Sunday, April 17, 2011

Connect the dots: Food-Goldstone-War Crimes

A report has recently appeared that Tel Aviv District Court Judge Ruth Ronen is currently presiding over a case that involves the following: (1) State documents; (2) a leftist group called Gisha; (3) the Leftist New Israel Fund (NIF); and (4) her husband—who is a member of the Board of NIF.
This story, written by Ben-Dror Yemini in the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv, suggests that Judge Ronen should recuse herself because of her husband’s ties to NIF. Instead, when Gisha submitted a motion under a Freedom of Information Law to require the State to reveal an internal document that deals with the supply of food to Gaza, Judge Ronen ruled in favour of that motion and ordered also that the names of the people who authored that document be revealed.
What’s the problem? Isn’t this just another meaningless Leftist lawsuit against Israel, this time over  food?
This is not about food.
 This is about war crimes.
 The backround: the Left has claimed for more than twenty years that Israel violates international humanitarian laws and international human rights laws, and also commits ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity.  In 2009, these accusations finally came into focus—when Richard Goldstone presented a Report to the UN, after investigating Israel’s 2008-9 military offensive against Gaza.
 The Goldstone Report reads like a legal action-manual. If Israel is your legal target, it’s all here, almost in guide-book fashion:  what laws to quote, what language to use, what remedies to seek—including reparations-- and what specific crimes Israel is supposed to have committed in Gaza and in the West Bank. The report runs deep with detail. Its 575 pages are based on more than 10,000 pages of testimony. It looks like the most complete legal 'brief' against Israel ever prepared.
There are at least twelve portals for lawsuits, with details.  Israel has violated Articles 2,4, 10 of the ICCPR; article 42 of the Hague Regulations; Articles 6,23, 59, 146, 147 of the fourth Geneva Convention; article 75 of the Additional Protocol I; articles 8(2) (a), 8 (2) (b) and 8 (2) (b) (iii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court—and more.
The Report says that a competent court could find that Israel has committed crimes against humanity.
Guess who is now looking for that ‘competent court’?   
Judge Ronen is looking at food for Gaza.  Why food? The Goldstone Report has the answer:  ”Israel continues to be duty-bound by the Fourth Geneva Convention… to ensure the supply of foodstuff”  to meet the humanitarian needs of Gazans.
Why is Israel ‘duty-bound’?  Goldstone has that answer, too: “Israel exercises control over Gaza at all times, and this control constitutes occupation by Israel.” This means that Israel is therefore, “responsible for the welfare of the population of Gaza” —including making certain that adequate food is supplied to the Gazans.
To do otherwise is a war crime, and a crime that violates multiple humanitarian laws and human rights.
So if a Leftist group can get a food report from the State, and apply a standard that shows that Israel is not supplying “adequate” food to Gaza, then someone can, according to the Goldstone Report, do two things:   (1) using ‘universal jurisdiction’ (see Goldstone), they could  take Israel (or the identified authors of that food report) to court anywhere in the world; or, (2) bring the identified authors to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution as war criminals--because, as the Report tells us, in January 2009  ‘The Government of Palestine’ formally declared to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC that it recognizes the jurisdiction of the ICC “for the purposes of identifying, prosecuting and judging the authors [emphasis mine]” of acts committed in the Palestinian territories since 2002. The Report says that the international community has accepted this declaration, which means that if Leftists can get a court hearing under the concept of universal jurisdiction, then all authors of State reports that involve ‘the territories’ might be prosecutable in the ICC for war crimes.
This is just the beginning. The Goldstone ‘guide-book’ overflows with Israel’s supposed crimes.
Once the Palestinians create their state, any of their citizens ever arrested, stopped, ticketed, jailed, or questioned might be able to claim, according to how Goldstone is arranged, that a crime against their human rights has been committed. They will then be able to sue Israel in Palestinian courts; all of this is in Goldstone, including the inference that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians might be able to claim Israeli human rights violations and humanitarian crimes.
How many lawsuits will that become?
We have to stop this. Judge Ronen must recuse.  The Gisha motion must be denied. The enemies of Israel want to put a gun to our head. We must not give them that gun.

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