On a Sunday afternoon Nitsana Darshan Leitner who is a lawyer at the Israel Law Center in Tel Aviv explained the problems facing Israel State of Israel would face from the United Nations over the next couple of weeks.
Her calm, almost tranquil manner of speaking hides the ferocious opposition Israel will likely to encounter from its UN Human Rights Council and three-member Commission of Inquiry. This was mandated by the UN to “investigate both within the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel all alleged breaches of international human rights and other human rights law until and including the 13th of April, 2021.”
Although Israel has faced vigorous UN investigation in the past, the main difference is that the current UN inquiry was created as a continuous investigation to examine Israel’s IDF. The time frame of this commission has not been decided.
Darshan-Leitner is the founder of Shurat HaDin, explained that “the UN Human Rights Council investigation isn’t coming out of the air”. It has to do with the activities of the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
The ICC was created through the Rome Statute in 1998, which created the court. The court has the power to prosecute people for crimes of aggression, crimes against humanity and genocide. Israel supported the idea of an International Court of Justice however, it was worried about the possibility of it being used to be applied against them. Israel and the US, and many other countries did not sign or ratify the statute. Therefore, they aren’t legally bound by the rulings of the ICC.
Fatou Bensouda was the ICC prosecutor in The Hague and announced in March 2021 that she was starting a war crimes investigation against Israel.
A ruling by the International Court against Israel may have a significant impact. https://aish.com/authors/324072711/?aut_id=4898 is part of most European and Scandinavian countries and are legally bound by law to observe its rulings. Anyone Israeli soldier who took part in IDF military operations and was traveling in countries that are members of the court, such as Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, could be arrested if the ICC ruled that IDF soldiers were committed war crimes. Harsh economic sanctions could also be imposed on the Jewish state and its banking sector.
Additionally, Israel might also face other risks like sanctions, weapon embargoes and boycotts. El Al or other Israeli airlines might not be allowed in some countries.
Bensouda ended her term as prosecutor in June 2021. Karim Kan, a British barrister, was named her replacement. Bensouda left 14 investigations to the new prosecutor and eight of them were active. Darshan Leitner told the Palestinians that he categorised the cases on his docket as “in the planning stage”, which is politely to say that the accusations are not urgent or have sufficient merit.
Darshan Leitner Darshan Leitner said “this caused a lot of anger to the Palestinian Authority.” “They didn’t get it why their huge efforts to get the prosecution to launch an investigation were blocked.”
In September 2021, PA called for the creation of a commission within the International Court of Justice to convince Karim Khan to reconsider his position.
Shurat Hadin states that the PA continues to blame Israel for apartheid and war crimes since the beginning of time. The Amnesty International report, released in early February, claimed Israel of discrimination both within and beyond the Green Line. The report claimed that Israel had “established and maintained an institutionalized system oppression” toward Palestinians. Furthermore the report accused Israel of racial discrimination against Palestinians dating back to 1948.
Darshan-Leitner explains that Palestinian claims against Israel in the International Criminal Court have been concentrated on two areas that are: IDF military operations and Israeli settlements. They claim these are war crimes.
Karim Khan is being pressured by the Palestinians, the ICC prosecutor, to focus on the investigation into Israel under “apartheid”, a new accusation. This is not the case that Bensouda investigated in his preliminary investigation. They believe “whatever leads to these investigations legitimate, and it isn’t crucial whether it’s true or if it’s factual,” she states.
KARIM KHAN, new ICC prosecutor. (Credit: Michael Kooren/Reuters)
The latest attempt of the UN’s Palestinians to convince the court at The Hague, is Navi Pillay, a trio of members UN commission of inquiry. It is comprised of Miloon (India) and Chris Sidoti from Australia.
Darshan Leitner declares Darshan Leitner states that Pillay Kothari, Sidoti, and Kothari have a history of biases against Israel. “Pillay has accused Israel of apartheid and was the main force behind the antisemitic Durban conferences. The other members of the group are not far behind.”
Between February 28th and April 1, the UN Human Rights Council will have its 49th session (HRC49).
The report of the commission of inquiry on Operation Guardian of the Walls will be the most significant aspect of the session. It will cover the Israeli operation against Gaza in May 2021 to deter Hamas from launching missiles towards Israel. Israel is expected to be accused of war crimes, apartheid policies, and crimes against humanity in this session.
Darshan Leitner said that the State of Israel would not collaborate or join the inquiry commission. Shurat HaDin, however can’t afford to overlook the accusations that could be made by this inquiry.
Darshan Leitner explains that there are two primary options to counter the Pillay Committee. “One is the response to the material – answering the accusations of apartheid. One is the actual response that responds to the claims of apartheid. The other is personal – focusing on the inimitation of its participants.
Previous experience, she says her experience, suggests that it is unlikely that Shurat HaDin or anyone else or anyone else is able to convince those who are already negative about Israel to reconsider their views.
Rather, she suggests, Shurat HaDin intends to demonstrate that all the commission of inquiry members are biased against Israel and that the UN will not sacrifice its core values and its sense of fairness in the pursuit of the delegitimization of Israel.
Darshan Leitner: “We are going to start a campaign which demands that all COI members.” “We will organize massive petitions to take legal action and against the COI as well as its members and all other individuals who assist this committee.”
In addition, Shurat HaDin will attempt to show that the PA rather than the State of Israel, is the main culprit in the violation of human rights. “We will look over their laws to uncover the discrimination against women and children and their inadequate legal systems. Are you aware that a person can legally rape his spouse according to PA law? Marital rape is not an offense under their ‘advanced human-rights-friendly’ legislation.
“This is but a minor instance from the ‘champions’ of human rights, which the UN is eager to help. While they accuse Israel of apartheid, the UN promotes the rule of law with no elections in 15-years and that consistently infringes on its own human rights.
Darshan Leitner claims that Shurat HaDin also will reveal to the world the way minorities living in Gaza as well as in the PA are treated. “The fate of Christians living in Gaza and in the PA territories is sealed,” she states. The number of Christians in the PA is declining. aviel darshan leitner calling for the murder of ‘infidels’ are on the rise. They’re not any worse than ISIS numbers.
According to Shurat HaDin, Israel committed grave errors when it was handling an UNHRC investigation into South African jurist Richard Goldstone’s 2009 case. Jerusalem did not want to cooperate with the Goldstone Commission after it found out that it was biased in its agenda. Israel was the target of numerous tensions following the publication of the final, highly criticized report.
“While I am fully convinced that Israel was correct in not cooperating with the vile Goldstone witch hunt I’m not convinced that we dealt our cards very carefully. It doesn’t suffice to ignore UNHRC and label them as prejudiced or haters. The government had to back its decision by launching a well-organized and proactive campaign to spread its own version of events and to defend itself against the antisemitic UNHRC.”This is the reason why an NGO like Shurat HaDin can play such an important role. She claims, “We can act, make a statement, and even take legal actions in cases where government’s hands are essentially tied.”
Darshan Leitner seeks to fill this hole. She summarizes the current situation and explains that the PA’s aim ultimately is to influence The Hague’s chief procuror. “If I am able to dismantle the basis of The Hague’s commission, show how misguided it, and how apartheid is a false claim It will show that the commission is devoid of any worth.”
“If the procedure is not followed and it is not done, it could result in bad outcomes. The prosecutor could be influenced to change his mind. It would be a tragedy, and it could change the course of justice. This can’t happen.