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

January 16, 2003

Belgium Amending Law To Enable Sharon Trial

In a truly disgusting sign of the times in the EU, Belgium is passing a new law specifically targeting the Prime Minister of Israel. I assume this new brand of Nuremberg Law will soon be extended to cover all Jews whose mere existence is a "crime against humanity" as far as the European lynch mob is concerned. If not for the fact that they have already murdered all the Jews within two thousand miles I am quite certain that they would be preparing to fire the ovens again.
(Ha'aretz) Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt says he is not opposed to a proposal to amend the country's laws in a way that would allow Ariel Sharon to be indicted for war crimes.

Verhofstadt made his comment on Tuesday on the efforts of several politicians in Belgium's senate to amend and broaden the country's war crime laws. Under the proposal, originally sponsored mainly by left-wing politicians in the senate, Belgium's 1993 "Universal Law" would be expanded to apply to any person suspected of war crimes, "no matter where the suspect may be located."

The proposal won backing in the senate by all its parties. It then was moved to the state council, a body supposed to review the legal status of proposed bills, and evaluate their compatibility with Belgium's constitution.

The council approved the proposed amendment and the bill returned to the senate, where it passed on first reading. Second and third reading votes will be carried out next week, and the senate will apparently fully approve it. Belgium's government also supports the law, and now the Prime Minister has clarified that he doesn't oppose it.

Last June, a Belgian appeals court ruled that Ariel Sharon cannot face trial in the country on war crimes charges. Only suspects who dwell in Belgium can face trial for war crimes committed beyond the country's borders, the court found.

Israeli officials expressed consternation about Verhofstadt's position. Belgium's Prime Minister visited Israel over a year ago, when he was acting chairman of the European Union.

He met Sharon and the sources say that the meeting created the impression that Verhofstadt had reservations about legal proceedings which were then being carried out in Belgium against Israel's prime minister. The sources claimed that Belgium stands out as one of Europe's countries most hostile toward Israel.

On Sunday, Belgium's ambassador to Israel was called to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, where he was informed of Israel's concerns regarding the proposed new bill in Belgium.