Monthly Archives: November 2018

Crippled by Caution

On Wednesday 14/11/2018, Nahum Barnea published an opinion piece in Yediot Ahronot part of which read thus:

“On Tuesday, Shaked and her colleagues chanced upon a golden opportunity: Each Cabinet member promoted his/her own deadly, perfect solution for the escalation on the southern front. And then—silence. None of them demanded to put their marvellous plans to a vote.”

This is not mere chance. Europe has succeeded in crippling Israeli Knesset members, making them loathe to take the action(s) which will be in the best long-term interests of the country.

The weapon that Europe has so successfully used on behalf of the Arabs is lawfare. And it has worked.

Under the aegis Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the ICC/CPI, Israeli military and political figures are threatened with prosecution for a wide range of alleged war crimes such as “wilful killing, extensive destruction and appropriation of property, transfer by the occupying power of its civilian population into occupied territory, pillaging of a town/place, destroying or seizing the enemy’s property“. This is effectively a reference to Article 8 of the Rome Statute which became effective in 2002.

Although Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute, Israelis may be tried by The Hague-based court for crimes committed in the “state” of “Palestine”.

At the moment, there is no clarity on interpretation of Article 12.1.a&b of that same statute. While the Levantine Arabs and Gazan Arabs, claiming statehood and “signatories” to the Statute, have tried to bring charges of war crimes against Israel for defending itself, the ICC has determined that it was up to “relevant bodies” at the UN or ICC member countries to determine whether “Palestine” qualified as a “state”.

Clearly, by any measure of current international law, there is no State of Palestine in 2018 as it fails to satisfy even basic requirements for recognition for three of the four internationally recognised conditions of statehood.

That, however has not prevented Arab enablers from using other frameworks such as Interpol to potentially make life for Israelis abroad difficult.

By voting to accept “Palestine” as a member country in 2015, Levantine and Gazan Arabs now had access to information that other police agencies around the world have on criminal activity, but, more importantly in the eyes of the anti-Israeli Arabs, the ability to issue red notices, which function as international nonbinding warrants requesting the extradition of criminal fugitives.

Of course, the Levantine Arabs are well aware that Article 3 of Interpol’s constitution states: “It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

In addition, as far the PA is concerned, Oslo II stipulated that “The territorial and functional jurisdiction of the [PA] will apply to all persons, except for Israelis, unless otherwise provided in this Agreement.

Undeterred, Levantine and Gazan Arab support organisations in Britain used the British court system to issue an arrest warrant for visiting defence minister Shaul Mofaz in 2004 (he was granted immunity).

In 2009, another United Kingdom court deferred “ …until further notice…” an appeal by local pro-Arab groups to issue an arrest warrant against 2008 Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, who was visiting the country at the time. And, of course, Tsipi Livini is remembered for having cancelled her participation in a Jewish function in London after a warrant for her arrest was issued over her part as Israel’s Foreign Minister in that same winter 2008 Gaza offensive.

Lawfare has successfully crippled Israel’s ability to do what is necessary currently to protect Israelis in the Gaza envelope .

After all, which other army in human history has ever taken lawyers to a shooting match against people trying to kill them……

There is little doubt that this successfully implemented threat, whether subconsciously or otherwise, led to Netanyahu’s ability to decide on a (yet another wasteful) ceasefire with an entity that was suffering severe command and control setbacks over the previous two days.

To some extent, however, I would like to think that there were more compelling reasons for Netanyahu’s decision but, it would be unusual given the current depth of European animus to Israel and Jews, that the spectre of future  possible ICC allegations did not play at least some part in the decision.