Friday, 23 January 2009

Will Israel's Leaders Be Put Before a War Crimes Tribunal?

Details of what some suspected weeks ago are now beginning to emerge from Gaza. Yes, the Israeli regime has used 'illegal' weaponry in its war upon Gaza. James Caspell at La Lutte Continue! has reposted an al Jazeera article with the details of these, but i'll briefly summarise them here. Doctors are reporting that Israel has used Dense Inert Metal Explosives (Dime) weapons which explodes into tungsten dust - the metal in this may possibly be radioactive too. Amnesty International has also confirmed that it believes that the Israeli army has used white phosphorus weapons too, it basically causes really, really bad burns and is very difficult to put out.
Yet despite the clamouring of many around the world for the Israeli government/army to be tried for use of these inhumane weapons on civilians, will this actually happen?

Well Israel isn't a part of the treaty that created the International Criminal Court and Gaza isn't officialy classed as a state, so its unlikely that route would be used. Yet it could potentially be possible to create some sort of special tribunal like was done for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
But the problem is Israel (and it's US backers) are hardly likely to let anyone be tried. In general, people only face war crimes tribunals if they have a) lost power and b) lost internal or international support. The current Israeli government hasn't done either at the present. And if it were to lose the upcoming Israeli elections, it would be to a party further to the right of it, who would hardly likely to give them up of their own accord.
That said, it is theoretically possible that a new government may give up other people if it is put under a lot of pressure - both internationally, but crucially within Israel itself. It may choose to scapegoat them for a crisis it gets itself into at a future point. But as it stands I would say it is highly unlikely at present.


Bent Society said...

Good points. Israel has completely got out of control in Gaza.

The USA has war criminals who masacred civilians in Vietnam and Briish started the concentration camp vogue in the Boar War. All could be tried by a show shadow tribunal. Made up of who though?

Who would be chief justice in a dream team tribunal? How about Michael Mansfield QC?

Renegade Eye said...

Tribunals are for losers of wars. Contrary to Hamas, Israel is in the driver's seat.