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The Tel Aviv offices of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center on a sunny Sunday afternoon Nitsana Darshan-Leitner outlines the problems that the State of Israel will be facing from the United Nations in the coming weeks.

Her calm and serene manner of speaking is in stark contrast to the ferocious protests Israel has to face in the UN Human Rights Council (COI) and the three-member Commission of Inquiry [COI] which was given the task by the UN to investigate “in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem all allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and any alleged violations of international law relating to human rights up to and after April 13 2021.”

Although Israel has been the subject of UN investigations in the past it is noteworthy that the present UN investigation is ongoing and continues to investigate Israel as well as the IDF. The mandate of the commission did not have an end date.

Darshan-Leitner established Shurat HaDin in 2003. “The UN Human Rights Council inquiry is not coming out by itself,” she explains. “It’s linked to the ongoing proceeding of the International Court of Justice (The Hague).

In 1998 the Rome Statute established the ICC. The court is authorized by the Rome Statute to pursue people who have been found guilty of genocide crimes or crimes against mankind, and also the crime of aggression. Israel initially supported the establishment of an international court. However there was concern that this court might be employed against Israel. Israel, the US and a host of other nations have neither signed nor ratified the statute , and therefore aren’t under any legal obligation to adhere to the ICC’s decisions.

Fatou Bensouda was the ICC prosecutor in The Hague and announced in March 2021 that she would be starting a war crimes investigation against Israel.

A International Court decision against Israel could have significant ramifications. The majority of European and Scandinavian members of the court are legally bound by its rulings. Anyone Israeli soldier serving in IDF actions that involved violations of the law could be found to be responsible if ICC determines that they violated the law. aviel darshan leitner and its banking industry may be hit with harsh economic sanctions.

Israel might be a target for sanctions, weapons embargoes as well as boycotts. El Al and other Israeli transporters might not be allowed to operate in certain countries, as an example.

Bensouda’s tenure as prosecutor ended in June 2021. He was replaced by Karim Khan who is a British barrister. Bensouda’s fourteen investigations with eight of them active, were handed over to the prosecutor who was appointed. Darshan Leitner explained how to the astonishment of Palestinians, he classified the cases on the dockets of his court as “in preparation stage”. This was a polite way of describing the cases were not of sufficient merit or urgency to warrant the court’s attention.

Darshan Leitner: “This upset the Palestinian Authority.” “They were unable to understand why their huge efforts to convince the prosecution to launch an investigation were blocked.”

The PA demanded the creation of a commission at the International Court of Justice in September 2021. aviel darshan leitner was to encourage Karim Khan to reconsider his opinion about the ICC’s investigation into Israel.

Darshan Leitner declares that Israel was in the eyes of the PA of war crimes, apartheid and other crimes. The Amnesty International report, released in early February it claimed Israel of apartheid behavior within and beyond the Green Line. The report stated that Israel “has constructed and sustained an oppression institution against Palestinians” and also charged Israel with racial division of Palestinians from 1948.

Darshan Leitner claims that Palestinian complaints against Israel at the International Criminal Court have focused on two specific areas: IDF military operations and the issue of Israeli settlements, which they say are war crimes.

Karim Khan (the ICC prosecutor) is being called upon by Palestinians for Israel to be probed under the “apartheid” charge. This new accusation was not included in the preliminary investigation Bensouda carried out. However, they consider “whatever is causing these investigations to go on legitimate, and it does not matter which one it is or whether it’s real,” she states.

KARIM KHAN, new ICC prosecutor. (Credit: Michael Kooren/Reuters)
The third-member inquiry committee of the UN, which is headed by Navi Pillay from South Africa and includes Miloon Kothari from Australia and Chris Sidoti, is the latest attempt by Palestinians to convince The Hague court.

Darshan Leitner reports that Pillay Kothari (and Sidoti) are well-known for their biases in favor of Israel. “Pillay is a known as an apartheid victim. She has also been accused of accusing Israel of apartheid. “The other people are following the footsteps of these leaders.”

The 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC49) will be held at the office of HRC49 in Geneva from February 28 until April 1.

It is anticipated that the primary focus of the session will be the report the inquiry commission will release about Operation Guardian of the Walls The Israeli operation in Gaza which took place in the month of May 2021, in response to the missiles that Hamas launched at Israel. During this session, Israel will likely be accused of war crimes and apartheid aswell in crimes against humanity.

Darshan Leitner declares that while the State of Israel won’t cooperate or be a part of the inquiry commission, Shurat HaDin can’t sit still and ignore the allegations which will be made by the inquiry commission. explained that there are two major alternatives to counter the Pillay panel. “The first is the substantive answer – answering the allegations of apartheid. The personal angle is based on the members’ lack of impartiality.

The past experience, she states her experience, suggests that it’s highly unlikely that Shurat HaDin or any other person, in particular will be able convince those who are already negative about Israel to change their minds.

Shurat Haidin suggests that Shurat Hadin is more interested in illustrating that all members of the commission of inquiry are biased toward Israel and that the UN will abandon its fundamental values and notion of fairness to delegitimize Israel.

Darshan Leitner states, “We will launch a campaign to demand the resignation of all COI members.” “We will launch a mass petition against the COI and its members and anyone else who assists this committee,” Darshan Leitner stated.

Shurat HaDin, on the contrary, will attempt to prove that the PA is the main violation of human rights. “We will go through their legislation to see what we can discover – discrimination against women, children and the LGBTQ community as well their ineffective legal system. Do you know that an PA law permits one to legally rape a woman? Marital rape is not an offense under their ‘advanced human-rights-friendly’ legislation.

This is only one of the many instances of the UN’s “champions of human rights” who are determined to help. They accuse Israel which is a genuine democracy, of being an apartheid state. They also back an oppressive regime that hasn’t had elections for over fifteen years and frequently violates human rights the citizens of its own.

Darshan Leitner said that Shurat Hasina is also going to expose the world to the inhumane discrimination against minorities in Gaza and Gaza, the PA territories, and Gaza. The number of Christians in the PA is decreasing. Islamic extremists who demand the massacre of ‘infidels’ they are just as bad than ISIS numbers are increasing is an Islamic extremists.

Shurat HaDin’s chief believes Israel has made a number of mistakes in the handling of a UNHRC-previous commission of inquiry in 2009 headed by Richard Goldstone, South African jurist. Jerusalem did not cooperate in that notorious episode in the Goldstone Commission. It claimed that it was biased that had an agenda that was predetermined and would not allow it to legitimize its cooperation. The fallout from the harshly critical final report, however it caused a lot of tensions in the international political arena for Israel.

“While I firmly believe that Israel was correct in refusing to cooperate or facilitate the vile Goldstone witch hunt, I do not believe we played our cards well. It’s not enough to simply ignore UNHRC and label them as prejudiced or hateful. The government had to complement its decision with an planned and well-organized campaign to disseminate the government’s story and counterattack the antisemitic UNHRC. We can take action, voice our opinions and take legal recourses in situations in which the hands of the government are essentially tied,” she says.

Darshan Leitner hopes to fill that void. She summarises the present situation and says that the purpose of the PA is to influence The Hague’s Chief Prosecutor. Thus, “if I can uproot the foundation of the commission to expose how erroneous it is, as well as how the notion of apartheid is wrong and more suited to the PA, it will show that the commission is devoid of worth.

“If this is not done the way it should, it will lead to negative outcomes. The prosecutor might be affected by the prospect of changing his decision. It would be a tragedy for the prosecution, and could be a significant game changer. It cannot be allowed to happen.”