the level of. The decision, even if the court does not have enough courage to state it in text.
If the International Court of Justice decision was the result of a lawsuit filed by South Africa against Israeli military actions, there is another legal step that began with a lawsuit against US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and the Secretary of Defense. Lloyd Austin, has been filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights in the United States, and is being considered by a federal court in California. The substance of the trial is that the three defendants were complicit in genocidal crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip. In fact, this collusion is based on a strong legal and ethical basis, which I will explain through three points:
Political action, military action, and legal and moral responsibility for the previous two actions.
First: in terms of political action
The Biden administration has provided unconditional political support to Israel, whether in the occupation and siege of Gaza or the ongoing war on Gaza, and this has created a situation of genocide perpetrated by Israel. In terms of military action, the Biden administration provided generous and unconditional military assistance to Israel in its war on Gaza in an emergency manner and beyond any oversight or restrictions.
From the point of view of legal and moral responsibility, the preceding weapons – both in time of war and in support of it – are a violation of the Genocide Convention signed in 1948; Although the United States has a responsibility to prevent genocide in accordance with international laws and norms, and the act of arming itself in time of war is a participatory act; It was signed to support a clear and specific party without any conditions or restrictions. From the sum of the previous two cases (political action and military action), we conclude that the three officials involved in the case not only failed to enforce their legal and ethical obligations, but also contributed to facilitating them and their occurrence. Gave.
US officials reported that Israel was provided with a variety of weapons, including bunker-busting bombs (known as “BLU-109”), which were designed to penetrate concrete before detonating. has been done, and this shows their enormous destructive potential.
Second: military aspect
This is extremely important here from both a legal and ethical point of view. Because it is an act that is fixed in terms of its occurrence, clear, verifiable and obvious; He clarifies intentions and objectives to the extent that he acts in their place. Intentions – even if they are hidden – are replaced by clarity and clarity of action to indicate the actor's intentions, eliminating the need to examine the actors' justifications and intentions. Taken together, these features reflect the fragility of US political claims and statements, which – throughout the ongoing war – have sought to avoid legal accountability and political criticism, sometimes providing multiple justifications for Israel's crimes in the war. by presenting (such as saying that Israel does not target civilians, or that it has the right to self-defense, or that there is no evidence of genocide, etc.), and at other times adherence to international humanitarianism from the Netanyahu government The law at one time unconditionally supports it militarily, and at other times calls on Israel to “minimize human losses.”
In fact, if we compare the official US political discourse about the war – from its beginning until now – with US political and military actions, we would conclude that the Biden administration did indeed contribute to genocide. It on the one hand obstructed any efforts to stop the war in the Security Council, on the other hand supplied Israel with tons of weapons during the war, and on the third hand constantly defended and justified the Israeli military's performance during the war. It is true that political action is the foundation of military action, and military action is the servant of political action, but military action is characterized by basic features that make it more effective and more obvious in its legal and moral responsibility, which are summarized in Has been in:
- It can be controlled and measured.
- This is evident in translating the goals and intentions of political actors.
- Its damage is obvious and decisive.
These three characteristics help us evaluate US military action against Israel in general and the ongoing war in Gaza in particular. We can do this ethical and legal evaluation through three aspects:
The first aspect: the act of arming oneself
Armament occurs in a specific context, that is “wartime” and with the specific intent to “achieve the political and military goals of war”. Therefore, we are not dealing with a commercial act intended to make a profit, even if it is morally reprehensible. Rather, we are faced with an act intended to provide military support for the war. It is notable that Muslim jurists have historically discussed two issues related to the Arms Act:
- First: The order to sell arms in times of war (and also in times of conflict and oppression).
- Second: Order to sell things used as weapons like iron etc.
On both issues the majority of jurists have concluded that it is prohibited. It is prohibited to sell weapons, or weapons made from them, to groups of people, including belligerents, rebels, and traitors. This means that the prohibition of this Act is general and includes selling weapons to Muslims and non-Muslims. Because the reason for the prohibition prevents an excuse for murder. A weapon is a killing machine, and selling it during a time of war, conflict or oppression confirms that it is used for the purpose of killing and that it strengthens one or both of the warring parties in waging war. And encourages to continue the fight. This action means that which is prohibited, and every action that leads to the prohibited is prohibited.
We can distinguish between two different levels here. The discussion of classical jurists was moving on the horizon of selling arms for trade, but selling arms for the purpose of supporting an illegal war is a more serious level of prohibition, as was the case in the war on Gaza. There is no doubt that carrying weapons is prohibited at both levels. Because the seller's intention does not justify the intention of military support for trade or war; Because arming a weapon aggravates the act of murder, and so the prohibition was suspended in two specific circumstances: selling a killing machine and in time of war.
This prohibition reinforces the idea of not participating in killing or contributing to the continuation of the war. This moral jurisprudential perspective is similar to that of Amnesty International, which warned – in a report – that “the United States should be considered to share responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed with weapons supplied by Israel.” Could, as all states have done.” There is a duty not to knowingly contribute to internationally wrongful acts by other countries. This confirms the idea that laying down arms in such a situation is a contribution to war.
Second aspect: type of weapons sold and used
The United States has had a strong commitment to arm Israel since 1948 and has been strengthened since the 1970s. To ensure its qualitative military superiority over its potential enemies in the region. In the period between 1948 and the beginning of 2023, the United States provided $158.66 billion in aid to Israel. According to a study released by the Congressional Research Service, if inflation rate is added to this, this number will double to $260 billion. But let's examine the weapons issue specifically in the case of the ongoing war on Gaza. The Biden administration has provided emergency weapons to Israel twice in just one month (in December 2023), bypassing Congressional approval; As stated in a US State Department statement last December, “under an emergency situation that requires immediate approval to transfer the weapons”.
In this US weaponry during the war on Gaza, we can distinguish between smart weapons that can be accurately guided, and stupid weapons that do not have precise guidance systems. At the smart weapons level, US officials explained to some US newspapers that weapons of different colors were provided to Israel, which were detailed in various reports and published by some news sites, including bunker-piercing warheads. It is designed to penetrate concrete before exploding, which explains its enormous destructive potential. Unguided (or unguided) weapons With respect to, the US returned some idle weapons to Israel for use in Gaza, because it had withdrawn them from Israel to support Ukraine. These weapons – basically – are part of the US military reserve stock, Including 57 thousand (155 mm) shells), according to US officials cited by Bloomberg News.
Although both types of weapons are highly destructive, senseless weapons are more dangerous. Because it proves the statement of “indiscriminate bombing” that doubled civilian casualties, which Biden acknowledged when he said – recently – that Israel “indiscriminately bombed” Gaza. About 30 relief organizations sent a letter to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin specifically urging him not to send 155 mm shells to Israel. Because there is a huge risk of being “indirect” and the margin of error is also huge.
These organizations indicated that these shells “typically fall within 25 meters of the intended target,” and this makes them extremely dangerous in the Gaza Strip, which is considered one of the most densely populated areas in the world. This is further confirmed by the fact that an American intelligence report has confirmed that since October 7, Israel has dropped 40 to 45 percent of the air-to-ground bombs (a total of 29 thousand bombs) on Gaza. Those were the bombs. ” and CNN published its contents. The report quoted James Stavridis (a former US military officer) as saying that US military reserve stocks were depleted by “so-called stupid ammunition such as 155 mm shells and thousands of iron bombs. Is full. Those are simply dropped from the plane and the rest are left to gravity”! Furthermore, Nir Dinar (spokesman for the Israeli military) refused – in his interview with CNN – to talk about “the type of bombs used” in Gaza.
Third Aspect: America's Failure to Condemn Israeli Extremism
The preceding data makes clear on the one hand the extent of US responsibility (whether legal or moral) for the genocide, and on the other hand undermines the claim that Israel is trying to minimize civilian casualties, and those in Gaza. Translates exactly what is happening. Israeli statements (whether official political, religious or media). Which talks about the destruction of the people of Gaza in various forms, starting with the restoration of the “Amalek” speech in the Old Testament, which prescribes the actual destruction of humans and animals (which I discussed in a previous article ), through calls to drop nuclear bombs on Gaza, and the rejection of the distinction between civilian and military (which I discussed). I discussed this in a previous article), various humanitarian violations, bombings of civilian and international facilities, sieges and starvation. However, we did not receive American condemnation of any of this; Despite America's claims – since the events of September 11, 2001 – to fight terrorism and extremism, the reality is that it only fights extremism that threatens its interests, meaning we We are dealing with a political concept, not a legal or moral concept. ,