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Israel and Targeted Killings

"It greatly pains us to say the following," the lawyers wrote, but "the consistent, widespread policy of targeted liquidations bounds on a crime against humanity."

"It is an exaggeration to say that only the most powerful are granted the authority to establish norms of appropriate behavior - for themselves. The authority is sometimes delegated to reliable clients. Thus, Israel's crimes are permitted to establish norms: for example, its regular resort to "targeted killings" of suspects - called "terrorist atrocities" when carried out by the wrong hands. In May 2003, two leading Israeli civil rights attorneys provided "a detailed list of all of the liquidations and all of the attempted assassinations that Israel's security forces carried out" during the al-Aqsa Intifada, from November 2000 through April 2003. Using official and semiofficial records, they found that "Israel carried out no less than 175 liquidation attempts" - one attempt every five days - killing 235 people, of whom 156 were suspected of crimes. "It greatly pains us to say the following," the lawyers wrote, but "the consistent, widespread policy of targeted liquidations bounds on a crime against humanity."
Their judgment is not quite accurate. Liquidation is a crime in the wrong hands, but it is a justified, if regrettable, act of self-defense when carried out by a client, and even establishes norms for the "the boss-man called 'partner,' " who provides authorization" - Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival, p24
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