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

February 19, 2003

What witch-hunts say about Europe

This article explores the hypocrisy behind Belgium's plan to try Sharon for alleged "crimes."
In light of the Belgian legal system's decision that action may proceed against Ariel Sharon over the Sabra and Shatilla massacre, much has been made of Belgian hypocrisy and over whether or not Belgium (or any other state) has the right to try foreign citizens for crimes committed outside their jurisdiction.

I believe that attention to these details, while somewhat valid, is a distraction and harmful to Israel.

The very real hypocrisy of the Belgians - whose complicity in the genocide in Rwanda and snail-pace on action against Yasser Arafat compromise their credibility - aside, Belgium - and all other liberal democracies - should have the right to try foreign citizens for crimes committed outside their jurisdiction (for example, Israel's trial of Adolf Eichmann). The interests of justice dictate this.

Yet, these issues are a sideshow.

The real issue is that the Belgian Sabra and Shatilla trial has nothing to do with justice. It's a witch hunt. If the Belgians were serious about bringing to account those responsible for the Sabra and Shatilla Massacre, they would be knocking on doors in Beirut, Jounieh and Damascus, not in Jerusalem.

Let us be perfectly frank about the issue here: Christian Maronites massacred approximately 800 Palestinian Arabs in two Palestinian suburbs in Beirut. And the Europeans want to crucify a Jew over it. [more]