Three University of Chicago departments teamed up with the Jewish United Fund to bring a former Israeli military officer to campus to define the criteria necessary to make drone warfare and targeted killings more ‘moral’. Protestors demonstrated outside and students walked out in the middle of the event.
Amos Guiora, Professor of Law at the University of Utah and 19-year veteran who advised Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip, spoke today about how targeted killings can and should be legitimized. Guiora made the point that he approached the issue of drone warfare from an academic point of view as well as from the perspective of his long career in the Israeli military fighting “for peace”. This is when some audience members chuckled. At the front row, a dozen students and community members turned their chairs the other way and faced the audience, commenting briefly on the absurdity of his statements.
Guiora continued his speech but after alleging that Israel had historically committed itself to peace, the dozen demonstrators walked out while reminding the remaining audience of Israel’s previous commitments, including its invasion of Gaza last November, its invasion of Gaza in 2008-2009, and its occupation of Palestine for six and a half decades.
Guiora, who expresses concern with the Department of Justice’s current policy, argues that the U.S. should follow Israel’s model of drone warfare, the one implemented regularly against Palestinians, Lebanese, and Syrians and the one, he believes, has basis in humanitarian law.
Maryam Monalisa Gharavi at The New Inquiry does a good job of revealing more of Guiora’s shady role in Israel’s recent PR campaigns to whitewash or mask its injust policies and targeted killing strategies.
Guiora’s lecture comes just three days before two Israeli soldiers visit the University of Chicago to speak about their roles invading Gaza and Lebanon in an event sponsored by anti-Palestinian group StandWithUs. The University of Chicago invited Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren to campus last year to justify a strike on Iran and to push for increased settlement building. And in 2009, the University of Chicago invited former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to speak about leadership just months after authorizing an assault on Gaza that left over 1,400 Palestinian civilians dead.
The University of Chicago should not sanction drone warfare or any other policies that encourage or supplement the systematic abuse of any people.