According to the United Nations, a sovereign state has a “Responsibility to Protect” its citizens. This responsibility goes beyond protecting its people against foreign aggression (“The Responsibility to Protect”, Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, The United Nations, un.org, no date). A state’s ‘responsibility to protect’ extends also to protecting its people within its own borders (“Background Information on the Responsibility to Protect”, Outreach Programme and the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations, no date).
Some say Israel neglects this second requirement. They argue that Israel doesn’t properly protect its Jews. Are they right?
It’s absolutely clear from UN documents (un.org, above) that Israel doesn’t just have a right to defend itself against terror attack within its borders. It has an obligation to do so.
Israel has this specific obligation because the terror it faces today is unique: it’s genocide.
We know this terror is genocide because it meets the UN definition for genocide. According to the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, ‘genocide’ refers to “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical (sic), racial or religious group” (ibid, Article 2).
Specifically, the attacks against Jews in Israel are ‘genocide’ because those attacks aim to (a) kill members of a group (Jews); and (b) aim to cause serious bodily or mental harm to members of that group (ibid).
Jews in Israel are a national and religious group. Arabs who commit terror in Israel want to destroy that group and/or cause serious bodily and mental harm to that group.
That's why Arab attacks against Jews in Israel are acts of ‘genocide’.
‘Genocide’ includes four additional elements found in Arab terror attacks in Israel: (1) conspiracy to commit genocide; (2) direct and public incitement [emphasis mine] to commit genocide; (3) attempts to commit genocide; and (4) complicity in genocide (ibid, Article 3).
One can make a case that the Palestinian Authority (PA) commits all of these acts. Look at the website Palestinian Media Watch. All the evidence you need is there.
Finally, in case someone argues that ‘lone wolf’ attacks against Jews aren’t genocide, the UN declares that “persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 (above) shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals” [emphasis mine] (ibid, Article 4).
Hamas commits acts of genocide against Jews in Israel by conspiring to kill Jews because they are Jews. Fatah and Hamas commit genocide when they incite to kill Jews because they are Jews. ‘Private individuals’ commit acts of genocide when they attack Jews for the same reason.
A state (Israel) has the “responsibility to protect” its population specifically “from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This responsibility entails the prevention of such crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means [emphasis mine]” (UN General Assembly, sixtieth Session, “Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit: Draft resolution referred to the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly by the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session”, 2005 World Summit Outcome, September 15, 2005, paragraph 138).
Despite this mandate, Israel fails 'to protect'. At the very least, lsrael fails:
-to publicize sufficiently the genocidal nature of these terror attacks;
-to label Arab media incitement against Israel as genocide; and,
-to take all ‘appropriate and necessary’ steps to prevent genocide and incitement-to-commit-genocide.
Israel has just shut down an Arab radio station for incitement (Tova Dvorin, “IDF shuts down Palestinian radio station for inciting violence”, Arutz Sheva, November 3, 2015). But is that sufficient to fulfil its ‘Responsibility to Protect’ Jews against genocide?
Some say that’s not enough. Instead of ‘Protecting’ us, they say, Israel falls victim to a ‘Ferguson effect’.
Perhaps you remember Ferguson, Missouri. In 2014, it was a scene of riots following the death of a black youth, whose death was falsely blamed (by activists) on aggressively racist police attitudes towards blacks in Ferguson.
Investigations have shown that the black youth killed by the Ferguson police was not, as claimed, shot in the back—or, alternatively, shot while he held his hands up in surrender. He was shot because he was attacking a police officer and trying to wrest the officer’s gun from him.
Riots erupted before anyone knew the facts of the case. Ferguson’s reputation was trashed.
Street disturbances erupted elsewhere in the US, most notably in Baltimore, Maryland. The anti-police complaint was the same—racist police officers had attacked innocent black youth.
Israel faces a similar problem. Just as black anti-white activists in the US falsely claim that white police ‘execute’ innocent blacks, Arabs falsely claim that Israel brutally ‘executes’ innocent ‘Palestinians’. As a result, both Israel and American security officials have responded the same way—with a ‘Ferguson effect’.
A ‘Ferguson effect’ occurs when security officers become reluctant to police because of the vitriol they might provoke (Heather Mac Donald, “Rise in Crime Is a Reason to Fear Anti-Police Rhetoric”, New York Times, June 4, 2015). Security people who would normally act in a given situation choose instead to back off for fear of having their encounters become worldwide video sensations (Scott Johnson, “[FBI Director James] Comey, complete and unexpurgated”, powerline, October 25, 2015).
In America, white-hot criticism of police in the wake of highly publicized accusations of police brutality makes police hesitate. That hesitation, the Director of the FBI believes, leads to an increase in violent crime (ibid).
Those who—like the FBI Director—argue that crime has increased in the US because of a ‘Ferguson effect’, say that that increase occurs because police officers have become less aggressive (ibid). They back off when they shouldn’t.
Israel behaves the same way towards Arab terrorists. For example, Israel implemented more restrictive rules of engagement for the IDF just as Arab rioting began to increase (“New IDF Rules of Engagement: Israeli Troops Must Fire in the Air When Engaging Terrorists”, Jewsnews, August 13, 2015). Israel did this hoping to avoid ‘worldwide video sensations’ that claim to show IDF brutality and racism (Noam Amir, “Israeli combat troops react angrily to new rules of engagement in West Bank”, Jerusalem Post, August 12, 2015).
One month after the IDF backed off, terror attacks increased. We’re still living with that increased terrorism today. Has Israel become ‘Ferguson-ized’?
Israel has a problem. Israel isn’t Ferguson, Missouri. Israel faces genocide—a barbaric passion to erase all Jews from Israel (“Hamas cleric: “Our belief about fighting you [Jews] is that we will exterminate you”, pmw, July 24, 2014).
Israel has a ‘Responsibility to Protect’ its Jewish population. Bringing a ‘Ferguson’ mentality to genocidal terror attacks doesn’t help Israel. It helps the terrorists.
Israel has to protect us. It has a ‘Responsibility to Protect’ us against genocide. It has an obligation to fight that genocide—and to prevent it.