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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

November 12, 2002

Israelis Fear Charges Of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity

This is pathetic. The article doesn't mention the International Criminal Court though it makes a swooning reference to "a growing trend towards global justice". I don't see how the countries mentioned would have the jurisdiction to prosecute even one Israeli official.

Most disappointing is seeing Britain on the list of countries likely to prosecute Israeli officials. There's no justification for any of these countries to prosecute anyone that doesn't commit a crime on their soil. In fact, if I were Israel I would consider the abduction of an Israeli traveling abroad an act of war.
The Israeli government has ordered an urgent assessment of whether its politicians and soldiers could face arrest and trial for war crimes while travelling abroad.

The move follows a report by the justice ministry that singled out Britain, Spain and Belgium as the most likely to prosecute Israeli officials who breach international law. But the government fears there is a growing trend towards global justice that could see Israelis effectively barred from visiting a host of states.

"We are building a map of all those countries that might give us a headache," said Ra'anan Gissin, spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon. "They want to arrest Israelis who are enforcing the law while the real war criminals, like Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat, get away scot free."

The report was ordered after lawyers presented the cabinet with a report commissioned in the wake of a failed legal action in the Belgian courts last year accusing Mr Sharon of war crimes over the massacres of Palestinians in refugee camps 20 years ago.

Last month, Scotland Yard launched an investigation of Israel's new defence minister, Lieutenant General Shaul Mofaz, during his short visit to Britain.

Amnesty International has called on signatories to the Geneva conventions to put on trial Israeli soldiers "responsible for war crimes" as defined in the Geneva conventions, such as unlawful killings, torture and the use of Palestinians as human shields in Jenin and Nablus earlier this year.
Of course, the increasingly offensive Amnesty International isn't considering context and the fact that Israel is fighting terrorists who don't wear uniforms, not a proper army.