+972 speaks with Mary McGowan Davis and Doudou Diène, authors of the UNHRC report on potential war crimes in Gaza. The pair discuss possible consequences of the report, and why their investigation gave them hope. By Dahlia Scheindlin and Natasha Roth The main reaction in Israel to the findings of the United Nation’s commission of inquiry into last summer’s Gaza war was rejection. That response tops a process so fraught with politics, that it seemed unlikely the commission would be able to say anything meaningful at all. Israel views the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the body that commissioned the…Read More... | 19 Comments
The Human Rights Council's independent inquiry is full of suspicions of war crimes. More important is what it has to say about how Israel investigates those allegations, and what that means for the International Criminal Court. To the relief of Israel and the chagrin of many others, the UN report into last summer’s war in Gaza is not an indictment of Israel. It does not declare conclusively that Israel committed war crimes and it is certainly not one-sided. The Human Rights Council report released on Monday is valuable, nevertheless, when read as a preview of what might transpire in a…Read More... | 16 Comments
The military prosecution is planning to appeal the decision, and may even try to send Jarrar back into administrative detention. An Israeli military court rejected the military prosecutor's request Thursday to detain Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar until the end of legal proceedings. Jarrar was arrest in April by Israeli soldiers. She was first held in administrative detention, although she was later released and sentenced. [tmwinpost] The court found that there is no reason to hold Jarrar in detention until the end of proceedings, and ruled that she would be freed on NIS 20,000 bail. The military prosecutor, however,…Read More... | 1 Comment
Two themes are present in almost all of the 60-plus testimonies collected by Breaking the Silence from Israeli soldiers who fought in the last Gaza war: loose rules of engagement and systematic, wanton destruction. But can the new documentation serve as a catalyst for change inside Israel? Internationally? By Mairav Zonszein and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization of military veterans, released on Monday a collection of testimonies from nearly 70 soldiers and officers who participated in Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip last summer. It has been 10 months since the 50-day assault, which killed…Read More... | 45 Comments
Half of Israelis are 'stuck' with a prime minister they didn't want. All Palestinians are stuck with a president who lost his democratic mandate years ago. By Talal Jabari I have spoken to quite a few Israelis following Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest win at the polls earlier this month who talk about their disappointment in his re-election. I am sure that a lot of people who campaigned for other parties — those who felt like there could actually be a change of photo on the walls of the Prime Minister’s Office — were truly disenchanted. After all, that change looked quite…Read More... | 10 Comments
Could a shift in U.S.-Israeli relations lay the groundwork for bolder legal and diplomatic moves in the international arena against Israel and the occupation? By Lolita Brayman Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election success is being portrayed by some as a victory for the international aspects of the Palestinian cause. For months, Palestinians have been trying to leverage Europe’s frustration with Israeli actions and now the United States might be having second thoughts about wielding its almighty UN Security Council veto. There is a global consensus for a two-state solution today. So when Netanyahu publicly abandoned his commitment to negotiating the…Read More... | 10 Comments
Palestinian public-sector workers receive only partial salaries as Israel punishes the Abbas administration for its ICC bid by withholding tax funds it collects on the PA's behalf. Text and photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org Palestinian public-sector workers finally received part of their monthly salaries from banks in West Bank cities and towns on Monday. The Palestinian Authority announced on Sunday that it would pay only 60 percent of January salaries, except workers who take salaries less than NIS 2,000 per month. In mid-January, workers had also received 60 percent of December salaries. When the remaining portion of the salaries will be paid…Read More... | 16 Comments
It's election season: Israeli politicians are peddling pure spin about the ICC and possible war crimes investigations. (This analysis first appeared as part of another article, here.) The Israeli government has gone on the offensive against the ICC since Palestine joined the international court. The attacks and misinformation have reached a crescendo since the ICC's chief prosecutor announced a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine last week. What is “the situation in Palestine?” The ICC does not investigate specific complaints like police or a prosecutor would. When the ICC gains new jurisdiction, its prosecutors — “as a matter of…Read More... | 37 Comments
As elections approach, Israeli politicians are misleading the public about war crimes probes, and according to one general-turned-politician, about war itself. (This analysis originally contained a previous section called, 'Is the ICC running against Netanyahu in Israeli elections?' It has been published as a separate article here.) “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means.” — Carl von Clausewitz Retired Israeli army general Yoav Galant suggested that Israel's assassination of a senior Hezbollah commander and an Iranian general in Syria on Sunday might have been timed with electoral politics in mind. Appearing as a guest commentator on Israel’s…Read More... | 33 Comments
Palestine’s accession to the International Criminal Court is an official declaration of lawfare, a new battleground in the conflict with Israel; settlements will be the thorniest legal issue in the courtroom (if it ever gets there). By Lolita Brayman Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ signing of the Rome Statute is a game changer for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Following the disappointment of the UN Security Council’s (UNSC) vote on a resolution to end Israeli occupation – a two year plan to establish a sovereign Palestinian state and end the conflict – the Palestinians turned to other international bodies for diplomatic relief. Acceding…Read More... | 6 Comments
Former U.S. ambassador and Mideast peace process envoy Dennis Ross penned a 'New York Times' op-ed titled, 'Stop Giving Palestinians a Pass.' In it, he calls out European diplomats for supporting international efforts to end the occupation while not demanding more of the Palestinians. Below is a duplication of Ross's op-ed, almost word for word, but this time calling out former American diplomats for disparaging international efforts at ending the occupation while not demanding more of the Israelis. Read Ross's original op-ed here. The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, rebuffs international consensus about ending the occupation of the West…Read More... | 30 Comments
Instead of reviling Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court as an effort to delegitimize and isolate it, Israel would be better off focusing inward. By Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man One of the more ironic aspects of Israeli opposition to Palestinian accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is its deep involvement in the court’s establishment. Not long before Israel joined the ranks of the U.S. and Sudan in “unsigning” the statute, it was one of its chief proponents and architects. In signing the treaty in 2000, Israel professed its support for the court, despite its concerns about…Read More... | 56 Comments
All Israeli citizens who hold human rights and democratic values dear should not only support Palestine's bid to join the International Criminal Court, they should be disheartened by their own government's response. Dr. Ishai Menuchin These days the government of Israel is once again warning the Palestinian Authority not to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), threatening it with an immediate and severe response. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stated Wednesday that the PA should be the one to feel threatened by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for "maintaining an alliance with a terrorist organization, Hamas, which commits war…Read More... | 9 Comments
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The Iran Deal
Can Netanyahu torpedo the Iran deal? Will he destroy U.S.-Israeli relations trying?
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