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Dershowitz: US Attack Mirrors Israel Gaza Attack

09-24-2014

The U.S. air attacks in Syria against ISIS have some strong similarities to Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip this summer, according to noted constitutional attorney and author Alan Dershowitz.

In a Jerusalem Post article Wednesday, Dershowitz cites retired U.S. Gen. Wesley Clark, who said the goal of the Syrian airstrikes is to degrade and destroy the infrastructure of terrorist groups, as well as the electric grid, financial sources and mixed military-civilian targets.

Israel pursued similar goals during Operation Protective Edge this summer. The difference, says Dershowitz, is that some of the Arab nations supporting US airstrikes vehemently criticized Israel.

"Among the most hypocritical nations participating in the U.S. attack is, of course, Qatar, which not only condemned Israel for defending its citizens against Hamas rockets and tunnels, but actually funded the Hamas attacks and provided asylum for the Hamas terrorist leaders who ordered them," Dershowitz writes.

"The U.S. and its Arab partners have the right to take preemptive action against terrorist groups without fear of U.N. condemnation, a Goldstone Report, or threats to bring its leaders before the International Criminal Court. Yet everything Israel does, regardless of how careful it is to minimize civilian casualties, becomes the basis for international condemnation," he charged.

Dershowitz says it will be worth noting how the world reacts to the U.S. campaign in Syria because international law is vague concerning attacks on targets such as electric grids and sources of finance and is open to "selective interpretation."

He also notes that international law "does not take into account situations where the enemy hides its valuable military targets behind human shields."

The U.N. Human Rights Commission is proceeding with an investigation to see if Israel committed "war crimes" in the Gaza campaign. Israel has refused to participate, calling the commission biased.

Meanwhile, a bi-partisan group of U.S. senators has asked the State Department to investigate suspected ties between Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Dershowitz is the author of Terror Tunnels: The Case for Israel's Just War Against Hamas.

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