- Video: The Other Side: The Jews of Judea and Samaria, Part 1
- What makes it news?
- Yet Another Critique Of The Goldstone Report--How The UN And Goldstone Ignored International Law
Posted: 09 Aug 2010 04:00 AM PDT
http://daledamos.blogspot.comFrom the YouTube page:
The media invariably portrays the Jewish citizens of communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) as fanatics and intolerant bigots. Yet no one really talks to them to see how they really are and what they really think. This series intends to find out who these "settlers" are, why they choose to live there, and what their aspirations and fears are.
by Daled Amos
Posted: 09 Aug 2010 03:56 AM PDT
In the two weeks following the flotilla incident, the New York Times published 19 stories. Since the clash at the Israel-Lebanese border last week, there have been 8 stories in the Times about "Lebanon." Only two of them, though, have been about attack against the IDF position. The second and final story on the topic was titled:
U.N. Supports Israeli Account of Border Clash
Now we could claim that now the story is over. But is it?
During a meeting with IDF and UNIFIL representatives at the Naqoura crossing Wednesday night, a senior Lebanese army officer said Tuesday's deadly border incident was initiated by Lebanese soldiers as part of a general policy and was by no means an "isolated incident."
Furhtermore UNIFIL is reported to have beenn fully complicit in the attack.
We have evidence that a country considered an ally by the United States (and is being armed by the United States) is being taken over by an Iranian client and that the UN whom we depend on to keep the peace is abetting the process. Why is this not news?
My guess, once there was no point to blaming Israel, it ceased being news.
Posted: 09 Aug 2010 03:51 AM PDT
True, Goldstone and his friends will continue to ignore the criticisms of the Goldstone Report, just as they have claim that such criticisms do not even exist.
But they do.
In The Goldstone Report and International Law, Peter Berkowitz, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, writes that aside from the bias of the Goldstone Report, the emphasis of the criticisms of the report have focused on the mistakes in both the factual and legal findings of the report--
Factual Errors In The Goldstone Report
Berkowitz notes that in Israel's updated response in January, factual errors in the Goldstone Report were exposed, among them:
And as Berkowitz points out--if the fact-finding is faulty, then the legal findings which are based upon them are questionable as well.
The Goldstone Report--and UN Human Rights Council--Overstepped Their Authority
Progressing to the legal foundations of the Goldstone Report, Berkowitz points out that the UN Human Rights Council, as a subsidiary of the UN General Assembly, overstepped its authority in establishing the Goldstone Committee.
According to Article 24 of the UN Charter the Security Council has "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security."
On the other hand, the role of the General Assembly is limited to issues of international peace and security. According to Article 10
Here is the exception to the authority of the General Assembly as outlined by Article 12:
The point is that the Security Council never asked the General Assembly for its recommendations--so when both the General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council endorsed the recommendations of the Goldstone Report, they contravened Article 12 of the UN Charter. Likewise, recommendations and resolutions that came out of the UNHRC during the conflict were all made without authority.
In fact, the recommendations of the Goldstone Report itself contravene Article 12 as well--a problem that Goldstone himself saw and attempted to sidestep:
The question of the legality of the conduct of the operation is inexorably tied with the factors that went into the decision to execute the operation in the first place.
On the other hand, there is the claim that Article 12 is no longer observed and that this would not be the first time that the GA has given recommendations that it was not technically authorized to make:
In response, Berkowitz notes that even if the ICJ argument had merit, the fact is that the Goldstone Report explicitly went beyond the "humanitarian, social and economic aspects" because its mandate directed it to go beyond violations human rights to include violations of international humanitarian law--ie the international law of armed conflict.
Goldstone Report Interfered With Israel's Jurisdiction
A second principle of international law that the Goldstone Report contravened was the principal of deference, which assigns to countries the responsibility to carry out themselves the investigations into allegations of war crimes, as well as to prosecute and punish where required. This is clearly stated in Article 2 of the UN Charter:
Even granting that this is not an unconditional blank check, the states are initially assumed to be competent to carry on such investigations.
In the case of Operation Cast Lead, the UNHRC failed to apply deference--going so far as to prematurely calling for an independent investigation of Israel while the conflict was still going on.
Goldstone Report Misunderstands The Role of the International Criminal Court
Going a step further, the Goldstone errs in the role of the International Criminal Court by recommending that Israel be referred to that court in the event that it does not apply the report's demands. According to Berkowitz, the kinds of cases reserved for the ICC are "the most heinous and enormous, the kind of crimes, that is, whose very commission implies that state courts are unable or unwilling to investigate or prosecute."
Thus when he was sworn in on June 16, 2003, Ocampo said:
The Court is complementary to national systems. This means that whenever there is genuine State action, the Court cannot and will not intervene.
But States not only have the right, but also the primary responsibility to prevent, control and prosecute atrocities. Complementarity protects national sovereignty and at the same time promotes state action.
...They continue to bear primary responsibility for investigating and prosecuting the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, and we are confident that they will make every effort to carry out their duties.
The real world exceptions to this principle of deference were the ad hoc tribunals for the former countries of Yugoslavia and Rwanda during the 1990s. The internal conflict and civic breakdown made external tribunals necessary. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda were necessary because the civil war and massive killing either overwhelmed the national governments or were evidence that the governments were unwilling to conduct the required prosecutions--unlike Israel's whose judicial system.
What Should Have Been Done
Berkowitz notes that by the same token, this does not mean that international bodies had to wait patienty until Israel was completely finished with its investigation and prosecutions.
If only the UN--and Goldstone--had shown such respect and deference for a country's rights.
The article concludes with the thought that many of those who support the Goldstone Report are motivated by an idealized view of international law.
Be that as it may, can the errors of the Goldstone Report be addressed--and can similar mistakes be prevented in the future?
by Daled Amos
|You are subscribed to email updates from Soccer Dad |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|