The left seeks to try Israelis and Americans as war criminals, and we have given them the means to do so

The “international community” is really out to get Israel, and have found a new way of doing it. As Jay Sekulow and Brett Joshpe explain in yesterday’s New York Post, the UN has conducted an investigation into supposed war crimes committed by the Israelis during the incursion into Gaza last December and January, with the aim of arresting Israeli individuals—namely IDF soldiers and officers—and trying them before the International Criminal Court in the Hague. It’s all about Muslims and Western leftists controlling international bodies with the ultimate aim of trying Americans for war crimes.

While the authors point out the outrage of what is happening, they never question the International Criminal Court itself. They never ask, What is this entity, above nation states, that has the right to arrest any citizen of any nation, bring him to the Netherlands, prosecute him and imprison him?

Without a call for the dissolution of the ICC, and indeed of the UN itself, Sekulow’s and Joshpe’s criticisms add up to toothless complaints. The UN was created for the ultimate purpose of forming a world government. As long as the UN and its various offshoot entities such as the ICC exist, that campaign will continue. The only way to defeat that campaign is to destroy those institutions.

A drive to create ‘Israeli war crimes’
Last Updated: 3:55 AM, September 21, 2009
Posted: 2:01 AM, September 21, 2009

IT’S September—prime time for Israel-bashing as world leaders and dignitaries convene at the United Nations. This year, Israel’s antagonists have intensified their efforts to smear the Jewish state over its operations against Hamas terrorists in Gaza in December and January.

The Obama administration is doing nothing to combat that campaign—even though it could wind up facilitating international “war crimes” prosecutions of American troops.

Last week, UN-appointed “fact finder” Richard Goldstone released his report on the Gaza conflict. The UN Human Rights Council initially authorized his mission to investigate only alleged criminal acts committed by Israelis; though the mandate was later expanded to include Hamas’ atrocities, the final report still manages to reach the predetermined conclusions.

Goldstone summed it up in a New York Times op-ed last Thursday, claiming blithely that Israeli investigations of alleged Israeli wrongdoing “are unlikely to be serious and objective” and that “if justice for civilian victims cannot be obtained through local authorities, then foreign governments must act.”

Groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also published multiple reports denouncing Israeli conduct in Gaza, while largely overlooking Palestinian terror. As with Goldstone, they rely upon unreliable, third-party hearsay to allege war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Arab League, hardly known for its objectively on Middle East affairs, commissioned an “Independent Fact Finding Committee” that echoed those conclusions. Chaired by long-time Israel-basher John Dugard—a radical South African lawyer who has repeatedly referred to Israel as “an apartheid state”—that committee exonerated Hamas for employing terrorism, because “there are a number of factors that reduce their moral blameworthiness,” such as the fact that “Palestinians have been denied their right to self-determination by Israel and have long been subjected to a cruel siege by Israel.”

All of this is part of a campaign by Western liberals and Arab governments to prompt International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to launch a formal investigation and eventually prosecute Israeli officials and soldiers.

Of course, the facts are wholly irrelevant to Israel’s adversaries, who ignore the terrorism that Israelis have endured for years and the restraint that Israel employs on the battlefield—including, in the Gaza campaign, dropping millions of warning leaflets and declining to strike Hamas targets on several occasions due to the risk of harming civilians.

The Israeli government also continues to investigate thoroughly—as it always does—all allegations of wrongdoing within its military. If criminal behavior occurred, Israeli authorities will respond appropriately: Since 2002, they’ve convicted over 100 soldiers.

Yet the ICC prosecutor is considering taking the bait. Ocampo boasted in the Times this summer that the Palestinian Authority had accepted his court’s jurisdiction and that the Arab League had sent the court its fact-finding report.

In fact, the PA lacks the legal standing to recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction; that Ocampo overlooked that basic point of law suggests he might ignore other facts (such as the utter baselessness of the charges) that would prevent prosecution.

Ocampo recently met privately with Dugard and other groups pushing for prosecutions to discuss moving forward. Goldstone’s report provides more encouragement.

Despite the clearly political, dishonest nature of this campaign, the Obama administration has remained silent on the prospect of ICC prosecutions of Israelis. That may well come back to bite America: Ocampo announced recently that he is gathering information about possible war crimes committed by NATO soldiers, including Americans, in Afghanistan.

Thus, the president isn’t just betraying a strong US ally, he’s tacitly inviting the tribunal to target US troops, too.

Israelis are no strangers to the need to defend their nation in the face of double standards and emotional attacks from the international community, but the stakes are higher than ever now. They confront not only the nightmarish scenario of a nuclear-armed Iran, but also potential prosecutions in a kangaroo court for acting in self defense. Perhaps most disturbing of all, the new administration in Washington doesn’t seem to give a damn.

Jay Sekulow is the chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice in Washington, DC. Brett Joshpe is an attorney and an author in New York.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 22, 2009 11:38 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):