On 23rd July 2014, the ICJ submitted a written statement for the 21st special session of the HRC at the UN.
The ICJ called for an immediate withdrawal of Israel from Gaza (implemented in 2005), and alleged that
1. Israel was perpetrating “…disproportionate and often indiscriminate attacks…” against civilians and civilian targets in Gaza
2. Israel breached “…international humanitarian law and gross violations of human rights law…” in Gaza
3. Israel had, for decades, been responsible for a “…cycle of impunity…” in the ME which had fueled “chronic cycles of atrocities committed in the context…” of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
In closing, the ICJ statement stated that such behaviour
• undermined “..the very fabric of international law and accountability
• impaired the international community’s ability to protect others and
• severely hampered the rights of victims to “remedies and reparation.”
Consequently, the ICJ believed it should now
• “…prepare the ground for the investigation and possible prosecution of military, political and armed group leaders…” and that it must
• urge the UNSC to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
Israel has taken these allegations very seriously, even though it has received no answers why the same scrutiny should not apply to
• President Barack Obama for the alleged ongoing collateral damage to innocent children and civilians in American drone attacks on the Pakistan/Waziristan border
• Current envoy to the Quartet on the Middle East, former British PM Tony Blair for alleged breaches of international law and war crimes in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan during his tenure between 1997 -2007
• Alleged American actions in Afghanistan in 2013- present
• Alleged American actions in Yemen 2011- to present
• British politicians and ministers for alleged systematic British troop war crimes in Iraq 2003-2008
• Pakistan for alleged current violations of human rights within its borders
• Burma 2013 alleged ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya and the dumping of bodies in mass graves
• Iran 1990- to present for alleged human rights abuse against LGBTs and systematic sociocide of Iranians of the Bahai faith
• Syria and Bashar Assad for barrel bombing civilian targets in Homs and Aleppo and the alleged use of poison gas on citizens of Damascus suburbs in 2013 and 2014
• President Sisi for the alleged Tahrir Square massacres
• Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for alleged war crimes in Syria and Iraq
• Vladimir Putin and the Ukraine conflict for alleged breach of international law and the UN Charter which forbids the acquisition of land by force
• Tayip Recep Erdogan for alleged use of excessive force and breach of human rights in the Gezi troubles
• Qatar’s alleged current ongoing (and longstanding) abuse of workers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal as they prepare for Doha 2022
• Hamid Karzai for allowing the ongoing practice of stoning women to death as a punishment for either adultery or being raped
• Political leaders of Sudan for the alleged atrocities of the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the mainly Christian Dinka and Nuer tribesmen into South Sudan
• King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for the beheading of 19 people since 4th August 2014; people who were not jailed for violent crimes
• Li Keqiang of the Peoples Republic of China for the ongoing genocide and alleged sociocide of the Tibetan people in occupied Tibet
Israel has, to date, received no reasonable answers as to why, in the light of these alleged atrocities, war crimes, wars of aggression and flagrant human rights abuses, the International Court of Jurists has not also seen fit to “…prepare the ground for the investigation and possible prosecution of military, political and armed group leaders…” of the countries above-mentioned.
Any interested observer would want to understand why there have been twice as many urgent debates and special sessions of the Human Rights Council on Israel in the past eight-years than there have been, for example, on Syria with upwards of 200,000 dead, 4 million displaced, where poison gas has been used on civilians and where a Kurdish minority in that state is suffering systematic sociocide.
As well, an interested observer would also want to understand why there has never been a single special session on a place like Iran or China or Russia or America with documented human rights abuses and war crimes allegations. Or why there has never been a single resolution on countries like Saudi Arabia or Cuba.
Or even why fully 33% of all the resolutions and decisions critical of a single state – out of all 193 UN members – have been directed at Israel alone.
A not unreasonable answer might appear to be that this lack of ICJ urgency/outrage to “…prepare the ground for the investigation and possible prosecution of military, political and armed group leaders…” of the countries and governments mentioned above might be because no Jews/Israelis were involved.
The legal battles against Israel cloaked as upholding international peace and decency in the international courts will shortly begin.
I believe that with specific reference to Gaza 2014 and the specificity of the July 23 ICJ statement to the HRC, Israel has taken all necessary legal precautions throughout the war regarding strikes and their legality and documented evidence to acquit well itself in the coming charade that will be the investigation.
For the second group which is mentioned only briefly in that same statement to the special session of the HRC, I believe the going will be just a touch harder…….