Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan slammed terrorist groups for their exploitation of international law, at the annual Shurat HaDin conference on Tuesday called 'Law and War.' The minister said that international law is being exploited by terrorist groups, "to destabilize the ability of democracies to defend their citizens."
"The laws concerning warfare must be changed," he said. "We can't accept a situation in which international law serves terrorists."
The legal NGO is devoted to defending the State of Israel by training legal activists to protect the rights of Jews and Israelis; preventing the transfer of funds to terrorist groups; and combating efforts to delegitimize Israel.
Saying that democracies cannot be "forced to fight against terrorists with their hand chained behind their backs," the minister went on to slam the U.N. for "allowing terrorist groups to be active and even legitimizing them."
Erdan was referring to Special Coordinator for Lebanon Ján Kubiš, whom he suggested should be called "Special Coordinator for the destruction of Lebanon," after Kubiš met Hezbollah deputy secretary-general Naim Qassem and endorsed his 2005 book Hizbullah: The Story from Within, which he called "necessary reading."
Grateful for an open and substantive discussion on a broad range of topics with Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem of Hizbullah. On top I received a copy of his book - a necessary reading.— Jan Kubis (@UNJanKubis) May 20, 2019
Following Israeli protests, the book was pulled out of Amazon. This is not the only book penned by a Hezbollah leader: in 2007, Hasan Nasrallah himself released Voice of Hezbollah, which is still available on Amazon.
Erdan called the U.N. approach to terror "twisted," remarking that "in the next war [with Lebanon], Israel will have no choice but to harm Hezbollah rocket sites and Lebanese infrastructure," a destruction he placed at the feet of the terrorist group and the government of Lebanon.
Shurat HaDin leader Nitsana Darshan-Leitner told the Post that the issue is not changes to international law, which are very hard to make, but rather the ways in which it is interpreted.
"The discourse about international law should be changed," she said. "It is impossible that democracies will be subjected to international law and honor it, and terrorist groups will not."
When asked who will interpret the law, she said that in democracies, the work of interpretation should be done by legal experts such as the military advocate general.
The laws governing international warfare aim to limit violence endured by civilians during armed conflicts between states, and are largely inspired by the horrific suffering of nations during the Second World War.
Terrorist groups are not states, however, and ergo do not wear uniforms, limit themselves to military targets, or offer their captive prisoners the benefit of medical treatment and freedom from torture.
Historically, various political movements have been labeled by those who oppose them as terrorists: from the pre-state Lehi group -which the British called "The Stern Gang" - to the Viet Cong.
In a 1964 article, The New York Times described "Viet Cong terrorism" at the Mekong Delta.
Britannica lists the Lehi assassination of Lord Moyne in Cairo as an example of why the British Empire thought of the group as "terrorist." In Hebrew, the members called themselves "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel."