egg01-deactivated20140814 asked:

Hello, I'm using a blog that isn't my main to ask you this but I was wondering whether you could provide me with some key links to dismantle the wah wah human shields waah wah israeli tears argument? I've saved several myself and have been visiting your blog daily. Its no problem if not!

redphilistine answered:

The Geneva Conventions Additional Protocol I, Article 51(7) (pg 26 in document), has this to say about human shields:

The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, “the use of human shields requires an intentional co-location of military objectives and civilians or persons hors de combat with the specific intent of trying to prevent the targeting of those military objectives.

While there has been evidence that Hamas and other resistance groups have fired weapons from or stored them in civilian areas, no evidence has ever been presented that they do this intentionally to shield these weapons from Israeli attack. This has repeatedly been noted from human rights organizations like Amnesty International in its report on the 2008-09 massacre of Gaza (page 76, paragraph 5) all the way to journalists like Jeremy Bowen of the pro-Israel BBC

It must be understood that the Gaza Strip is a small piece of territory, housing 1.8 million people. It is made even smaller by a no-man’s land that has been expanded to 3 km in this latest massacre, reducing the territory’s size by 40%. There is literally no place in Gaza that does not have civilians because there is no room.

Furthermore, as far as evidence of human shields is concerned, it is in fact Israel that stands accused. The allegations, which are no doubt true, are detailed in Amnesty International report I link to above, which also states that many of the civilian homes that were targeted had no weapons inside nor were located near military activity by Palestinian groups. The UN has also released a report indicating that Israel makes routine use of Palestinian children as human shields

But let’s say all of that is false and that Israel is telling the truth about the Palestinian resistance’s use of human shields. Protocol I, Article 51(8) states:

Any violation of these prohibitions shall not release the Parties to the conflict from their legal obligations with respect to the civilian population and civilians, including the obligation to take the precautionary measures provided for in Article 57.

So even if Hamas were using Palestinians as human shields, this does not give Israel the legal right to attack these areas without safeguarding the civilian population. In other words, no matter what you personally believe is the truth about “human shields,” Israel’s actions in Gaza, not just in this latest massacre but in previous ones as well, are in direct contravention of all customary international law. 

Why are police calling the people of Ferguson animals and yelling at them to “bring it”? Because those officers in their riot gear, with their tear gas and dogs, want a justification for slaughter. But inexplicably in that moment we turn our attention to the rioters, the people with less power, but justifiable anger, and say, “You are the problem.” No. A cop killing an unarmed teenager who had his hands in the air is the problem. Anger is a perfectly reasonable response. So is rage.
Brittney Cooper, “In defense of black rage” (X)


The case around Mike Brown’s killing by a Ferguson police officer is only getting murkier.

After releasing images from a gas station robbery to the press Friday morning with the suggestion Mike Brown was pictured in them, the Ferguson police department is now backtracking. In a second press conference hours later, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson admitted that Brown’s shooting was unrelated to the incident.

Jackson told reporters that Brown and a friend were in fact stopped, “because they were walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic.”

He also admitted that Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Brown, didn’t suspect Brown at the time that he stopped him.

When Chief Jackson was asked by reporters why his department chose to release the robbery tape if it was unrelated to the shooting, he replied that he had to because “the media asked for it.”