PLO official Hanan Ashrawi: Israel’s assault on Gaza is ‘state terrorism’ and should be referred to the International Criminal Court

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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PLO official Dr. Hanan Ashrawi. (Photo: New America Foundation/Flickr)

PLO official Dr. Hanan Ashrawi. (Photo: New America Foundation/Flickr)

Israel’s assault on Gaza constitutes “state terrorism” and the state should be referred to the International Criminal Court, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Hanan Ashrawi charged in an interview Friday.

“When you target civilians, this is terrorism, but it is state terrorism, because it is taken as a result of political decisions giving orders to the army and the army executing these orders by killing civilians. Otherwise, how do you explain that the vast majority of victims are women and children?” Dr. Ashrawi told me over the phone. She is a member of the PLO’s executive committee–the body that represents Palestine internationally–and is a prominent spokeswoman for the Palestinian cause.

Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip has claimed the lives of over 800 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians. Human rights organizations have echoed Ashrawi’s charge that Israel has committed war crimes.


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Ashrawi has recently attracted attention in the U.S. because of an emotional interview aired on ABC News, in which she said Israel was carrying out a “deliberate massacre” in the Gaza Strip. Ashrawi has also made headlines for her threats to bring Israel to the International Criminal Court over alleged war crimes in Gaza. She told me that Palestinian officials “have taken the decision” to go to the ICC. And hours after the early Friday interview, the Associated Press reported that through a Paris-based lawyer, “top Palestinian officials have filed a complaint to the International Criminal Court, accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza.” Israel and the U.S. strenuously oppose such a move.

It’s doubtful the ICC will take on the case, and they first have to decide whether they have jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories. The “state of Palestine,” as the United Nations now calls it since the 2012 vote granting non-member observer state status to Palestine, has not acceded to the ICC because of the Israeli threats. But Ashrawi said that another avenue to the ICC was the UN Human Rights Council’s investigation into Israeli war crimes in Gaza. The council voted to establish an inquiry over the objections of the U.S. this week.

I interviewed Ashrawi on another day of intensive diplomacy aimed at securing at least a temporary cease-fire to halt the fighting between Israel and the Palestinian factions battling the state. Secretary of State John Kerry was in the region to try to get Israel and the Palestinian factions to agree to a temporary, one-week ceasefire. But Israel rejected it, though they did accept a 12-hour humanitarian truce.

The cease-fire negotiations are trying to bridge the large gap between the positions of the Palestinians and of Israel. Egypt, the U.S. and Israel all support a halt to the fighting before talking about Hamas and the PLO’s main demands, which focus on ending the crippling blockade of Gaza and releasing prisoners arrested in the West Bank who had been released in 2011 for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Hamas has expressed openness to a humanitarian truce.

“It’s a unified position. We want to end the siege, we want to lift the siege and the blockade, we want to ensure that the people of Gaza have…a minimal level of a decent life,” said Ashrawi. “We cannot go back to the status quo ante. This is a unanimous position adopted by all Palestinians–that the conditions giving rise to this Israeli impunity and use of violence and recurrent pattern of closing down Gaza and then shelling and bombing it, that this has to stop.”

The unity of the Palestinians was reflected in the massive demonstrations in the West Bank on Thursday night, said Ashrawi–protests that were the largest in decades. Those demonstrations, the largest of which were at the Qalandia checkpoint separating Ramallah from Jerusalem, “are significant in that they are sending a message to Israel and the world: that Gaza is not isolated, Gaza is not just one place. It is part of Palestine,” Ashrawi added.

While the PLO official expressed hope about the mass protests, she also was dour about the role the U.S. has played.

“Look, the problem of the American role is that they repeatedly support Israel blindly–that they have stood with the occupation, against the rights of the Palestinian people,” Ashrawi told me. “It’s very difficult to envision the Americans having a change of heart unless the American people really put pressure on their representatives. And it’s the American Congress unfortunately that is more Zionist than the Israeli government.”

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist and graduate student at New York University's Near East Studies and Journalism programs. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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98 Responses

  1. just
    July 26, 2014, 8:24 am

    Thank you Alex for profiling this and speaking with this wonderful Palestinian leader!

    She’s right, and her words ring in my head always– “End the Occupation”– she’s been saying it for years. This is terrorism, sponsored not only by Israel but by the US! It’s a massacre and it is genocide.

    In my dreams of a free Palestine, Hanan is President and Dr. Barghouti is at her side.

    ““Look, the problem of the American role is that they repeatedly support Israel blindly–that they have stood with the occupation, against the rights of the Palestinian people,” Ashrawi told me. “It’s very difficult to envision the Americans having a change of heart unless the American people really put pressure on their representatives. And its the American Congress unfortunately that is more Zionist than the Israeli government.””

    Can you hear now DC and America?

    • kalithea
      July 26, 2014, 12:19 pm

      In my dreams of a free Palestine, Hanan is President and Dr. Barghouti is at her side.

      Sorry, but Hanan, whose talk is good, is tainted by her association with the PA and Abbas.

      The Palestinians deserve new blood, strong leaders with unquestionable integrity.

  2. a blah chick
    July 26, 2014, 8:31 am

    The siege has to end but how can Mr Satan agree to that? If he says he’ll end it, even at some later date, Bennett and Lieberman will have his head on a spike. He’ll go down in history as the man who lost Gaza. He’s got no choice but to “win” this thing. Of course the US could put pressure on him but they’re not ready to do that.

  3. CloakAndDagger
    July 26, 2014, 8:37 am

    I just don’t get it – perhaps I am dense. What is preventing the ICC from ruling on this matter? Palestine is a recognized state by the UN, and the evidence of war crimes by Israel is indisputable – it has been so for years. Not moving on this renders all concerned as farcical at the very least. What am I missing?

    Wherefore art thou, Hostage?

  4. samlebon2306
    July 26, 2014, 8:39 am

    “And its the American Congress unfortunately that is more Zionist than the Israeli government.”

    Well said and very true..

  5. Kay24
    July 26, 2014, 8:40 am

    She is absolutely right. She has been demonized by the aggressors because she speaks out and they do not like the truth being spoken.
    Israel by every measure is indeed a terrorist state. No two words about it. They may claim to be a democratic nation and a victim, but the world can clearly see who the bigger terrorist is over there. They kill easily, lie easily, and get the support of the US easily. The solution is easy. ALL the US must do is, if it genuinely want to bring peace over there, is to stop ALL aid and deadly weapons going over to the terrorist state.
    If Israel was like Saddam Hussein, or some other dictator, that the US wants removed, massacred over 900 civilians, killed babies, and sent deadly weapons into a population that lives under brutal occupation, we would have shocked and awed Israel long time ago.
    But no, the US has lost any credibility as a genuine broker of peace, because it continues to aid and abet the terrorists who slaughter without hesitation, the children and women of Gaza.
    The side that kills more, uses ruthless means, has deadly weapons, inflicts fear, death and injuries more, and keeps a population under siege, in open prisons, and wields power over those civilians, are the BIGGEST terrorists.
    Shame on us for supporting terrorists. Not only are we talking with terrorists we are also arming them and defending them. What does that make US?

  6. seafoid
    July 26, 2014, 8:42 am

    Back to walt. Words are of no use after 47 years (or 66) of colonialism. The only remedy is the application of power.

  7. PeaceMafia
    July 26, 2014, 8:46 am

    “…And its the American Congress unfortunately that is more Zionist than the Israeli government.”
    A strong campaign by Americans to flood their representatives phones, emails, post mail with their disgust of not only the injustice of what’s happening in Palestine but also their disgust that their govt’s policy that Israel can do no wrong and blatantly breaks international laws, humanitarian laws as well as UN Resolutions… and he/she/it goes along with all that. Add in the true history of Palestine and ask why that is not taken into consideration, or if they knew the true history at all!

  8. Justpassingby
    July 26, 2014, 8:54 am

    Lets see how serious this is before we cheer, ICC havent got any accusation yet from palestinians.

    • Hostage
      July 26, 2014, 2:38 pm

      Lets see how serious this is before we cheer, ICC havent got any accusation yet from palestinians.

      You’ve made that claim here on several occasions and have never provided a reliable published source to back it up. I’ve provided you with third-party verifiable published sources which reported that the Palestinians had filed a criminal complaint in 2009. The ICC Prosecutor himself reported to the UN that the League of Arab States, including Palestine, had turned-over an international fact finding mission report on Operation Cast Lead that same year.

      Alex cited an Associated Press report above which says the Palestinians filed a complaint alleging war crimes, the crime of apartheid, and the crime of colonization (facilitating population transfers):

      Top Palestinian officials have accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza, filing a complaint Friday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

      Palestinian Justice Minister Saleem Al-Saqqa and Ismail Jabr, the Gaza court public prosecutor, started legal proceedings via a Paris-based lawyer over the 18 days of fighting between Hamas fighters and Israeli ground forces that’s left 800 Palestinians dead — including hundreds of civilians. Thirty seven Israelis have been killed, 35 of them soldiers.

      The officials accuse Israel of war crimes, which, they say, under the ICC statutes includes “crime of apartheid,” ”attacks against civilians,” ”excessive loss of human life” and “crime of colonization.”

      If the legal complaint is accepted it could give the Palestinians the first realistic chance of bringing a war crimes case against Israel.

      — Gaza officials accuse Israel of war crimes at ICC, Thomas Adamson Associated Press link to montereyherald.com

      Just to repeat, let’s review when exactly the Prosecutor claimed that he had received the first criminal complaint from the government of Palestine for his review:

      In an interview that was published on Sunday, Moreno-Ocampo said he was examining complaints filed by Palestinian Justice Minister Ali Kashan in January, which stated that Israel used incendiary white phosphorus shells in crowded civilian areas in Gaza, in violation of international law.
      The ICC prosecutor said Amnesty International and the Arab League had also presented his office with documentation related to Israel’s alleged illegal activities in the Hamas-ruled territory.
      Moreno-Ocampo initially dismissed the Palestinians’ appeals to the ICC, saying he could not build a case against Israel as it was not a signatory to the Rome Statute. However, he said he was re-examining the possibility of launching an investigation into Israel after the Palestinian Authority submitted documents recognizing the ICC’s authority.
      In accordance with the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, only a state can accept the court’s jurisdiction and allow such an investigation to be launched.
      Last month, Kashan and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki announced that they had submitted documents to Moreno-Ocampo that proved Palestine was a legal state with the right to request such a probe.
      “Today we came to deliver a set of documents that shows that Palestine as a state … has the ability to present a case to the court and to ask for an investigation into crimes committed by the Israeli army,” Kashan said then. “We will deliver more information about war crimes and crimes against humanity — not only in Gaza during the last Israeli attack, but also from 2002 until this moment.”
      Kashan said the documents included evidence of war crimes.
      Malki said they had provided proof that Palestine was recognized as a state by 67 countries and had bilateral agreements with states in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

      — See Today’s Zaman, “ICC prosecutor considers ‘Gaza war crimes’ probe” , 10 March 2009 link to goo.gl

      • just
        July 26, 2014, 2:53 pm

        Oh thank you Hostage!

      • adele
        July 26, 2014, 3:04 pm

        welcome back Hostage….you were very missed!

      • Shingo
        July 27, 2014, 8:35 am

        It’s such a relief to see you back here Hostage. You’re a treasure.

  9. HarryLaw
    July 26, 2014, 8:58 am

    I am really confused about this, the story here is Abbas has not acceded to the ICC because of the Israeli threats. The ICC have asked Abbas to sign up for membership of the ICC [and gain standing] which he is refusing to do. And yet they have put in an official complaint on the war crimes Israel is committing in Gaza through a Paris based Lawyer. So Abbas having been told his initial complaints filed years ago cannot be investigated because he will not formally sign up to the ICC. Now we have the ludicrous suggestion that the ICC will change their minds with this complaint, when in reality nothing has changed. It has been suggested that the reason Abbas will not sign up for the ICC is because he has ‘made commitments ‘ [presumably to the US] not to do so, if that was the case he could have had the UK on board at the UN when the UK said they would support Palestinian statehood if they promised not to pursue the ICC option, he refused [quite rightly] that blackmail, yet here we are back to square one because Abbas will not sign up. I do wish Hostage would comment on this.

    • just
      July 26, 2014, 9:21 am

      Perhaps this might help:

      “In the dysfunctional state of Israeli-Palestinian relations, the “nuclear option” for the Palestinians would be joining the International Criminal Court as a member state and exercising that membership to launch war crimes investigations against Israel. At least, that’s the view of many in Israel, which, like the United States, is not a member of the ICC.

      But to judge by comments made by the ICC’s former chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo — who, even two years after leaving his post in The Hague, remains the controversial court’s most persuasive advocate — Israel has little to worry about.

      Last week, on his first visit to Israel, Moreno-Ocampo was full of praise for the local legal system and eager to point out that joining the ICC could backfire for the Palestinians. “Being here in Israel is not liking talking about international justice in Boston or Sweden,” said Moreno-Ocampo, who was here as a guest of the Fried-Gal Transitional Justice Initiative at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s law school. “The issues here are not academic.”

      But he isn’t at all sure that if the Palestinian Authority were to join the ICC — or if Israel were to join, for that matter — the international court would actually play an active role in the conflict. ”

      link to haaretz.com

      I think the problem is with the court, not with the Palestinians…

      (article is from May 20, 2014)

      Oh and have a look at their investigations and preliminary investigations:

      link to icc-cpi.int

      slooooooow and um, cowardly.

      • aiman
        July 26, 2014, 9:28 am

        Interesting. Also according to Diana Buttu and a representative from HRW on Al Jazeera, the problem is the US and Israel on whom Abbas etc. depend.

      • can of worms
        July 26, 2014, 10:24 am

        I’d still go with seafoid’s comment above, that after so many years of colonialism these words (and other words, uttered against the backdrop of an American liberal think tank) are precious little. The PA could disband itself and let Israelis feel the price of occupation. This they are not doing.
        The Haaretz article saying the ICC will harm Palestinians more is by zionist Anshel Pfeffer. Have to be on the constant guard against both the liberals and the neoliberals.

      • kalithea
        July 26, 2014, 11:48 am

        The ICC stated they cannot proceed unless the Security Council agrees to the Palestinians having State status and not just observer status at the U.N. , but this is wrong and a shabby, false excuse to postpone and deny justice to not be embroiled in the mother of all legal battles that would ensue but that the Palestinians would win based on so much precedent and a mountain of evidence of war crimes for the past 66 years and counting. If such a Tribunal is organized get ready for something on the level of the Nuremburg trials, because the injustice i.e. terror and war crimes suffered by Palestinians because of Zionism is decades long!

        It’s my opinion that the Court has every obligation to take this case based on the gravity of the war crimes and the repeated nature of the offenses alone. But as well, Palestine is recognized as a state globally with the exception of the U.S. and Israel, but according to the Mandate for Palestine and Resolution 181 Palestine is a state in every sense of the word and to deny this fact is to deny all reason. It matters squat that Arab states refused to recognize the Partition Resolution 181. The Resolution PASSED, the Partition was declared and binding; Israel became a state and embraced this Resolution and enjoyed all the benefits of such despite Palestinian objection to the Partition. The Partition has been forced on the Palestinians because the Resolution was BINDING, and therefore the rights of Palestinians willingly or not should be protected under such resolution. In addition, the Palestinians have suffered all the painful consequences and tragedy of the Partition and that fact also makes it binding. There is in fact serious compensation to be awarded to the Palestinians for all breaches of the Resolution that resulted in displacement, dispossession, destruction of property and loss of life for them. And the PA should fight for such justice. Just as Zionists cannot embrace a part of the Resolution and reject another, neither can the Palestinians. Whether either party rejects parts of the Resolution is irrelevant as it is binding law in its entirety regardless of what the parties think. But yes, in my opinion indulging Zionism by punishing Palestinians was the biggest mistake of all and if it could be reversed it should and Jews should be the ones to reverse this injustice. But that’ll never happen so back to reality.
        The fault is 110% with the U.N. for failing to enforce the provisions of the Resolution when it suited them regardless of U.S. pressure and for failing to protect what is the de facto State of Palestine. Israel can’t have its cake; a State within Resolution 181, and eat it too, disregard the provisions i.e. responsibilities of such statehood under Resolution 181. Israel’s insolent and grave disregard for the provisions of the Resolution is tantamount to the Arabs rejection of the Resolution, so either the Resolution is nullified by Israel’s egregious disregard for those provisions and thus Israel automatically loses its statehood and similarly Arab rejection of the State of Israel makes the Palestinians lose their protections under the Resolution and we return to a non partitioned land or the Resolution is binding in its entirety for BOTH. So, if the Resolution in regards to Israel being a state remains binding despite its breaches against Resolution 181, then the entire Resolution is binding and Palestine is already a state under law despite its rejection of the State of Israel at some points in history and must be afforded the protections and rights accordingly! This Resolution is not for the benefit of one party alone! The rule of law must be applied ONCE AND FOR ALL regarding this Resolution or there is no State of Israel to speak of!
        All along, the responsibility was with the PLO, PA, or PNA call it what you will to fight for the application of the rule of law especially after it tacitly recognized the State of Israel by submitting to the Oslo Accords because the Oslo Accords are indeed a tacit acceptance of Israel and the PA later reiterated that it recognized Israel as a state. (Never mind recognizing it as Jewish, which would be an even bigger, tragic mistake than Oslo, as this notion is already radicalizing Israel and fomenting racism and hate crimes against Palestinians and would invite greater diminishment of Palestinian rights.)

        It was the U.N.’s responsibility and the Security Council’s responsibility to enforce the Resolution with both parties and apply sanctions to both parties for breaches; therefore the Security Council and especially the U.S. is in breach of the rule of law on this issue for its failure to vote sanctions for breaches of the Resolution.

        IMHO the Oslo Accords should never have happened as they created an egregious status quo for Palestinians opening the door to grave violations against Resolutions 181. Instead, the Rule of Law should have over-ruled such accords and sanctions for breaches should have been imposed to bring the parties to respect the Resolution. But in regards to Oslo, I again fault the PA for having betrayed their people in so many ways, and for not having vigorously pursued justice under the protections afforded by Resolution 181 and of course I especially fault Israel and the U.S. for their serious breaches.

        Had everyone recognized the power and authority of the law we would not be in this position today. But, legal consideration must also been taken for the way in which Zionists took possession of their State through terrorism and ethnic cleansing which also constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Palestinian leadership has an obligation to vigorously pursue justice for its people and to challenge the premise of the court on the Palestinian statehood issue. IMHO, the PA, has been an abject failure and Palestinians deserve strong leadership that cannot allow itself to be corrupted and/or tyrannized by U.S. dollars or pressure of any kind.

        Everyone is failing the Palestinian people and that includes the refugees who already comprise a STATE and undermining their rights, and the U.N. and the ICC have an obligation to rectify this injustice! There are no excuses for no proceeding and no amount of pettifoggery by Israel’s advocates should be permitted to deny the legal truth here. But before ABBAS MUST GO! A strong leadership committed to justice needs to step up for the Palestinians fight for their rights in every venue. Justice for Palestinians is long overdue.

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 4:52 pm

        Last week, on his first visit to Israel, Moreno-Ocampo was full of praise for the local legal system . . . I think the problem is with the court, not with the Palestinians…

        That went over like a lead balloon in the legal community:

        Luis Moreno-Ocampo: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
        Is it really possible that a senior official of the International Criminal Court would actually discourage States from ratifying the Rome Statute?
        Yet that seems to be the advice that Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who was Prosecutor of the Court from 2003 to 2012, is offering to both Israel and Palestine.

        I don’t believe Moreno-Ocampo is alone in adopting this position. He may have picked it up from the US Department of State, whose views he has often echoed. But the United Kingdom and France, both of the States Parties to the Rome Statute, have also suggested that Palestine should not ratify the Rome Statute.
        This sheds additional light on the Court’s African focus, something that is very much the legacy of Luis Moreno-Ocampo. If he thinks Palestine and Israel should look for a ‘creative’ solution to their differences and that they should avoid the Court, his message seems to be that the institution is good for Africans but not for others.
        It would be helpful to the Court if Moreno-Ocampo would keep his mouth shut.

        link to humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.com

        “The impression that international justice is a tool of powerful States directed against smaller, weaker, poorer, and more isolated countries and peoples is the greatest challenge to international criminal justice today. Some of these large, powerful nations are themselves guilty of terrible abuses that go unpunished. For example, the United States enthusiastically joins in efforts to prosecute Hissène Habré in Senegal under the Torture Convention, yet its administration has promised impunity to American leaders and military officials responsible for torture at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and elsewhere. Until international justice satisfactorily addresses this double standard, there will be little satisfaction in more trials of the likes of Taylor, Lubanga, and Mladić. For this reason, the most inspiring development of the past year was the decision of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to undertake a preliminary examination of the conduct of British forces in Iraq.”
        — William Schabas, Professor of International Law, University of Middlesex, and author of Unimaginable Atrocities: Justice, Politics, and Rights at the War Crimes Tribunals (2014)

        “In my view, it is time to begin to question whether the International Criminal Court will ever play a major role in the fight against impunity. This is not an issue of bad management, poor decision-making, or anything else epiphenomenal and potentially fixable. Instead, it’s a question of institutional design: it is simply unclear whether the Court, by aiming to keep watch over both the victors and the vanquished, will ever be able to muster the kind of international support – from states, and most importantly from the Security Council – that it needs to conduct credible investigations and prosecutions. There is reason for scepticism, given the Court’s inability to prosecute both rebels and government officials in even one conflict. Indeed, it’s difficult to avoid wondering: for all its flaws, is victor’s justice the only international criminal justice possible? Is selectivity an inherent part of an international criminal tribunal that works?”
        — Kevin Jon Heller, Professor of Criminal Law, SOAS, University of London, and author of The Hidden Histories of War Crimes Trials (2013)
        link to blog.oup.com

      • just
        July 26, 2014, 5:05 pm

        Many thanks Hostage. All of that makes sense to me. A shame, really– and it’s not the Palestinians’ shame or ‘fault’.

      • W.Jones
        July 26, 2014, 11:22 pm

        Good question by Kevin about victor’s justice and who the ICC prosecutes.

      • gracie fr
        July 27, 2014, 6:40 am

        hinking about R2P from the Palestine angle also brings to mind Hilary Charlesworth’s thoughts on international law being merely a discipline of crisis (MLR 65.3, 2002). She wrote that international lawyers are preoccupied with great crises, rather than the politics of everyday life: ‘In this way international law steers clear of analysis of longer-term trends and structural problems’. This was also considered by David Koller, (EJIL 23.1, 2012) discussing how ‘accuracy in empirical description is sacrificed to advance normative prescriptions’ in order to support the dominant scholarly narrative of international law, whereby ‘historical events situated at particular coordinates in space and time are co-opted to tell a story of international law’s progressive development over time’. Thus, international law academics have created ‘and continue to create the metaphysical geography of international law, first as a linear field of progressive development and then in the circular counter-narrative’ i.e. ‘…and New York and The Hague and Tokyo and Geneva and Nuremberg and…’
        link to juancole.com

    • Walid
      July 26, 2014, 10:09 am

      “yet here we are back to square one because Abbas will not sign up. I do wish Hostage would comment on this.

      Harry, all Abbas’ apologist would answer to your question is to call you names because you still haven’t grasped his 22 explanations on why Abbas has his hands tied behind his back in this sad train of events and to do otherwise such as going forward with the signing up would only raise the wrath of the Americans that would cut the Palestinians’ allowance and cause them to starve. It’s so simple and obvious, as Hostage explained it over and over and over; why can’t you get it, or are you deliberately playing at not understanding, as he would ask?

      • W.Jones
        July 26, 2014, 12:06 pm

        Walid,

        Just consider the argument:
        First, even if the PA joined the ICC, does the ICC’s prosecutor have the ability to avoid prosecuting?
        The ICC incorrectly claimed that it had to resolve the question of the PA’s statehood before prosecuting, so perhaps the ICC would still find another excuse?

        Second, perhaps the Israeli State would take punitive measures against the PA leadership for seeking justice and an end to the abuse in the ICC?

        Of course, acceding to the ICC would still be a step forward.

      • Walid
        July 26, 2014, 1:16 pm

        W.Jones, I’m not debating whether or not the Palestinians would get anything out of the ICC, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t not because of some technicality but simply because the US carries a very big stick; my problem with Abbas is for refusing to go to it, and for running interference for Israel since Oslo. But I’m sure he’d never lost any sleep over it since I’m not even Palestinian. I’ll just wait for Hostage to come back to tell me that the US’ big stick has nothing to do with the ICC because of such and such provision.

      • W.Jones
        July 26, 2014, 1:38 pm

        Walid,

        This is a mixed bag. Some folks will say Abbas is a collaborator and isn’t doing more for that reason. Others say Abbas is certainly not a collaborator- he wants sovereignty, and the problem is that he has too much pressure from the S.O.I. and the U.S.

        Hostage was very knowledgeable about our topics on MW and fun to talk with. It was neat to hear that he worked with resettling people in Vietnam. I didn’t expect that he would vanish over a critical discussion.

      • Walid
        July 26, 2014, 3:55 pm

        “Hostage was very knowledgeable about our topics on MW and fun to talk with. ”

        W. Jones, he sure is, beyond any doubt and he has my full admiration and respect for his knowledge. But he doesn’t let anyone anywhere close to criticizing or attacking Abbas. Now I have to go straight to Abierno’s AI link to read it.

      • W.Jones
        July 26, 2014, 4:05 pm

        Walid,
        I would tend to agree with Hostage’s defense of Abbas. And yet nonetheless, what kind of discussion can we have if I don’t let you discuss your point of view about that?

      • Justpassingby
        July 26, 2014, 5:34 pm

        Walid

        YOu are spot on Hostage on being an apologist for Abbas, some months back he was proven wrong on ICC.
        link to mondoweiss.net
        He might be good at copy and paste but I dont think he know what he copy and paste.

      • Walid
        July 26, 2014, 7:02 pm

        Justpassingby, Hostage definitely knows his history and nobody can best him on it here; but he’s got a soft spot for Abbas and feels that the man should be given a break because things keep happening to him. And on that, he is 100% correct, as his man never makes anything happen. There’s the rub.

      • just
        July 26, 2014, 7:10 pm

        Walid, what would you have him do?

        Please tell me. I, for one, take my own responsibility seriously and petition my own government to change. I don’t know how any Palestinian leader can do any better at standing up to both Israel and the US and for his people.

        It’s more than daunting and fraught with landmines. If all folks (most importantly the despotic folks in the region) would heed Nasrallah’s words yesterday, there would be a grand shift.

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 7:17 pm

        YOu are spot on Hostage on being an apologist for Abbas, some months back he was proven wrong on ICC.
        link to mondoweiss.net
        He might be good at copy and paste but I dont think he know what he copy and paste.

        You obviously can’t read and comprehend the third-party verifiable legal information I supply from reliable published sources. Erekat isn’t one of those, since he has no legal training and doesn’t advise the President or Justice Minister in his official capacity.

        Erekat subsequently claimed his comments reported in the MW article were edited and taken out of context:

        RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — An audio recording has surfaced in which Mahmoud Abbas’ top aide is heard saying the Palestinian leader isn’t tough in dealing with Israel and has let himself be humiliated.

        Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday the recording was spliced together from different comments, with words taken out of context, and that he is the target of a smear campaign.

        “My words are taken from 16 to 17 speeches, cut and paste, adding and omitting, a montage,” he said, adding that he has asked Palestinian intelligence to analyze the recording.

        Aide criticizes Palestinian leader in recording, By Associated Press link to dailymail.co.uk

        I could care less if you offer legitimate criticism of Abbas. I’ve commented elsewhere that he should be held accountable for his human rights abuses by the UN treaty bodies, now that Palestine is a state party to all the major IHL and IHRL conventions.

        But people here keep blaming Abbas for not opting to join an organization that has spent one billion dollars of its members dues to convict two Africans in 12 years, while ignoring crimes committed in member states, like Cyprus and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Palestine can remain a non-member and accept the Court’s jurisdiction for free under the explicit terms of the Rome Statute – and Abbas has reportedly instructed the Justice Ministers to do that twice now.

        Hell, even the UN Security Council resolutions that refer situations to the ICC stipulate that there will be no UN funding. The association agreement between the two organizations doesn’t require any reimbursement in such cases, e.g.

        The French-proposed resolution contained some flaws. As a concession to the United States, diplomats have reported, the text included a provision that would exempt the nationals of non-ICC states parties from the court’s jurisdiction should they participate in operations in Syria mandated by the UN Security Council. The draft resolution also imposed the entire financial burden of a Syria investigation on ICC states parties, barring any UN funding for prosecutions that result from a Security Council referral, and did not make cooperation for non-ICC member countries mandatory.

        link to hrw.org

        So why should Palestine join and pay tribute to the ICC? It can’t even get the necessary funds transferred to pay its own Gaza prosecutor, who filed the complaint with the ICC yesterday.

      • just
        July 26, 2014, 7:24 pm

        Thanks again, Hostage. Clear as day.

      • Walid
        July 26, 2014, 7:48 pm

        Just, the list is long but simply start with the police force that’s there to look out for Israel first. For the current mini insurrection in progress on the WB, the young lads are having to fight their way through the Palestinian police blockades to reach the Israeli soldiers on which they could throw their stones. I don’t have any super formula on what should be done because if I did, I’d be president somewhere and I’m not. The man has walked away from too many opportunities to do something positive for his people. Tonight, there’s a whole lot of foreign ministers meeting in Paris to discuss the fate of the Palestinians, and there isn’t a single Palestinian person among them. The Israelis and the Egyptians got together and came out with an Egyptian cease-fire plan on which no Palestinian was consulted and Abbas agreed with. The list can go on for ever.

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 8:03 pm

        Justpassingby, Hostage definitely knows his history and nobody can best him on it here; but he’s got a soft spot for Abbas and feels that the man should be given a break because things keep happening to him.

        No, I don’t have a soft spot for Abbas. He was elected President of the interim PNA by a 60 percent majority and Chairman of the PLO Executive (aka the provisional government of the State of Palestine) in 2009 by a majority of the delegates that were present and voting at the regional conference. People criticize him “for not going to the ICC”, but he has actually done everything that the statute requires for the Prosecutor to take action. One of the shortcomings of the Rome Statute is that the Judges can only request that the Prosecutor reconsider investigations and prosecutions, but can’t overturn a decision by the OTP to close a preliminary examination without taking action. See for example the discussion about “The Proposed Independent Oversight Mechanism for the International Criminal Court” at the ICC Prosecutor’s Forum link to iccforum.com

        The Prosecutor has almost boundless discretion to decide to do nothing.

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 8:21 pm

        Just, the list is long but simply start with the police force that’s there to look out for Israel first.

        The same General Assembly that adopted resolutions affirming the right of national liberation movements to engage in lawful armed resistance against valid occupation government and military objectives got fed-up with suicide bombing of buses and pizza parlors and Israel’s reprisals, including the Wall. The 10th Emergency Special Session convened under the auspices of the Uniting for Peace resolution ordered the Palestinian Authority “to undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks” [in line with the obligations spelled-out in the Quartet Road Map that was endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 1515]. link to unispal.un.org

        There has been a formal request after the statehood bid for the Security Council and the General Assembly to eliminate the requirement for Palestine to coordinate or cooperate with Israeli security forces.

      • just
        July 26, 2014, 8:28 pm

        I appreciate your reply, Walid. I think that most of us are incredibly frustrated and helpless. It is first Israel and the US that need to change their ways. The Occupation and massacres/genocide/terrorism need to end. I have more than enough work to do here without blaming Palestinians for the mess we’ve made of their lives.

        They’ll sort it out when they get their human rights, that we helped to steal, back.

        (Thanks again, Hostage. I was going to mention that bit, but I am not nearly as skilled/learned as you.)

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 5:01 pm

        Harry, all Abbas’ apologist would answer to your question is to call you names . . . It’s so simple and obvious, as Hostage explained it over and over and over; why can’t you get it, or are you deliberately playing at not understanding, as he would ask?

        Article 12(3) ad hoc declarations supplied by non-member states in order to accept the Court’s jurisdiction are black letter law contained in the Rome Statute itself. Luis Moreno Ocampo acknowledged that fact in his final update on the situation in Palestine. It really doesn’t get any simpler than that. I have explained it here, over and over again, without calling anyone names.

    • W.Jones
      July 26, 2014, 11:48 am

      Hostage’s view, correctly, was that the ICC even has enough standing at this very moment to prosecute, even without the PNA joining the ICC as a member. The last time around, the ICC decided that it would not intervene until it resolved the question of Palestine’s status as a state. In fact though, the Geneva convention never says that the victims of war crimes have to belong to a state that is a member of the court in order to launch a complaint.

      However, naturally if the PNA is a member of the court, then it has more of a voice to push its claims than if it wasn’t.

      Now this is an interesting issue: What if the Palestinians did join the ICC? Could the ICC still refuse to take up the matter, based on some pretext, like the ex-prosecutor claimed? Well, if the ex-prosecutor is saying that, then even if he is wrong in terms of law, it suggests that in reality if he was still the prosecutor he might have succeeded in avoiding the prosecution. At least in US domestic law, the prosecutor has discretion whether to prosecute or not.

      How can you “make” the ICC do its job when the prosecutor doesn’t want to?

      • can of worms
        July 26, 2014, 12:51 pm

        And regardless of the legal outcome, applying to the ICC would have generated a discourse.

      • Walid
        July 26, 2014, 1:19 pm

        “How can you “make” the ICC do its job when the prosecutor doesn’t want to?”

        You probably can’t; that’s what I meant about the big stick. Not to hit anyone over the head with it but to stick it in the spokes.

      • HarryLaw
        July 26, 2014, 1:30 pm

        W.Jones. In my opinion the Prosecutor does have discretion, and could base any decision on any number of facts, she would of course have to justify any decision in a legally well thought through argument. However in this case the correct procedure to follow and the only one that makes any sense is for the Prosecutor to let the pre trial chamber judges make a decision, it is their job, they can trawl through all the existing law and precedents on whether Palestine is ‘a state’ and make a well thought through legal determination. Or she could send it to the Secretary General at the United Nations, who I believe is the depository for the ICC. If he has a doubt it is practice for him to let the General Assembly make that decision, because of the huge vote in favor of Palestinian membership of UNESCO any vote at the UNGA would be a slam dunk.

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 5:23 pm

        Or she could send it to the Secretary General at the United Nations, who I believe is the depository for the ICC. If he has a doubt it is practice for him to let the General Assembly make that decision, because of the huge vote in favor of Palestinian membership of UNESCO any vote at the UNGA would be a slam dunk.

        This is exactly wrong. Anyone can read all of the relevant published criteria contained in paragraph 79- 81 of the Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General As Depositary Of Multilateral Treaties, ST/LEG/7/Rev.l, 1998, prepared By The Treaty Section Of The Office Of Legal Affairs. link to treaties.un.org

        The former Prosecutor admitted that his office had no statutory authority to make any determinations regarding Palestine’s statehood. His office certainly had no legal standing to interpret the practice of the General Assembly for the Secretary General. He (incorrectly) stated that it was up to the Secretary General to decide, based upon the Practice of the General Assembly. He then proceeded to make an ultra vires determination anyway, based upon his personal views about the significance of the legally irrelevant UN observer status of Palestine, without bothering to actually consult either the Secretary General or the General Assembly.

        In fact, the “Vienna formula” contained in the UN Convention on the Law of Treaties governs the actions of the Secretary General and the General Assembly. Article 5 says that it applies to any international agreement, like the Rome Statute, that serves as the constituent document of an international organization. Article 6 provides that “Every State possesses capacity to conclude treaties.” and articles 81 and 83 stipulate that members of UN specialized agencies, like Palestine, are perfect examples of a “category of States” recognized, as such, by all of the contracting state parties and the UN organization. They have an open invitation to file accessions and become State Parties to multilateral conventions, without the need for the Secretary General to consult the practice of the General Assembly. Those articles created a treaty obligation for the Secretary General, the General Assembly, and the ICC to treat Palestine as a state from the moment it was admitted as a full member of UNESCO in November of 2011. That situation rendered the subsequent erroneous opinions of the Prosecutors about the possible relevance of Palestine’s observer status completely immaterial.

      • Abierno
        July 26, 2014, 3:26 pm

        @w.Jones. Appraisal of Abbas needs to occur in the context of Israeli, US and Egyptian goals for regime change. Discussion exists among this triumvirate about replacing Abbas and his entourage with Mohammed Dahlan, who was identified by Joseph Massad as “viewed, by many Palestinians, as the most corrupt official in the history of the Palestinian national movement (and there are many contenders for the title.)” The article from which this comes was considered so controversial it was removed from Al Jazeera where it was originally
        published, but resurrected on the Electronic Intifada. Readers who want to know what’s waiting in the wings, once Gaza and the West Bank are smashed should read this excellent article link to electronicintifada.net

      • Walid
        July 26, 2014, 4:18 pm

        Very interesting and spooky Abierno; story picks up where the Vanity Fair one ended. Not any wonder that Bush referred to him as “our man”.

        I still can’t figure out how he convinced Hamas to release the 40 captured UAE spies that had entered Gaza masquerading as medics a couple of weeks back or so and even let them return home.

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 4:38 pm

        Very interesting and spooky Abierno; story picks up where the Vanity Fair one ended.

        The Vanity Fair article did a really piss-poor job of explaining that Abbas spent about a year and half in negotiations with Haniyeh to form a governing coalition, while undergoing a complete cutoff of funding and repeated demands from the US and Israel that he overturn the results of the election. It’s pretty obvious that he wasn’t behind any plans for a coup.

        The Gaza bombshell article also failed to pass the giggle test, by simply passing along the stovepiped accounts of behind the scenes events supplied by Elliot Abrams, John Bolton, and David Wurmser without any disclaimers. Even then, the Fatah militia members that were interviewed noted that Dahlan was acting independent of other Fatah party factions and that Bush and Rice must have wanted Hamas to takeover Gaza. Wikileaks confirmed that Israel wanted that to happen so it could treat Gaza as an enemy state.

        The US and Israel had both planted stories in the press for months explaining that they were building up the Palestinian forces and arming them. So it’s much more likely that the US and Israel simply used Dahlan as bait to start a shooting war that wasn’t supported by either Abbas or the PLO.

        The documents that the author was promised by Hamas were never produced. The ones from Abbas that got quoted contained nothing that didn’t subsequently appear in the “Ending the Occupation and Establishing the State” program. It had nothing to do with any plan for a coup.

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 4:21 pm

        What if the Palestinians did join the ICC? Could the ICC still refuse to take up the matter, based on some pretext, like the ex-prosecutor claimed?

        After 12 years, a billion dollars, and two convictions the answer is obviously a resounding yes. The pattern of Prosecutorial misconduct and error was so flagrant in the very first case, that the Judges in the Trial Chamber halted the proceedings and ordered the defendant released. The Appeals Chamber intervened and kept the case alive, but only after the most serious charges were dismissed with prejudice. See the articles in the “Policing International Prosecutors” series link to opiniojuris.org and “The OTP’s Remarkable Slow-Walking of the Afghanistan Examination” link to opiniojuris.org

      • Abierno
        July 26, 2014, 5:22 pm

        Thanks Hostage for the background to the Vanity Fair article. Very
        helpful.

      • Walid
        July 26, 2014, 6:41 pm

        Abierno, don’t be so hasty in discounting the Vanity Fair article simply because Hostage ridiculed it; it was cited a source document only 4 days ago by the Daily Kos. In a nutshell, it reiterated what was in the Jazeera article you linked to via AI.

        link to dailykos.com

        I didn’t refer to that article to give anyone the giggles but simply to add that the Jazeera/AI piece on Dahlan and the overall corruption of the PA had been also discussed in the Vanity Fair piece. Ridiculing the article by referring to its “stovepiping” facts does not negate the 2000 Egyptian automatic rifles and ammunition that the US had stockpiled under the trusteeship of Dahlan for a planned overthrow of Hamas that nipped it in the bud when they received advance notice of it in a leaked article in the “al-Majd ” Jordanian newspaper.

      • oldgeezer
        July 26, 2014, 7:39 pm

        @Walid

        Dailykos “After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, :

        Did they really? I clearly remember Sharon et al were constantly in the press railing against PA/PLO corruption and even revealing the extent (even if fictitious) of the looting. It was constant and consistent. I kept thinking is he (Sharon) the campaign manager for Hamas?

        Or was the election and subsequent attempted overthrow merely two individual steps in the never ending process of keeping the Palestinian people in turmoil and therefore not ready for statehood and not a partner for peace.

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 7:42 pm

        Ridiculing the article by referring to its “stovepiping” facts does not negate the 2000 Egyptian automatic rifles and ammunition that the US had stockpiled under the trusteeship of Dahlan for a planned overthrow of Hamas that nipped it in the bud when they received advance notice of it in a leaked article in the “al-Majd ” Jordanian newspaper.

        FYI, the USA and Israel got the Quartet to adopt some articles in the Road Map about establishing an “empowered Prime Minister”, when Sharon and Bush got fed-up with President Arafat. They even got some of their subsidized NGOs to parrot their “civil society” demands for reform of the security forces and recommendations regarding transfer of operational control away from President Arafat. Nonetheless, there was nothing in the 2003 Basic Law that gave any official standing to the Hamas militias in Gaza as a result of the elections or gave the new Hamas Prime Minister day to day control of the Security Forces. In other words, the President, and his armed forces under Dahlan, remained the competent legal police and security authorities in Gaza. Once again, Olmert and Bush had both made statements in the press about large arms shipments and the training of security forces under Dahlan and Dayton in the run-up to the so-called preemptive coup launched by Hamas and it was obvious that they both wanted a civil war. It was not obvious that Abbas wanted a coup, and the Vanity Fair article makes it clear he ignored repeated demands from Secretary Rice that he and the PLO Executive should dissolve the cabinet.

      • Walid
        July 27, 2014, 12:52 am

        “Or was the election and subsequent attempted overthrow merely two individual steps in the never ending process of keeping the Palestinian people in turmoil and therefore not ready for statehood and not a partner for peace.”

        OG, Israel always needs to have a rogue present in the picture; I still remember back then how Abbas and the rest of the Fatah rogues didn’t want elections held because they weren’t ready for them and neither did Hamas who were sure to lose, but Bush insisted on having them held. Now I can see that the insistence had to be due either to what you mentioned or simply because it was sure Israel could and rig the elections to ensure a win for Fatah.

        To everyone’s surprise especially Hamas, the 2006 outcome gave 74 seats to Hamas to Fatah’s 45 because Palestinians wanted to get rid of the corrupt Fatah and that’s when the US and Israel began their plan to get rid Hamas and haven’t stopped since.

      • W.Jones
        July 26, 2014, 7:46 pm

        Thanks. I wonder what pretext the prosecutor would use to avoid exercizing his discretion under the Rome Statute if the PA joined the ICC.

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 10:06 pm

        I wonder what pretext the prosecutor would use to avoid exercizing his discretion under the Rome Statute if the PA joined the ICC.

        So far, the ICC and the Security Council have successfully employed the bogus “gravity” argument. It’s a grave situation and a threat to international peace and security when 7 UN peace keepers are killed, but not when a few thousand civilians are massacred by a rogue state.

    • Hostage
      July 26, 2014, 3:31 pm

      I am really confused about this, the story here is Abbas has not acceded to the ICC because of the Israeli threats. The ICC have asked Abbas to sign up for membership of the ICC [and gain standing] which he is refusing to do.

      None of the sources Alex cited actually say that. The Rome Statute hasn’t been amended. Article 12(3) grants non-member states the legal right to accept the jurisdiction of the Court through an ad hoc declaration and the Prosecutor is bound by the terms of the Rome Statute (I kid you not):

      Article 12
      Preconditions to the exercise of jurisdiction

      1. A State which becomes a Party to this Statute thereby accepts the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to the crimes referred to in article 5.

      2. In the case of article 13, paragraph (a) or (c), the Court may exercise its jurisdiction if one or more of the following States are Parties to this Statute or have accepted the jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with paragraph 3:

      (a) The State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred or, if the crime was committed on board a vessel or aircraft, the State of registration of that vessel or aircraft;

      (b) The State of which the person accused of the crime is a national.

      3. If the acceptance of a State which is not a Party to this Statute is required under paragraph 2, that State may, by declaration lodged with the Registrar, accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court with respect to the crime in question. The accepting State shall cooperate with the Court without any delay or exception in accordance with Part 9.

      link to goo.gl

      The former Prosecutor explained that situation in his last update report to the United Nations:

      4. The jurisdiction of the Court is not based on the principle of universal jurisdiction: it requires that the United Nations Security Council (article 13(b)) or a “State” (article 12) provide jurisdiction. Article 12 establishes that a “State” can confer jurisdiction to the Court by becoming a Party to the Rome Statute (article 12(1)) or by making an ad hoc declaration accepting the Court’s jurisdiction (article 12(3)).

      link to icc-cpi.int

      The new Prosecutor cited her predecessor’s report, but failed to take the portion regarding ad hoc declarations by non-member states into account when she subsequently stated:

      236. In its decision, the OTP stated that “it is for the relevant bodies at the United Nations or the Assembly of States Parties to make the legal determination whether Palestine qualifies as a State for the purpose of acceding to the Rome Statute and thereby enabling the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court under article 12(1).” The Office added that “the current status granted to Palestine by the United Nations General Assembly is that of ‘observer,’ not as a ‘Nonmember State.’ The Prosecutor has therefore determined that there was no basis on which to pursue the preliminary examination further.” The OTP concluded by stating that “the Office could in the future consider allegations of crimes committed in Palestine, should competent organs of the United Nations or eventually the Assembly of States Parties resolve the legal issue relevant to an assessment of article 12.”19 The Office’s determination, thus, was that the 2009 declaration was not validly lodged.

      link to icc-cpi.int

      That comment isn’t particularly relevant, since the former Prosecutor admitted he was not empowered to make a determination and his statements and rationale regarding the Secretary General’s Practice as Depositary and Palestine’s observer status were erroneous, immaterial, and contradicted by the rules contained in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (aka the Vienna formula) and the published criteria contained in paragraph 81 of the Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General As Depositary Of Multilateral Treaties, ST/LEG/7/Rev.l, 1998, prepared By The Treaty Section Of The Office Of Legal Affairs. link to treaties.un.org

      Palestine was admitted as a full member state of UNESCO, a UN specialized agency, months before the Prosecutor erroneously decided it wasn’t a state (without bothering to actually consult the Secretary General or the General Assembly on the question).

      • MHughes976
        July 26, 2014, 3:52 pm

        It’s not often that I feel sure I speak for hundreds, but I do now. Great to hear from you again, Hostage!

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 5:37 pm

        It’s not often that I feel sure I speak for hundreds, but I do now. Great to hear from you again, Hostage!

        Well thanks, I’ve been staying busy, e.g. See the article and my comments “Can Israel Cut Off Water and Power to Gaza?” link to opiniojuris.org

      • oldgeezer
        July 26, 2014, 7:29 pm

        There’s another place you post as well where I have read your writings. Too lazy to look at my bookmarks. In my opinion (most important to me!) your knowledge exists the sum total of all other posters and adds perspective.

        In terms of Abbas I am disappointed that he didn’t speak out louder and earlier in support of Gazan civilians in general…. I’m glad I’m not in his position.

  10. seafoid
    July 26, 2014, 9:35 am

    The formula “we are untouchable because we are Jewish” is well past its sell by date.

    • just
      July 26, 2014, 9:47 am

      bloated cans, moldy bread, sour milk, rancid oil, shrunken fruit…… yep, that pretty much describes the ‘formula’.

  11. Justpassingby
    July 26, 2014, 9:40 am

    BS! Abbas didnt go to ICC but apparently Fatah support a european lawyer doing it?!’
    Kick, this, man, out!

    • Hostage
      July 26, 2014, 3:55 pm

      BS! Abbas didnt go to ICC but apparently Fatah support a european lawyer doing it?!’
      Kick, this, man, out!

      What’s your point? Gilles Devers is a highly qualified expert who has taught international law at the University of Lyon. He is a member of the International Solidarity Movement and the head of the legal team that filed the first criminal complaint with the ICC for the Palestinian government on 22 January 2009. link to fr.wikipedia.org

      See also “Is there a Court for Gaza?” – Gilles Devers link to archive.org and the Journal of International, Foreign and Comparative Law symposium link to springer.com

      FYI, the government of Comoros filed its criminal complaint over the IDF Flotilla Raid on the Mavi Marmara and the Cambodian and Greek vessels with the Office of the Prosecutor through an international lawyer in Turkey. It might interest you to know that Palestine hired an Australian, Professor James Crawford, the Whewell Professor of International Law, University of Cambridge to present oral arguments on its behalf in the 2004 Wall Case and subsequently used a multinational fact finding team headed-up by South African Professor John Dugard to report on crimes committed during Cast Lead in 2009.

  12. HarryLaw
    July 26, 2014, 10:02 am

    Moreno-Ocampo.. “The ICC’s job is to investigate and prosecute only in cases in which the local legal system is not performing. “In a dictatorship they can make you disappear and kill you,” said Moreno-Ocampo. “But here, even if the situation is awful, you cannot disappear; you have the rule of law.” This guy is a comedian, the Israel Supreme court refuses to have an opinion on the issue of settlements, they say it is a political matter. Although they have declared that the West Bank and Gaza are occupied territories which should be administered through customary International law. As for the second quote Israel has disappeared thousands over the last few years, over 800 in the last 2 weeks. He also said the ICC could be a double edged sword and that Abbas could be in the dock also. That would be wonderfully ironic but has nothing to do with whether Israel or more specifically its leaders are guilty of war crimes. Ocampo is politicizing the court, as was proved when he sat on the Palestinians complaint for three years before rejecting it on spurious grounds. The reason Abbas has to sign up, is to establish once and for all whether Palestinians can get justice or not, even if they have to jump through hoops to do so. Or establish whether the court is a purely political one, were only individuals from the third world will be punished. Its that simple.

  13. ckg
    July 26, 2014, 11:39 am

    With screenshot Ben White posts on FB:

    #ICC4Israel is the top trending topic on Twitter right now – worldwide. I guess that’s what happens when you proudly commit war crimes with impunity

  14. kalithea
    July 26, 2014, 12:01 pm

    Please post this edited version that was lost in transmission.)

    The ICC stated they cannot proceed unless the Security Council agrees to the Palestinians having State status and not just observer status at the U.N. , but this is wrong and a shabby, false excuse to postpone and deny justice to not be embroiled in the mother of all legal battles that would ensue but that the Palestinians would win based on so much precedent and a mountain of evidence of war crimes for the past 66 years and counting. If such a Tribunal is organized get ready for something on the level of the Nuremburg trials, because the injustice i.e. terror and war crimes suffered by Palestinians because of Zionism is decades long!

    It’s my opinion that the Court has every obligation to take this case based on the gravity of the war crimes and the repeated nature of the offenses alone. But as well, Palestine is recognized as a state globally with the exception of the U.S. and Israel, but according to the Mandate for Palestine and Resolution 181 Palestine is a state in every sense of the word and to deny this fact is to deny all reason. It matters squat that Arab states refused to recognize the Partition Resolution 181. The Resolution PASSED, the Partition was declared and binding; Israel became a state and embraced this Resolution and enjoyed all the benefits of such despite Palestinian objection to the Partition. The Partition has been forced on the Palestinians because the Resolution was BINDING, and therefore the rights of Palestinians willingly or not should be protected under such resolution. In addition, the Palestinians have suffered all the painful consequences and tragedy of the Partition and that fact also makes it binding. There is serious compensation to be awarded to the Palestinians for all breaches of the Resolution that resulted in displacement, dispossession, destruction of property and loss of life for them. And the PA should fight for such justice. Just as Zionists cannot embrace a part of the Resolution and reject another, neither can the Palestinians. Whether either party rejects parts of the Resolution is irrelevant as it is binding law in its entirety regardless of what the parties think or do. But yes, in my opinion indulging Zionism by punishing Palestinians and imposing such a Partition was the biggest mistake of all and if it could be reversed it should and Jews should be the ones to reverse this injustice. But that’ll never happen so back to reality.

    The fault is 110% with the U.N. for failing to enforce the provisions of the Resolution when it suited them regardless of U.S. pressure and for failing to protect what is the de facto State of Palestine. Israel can’t have its cake; a State within Resolution 181, and eat it too, disregard the provisions i.e. responsibilities of such statehood under Resolution 181and expect the Palestinians to recognize and respect Zionist statehood. Israel’s insolent and grave disregard for the provisions of the Resolution is tantamount to the Arabs rejection of the Resolution, so either the Resolution is nullified by Israel’s egregious disregard for those provisions and thus Israel automatically loses its statehood and similarly Arab rejection of the State of Israel makes the Palestinians lose their protections under the Resolution and we return to a non partitioned land or the Resolution is binding in its entirety for BOTH. So, if the Resolution in regards to Israel being a state remains binding despite its breaches against Resolution 181, then the entire Resolution is binding and Palestine is already a state under law despite its rejection of the State of Israel at some points in history and must be afforded the protections and rights accordingly! This Resolution is not for the benefit of one party alone! The rule of law must be applied ONCE AND FOR ALL regarding this Resolution or there is no State of Israel to speak of!

    All along, the responsibility was with the PLO, PA, or PNA call it what you will to fight for the application of the rule of law especially after it tacitly recognized the State of Israel by submitting to the Oslo Accords because the Oslo Accords are indeed a tacit acceptance of Israel and the PA later reiterated that it recognized Israel as a state. (Never mind recognizing it as Jewish, which would be an even bigger, tragic mistake than Oslo, as this notion is already radicalizing Israel and fomenting racism and hate crimes against Palestinians and would invite greater diminishment of Palestinian rights.)

    It was the U.N.’s responsibility and the Security Council’s responsibility to enforce the Resolution with both parties and apply sanctions to both parties for breaches; therefore the Security Council and especially the U.S. is in breach of the rule of law on this issue for its failure to vote sanctions for breaches of the Resolution.

    IMHO the Oslo Accords should never have happened as they created an egregious status quo for Palestinians opening the door to grave violations against Resolutions 181. Instead, the Rule of Law should have overruled such accords, and sanctions for breaches should have been imposed to bring the parties to respect the Resolution. But in regards to Oslo, I again fault the PA for having betrayed their people in so many ways, and for not having vigorously pursued justice under the protections afforded by Resolution 181 and of course I especially fault Israel and the U.S. for their serious breaches.

    Had everyone recognized the power and authority of the law we would not be in this position today. But, legal consideration must also be made for the way in which Zionists took possession of their State through terrorism and ethnic cleansing which also constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Palestinian leadership has an obligation to vigorously pursue justice for its people and to challenge the premise of the court on the Palestinian statehood issue. IMHO, the PA, has been an abject failure and Palestinians deserve strong leadership that cannot allow itself to be corrupted and/or tyrannized by U.S. dollars or pressure of any kind.

    Everyone is failing the Palestinian people including the refugees who already collectively comprise a STATE and undermining their rights, and the U.N. and the ICC have an obligation to rectify this injustice! There are no excuses for not proceeding and no amount of pettifoggery by Israel’s advocates should be permitted to deny the undeniable and obvious legal truth here. But before ABBAS MUST GO! A strong leadership committed to justice needs to step up for the Palestinians and fight for their rights in every venue. Justice for Palestinians is long overdue. (Understatement)

    • HarryLaw
      July 26, 2014, 12:59 pm

      Kalithea @ The ICC stated they cannot proceed unless the Security Council agrees to the Palestinians having State status and not just observer status at the U.N.
      I don’t agree, In my opinion when the Prosecutor needs to make a decision like “is Palestine a state”? She must either pass that decision on to the judges in the pre trial chamber, whose job it is, or pass it to Banki Moon for him to determine, if he has doubt it is the practice for him to let the UNGA make the decision [which of course they have already done] . Of course under the ‘all states formula’ this has already been decided when the Cook Islands became a UN member, simply by virtue of its membership of a UN Agency ‘the World Health Organization [WHO]. Similarly Palestine, being a member of UNESCO should be afforded that same right. Where are you Hostage?

      • Justpassingby
        July 26, 2014, 1:16 pm

        Harrylaw

        Actually ICC have said the state they have now is enough.
        Hostage denied palestinians needed to go to the ICC, he dont know anything about this.

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 4:08 pm

        Hostage denied palestinians needed to go to the ICC, he dont know anything about this.

        I said it isn’t necessary for Palestine to become a member state of the ICC in accordance with Article 12(1) of the Rome Statute. It’s safe to say I’ve forgotten more about this than you’ll ever bother to learn. Please stop shooting off your big mouth until you do read Article 12(2) and 12(3) of the Rome Statute regarding ad hoc declarations made by non-member states to accept the Court’s jurisdiction. There isn’t the slightest doubt about that:

        Article 12 establishes that a “State” can confer jurisdiction to the Court by becoming a Party to the Rome Statute (article 12(1)) or by making an ad hoc declaration accepting the Court’s jurisdiction (article 12(3)).

        para 4, Letter, The Office of the Prosecutor: “Situation in Palestine”, 3 April 2012. link to icc-cpi.int

      • HarryLaw
        July 26, 2014, 5:33 pm

        Hostage, thank you for your welcome comments on this thread. Have I got this right? The OTP has decided she is not competent to say whether Palestine is a state, and since 12[1] and 12[3] both say a “state” can confer jurisdiction by becoming a party to the statute [article 12 [1] or, the “state” making an ad hoc declaration accepting the courts jurisdiction [article 12 [3] Why has the Prosecutor not consulted the relevant bodies [the Secretary General of the UN or the Assembly of state parties, who ARE competent to make that decision? Why does the prosecutor insist “the ball is in the Palestinians court” and “we are waiting for them”. What procedural steps or other actions are required to decide these things? A court of law is supposed to offer remedies not leave matters in abeyance.

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 6:19 pm

        Have I got this right?

        Almost. No such determination is required in the case of 1) UN member states; 2) members of the UN specialized agencies; 3) parties to the ICJ Statute; or 4) members of the IAEA. The UN and the parties to the VCLT have agreed to apply the “Vienna formula” to those pre-qualified entities in accordance with articles 81 and 83 of the UN Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) and paragraphs 79-81 of the “Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General As Depositary Of Multilateral Treaties, ST/LEG/7/Rev.l, 1998.” See:
        * UN Convention on the Law of Treaties
        link to treaties.un.org
        * Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General
        link to treaties.un.org

        FYI, Article 5 of the VCLT explains that its rules govern any treaty, like the Rome Statute or UN Charter, which is the constituent instrument of an international organization. So Palestine has been a state for those purposes, since it was admitted as a full member of UNESCO in November of 2011. The Prosecutors have been acting ultra vires, based upon erroneous determinations they subsequently made about the legal significance of Palestine’s UN observer status (which isn’t governed by law).

        Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute stipulates that it applies to cases where a non-member state must accept the court’s jurisdiction in accordance with Article 12(2). FYI a member state can’t make one. This is the only method by which an entity can confer jurisdiction retroactive to the date the Rome Statute entered into force and it has to be validly made prior to accession as a contracting state party. Otherwise, the Court’s jurisdiction is only effective “as of” the date of the entity’s accession. By arguing over the validity of the 2009 declaration, the Prosecutor is trying to give Israel amnesty for the crimes it committed since July of 2002 and prior to the 2012 UN resolution.

  15. CloakAndDagger
    July 26, 2014, 12:25 pm

    @ kalithea

    Excellent post! Well done!

  16. dbroncos
    July 26, 2014, 12:54 pm

    Several petitions up at White House site. I just signed four of them. The petitions critical of Israel are collecting the most signatures of any petition on the sight by far. one petition has 126,000 signatures. Please sign.

    link to petitions.whitehouse.gov

  17. kalithea
    July 26, 2014, 1:22 pm

    Ashrawi has also made headlines for her threats to bring Israel to the International Criminal Court over alleged war crimes in Gaza. She told me that Palestinian officials “have taken the decision” to go to the ICC.

    Talk is cheap! The PA has let down the Palestinians in numerous ways, wasted years in which the suffering of Palestinians was ignored and consequently multiplied drastically, was complicit with Israel and the U.S. in ensuring the painful status quo and allowed for the greatest Zionist land heist in Palestine’s history.

    It’s a unified position.

    Why is the PA just coming to this conclusion? This is highly suspect. For years now the PA has been undermining the governing, democratically-elected party in Gaza and colluded with Israel and the U.S. to stage a brutal coup. Is this new-found kumbaya on their part perhaps due to the fact that Palestinians themselves have woken up to the lies of the PA and are forcing this unity on them? Could it be that Abbas and his party are sinking fast in the Palestinian public’s perception, have lost their trust entirely and so are scrambling to make nice and restore their image at the eleventh hour?

    All the above.

    Regarding the 12-hour humanitarian truce. Just one hour before the truce was to take effect, Israel exploited this short window of time to massively carpet bomb homes and infrastructure. Some humanitarian truce!– How do Palestinians begin to emerge from under this city of rubble and rush to get food and medical assistance? Today the MSM showed the depth of destruction in Gaza already and it looked like a Richter-scale 9 Earthquake swept through Gaza. The damage done to this very fragile, repeatedly-pounded city with the largest concentration of people per square mile is so overwhelming, gut-wrenching, savage and there are not enough words to describe this unconsionable inhumanity and the monstrosity of this destructive act by Israel.

    Israel’s actions in Gaza are indeed like the Nazi carpet bombing of Gernika (same as Guernica) when Hitler stepped into the Spanish Civil War to help Franco. Gaza is today’s Guernica and Warsaw all in one. Deprived of all humanity and then pounded into the ground.

    So many crimes have been committed by Israel against the Palestinian people of Gaza, starting with collective punishment of a mostly young population, i.e. with the imposition of the inhumane blockade. What Israel has done to Gaza’s people is a crime and outrage against all humanity. I peronally feel violated just having to witness this massive destruction of life and property and having my need to see justice and humanity for these people frustrated again and again by our enabling leaders, the U.N. and the ICC. End this injustice now!

    • kalithea
      July 26, 2014, 2:13 pm

      *unconscionable* *personally*

    • can of worms
      July 26, 2014, 2:13 pm

      ” What Israel has done to Gaza’s people is a crime and outrage against all humanity. I personally feel violated just having to witness this massive destruction of life and property and having my need to see justice and humanity for these people frustrated again and again by our enabling leaders, the U.N. and the ICC. End this injustice now!”

      May these words sound out.

    • Justpassingby
      July 26, 2014, 2:25 pm

      Kalithea

      Wish I could add something more to your great summary.
      The traitors in Fatah have no credibility, they work with israel and even tried to take power with them in 2007!

      • Hostage
        July 26, 2014, 8:43 pm

        eople forget: or don’t realize that the Oslo Accords never gave the Palestinian Authority let alone Hamas any legal authority whatsoever. Thus all cases where citizens of the Jewish State (settlers, military personnel, bureaucrats ) are accused of crimes or misdemeanors, and objection to policies, (decrees, judicial rulings, resurrected Ottoman Law or racially biased adjudications) all cases are tried in the Israeli judicial system.

        No, Palestinian statehood is not mentioned in the Oslo Accords. It’s outside their scope of applicability, since it was not listed as an agreed-upon interim or final status issue. The Accords themselves contained an explicit stipulation that they were without prejudice to the existing rights, claims or positions of the parties. The PLO only agreed to the exercise of jurisdiction by Israel on a temporary five year conditional basis: “To this end, the Israeli military government shall retain the necessary legislative, judicial and executive powers and responsibilities, in accordance with international law.

        The brief legal analysis performed by the ICJ indicated that Israel was in material breach of its obligations under international law. It was also in breach of the applicable Chapter 7 UN Security Council resolutions that established the armistice lines, pending a final negotiated settlement.

        The Oslo Accords explicitly stated that the Palestinian Council would have “territorial jurisdiction”. Subject matter jurisdiction is not relevant under the terms of Article 12 of the Rome Statute, since the state with territorial jurisdiction is actually accepting the exercise of the Court’s own subject matter jurisdiction over the crimes committed on it’s territory. FYI, the now-lapsed bilateral agreement with Israel doesn’t govern the ICC or require Palestine to accept Israel’s interpretation in the event of a dispute.

  18. gracie fr
    July 26, 2014, 2:22 pm

    Why Do the Palestinians want to become a member of the International Criminal Court…???

    People forget: or don’t realize that the Oslo Accords never gave the Palestinian Authority let alone Hamas any legal authority whatsoever. Thus all cases where citizens of the Jewish State (settlers, military personnel, bureaucrats ) are accused of crimes or misdemeanors, and objection to policies, (decrees, judicial rulings, resurrected Ottoman Law or racially biased adjudications) all cases are tried in the Israeli judicial system. Specific Courts handle related complaints: district courts, magistrate courts, labor courts, and military courts. Upon unfavorable verdicts, (in theory) individuals may petition and be heard by the Israeli Supreme Court. Unfortunately redress for Palestinians is rare, not to mention prohibitively costly. After Operation Cast Lead ( 2008-09) the Palestinian Center for Human Rights filed no less than 1046 court actions for plaintiffs in the Gaza Strip with paltry results as the Memorandum findings demonstrate: link to pchrgaza.org

    and concludes…. “it is evident that any meaningful justice including reparation is unavailable within the Israeli justice system…” Hopefully application and acceptance to the ICC will remedy the situation given the sure to be staggering list of Gaza litigants wanting justice after Operation Protective Edge…..

    Three years after the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) initiated legal action for civilian victims of Operation Cast Lead, it is evident that any meaningful justice, including reparations, is unavailable within the Israeli legal system. This reality is reflected in the status of both criminal and civil complaints— the latter being the subject of this memorandum submitted to Israeli authorities by Gaza claimants. In particular, the physical and monetary barriers imposed by Israeli authorities fundamentally deny victims their right to reparations.

    (11) The Israeli authorities impose two fees with respect to civil complaints. The first is a routine court fee which is applied in each case (approximately 1600NIS). The imposition of this fee can also prove an unsurpassable financial burden when a large number of complaints are being filed simultaneously. In this regard, PCHR was forced to return over 400 Operation Cast Lead compensation files to victims as PCHR was unable to cover the initial court expense due to resource constraints.

    (12) The second (fee) is a court guarantee or insurance fee imposed on a discretionary basis by the court. This guarantee must be paid before the case can proceed; previously, the amount stood at 10,000NIS per case.

    (13) With respect to those Cast Lead reparation cases in which a response has been received, however, Israeli courts have begun to impose a 20,000NIS (approximately 5,300 US dollars) per claimant in each case; as noted, previously, these guarantees related to the overall case and not the individual claimants. As a single expense, this guarantee is often prohibitively high bearing in mind that over 80% of the population of the Gaza strip is aid dependent.

    (14) The imposition of this guarantee per claimant represents an insurmountable barrier to justice. Significantly, the greater the alleged violation, the greater the monetary barrier. For example, in the case of the ‘Abdul Bayem family, the 22 complainants were required to pay a total of 440,000 NIS (approximately 19461 USD) before the case could proceed. This claim related to an incident were a flechette shell was fired at a condolence tend near Izbat Beit Hanoun. Five people were killed including a child, and 17 others including 2 children and a woman were injured. Similarly, in the case of the Al-Samouni family, the court imposed a guarantee for all 62 victims claiming compensation of
    62x 20,000 =1, 240,000 NIS (approximately 329,800 USD).

    (15) Whenever a guarantee is requested, if it is not paid in 120 days, further proceedings are barred and the right to reparation is irredeemably lost.

    (17) Three years after the PCHR initiated legal actions on behalf of civilian victims of Operation Cast Lead, it is evident that any meaningful justice including reparation is unavailable within the Israeli justice system ; This reality is reflected in the status of both criminal and civil complaints— the latter being the subject of this memorandum — submitted to the Israeli authorities by Gaza claimants. In particular, the physical and monetary barriers imposed by Israeli authorities fundamentally deny victims their legitimate right to compensation.

    (18) This reality has recently been acknowledged by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights MS Navanethem Pillay in her 2012 report on the human rights situation in the OPT to the UN Human Rights Council, addressing the lack of accountability in the Gaza Strip and the physical and monetary obstructions to justice for Gazans (para 40) calling on Israel to duly investigate and compensate victims (para 54) without discrimination with regard to justice (para 56); Likewise, the UN Commission on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which has expressed “ concern at the monetary and physical obstacles faced by Palestinians seeking compensation before Israeli tribunals for loss suffered, in particular as a consequence of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip (Artilces 3,5, and 6 of the Convention)……

    • kalithea
      July 26, 2014, 6:25 pm

      As staggering as the injustice you just outlined in a very comprehensive manner is; it’s just the tip of the iceberg of bureaucratic injustices Palestinians are subjected to, another example of which, is isolating members of the same family. I mean it would be incredulous that any other people on earth subjected to this degree of injustice would be ignored and on top of that demonized for decades as the Palestinians have been, but Zionism has achieved this level of cruelty like none other with total impunity and even protection. Sickening that world leaders are so chicken. Zionism has deprived Palestinians of all humanity to the point that they are erased by media bias, to the extent that nobody gives a damn or is afraid to do anything lest their career or reputation be be ruined and they be labelled anti-Semitic by the Zionist cabal i.e. lobbies. No one should be allowed the power to be sheltered from due prosecution.

      The Oslo Accords were a clever ruse to screw the Palestinians of a state and rights in a multitude of ways and to open the flood gates for settlement expansion.

      • gracie fr
        July 27, 2014, 5:44 am

        ….@Kalithea
        I couldn’t agree more with what you have written…!!! Israel’s ruse and the international community’s silence/complicity is an outrage. Though it is natural for all of us who view the “simud” of Palestine and Palestinians remarkable, and admire their strength and fortitude in the face of overwhelming adversity, we might focus on the post-Operation Protective Edge consequences and the issue of redress for its victims. Is there such a thing?? Who will pay the bill??
        I am convinced that the aid provided by Hamas after past military operations in Gaza, is one of the reasons for its popularity. (See the Destruction of Risk Society and the Ascendancy of Hamas; Neve Gordon/Dani Flic in The Power of Inclusive Exclusion and also available on line in pdf format). I feel it would be of service to outline the”bare life” results of the IDF’s incursions. Literally thousands of people are now without shelter. So many have injured relatives, some of them in critical condition not to mention the number of emotionally traumatized individuals rendered powerless and without hope. Is it cynicism that makes me think that such a result has been purpose driven so as to compel hundreds of Gazans to leave? And then, what in heavens name will become of those who stay…???

  19. kalithea
    July 26, 2014, 3:33 pm

    The U.S. is stupidly and intentionally prolonging the suffering in Gaza by not talking to Hamas directly. The U.S. is an enabler of war crimes.

    Here’s how insane these truce negotiations are:

    1. The U.S. refuses to talk to Hamas and recognize it as the democratically-elected representative of Gaza’s people and an integral part of Palestinian leadership. To begin with this thick-headed position is a fail in every sense.

    2. Hamas refuses to talk to Egypt’s leaders rightly-so because of their collusion with Israel on the blockade and other issues and because of their subversion of the previous democratically-elected leader of Egypt, imprisonment of MB party members and oppression of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    3. Qatar mistrusts and dislikes Egypt’s leaders for same reason as Hamas.

    4. Soooo, the U.S. talks to Turkey and Egypt, Turkey in turn talks with Qatar and Qatar talks to Hamas…….how self-defeating is this! And Israel talks only to the U.S. because Turkey wants nothing to do with Israel on this issue and everyone else thinks Israel’s leaders are insane.

    Today the U.S. evacuated its administrative and military personnel from the Embassy in Libya. Iraq is in danger of falling into ISIS control. ISIS is part of the rebel force in Syria; that is also in shambles thanks to hugely misguided U.S. policies; the U.S. continues to undermine and threaten Iran; a country it needs to help with the ISIS threat in Iraq. The situation in Afghanistan is tenuous at best; and will no doubt explode after U.S. military operations wind down there. The U.S. is threatening Russia; and has convinced Nato and parts of Europe to undermine threaten Russia. The U.S. is alienating Germany with aggressive spying.

    The U.S. lacks all credibility as a rational, leader on the global stage and honest broker for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

    More and more through failed foreign policy based on hubris and military force; the U.S. is alienating everyone around the world, losing trust and all credibility and is having to deal with multiple fires and blowback.

    U.S. dominance in the world is waning. Everyone needs to stop taking orders from this Zionist-influenced satellite and no, it’s not the other way around because Zionism has the U.S. Congress by the cahones.

  20. DaBakr
    July 26, 2014, 5:36 pm

    I guess it has to be repeated:

    Israels stance on the icc is for every charge initiated at the icc Israel will answer respectively with charges of its own. you can argue all you want but the icc doesn’t really want to touch this issue with a 10’pole. and there is China who doesn;t want the door opened for Tibetans and usually-what China doesn’t want- nobody does.

    however-I can see why the prospects of such a threat must be exciting to many here.

    • kalithea
      July 26, 2014, 6:45 pm

      Israel is Afrikaner (Dutch) South Africa times 10.

      Israel has squat to stand on at this point.

    • oldgeezer
      July 26, 2014, 7:09 pm

      In terms of politics you may be right. Too bad you take cover in that instead of caring about, and wanting, justice.

    • Hostage
      July 26, 2014, 9:58 pm

      Israels stance on the icc is for every charge initiated at the icc Israel will answer respectively with charges of its own.

      It’s irrelevant, since the ICC doesn’t do counter-claim lawsuits. In international criminal law, two wrongs only makes two wrongs, never a right. FYI: the overwhelming majority of countries have accepted the principle that “Reprisals” are now prohibited by the customary law reflected in the 1st Additional Protocol and that tu quoque arguments that “the other guy started it” are no longer a valid criminal defense. See:
      *The prohibition of reprisals in Protocol I:Greater protection for war victims
      link to icrc.org
      *Sienho Yee, The Tu Quoque Argument as a Defence to International Crimes, Prosecution or Punishment, 3 Chinese JIL (2004), 87 link to ssrn.com

      China who doesn;t want the door opened for Tibetans and usually-what China doesn’t want- nobody does.

      China cast a negative vote at the end of the Rome Conference, but there were 120 states that voted the other way. Only six joined China. There are 122 state parties today and Chinese officials have stated that the possibility of Chinese accession is by no means a pipe dream.. China has been active as an ICC observer state ever since 2002. It agreed to a referral of the situation in Darfur to the ICC in 2005 and voted in favor of a referral of the situation in Libya in 2011. Unlike the USA, it did not oppose the adoption of the definition of the crime of aggression during the Kampala review conference. So concern over the issue of Tibet doesn’t allow anyone to predict the positions it has taken.

    • Shingo
      July 27, 2014, 8:54 am

      Israels stance on the icc is for every charge initiated at the icc Israel will answer respectively with charges of its own.

      No it’s not, because it would have to ratify the ICC convention before doing so. That means opening itself up to the jurisdiction of the ICC.

      Israel will never do that.

  21. Danaa
    July 26, 2014, 11:57 pm

    I read the above exchanges between Hostage (welcome back), WJones, Walid, Abierno and others with interest. I have a couple of comments to add (from a very non-lawyerly place):

    Everyone here (minus paid/unpaid trolls) certainly agrees that what Israel is doing in Gaza amounts to a war crime of the gravest kind. Doesn’t need a lawyer to see that, just common sense, really, and the stomach to look at some really disturbing photos, of which there are way too many. Whether Abbas could/should/would turn to the ICC and how is the key issue debated, followed by “what would the ICC do”, the $1B question (as Hostage pointed out – after $1B and 12 years two Africans prosecuted. Wow!).

    Of course Abbas should be SEEN as doing something, no matter the route. Of course the ICC will find a way to not DEAL with the issue. After all, who pays the piper here? where from ICC’s budget? and most importantly, who exactly is running the show at the UN, anyways?

    After all, there is a very big country that has committed numerous war crimes in the past 12 years that we know of. It’s called the US. Followed by another, slightly smaller (only in size) country where war (and other) crimes is a way of life. It’s called Israel. Neither is a member ICC state but they forever point the fingers of blame at other, oh so grievously human rights violating states and agencies. That’s just a fact of life in our wonderfully organized world. As is the result (all too obvious) that both the US and Israel get away with whatever they want to get away with (OK, OK< I know they are not the only ones. Just the most frequent ones). They have, by hook and by crook, acquired a permanent "immunity" card. Be it Power or Holocaust, they get out of jail, no matter the hollerings elsewhere.

    But here is something to think about:

    In a world where Gaza was allowed to fester as ghetto/detainment/prison camp for this many years, periodically bombed to "mow the lawn", the bombings excused on the front pages of the western newspapers as "fighting terror", what chance does any lawyer have, no matter how learned, august and righteous? no matter how solid the arguments and water tight the case?

    And in a world, where there's a very good chance (likelihood) that a plane full of 298 perfectly innocent passengers was 'sacrificed" as part of some grand plan to get NATO "in", that while the baying about Russia goes on unabated on all the front page media – never mind the facts, in such a world, what does "war crimes" mean? does any of us really believe there can be an honest investigation of the plane crash if the finger points straight to Kiev and beyond? and if so, let us think for a moment – what can the rest of the people in such a world do in the face of willingness of some well-heeled and/or dastardly actors to destroy civilian planes, cities and even entire countries?

    I guess what I am trying to say is that, despite earnest desires on the part of many, it is only the Rule of Law when TPTB allow the Law to take its course. But when the law is inconvenient, there's only the jungle for the rest of us, plaebes and peons.

    Boy, I'm sure glad I didn't choose ICC law as a career. I might get depressed or something.

    • Keith
      July 27, 2014, 5:27 pm

      DANAA- I agree with your comment completely. Additionally, it seems to me that this latest assault on Gaza is intended as a full blown terror campaign designed to break the back of any support for Hamas, as well as a big F U to the world. Public opinion? Who cares. The Godfather and his Middle East Capo are providing a demonstration as to the price of resistance. Look at Libya, Iraq, Syria and now the Ukraine. I provide a quote which sums up my view.

      “The United States has set the world on fire. It is nonsense to talk of a “new” Cold War, when what the world is witnessing is multiple conflagrations as intense and horrifically destructive as at any period since World War Two. Virtually every one of these armed conflicts has been methodically set in motion by the only power capable of perpetrating such massive, simultaneous mayhem: the United States, along with its underlings in London, Paris and Tel Aviv – the true Axis of Evil.”

      “Whoever coined the phrase “No Drama Obama” should be sentenced to a lifetime of silence. The First Black U.S. President systematically brought swastika-wearing fascists to power in Ukraine to start a war on Russia’s borders. The passengers of the Malaysian airliner are victims of Obama’s carefully crafted apocalypse, a pre-fabricated conflict that could consume us all. Obama methodically and without provocation laid waste to Libya and Syria, and now the jihadists unleashed by the United States and its allies are destroying Iraq all over again and threatening to erase Lebanon and Jordan and even the oil kingdoms of the Gulf. Obama has signed yet another blank check for Israel’s ghastly war of ethnic annihilation in Gaza – a crime against humanity for which the U.S. is fully as culpable as the apartheid Jewish State, which could not exist if it were not part of the U.S. superpower’s global war machine.”(Glen Ford)
      link to blackagendareport.com

    • Hostage
      July 27, 2014, 8:26 pm

      where from ICC’s budget? and most importantly, who exactly is running the show at the UN, anyways?

      FYI, I have exchanged some emails with Annie over the absurdity of the UN General Assembly vote that dismissed objections from the Arab States and appointed Israel as the Vice Chair of all the main body’s standing committees, including the ones on Decolonization and Palestinian Refugees. link to un.org

  22. DICKERSON3870
    July 26, 2014, 11:58 pm

    RE: “Look, the problem of the American role is that they repeatedly support Israel blindly–that they have stood with the occupation, against the rights of the Palestinian people,” Ashrawi told me. . . “And it’s the American Congress unfortunately that is more Zionist than the Israeli government.”

    HOW THE U.S. ESTABLISHED THAT IT CANNOT BE AN “HONEST BROKER”: When Obama first made Netanyahu agree to a partial settlement freeze (which Netanyahu then largely ignored) back in 2009, George Mitchell was trying to get the negotiations started. Netanyahu bypassed George Mitchell and President Obama in appealing directly to the Republicans and the Democrats in both the Senate and the House to complain about the idea of the partial freeze on construction in the settlements. The Democrats in particular (and Chuck Schumer most notably) then began whining ceaselessly to Obama (like a bunch of spoiled, pre-pubescent girls who had just learned that an upcoming, long-awaited concert by the Jonas Bros had been postponed for a week) about the effect the partial freeze on settlement construction was having on their all-important fundraising. This effectively put an end to any hope of extending the partial freeze, and the “peace process” was really nothing more than just a sham from that point on, with George Mitchell soon beginning to make noises about wanting to spend more time with his family.
    Imagine the Palestinians trying to negotiate with the Israelis under the aegis of an AIPAC-approved, but supposedly impartial, American team of facilitators under conditions where anytime something is not entirely to Netanyahu’s liking, he can do an end run around everyone and go directly to his “amen corner” on Capitol Hill so that they start their pouting routine with Obama until Obama caves and lets Netanyahu have his way.
    Although I’ve read a few books on negotiation theory, I ‘m not really much of a negotiator. That said, when the negotiation table is so off-kilter that it looks like it came from a set for 1920′s German expessionistic theatre, the situation is so obviously rigged that any lawyer agreeing to negotiate for a client under such circumstances is flirting with malpractice.

  23. ezra greenberg
    July 27, 2014, 12:11 am

    Simple question: If Hamas stopped firing rockets, would that not obviate the need for Israel to retaliate in an effort to stop the rockets, with the unfortunate collateral damage? Any honest person would have to answer “yes” to this question. Hamas is driving the conflict, and could stop it immediately if they wanted to. The fact is, they don’t want to stop it. In light of this, is it not a bit rich for the Arabs to run to the ICC, particularly so since their is little doubt that Hamas is deliberately targeting civilians, and not even making the pretense of doing otherwise?

    • Shingo
      July 27, 2014, 8:12 pm

      Simple question: If Hamas stopped firing rockets, would that not obviate the need for Israel to retaliate in an effort to stop the rockets, with the unfortunate collateral damage?

      Simple answer: No. Israel have violated the ceasefires with Hana’s in 2008, 2012 and 2014. So the claim that there is a need to retaliate is clearly bogus, seeing as Israel attacked Gaza before Hamas responded with rockets.

      It is Israel that gas driven this conduct. It is clear Netenyahu started this war based on lies, not because if any attack by Hamas, but because he wanted to break the unity agreement between Hamas and Fatah.

      Even you would have to now accept that Bibbi lied when he blamed Hamas for the kidnapping, he lied when he insisted they were still alive, and he lied that he had to punish Hamas for their disappearance.

      The fact is, Israel don’t want to stop it. In light of this, is it not a bit rich for the Israelis to claim self defense ?

    • Hostage
      July 27, 2014, 8:13 pm

      Simple question: If Hamas stopped firing rockets, would that not obviate the need for Israel to retaliate in an effort to stop the rockets, with the unfortunate collateral damage? Any honest person would have to answer “yes” to this question.

      True enough, but the international community of states have convened a permanent Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly to deal with Israel’s on-going acts of aggression that it has formally labeled, as such. There have been numerous resolutions, which condemn Israel’s illegal annexations and continuing occupation of the Arab territories captured in 1967 in violation of the UN Charter and the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. Any honest person would also have to admit that ending the rocket fire from Gaza wouldn’t bring an end to the illegal situation created by Israel.

      Israel began building a fence around Gaza in the 1990s and has pursued a policy of creating a separate, isolated enemy state there, e.g. link to 972mag.com

      Simple question: Weren’t the Jewish resistance fighters who used grenades and Molotov cocktails during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising considered unlawful combatants by the occupying power? You are overlooking the fact that the responsible UN treaty monitoring bodies and the ICRC have determined that Israel’s blockade/closure of the Gaza Strip, combined with these periodic IDF raids that destroy thousands of homes, civilian infrastructure, and sources of sustenance is a prohibited form of collective punishment that any competent court would reasonably conclude amounts to the aggravated crime of persecution. FYI, the Allied powers used mortars and multiple tube rocket launchers as mobile artillery against the enemy’s built-up areas and cities in WWII and the responsible political and military leaders didn’t considered it to be a war crime.

    • eljay
      July 27, 2014, 8:22 pm

      >> ezra greenbergee: Simple question …

      He didn’t like the answers he got the first time he asked that question, so he thought he’d try again. Too funny…

  24. Citizen
    July 27, 2014, 8:31 am

    Israeli soldier asks, “Why does the world hate us?

    link to blogs.channel4.com

    Reminds me, after 9/11, many Americans asking, “Why do they hate us?”

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