EQUAL JUSTICE IN CONFLICT



As I live in Singapore and the news I get is mainly from CNA, I will interact with it. Readers from other countries are likely to discover similarities.


On CNA 14 May, 2021

1. The ICC prosecutor warns Israel of war crimes.


I hear on CNA that the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou

Bensouda is warning Israel that they may be prosecuted for war crimes for

their attacks on Gaza. There are a few things to note here.


The warning was given to both Israel and Hamas. Her office said, “…it had

reasonable basis to believe offences had been committed by both the Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups, including militants of the Hamas group, in the Gaza Strip and in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.”(1) But the news chose to report only on the investigation into Israel’s alleged abuses. This tells me something about the bias of the news report. By reporting only the investigation into Israel’s possible abuses, the news is deliberately trying to leave you with the impression that there is nothing worthy of investigation in the actions of Hamas. I reject the CNA representation as being deliberately anti-Israel.


It is well known that (1) Hamas initiated the attacks; (2) Hamas rockets target civilian Israeli populations; and (3) Hamas use their own people as human shields. But the international community turn a blind eye to this. Justice must be equal. There should be widespread international outrage over the conduct of Hamas. Instead news media everywhere report on the investigations on Israel by the ICC, and omit the investigation on Hamas. Beware. This is how the media try to twist your view of things.


I do not know Fatou Bensouda. Is she saying that all sides are investigated so as to appear even-handed when in reality she is going after Israel? It appears that way. The past investigations of the ICC are focused on criminalizing the US and Israel. Both the US and Israel do not accept the ICC and will not cooperate with the ICC.


In 2014, Hamas attacked Israel killing 73 Israelis with rockets fired from Gaza. Israel responded in a seven-week attack on Hamas and 2,100 Palestinians were killed. The investigations of 2014 were disproportionately against Israel and totally ignores the indiscriminate killing by Hamas and focuses on the collateral damage in the Israeli response.


On the other hand, it may be that the ICC is impartial, but it is the media that is anti-Israel and anti-America. It is well known that international bodies take the side of the Arab world which has far greater political clout than Israel because Israel is a tiny nation. In addition to political influence, the Arab world produced oil which the world needs. Nations that depend on Arab oil are subject to Arab influence.


The truth of this issue may come out in the future, but for now, I can accept

why the US and Israel reject the ICC as the media have consistently portrayed the ICC as bias, either because the ICC is truly bias or because the media are bias, or both.


About the ICC. The ICC is a European sponsored body that has limited

jurisdiction. Many important countries have not agreed to accept the ICC. The most populous country not accepting the ICC is China. Russia and the US also do not come under the ICC. The most populous country that accepts the ICC is India. There is very little reason for strong countries to become members of the ICC. ICC has a poor track record of effectiveness, or partiality. It is not investigating the detention of Muslims in Xinjiang, nor is there any news of China’s organ harvesting of members of the Falun Gong. As on many issues, access the hard facts is above my pay grade. But the preliminary findings about the ICC is that is has clear biases with reference to some countries, it chooses to investigate lesser issues than greater ones, and it can be trusted to be anti-Israel and anti-America, but to be silent on China.


2. Israel rejects Hamas ceasefire proposal.


CNA reported that Israel rejected a Hamas proposed ceasefire. Why is that so? What reasons might Israel have to reject the ceasefire? Doesn’t Israel want peace?


I refer to my previous article “Conflict in Israel.” I am not privy to the Israeli

government reason for rejecting the ceasefire proposal. But I think we can

make reasonable guesses on the motivations of Israel and Hamas.


(1) Israel’s rejection is entirely consistent with their military doctrine, that the

enemy must be degraded more than they are. This is a sound doctrine. I

believe this was formulated during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Israel began

bombing Syrian infrastructure when they had the capacity to do so. This was because Israel’s infrastructure was damaged by Syrian attacks; and they had to bear in mind that this was the third time Syria attacked them. If Syria could rebuild quickly, Syria will attack Israel again before Israel is prepared.


(2) Perhaps even more compelling is the urgent need to destroy the

Hamas rocket stockpiles and production facilities. It is believed that in addition to rockets from Iran and Syria, the Palestinian Arabs are now producing their own rockets. The stockpile is estimated to be 8-10,000.


(3) Hamas wants a ceasefire because their stockpile is being used and

destroyed and Israel has demonstrated its ability to defend against the current method of rocket attacks. Hamas would need to re-up their stockpile and to see how can they be more effective before their entire stockpile is used up. Israel does not want a ceasefire because it wants to degrade the ability of Hamas to launch future attacks. Hamas should be well aware that Israel will reject the proposal and this will be a media win for them as proposers of peace, and Israel the rejector.


(4) Israel needs to live with the reality that the goal of the Palestinian-Arabs is to kill every single Jew if they can. When someone is trying to kill you and is asking for “time-out” because they are losing, it would be foolish to give them the time-out they need to reorganize.


Making the Right Judgment


The Word of God calls us to judge correctly and not by appearances. “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24, ESV). Another way to say it is, “Look beneath the surface so you can judge

correctly” (John 7:24, NLT)


There are many players in the world. One news media may be objective in one area and be totally biased in another. If we accept everything a news outlet tells us, we would be foolish in how we form our conclusions and in aligning our emotions. This in turn affects how we relate to God and to people.


For instance, if you allow the media to cause you to hate the people of Israel, you will find yourself hating what God loves. Similarly, if you allow yourself to agree with everything the Jews do, no matter how egregious, you forget Jews are sinners too. And if you stand with the Jewish fundamentalists, the descendants of the Pharisees, you will be taking the side of the Pharisees against Jesus; and for your support, they will despise you as mere “goyim” (gentile).


Your head and your heart are precious. The devil wants them. But you need to fill your head and heart with truth, the Word of God, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


Why is it important for me to make right judgments?

  1. Right judgment makes me wise even if it is something that does not immediately concern me. It will equip me for the times when it does concern me.

  2. Right judgment will prevent me from receiving an enemy as a friend and turning a friend into an enemy. If I make a wrong judgment, I bring disaster on myself.

  3. Right judgment will prevent me from calling the wicked “just” and the good “unjust.” If I make a wrong judgment, I bring disaster on myself and sin against God. Wrong judgment means we will take the side of evil, and that is rebellion against God.

When we listen to CNA, CNN, Fox, etc., we must be critical of their reporting and be acutely aware of their biases and of our own biases. What I mean is this. We need to see where they are bias, because there is no such thing as absolute unbiased reporting. All of us, including the reporters, are conditioned by our assumptions. Yes, that includes us the hearer. If you listen only to confirm your own views, beware, it is likely you are equally bias. Our duty is to truth regardless of who says it.


Christian, we have a steadfast duty to God to discern truth and not be

deceived by lies. The devil is the father of lies and we must make every effort to discern truth from lies, right from wrong.


You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none

of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” (Hebrews 3:13). The deceptions of the devil and of the world are designed to harden you against God. Beware lies! Seek wisdom!


(1) https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/icc-prosecutor-warns-againstcrimes-escalating-israel-palestinian-violence-2021-05-13

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