Israel: Guilty of Genocidal High Crimes
by Stephen Lendman
The Russell Tribunal (RT) is an activist peace organization. It’s known as the International War Crimes Tribunal.
It condemns America’s permanent war agenda. It opposes New World Order extremism. Its members include academics, intellectuals and artists.
It’s inspired by the BRussells Tribunal. It was named after after famed philosopher/mathematician/anti-war/anti-imperialism activist Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970).
He warned many years ago:
“Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war” and live in peace. There’s no in between.
Previous tribunals investigated war crimes in Vietnam, Iraq and Palestine. Others examined human rights abuses in Latin America and psychiatry.
An extraordinary Brussels September 24 and 25 session was held on Israel’s Operation Protective Edge (OPE).
It examined its high crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. “(T)hird States’ complicity was investigated.
Findings didn’t surprise. They were damning. Distinguished witnesses included:
Palestinian Center for Human Rights director Raji Sourani.
Economics editor Paul Mason.
Journalist Mohammed Omer.
Physician Mohammad Abou-Arab.
European Palestinian BDS national committee coordinator Michael Deas.
Journalist Max Blumenthal.
Journalist Martin Lejeune.
Physician Mads Gilbert.
Defense for Children International-Palestine advocacy unit coordinator Ivan Karakashian.
Israeli investigative researcher/former IDF soldier Paul Behrens.
Independent journalist/filmmaker David Sheen.
Arms expert Col. Desmond Travers.
Gazan filmmaker Ashraf Mashharawi
Aprodev advocacy for just peace in Palestine official Agnes Bertrand.
Distinguished jurors included:
International Law Professor/former special rapporteur for the UN Commission on Human Rights and International Law Commission John Dugard.
Lawyer Michael Mansfield.
UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur for Palestine Richard Falk.
Pink Floyd band founding member Roger Water.
Novelist/political and cultural commentator Ahdaf Soueif.
Former South African government minister/activist/writer Ronald Kasrils.
Anti-globalization/environmental activist Vandana Shiva.
Film/television director Ken Loach.
Lawyer/script writer Paul Laverty.
Activist/author Christianne Hessel.
Human rights lawyer Radhia Nasraoui.
Pianist/UNESCO goodwill ambassador Miguel Angel Estrella.
Years earlier, international Vietnam war crimes founder Bertrand Russell said: “May this tribunal prevent the crime of silence.”
The Russell Tribunal’s Extraordinary session met in response to 51 days of Israeli atrocities in Gaza.
Its forces committed the highest of genocidal high crimes against peace. Neocons, Zionist extremists, pro-Israeli zealots, most Western politicians, and fools alone would claim otherwise.
Israel waged preemptive aggressive war on Gaza. It matched one of the world’s most powerful armies against lightly armed Gazan defenders.
Over 2,000 Palestinians were slaughtered in cold blood. Mostly non-combatant civilians.
Dozens of entire families were wiped out to the last man, woman and child. Hundreds of Palestinian children, infants and women perished.
Around 11,000 Palestinians were wounded. Many maimed for life. Entire communities were leveled. They were turned to rubble.
Operation Protective Edge (OPE) will be remembered as one of history’s great crimes. Israel showed no mercy. Its leaders give rogue state ruthlessness new meaning.
OPE lasted 51 days. They included merciless mass slaughter and destruction. Israeli wars feature appalling atrocities.
Noncombatant civilians are considered legitimate targets. So are children, infants and women.
International law prohibits attacking them. Doing so constitutes high crimes against peace. Israel is guilty as charged and then some.
were clear, unequivocal and damning. Eyewitness testimonies produced irrefutable evidence. Beyond a shadow of a doubt.
‘’The cumulative effect of the long-standing regime of collective punishment in Gaza appears to inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the incremental destruction of the Palestinians as a group in Gaza,” they concluded.
“The Tribunal emphasizes the potential for a regime of persecution to become genocidal in effect.”
“In light of the clear escalation in the physical and rhetorical violence deployed in respect of Gaza in the summer of 2014, the Tribunal emphasizes the obligation of all state parties to the 1948 Genocide Convention to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide.”
“The Jury heard evidence from (the above named) eyewitnesses to Israeli attacks during the Gaza war 2014…”
“In terms of the crime of incitement to genocide, the tribunal received evidence ‘demonstrating a vitriolic upswing in racist rhetoric and incitement’ during the summer of 2014.”
“The evidence shows that such incitement manifested across many levels of Israeli society, on both social and traditional media, from football fans, police officers, media commentators, religious leaders, legislators, and government ministers.”
Clear evidence showed Israel committed the following high crimes against peace:
Extensive destruction of property not justified by military necessity
Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population and civilian objects
Disproportionate use of force
Attacks against buildings dedicated to religion and education
The use of Palestinians as human shields
Employing weapons, projectiles, and material and methods of warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering which are inherently indiscriminate
The use of violence to spread terror among the civilian population”
Tribunal members added:
“It is recognized that in a situation where patterns of crimes against humanity are perpetrated with impunity, and where direct and public incitement to genocide is manifest throughout society, it is very conceivable that individuals or the state may choose to exploit the conditions in order to perpetrate the crime of genocide.”
“We have have a genuine fear that in an environment of impunity and an absence of sanction for serious and repeated criminality, the lessons from Rwanda and other mass atrocities may once again go unheeded.”
“The Tribunal calls on Israel to fulfill its obligations under international law and for the state of Palestine to accede without further delay to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, fully cooperate with the human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry and fully engage the mechanisms of international justice.”
“The Tribunal also reminds all states to cooperate to bring to an end the illegal situation arising from Israel’s occupation, siege and crimes in the Gaza Strip.”
“In light of the obligation not to render aid or assistance, all states must consider appropriate measures to exert sufficient pressure on Israel, including the imposition of sanctions, the severing of diplomatic relations collectively through international organizations, or in the absence of consensus, individually by breaking bilateral relations with Israel.”
It calls upon All states to fulfill their duty to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide.”
It bear repeating. Israel committed one of history’s great crimes. It stand guilty as charged. Justice remains denied.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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