Charles Krauthammer

     What makes the travesty complete is that this denial of Israel's right to defend itself because doing so might violate ``humanitarian" rights was read in open court by the chief judge representing China, a government that massacred hundreds of its own citizens demonstrating peacefully in Tiananmen Square. Not since Libya was made chairman of the Commission on Human Rights has the U.N. system put on such a shameless display of hypocrisy.

     Moreover, the ICJ had no jurisdiction to take this case. It is a court of arbitration, which requires the consent of both parties. The Israelis, knowing the deck was stacked, refused to give it. Not only did the United States declare this issue outside the boundaries of this court, so did the European Union and Russia, hardly Zionist agents.

     The ICJ went ahead nonetheless, betraying its prejudice in its very diction. For example, throughout the opinion it refers to the barrier as a ``wall.'' In fact, over 93 percent of its length consists of fences, troughs and electronic devices to prevent terrorist infiltration. Less than one kilometer out of every 15 is wall, and this is generally in areas that Palestinian gunmen have been using to shoot directly onto Israeli highways and villages. Sensors and troughs cannot stop bullets.

     The ICJ's long account of the history of the conflict is equally corrupt. For example: In 1947, the U.N. partitioned Palestine into two states -- one Jewish, one Arab. When the British pulled out and Israel proclaimed its independence, five Arab countries responded immediately by declaring war and invading Israel with the announced intention of destroying the newborn state. How does the ICJ render this event? ``On 14 May 1948, Israel proclaimed its independence. ... Armed conflict then broke out between Israel and a number of Arab states.'' Broke out? As if three years after the Holocaust and almost entirely without weapons, a tiny country of 600,000 Jews had decided to make war on five Arab states with nearly 30 million people.

     Israel will rightly ignore the ICJ decision. The United States, acting honorably in a world of utter dishonor regarding Israel, will support that position. It must be noted that one of the signatories of this attempt to force Israel to tear down its most effective means of preventing the slaughter of innocent Jews was the judge from Germany. The work continues.

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer is a 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner, 1984 National Magazine Award winner, and a columnist for The Washington Post since 1985.

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