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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘International Criminal Court’

Abbas to Ask UN to Set Date for Israel Withdrawal to 1949 Armistice Line

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

PLO chairman, Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority unity government head, Mahmoud Abbas is hoping to persuade the United Nations Security Council to ‘forget’ the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords and simply force Israel back to the 1949 Armistice Line.

Abbas reportedly is set to ask the Council to set a date by which Israel will be required to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and nearly half of its capital city, Jerusalem, all of which Israel captured from Jordanian control.

This would include withdrawal from the Old City, handing over the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, all of Judaism’s holiest sites and in short, the territory where a total of more than half a million Jews now reside, and is the cradle of Jewish civilization.

According to Fatah officials who spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday night, Abbas plans to ask the United Nations Security Council to set a deadline for Israel to withdraw from all of the territory it acquired during the 1967 Six Day War from Jordan. It’s not clear whether he also intends to include the Golan Heights in his request, since that is not directly relevant to the PA.
Jordan has since relinquished any claims it had on the territories.

If the UN Security Council does not agree to do as Abbas demands, the PA unity government head will ‘take his business elsewhere’ and turn to the International Criminal Court at The Hague,” the source said.

Abbas will attempt to charge Israel with war crimes in the international court — but it’s unlikely that he will succeed. Perhaps the primary reason is the fact that Israel is not a member of the ICC; therefore the court has no jurisdiction over the Jewish State, aside from the fact that Israel is simply not guilty, and has made very sure to document every move it makes in order to defend itself in any court of law.

Moreover, there is ample photographic evidence proving the countless violations of international humanitarian law committed by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and yes, by Fatah-linked terrorists as well — all of whom are members of Abu Mazen’s Palestinian Authority and under his government.

It’s the last act of a desperate man, one who has tried everything else and knows there is nothing left to do. No matter which way he turns, he’s a dead man in Ramallah, and he does not want to live in Israel. A man in this position has nothing left to lose.

The Doctrine of Proportionality

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

This article was first published by the Gatestone Institute.

Proportionality in international law is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about [equality of] firepower. Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity.

“Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable does not constitute a war crime…. even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality).” — Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.

“The greater the military advantage anticipated, the larger the amount of collateral damage — often civilian casualties — which will be “justified” and “necessary.” — Dr. Françoise Hampton, University of Essex, UK.

As the Israeli ground incursion into Gaza continues, increased attention will be focused on the notion of “proportionality” in both the number of casualties on both sides and the sophistication of the weapons each side brings to bear. Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg characterized Israel’s operations against Hamas in language that came close to an accusation of war crimes. “I really do think now the Israeli response appears to be deliberately disproportionate. It is amounting now to a disproportionate form of collective punishment.” Even President Obama, who has been a firm advocate of Israel’s self-defense in this instance, told reporters that he “encouraged” Prime Minister Netanyahu to “minimize civilian deaths.”

An Israeli journalist called Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system “unsportsmanlike.” He wondered what FIFA would say “if Germany, with its superior economy and industry, were to replace Manuel Neuer with a bionic goalkeeper… capable of calculating where each Argentine ball will come from, the exact position to stand in and amount of force needed to block it… On the modern battlefield (Israel) is a bionic Germany.”

How unsportsmanlike!

Even among Israel’s friends – and some Israelis – a “yes, but…” response is common. “Yes” Hamas started it; “Yes” Hamas puts military infrastructure in civilian neighborhoods; “Yes” Israel is entitled to self-defense, “Yes” the Israelis warn Palestinians. “But” more than 240 Palestinians have been killed to date and only one Israeli has died directly from rocket fire.

Isn’t that the definition of “disproportionate?” No. It isn’t.

Proportionality in international law is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about firepower returned being equal in sophistication or lethality to firepower received. Proportionality weighs the military necessity of an action against the suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity. A review of expert opinion – none of which was written in relation to Israel – helps to clarify. [All emphases below added.]

Prof. Horst Fischer, Academic Director of the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany, and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, wrote in The Crimes of War Project:

The principle of proportionality is embedded in almost every national legal system and underlies the international legal order. Its function in domestic law is to relate means to ends… In the conduct of war, when a party commits a lawful attack against a military objective, the principle of proportionality also comes into play whenever there is collateral damage, that is, civilian casualties or damage to a non-military objective… attacks are prohibited if they cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, or damage to civilian objects that is excessive in relation to the anticipated concrete and direct military advantage of the attack. This creates a permanent obligation for military commanders to consider the results of the attack compared to the advantage anticipated.

Exactly as Israel does when it aborts missions after finding civilians used as human shields on rooftops.

One More Try for Peace as Envoy Martin Indyk Arrives in Israel

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

U.S. Special Envoy Martin Indyk raced to Jerusalem Wednesday for emergency meetings with Israeli and Palestinian Authority negotiators over the crashing final status talks.

In Algeria for strategic security talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also urged Israeli and PA leaders to make one more effort to reach an agreement, warning that the Obama administration could not force peace if partners were unwilling.

“You can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions and compromises,” he said. “The leaders have to lead and they have to be able to see a moment when it’s there.” Kerry quoted the old adage of being able to ‘lead a horse to water but not being able to make it drink’ — an analogy that every American child is raised with.

“Now is the time to drink,” Kerry said. “The leaders need to know that.”

Last week Israel balked over the release of a final group of 30 PA terrorist incarcerated in Israeli prisons. The group included 20 Israeli Arab citizens – a controversial issue that had split the coalition government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from the start of the talks in July 2013.

The Israeli Arab prisoners acted in their terrorism under the auspices of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Both are led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, so it is impossible for him to close his eyes to their incarceration. More so, it is impossible for Israeli government ministers to ignore the fact that Abbas, whose nom de guerre is Abu Mazen, is in some ways as much a terrorist as those who are imprisoned. Abbas has claimed “only a few hundred thousand” Jews were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. During the years of the Bush Administration he refused to dismantle terrorist organizations as required by the Roadmap peace plan – which collapsed — and refuses to stop media incitement in the PA against Israel as well.

The prisoners were to be freed in stages linked to progress in the talks and the participation of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas – who has not been active at the negotiating table since November 2013. Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that no visible progress appears to have been made on the core issues since that time, with Israel making all the security concessions and endangering its own population.

Last Friday, instead of freeing the terrorists, Israel proposed to extend the talks and offered to free another 400 prisoners, again in stages linked as before to progress in the negotiations.

The talks are not scheduled to end until April 29.

Instead, on Monday infuriated PA leaders signed applications for membership in 15 United Nations agencies and organizations. The move is an outrageous violation of its commitment to both Israel and the United States at the outset of the talks.

Last night (Wednesday), Fatah faction leader Mohamed Shtayyeh also threatened in a statement in Arabic to Sky News to submit an application to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague – a second violation.

The PA committed at the start of negotiations with Israel in July 2013 not to seek membership in international organizations – including the International Criminal Court at The Hague – until the conclusion of talks on April 29.

But Shtayyeh announced that the PA is also no longer willing to “negotiate” on any issue other than borders and demanded Israel present a map of new borders based on the 1949 Armistice lines, also known as the “1967 lines.” This is a third violation.

The “1967 lines” term is used with bitterness by Arabs and many in the international community to refer to the areas occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, whose borders were dissolved after Israel won the 1967 Six Day War.

If Israel is unable to reach agreement with the PA on borders, the PA threatened to submit applications for membership in 63 international organizations. The strategy is being used as a means of gaining de facto legitimacy as a as an independent sovereign nation.

Moreover, Shtayyeh blamed Israel for the action, saying it came in response to the government decision not to release the final group of terrorist prisoners last week.

PA envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour added in a statement to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency – a PA mouthpiece — that the entity is “eligible for membership in up to 550 international organizations.”

PA President, Taking Cue from Obama, Demanding State Map

Friday, April 5th, 2013

After decades, perhaps centuries, in which we, Jews, have been able to count on the Arabs to rescue us from the catastrophic errors of our own leaders by committing even worse errors—as the late Abba Eban put it: The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity—we may be up against the first Arab who is a whole lot better than us at using opportunities, and how.

Mahmoud Abbas, whom Arabs and Israelis call by his nom de guerre Abu Mazen, has figured out how to outmaneuver his opponent, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and how to defeat the greatest democracy with the strongest army in the region. Frankly, the only real hope Israel has at the moment is that some Palestinian idiot would assassinate the crafty Abbas, and leave Netanyahu to deal with leaders to whom he can measure up.

Secretary of State John Kerry is coming to town next week, ready to twist Israeli arms, and we might as well face up to it: the Obama and Kerry visits have been planned as a one-two punch, with Abu Mazen being heavily prompted to let America do the job for him.

When Barack Obama was making nice with our children in Jerusalem, he made a statement that, at the time, sounded like a rebuke to the Palestinians, who had been insisting that the precondition to renewing talks on peace with the Israelis is a new settlement freeze.

That one was right out of Abba Eban’s book of missing opportunities. Netanyahu tried a settlement freeze early on in his second term. It didn’t bring the Arabs to the table, but it did create a fervent resentment against him among settlers, who responded by doubling Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home Knesset faction, all at the expense of Bibi’s Likud party.

Palestinian sovereignty and Israeli security are “the core issue,” Obama told Abbas in Ramallah. “If we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved.”

It wasn’t a rebuke, it was golden advise, it was the kind of strategic thinking the Palestinians had not been able to generate, with the glaring exception of the UN assembly statehood vote – which was Abu Mazen’s brainchild, he managed to break the fundamental rules of the Oslo Accords and got away with it relatively unscathed.

Now the PA president has announced that he won’t be asking for settlements freeze as a precondition, he wants to see a map instead. Let Mr. Netanyahu bring to the first meeting of the new round of negotiations his version of where the new Palestinian state should be.

It sounds so harmless. After all, what’s more logical than starting the wheeling and dealing with each side showing where they think the new border should run in the future. One side wants this much, the other side wants only this much – and they’ll reach a compromise.

In reality, this demand robs Netanyahu of his entire arsenal of negotiation moves. In Netanyahu’s play book, you get to map drawing in the distant future, years from now, after a lengthy series of small moves, tweaks, minute gestures, back and forth. If he shows his map at the start, then the future borders become the one and only topic of negotiations, everything else is moot, the battle has been lost before it began.

Meanwhile, AFP reports, President Mahmoud Abbas will temporarily refrain from unilateral action against Israel at the UN and other international arenas, to give U.S.-brokered peace talks a chance to resume.

For a couple of months, the Palestinians will nobly “refrain from taking a case against Israel to the International Criminal Court,” an anonymous Palestinian source told AFP.

But the same official warned that if Israel failed to halt settlement building, the PA would immediately begin working through the international bodies again.

“Settlement building in E1 is a red line and erecting so much as one stone in the area … would destroy the two-state solution,” he said.

Speaking of stones, the PA has been utilizing those very well, along with firebombs, sending bands of angry, unemployed youths to literally get themselves killed by challenging IDF units all across Judea and Samaria. Two Arab teenagers have already been killed, and young Arabs in the Hebron area continued to clash with Israeli troops all day Thursday, protesting the death of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who was serving a long prison sentence for attempted murder, in Israeli custody. Abu Hamdiyeh died from cancer which the Israeli prison system failed to cure.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/pa-president-taking-cue-from-obama-demanding-state-map/2013/04/05/

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