International Condemnation of Israeli Crimes

  • 18 October 2009

The United Nations Council for Human Rights' approval of the Goldstone Report, which accuses Israel of committing war crimes in the Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009, amounts to a clear international condemnation of Israel and its aggressive actions against the Palestinian people during the war. It also illustrates the ability of the Arab and Islamic bloc and non-aligned countries in the Council to forge an international coalition against Israel, which had left no stone unturned for stopping the case’s referral to the Security Council and the International Criminal Court (ICC), by employing all kinds of intimidating tactics against its member states. Israel even asserted that it would not extradite anyone accused of war crimes to the ICC and pointed to the impact of such a decision on the Middle East peace process.

The resolution adopted by the UN human rights council is a Palestinian, Arab and Islamic achievement. However, it is crucial that this achievement be utilized, in accordance with the procedures of the UN Security Council, so that it deters Israel from resorting to such inhumane actions in the future. Therefore, nothing would force it to change its positions or even show flexibility, as experience shows that Israel has a history of challenging international legitimacy and UN resolutions as well as the will of the international community. Therefore, it is important that the radical Israeli Government face strong international pressure, and realize that it is not above the law, or that it could carry out crimes against humanity with impunity. Israel now faces a huge dilemma, as its apparent immunity from accountability for its action seems to have been lifted for the first time, and after its crimes have become plain to the whole world. Therefore, it is necessary for Arab and Islamic states to prepare for the next step by taking serious action in exposing Israel's violations of international law, not only in Gaza, but also around Jerusalem, particularly in Al-Aqsa Mosque, so that incriminating evidence could be presented before international public opinion, which Israel has been able to deceive for several years.

If deferment of the Goldstone Report was previously a cause of dispute among Palestinian factions, especially Hamas and Fatah, and it delayed the signing of the reconciliation agreement, the latest ratification of the resolution by the Human Rights Council should help resolve these differences, and revive hopes of Palestinian reconciliation, which is the only way to counter Israeli deviousness. In light of the continued inter-Palestinian differences, any Arab or Islamic endeavor to activate the latest resolution of the Human Rights Council into means for prosecution of Israeli war criminals will face many difficulties.