Nitsana Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center is in the Tel Aviv offices of Shurat HaDin on the sun-drenched afternoon of a Sunday. She outlines the challenges Israel will face due to the United Nations in forthcoming weeks.
Her serene, almost tranquil demeanor belies the fierce opposition Israel is likely to confront from the UN Human Rights Council and the three-member Commission of Inquiry [COI] that was tasked by the UN to “investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel any alleged violations of international human rights law and all alleged violations and abuses of human rights international laws leading to and after April 13, 2021.”
Although Israel has been the investigation of the UN in the past, it is clear that this current investigation was designed to continue and investigate Israel as well as its IDF. The commission was not given an expiration date for its time.
Darshan-Leitner , the founder of Shurat HaDin 2003, explains that “the UN Human Rights Council investigation is not born of the blue.” It’s connected to events in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
The 1998 Rome Statute created the ICC. The court is able to prosecute individuals for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity war crimes, and the crime of aggression.While Israel initially supported the idea of an international court, it was worried that the court might become an instrument which could be used against them. Israel and the US and numerous other countries have not signed or ratified the statute and have no legal obligation to abide by the decisions of the International Court of Justice.
Fatou Bensouda (the ICC prosecutor at The Hague) announced in March 2021 that she would initiate a war crime investigation against Israel and Hamas.
A ruling from the International Court in favor of Israel could have profound ramifications. A majority of European and Scandinavian nations are members of the court, and are legally bound to follow the court’s decisions. Any Israeli soldier involved in IDF missions that were involving war crimes may be held responsible if the ICC rules that they did. The Jewish state and its banking industry could face harsh economic sanctions.
Israel might also be exposed to further dangers, including sanctions or embargoes on weaponry. El Al or other Israeli airlines could not be allowed in certain countries.
Bensouda’s time as prosecutor came to an end in June 2021. her replacement was British barrister Karim Khan. Bensouda’s 14 investigations, eight of which were active, were handed over to the prosecutor who was appointed. Darshan Leitner told the Palestinians that he categorised the cases on his docket as “in stages of planning” that is means to indicate that the claims are not urgent or of sufficient merit.
Darshan Leitner says that “this upset the Palestinian Authority.” “They couldn’t comprehend why their enormous efforts to get a prosecutor to open an inquiry failed.”
The PA requested the establishment of a commission at the International Court of Justice in September 2021. This was done to spur Karim Khan to reconsider his opinion about the ICC’s probe of Israel.
Darshan Leitner stated that the war crimes committed by Israel continue to be carried out by the PA since the time of Darshan Leitner’s statement. Amnesty International published a report accusing Israel of apartheid behavior over and above the Green Line. nitsana darshan leitner stated that Israel “has established an institutionalized system of oppression against Palestinians” and it also the report accused Israel in racial separation from 1948.
Darshan Leitner says that Palestinian demands against Israel have been centered on the International Criminal Court on two areas: IDF Military Operations and the issue of Israeli Settlements. They claim to be war crimes.
Karim Khan, the ICC prosecutor, is now being urged by Palestinians to prioritize the probe of Israel under the “apartheid” claim which is a brand new assertion that was not among the allegations that were being investigated in the initial investigation which Bensouda was pursuing. However, she stated, “Whatever gets this investigation moving is valid to them, regardless of what it is or if it’s true.”
KARIM KHAN, new ICC prosecutor. (Credit: Michael Kooren/Reuters)
The UN’s latest attempt by Palestinians to convince the court at The Hague, is Navi Pillay, a trio of members UN commission of inquiry. It is comprised of Miloon (India) as well as Chris Sidoti from Australia.
According to https://www.zoominfo.com/c/shurat-hadin/207110422 -Leitner Pillay, Kothari and Sidoti are recognized for their prejudices towards Israel.”All three have a demonstrated history of actions and statements about the same subjects they are tasked with investigating the matter,'” she says. “Pillay herself has already accused Israel of apartheid. And she was the driving force behind the infamous antisemitic Durban conferences. Others are not too far behind.”
The 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC49) will be held at the office of HRC49 in Geneva from February 28 to April 1.
The primary attraction of the session is likely be the report the commission of inquiry will release about Operation Guardian of the Walls. This was the Israeli operation that took place in Gaza in May 2021 as a response to the missiles launched towards Israel by Hamas. Israel is expected to be accused of war crimes, apartheid policies, as well as crimes against humanity at this session.
Darshan Leitner declares that while the State of Israel won’t cooperate or get involved in the inquiry commission, Shurat HaDin can’t sit silently and deny the accusations that will be made by the commission.
“There are two possible efforts to counter the Pillay committee,” Darshan-Leitner elaborates. One is the factual one, which addresses the accusations of apartheid. The other is the personal angle – focused on the lack integrity of its members.”
She said that past events have proven that Shurat HaiDin or anyone else is unlikely to persuade those who have a negative inclination towards Israel to change.
Instead, Shurat HaDin suggests that Shurat haDin intends to show that all of the members of the inquiry commission have a bias against Israel. The UN is prepared to sacrifice its values as well as any notion of fairness to discredit Israel.
Darshan Leitner: “We are going start a campaign that calls for the resignation of every COI members.” “We will organize massive petitions and take legal actions against the COI as well as its members and anyone who assists the COI.”
Shurat HaDin will also attempt to prove that it is not Israel but rather the PA who are the real violators of human rights. “We are going to look through their laws and draw out what we know: the gender discrimination that is imposed on children, women, and members of the LGBTQ community, and their broken law system. Do nitsana darshan leitner know that a PA law allows one to legally rape a woman? Marital rape is not an offense under their ‘advanced human-rights-friendly’ legislation.
“This is but a minor illustration of the “champions” of human rights that the UN would like to help. They are accused of Israel as a genuine democracy, of apartheid. But, they also support a dictatorship that has not held elections in 15 years and that regularly violates human rights of their own citizens.
Darshan-Leitner says that Shurat HaDin also will expose the world to how minorities are treated in Gaza and the PA and Gaza.”The fate of Christians in the PA territories as well as Gaza is set,” she asserts. Their numbers are decreasing continuously. Islamic extremists calling for killing of ‘infidels’ are on the rise. They are no worse than ISIS figures.
Shurat haDin leader believes that Israel made grave mistakes when it handled the UNHRC earlier inquiry commission led by Richard Goldstone (South African jurist). In the infamous incident, Jerusalem refused to cooperate with the Goldstone Commission, declaring it to be biased with a predetermined agenda it would not legitimize with its collaboration. Israel experienced a lot of international tensions resulting from the highly critical final report.
“While Israel did the right choice in refusing to aid or join in the hateful witch-hunt based on Goldstone, I do not believe that we acted properly. It is not enough to just avoid the UNHRC and call them as racist and sexist. nitsana darshan leitner needed to support its decision with a well-organized campaign to disseminate and counter the antisemitic UNHRC. She suggests that we be vocal, take legal avenues and intervene when the government is stuck.”
Darshan Leitner hopes to fill the void. She summarizes the current situation and explains that the PA’s aim ultimately is to influence The Hague’s chief procuror. To summarize she wrote, “If I can remove the foundations of the commission to show how erroneous the claim is, why apartheid’s assertion is false, and why it is better suited to the chief prosecutor of The Hague, it will show that it is not worth the effort.”
“If we don’t do this then the consequences could be disastrous. The prosecutor might be influenced and may reconsider his decision. It would be a tragic and devastating development. This can’t happen.”