Wanted in the Hague

It seems we are finally about to witness a serious legal assault on the war criminals occupying the land to our south. Tzipi Livni nearly cancelled her visit to Belgium after lawyers asked a court to arrest her for the war crimes perpetrated on the Palestinians. Some years ago, it very nearly came to a trial of Ariel Sharon in Belgium over Sabra and Shatila. Similar proceedings are initiated in the Netherlands and Great Britain. With top UN officials also calling for an inquiry, Israel is taking the threats extremely seriously: ‘Israeli authorities have issued an order banning the publication of the full name and photographs of the field commanders of the Gaza war, the Haaretz reported. The measure has been taken amid concerns that international bodies and rights groups are planning to take legal actions against the high-ranking Israeli commanders who have been involved in the alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Defense Ministry fears that interviews with army officers describing the destruction of civilian homes and other internationally unlawful acts could incriminate the military commanders. The ban applies to the full name and photographs of officers from the rank of battalion commander down. The order also prohibits tying particular battlefield commanders to the destruction of particular areas in the coastal sliver. According to the report, the decision had been made following the publication of reports that a lawsuit had been filed with a Dutch court against one of the Israeli brigade commanders after his identity was revealed by the media.’
As well as: ‘Barak is expected to bring forward a draft resolution supporting army officers and troops involved in unlawful actions during the Gaza War, The Jerusalem Post reported in its online edition. The move comes amid speculations that Tel Aviv will face a wave of legal cases which will be opened against Israel over alleged war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead. “The Israeli government bears the responsibility for sending IDF troops on missions, as well as for defending civilians, and as such is obligated to grant its full support,” Barak said Friday. The minister added that Israeli officers and troops should not be harmed due to their participation in the military operation. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had earlier tasked a special team, headed by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, to deal with possible lawsuits. The army will also set up a legal team to collect evidence which could be used to defend military commanders in international courts.’ Barak seems to forget the principle established at the Nuremberg trials of another genocide: ‘Befehl ist Befehl’ is no defence… In fact, I seem to remember that Israeli law actually contains a clause to the effect that it is the duty of every citizen to refuse to carry out orders that consitute the sort of human rights violations that the nazis inflicted on a certain religious community…
Not helping their defense in court will be remarks like these: ‘Israel’s war against Hamas was launched, in large part, to send a message to its adversaries: Be afraid. Any attacks on the Jewish state will be met with overwhelming, even brutal, force. Traditionally off-limits sites, like Mosques and hospitals, won’t serve as hiding places. Enemy leaders will be hunted down and killed — even if they’re surrounded by their children and wives. Israeli leaders believe they’ve accomplished that task. “The Arab view is now that Israel is a crazed animal, locked in a cage, fuming to get out all the time,” a senior Foreign Ministry official tells Danger Room, approvingly. “Now, it’s the responsibility of the Arab leadership to keep the animal in the cage, by not provoking it.“‘ In any case, where I come from, crazed animals are not kept in cages – they are shot. By far the quicker and easier solution, and you don’t have to feed them either…

The following is an example of the real life implementation of that doctrine, and is only one of the many atrocities Israelis will (hopefully) be convicted of: ‘Out of all the devastation I have seen so far, there is one story in particular that I think the world needs to hear. I met a mother who was at home with her ten children when Israeli soldiers entered the house. The soldiers told her she had to choose five of her children to “give as a gift to Israel.” As she screamed in horror they repeated the demand and told her she could choose or they would choose for her. Then these soldiers murdered five of her children in front of her. The concept of “Jewish morality” is truly dead. We can be fascists, terrorists, and Nazis just like everybody else.’

Mark Regev, the IDF spokesman, is getting ever more preposterous – he is now beginning to sound like that clown employed by Saddam who kept insisting the Iraqi army was successfully defending the country until the bombs were literally raining down on the building he was speaking in. After accusing Hamas of killing children to make the IDF look bad, he now ‘suggests’ it was Hamas, not Israel, using white phosphorus: ‘”When you walk into a totalitarian government where people have injuries, how do you know that some of these injuries weren’t caused – for example – by Hamas munitions?,” Regev told Britain’s Channel Four. When confronted by the Channel Four presenter for accusing Hamas, Regev argued that the democratically-elected government of Hamas is an “authoritarian government” and therefore reports gathered from witnesses in Gaza can not be relied upon. He went on to lash out at a report by the channel’s correspondent in Gaza for suggesting that “Israel went and randomly killed civilians” adding that it “is not clearly the case.”‘ Relish the careful formulation of that phrase: he doesn’t say ‘it is clearly not the case’, but ‘it is not clearly the case’… What the hell does that mean? Something is either the case or it is not, there is no middle ground there. This is Israeli semantics deviousness of the classic variety of ‘occupied territories’ versus ‘THE occupied territories’ – or even better: ‘disputed territories’! The Israelis don’t seem to realise that the time they could get away with a few of these niceties in the eyes of the world is long past… Notice also the characterisation ‘authoritarian government’ – used by the spokesman for a government that routinely censures the press, keeps journalists and aid workers away from war zones, forbids opposition parties and violently oppresses a significant part of its own population in its totally militarised society. Regev’s remarks are all the more absurd because they ‘came as Yigal Palmor, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman finally admitted on Friday that the controversial chemical weapon was deployed in its offensive against the Palestinian territory. “Yes, phosphorus was used but not in any illegal manner,” Palmor told The Times. “Some practices could be illegal but we are going into that. The IDF is holding an investigation concerning one specific incident.” Palmor was referring to the Israeli shelling of a UN headquarters in Gaza where the compound was hit by three white phosphorus shells causing a fire which destroyed much of the aid supplies.’

Meanwhile, anonymous human rights activists claiming to be Israelis have put up this website, with ‘Wanted by the International Criminal Court’ posters offering a handy overview of the most indictable suspects, such as this one: ‘Description of the suspect: a white woman, 50 years old, above average height, blonde hair.
Anyone who has information about the suspect when he is outside of the Israeli borders, report immediately to:
The Prosecutor – POBox 19519, 2500 Hague, Netherlands
Fax +31 70 515 8 555 – otp.informationdesk@icc-cpi.int
All calls will be treated in confidence’

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