14 thoughts on “Former ICC Chief Prosecutor Tells Israel Not to Worry About War Crimes – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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    1. @ Jackdaw: You’re trying my patience. Yes, it’s in the articles to which I link (why did you need to add an extraneous link when I’ve already done it?). I’ve also acknowledged in my post that Palestinians will be summoned to the Hague. READ MORE CAREFULLY. Don’t publish a comment till you’ve read the entire post and all the articles linked in it. Don’t waste my time!

  1. The Rome Statute and Israel’s War Crimes

    Irrespective of either of these routes, Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo indicated in an interview with an Arabic paper that one of the Israeli legal advisers involved was South African, and the ICC could gain jurisdiction through that route as well. South Africa ratified the Rome Statute on Nov. 27, 2000.

    Moreno-Ocampo also revealed that he is contemplating charges against Israel for Operation Cast Lead.

  2. A Palestinian Child Against Israel at The ICC

    THE HAGUE – Amira Al-Qirim, a Palestinian girl aged 15, a victim and survivor of the Israeli massacre in Gaza in January 2009, held a press conference together with her French lawyer Gilles Devers in International Criminal Court (ICC).

    “On a much larger scale, the coming into force of the Rome Statute has inspired demands for justice even in countries that are not yet State Parties. In Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, for example, the ICC has been under discussion since the Statute came into force. This has contributed to widespread discussions on the substance of crimes and whether creative ways can be found to access the Court’s jurisdiction. This is particularly true in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in December 2008–January 2009, which led to the formation of the United Nations (UN) Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.”

    During the reporting period, the Prosecutor met with various stakeholders, including representatives of the Palestinian National Authority, the League of Arab States Secretariat, League of Arab States’ Independent Fact Finding Committee, as well as a number of Palestinian and Israeli NGOs, to discuss, inter alia, the Court’s jurisdiction.

    Referral under Articles 14 and 12(2)(a) of the Rome Statute arising from the 31 May 2010, Gaza Freedom Flotilla situation.

  3. Moreno Ocampo’s claim that Israel is immune to ICC investigations because its own legal system is already serving that function is… odd, to say the least.

    Take this simple example: Article 49 of Geneva Convention IV prohibits an occupying power from colonizing an occupied territory. Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute of the ICC defines such a colonization as a war crime.

    Q: Sooo, does Israel’s own judiciary consider in its rulings the allegation that Israeli settlements is a violation of Article 49 of Geneva Convention IV?
    A: No, absolutely not.

    Any attempt by any plaintiff to point to the articles of GCIV is immediately cut off with a curt “the issue is not before us”.

    It’s now 47 years since Israel imposed this belligerent occupation upon the Palestinians, and while the Israel High Court of Justice has no problem ruling that this **is** an occupation, it has never once in all those long, long decades ever so much as LISTENED to a single argument that these Israeli settlements constitute a “grave violation” of Article 49 of GCIV i.e. that they constitute a war crime.

    That’s an important point i.e. the Israel High Court of Justice won’t say that those settlements *are* a violation of GCIV, and it won’t say that those settlements *aren’t* a violation of GCIV.

    The court simply refuses to even discuss the issue. Ever.

    If that doesn’t fit Moreno-Ocampo’s definition of “cases in which the local legal system is not performing” then, honestly, what does?

  4. Reading the direct Moreno-Ocampo quotes in the article, it seems that both Pfeffer and Richard are over-interpreting what he actually said. And as distasteful as I find the Israeli government and court system, I also find a big difference between being “disappeared” in Argentina decades ago and being imprisoned in Israel with your family and attorney knowing about it, and a public gag order imposed. All that said, I was disappointed when the court ducked its responsibility to prosecute clear violations of international law with regard to civilian safety in Operation Cast Lead. Israelis, Palestinians, the US military — anyone — who even risks the taking of civilian lives in avoidable situations should pay the legal price. By ignoring the Goldstone Report the ICC sent a bad message — that you REALLY have to go over the line to risk be prosecuted. More civilians have died as a result.

  5. Judge Goldstone expresses regrets about his report into Gaza war

    (Guardian) Apr. 3, 2011 – Judge Goldstone was asked to head a fact-finding committee into allegations of war crimes by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Israel refused to co-operate with the mission and would not allow Goldstone’s committee to travel to the Gaza Strip via Israel.

    The report accused both Hamas and Israel of war crimes and deliberately targeting civilians. It urged that both sides should investigate their own actions or risk being investigated by the International Criminal Court.

    Goldstone was vilified after the publication of the report by supporters of Israel who accused him of a “blood libel”, a false accusation that had been used to demonise Jews in the past.

    Note: Goldstone initially barred to attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah in South Africa.

    ‘Goldstone retraction reduces chance of similar probe’

    (JPost) Apr. 4, 2011 – Judge Richard Goldstone’s retraction and new-found faith in the Israeli legal system will likely contribute to Israeli efforts to prevent the establishment of a new probe following military action in a future conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a senior IDF officer predicted. Goldstone published an op-ed in The Washington Post in which he said he that he no longer believed that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in 2009.

  6. [Excerpt of a review]
    Gowlland-Debbas notes that if Palestine was prevented from applying its criminal law to Israelis who committed crimes on its territory, this would paradoxically fulfill the admissibility requirements under Article 17(1)(b) of the Rome Statute, since the case could not be investigated due to the inability of the state to prosecute.

    Is There a Court for Gaza? is a useful contribution to the debate on Palestinian statehood and the quest to achieve justice for the long-suffering people of Gaza. In addition to the academic articles mentioned in this review, the book contains resolutions from the UN Human Rights Council, including documents from the Committee of Independent Experts on Follow-up to Recommendations in the Goldstone Report, and will surely need to be consulted should the ICC address the Palestine issue in a more comprehensive manner in the future.

    Indeed, the arguments made in the book are not only relevant to the situation in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead in the winter of 2008–2009 but may also be relevant to any future situations that may be referred to the Court – especially if the Palestinians attempt to submit to the ICC’s jurisdiction retroactively and/or accede to the Rome Statute. Since the precise moment at which Palestine became a state, and the extent to which the Oslo Accords are in force is not clear, it may be expected that these issues will have to be dealt with at length in submissions and pleadings before the ICC should Palestine decide to lodge a new Article 12(3) declaration or reiterate the previous declaration lodged in January 2009.

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