"Let's set up an international tribunal whose only purpose will be to try, and convict, Israel, over and over again!"
Sounds silly? Think again:
A new civil court founded in Belgium by human rights organizations will convene for the first time Friday evening and discuss war crimes Israel had allegedly committee during the Second Lebanon War and war crimes the groups claim it is currently committing in the Gaza Strip.After much searching, I found the webpage of this group, in French.
Over the past year, human rights groups, in cooperation with Arab and European intellectuals, have been working on establishing the new court, which will be tasked with addressing different issues related to human rights violations and war crimes.
The first matter on the court's agenda will be Israel's operations in the Gaza Strip. Human rights organizations, as well as the victims of these alleged crimes, will appear before the court. The court has also invited Israeli representatives to attend the hearing and respond to the accusations.
This group does not even have its own Internet domain, which means it might not even have $5 in support. It is on a blog site.
It calls itself the "Tribunal citoyen international contre les crimes de guerre au Moyen Orient", the "International Citizens' Tribunal on war crimes in the Middle East."
Its founder, Raoul Marc Jennar, makes no pretense of objectivity:
The doctrine that underpins the State of Israel was incompatible with international law.
Sounds so objective!
Our initiative is independent of any ideological, religious or political affiliation. It is based on the desire to combat the impunity enjoyed by the Defense Forces of Israel. It is also based on the inalienable right of the Lebanese people to defend the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Lebanon.
... This session will be presided over by five people from every continent and around the circles of the judiciary. Victims, witnesses facts and representatives of humanitarian agencies, environmental and economic present their testimony. A lawyer of the accused could be heard. An indictment is handed down and a jury of people from the five continents, will deliver on behalf of injured humanity, conclusions.
This approach makes sense only if maximum publicity shall be granted.To this end, we have to choose the venue of the session with care and raise the funds needed to organize it. An association of fact - the International Jury of Conscience for Lebanon - has been established and a bank account was opened.
It will be interesting to see if any major human rights organizations give this sham their approval, by attending. The Jerusalem Post writes:
Israel's position would also be represented, [Israeli Arab MK] Nafa said, but, "I don't know by whom."In other words, it is an exercise in Israel-bashing under the name of a "court" - with handpicked, misozionistic members guaranteed to prejudge not only which cases they will hear but also their conclusions.
The Knesset member said he decided to attend because of a decision by the Israeli-Arab leadership's Monitoring Committee to "turn to international tribunals" to circumvent Israeli courts. "Arab Israelis have no defense under Israeli national law," he said.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch would attend the event, Nafa said, but a spokeswoman for Amnesty told the Post that members of the organization's London and Belgium branches had not heard of the event. Human Rights Watch was unable to respond to a request to confirm its participation by press time.
Asked if the conference would discuss Hizbullah's Katyusha missile attacks on Israel during the Second Lebanon War or the Kassam rockets being fired at Sderot by Hamas, Nafa said he "did not know. My personal position is that I'm against harming Sderot civilians who are innocent. It doesn't matter where the rockets are coming from."
The conference's organizers did not provide a contact number and failed to return an e-mail message asking for more details on their meeting.