Alan M. Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor, in his article The Arithmetic of Pain, writes:
An analogy to domestic criminal law is instructive: A bank robber who takes a teller hostage and fires at police from behind his human shield is guilty of murder if they, in an effort to stop the robber from shooting, accidentally kill the hostage. The same should be true of terrorists who use civilians as shields from behind whom they fire their rockets. The terrorists must be held legally and morally responsible for the deaths of the civilians, even if the direct physical cause was an Israeli rocket aimed at those targeting Israeli citizens.
This is echoed by fellow blogger Sultan Knish:
In criminal law there's something called the 'Felony Murder Rule' what that means is a criminal who perpetrates a felony as a result of which a death occurs, can be charged with murder even if he was not the one who pulled the trigger. If a gunman who holds up a liquor store exchanges fire with police and the police return fire kills an innocent civilian, the gunman can be put on trial for murder because it was his criminal act that caused that man's death.
It was Hizbullah who triggered this war. Hizbullah's felony of invading
And finally, James Taranto of the Wall St. Journal writes [emphasis added]:Who's Targeting Lebanese Civilians?
The BBC yesterday carried a report on Israeli strikes against the Hizbullah stronghold of
Reporter Martin Asser goes on to describe "a succession of bombed petrol stations and industrial workshops--all buildings with civilian rather than military use, local people say." But then he offers this revealing anecdote:
Faisal Sahili said his family had a lucky escape when their house in the Sheikh Habib neighbourhood was destroyed by Israeli bombing on the third day of the conflict.
"The aircraft started bombing our area and so we ran out into the fields, which is the safest place," the retired Lebanese army officer said.
Moments later, the house was flattened. The reason behind the attack is not clear, although local journalists say 12 houses were bombed in that area.
Asser does not, however, draw the obvious conclusion, which is that if "the safest place" for a Lebanese civilian is in an open field--i.e., in plain view of the Israelis--any accusations that