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ICC believes Israel may have committed war crimes in flotilla attack, but not of ‘sufficient gravity’ to justify formal investigation

Israel/Palestine
on 52 Comments

Yesterday, Mavi Marmara victims and Turkey’s IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation President Bulent Yıldırım held a press conference in Istanbul announcing prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) had concluded that “Israel has committed a war crime” for the attack on board Mavi Marmara by the Israeli military on May 31, 2010.  The announcement specified the ICC would be making an official statement today.

Today, International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced the body will not be prosecuting Israel for the deadly attack on humanitarian passengers of the Mavi Marmara although she has reason to believe that war crimes were committed by Israel. In a statement Bensouda said the case is not “of ‘sufficient gravity’ to justify further action”:

Following a thorough legal and factual analysis of the information available, I have concluded that there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court were committed on one of the vessels, the Mavi Marmara, when Israeli Defense Forces intercepted the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla’’ on 31 May 2010.

However, after carefully assessing all relevant considerations, I have concluded that the potential case(s) likely arising from an investigation into this incident would not be of “sufficient gravity” to justify further action by the ICC. The gravity requirement is an explicit legal criteria set by the Rome Statute.

We reported in May 2013 when the ICC’s Prosecution Office opened a preliminary investigation into the massacre that left 9 humanitarian activists dead and 56 others wounded. Israel also systematically and forcibly transferred humanitarian aid passengers across international boundaries to its own territory.

At that time Mavi Marmara victims and the lawyers on behalf of the Government of the Comoros Islands, a state party to the ICC and the flag state of Mavi Marmara, transmitted a referral to Chief Prosecutor Bensouda with respect to the attack pursuant Articles 12, 13 and 14 of the Rome Statute.

At yesterday’s news conference IHH President Yıldırım said his organization would be objecting to the court’s decision and will use the statements of the Chief Prosecutor to further their case.

Anadolu News International Court: Israel guilty of ‘war crimes’:

“UN and Amnesty International have already stated that the Israel attacks were war crimes,” Yildirim said, adding that the International Criminal Court passed the case on to national courts because the number of deaths in the incident was too low for the scope of the international tribunal.

Yildirim said his organization will object to the court’s position on this subject.

All the statements of the prosecutors will “also be used to defend the rights of thousands of civilians in Gaza killed by Israel,” Yildirim, the presdident of the foundation, said.

Relatives of the Mavi Marmara victims were present at Wednesday’s press conference, including 26-year-old Ismail Bilgen, who lost his father in May 2010.

“I feel honored that my father was killed when he was defending Palestinian rights,” he told the Anadolu Agency, with tears in his eyes.

The prosecutors’ statements were steps towards victory against Israel, Bilgen said. “We will maintain our belief that no normalisation can be achieved with Israel until they are punished for what they did.”

Bilgen said he very much wanted to join in the next Mavi Marmara aid ship, which, according to the foundation president, is almost ready for a new convoy to Gaza.

Here is International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s Full statement:

On 14 May 2013, a referral was received by my Office from the authorities of the Union of the Comoros, a State Party to the Rome Statute. The same day, I announced the opening of a preliminary examination “with respect to the 31 May 2010 Israeli raid on the Humanitarian Aid Flotilla bound for [the] Gaza Strip.’’

Following a thorough legal and factual analysis of the information available, I have concluded that there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court were committed on one of the vessels, the Mavi Marmara, when Israeli Defense Forces intercepted the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla’’ on 31 May 2010.

However, after carefully assessing all relevant considerations, I have concluded that the potential case(s) likely arising from an investigation into this incident would not be of “sufficient gravity” to justify further action by the ICC. The gravity requirement is an explicit legal criteria set by the Rome Statute.

Without in any way minimizing the impact of the alleged crimes on the victims and their families, I have to be guided by the Rome Statute, in accordance with which the ICC shall prioritize war crimes committed on a large scale or pursuant to a plan or policy.

In the final analysis, I have, therefore, concluded that the legal requirements under the Rome Statute to open an investigation have not been met and I am announcing that the preliminary examination has been closed.

My Office’s assessment of the situation referred by the Comoros was based on open and other reliable sources, which we subjected to our strict practice of independent, impartial and thorough analysis

Under the Rome Statute, the referring State, in this case, the Union of the Comoros, has the right to request the Judges of the ICC to review my decision not to proceed to open an investigation, pursuant to article 53(3)(a) of the Statute.

I have made it clear in the past and I will repeat it here: my Office will execute its mandate, without fear or favour, where the Court’s jurisdiction is established; and will vigorously pursue those – irrespective of status or affiliation – who commit mass crimes that shock the conscience of humanity. We will do so with unyielding commitment to end impunity for mass crimes and in total independence, but we can only do so in strict conformity with the Rome Statute legal framework.

annie
About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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52 Responses

  1. Walid
    Walid
    November 6, 2014, 10:26 am

    The only agency that didn’t accept the US’ marching orders was UNESCO and it’s paying dearly for it now. Although the ICC is not UN-related, there are still some strings attached, along with the usual marching orders. There’s something screwy in the ICC’s statement that said that what Israel did was a war crime, but not serious enough to be prosecuted! Maybe the number of people killed by Israel is not enough to make the issue a serious one.

    • Horizontal
      Horizontal
      November 6, 2014, 10:49 am

      I believe that they should have gone ahead with the prosecution in light of the fact that Israel is a serial offender.

      • just
        just
        November 6, 2014, 12:55 pm

        Seems that the ICC favors continued and unjustified persecution rather than justified prosecution.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      November 6, 2014, 10:54 am

      Whether it is an American, or an Arab, I am beginning to realize that if anyone is a victim of Israel’s brutality, the criminals will get away, even if it means someone is threatened or have their arms twisted. It is the Zionist way. Intimidation, threats, and harassment, is how these brutes operates. If anyone saw the documentary about the USS Liberty being attacked by these war criminals, and saw how LBJ was threatened into watering that incident down, knows that this is way they operate.

    • Abierno
      Abierno
      November 6, 2014, 4:16 pm

      Her comments need to be contextualized. The Palestinians have stated that if the Security Council vetoes their proposal for an independent country, with Israel withdrawing to ’67 lines, they will sign up for the ICC and request an investigation of Israeli war crimes during Operation Protective Edge. The deaths on the Mavi Marmara represent war crimes no where near the scale of the last Gaza war with its 2,000+ deaths, the majority of which were women, children, elderly and disabled. The Amnesty report details Israel’s callousness in using 21st century weapons against a caged, essentially defenseless population, whose only weaponry (albeit creatively used) were tunnels and bottle rockets -18th century weaponry at best. The documentation of these war crimes is extensive and well recognized internationally. Also, this issue is also being investigated by Navi Pillay and the UN rights council.

      One does not have to be a fortune teller to predict that the US via Samantha Power, that
      unrelenting proponent of ongoing Jewish genocide, will cast a veto, thereby precipitating ultimately an ICC investigation with all the fanfare that entails. The public relations blow to Israel will be as great if not greater than the actual outcome of the investigation, and possible criminal trials. In this context, it is not surprising that the ICC would find this case of “insufficient gravity” when compared to the incoming case of the Operation Protective Edge warcrimes. However, targeting the Mavi Marmara Israeli operation as a war crime,
      sets the stage for the findings to come regarding Operation Protective Edge.

      • just
        just
        November 6, 2014, 4:23 pm

        good thoughts, Abierno.

        I was thinking that she might just be waiting for the big, giant FALAFAL. I was talking to a friend about her decision this morning and said just that. My friend hooted with laughter.

  2. just
    just
    November 6, 2014, 10:30 am

    as I said here the other day:

    “Power and the Prosecutor of the ICC (Bensouda preceded by Ocampo) are quite similar, you know.

    They only call out crimes on the African continent.”

    How many deaths are ‘enough’ for Bensouda??? The ICC is a sham.

    “However, after carefully assessing all relevant considerations, I have concluded that the potential case(s) likely arising from an investigation into this incident would not be of “sufficient gravity” to justify further action by the ICC.”

    “sufficient gravity”? G-d help us.

    • Abierno
      Abierno
      November 6, 2014, 5:34 pm

      @just 4:23 pm. I believe somewhere she has stated that she is waiting for the actions of
      Protective Edge to be referred to the court. This possibility appears to exert some leverage over the Israelis, who appear to be splitting on the current incitement policies of Netanyahu. The interesting aspect of this situation is that it may very well pull in the US as well as a counterparty to the war crimes. Any semblance of even handedness or non participation was eliminated with the explicit arms transfer to Israel (was that a second order of bunker busting
      bombs which were transferred?). Expect interesting times as all of this moves forward.

  3. Horizontal
    Horizontal
    November 6, 2014, 10:43 am

    Meanwhile, in other, happier news, Ms. Bensouda has announced that she is half pregnant.

    • just
      just
      November 6, 2014, 10:56 am

      that’s pretty funny.

      she needs to be fired! Hostage needs to get the job– we need someone who actually respects International Law and accountability and human lives.

      • Horizontal
        Horizontal
        November 6, 2014, 2:21 pm

        Maybe this is a case of the letter of the law trumping the spirit. I’m not referring to Israel’s murders, but to the ICC mandate.

      • just
        just
        November 6, 2014, 2:29 pm

        Sounds like a ‘judgment call’…ahem.

        Here’s the Rome Statute with references to ‘sufficient gravity’:

        https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/keydocuments/english/romestatuteofthe7.html

      • Horizontal
        Horizontal
        November 6, 2014, 4:37 pm

        just ~

        Couldn’t locate the sufficient gravity part in all that verbiage, but these morsels jumped out at me, and seem to describe Gaza to a tee:

        (iii)Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed conflict;

        (iv)Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated;

        (v)Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings which are undefended and which are not military objectives;

      • just
        just
        November 6, 2014, 4:46 pm

        yep. thanks, Horizontal.

        the tippy- tip of the grotesque iceberg.

  4. Kay24
    Kay24
    November 6, 2014, 10:49 am

    Really? So this what it all boils down to, ICC believes Israel committed war crimes against the Mavi Maara, but hey, let them get away with murder. Are they so inept, that they cannot pursue this, and hold Israel accountable, or is it that hard to gather the obvious evidence, witnesses who could testify first hand, and the records? What is wrong with this picture?
    Many unarmed civilians were slaughtered aboard a flotilla OVER international waters, and they cannot take this into a court of law?
    So whose arms were twisted, or who got rich? This is disgusting.

    • Horizontal
      Horizontal
      November 6, 2014, 4:40 pm

      Geez, and Israel keeps saying they want to be treated just like any other country . . .

  5. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    November 6, 2014, 11:16 am

    Does anyone have any concrete and particular facts about what pressure may have been brought to bear on Fatou Bensouda in this case? What is her background?

    Here is her Wikipedia page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatou_Bensouda

  6. OlegR
    OlegR
    November 6, 2014, 11:26 am

    So let me get this straight she used the term war crimes but they are not of sufficient gravity.
    Looks like war crimes has become the new “fascist” ie i don’t like what you are doing or saying so i will call you a bad name and the ICC really has got jack shit.
    I wonder if Israel can sue her in court for defamation.

  7. amigo
    amigo
    November 6, 2014, 11:37 am

    Try the following for a definition of War Crimes.Under these definitions , Israel fits the bill as a serial War Crimes perpetrator.I am not a lawyer so it,s just my opinion,

    https://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_cha_chapter44_rule156

  8. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    November 6, 2014, 11:54 am

    I believe this is the first time any country has been refused an investigation by the ICC, how many victims are necessary ? In the Rafic Harari case a tribunal was set up which in its remit spans continents, with a bottomless pit for expenditure, and is still running. Which bring to mind the quote…Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god.
    Jean Rostand, Thoughts of a Biologist (1939)

    • Walid
      Walid
      November 6, 2014, 12:32 pm

      The Special Tribunal for Lebanon that has so far cost jointly the UN and Lebanon over $500 million and running with an indefinite term that could stretch for another 20 years was created by the UN under Chapter 7 in contravention of the Lebanese Constitution. It’s under the direct jurisdiction of the UNSC and by extension, of the US. The court is a running joke, but a very costly one.

      The STL is housed in a 6-storey building in The Hague, employs over 300 people of which 96 are lawyers with an annual operating budget of 50 million euros. The first presiding judge of the court about 8 years ago was the late Antonio Cassese, highly decorated as a friend of Israel and former President of the International Court for Yugoslavia.

  9. Kay24
    Kay24
    November 6, 2014, 1:35 pm

    Apparently Obama has corresponded with the Khamenei about ISIS.

    This should make Wile E. Coyote alias Chickenshit mad as hell. :))
    Love that thought.

    “Middle East Updates / Obama sent secret letter to Khamenei over shared interests in fighting ISIS
    Letter was sent last month, Wall Street Journal reports; Bomb blast north of Cairo kills four; U.S. strike hits Syrian rebel compound; Obama plans new authorization for military force against ISIS.
    Haaretz

    • just
      just
      November 6, 2014, 1:50 pm

      We need Iran– more than ever. It would be irresponsible for him not to engage Iran.

      “Obama entered the White House with high hopes of a new US international approach, with expectations raised even higher a year later with his 2009 Cairo speech promising a new beginning with the Muslim world.

      That early optimism has given way to disillusionment. But Obama, thinking about his legacy, is looking for a major foreign policy achievement.

      The Republicans will make that difficult. One of the chief critics of the president’s foreign policy, John McCain, who has constantly accused Obama of timidity, is likely to be appointed in January as chairman of the senate armed forces committee, while Bob Corker, who is critical of the White House handling of Islamic State, could chair the senate foreign affairs committee.

      How hard will it be for Obama over the next two years and is he capable of pulling off a foreign policy surprise, as some of his predecessors have done?

      Obama’s biggest hope for his foreign policy legacy is Iran. He came into office pledging to seek a diplomatic deal with Iran over its nuclear programme, an approach that contrasted with the warlike rhetoric of the Bush administration.

      That deal, in spite of Republican scepticism, is now possible. Iran, the US, the UK and others are in the final stage of negotiations on a deal that would see Tehran accept restrictions on its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of international sanctions. The deadline is 24 November.

      Republicans, sceptical about Iran’s intentions, might not only refuse to lift existing sanctions but vote for the introduction of even more sanctions.

      The White House counters that even if Congress was to refuse to lift sanctions, Obama could act unilaterally, issuing presidential waivers that would temporarily lift sanctions. And if Congress was to vote to increase sanctions, Obama could veto it.

      Tehran’s response is unpredictable: it could be pragmatic and settle for Obama’s waivers or it might hold out for congressional approval for an end to sanctions.

      Israel’s opposition to an Iranian deal is a further complication. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s relations with Obama tend to be fractious. Netanyahu has lots of allies in Congress, both Democrats and Republicans.

      The chances of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in the next two years seem remote, given the failure of the last effort by theUS secretary of state, John Kerry. But the state department insisted it will try again over the remaining two years. A Palestinian delegation is due in Washington shortly.”

      http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/05/obama-focus-on-world-affairs-after-republican-victory#comment-43292285

      Mr. President– NO more veto for Israel.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        November 6, 2014, 2:32 pm

        I agree. At least the US Congress cannot exert pressure on the WH, or stop them from vetoing resolutions condemning Israel at the UN. Obama has the clout to do that without interference.
        Yes indeed we do need Iran, and I know it has deliberately been demonized by certain elements in the US, so that Israel’s campaign of hatred and misinformation can go on. Iran has not attacked it’s neighbors like Israel has, nor has it occupied any neighbor.

        I hope things improve between the US and Iran, because I would love to visit Iran, it is supposed to be a beautiful place, full of remarkable culture and history.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        November 6, 2014, 2:42 pm

        It also shows arrogance that Israel expects the US to tell them when it decides to do what is best for us, as if Israel tells us, and keeps us updated about all their moves, including illegal settlements. I guess they forgot to tell us they were selling our weapons to China too.
        If there is any outrage coming from Telaviv, it can be deemed hypocritical.

      • just
        just
        November 6, 2014, 2:48 pm

        Iran is “a beautiful place, full of remarkable culture and history.”

        It’s got an abundance of beautiful people, highly educated and regular smart folks, and great food, too.

        (Their fruits and nuts are sublime, btw)

      • Horizontal
        Horizontal
        November 6, 2014, 4:21 pm

        IMO, Iran and the United States should be natural allies.

        Instead, we helped overthrow the democratically elected and secular Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 after he nationalized the oil industry (why else?) and then propped up the brutal Shah for years, paving the way for the Islamic Revolution. When Americans saw young Iranian students burning the American flag outside the US Embassy in 1979, how many made the connection or saw the students as anything other than terrorists?

        This ignorance is encouraged by our elites, and applies equally to our sick relationship with Israel.

        Will Obama do anything about it? I don’t think he has the character to do it, but I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised.

      • lysias
        lysias
        November 6, 2014, 4:33 pm

        The Truman administration opposed British proposals to topple Mossadegh. Mossadegh in fact visited Truman in the White House in 1952, after the oil nationalization, and the discussions were apparently friendly. The decision to join the British in toppling Mossadegh was apparently a very early decision of the Eisenhower administration in 1953. In fact, the Dulles brothers had already decided before Ike’s inauguration that Mossadegh had to go, and then they somehow prevailed upon Ike to go along once he had taken office. Stephen Kinzer suggests in his book The Brothers that the Dulles brothers had personal financial reasons for wanting the regime change.

      • Horizontal
        Horizontal
        November 6, 2014, 4:44 pm

        So it was Ike’s Bay of Pigs, huh? Never knew that part of it.

        We were all taught in school that our government is based on principles, but we keep finding out it’s just a few powerful people with a personal ax to grind.

      • lysias
        lysias
        November 6, 2014, 5:08 pm

        Correction: the Truman-Mossadegh meeting took place at Blair House (the White House was undergoing repairs at the time.) Also, it took place in late 1951.

      • lysias
        lysias
        November 6, 2014, 5:12 pm
      • Kay24
        Kay24
        November 6, 2014, 5:50 pm

        Just, I’d love to go to Iran just to eat the food, fruit and nuts. Whenever I visit Malaysia when traveling in Asia, I make it a point to go to a great Iranian restaurant over there, the food is wonderful, and worth visiting every time. It is a shame that the relationship has been rocky, no side is blameless, but I think we have interfered too much with Iran throughout the years, like we have done with other nations. The Iranians are wonderful people, educated, cultured, and have much to be proud about. I hope leaders from all sides put this right, despite the nay sayers, doomsday prophets, and chickenshit.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        November 6, 2014, 6:46 pm

        please explain why the US “needs Iran more then ever”. Such gushing exuberance for a theocracy one can’t help wondering if its position against Israel is the primary reason some here believe Iran is a needed ally of the US. And please don’t repeat the claims that Iran has no territorial aims beyond its borders and has not attacked any nation in the past so many years as it is simplistic and not necessarily true. Of what great value is Iran to the US in its present manifestation as a tightly controlled theocratic regime that is also ruled by a tight knit Larjani family and which is rarely supported but ANY of the masses of educated, progressive and democratic peoples who were forced from the country for fear of their lifes or liberty and have absolutely NO affinity for Zionism but speak freely of the evils of the current regime in Tehran (unless they have friends or family currently being held as pawns in Evin prison).

        (trying to ascertain if the running definition here of a “needed ally ” of the US is based only on the level of acrimony between said nation and Israel.

  10. JustJessetr
    JustJessetr
    November 6, 2014, 2:00 pm

    Oh my God. I am crying…

    …with laughter.

    Years of howling from MW and addled-leftists worldwide for this incident to be brought to the ICC. Then you get what you want, and suddenly the ICC is corrupt and Hostage should take the reins. Why? Because they disagree with you that Israel deserves ultimate damnation. What are you going to say when Abbas finally decides he won’t bring any complaints to the ICC? Or when the ICC is begins to investigate Hamas and the PA for their own war crimes?

    It’s just like the Sodastream move to the Negev. BDS screamed for it (without looking at any market data that could explain beyond a simplistic black and white) and now SS moved. But the hatred of anything Israeli (Jewish, really) won’t let you go so talk of SS boycotts continue. Sure, Bedouins are being displaced, but they’re Israeli citizens. Palestinians, but still Israelis and therefore you can’t claim Apartheid. I predict the steam will run out of any SS boycott now and anyone who insists will look like a bunch of hateful radicals.

    Sometimes you should be careful about what you ask for.

    • annie
      annie
      November 6, 2014, 5:40 pm

      now SS moved. But the hatred of anything Israeli (Jewish, really) won’t let you go so talk of SS boycotts continue.

      jj, sodastream has not moved. according to the company they say they will be moved into their new factory at the end of next year. but g4s has also said it plans on pulling it’s interests out of the occupied territory too and they have yet to do it. i don’t know what the bds will advocate if and when sodastream has pulled out of the apartheid industrial zone on the illegal jewish settlement in the occupied territory, but they are still very much in operation there now.

    • just
      just
      November 6, 2014, 5:52 pm

      Look at this, JustJ:

      ” Max Blumenthal retweeted
      David Sheen @davidsheen · 14h 14 hours ago

      Israeli paper editor for 10 years fired for running piece on gov’t leaving Bedouin citizens unprotected from missiles http://bit.ly/1EiWzI3

      https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal

      “Israeli citizens”, eh?

      “ultimate damnation” is up to you. as someone once said: “Many of us get to heaven by backing away from hell”. try it.

      • just
        just
        November 6, 2014, 5:54 pm

        a good friend told me that a long time ago. I’m sorry that I cannot source the quote.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      November 6, 2014, 9:13 pm

      “But the hatred of anything Israeli (Jewish, really)”

      We don’t hate them because they’re Jews. We hate them because they’re arseholes.

      ” Sure, Bedouins are being displaced, but they’re Israeli citizens. Palestinians, but still Israelis and therefore you can’t claim Apartheid.”

      Doesn’t matter whether we call it Apartheid or not. It’s still wrong.

    • Walid
      Walid
      November 7, 2014, 12:45 am

      ” Or when the ICC is begins to investigate Hamas and the PA for their own war crimes?”

      FWIW, I’m all for it, JustJess; one of those crimes should be the Palestinians’ refusal to have the ICC investigate Israel’s war crimes.

    • eljay
      eljay
      November 7, 2014, 12:33 pm

      >> JustJessetr: But the hatred of anything Israeli (Jewish, really) …

      I don’t have a “hatred of anything Israeli”, but I do despise injustice and immorality. If you’re suggesting that of all Israelis only its Jews are responsible for Israel’s past and ON-GOING acts of injustice and immorality:
      – there’s something seriously wrong with Israeli Jews; and/or
      – you’re anti-Semitic.

  11. pjdude
    pjdude
    November 6, 2014, 5:19 pm

    a war crimis is a war crime and should be prosecuted always

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      November 6, 2014, 6:58 pm

      @pjd a war crimis is a war crime and should be prosecuted always –

      if this was strictly carried out the ICC would be bogged down in not just 100s of cases but more like 1000s of cases where technically speaking-a war crime may have been committed. And keep in mind-Now that Hamas has joined in the unity gov’t-each and every single individual rocket fired at civilians randomly is technically a ‘war crime’ though many here would have the rockets compared to fire-crackers the tribunal makes no such distinction. So, while you say a “war crime is a war crime” I have to wonder if you mean only where Israel is concerned. And if that is the case (though who here would readily be honest enough to admit to that?) the you are just wishing for a simplistic and punitive issue from the court that is not based on law but on emotion. And is not the reason we have courts in the first place to take the emotion out of the equation and use the law as the sword of justice whereby allowing 100 cases of imperfect guilt go unpunished rather then allow just one case go unjustly punished?

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        November 7, 2014, 8:47 pm

        first as I’ve stated before. most of the rocket attacks against Israeli civilians are against those who are not protected under international law so technically not a war crime, though still morally reprehinsible. you can wonder all you want and think what ever your hateful bigotry leads to believe but as i said a warcrime is a warcrime and all should be prosecuted.

        you may try and hide your support of your terrosrist little country but they deserve to be prosecuted. no one should live in fear of war crimes. or violence in general

        as for the comparison of the gazan rockets and fireworks i felt was unfair fireworks kill more people.

  12. Donald
    Donald
    November 6, 2014, 5:39 pm

    I could understand the claim that the ICC is only supposed to go after the biggest crimes–no idea if that’s true, but it might be.

    However, the time they have saved not prosecuting this crime could then be put into an investigation into Israel’s various assaults on Gaza, along with the apartheid-like settlement policy on the West Bank.

  13. Kay24
    Kay24
    November 6, 2014, 6:05 pm

    Here we go again, Naftali Bennet yelling for more violence and Palestinian blood, and calling them names. To think we keep arming such dangerous brutes.

    Bennett calls for military crackdown in Jerusalem
    Habayit Hayehudi leader slams government’s ‘defensive doctrine,’ calls Palestinian president a ‘terrorist.’

    Economics Minister Naftali Bennett slammed the government for its handling of the wave of violence in East Jerusalem and called for a shift from a defensive stance to a military offensive in the capital.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      November 6, 2014, 6:06 pm

      That was from Haaretz.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      November 7, 2014, 4:16 am

      “and called for a shift from a defensive stance to a military offensive in the capital”.

      This same guy calls attacks on Jews in Galut despicable. Where is the consistency ?

  14. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    November 7, 2014, 4:09 am

    The ICC investigate ‘situations’, in the case of the Mavi Marmara the nine fatalities did not occur out of the blue, an investigation would have had to examine why and whether it was legal for the ship to be on its way to supply one and a half million people in the largest prison on earth and also whether the crew was entitled to put up resistance [the Israelis accused them of wielding iron bars etc]. The ‘situation’ did not involve just this incident, which did not occur in a vacuum, but involves a whole catalog of ongoing war crimes which the Prosecutor would need to look at as a whole, including this specific crime. In my opinion the Prosecutor has failed in her duty.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      November 7, 2014, 4:15 am

      All “justice” is political.
      The ICC can’t touch Israel. Yet.

  15. NickJOCW
    NickJOCW
    November 7, 2014, 10:27 am

    The Prosecutor is probably right, and in any event she has quite pointedly left the door open. She has obviously studied the matter closely and must understand full well its implications and significance. An ICC investigation would probably need to consider the incident in isolation, a particular group of Israelis involved in particular events at a particular place and time. Questioning whether this is a matter of sufficient gravity for a full ICC investigation seems fair, and deciding that it is not in no way mitigates Israeli actions. When the PA joins the ICC and raises Protective Edge, which hundreds of millions watched in horror, is surely the time to go for the jugular.

  16. pgtl10
    pgtl10
    November 9, 2014, 1:20 am

    An attack by a military on high seas is not something the ICC should investigate but the Harirri bomb in Lebanon is something the ICC investigates?

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