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World Association of International Studies

Post Geneva Conventions
Created by John Eipper on 10/18/12 4:49 AM

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Geneva Conventions (Istvan Simon, USA, 10/18/12 4:49 am)

When commenting my post of 16 October, JE asked: "Is Istvan Simon claiming that Israel should not be bound by the Geneva Conventions because Turkey disregards them? This doesn't strike me as a productive argument."

On the contrary, this is a very powerful argument. For either the Geneva Conventions apply to all, or to none. Turkey is not the only one that disregarded the Geneva Conventions. There are many other examples. Yet the only one that seems to bother General Gard is that of Israel.

More recently, Russia violated the Geneva Conventions in its blatant modification of the boundaries of Georgia. Though Cameron Sawyer has lots of theories, many of which may be perfectly valid, it is a fact that the boundaries were modified by force. Even if Georgia attacked Russia, a dubious claim, after all Israel was attacked by the Arabs in 1948, and again in 1967. I am completely at a loss, of why Russia can modify the boundaries of Georgia without the slightest protest from General Gard or anyone else here, yet when Israel does so, annexing East Jerusalem, which has been a Jewish majority city for over 100 years, she violates the Geneva Conventions. Enough is enough.

Or is it, that only powerful countries, that have veto power in the UN, can modify boundaries by force?

JE comments:  If all multi-national treaties/conventions are thrown out the window because they are not fully adhered to by every signatory nation, this doesn't bode well for multi-national treaties.  But I will grant Istvan Simon one point:  if you're a powerful nation with the UN veto, a different set of rules applies.

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  • Geneva Conventions (Robert Gard, USA 10/18/12 9:45 AM)
    I'm mystified by Istvan Simon's logic (18 October).

    When I pointed out the applicability of a clear prohibition in the Geneva Conventions against colonization of territory conquered by military force, it was in response to his lengthy justification of Israeli occupation, and even annexation, of territories it conquered in the '67 war.

    It did not seem to me necessary to list other violations of the conventions by other nations. Of course I do not excuse them.

    Interestingly, in the case of Cyprus, which Istvan pointed to as justification Israel's ignoring a treaty to which it is a states party, he did not comment on my pointing out that the case was not as clear-cut, in that the military dictators of Greece at the time stated the intent to annex Cyprus, which of course influenced action by Turkey.

    JE comments: I'd like to hear Yusuf Kanli's thoughts on this topic.

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    • Geneva Conventions (Istvan Simon, USA 10/20/12 4:15 AM)
      I'd be happy to address Robert Gard's questions to me (18 October), and at the same time have a few questions for him as well.

      Robert wrote: There are no exceptions to the Geneva Convention. Yet the fact that Greece had an intention to annex Cyprus is sufficient for you to, if not to excuse Turkey, but to state that the case is not as "clear cut." Isn't Turkey a signatory to the Geneva Conventions? Just like Israel is? So why is Turkey an exception? And why is the case clear cut in the case of Israel? Did not Egypt announce not only its intent to annihilate Israel, but actually surrounded it with an alliance with Syria under Nasser in 1967? Did not Syria in fact bombard Israeli border towns with artillery for months from the Golan Heights before June 6, 1967? Did not Jordan annex East Jerusalem and Cisjordania in 1948? Cisjordania was not part of the UN partition agreement. It was occupied by Jordan militarily. Therefore that occupation was illegal. Wasn't it? Was not the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands illegal? Do they have a right to return? The several hundreds of thousands more descendants as well?

      What about the Asians expelled by Idi Amin? Do they have the right to return? What about the Vietnamese Boat People? Do they have the right to return to Vietnam and change the Communist government for a more democratic one?

      Why is it, General Gard, that you can find reasons for the case against Turkey not to be so clear cut, but cannot find any for Israel, in spite of all that I wrote above?

      Is not Russia a signatory to the Geneva Conventions? So why can it modify the borders of Georgia by force?

      I eagerly await your answers to all these questions.

      JE comments:  As long as the subject is Israel, has anyone in WAISdom seen the Arnon Goldfinger documentary, The Flat?  It's receiving a lot of accolades, and will be coming to my town in November.  Here's a trailer and additional information:


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      • Geneva Conventions; Response to Istvan Simon (Robert Gard, USA 10/22/12 7:36 AM)
        I think Istvan Simon (20 October) and I have made our points about our interpretations of the Geneva Conventions vis a vis Israel; I see no reason to bore readers with repetition.

        JE comments: Healthy, informed disagreement is never boring, but I do agree with Robert Gard that this discussion has become repetitive.

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