Delegitimation has become the new battleground for Israel and the critics of Israeli military operations. But the Israeli experience reveals a more general engagement where all states act strategically to build legitimacy for their policies and all resist attempts at delegitimation. To understand these processes it is necessary to see how politicized moral and legal judgments shape both the use of force by states and our judgments about the means and the outcomes. This is a book about legitimacy, military lawyers...
Delegitimation has become the new battleground for Israel and the critics of Israeli military operations. But the Israeli experience reveals a more general engagement where all states act strategically to build legitimacy for their policies and all resist attempts at delegitimation. To understand these processes it is necessary to see how politicized moral and legal judgments shape both the use of force by states and our judgments about the means and the outcomes. This is a book about legitimacy, military lawyers and security. More particularly, it is about how the legitimacy of Israel’s asymmetric military operations cannot be detached from the politics of law and ethics. Sometimes it is enough that states respect the laws of armed conflict, but at other times they may be held to a higher standard. This does not happen in a vacuum. Rather it is the product of political engagement in the murky politics of international legitimacy where standards are negotiable and some states get a harder time than others. There is a strong theoretical analysis underpinning a discussion that constantly returns to the practical problems of modern armed conflict where combatants hide among civilians and states complain about the unrealistic expectations of human rights NGOs. Here, the law is unclear and there are choices to be made. The book presents new research into the involvement of Israeli military lawyers in operational targeting decision making that has life and death consequences. The case studies concern targeted killing during the Second Intifada, Israel’s 2006 Lebanon War, the 2009 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza and, finally, the 2010 Israeli maritime interception of the ‘Turkish Flotilla’ to Gaza. The investigation identifies a struggle between the proponents of human rights in war and those who promote the rights of states to deploy military force for the security of their citizens. But not all parties to a military conflict are held to the same standards. In fact, the analysis maps a complex political deployment of law and ethics in the strategic calculation of legitimacy costs and the diplomatic processes whereby they are contested, with policy implications for those in charge of the design and execution of military operations.
In this ground breaking work, Alan Craig offers an exacting critique of the growing role that military lawyers now play in the conduct of operations by the Israel Defense Forces. Conceptually sophisticated yet empirically grounded, this book is the definitive work for anyone wishing to understand why military lawyers exercise increasing influence over how the IDF and its political masters have come to deal with ‘war amongst the people’. This book will be essential reading not only for those interested in how Israel has used legal frameworks in the conduct of its military operations, but more broadly, how contemporary debates over justice and legitimacy shape civil-military relations in democratic societies.
International Legitimacy and the Politics of Security provides a number of hugely enlightening and important analyses of the rising role of International NG's in international affairs. It is an illuminating study of the relationship between international law and international legitimacy, and the place of the Traditional Just War Doctrine and its modern critiques in the contemporary political, ethical, and moral debate over Israel. In showing the increasing centrality of lawyers in warfare and the law in war, Craig successfully provides a balanced and scholarly analysis of the implications and consequences of this for Israel’s military and political leadership.
Alan Craig is the Pears Lecturer in Israel and Middle East Studies, department of politics and international studies at the University of Leeds. He practiced as a human rights lawyer in London and Leeds for 25yrs before completing a PhD at Leeds and joining the faculty in 2010. His publications include ‘Lebanon 2006 and the Front of Legitimacy’, Israel affairs, (2009),‘The UN Vote on Statehood: What it means for Israel and Palestine', Near East Quarterly, (2011) and as co-author,‘Beyond the Leviathan? Israel, Energy Security, and the Spectre of a Rentier State’, The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, (2013). He is a regular contributor to European TV and radio.
Part 1: Legitimacy, Morality, and International Law
Chapter 1: International Law and legitimacy
Chapter 2: Morality at War (1): Traditional Just War Doctrine
Chapter 3: Morality at War (2): Modern critiques of Just War Theory
Chapter 4: Advising in the Grey Area
Part 2: The Israeli Experience
Chapter 5: The IDF’s legal environment
Chapter 6: Case Study 1: The Second Intifada and the targeted killings of Salah Shehadeh
Chapter 7: Case Study 2: The 2006 Lebanon War
Chapter 8: Case Study 3: Operation Case Lead
Chapter 9: Case Study 4: The 2010 Turkish Flotilla- the Mavi Marmara Affair
Chapter 10: Conclusion and Policy Implications