Proportionality and Civilian Casualties in Asymmetrical Armed Conflicts: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Israel Democracy Institute (4 Pinsker Street)
Co-sponsored with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
Schedule of Events
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 - 9:30 Registration
9:30 – 10:00 Greetings
Yohanan Plesner, IDI President
Dr. Michael Borchard, Head of the KAS Office in Israel
9:45 – 10:30 Keynote Address - Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon
10:30 – 12:00 Opening Session - Normative, Philosophical and Religious Background
Moderator: Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer
The opening panel will deliver four lectures providing participants with background for the two days of the conference, Followed by a roundtable session.
- Proportionality in Israeli law
- Proportionality in current German law
- Religious sources of proportionality
- The philosophical justification for proportionality
12:10 – 13:40 Morality and Reciprocity in Proportionality Analysis
Moderator: Prof. Daniel Statman
- Is there a moral gauge between protecting civilian lives vs. the attainment of military objectives?
- When targeting a terrorist, what weight do we give the imminence and certainty of an impending attack?
- How do we balance between possible civilian casualties from a targeted killing and civilian deaths from a planned terror attack?
13:40 – 14:15 Lunch break
14:15 – 15:45 The Lives of Soldiers vs. the Lives of Civilians
Moderator: Ms. Idit Shafran Gittleman
- What risks to the lives of its soldiers should an attacking army take to protect civilians, and should there be a special rule in "force protection" operations?
- Is there a difference in this context between low intensity armed conflict and large scale fighting?
16:00 – 17:30 The Scope of Proportionality: Strategic Considerations and Cultural Sensitivities
Moderator: Dr. Ziv Bohrer
- In proportionality analysis, is the attacking army allowed to consider broad strategic goals, or is it limited to tactical ones?
- May an attacking army consider cultural differences, such as a societal aversion to the capture of its soldiers or a non-state organization's commitment to revenge?
Tuesday, 31 May, 2016
9:00 - 9:30 Registration
9:30 – 11:00 The Ambiguous Definition of "Concrete Military Advantage"
Moderator: Admiral Amichay (Ami) Ayalon
- What does "concrete military advantage" mean in an asymmetrical conflict?
- Does the military possess a viable definition of concrete military advantage in asymmetrical conflicts?
11:10 – 12:40 Proportionality as Procedure
Moderator: Prof. Amichai Cohen
- What procedures can be adopted in conflict situations to prevent civilian casualties?
- How much operational intelligence must an army have before launching an attack that may result in civilian deaths, and how much effort must be made to verify the information?
- At what military level should the decision to proceed with such an attack be made?
12:40 – 13:20 Lunch break
13:20 – 14:50 The Practice of Proportionality Decisions in the Context of War: Empirical Evidence and Insiders' Perspectives
Moderator: Dr. Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan
- What considerations must decision makers take into account, and do these considerations vary from country to country?
14:50 – 16:00 Conclusion and farewell