Civilians in war

I’m in rural France and barely able to read the news let alone comment on events in Gaza. The article below by Christiane Wilke, however, should not be missed. A slightly different version appeared on the Critical Legal Thinking blog last week. This powerful excerpt is from that piece (and the reference is to the important work of Helen Kinsella and her book ‘Image Before the Weapon’):

“The shadow side of international law’s interest in protecting civilians is that those to be protected are expected to be passive, innocent, and submissive. The civilian is a caricature of the helpless woman or child who does not take part in politics.3 This ideal civilian doesn’t exist in war zones. Where people live under military occupation figuring as liberation, they engage in political action against foreign rule instead of patiently waiting for deliverance. Yet in Gaza and elsewhere, those who politically support anti-​occupation politics are easily cast as un-​civilian.”

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