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Justice is coming for Israel’s genocide enablers

May 29, 2024 at 8:30 pm

In this photo illustration, the International Criminal Court (ICC) logo seen displayed on a smartphone screen on 23 March 2023 [Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

I feel slightly guilty over my impatience towards Karim Khan KC, the lion-hearted British lawyer who has been the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court since 2021. Like many cynics weary of seeing Israel escape opprobrium or indeed any legal action from the international community for its continual violations of international law and human rights abuses, I was doubtful if Khan was ever going to bring the full weight of his office down on the rogue state. And, like many others, I have tweeted and goaded the Edinburgh-born lawyer to remind him of his responsibilities as the court’s chief prosecutor with each bomb that has been dropped on Gaza since 7 October.

When the specialist in international criminal law and international human rights law was first elected, many welcomed his arrival at the ICC. Indeed, even the Zionist state breathed a sigh of relief and called him “pragmatic”. Today, however, he is viewed as Israel’s enemy, someone out to get the apartheid state (and why not? Apartheid is akin to a crime against humanity). Khan’s dramatic call for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on war crimes charges brought his critics to heel.

It also prompted outrage among Zionists who fired off the by now predictable accusations of anti-Semitism.

As such, I will be joining the queue with many others to eat a slice of humble pie and offer a heartfelt apology to Khan, a man who is obviously quite fearless when it comes to the pursuit of justice. I would normally leave it there, but now that it has emerged that members of the ICC have faced serious threats from the former head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, I think we need to acknowledge the bravery and courage it must have taken to investigate the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel’s leaders.

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At this point, it is worth remembering that such crimes do not need to involved mass murder and the use of starvation as a weapon, both of which Israel has committed in Gaza. Every Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank is a war crime. And every Jewish settler who is encouraged to live in the settlements is a war crime. No investigation of that very obvious fact is necessary. Moreover, thanks to the inexplicable boasts of the vile TikTok army, aka the Israel Defence Forces, social networks are awash with evidence of the brutal war crimes and atrocities that Israeli soldiers have committed in Gaza.

Israel’s attack on the ICC predated its latest (of many) brutal military offensive against the enclave, though. Yossi Cohen, the former head of Israel’s intelligence agency, personally threatened Fatou Bensouda, Khan’s predecessor as chief prosecutor of the court, as well as her family during a series of covert meetings, according to an investigation by the Guardian. The newspaper’s shocking probe exposed a nine-year “war” of intimidation by the occupation state involving clandestine campaigns to stop ICC investigations into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israeli leaders. Bensouda opened the court’s preliminary investigations in 2015.

This sort of threatening and intimidating behaviour would not be tolerated by any court in the West, so I hope that Cohen and his partners in crime will be brought to account as well. Perverting the course of justice is considered an arrestable offence that carries a prison sentence in most parts of the world today. Why should Israeli officials be treated any differently?

I am confident that, given the freedom to do so, Khan, 54, will pursue those involved with the same vigour. His actions have undoubtedly shaken Israel and its “blind” allies to the core. Britain, America and the rest of Israel’s Zionist lackeys in Europe, including “Frau Genocide” Ursula von der Leyen herself, cannot possibly ignore the ICC. The President of the European Commission has given Israel unquestioned support throughout the genocide that we have all witnessed in real time on social media. An online campaign is already underway calling for her investigation by the ICC for “complicity” in genocide.

Should there be any further attempts at interference by Israel, the ICC must come down on the settler-colonial state like a ton of bricks if it is to preserve and protect the rule of law.

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To all those supporters of Israel who are still in denial, from Washington to London and Brussels, it is worth recalling part of the opening statement by Justice Robert H. Jackson at the Nuremberg Trials which remains one of the most famous and influential oratories in the history of international law and criminal jurisprudence.

Jackson spoke for more than three and a half hours in an opening speech in November 1945 in front of 22 defendants, mostly former Nazi officials. “The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant and so devastating, that civilisation cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated,” said the judge. “That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason.”

Justice Jackson could so easily have been talking about Gaza 2024 when he said of those on trial:

“We will show them to be living symbols of racial hatreds, of terrorism and violence, and of the arrogance and cruelty of power. They are symbols of fierce nationalisms and of militarism, of intrigue and war-making which have embroiled Europe generation after generation, crushing its manhood, destroying its homes, and impoverishing its life… Civilisation can afford no compromise with the social forces which would gain renewed strength if we deal ambiguously or indecisively with the men in whom those forces now precariously survive.”

Sadly, men of Jackson’s stature and gravitas are in short supply in America these days, where US Secretary of State Antony Blinken bluntly called Khan’s decision “wrong-headed” as he told a Republican committee that sanctions would be the US response against the ICC prosecutor and others involved in the investigation. The sanctions could be similar to those imposed shamelessly by the Donald Trump administration on Bensouda and the ICC’s head of jurisdiction Phakiso Mochochoko.

Just as the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg set out to define the new legal landscape post-Second World War, Jackson spent months crafting the words for his opening statement which not only introduced these new concepts of international law to the Nuremberg court, but also indicated to a worldwide audience that justice for the victims of Nazi aggression would be served.

Unlike the almost crude rhetoric of the Biden administration, Jackson’s tone was analytical, deliberate and extraordinarily polished.

Moreover, his tone matched the basis of the argument for the prosecution which chose to rely on documentary evidence. Despite his dispassionate approach, Jackson began by acknowledging that he well understood the momentous nature of the trial both for himself and for world leaders to come.

His words of wisdom, though, appear to have bypassed successive 21st century US administrations. Long gone are the likes of presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt who famously said: “No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.” His successful efforts to broker the end of the Russo-Japanese War earned him in 1906 the honour of being the first American to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Given that the latest incumbent in the White House has earned himself the nickname “Genocide Joe” for his undiluted support for Israel and its war in Gaza, it remains highly unlikely that this particular US president will ever be given any sort of accolade for bringing about peace and justice. If anything, he should also be charged by the ICC for complicity in war crimes, crimes against humanity and the worst crime of all, genocide. After all, Israel would never dare display such open contempt for international law and the highest courts in the world without the unconditional backing of Washington, London and Brussels. Politicians and officials in all three capitals should now be looking over their shoulders with trepidation, because justice is coming for them as well.

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.