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Home arrow Law arrow Humanizing the laws of war : selected writings of Richard Baxter
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Summation

I have asked for the floor in order to read a sentence from the early Winston Churchill. He wrote in 1914, before the events of the First World War, that the wars of people will be far more terrible than the war of kings. In days when wars were fought by kings for prestige or for the acquisition of territory or in order to enhance their power, the rules of warfare were perhaps more easily applied. Now wars are ideological and involve the totality of populations. We have in our own time witnessed the intense feelings experienced by peoples at war—by Palestinians, by Israelis, by those who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, or by those who support the cause of Israel. The nature of the problem has become much more complex with the passage of time. Those of us who are Americans and who have recently gone through the ordeal of war ourselves—a chastening experience for all of us—should perhaps have a certain sense of sympathy and concern about the emotions to which the conflict between Israel and the Arab States has given rise. Our function should be to do our best to exercise any calming influence that we can in order to bring about a resolution of the conflict on the basis ofjustice and of law.

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