Nitsana Darshan-Leitner discusses the issues Israel will face in the coming weeks with the United Nations while sitting in the Tel Aviv offices of Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center.
Her serene, almost tranquil appearance is a stark contrast to the fierce opposition Israel is likely to confront from the UN Human Rights Council as well as 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 all alleged violations of international human rights law, as well as all allegations of violations and violations of international human rights law up to and from April 13th, 2021.”
Although Israel was the investigation of the UN in the past it is obvious that this investigation was designed to go on and probe Israel and its IDF. It was not given the date of expiration.
Darshan-Leitner , the founder of Shurat HaDin 2003, explains that “the UN Human Rights Council investigation does not come out from the air.” “It’s closely linked to the instances of the International Court of Justice (The Hague).
https://israellawcenter.org/ The 1998 Rome Statute created the ICC. The court has the authority to prosecute individuals for crimes like genocide or crimes against humanity. Israel and the US, and many others haven’t signed the statute and have not ratified the statute. This means they are not legally bound or obligation to comply with the decisions of the ICC.
Fatou Bensouda (the ICC prosecutor at The Hague) announced in March 2021 that she will start a war crimes probe against Israel and Hamas.
An International Court decision against Israel could have important ramifications. The majority of European and Scandinavian countries have joined the court and legally bound to follow the court’s rulings. If the ICC was to decide that IDF soldiers were guilty of war crimes and/or crimes against humanity, any Israeli who was a part of IDF military operations and who happen to travel to countries that have been deemed members of the court, like Canada, Australia and New Zealand – could be subject to arrest. The Jewish state as well as its banking industry may be hit with harsh economic sanctions.
Israel may also be exposed to other dangers, including sanctions or embargoes on weaponry. El Al, or other Israeli carriers, could be prohibited from operating in certain countries.
Bensouda’s tenure as prosecutor ended in June 2021. He was replaced by Karim Khan, an experienced British barrister. Bensouda was able to inherit 14 investigations, which included eight active investigations. The new prosecutor was able to inherit them all. Darshan Leitner explained to the Palestinians that he classified cases on his docket as “in planning stage”, which is politely to say that the accusations are not urgent or of sufficient merit.
Darshan Leitner declares that Darshan Leitner says that this “frustrated the Palestinian Authority”. “They could not understand why their immense efforts to get the prosecutor to open an investigation are not working.”
The PA demanded that a commission be established within the International Court of Justice. This would permit Karim Khan, who was unable to take the PA’s suggestion to restart ICC investigations against Israel, to change his mind.
Darshan Leitner says that Israel has been accused of discrimination and war crimes since the time of his interview. Amnesty International released a report in February which accused Israel of discrimination against its own citizens inside and outside the Green Line. The report stated that Israel “has created and maintained an oppression system against Palestinians” and accused Israel with racial division of Palestinians beginning in 1948.
Darshan Leitner states that the Palestinian claims against Israel at International Criminal Court are focused on two specific areas. The IDF military operations and the issue of Israeli settlements. Both of these areas they claim constitute war crimes.
Karim Khan is being pressured by the Palestinians and the ICC prosecutor to prioritize the investigation of Israel under “apartheid”, a new charge. This is not the case that Bensouda investigated in his preliminary investigation. However, they consider “whatever leads to these investigations legitimate, and it doesn’t really matter whether it’s true or if it’s real,” she states.
KARIM KHAN, new ICC prosecutor. (Credit: Michael Kooren/Reuters)
The latest attempt of the Palestinians to convince the tribunal at The Hague is the UN’s three-member commission of inquiry which is headed by Navi Pillay from South Africa, and which comprises Miloon Kothari (India) and Chris Sidoti (Australia).
Darshan Leitner writes that Pillay Kothari (and Sidoti) are known for their prejudices toward Israel. “Pillay herself has already accused Israel of apartheid, and she was the guiding force behind the infamous antisemitic Durban conferences. The rest of the group is not far behind.”
From February 28 through April 1, the UN Human Rights Council’s 49th session (HRC49), will be held in Geneva at the Geneva office.
The session’s most significant draw will likely be the report of the commission of investigation regarding Operation Guardian of the Walls. This refers to the Israeli operation that took place in Gaza in response to the Hamas missiles that were launched at Israel in the month of May 2021. This session will be a time when Israel being accused of war crimes as well apartheid and crimes against humanity.
Shurat Hadin Darshan Leitner stated that the State of Israel would not participate or be a part of the inquiry commission. Shurat HaDin, however can’t afford to overlook the accusations that could be made by this inquiry.
Darshan Leitner says that “there are two options to stop the Pillay committee.” The first is the substantive one, which rebuts the accusations of apartheid. The personal perspective is based on members lacking impartiality.
She claims that her prior experiences show that ShurathaDin and others will not be able to convince Israel-haters who are already uneasy about Israel.
She proposes that Shurat HaDin will instead show that all the members of the commission of inquiry are biased against Israel and that the UN is willing to sacrifice its core values as fairness, fairness and perception of fairness to delegitimize Israel.
Darshan Leitner: “We are going start a campaign that calls for the resignation of every COI members.” “We are going to organize mass petitions and take legal action against the COI as well as its members and anyone that helps this committee.”
Shurat HaDin also plans to show that the PA and not Israel are the real violations of human rights. “We are going scan their legislation and draw out what we knowabout discrimination towards women, children and those belonging to the LGBTQ community, as well as their flawed system of law. Are you aware that a person can legally rape his spouse in accordance with PA law? Marital rape is not an offense under their ‘advanced human-rights-friendly’ legislation.
“This is only one of the examples of the UN’s champions of human rights they are keen to help. While they are able to accuse Israel – a true democracy – of apartheid, they promote a tyranny, that hasn’t held elections for 15 years, and which systematically abuses the rights of its own population.”
Darshan-Leitner says that Shurat HaDin will also reveal to the world the way minorities are treated within Gaza and the PA and Gaza.”The fate of Christians in the PA territories as well as Gaza is sealed,” she asserts. Their numbers are decreasing. Islamic extremists who call for murder ‘infidels’, who are no better than ISIS numbers are increasing.”
Shurat haDin leader believes that Israel committed a grave error when it dealt with the UNHRC earlier commission of inquiry which was headed by Richard Goldstone (South African jurist). In the infamous incident, Jerusalem refused to cooperate with the Goldstone Commission, declaring it as a biased organization with a set agenda could not be legitimized by its collaboration. nitsana darshan leitner Israel suffered a lot from the negative final report’s fallout.
“While I fully agree that Israel was in the right to not cooperating with the hateful Goldstone witch hunting, I don’t believe we played our cards very effectively. It doesn’t suffice just to ignore UNHRC members and call that they are haters and discriminatory. https://langlois.catalog.coastlinelibraries.org/Author/Home/?author=%22Darshan-Leitner%2C+Nitsana%22 It was necessary for the government to add to the decision by running a well-organized and proactive campaign to spread their own narrative and counterattack against the antisemitic UNHRC. She says we can be vocal, take action and take legal action in instances where the government has its hands bound.”
Darshan Leitner is hoping to fill the void. She summarizes the current situation and states that the PA’s ultimate goal is to influence The Hague’s chief prosecutor. Therefore, “if I can uproot the foundation of the commission to show how misguided it is, and how the argument of apartheid is wrong and more suited to the PA, it will show that the commission is devoid of worth.
nitsana darshan leitner “If we don’t take this step then the consequences will be negative. The prosecutor may be influenced to alter his opinion. nitsana darshan leitner This would be a catastrophe for the prosecution and could be a significant game changer. This cannot be allowed to happen.”