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Palestine's ICC bid is only as threatening as Israel makes it

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 certain “politically motivated” provisions – namely, the inclusion of settlements as a war crime (note: they were at the time, and remain, a clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a grave breach of Additional Protocol I).

Yet, since the Palestinian Authority’s first attempt to invoke ICC jurisdiction in 2009 following Cast Lead, Israel has treated any Palestinian move toward joining the same legal body it helped erect as anathema – final proof that there is no partner for peace. In addition, the move has provided Israel another opportunity to deflect blame from its own actions by accusing the Palestinians of being the real war criminals.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the swearing in ceremony for the new unity government, Ramallah, June 2, 2014. (Photo: Mustafa Bader/Activestills.org)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Israel has treated any Palestinian move toward joining the ICC as anathema. (Photo: Mustafa Bader/Activestills.org)

What is beyond ironic here, and in fact cause for concern, is that the Palestinian bid to the ICC would pose no threat to Israel if the latter were to meet the complementarity requirement under the court’s statute. According to the Rome Statute, state actors over which the court has jurisdiction by virtue of the said state being a party to the treaty, or the complaint having been launched by a state party, may only be prosecuted if it can be shown that the same state is “unwilling or unable” to carry out a genuine investigation and prosecution of the alleged war crime.

Israeli human rights NGOs have long pointed out numerous structural and substantive failures in the Israeli military justice system such that it falls short of nearly all of the requirements enshrined in international law: the professional, independent, impartial, prompt, public and effective investigation and prosecution of suspected war crimes committed against Palestinians and their property. NGOs such as Yesh Din and B’Tselem have repeatedly documented systematic failings entrenched in the apparatus, starting with significant barriers to accessing complaint bodies and including decisions not to investigate a large percentage of complaints, the failure to conduct basic investigative activities (including visiting the crime scene), and unreasonable delays in investigative activities and prosecutorial review, which regularly thwart prosecution due to insufficient evidence or statutes of limitation.

Under the Israeli military justice system the Military Advocate General both counsels the military on the law during operations and decides whether to investigate and indict those accused of violating it after the fact. Moreover, relevant Israeli criminal law does not define offenses that constitute war crimes as such, and thus they are not prosecuted and penalized with the appropriate gravity. For instance, after Cast Lead two soldiers who used an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield (a war crime) were demoted and given three-month suspended sentences (the MAG came under fire merely for indicting them).

In 2011 Israel appointed an internal commission of inquiry into the effectiveness of its military justice system. The resulting Turkel Commission report harshly criticized the system and made 18 concrete recommendations for reform. Yet nearly two years after its release the report’s recommendations have yet to be implemented. Furthermore, even if they were to be implemented, the Turkel recommendations are insufficient, as they merely provide structural improvements. However no guideline or policy or law can replace sheer willingness.

Until there is a true desire on the part of the Israeli government to uncover and criminalize the truths about offenses committed by the country’s sons and daughters when in uniform, be they in combat in Gaza, stationed at a checkpoint in the West Bank, or signing a new land theft order, Israeli investigations will continue to go through the motions without yielding results. And Israeli soldiers and officials, from the lowest to the highest ranks, will continue to act with impunity.

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian youth, who shows signs of being beaten, following a demonstration against the occupation and in support of Palestinian prisoners the West Bank city of Hebron, March 1, 2013. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian youth, who shows signs of being beaten, following a demonstration against the occupation and in support of Palestinian prisoners the West Bank city of Hebron, March 1, 2013. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Instead of reviling Palestinian accession to the ICC as an effort to delegitimize and isolate it, Israel would be better off focusing inward. The only threat to Israeli soldiers and officials abroad is the lack of proper investigations at home. Indeed, the same commitment Israel declared in its signing of the Rome Statute — to “the rule of law and the prevention of impunity” — is its best chance at avoiding ICC jurisdiction.

As for the settlements, Israel might want to rethink any upcoming construction plans.

Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man is a human rights lawyer specializing in international humanitarian law at the Michael Sfard Law Office in Tel Aviv. She also serves as Legal Director of Yesh Din’s Security Forces Accountability Project and has challenged numerous IDF policies in Israeli courts.

Read a Hebrew version of this article on +972’s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call, here.

Related:
Why Israelis should welcome Palestine’s ICC bid
The world’s obligation to end the occupation

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    COMMENTS

        • Phil Fumble

          Listen Pondexter, I don’t know your agenda, but you owe an apology,to victims of real pogroms. How dare you.

          Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Phil – you do outrageous righteousness pretty well but you do not have a monopoly on pogrom, holocaust or religious intolerance. The term pogrom derives from a Russian noun that means “to destroy, to wreak havoc, to demolish violently”. Admittedly it is often used in the context of massacre, and often used to refer to attacks on Jews but it can mean any “violent riot aimed at massacre or persecution of an ethnic or religious group”. Are you arguing that the olive trees were not violently demolished and that the objective was not to drive the Palestinians from their land?

            Reply to Comment
          • Theodore

            Your anti-Semitism is making you look like an utter idiot, Bryan, and I am afraid you are already senile. A retired old man like you should not be spending the last years of his life being bitter and hating Jews. That’s a recipe for early insanity.

            Reply to Comment
      • Margot Dunne

        Although in Oz we don’t send taxpayers’ money to sponsor the settlers, we egregiously give full political support, as witness our latest performance at the UN: one of only two nations other than Israel to enthusiastically swat the Palestinians. Makes me very ashamed.

        Reply to Comment
    1. Pedro X

      What Israel needs to do is to show the Palestinians that there are consequences for their unilateral actions. Number one, Israel should work with Congress in having all funding for the Palestinian Authority cut off. American Senator Kristen Gillibrand (Democrat) said:

      “I will work with my colleagues in Congress to make it clear to the Palestinian Authority that they will be held accountable for these kinds of actions.”

      Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the US House of Representatives Middle East subcommittee, said in a Dec. 31 statement:

      “Congress must do everything in its power to block funds to the PA and to any UN entity that recognizes a non-existent State of Palestine to make it clear to Abu Mazen that there will be consequences to his schemes at the United Nations and other international organizations like the International Criminal Court,”

      Israel then must also cut off support for the Palestinian Authority by taking some or all of these actions: closing Israeli ports to Palestinian trade, stopping the collection of Palestinian clearance revenues, barring Palestinians from working or doing business in Israel, stopping the supply of the shekel and banking services to Palestinians, banning the import of Palestinian goods to Israel and the cutting off of Israeli electricity and water to the PA. This would be a good start.

      Reply to Comment
      • Yeah, Right

        To what end, Pedro?

        If all you suggest were to happen then the PA would dissolve itself, the EU would stop all funding, and the entire cost of the occupation would fall on Israel’s shoulders.

        Remind me again why that would help Israel.

        Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          To what end? It will prove to Palestinians that they cannot establish a state on the ground without negotiations towards a bilateral agreement which takes into account Israeli needs.

          If the PA dissolved itself, Israel will not take over the PA’s role. The Palestinians will continue, for better or worse, to have autonomy over their affairs in Areas “A” and “B”. In other words the Palestinians will have to face the consequences of their actions without Israel propping them up.

          Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Sorry, Pedro, but Israel is STILL the occupying power, so if its subcontractor the PA folds up its tent then Israel has to take up the slack.

            Because that’s all the PA is in those two areas – the occupier’s subcontractor.

            Reply to Comment
      • Phil Fumble

        In spite of these outrageous actions, the U.S. has not pulled the plug on the generous aid package that the PA received all these years. That has happened largely because the Clinton and Obama administrations have been so committed to the myth of Oslo that they have chosen to whitewash the PA. The Bush administration did the same thing once Abbas replaced Arafat. That did not advance peace but it allowed the Palestinians to think they would never be held accountable for their actions. Though legislation has been passed that would have cut off aid, presidential waivers were always exercised to prevent it from being enforced.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bryan

          Listen to your words Phil – “In spite of these outrageous actions, the U.S. has not pulled the plug on the very generous aid package that Israel has received all these years. [far dwarfing the crumbs sent to the PA’s table] That has happened largely because the Clinton and Obama administrations (and Reagan and Johnson and Carter and Bush and Bush) have been shit-scared of losing the corrupting support of pro-Israel donors or getting slated by the pro-Israel national press that they have chosen to whitewash the SOI”.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Yeah, Right

      But why would Abbas be the slightest bit interested in getting the ICC to prosecute an IDF soldier for being overbearing, or an Israeli officer for being too heavy handed?

      Small-fry.

      He needs the ICC to concentrate on the settlements, because if Israel can’t continue with its settlement expansion then there isn’t much point in continuing this endless occupation

      That’s where the main-game is, everything else is a sideshow.

      Reply to Comment
      • Margot Dunne

        Yes. Totally agree. Ginger will sledge me for this, but to me the settlements are like pustules that need lancing to promote the health of Israel. Hope the ICC can perform this surgery.

        Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        You ignore that the ICC has jurisdiction over individuals and not over municipalities. The ICC has no authority over Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. The ICC cannot revoke the Municipal Charter of Gilo, Maale Adumim or Shilo.

        The ICC is also bound by the terms of the Oslo Accords which permits Israeli control over Area “C”. The Oslo Accords make the settlements a final status issue over which the ICC has no jurisdiction.

        Reply to Comment
        • Yeah, Right

          Such nonsense, Pedro.

          It is the ISRAELI CABINET that approves all settlement activity in the West Bank.

          So the ICC knows exactly which Israeli war criminals to indict – starting with “Bibi and Boogie” and then working their way down from there.

          Reply to Comment
        • Yeah, Right

          No,the ICC is not “bound” by the Oslo Accords, since the court is not a party to that agreement.

          It is “bound” only by the Rome Statute, and that treaty defines the settlement of an occupied territory as “a war crime”.

          And, no, the Oslo Accords made the ultimate fate of the settlements a “final status” issue, but that does nothing to alter the CURRENT policy of ongoing colonization of an occupied territory

          That remains – as ever – a war crime under the articles of the Rome Statute.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Here you go again, YeahRight, mixing up legal matters and getting yourself confused. Unlike States and other entities with legal personality, Courts may NOT- and are NEVER Party to the International Contracts/ Agreements/ Treaties/ Conventions, etc. they interpret and apply and the binding nature of those on the Courts has wholly NOTHING to do with whether or not the Court is a Party to them as you falsely claim! Heck, the ICC is NOT even Party to the Rome State Of the ICC and may not be! Apparently, the ICC is – following your own logic- thus NOT bound by the Rome Statute of the ICC, no?

            (here is a list of the Parties to the ICC Statute: http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/asp/states%20parties/Pages/the%20states%20parties%20to%20the%20rome%20statute.aspx)

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Nowhere did I claim that the ICC is a “party” to the Rome Statute, Ginger.

            N.o.w.h.e.r.e.

            That is entirely your own straw man.

            I said (correctly) that the ICC is not a party to the Oslo Accords

            I also said (again, correctly) that the ICC is bound only by the Rome Statute, and not in the slightest by anything written into the Oslo Accords.

            Now, please, show me anywhere in that post where I claimed that the court is a state party to the Rome Statute.

            So, please, show me, Ginger.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            I am only pointing out to you how wrong your answer to Pedro is, YeahRight. You are the one who gave this answer to Pedro:

            “No,the ICC is not “bound” by the Oslo Accords, since the court is not a party to that agreement.”

            IF you are correct, then it – by necessity – follows by YOUR OWN logic that:

            a. ‘the ICC is not “bound” by the Rome Statute of the ICC, since the court is not a party to said Statute’
            b. ‘the ICC is not “bound” by the Geneva Conventions, since the court is not a party to said Conventions’
            c. ‘the ICC is not “bound” by any bi-/multilateral International Agreement/Treaty, since the court is not a party to said Agreements/Treaties’, etc.

            I am sure you get the point now, no? Since you now agree that all of the above conclusions that – by necessity – flow forth from YOUR OWN logic are absolute nonsense, you must thus also agree that your answer to Pedro is an absolute nonsense, yes? That’s all I wanted to help you see and acknowledge (without adding or removing anything to what Pedro said).

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            No, so sorry, Ginger, you are putting up YOUR straw men

            *I* said only what I said.

            And what *I* said is that the ICC is not a party to the Oslo Accords,and so is not “bound” to that agreement.

            And what *I* also said is that the ICC is “bound” by the Articles of the Rome Statute

            I am perfectly correct on both counts, and at NO STAGE did *I* attempt to square a circle by claiming that the ICC is a state party to the Rome Statute.

            The only person who has put forward that argument is *you*.

            Not *me*, because unlike you I know what I am talking about.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            YeahRigh, what kind of person denies what is obvious even to the blind, deaf and dumb?! Surreal! What you said is there for everyone to see, YeahRight, and your denials in fact confirm that which you sought to deny!

            Reply to Comment
          • Instead of your constant harangue to other posters, the constant attempts to prove you’re right and they’re wrong, and invariably resorting to histrionics, self-righteousness and insults, just make your damn point and shut the fuck up?

            Reply to Comment
        • Bryan

          Area C was a transitional arrangement, subject to a final status agreement scheduled for 1999 – not a permanent dispossession of its rightful owners – but surprise, surprise, Israel having taken advantage of over-trusting Palestinian negotiators at Oslo chose to renege on its commitments – because it prefers an oppressive status quo to a final peace solution.

          Reply to Comment
      • Eliza

        Yeah Right: Basically agree that targeting the settlements is the main game.

        But the referral to the ICC and a subsequent examination of what may be a small incident by either IDF or Israeli police would still be of value to the Palestinians.

        Court proceedings are lengthy, and I would imagine that any proceedings re settlements would take some time. Gideon Levy in Haaretz has just written about two Palestinian children, one 11 years of age and one 5 years of age. Both were shot in the face with rubber coated bullets. The 11 year old has lost the sight in one eye and is losing the sight in his other eye. The condition of the 5 year old is not detailed.

        Both incidents happened in Jerusalem. In both cases, the Israeli police claimed that the children were involved in stone throwing.

        We know that nothing will happen to the Israeli police involved. I would love these people, who shoot children in the face with impunity to be faced with the possibility of charges in the ICC. Would it take on a case that is relatively small? I don’t know.

        But if they did, it would be a simpler case and hopefully resolved in a shorter period of time. It is only the possibility of charges that will stop this senseless violence against children.

        Emily seems to of the opinion that Israel can negate the ICC by Israel undertaking credible investigations. Whilst this may be true, the probability of Israel actually doing this, and imposing a reasonable penalty on the individuals involved is nil.

        Just one test case involving either the death or permanent injury of a Palestinian child would hopefully give some pause to Israeli soldiers and police.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ginger Eis

          Eliza, before you “basically agree that targeting the settlements is the main game”, YOU/YeahRight must FIRST make a series of coherent legal arguments as how what YOU agree with is possible – from the legal point of view? Are you CAPABLE of doing that or are you going to continue to hallucinate like the dunce you are and expect miracles?

          Re your other rants I will tell you this: Nothing Muslim-Arabs touch remains the same thereafter. Either the ICC will undo the Palestinians or the Palestinians will undo the ICC. Either way, it is the Palis who will end up in jails for crimes of war and terrorism around the world. It is the Palis that will bear the brunt of what YOU cheer. The war has just been declared by the terror heavy weights in the Muqata. We will fight that war and defeat you. Just don’t come back begging for mercy/ “cease fire” as you guys always do after starting a war and getting your Jihadi ass beating.

          Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Ahem, settlements are indisputably listed amongst the war crimes defined in the Rome Statute of the ICC.

            So there is your “crime”.

            Now, are the Palestinians capable of prosecuting anyone for that crime? No.

            Also, is Israel willing to prosecute anyone for that crime? No.

            So there is the “jurisdiction” of the ICC, right there.

            Finally, can the Chief Prosecutor identify the people responsible for that crime?

            Sure, that’s easy: it’s the Israeli cabinet, starting with Bibi and Boogie.

            Open-and-shut case, I’m afraid, Ginger.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Here you go again, YeahRight, with bombastic statements of no legal relevance. Neither the word “settlements” nor “the building” thereof is mentioned in the relevant provisions of the ICC Statute – NOT EVEN FOR ONCE! I can only but guess where you are heading to, but I won’t make your arguments for you or assume to know what you have in mind but unable to express in writing. When you make proper legal argument(s) (with proper citation(s) of the provisions of the law you rely on!!), I will get back to you, yes?

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            The Rome Statute declares that the court has jurisdiction over “war crimes”.

            It then defines “war crimes” in Article 2 of the statute

            Be a good girl and quote Article 2(8)(b)(viii) for all who are reading this post.

            Then be so kind to explain how Israeli “settlements” don’t fit that definition.

            Good luck, coz’ you are going to need it…

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Correction: Article 8(2)(b)(viii)

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            YeahRight, I am not going to let you maneuver around and try to wiggle out of tight corners by constantly adjusting/changing your positions.

            This is the text of ICC Statute, Article 8(2)(b)(viii):
            “For the purpose of this Statute, “war crimes” means: (…). Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts: (…) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory”.

            HOWEVER, you, YeahRight, made this astonishing claim:

            “Ahem, settlements are indisputably listed amongst the war crimes defined in the Rome Statute of the ICC.”

            Where are “settlements” and/or the “building of settlements” “listed” or mentioned in ICC Statute, Article 8(2)(b)(viii)? Again, I can only but guess where you are heading to, but I won’t make your arguments for you or pretend to know what you have in mind but unable to express in writing. When you make proper legal argument(s) in which you connect the dots properly, I will get back to you, yes?

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            If you’re going to practice sophistry not law, Eis, you should at least try to transcend trivial word games. Every West Bank settlement since 1967 indisputably constitutes the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Brian/Bryan, you are nothing but a freak pestering everywhere seeking attention and successfully turning himself into a nuisance. In law “words” are the entirety of the law and what you call “word games” are in fact the heart that keeps the law a true “living organism” that it is and makes the practice thereof possible, you little buffoon! As I told you before, I despise imbeciles like yourself who (a) have no mind of their own, (b) are incapable of making coherent arguments formed independently in their own barren minds, and (c) are only capable of repeating the same old, tired slogans and clichés they either heard of or read somewhere, while incapable of providing any coherent arguments to support such slogans and clichés. Get out of my face, you little freak!

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            In fact, I dismembered (politely and civilly) your argument here

            http://972mag.com/jerusalem-high-school-alumni-call-on-students-to-refuse-military-draft/100587/

            on December 30th, and after that you got a spanking (ye who like to talk of “ass-beatings”—good grief) by the +972 authors who found your reply so incoherent, vicious and foul-mouthed that they took the rare step of removing it.

            I checked– Parts I, II, and III of my rebuttal to your four-part attack on Noy and Leibovitz were, respectively, by word count, 100, 50, and 40% “Brian’s Own Thoughts.” The visits from the Cut and Paste Police, of which you’ve apparently appointed yourself Chief of Staff and Main Enforcer, are another ridiculous item. Please stop knocking on our door in the middle of the night with this absurd, anti-intellectual complaint. Thank you for your cooperation and have a nice day.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phxRZXd6r9E

            I have no intention of ever rewarding your obsession with me with any responsive response – ever. So, stop hallucinating and get out of my face, you little freak!

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Ginger you are a stupid hectoring, bullying dominatrix who can no doubt get away with these silly teasing wordgames with your BDSM partners but it does not work here.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Thank you for quoting Article 8(2)(b)(viii) in full, Ginger.

            Now, please explain to me how an Israeli colony established inside the Israeli-occupied West Bank ISN’T a war crime under that definition..

            Because if they are – and they are – then I am perfectly correct when I say that the settlements are defined as war crimes under the Rome Statute.

            Because Brian appears to be correct: you are attempting to claim that because Israel hangs the word “settlement” on them then they evade Article 8(2)(b)(viii).

            Sophistry indeed. Heck, why not call them a “quibblepatch” instead, and then claim that because that word doesn’t exist then this must be Above All Laws….

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            YeahRight, you are the one who made this bombastic claim: “Ahem, settlements are indisputably listed amongst the war crimes defined in the Rome Statute of the ICC. So there is your “crime”! I did not. The burden of proof is on your shoulders.

            I have provided you the text of ICC Statute, Article 8(2)(b)(viii). Use it! Make arguments demonstrating that “settlements” and/or “building settlements” fit into the text of the law I provided you with. Forget what you may have heard- or read somewhere on the issue. My debate is with you. Bring the full force of you analytical and imaginary powers to bear and make arguments. That’s all I ask of you. When you have provided a series of coherent arguments to support your bombastic claim, I will get back to you with a rebuttal. It is a promise! That’s how debates work.

            (If you are a confident man, that should not be a problem at all. But you are afraid of making mistakes, you fear I laid traps here and got paranoid and as such scared to take a step forward.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah Right

            Ginger, there is no dispute – none whatsoever – that Israel’s “settlements” fulfill all the requirements of Article 8(2)(b)(viii).

            No. Dispute. Whatsoever.

            Therefore they are – indisputably – listed amongst the war crimes of Article 8 of the Rome Statute.

            That the word itself does not appear is utterly inconsequential, since that word “settlement” can not be defined in any way EXCEPT as defined in Article 8(2)(b)(viii).

            Brian is quite correct: you are reduced to sophistry in your attempt to deny that which is indisputable.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Pettifogging variation on the usual exit. Bye bye.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            The word for THIS, on the other hand, is recidivism.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            *sigh*

            Ginger asks me to come up with a cogent legal argument, and when I do so she… challenges me to put up a cogent legal argument.

            Even though I have… put up a cogent legal argument.

            Beyond. Bizarre.

            OK, since Ginger has oh-so-tediously repeated her demand that I repeat myself….

            1) Israeli colonies inside an Israeli-occupied territory (aka “Jewish settlements”) are listed amongst the “war crimes” of article 8 of the Rome Statute.

            So that’s your “crime” that is prosecutable by the ICC.

            Tick.

            2 The Palestinians are utterly incapable of prosecuting anyone for that crime, and the Israelis refuse to even discuss the legality of “settlements”, much less prosecute anyone.

            So there’s your ” jurisdiction ” of the court, right there.

            Tick.

            3 The perpetrators of that war crime is easily identifiable i.e. the entire Israeli cabinet.

            So there is your “perpetrator”, right there.

            Tick.

            So I can’t really see how Bibi, Boogie, etc can avoid being indicted and, once the trial gets underway, of being convicted of the war crime defined in Article 8(2)(b)(viii).

            You think otherwise, do you?

            Please, Ginger, explain your reason why those two are not As Guilty As Sin.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            YeahRight, you have NOT made any Legal arguments! All you need to do is to demonstrate (a) that the State Of Israel (a1) directly or (a2) indirectly TRANSFERS anyone to (b) territory XY and that territory XY is (c) occupied territory WITHING THE MEANING of ICC Statute, Article 8(2)(b)(viii) Nothing more. Nothing less! THAT is what is forbidden, not anything else. I have provided you with the full text of the relevant provision. Use it. And THINK! When you have made a legal case, I promise you a deafening rebuttal. What you have accomplished so far is – from the legal point of view – flat-out nonsense (no insult meant) and I wont waste my time with that!

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            OK, I give up. Ginger asks for a legal argument, I give her one, then she insists that I haven’t put forward a legal argument.

            This after:
            A) I have described the “crime”
            B) I have described the court’s “jurisdiction”
            C) I have pointed to the “accused”.

            But, nope, according to Ginger that’s all a Big Pile O’ Nothing

            Bizarre.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Brian, all that Ginger is doing is an excellent impersonation of the Month Python “Argument Clinic” sketch.

            Gainsaying is not “argument”, let alone “debate”.

            Yet that is all that Ginger is doing, and it should be enough to say that Michael Palin had the goods on that as far back as the late 1960’s

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Yes. With added elements of The Black Knight ==> “I have NOT made any arguments yet. I promise you a deafening rebuttal.”

            Reply to Comment
    3. Phil Fumble

      The end-run around the U.S.-sponsored peace process is not the first time the PA has flouted its commitment to negotiations under the 1993 Oslo Accords. For two decades, the PA, first under the leadership of Yasir Arafat and now of Abbas, has treated that famous peace deal and its follow-up agreements as merely pieces of paper to be discarded at will. It has sponsored terrorism, fomented hate for Israel and Jews, and refused to negotiate or even accept peace offers from Israel that offered them all they could reasonably hope for including an independent state in almost all the West Bank, Gaza, and a share of Jerusalem.

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        In fact, since 1996 Netanyahu has worked tirelessly to subvert the Oslo Accords. It is Israel’s incessant settlement building that was the fundamental reason why Oslo failed. Not the only reason, the Palestinians are not blameless, but it is the fundamental reason.

        Much formulaic hasbara is nicely refuted by the distinguished Professor Avi Shlaim, in these two intelligent and discerning essays:

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/12/oslo-israel-reneged-colonial-palestine

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/07/israel-palestinian-unity-land-grab

        Reply to Comment
        • Phil Fumble

          Settlements were not limited by Oslo, so their construction could hardly be blamed for their failure.
          Wow, that was very weak on your part. At least try to have an argument. Fool. Lol.

          Is it me, or is Electric intifada sending over their scrubs these days?

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Wow, your shallowness is really striking! What on earth did you think I meant by “formulaic hasbara”?

            As Avi Shlaim notes:

            Particularly destructive of the peace project was the policy of expanding Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory. These settlements are illegal under international law and constitute a huge obstacle to peace. Building civilian settlements beyond the Green Line does not violate the letter of the Oslo accords but it most decidedly violates its spirit. As a result of settlement expansion the area available for a Palestinian state has been steadily shrinking to the point where a two-state solution is barely conceivable.

            The so-called security barrier that Israel has been building on the West Bank since 2002 further encroaches on Palestinian land. Land-grabbing and peace-making do not go together: it is one or the other. Oslo is essentially a land-for-peace deal. By expanding settlements all Israeli governments, Labour as well as Likud, contributed massively to its breakdown.

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          • Brian

            Turns out, Slug, you’re even shallower than we gave you credit for. Next time you quote Jonathan Tobin word for word you’d best not pass it off as your own thinking. “Phil the Phlagiarist”?

            https://www.commentarymagazine.com/2015/01/02/obama-shouldnt-oppose-effort-to-hold-palestinians-accountable-aid-congress/

            For the rest of my days, however, Jonathan Tobin and shallow, formulaic hasbara will be indelibly linked in my mind. Nice job there in exposing the kind of ‘product’ Commentary is turning out these days.

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          • Brian

            Oh, and it’s Electronic Intifada. Not Electric. And it’s Mondoweiss. Not Momdoweis. I’m sure you just make innocent typos. Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss, Phil Fumble.

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      • Is it the fact that Israel signed the Rome Statute that makes it a joke? Isn’t that ironic.

        “The only threat to Israeli soldiers and officials abroad is the lack of proper investigations at home. Indeed, the same commitment Israel declared in its signing of the Rome Statute — to “the rule of law and the prevention of impunity” — is its best chance at avoiding ICC jurisdiction.”

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