24 thoughts on “Hannibal Directive Focus of War Crimes Inquiry – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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      1. it exists in Yiddish but is Hebrew like many other words in Yiddish. my point is/was that you ‘require’ exactitude and don’t practice what you preach as minute a point it may be.

        but after reading many of your posts IMO you do have an agenda and a definite problem with being Jewish as manifested in your blatant anti-Israel posts/rants.
        anybody with a knowledge of Israel knows what going back to the ’67 borders would be and the proximity of the WB to vital Israeli infrastructures.
        so the only logical conclusion I can come to is that you would like to see the demise of the country.
        personally I would be willing to live with Arabs but if you look at any of their countries there exists no order but only fanaticism and the pronounced will to destroy, kill and drive out the Jews from Israel & that is aside from the fact that they cannot even get along among themselves.
        Their culture in non-integrable.
        The Qur’an is chronologically a mess and largely plagiarized from Jewish sources.
        I read and write Arabic so I do know what I am talking about but I do not speak Yiddish but know only a less than usable knowledge of it.

      2. It even exists in Dutch (‘gostpe’) just as many other words from Jiddish, especially in the dialect of Amsterdam, such as ‘mazzel’ (luck), ‘ponem’ (face), ‘jatten’ (steal, from ‘jat’ hand), schlemiel (loser), ‘jajem’ (gin), ‘ sjoege’ (knowledge), ‘gabber’ (mate, friend), ‘gajes’ (scum, criminals, from goyim), ‘bajes’ (prison, from house), gappen (steal), mesjogge (crazy), smoes (fake excuse), ‘lef’ (bravery), ‘lefgoser’ (someone trying to come accross as brave) etc. I grew up in Amsterdam and only later found out that many of the local words were from Jiddish.

  1. It is important to remember that the (alleged) war crimes were committed by the IDF in the occupied Palestinian territories, not “in Israel”.

    So as far as the Rome Statute is concerned what matters is whether (or in this case, not) the Palestinian authorities are in a position to investigate and prosecute.

    In this case the answer is unambiguous: the Palestinians are utterly incapable of bringing any Israeli to justice for crimes committed by the IDF as it rampaged through Gaza.

    So all that matters is whether (or not) the Palestinians accept the jurisdiction of the ICC, and if they do then any shouts from Israel that “Hey! We’re already looking into this!” is irrelevant.

    It. Simply. Does. Not. Matter.

    1. I hope you’re right, but when the issue of the US joining the ICC was debated during the Clinton Administration, the people against it said that Americans could be railroaded in an international court and the “liberals” who favored joining the ICC responded by saying that the court systems of the countries involved would be given precedence–in other words, since the US has a functioning court system, our war criminals would be tried in our courts. Obviously that wasn’t going to work–high ranking US officials are never going to be tried in American courts for war crimes, but that was the argument. Here’s a column from that era–

      link to December 12 2000 column in NYT

      Now you might be right, but the Americans back then seemed to be saying that American war criminals would be tried in American courts and they weren’t talking about crimes committed on American soil. So the Israelis might be operating on the same assumption. They can be sure the US government will take their side.

      1. Donald, consider this: a GI commits a war crime in…. Oompaloompaland.

        Q: Can that GI be tried before a US military court?
        A: Yes, of course he can.

        Q: Does that mean the Oompaloompas can’t put that GI on trial?
        A: No, it doesn’t. Oompaloompa Law ™ is not subordinate to the US military justice system.

        Q: So what was that NYTimes article on about?
        A: It’s code for: If We Don’t Sign That Treaty Then We Can Do What We Always Do, Which Is To Ignore The Objections Of The Oompaloompas Of This World.

        Q: Is that true?
        A: No, not really; the Oompaloompahs are perfectly entitled to take the case to the ICC regardless of what a US military court does/doesn’t rule.

        The reason the USA thinks otherwise has nothing to do with “law” and everything to do with “power politics” i.e. the USA really does believe that it is “exceptional” and “indispensable”, and so it can’t even begin to comprehend the notion that ANY puissant little country would have the balls to put a GI on trial.

        1. The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, declared recently in the Guardian that, although her predecessor had stated that he couldn’t decide whether Palestine had the status to join the Rome statute, the situation had changed since Palestine had obtained non-member observer status at the UN in November 2012.. So she was waiting for an approach by Palestine to join the Rome statute.

          However one of the main legal advisers of the Palestinians, Professor Francis Boyle, now (or at any case a month ago) says that the Palestinians shouldn’t do that because there is no hope for them at the ICC. Instead sympathetic nation states should start proceedings against Israel for genocide at the World Court . His statement is worth quoting in full. I must confess that I don’t understand why he expects a sort of legal trap at the ICC. “She” (prosecutor Fatou Bensouda)” will decapitate the entire Palestinian political leadership.The Palestinians will be back where they were before the founding of the PLO in 1964.”

          “Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law and The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka. He said today: “The ICC has shown that the hope that many of us had for it was not deserved, it’s been a tool of the pro-Israeli Western powers. Under no circumstances must the Palestinians accede to the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court. ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is ‘Black Skin, White Masks’ a la Frantz Fanon. She will decapitate the entire Palestinian political leadership. The Palestinians will be back to where they were before the founding of the PLO in 1964.”
          Instead, Boyle recommends that nations that are signatory to the Genocide Convention invoke it against Israel at the World Court. Numerous world leaders, including the presidents of Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Iran have referred to Israel’s actions as genocidal.

          Says Boyle: “An appropriate legal remedy is to apply the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against Israel at the World Court. Palestinians have been victims of genocide by that treaty’s definition. In 1993 I won two World Court Orders on the basis of the 1948 Genocide Convention that were overwhelmingly in favor of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina against Yugoslavia to cease and desist from committing all acts of genocide against the Bosnians in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention. I won the first emergency order in three weeks.
          “In the event the United States were to exercise a veto at the Security Council against the enforcement of this World Court Cease-and-Desist Order against Israel, you can then invoke the General Assembly’s Uniting for Peace Resolution of 1950 in order to have the World Court Order turned over to the United Nations General Assembly for enforcement measures against Israel.”


  2. The positive outcome of this slaughter might be a further decline in Israel’s international prestige and the increasing hostility among those who were once its friends. I think the acceleration of this decline already started after the operation Cast Lead, and what has since become known of Israel’s vindictive closure of the Gaza strip has helped matters along.

    The evidence here is thus far only anecdotal but, nevertheless, pretty persuasive. To stick to a few Australian examples: I already mentioned the case of the former conservative Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. A few years ago, Isi Leibler, an erstwhile Australian Jewish leader then resident in Jerusalem, wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald:
    “Israel loses an old friend in Fraser and we long for his return

    I retain fond memories of my genuinely warm association with Malcolm Fraser when he was prime minister and I headed the Australian Jewish community. Our relationship was based on shared values and my appreciation for his inestimable assistance on behalf of Soviet Jewry, ensuring that, while I was in Moscow, the Australian embassy provided support for my efforts on behalf of Jewish dissidents.
    I also recollect that in those days he was enthralled with Israel and he would spend hours discussing and enthusiastically lauding the achievements of the Jewish state.”
    In explaining this for him strange change in Fraser’s attitude Leibler totally fails to see the connection with an increasing knowledge about Israel’s crimes. Instead he jumps half seriously to a mythical explanation:
    “In Jewish mystical folklore we relate to a dybbuk – a malevolent spirit capable of dramatically transforming a person’s entire outlook. I am tempted to attribute Malcolm Fraser’s dramatic reversal of attitude to a dybbuk.”
    We see a similar change in Bob Carr, Foreign Minister in the last administration and who was once, for years, President of Labor Friends of Israel. Carr has also pointed out that in his book My Reading Life he called the work by the Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi “If This is a Man” the most important book of the last one hundred years. However these sympathies didn’t prevent him from seeing, when he was in office, that Australian Middle East policymaking had been subcontracted out to the powerful and wealthy pro-Israel lobby in Melbourne.
    “Our stance on the Middle East is shameful” he wrote in his published Diary of a Foreign Minister in Nov.2012, “in lock-step with the Likud, designed to feed the worst instincts of Israel and encourage it to self-destruct, placing us with the Marshall ­Islands and Canada and rejecting the entire Arab world and the Palestinians.”
    Mark Leibler, Isi’s brother, and a present day leader among Australian Jewry, could, in reaction, only come up with the inane suggestion that Carr had put these critical words in to enhance the sale of his book.
    I have no doubt that these examples of a thorough change in attitude can be multiplied with many more. The question is when there will be enough “critical mass” among these “converts” to bring about a radical change in policy.

    1. Yes Malcolm Fraser has gone from being a sneaky politician to a great human being. Unfortunately, as you said, Arie, both major parties in Australia have been bought by the Likudniks, and so also has the ABC. Julia Gillard was awarded the Jerusalem Prize as payback almost immediately after leaving office. Her coup against Rudd was around the time he was making noises about an independent line on the Middle East. He seems to have sold out during his second brief term as PM.

  3. “I grew up in Amsterdam and only later found out that many of the local words were from Jiddish.”
    I too grew up in Amsterdam but those words spoke were basically uttered by people living in the Jordaan. Though central in Amsterdam it was mainly inhabited by those of the lower social class. Most of us, as children, would have got a hit on the ear from our mothers if we uttered some of those words.

    It was commonly know as ‘plaat Amsterdams’ i.e., low Amsterdams.

    1. @ ad balster: As in most societies there is an fascinating intercourse between high and low culture. So I wouldn’t look down on the speech or people who lived in so-called “low” communities. They provide extraordinary vitality to the rest of the culture and nation in the same way African-Americans have done in this country.

      BTW, there is an amazing medieval (or perhaps later) dictionary of thieves’ jargon (can’t remember where I read about this but perhaps a reader will know the source about which I’m writing) which contains a huge amount of Yiddish because contrary to popular belief, Jews were common in such company once upon a time. I suppose with reprobates like Sheldon Adelson, we still are!

  4. Hannibal allows the state to dispense with an individual citizen without due process or cause. The soldier is honored as long as he has utility. When he becomes an expense, a dis-utility to the state, he can be offed. In the US, NDAA gave the government the power to incarcerate any American without due process for an indeterminate period of time and, by extension, to execute any American as the President sees fit, without due process. Of course, Obama was quick to comment that he wouldn’t abuse such power but I’m not comforted. The fascist state is real and alive here and now. These are the values the US shares with Likud Israel, a boot stepping on a human face…. The enemy is everywhere all the time.

  5. Elizabeth, this is a nice topic. Amsterdam has and had of course the largest Jewish population in the Netherlands. Around 1940 10 % of the population of Amsterdam was Jewish. So the linguistic influence of Jiddish was mainly felt there. Nevertheless the words you mentioned, and quite a few more, were also fairly generally used where I grew up, in the vicinity of Rotterdam. So it is possible that they were first used in Amsterdam (the very nickname of Amsterdam, Mokum, is, as you know, of Hebrew/Jiddisch origin) but then got to the rest of the country. Some of these words, especially “gotspe”, are indispensable because they have no real equivalent in “dutch Dutch” (a nice example of a “gotspe” is that of the fellow who is on trial for the murder of his parents and then pleads the fact that he is an orphan as a mitigating circumstance).

    Here are a few more examples: afgepeigerd (dead-tired), bolleboos (an intelligent/capable person), daar ga je (Cheers! prosit – from Jiddish “lechajjem”), dalles (poverty), gannef (thief), geinig (funny), geintje (something funny), gesjochten (impoverished), geteisem (punks, bad people), gis (clever, shrewd), goochem (clever, shrewd), heibel (trouble, commotion), heitje (a quarter), hoteldebotel (confused), joetje (ten guilders), jofel (good, nice), kapoerem (broken, not functioning), kapsones (“airs”, cockiness), kassiewijle (dead, gone), kinnesinne (envy, jealousy), klabak (copper, police man), koter (child), meier (100 guilders), lou loene (no result), miesgasser or miesgast (unpleasant person), miesmacher (a spoiler), ongein (a nuisance), penose (the criminal world), pleite (gone, disappeared), poen(money), rachmones (pity), ramsj (overstock sale), schorem (bad people), sjofel (looking poor), smeris (copper, policeman), sores (trouble, worries), stennis (ado), stiekem (hidden, secretly), tof (“cool”, likeable).

    I think that some of these words are pretty indispensable such as the terms of disapproval (schorem, geteisem, the dutch Dutch equivalents have no real “pith” though the word “tuig” doesn’t do too bad a job – then further kapsones – to be judged a “kapsones lijer” says Carmiggelt is as much as a “death verdict” in Amsterdam).

    1. @ Arie Brand: we should thank fake-Walter Benjamin for his carping comment on chutzpah which provoked this delightful side bar. Thanks for the lesson in Dutch Yiddish vocabulary. BTW, “makom” means “place” in Hebrew & Yiddish, in this sense probably “THE Place.”

    2. Thanks Arie! I had no idea all these words were also from Jiddish. What about ‘kanen’ (to eat) as in “Heb je nog wat te kanen?” I noticed people who are not from Amsterdam do not know this word. Could it be from Jiddish too?

      1. I know the word though I have only heard it very rarely but I don’t believe it has a Yiddish origin. However a word that does have that origin and that was lacking on my list was chosen by the readers of the daily “Het Parool;” as “Mokum’s most beautiful word: achenebbisj (in the spelling van the Van Dale though people have argued that the Yiddish spelling should be aggenebbisj). As you know the word covers a lot of nuances: something messy, of poor quality but presented as something better than it is, somewhat dirty but also with the idea that it could be better if some attention was given to it.

          1. Yes, ‘ach!’ in Dutch means something like ‘alas!’, or ‘how pitiful!’, but in German also, and as Jiddish is a German dialect (with lots of Hebrew thrown in) it is probably directly from Jiddish.
            It is sad that the words still live on (when I looked at the list I realized that so many of the examples that especially Arie gave are really mainstream and not limited to Amsterdam ) while the people who contributed the words have perished.
            When my kids were still toddlers I used to call them ‘geinponempje’ when they were looking especially funny and cute, which (if you try to analyze it) is actually gein ‘funny’ + ponem ‘face’ + a Dutch diminutive suffix ‘-pje’, so ‘little funny face’. What a mixture!

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