Netanyahu Vows to Block Any War Crimes Trial of Israeli Official

225px-BenjaminNetanyahu125px-flag_of_the_united_nationssvgIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed not to allow any Israelis to stand trial for war crimes even if demanded by the United Nations or world court. It is a position that defies the entire basis of international legal process created by the Nuremberg Tribunals since no country has a right to determine its own innocence. As previously noted, the Goldstone Commission found credible evidence of war crimes in the Gaza campaign.

With Netanyahu’s announcement, both Israel and the United States are now blocking war crimes investigations of their own officials.

Netanyahu simply dismissed the position of the United Nations commission and insisted that “[t]he truth is exactly the opposite. Israel’s leaders and its army are those who defended the citizens of Israel from war criminals.”

Many of us agree that Israel had a right to defend itself against attacks by Hamas. However, Israel and the United States are undermining the legacy of Nuremberg as little more than “victor’s justice” when they refuse to submit to such investigations or prosecutions. Every nation accused of such crimes from Nazi Germany to Japan to Serbia have denied the allegations, but have been forced to cooperate in the adjudication of the claims. The most fundamental premise of international law is that countries must yield to such independent adjudication. The fact is that much of the findings concerned not Israel’s right to defend itself but how it carried out the invasion, including the use of prohibited weapons and tactics. I do not have an inkling of the truth of these allegations but that is the point of an international tribunals when there are such allegations of the violation of international law.

Simply calling the Goldstone report “a kangaroo court against Israel,” as does Netanyahu, only unilaterally claims the right to refuse to comply with international agreement and international law when you claim innocence. With Israel threatening an attack on Iran and demanding an international investigation of that country, it can hardly afford to put itself at odds with the very foundation of international law.

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13 thoughts on “Netanyahu Vows to Block Any War Crimes Trial of Israeli Official

  1. And I’m sure Netanyahu will be citing from the sacred texts of “The Law According to Bush & Cheney” in his defense.

  2. JT,

    I’m sure you’re aware that any discussion on this topic risks someone invoking a tu quo que argument, i.e. who is the United States to judge anyone for war crimes after its fraudulently based invasion of Iraq–a crime so obvious that Vincent Bugliosi was able to side step the anemic international law arguments and made a sound domestic case against Bush for murder. Nonetheless, while the tu quo que argument (do as I say not as I do) is an informal fallacy, I don’t think the average reader is aware of it; much like a large percentage of people still believe Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.

    Again, while I may completely agree with your commentary above, you may want to bolster it with a preemptive strike against the tu quo que fallacy; e.g. a preface explaining how the truth of the matters asserted against Israel are in no way affected by the claim that the United States has ‘acted badly too.’

  3. This is truly disturbing. Our highest political leaders are completely untethered from the rule of law. They simply refuse to comply. It’s quite amazing when you think about it. It’s even more dangerous than amazing. Because we are silent, they will prevail. As far as I can tell both countries have only one impediment; China. If China pulls the money they can crush us like a bug. We’ll be taking Israel with us. I believe this is the only reason both countries have not already bombed Iran.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that living with the fantasy vision of Obama as a man of peace who can do no wrong is so utterly and completely dangerous, it will bring this nation down. Both country’s leaders are absolutely corrupt. I am hoping both country’s citizens will demand the rule of law be restored. It will not be only the US and Israel who will rue Israel’s action, but much of the rest of the world as well.

  4. Many of us agree that Israel had a right to defend itself against attacks by Hamas. However, Israel and the United States are undermining the legacy of Nuremberg as little more than ‘victor’s justice’ when they refuse to submit to such investigations or prosecutions.

    Interesting. That is what Gen. Curtis LeMay told Robert McNamara about WWII fire bombing of hundreds of thousand of civilians.

    In the Fog of War McNamara intimates that LeMay said the reason you and I are not war criminals is because we won the war.

    Victor’s justice indeed.

    If the Obama Administration does not prosecute Bush II officials for war crimes, then a new era has emerged.

    It is the era of Big Brother might makes right and makes victor’s justice … certainly the ideology of the NAZI SS.

  5. rafflaw 1, October 12, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Is Netanyahu from Texas?
    ****************

    Why of course he is, isn’t Israel not just a little bit south of the red river?

    New comment:

    I do have one question to ponder? Was not Portugal, the Dutch, France, Spain etc world leaders at one time?

    Q: Where in the chronology of world history does Israel and the US expect to be in 50 years?

  6. Bob,Esq:

    “Again, while I may completely agree with your commentary above, you may want to bolster it with a preemptive strike against the tu quo que fallacy;”

    *********************

    Tu quo que is indeed an informal fallacy and the conduct of the speaker shouldn’t have any effect on his assertion or its validity but alas we are not all strict logicians and most humans still revile hypocrites despite the Latin phrase permitting them to opine.

  7. Mr. Netanyahu recognizes that he can assert his defiance with the confidence of knowing that the U.S. will support his position. Of course, his political positions are not in the long-term best interest of Israel or the United States.

  8. I think there are some larger issues that need scrutiny.
    American and Israeli exceptionalism is begining to sound more and more like ‘terminal uniqueness’, a malady that commonly affects alcoholics and drug addicts. Because the addict feels absolutely misunderstood and unappreciated,she has no choice but to continue living a fantasy that eventually destroys her and brings misery and suffering to all who are dear or near. It is an epic tragedy.

  9. Mespo: “Tu quo que is indeed an informal fallacy and the conduct of the speaker shouldn’t have any effect on his assertion or its validity but alas we are not all strict logicians and most humans still revile hypocrites despite the Latin phrase permitting them to opine.”

    True. But it’s equally important not to allow pundits to spin issues out of existence through the use of such fallacies.

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