This is a few days old and, frankly, a bit obvious but for the record I think I should link to and quote from Human Rights Watch’s most recent statement on Gaza:Israel and Hamas both must respect the prohibition under the laws of war against deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch expressed grave concern about Israeli bombings in Gaza that caused civilian deaths and Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilian areas in violation of international law.
Rocket attacks on Israeli towns by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups that do not discriminate between civilians and military targets violate the laws of war, while a rising number of the hundreds of Israeli bombings in Gaza since December 27, 2008, appear to be unlawful attacks causing civilian casualties. Additionally, Israel’s severe limitations on the movement of non-military goods and people into and out of Gaza, including fuel and medical supplies, constitutes collective punishment, also in violation of the laws of war.
Neither the Israeli government nor Hamas is the first outfit to flaunt the laws of war and they obviously won’t be the last. But I think it’s still important to call these things out, and I think it’s a real problem that the fraught nature of these issues seems to have persuaded a lot of bloggers to basically say nothing about the fighting. At a minimum, duly noting that there are human rights abuses being committed by both sides and that human rights abuses are bad isn’t so hard.
Bad is bad, and there are no good guys when both sides are evil.