Friday, 18 December 2009

Arrested Development


(image source: http://mundosonhos.wordpress.com/)


You might have heard about the UK warrant to arrest the former Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni (ציפורה מלכה לבני). This is interesting, so how does it work?

1- The legal concept is based on "universal jurisdiction" which states that some alleged crimes are so grave that they can be tried anywhere, regardless of where the offences were committed.
2- Current UK law supports this.
3- If Ms Livni travels to the UK, she could face arrest.
4- This is based on Ms Livni's involvement during Israel's war on Gaza.

The reactions from around the world are very interesting:

1- The BBC basically tries to argue that the UK laws are a joke and Palestinians are trying to sabotage "respectful" Israeli politicians.
2- No mention in two of the BBC's news reports about the Palestinian point of view, as if it was the Palestinians that waged war on Israel in the first place over Gaza and not vice versa. This type of journalism is clearly one-sided. Not even a name is mentioned. However all the big names are mentioned on the other side such as Netinyahu, Miliband and Ian Lewis.
3- Where was the UK (Israel's "strategic partner") when Gazans were being bombed by Israel's superior military (ironically called the Israeli Defence Force)?
4- Israel is playing the bully as usual, as if they were forced into this war. Reminds me so much of the Nazis really. "I'm only taking orders".
5- The UK bends over backwards to please Israel.

Here are some of what the BBC had to say:

1- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8413234.stm
Israel fury at UK attempt to arrest Tzipi Livni.
Ms Livni said the court had been "abused" by the Palestinian plaintiffs who requested the warrant.
"What needs to be put on trial here is the abuse of the British legal system," she told the BBC.

(BuJ: hmmm, so in Israel people can be put on trial for winning a legal battle in another country?)

2- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8415161.stm
UK ponders law change after Tzipi Livni arrest warrant
The government is "urgently" looking into reforming the law after a UK court issued an arrest warrant for former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni. Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Israel was a "close friend" of the UK's and stressed he was keen to "avoid this sort of situation arising again". UK Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis: "This can never ever happen again"

(BuJ: Seriously, the UK has been caught with its trousers down. Surely, the law needs to be reformed if these kinds of charges can be brought up against a respectable world leader. However, if the ONLY person successfully tried under this law is an Israeli, then surely one has to look at what the Israeli did before pointing the finger at the law. If the warrant was against the Foreign Minister of Iceland, the world will probably assume it's a typo of some sort!)

Perhaps the law will be changed in the UK. And perhaps Israel will stop killing innocent people. Soon.

Peace,
BuJ



Final quote: "Israeli government experts on international law have advised cabinet ministers with a security background and senior IDF officers not to visit Britain, Spain, Belgium or Norway because in these countries they risk being arrested on charges of alleged war crimes through “universal jurisdiction” laws." (Source: wiki)

Surely Spain, Belgium and Norway (in addition to the naughty UK) should look into reforming their laws against abuse by "terrorists".

7 comments:

Dubai Jazz said...

Thanks for posting this, BuJ. While I generally applaud the justice system in the UK, the government of Gordon Brown is doing this justice system a disservice by meddling in it politically.

As the Goldstone report clearly shows, continuous impunity for crimes committed against humanity in Palestine is one of the main reasons there's no peace.

Here, I'll ask you to allow me to quote few paras from the report, they are pretty relevant to the discussion:

1601. Both international humanitarian law and international human rights law establish a clear obligation for States to investigate and, if appropriate, prosecute allegations of serious violations by military personnel whether during military operations or not.

…………

- From the facts gathered, the Mission found that the following grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention were committed by Israeli forces in Gaza: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and extensive destruction of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. As grave breaches these acts give rise to individual criminal responsibility. The Mission notes that the use of human shields also constitutes a war crime under the Rome Statute
of the International Criminal Court.

………….

- The Mission further considers that the series of acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.

……………


- The Mission was struck by the repeated comment of Palestinian victims, human rights defenders, civil society interlocutors and officials that they hoped that this would be the last investigative mission of its kind, because action for justice would follow from it. It was struck, as well, by the comment that every time a report is published and no action follows, this “emboldens Israel and her conviction of being untouchable”. To deny modes of accountability reinforces impunity and impacts negatively on the credibility of the United Nations, and of the international community. The Mission believes these comments ought to be at the forefront in the consideration by Members States and United Nations bodies of its findings and recommendations and action consequent upon them.

…………………….

- The Mission believes that, in the circumstances, there is little potential for accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law through domestic institutions in Israel and even less in Gaza. The Mission is of the view that longstanding impunity has been a key factor in the perpetuation of violence in the region and in the reoccurrence of violations, as well as in the erosion of confidence among Palestinians and many Israelis concerning prospects for justice and a peaceful solution to the conflict.

...........................

- The Mission further recommends that the United Nations Human Rights Council formally submit this report to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

The Contentious Centrist said...

Buj: I wonder why you put so much faith in the good judgment and moral righteousness of a country which only last week you assessed as declining into third-worldism. This Livni fiasco, in my humble opinion, is exactly one of the symptoms that characterises this decline in which UK legal system acts more like the legal system that can be found in Arab countries: clearly political, skewed and corrupt. If this were not so, one would wonder why LIvni deserves such attention when the UK fails to prosecute its own suspects, like Tony Blair's involvement in the Iraq war, or all the other heads of states who comprise the occupation forces in Afghanistan. I mean, why choose to focus on Israel first, when these other events took place earlier and are responsible for killing civilians in much much greater numbers than little Israel's defensive war has ever done or will do?

Can you answer this question?

Signed:

Obligatory Jew

:)

BuJ said...

Dubaj Jazz.. ya hala wo alf mar7aba :)

Thank you for reading and commenting. I think the word "Goldstone" is a word you will rarely hear in the UK or USA's halls of powers and almost certainly will never be heard in Israel!

Ironic given the name sounds so Jewish :)

CC, finally! I have been waiting for your comment for hours without end! Thank you for your opinion :)

Perhaps I should have not used the term "obligatory Jew" as it seems to have stuck somehow. Ah, oh.

Your question is a non-question really because it is devout of logic. I don't have that much faith in the UK and indeed I support the views expressed in the previous article (about the decline) to an extent. However, in the UK you're general free to say and do as you want (as long as you operate within the law) and matters there are much more transparent that most/all Arab states, and the Jewish state as well. I'm just being honest.

Let's be even more honest, the basis of the middle east problem is the UK's terrible handling of their so called mandate on our land.

Let the record show that I am not a Jew-hater as you might want to believe. I believe Jews have a right to Jerusalem and to Judea and Samaria. I also believe that native Palestinians have a right too. Just because one side is stronger or better represented, doesn't automatically mean that one side is right and one is wrong.

Jerusalem to Jews is like Mecca to Muslims. Every Muslim would love to see Mecca, so the same applies to Jerusalem.

Tony Blair will be tried soon, trust me. He's a crook as well.

Finally, I will continue to focus on Israel's war crimes as long as I live because I believe what Israel is doing is wrong. Just because there might be bigger killers than Israel in 2009 doesn't let Israel off the hook. That's a very terrible way of putting things:

"I mean, why choose to focus on Israel first, when these other events took place earlier and are responsible for killing civilians in much much greater numbers than little Israel's defensive war has ever done or will do?"


Yours truly and in peace,

BuJ

rosh said...

Nicely said BuJ. Very nicely said. The fairness, if not the truth, shall be available to all someday in its true spirit.

BuJ said...

Mr Rosh.. amen to that!

EnglishTeacher365 said...

Shame on the UK government for being so cowardly and rolling over to let themselves be kicked around by Israeli war-criminals, erm, I mean politicians. It makes me sick.

Do they think that people in an occupied land have no right to defend themselves? Oh, but I forgot - Israel is propped up by American dollars (billions of them in aid and preferential trade agreements), and we can't upset the Yanks, can we. NO WE CAN'T!

dorla said...

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