by Professor Francis A. Boyle
I delivered the following Oral Argument before the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Commission for the Indictment of Israel for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity on November 21, 2012 during Israel’s genocidal Operation Cast Lead II against the 1.7 million Palestinians living in Gaza. The analysis and conclusions remain the same today during Cast Lead III. May it please the Commission:
You have heard the statutory declaration and evidence provided so far for your information. My purpose here now is to explain the law to which you will apply the facts in formulating your indictments. Of course, it is for you to decide whether or not to indict, or whom to indict. But you have already received my recommendation that you should indict the state of Israel, and named officials that I have already provided to you that will be found again in the transcript of the proceedings, including and especially General Yaron for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. And you’ve heard evidence and testimony from all of our witnesses on those three points. Now let me briefly review the witnesses and what they said from a legal prospective, so that you can formulate your opinions of law in your indictment.
Palestinians in Gaza
First of all, with respect to the Al-Sammounis testimony, Salah and Mahmoud. They are both from the Gaza Strip. Now, we have to understand, the Gaza Strip is under military occupation by Israel. And Israel is the belligerent occupant of the Gaza Strip. That means, at all times, Israel is governed by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 that protects civilians and the Hague Regulations of 1907 on the Laws of Customs of Warfare. You can find that also in the Chapter 5 for the Tribunal that is roughly based and patterned upon them.
Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, the two Al-Sammounis are absolutely protected. They are what are known as protected person. They are civilians. Their rights are inviolable by Israel, or anyone else. In fact, protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention have more rights that legally are more perfectly protected than you or I have. That is the gospel truth under International Law.
There are 147 articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention that were supposed to protect the Al-Sammounis and everyone else in Gaza. And if you look at all of the human rights reports that have been produced on Gaza, you will see that Israel has violated almost each and every one of these 147 articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention with respect to the civilian population of Gaza such as the Al-Sammounis.
Now, Israel has maintained that it is no longer the occupying power in Gaza and therefore is not bound by the Fourth Geneva Convention and the 1907 Hague Regulations because it withdrew its troops from Gaza. That does not change the situation legally. They are dead wrong. Professor Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur for Palestine, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council itself had said, “No, this is nonsense, Israel is still the occupying power in Gaza.” His predecessor, Professor John Dugard of South Africa, has also taken for the same position. The International Committee of Red Cross has taken the same position. Why is that the case?
Because the test of belligerent occupancy is control. You could read this for example, in U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10: The Laws of Land Warfare, that set forth the basic rules of Customary International Law applicable to all States in the world, including Israel and the United States.
Control of Gaza
Who controls Gaza today? We have heard testimonies Gaza is like an “open air prison.” Gaza is like a concentration camp. Gaza is surrounded at sea where it is currently being bombarded today by the Israeli navy – as we speak. Gaza City, a city, is being bombarded by a navy. And it is controlled by Israel on both the east and the south and surrounded by a fence. As for the border of Egypt, it is completely cut off. Israel bombs that border. They’ve just destroyed all the tunnels. In addition, despite his rhetoric, President Morsi of Egypt has not opened up that border. It is still sealed because the Egyptian military, that really runs Egypt today, is in cahoots with Israel and the United States and keeps the Egyptian border sealed.
The only exception, just announced two days ago, President Morsi has said, “I will allow the evacuation of severely injured Palestinians through the Rafah crossing into Egypt to get medical care. ” But other than that, the Egyptian border is sealed as well, and this has been the case since the imposition of the siege of Gaza by Israel starting in 2007 with the support of Egypt and the United States and the entire European Union. They are all accomplices in the siege of Gaza.
And you have in your bundle Volume 2, tab M, a document produced by my office: Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Crime of Genocide, Gaza vs. Israel. As of this summer, it’s quite comprehensive on all these issues. Of course, it doesn’t take into account the recent Cast Lead II, as I will call it, that goes on today as we speak.
But clearly it is Israel that exercises control over Gaza. They bomb it. They artillery shell it. They attack it. They invade it at will. So, of course, they exercise control over Gaza, and for that reason, they remain the belligerent occupant of Gaza subject to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 that protects all the civilians in Gaza, and the Hague Regulation of 1907 that also protects the land and the environment of Gaza as well as to some extent, the civilians. So, this is the legal regime applicable to Gaza.
During the course of Mr. Al-Sammouni’s testimony, Commissioner Chossudovsky asked the question of “command and control” and I did want to address that briefly: Who is responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide? And my brief develops the argument, 55 pages long, about why Israel is committing genocide in Gaza today as we speak since at least the time they imposed the siege of Gaza after Hamas had won a democratic election in Gaza.
But to get back to command and control. Of the tests under International Law, the laws of war is that of command responsibility, that is, if a commander of troops or others in the field, whether those commanders are civilian or military personnel, either order war crimes or crimes against humanity or genocide or committed themselves or know that their subordinates are ordering it or committing it themselves and refused to prevent it or stop it or punish it, they themselves are responsible for those atrocities – for those acts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
And as the situation is in Gaza today, when you have war crimes that are widespread or systematic, they also become crimes against humanity. And what we see in Gaza, certainly in the 2006 invasion, then Operation Cast Lead 2008 and 2009, and now Operation Cast Lead II in 2012, is widespread systematic war crimes against the civilian population that clearly constitute crimes against humanity and even beyond that, genocide, for the reasons cited in my brief that is part of the record.
And I also have distributed to you and introduced now formally into evidence my article, Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. You already have that but I’ll introduce it.
And then the recommendation I personally put into the hands of the late President Arafat that he sue Israel for committing genocide against Palestine and the Palestinians at the International Court of Justice. And I have also given this proposal, this recommendation, to President Abbas. But because of enormous bullying, threats, intimidation inflicted upon them, I don’t think they’re going to do it, though I stand by ready to receive those instructions. That means it’s really up to you to defend the Palestinians because they’re not really in a position to defend themselves.
Palestinians Rejected by the I.C.C.
Indeed, after Operation Cast Lead, I recommended to President Abbas that Palestine accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, which President Abbas did do. And what happened? Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC prosecutor threw it out and said, “Well, it’s not for me to determine whether Palestine is a state,” despite the fact that Palestine had de jure diplomatic relations with 133 states and also state membership in UNESCO, a U.N. specialized agency. Still Mr. Moreno-Ocampo this coward and this hypocrite had the gall to just throw aside Palestine’s acceptance of jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and to investigate Israel for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
And there we stand today even when the Palestinians file a valid complaint with the International Criminal Court, the ICC refuses to defend them. And Mr. Moreno-Ocampo would not even lift one finger to help them. Not one finger in their moment of desperation. He is truly a despicable human being for this. And for this reason, we turn to you five Commissioners to act to protect the Palestinians when the ICC prosecutor, Moreno-Ocampo, refused even to lift one finger for them.
Now, we come to the testimony of Mr. Alissawi. He’s from Bethlehem, the West Bank. And let me again briefly explain to you the legal status of the West Bank and Jerusalem and the regime of International Law that applies.
The West Bank too is occupied territory. All of it. This A-B-C baloney is nonsense. This is just an apartheid regime set up by Israel that is in violation of the Apartheid Convention of 1973. And apartheid is a crime against humanity. The fact is Israel remains the belligerent occupant of the West Bank. It is governed by the Four Geneva Conventions and the 1907 Hague Regulations, and every Palestinian living on the West Bank is a protected person. Their rights are sacred under the International Law. They have more rights than you and I have. And yet Israel has violated each and every 147 Articles of that Convention with impunity.
Why? Because they have the backing of the United States of America, the most powerful country in the world. So, of course Mr. Moreno-Ocampo copped out and refused to help them.
Indeed, the International Court of Justice accepted this argument in its Advisory Opinion on Israel’s wall on the West Bank. We have that Advisory Opinion in the bundle of materials. If you read that Advisory Opinion, you will see the World Court rejected each and every argument Israel has ever made to maintain that it is not a belligerent occupant on the West Bank; that is not governed by the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949; that it is not governed by the 1907 Hague Regulations. The World Court rejected all of it. All those arguments-fully, completely. They considered them all and rejected every one of them. Israel does not even have a leg to stand on. And there is no argument on the West Bank that’s even plausible. No argument.
Indeed, the World Court ruled that the settlements violated the Fourth Geneva Convention. Any violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention is a war crime. And when they are widespread and systematic as these settlements are, they become a crime against humanity. And the settlers are committing war crimes – all 600,000 of them. They are war criminals, except for the children who legally are not capable of formulating criminal intent.
I would ask you, in drawing up your indictment, to bring John Does for every settler living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as war criminals. They should all be prosecuted, each and every one of them. They go in there and knowingly steal Palestinian land in violation of Hague Regulations of 1907. They steal this land. They destroy the olive trees, as we’ve heard. They steal the water. They rape and pillage Palestine to support their own lifestyle and in pursuit of their fanatical dreams of religious exclusivism that I don’t believe people of any religion or good faith or good will should tolerate or condone. The Bible had no right to give Palestine to the Jews. Palestinians had lived there even before the Bible was written.
We heard testimony about the use of dum-dum bullets against Mr. Alissawi. Dum-dum bullets are clearly illegal and criminal in this context, armed conflict, going back to the 19th century. Everyone knows it. Even the Unites States of America government takes the position that dum-dum bullets are illegal and their use is a war crime.
So, that is sort of the lowest common denominator, isn’t it? The United States government. Israel in its behavior is even beneath and below the criminal behavior that we’ve seen the United States government perform around the world. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t know of any recent use of dum-dum bullets by the United States government. They could do it, but generally speaking, it’s a prohibited weapon.
Now, with respect to Jerusalem, there has been discussion here on the status of Jerusalem. I’m here to advise you on Jerusalem. Israel has not one shred of right to Jerusalem.
They said, “Oh, it’s our eternal capital.” No one believes that. Even the United States government does not accept that. Obama said that in his campaign in 2008 to appeal to the Jewish vote. But once he got elected president, even President Obama does not maintain this position. It is the official position in the United States Government that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel. And that is why almost every government that has diplomatic relations with Israel maintains their embassy in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem. No one recognizes that Israel has title to anything in Jerusalem – East Jerusalem or West Jerusalem.
This is because Resolution 181 provided that Jerusalem would be a special International Trusteeship not under the control of either the Jewish state or the Arab state called for in the Partition Resolution. No one recognizes Israel has any right to Jerusalem. Period. Even America does not. It’s not the position of the executive branch of the United States government, and has never been. The last official articulation of our position on Jerusalem can be found in this book. I will introduce this book into evidence: Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law. I have an entire chapter here on the legal status of Jerusalem.
Even George Bush Senior, when he was U.S. ambassador to the United Nation, fully articulated this position as our Ambassador to the U.N., that Israel does not have title to Jerusalem. So technically, again, Jerusalem is occupied territory.
All the Palestinians living there, certainly in East Jerusalem, are protected persons. All the settlers living in East Jerusalem are committing war crimes and are war criminals, except for the children who are not old enough to formulate criminal intent. These are war crimes. I’ve been there. I’ve seen them. They steal the land. They expel the Palestinians. And that process still goes on as we speak today, day in and day out.
Mr. Musleh from Bethlehem, again, part of the West Bank. He is a civilian – not a guerrilla, not a fighter. He was tortured. Yes, torture – a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, a serious war crime mandating universal jurisdiction. I was all up and down Palestine, both the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza myself in 1986. Torture was rampant all over. I met many victims. They showed me the signs of torture on their bodies.
Mr. Musleh ‘s testimony is certainly consistent with what I saw in two weeks travelling there. And when I went to protest this at the American Embassy, the torture, the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, the attaché said to me, “Well, we are not going to get involved in Israel’s domestic affairs.” It’s astounding. It’s an attaché at the American Embassy at Tel Aviv.
I said, “What do you mean their domestic affairs? Torture violates the Fourth Geneva Convention. The United States government is a party the Fourth Geneva Convention. Under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, we have an obligation to respect and ensure respect for that convention in all circumstances, which means stopping Israel’s torture.”
At that point he didn’t argue with me. He just said, “Well, you’ll have to take it up in Washington.” Well, as we know, Washington is controlled and dominated by Zionists. That’s a total waste of time.
But clearly Mr. Musleh’s allegations of torture are consistent with my investigation for two weeks, back in 1986. And again, where torture is widespread and systematic, it becomes a crime against humanity. And in addition, when you take a look at the Genocide Convention in this context: Genocide consists of the following acts – causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.
Clearly we have had widespread systematic torture against the Palestinians ever since 1967 up until today, both in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. This has been documented by every human rights organizations in the world, including Amnesty International which is notoriously pro-Israel and pro-United States. And I say that having spent four years on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA. They are notoriously pro-Israel and pro- United States. And yet, even Amnesty International has condemned their torture. Professor Falk has condemned their torture in his reports as Special Rapporteur. Professor Dugard, his predecessor, has condemned this torture.
Israel, also with respect to Mr. Musleh’s testimony on children, is a party to the Children’s Convention. And yet, they have abused Palestinian children. They’ve tortured them, they’ve imprisoned them, and they’ve deprived them of education. There are hundreds of Palestinian children still being detained in Israeli prisons. The World Court ruled, in its Advisory Opinion, that Israel is bound to apply the Children’s Convention to Palestinians in occupied territory. They ruled that because it is a party to the Children’s Convention. Israel has violated almost each and every provision of the Children’s Convention when it comes to Palestinians children. That’s how pathetic that State is: They even torture and imprison children.
We’ve heard Mr. Musleh’s testimony of the theft of the water, the main aquifers, I’ve been there, I’ve seen this myself. The main aquifer is, of course, on the West Bank, this is Palestinian water. They are stealing the Palestinian water so that settlers, these war criminals, can have swimming pools.
I remember the first time I went to the Ariel settlement, in 1986, and there was a Palestinian village down the road that was dying for lack of water. And I followed the water pipe that had basically been cut off up from the village to Ariel. Ariel had an Olympic-size swimming pool for their war criminal-settlers. Meanwhile, the Palestinians were having their water stolen and their village dying so that war criminals could go swimming. I have read since then that Ariel has produced two Olympic-size swimming pools. Israel does not have one shred of right under the Hague Regulations of 1907 to one ounce of this Palestinian water. And yet they are thirsting the Palestinians to death.
And this gets back to the Genocide Convention my colleague, Professor Nijar, has pointed out, genocide means also “deliberately inflicting on the group [here, Palestinians] conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” They’re thirsting them to death so that their war criminals-settlers can swim in Olympic-size swimming pools. The olive groves, pillaged. Outright pillage that goes on all the time. One indiscriminate gang behavior by these war criminal-settlers with the full cooperation and support of the Israeli government. And it is organized, it’s systematic and it’s widespread. It’s a crime against humanity and a war crime.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The testimony by Dr. Elkhatib dealing with the psychological conditions. What the Genocide Convention says here? “Genocide – causing serious bodily or mental harm to the members of the group.” We have heard the testimony here today, that the entire Palestinian population suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. I’ve been there, I’ve seen it myself. Not just the children. Men, women, parents, children. And especially the people in Gaza who are being bombarded and killed and destroyed as we speak today.
The report I heard this morning was 120 Gazans had been killed in this murder in this Operation Cast Lead II. Where will this lead to? Where will it end? Cast Lead I, 1,400 Palestinians were exterminated. In 2006, when Israel bombed Lebanon, they exterminated 1,200 Lebanese. Just wiped them out. Absolutely no accountability at all. And again, that’s where you come in.
Tear gas: We have heard testimony of tear gas during the First Intifada. It still goes on today. Israel uses special military-grade tear gas against Palestinian civilians that they get from the United States and the Republic of Korea, last I looked. We tried to stop it in the United States – two factories manufactured it. We threatened to sue one of them, and they stopped. We threatened to sue the second, they didn’t stop. We sued them and we lost. Why did we lose all these cases on behalf of Palestinians in the United States? Zionist control and domination of the U.S. Federal Judiciary.
I personally have been involved in litigation going back to the Yaron case which I submitted into the record. That was the first case ever filed in the entire world against an Israeli official for perpetrating a massacre against Palestinians. Being my involvement in these cases since then, I’m aware of only one case Palestinians had won in the United States courts.
The only one Meese v. P.L.O., Ramsey Clark, I did work with him. When the Reagan administration tried to shut down the Palestinian Mission to the United Nations organization in violation of U.N. Headquarters Agreement. We did win that one. That’s the only case I’m aware of we’ve won. And it’s pretty much a waste of time for any Palestinian to file any lawsuit in the Zionist controlled and dominated United States. And I’ve been advised by my Canadian friends that Canada isn’t much better. So, we come to this Commission, to this Court, for justice.
Sabra and Shatilla
Madam Abouardini and Anne K. Sunde on the 1982 Sabra and Shatilla massacre: I’ve already given you my essay on the Yaron case, the first case ever on the Sabra and Shatila massacre. I’ve already described to you our efforts, failed efforts to do anything both in the United States and in Belgium, and I’m not aware of any other Court where we’ve been able to get justice for the victims of Sabra and Shatilla. So we’re coming to this Court, to this Commission. We are asking, certainly, to indict General Amos Yaron for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for Sabra and Shatilla; and at a minimum, at least, to list Ariel Sharon as un-indicted co-conspirator, not that he isn’t as guilty as sin, but he is apparently in an irreversible coma, and for that reason would be incapable of assisting in his defense.
And for that reason under basic legal principles, you probably should not indict him but you can certainly list him as an un-indicted co-conspirator for the Sabra and Shatilla massacre. You’ve expressed an interest in my papers in this lawsuit. You can find them at Volume 5 of the Palestine Yearbook of International Law 1989. It’s in the article I gave you.
We saw in the testimony by Anne Sunde where General Yaron was located, on the building, on the hill, overlooking the camp which is completely consistent with what I told you. He could see everything. Indeed, it was his troops that completely surrounded these camps. The flares are going off at night. He then ordered his troops to let the Phalange militia to go in there to perpetrate the massacre. The flares were going off at night so that they can see what they were doing to carry out the massacre at night, figuring they had a limited amount of time to carry out the massacre. So they were working day and night to exterminate 3,500 completely innocent Palestinians and some Lebanese as well- it’s hard to figure out precisely what their breakdown is, but mostly are, Palestinians, and some Lebanese – all of them were completely unarmed.
And as Anne Sunde pointed out, the United States government under Philip Habib had given a formal pledge of protection to the P.L.O. that if their soldiers abandoned the camps where they were protecting these completely innocent civilians, the United States government would assure their safety. And on that condition, the P.L.O. fighters pulled out and moved off to Tunis.
Now the Phalange militia, the Christian Phalange militia, was organized under the Gemayel family. They were not part of the regular Lebanese army. I have no information that the Lebanese army units were involved in this massacre but the Christian Phalange militia were and when Bachir Gemayal was assassinated, there’s no evidence to believe that the Palestinians assassinated Bachir Gemayal. Rumour had it it might have been Syria, it might even have been Israel. We really don’t know. But no evidence Palestinians did it.
General Yaron permitted the Christian Phalange to take out their revenge on the completely innocent Palestinians at Sabra and Shatilla. And this was known by Prime Minister Begin and Defence Minister Ariel Sharon – speaking of the chain of command – and Rafael Eitan, the Chief of Staff, though the only survivors, as I’ve said, are General Yaron and Sharon, and he is in irreversible coma.
But again, the massacre took place with Yaron on that roof with the full view of the camps, illuminated at night by flares and in communication with the Phalange militia with their head Elie Hobeika there on the roof with him with a walkie-talkie commanding them through the night on how to carry out this massacre. And the United States government knew from the get-go that a massacre was taking place. And despite the Habib promise of protection, they refused to do anything at all about it. They just let the massacre go on. Which raises the question for you to resolve of complicity by the United States government with the genocide at Sabra and Shatilla. And I will urge you to consider that. And if you agree with me, to indict the United States for complicity in the Sabra and Shatilla massacre. Obviously these proceedings are directed against the state of Israel and its highest level officials, but as Commissioners Halliday and von Sponeck correctly pointed out, it is fair to consider aiders and abettors by other states, and those other states that are complicit. And certainly, we know for a fact, Israel gets most of its weapons from the United States government that it uses to kill and destroy and exterminate Palestinians.
Genocide – Health-care
Ms. Nimat’s testimony: Yes, Israel has consistently bombed and destroyed hospitals, health-care facilities and have attacked professional health-care people. Doctors, we’ve also heard the testimony, the doctor from Bethlehem. They’re deliberately targeted. We know they have special protections under the Geneva Conventions. Israel couldn’t care less. Indeed, again, it raises the issue of genocide – deliberately inflicting on a people conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole and in part. How? By destroying their whole health-care infrastructure. That’s how. Including their doctors, their nurses, their psychiatric people, etc.
We’ve already discussed Professor Manduca’s testimony about the white phosphorus. Again, even the United States government itself takes the position that the use of white phosphorus in warfare is a war crime, and at least says it’s not supposed to do it. Notice, Israel doesn’t care. We all saw those picture in Cast Lead I, of Israel, live footage on Press TV and Al-Jazeera, not the Zionist-controlled and dominated U.S. news media – but live pictures of them raining white phosphorus down on Gaza city and Gaza civilians. And it doesn’t help to say, “Well we’re just using it as tracers for artillery,” because it just means that the artillery was aimed at Gaza City and the Gaza civilians, which is also a war crime.
In its resolution of 19 October 2000, the U.N. Human Rights Commission, later Council, condemned Israel for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinians. The Goldstone Report reached the same conclusion. And Goldstone was a Zionist who was put in there to do damage control for Israel. And that’s exactly what he did. He softened that Report as best he could. And even the Goldstone Report found that they had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. The better report that does not do damage control for Israel is the Dugard Report that is cited in my brief on behalf of the League of Arab States. Professor Dugard was the Special Rapporteur for Palestine, very courageous human being – white resister to apartheid in South Africa, at threat to his life he stood up against apartheid in South Africa. So if you’re going to go for a definitive account on Cast Lead I, you should look at the Dugard Report and realise that Goldstone was put in there to do damage control for Israel and he significantly watered down his findings and conclusions. But even there, Goldstone found Israel had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Cast Lead I.
Crimes against Humanity
Where do crimes against humanity come from? They come from the Nuremberg Charter of 1945, drafted by the United States government and intended to deal with the Nazi persecution of the Jews. And let me repeat this. This is the idea of the United States of America to legally come to grips with the Nazi persecution of the Jews. And what does Nuremberg say? Crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds. Well, that’s exactly what Israel does to the Palestinians. These are Nazi crimes. We have to be honest about it. They are not yet on a scale of 6 million dead Jews. But they are moving in that direction. So it’s not the number here, but it’s the quality of the offence. So we have to understand. Just applying the Nuremberg definition intended to prosecute Nazi crimes against Jews, these are the same types of crimes. Not the number, but certainly the type.
The crime against humanity is a precursor to genocide. Indeed, it was thought that crime against humanity was so serious that it should be codified in an international treaty. That what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jews should be made a crime for any government to do to any people. And so we had the 1948 Genocide Convention. And Article 2, if you read the proposal I gave personally to President Arafat to sue Israel for genocide, defines the crime of genocide, “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic or racial or religious group as such.” So notice, “in part.” It does not have to be like Hitler and the Nazis intending to exterminate all of the Jewish people. Nope. The Genocide Convention tried to prevent this from happening and say, “well, we have to set the threshold lower.” If you have the intention to destroy “in part” a national, ethnic, racial or religious group as such, that qualifies as genocide. And clearly, let’s take “Cast Lead”, 1,400 exterminated Palestinians. The International Court of Justice ruled that even the 7,000 exterminated Bosnians at Srebrenica constituted genocide.
As documented by Israeli historian Ilan Pappe in his seminal work, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Israel’s genocidal policy against the Palestinians have been “unremitting” extending from the very foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 until today, and continuing today as manifest in what we see in Gaza.
Even the U.N. General Assembly President, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, the former Foreign Minister of Nicaragua called “Cast Lead” ‘genocide’. And Brockmann should know. He was Foreign Minister of Nicaragua during Reagan’s war against Nicaragua when Reagan exterminated 35,000 Nicaraguans; and I was down there for a week up in the war zone investigating contra atrocities.
Certainly Israel and the Zionist agencies, forces and terrorist groups have committed genocide against the Palestinians that started on or about 1948 and has continued apace until today in violation of the Genocide Convention. Israel and its Zionist agencies and predecessors have ruthlessly implemented a systematic, comprehensive military, political, economic, campaign with intent to destroy in substantial part the national, ethnical, racial and religious group — Jews versus Muslims and Christians — constituting the Palestinian people. This consists of killing members of the group, in violation of Article 2(a), inflicting serious bodily and mental harm to the Palestinian people in violation of Convention Article 2(b). And also deliberately inflicting on the Palestinian people conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole or in part.
We have heard a lot about the so-called peace process. This is a joke and a fraud. I was the lawyer for the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East Peace negotiations from the start in 1991 until Oslo was signed in 1993, both for the P.L.O., President Arafat, and my client the late, great Dr. Haidar Abdul-Shaffi, who was Chair of those peace negotiations. Israel never demonstrated one iota of good faith in their negotiations with the Palestinians. Not one. Oslo was an Israeli Bantustan proposal that was imposed upon President Arafat despite the best advice I gave him, and the opposition of Dr. Abdul-Shaffi. As he saw it, he had nothing better to do at that time. I am certainly not here to criticize him. He was the democratically elected leader of the Palestinian people, not Dr. Abdul-Shaffi, certainly not me. But the bottom line is, I’ve been involved in this process from the beginning.
There is no peace process. This is a Palestinian surrender process. A Palestinian Bantustanization process devised by the United States in cooperation with Israel and with the full support of the European Union and its member states. Indeed, shortly before he died in the summer of 2007, I called up Dr. Abdul-Shaffi, and he said to me — this is the man in charge of negotiating peace — and he said, “The Zionists have not changed their objectives since the Basel Conference of 1897!” That was 2007.
In the Basel conference, the Zionists made it clear: They want all of Palestine – West Bank, Jerusalem, what is 1948 Israel. They want it all. And they want it without Palestinians. And nothing has changed. That is the objective of Netanyahu, and Barak and Peres, and Lieberman, that I’m asking you here today to indict. And if we don’t bring Israel, this rogue criminal state, to justice, and if we do not bring their leaders, their highest level officials to justice, they will take all of Palestine and they will expel, disperse, and drive out the Palestinians. And that is what is at stake here today. And that is the task confronting you.
I have gone all over the world seeking justice for the Palestinians for the last 30 years. And I am now coming here today and asking you to indict this criminal rogue state Israel, its aiders and abettors, and its highest level officials, President Peres, Netanyahu, Lieberman, Barak, its chiefs of staff and their predecessors, the rapist Katsav, Olmert, Livni, Ashkenazi, and before that, General Amos Yaron. Thank you.
Francis A. Boyle
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
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