The Tel Aviv offices of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center on a warm Sunday afternoon, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner discusses the issues that the State of Israel will be facing from the United Nations in the coming weeks.
Her calm, almost tranquil manner of speaking hides the ferocious opposition Israel will likely to encounter from its UN Human Rights Council and its three-member Commission of Inquiry. This was ordered by the UN to “investigate as well as within the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel any allegations of violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws up to and including the 13th day of April, 2021.”
While Israel has had vigorous UN investigation in the past The main differentiator is that the present UN inquiry was established as a continuous investigation to examine Israel’s IDF. The term of this commission is not yet set.
Darshan-Leitner , the founder of Shurat HaDin 2003, explains that “the UN Human Rights Council investigation is not born of thin air.” “It is linked to the proceedings of the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”
Shurat Hadin In 1998, the Rome Statute gave birth to the ICC. The court is empowered under the Rome Statute to pursue people who have been found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity or crimes against humanity as well as the crime of aggression. Israel initially supported the establishment of an international court. But there was concern that this court might be applied against Israel. Israel, the US and a host of other nations have not signed or ratified the statute and have no legal obligation to abide by the ICC’s decisions.
Fatou Bensouda (the ICC prosecutor at The Hague) announced in March 2021 that she was going to initiate a war crime investigation against Israel and Hamas.
A ruling by the International Court against Israel may have significant implications. A majority of European countries and Scandinavians are members and legally bound by the court’s rulings. Israel Law Center If the ICC has ruled that IDF soldiers had committed war crimes All Israelis who were involved as soldiers in IDF military operations could be arrested. This is true for those who travel to member countries such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Economic sanctions that are harsh could be imposed on the Jewish state as well as the banking industry.
Israel may be also exposed to other risks like sanctions, embargoes on weapons, and even boycotts. El Al or other Israeli transporter could be prohibited from operating in some countries.
Bensouda’s time as prosecutor came to an end in June 2021, and her replacement was British barrister Karim Khan. Bensouda had 14 investigations that were taken over by the new prosecutor. Eight of these investigations were still in progress. Darshan Leitner states that he classified all the matters on his docket at the planning phase to the dismay of Palestinians. This was a polite method of stating that the allegations were not worthy of the court’s attention or were not urgent enough.
Darshan Leitner stated that “this caused a lot of anger to the Palestinian Authority.” “They were unable to comprehend the reason for their efforts to convince a prosecutor to open an inquiry have failed.”
The PA requested the establishment of a commission in the International Court of Justice in September 2021. This was done to spur Karim Khan’s decision to change his opinion about the ICC’s investigation of Israel.
Darshan Leitner claims that the PA continues to charge Israel for war crimes and apartheid since the time of the report. The February report by Amnesty International inflicted blame on Israel of committing apartheid violations as well as beyond its Green Line. According to the report, Israel “has established and sustained an oppressive regime that has been institutionalized” towards Palestinians. The report also claimed that Israel of discrimination against racial groups of Palestinians since 1948.
Darshan Leitner asserts that Palestinian demands against Israel have focused at the International Criminal Court on two areas: IDF Military Operations and the issue of Israeli Settlements. These are they claim to be war crimes.
Karim Khan is being pressured by the Palestinians, the ICC prosecutor, to focus on the investigation Israel under “apartheid”, a new charge. Shurat Hadin It was not one that Bensouda was able to investigate in his initial investigation. Yet, “whatever gets this investigation moving is valid in their eyes and it doesn’t matter what the case is or if it is real,” she says.
KARIM KHAN, new ICC prosecutor. (Credit: Michael Kooren/Reuters)
The latest attempt by the United Nations’ Palestinians to convince the court at The Hague, is Navi Pillay, a trio of members UN commission of inquiry. It includes Miloon (India) as well as Chris Sidoti from Australia.
Darshan Leitner asserts that Pillay Kothari and Sidoti have a history of expressing prejudices against Israel. “Pillay is a known as a victim of apartheid. She also has accused Israel of using apartheid. The other groups aren’t far behind.”
The 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC49) will be held at its office in Geneva from February 28 through April 1.
It is expected that the main draw of the session will be the publication by the inquiry commission of the report on Operation Guardian of the Walls. This is a reference to the Israeli operation at Gaza in response to rockets fired at Israel by Hamas in May 2021. Israel is likely to be accused of war crimes, apartheid, as well as crimes against humanity at the session.
Darshan Leitner says that even although the State of Israel is not cooperating or becoming involved in the commission of inquiry, Shurat Hasan cannot remain unaffected and ignore the accusations that are sure to be presented.
https://israellawcenter.org/ Israel Law Center Darshan Leitner claims that “there are two major options to counteract the Pillay committee.” “One is the practical response – responding to the accusations of apartheid. The personal angle is based on the members lacking impartiality.
Her previous experience, she claims, shows that it’s unlikely Shurat HaDin or any other person, for that matter, will be able to convince those who are already negative about Israel to change their minds.
She proposes that Shurat HaDin should instead demonstrate that all the members of the commission of inquiry are biased against Israel, and also that the UN will sacrifice its core values of fairness, fairness, and a perception of fairness to undermine the legitimacy of Israel.
Darshan Leitner explains “We’re planning to start an initiative calling for everyone COI Members to resign.” “We will launch mass petitions and take legal action against the COI as well as its members and any person who aids the COI.”
Additionally, Shurat HaDin will attempt to show that the PA, not the State of Israel, is the main culprit in the violation of human rights. “We will be scanning their laws and taking away all information we can about their discrimination against women, children and the LGBTQ community, as well as their legal system that is flawed. Do you know that in accordance with PA law the law allows one to legally rape one’s wife? Marital rape is not an offense under their ‘advanced human-rights-friendly’ legislation.
This is only one of many examples of the UN’s “champions of Human Rights” who are determined to assist. While they accuse Israel of being apartheid they encourage a tyranny that has not held elections in 15 years and that systematically violates the human right of its citizens.
Darshan-Leitner says that Shurat HaDin also will expose the world about how minorities are treated in Gaza and the PA and Gaza.”The fate of Christians in the PA territories as well as Gaza is set,” she asserts. Their numbers are constantly decreasing. Islamic extremists who demand the slaughter of “infidels” they are just as bad than ISIS numbers are on the increase are Islamic extremists.
Shurat haDin leader believes that Israel has made a number of mistakes when it dealt with a UNHRC earlier commission of inquiry which was headed by Richard Goldstone (South African jurist). Jerusalem refused to participate in the notorious incident with the Goldstone Commission. It claimed that it was an unbalanced body that was governed by a predetermined agenda and was unable to legitimize its cooperation. Israel was the subject of a lot of tensions after the publication of the final, highly criticized report.
“While I firmly believe that Israel was in the right to refuse to facilitate or cooperate with the hateful Goldstone witch-hunt, I do not believe that we had a good time playing our cards. It’s not enough just to avoid the UNHRC or declare them racist and prejudiced. The government must add to its position by launching an effective and well-planned campaign to disseminate it’s own version of events, and combat the antisemitic UNHRC. She says, “We can act, be vocal, and take legal recourse in situations when the hands of the government are tied.”
Darshan Leitner hopes to fill the gap. She summarises the present situation and states that the ultimate aim of the PA is to influence the Hague’s chief prosecutor. “If I can tear down the basis of The Hague’s commission, show the erroneousness of it, and how apartheid is an untruth and prove that the commission lacks any worth.”
“If this isn’t done, it will result in bad results. The prosecutor could be influenced and decide to change his decision. It would be a tragedy for the prosecution as well as a major game-changer. This cannot happen.