Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ed Cite Roundup

My weekend begins whenever law review says it begins.

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We've heard this refrain before: It is such a grave injustice when "anti-Israel" rioters are punished for violating the law.

Maryland set to recognize out-of-state gay marriages. The state Attorney General held that the prohibition on gay marriage did not constitute a strong public policy, meaning that gay marriages ought to be placed in the same category as other marriages that Maryland does not perform in-state but recognizes when done out-of-state (such as common law marriages).

If only Blackwater did something really heinous, like registering Black people to vote! Then we'd have 'em!

Some Jewish and Christian organizations were organizing against "Israel Apartheid Week" at York University. Until the school decided to cancel all their events due to "security" concerns. It's nice to see that York cares so much about the safety of its Jewish students.

UNGA poised to urge Israel and Hamas to conduct investigations into the Goldstone allegations, even though Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon already noted that Israel has followed up on every allegation through processes which are identical to those by other Western countries. Whose surprised that the UNGA doesn't care?

It's tough to not sound condescending when your interlocutor a) knows less than you and b) takes great offense at the insinuation that he could stand to learn more.


Barry Deutsch said...

"even though Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon already noted that Israel has followed up on every allegation through processes which are identical to those by other Western countries."

It's not clear he did say that. Some folks are saying that Israel said that, the UN quoted it, and the press mistakenly attributed it to Ban.

According to a later Haaretz article, "Many UN members say the Israeli report was not independent as it was written by the armed forces, which are the target of Goldstone's accusations." Presumably that is why they're asking Israel to do an independent investigation.

David Schraub said...

Good catch.

I haven't seen anyone contest that Israel has followed up on every allegation. The debate does seem to focus on "independent", and I find that debate difficult to parse.

Israel claims that the procedures it uses are substantively analogous to those used by other prominent countries, including their "internal character". I haven't seen anyone contest the substantive processes by which the IDF conducts these investigations (I could be missing them, of course), the claim is just that they're not "independent". But that objection doesn't go away because the Israeli government forms a panel -- we'd just say "Israel is the target and investigator."

Ultimately, there are two elements we come into play when thinking about "independence". The first is the particular mechanisms of the process, which are outlined here. The IDF investigation is "independent" insofar as the investigators are outside the Cast Lead chain of command, immune from oversight from the general military command, and subject to independent judicial review (see Part II-III; III(E) for analogies to other legal systems).

The second part is that all the facial legal rules in the world are useless if their isn't a norm of independence, and that's always a subjective inquiry. Historically, the IDF's legal arm's reputation has been good, but obviously this is the sort of thing where it is easy for things to get blurry real quick.

Unfortunately, given the deep indeterminancy of the issue (particularly along the second axis), I have little faith in the ability of the international community to engage in any sort of good faith legal interpretation -- it will, as usual, be pure politics.

N. Friedman said...


You write: "... it will, as usual, be pure politics."

And, that is how all of this stuff should be treated, as pure politics.