« "A swimmable Anacostia River?" Washpost | Main | The Pentagon is deceiving itself again about IS »

06 January 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


"However, if Israel can show the court that it has carried out its own investigation in good faith, it could avoid an outside probe."

There is a German phrase for that, 'Flucht nach vorn', flight forward. Arguably, without the Palestinian move into the ICC, the Israelis would have done exactly nothing.

Their reasoning gives powerful testimonoy of the indirect moral effect that the ICC has, despite Israel not being a party to the statute.


The problem for Isreal is showing that it carried out its own investigation in good faith. From the past history of their investigating alleged war crimes, I wouldn't be on that. Of course, this is "the most moral Army in the world." so what would it have to fear about an investigation?
Indeed, the chickens are coming home to roost.


Col: The culture of impunity is strong in the IDF:

"Still, the threat of criminal investigations has fueled concerns that soldiers and commanders will increasingly face prosecution. Critics say that would undermine performance in the field and dissuade new recruits from joining key combat units."

So limiting the IDF's ability to commit war crimes will limit the IDF's' ability to obtain new recruits? Telling.

Abu Sinan

The IDF has a history of killing unarmed POWs. I know someone who has a family member who witnessed some of this:



Sorry to derail, but I couldn't help notice this statement:

"Well, you can have an army that knows it is individually and personally responsible for its actions or failure to act or you can have an army that feels that it can act with impunity."

I think this is how some in the US feel about the police. Especially, the last part.



You need to get out more and away from UT Austin. The Izzie police are filled with a great sense of impunity, the Border Police most of all but the rest of them as well. pl


Swampy: Permit me pile on. I went to college at UT-Austin. And I have been through West Bank checkpoints. There is no legitimate comparison of American police and Israel's military/police. The difference is night and day.

Charles I

Its not a "sense", but rather policy and reality.


Does the Israeli army have career NCO's?



You mean like the people who voted for the Mayor of NYC(de Blasio), who was elected with the anti-police attitude? He didn't defeat Mayor "stop and frisk" Bloomberg (he kept getting relected by New Yorkers), Mr. Bloomberg didn't run for re-election in 2014.


Related topic- former Bush speechwriter, Vassar grad and chickenhawk Marc Theissen had a opinion piece in today's Post that purported to show national support for CIA interrogation tactics through a 'national poll" He is being roundly rebutted in the comments- many of which point out that polls don't decide how the United States lives up to its treaty obligations. And that was was done was torture and was not only wrong, but was ineffective.





The only IDF ground force career NCOs have traditionally been in technical skills. pl


Are you calling "Palestine resistance" tribal?


Didn't the U.S. military use white phosphorus in Falluja?


Was anyone held accountable? Let me guess ... no one as it 'wasn't directed at civilians' ...



IMO both the Israelis and the Palestinians are locked in what is essentially a tribal struggle. WP ammunition was designed as marking round and/or to generate smoke, but its deliberate use is illegal against civilian targets. pl



I note the responses of Swampy, Fein and Swiss and detect the odor of a gathering troll attack. pl


Col: I agree. First the comparison of American police to Israeli police (absurd); then the claim that any use of WP is equivalent to the IDF dropping it directly in civilian areas in Gaza.

Sounds like the Ministry of Absorption is working overtime.

The "most moral army in the world" certainly is getting nervous about international law.

In Fein's defense, it is interesting that the IDF has similar ranks for all parts of the Armed Forces. Did we ever consider confirming military ranks? And why does the USMC have lance corporals but the USA does not?

dilbert dogbert

Would adding members of the IDF to an international "No Fly List" have a greater impact on Israel than the ICC? Maybe even their family members?


"polls don't decide how the United States lives up to its treaty obligations"

Nicely put, and I applaud and wholeheartedly share the sentiment. Theissen is a disgrace and fully deserves all the flak ge gets, and then some more.

Except that, sadly, polls apparently do decide how the United States lives up to its treaty obligations, factually.

Obama will not prosecute the Bushmen because the issue has been polled and has been found to be 'too divisive' (i.e. there is too great public support for torture in the US to risk it), and the R's would go stark raving mad over it, froth all over the senate floor, potentially throw excrement at innocent bystanders and all that.

Obama's coward refusal to prosecute is poll driven.


Not that that alone will keep anybody else from prosecuting under universal jurisdiction.

The only thing holding the other nations back is that the US would retaliate. That is unprinciled but to be expected.

The Israelis do many and go beyond some of the Bush excesses habitually for a long time now, and are facing the same dilemma of the factual criminality of their actions, except that they cannot retaliate to the same extent as the US can.

That makes them more vulnerable and that is why they are so deptendent on unconditional US vetos, and of course the votes of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau - states known for traditionally taking a keen interest in Israel.


Nowdays, the Army's E-2 rank is Private E-2, the Marine Corps' equivalent is Private First Class. The Army's equivalant of Lance Corporal (E-3) is Private First Class. The rank of lance corporal was introduced in the late 1950's. It wouldnot make no sense to 'conform' all ranks in the US. services..just ask the Canadians with their all one service experiment. Having a lt-colonel command a ship just doesn't do it.



The pay grades are the same in all the armed forces. Army PFCs and marine lance corporals are both E-3s. A lance corporal is not an NCO. Two real oddities in the inter-service rank structure are that the USAF does not have warrant officers and the US Navy calls an O-7 a rear admiral lower half while the other services call the same pay grade a brigadier general. Making the situation even odder a navy O-8 wears the same insignia as an O-7 and is called a rear admiral upper half. pl


No, certainly not family members, and why, this is about individual responsibilities.

No, the risk IDF members charged at the ICC would run is extradition if they travel through a member state of the statute.

Given the widespread membership and ratification that means that to them a large part of the world would be off limits. That would even include the US to the extent to which flights stop inbetween, a major inconvenience considering how many Israelis hold US passports and have relatives in the US.

For the same reason one doesn't see Bushmen in Europe anymore.

dilbert dogbert

Was thinking of family members as Israel uses collective punishment in the occupied territories.


oofda: Thanks for the information.


Here is an important emphasis on a specific aspect of the US/Israel outrage at Palestinians' attempt to join the International Criminal Court. For Palestinians, this is the last resort to resolve the conflict with Israel. This will entail of course "the burden of opprobrium themselves for both Hamas crimes and past PLO murders." In this context, the United States' refusal to join the ICC is simply scandalous. As for Israel, any pretenses of being the "most moral" in anything have lost any ground.

Ken Halliwell


U.S. Navy O7 and O8 insignia are different (one and two stars, respectively), but both are called Rear Admiral -- lower half and upper half, respectively.

At one time, a U.S. Navy O7 (one star) was titled Commodore, but that's now a ceremonial title.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad