A VERY IMPORTANT COMMUNIQUE:
PRESS RELEASE AND ACTION ALERT!
For Immediate Release 1/22/09
International Lawyers without Borders (email@example.com),
HOKOK, the International Coalition against Impunity (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Sabra Shatila Foundation (email@example.com), Inspired by the work of the January 2009 BeirutForum09 Conference in Beirut, Lebanon, join with EAFORD, THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (firstname.lastname@example.org) in this important Petition Initiative:
To the President and Member States of United Nations General Assembly
The Creation of a Special Tribunal to try Israeli War Criminals
Recalling that Israel was created by virtue of a General Assembly
Resolution in 1947 against the wishes of the indigenous population of
Recalling that the creation of Israel was achieved through the ethnic
cleansing of the indigenous population, which resulted in the creation
of the Palestinian refugee problem, and that more than half of the
population of 1.5 millions of the Palestinian Occupied Territory
called the Gaza Strip are Palestinian refugees who have become, with
the other civilian population, victims of the recent Israeli
aggression on the Gaza Strip;
Noting that the UN Human Rights Council, in its ninth Special Session,
has adopted on 12 January 2009, a resolution “on the grave violations
of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including the
recent aggression of the occupied Gaza Strip” in which it “strongly
condemned the ongoing Israeli military operation which had resulted in
massive violations of human rights of the Palestinian people and
systematic destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure”; and
“decided to dispatch an urgent independent international fact-finding
mission to investigate all violations of international human rights
law and international humanitarian law by the occupying power against
the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian
Territory”(United Nations Press Release of 12 January 2009, Human
Rights Council, ROUNDUP);
Recalling that Israel has in the past refused to cooperate with
similar fact-finding commissions or even give them visas to enter;
Recalling Article 22 of the Charter of the United Nations
Recalling further the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of
Justice of 9th July 2004 on the Legal Consequences of the Construction
of a Wall by Israel, the occupying power, in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory, in which the Court emphasized the special responsibility of
the General Assembly for the Question of Palestine;
The undersigned NGOs and individuals
Call upon the General Assembly to create a special international
tribunal to try Israel, its political and military leaders, for such
crimes in violation of international law, human rights law and
international humanitarian law in the Palestinian Occupied Territory
of which they may be charged.
Please sign the Petition: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/EAFORD09/petition.html
Please forward this Petition appeal to your contacts. With best wishes, Franklin Lamb (email@example.com)
Franklin P. Lamb, PhD
Director, Americans Concerned for
Middle East Peace, Wash.DC-Beirut
Acting Chair, the Sabra-Shatila Memorial Scholarship Program Laptop Initiative
Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp
Beirut Mobile: +961-70-164-648
FOR YOUR INFORMATION PLEASE:
The Price We Pay: A Quarter Century of Israel’s use of American Weapons against Lebanon (1978-2006) is available at Amazon.com.uk or Lebanese Bookstores The Revised and Arabic Edition was released on 8/12/08. The Farsi and French Editions are expected this Fall.
And in the USA, the title is available at www.LebaneseBooks.com, and currently enjoys Free Standard Shipping.
INTERNATIONAL LAW and ISRAEL’S WAR ON GAZA
by Francis A. Boyle
Professor of International Law
Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations (1991-93)
When the Oslo Document was originally presented by the Israeli government to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations in the Fall of 1992, it was rejected by the Delegation because it obviously constituted a bantustan. This document carried out Menachem Begin’s disingenuous misinterpretation of the Camp David Accords–expressly rejected by U.S. President Jimmy Carter–that all they called for was autonomy for the people and not for the land too.
Soon thereafter, unbeknownst to the Delegation and to almost everyone else, the Israeli government opened up a secret channel of negotiations in Norway. There the Israeli government re-presented the document that had already been rejected by the Palestinian Delegation in Washington, D.C. It was this document, with very minor modifications, that was later signed at the White House on 13 September 1993.
Before the signing ceremony, I commented to a high-level official of the Palestine Liberation Organization: “This document is like a straight-jacket. It will be very difficult to negotiate your way out of it.” This PLO official agreed with my assessment and responded: “Yes, you are right. It will depend upon our negotiating skill.”
Of course I have great respect for Palestinian negotiators. They have done the best they can negotiating in good faith with the Israeli government that has been invariably backed up by the United States. But there has never been any good faith on the part of the Israeli government either before, during or after Oslo. Ditto for the United States.
Even if Oslo had succeeded, it would have resulted in the imposition of a bantustan upon the Palestinian People. But Oslo has run its course! Therefore, it is my purpose here today to chart a NEW DIRECTION for the Palestinian People to consider.
An agenda for an international legal response:
First, we must immediately move for the de facto suspension of Israel throughout the entirety of the United Nations System, including the General Assembly and all U.N. subsidiary organs and bodies. We must do to Israel what the U.N. General Assembly has done to the genocidal rump Yugoslavia and to the criminal apartheid regime in South Africa! Here the legal basis for the de facto suspension of Israel at the U.N. is quite simple:
As a condition for its admission to the United Nations Organization, Israel formally agreed to accept General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) (1947) (partition/Jerusalem trusteeship) and General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) (1948) (Palestinian right of return), inter alia. Nevertheless, the government of Israel has expressly repudiated both Resolution 181 (II) and Resolution 194 (III). Therefore, Israel has violated its conditions for admission to U.N. membership and thus must be suspended on a de facto basis from any participation throughout the entire United Nations System.
Second, any further negotiations with Israel must be conducted on the basis of Resolution 181 (II) and its borders; Resolution 194 (III); subsequent General Assembly resolutions and Security Council resolutions; the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949; the 1907 Hague Regulations; and other relevant principles of public international law.
Third, we must abandon the fiction and the fraud that the United States government is an “honest broker.” The United States government has never been an honest broker from well before the very outset of these negotiations in 1991. Rather, the United States has invariably sided with Israel against the Palestinians. We need to establish some type of international framework to sponsor these negotiations where the Palestinian negotiators will not be subjected to the continual bullying, threats, harassment, intimidation and outright lies perpetrated by the United States government.
Fourth, we must move to have the U.N. General Assembly impose economic, diplomatic, and travel sanctions upon Israel pursuant to the terms of the Uniting for Peace Resolution (1950), whose Emergency Special Session on Palestine is now in recess.
Fifth, the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine must sue Israel before the International Court of Justice in The Hague for inflicting acts of genocide against the Palestinian People in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention!
Sixth, An International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) can be established by the UN General Assembly as a “subsidiary organ” under article 22 of the UN Charter. Article 22 of the UN Charter states the UN General Assembly may establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions. The purpose of the ICTI would be to investigate and Prosecute suspected Israeli war criminals for offences against the Palestinian people.
On January 4, 2009, Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire wrote to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and Father Miguel D’Escoto President of United Nations General assembly adding her voice to the many calls from International Jurists, Human rights Organizations, and individuals, for the UN General Assembly to seriously consider establishing an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel in view of the ongoing Israeli atrocities against the people of Gaza and Palestine.
“In November 2008 I visited Gaza and was shocked at the suffering of the people of Gaza, being under ‘siege’ as they are for over two years. This collective punishment by the Israeli Government, has lead to a great humanitarian crisis. Collective punishment of the civilian community by the Israeli Government breaks the Geneva Convention, is illegal and is a war crime and crime against humanity.
“Instead of protecting the civilian community of Gaza and relieving their Suffering by lifting the ‘siege’, the Israeli military have carried out 7 days consecutive bombardment of civilians, by sea and air. Dropping Israeli bombs from the air and sea on unarmed civilians, many women and children, destroying mosques, hospitals, and and homes, and infrastructure, is illegal and constitutes war crimes. The deaths of people in Gaza is now over 600 with over 2,500 people injured – many women and children. The infrastructure of Gaza has been destroyed, and the people cut off from the world – including journalists, Humanitarian workers, locked out of Gaza, and unable to go to the aid of the people.
“The UN must help uphold Human rights and Justice for Palestinian People, by seriously considering establishing an International criminal tribunal for Israel, (ICTI) in order that Israeli Gov., be held accountable for war crimes.”
NOTE: Professor Boyle’s call for an International Criminal Tribunal on Israel is now being circulated by member states of the UN General Assembly.
January 22, 2009