Tag Archives: Russell Tribunal

“Following Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip and the findings of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, I strongly demand that you conduct an urgent enquiry into the possibility that Israel is committing the crime of genocide.”

To: The UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide

Following Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip in summer 2014, and following the findings of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP), I strongly demand that you conduct an urgent enquiry into the possibility that Israel is committing the crime of genocide.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com) is an International People’s Tribunal created by a large group of citizens involved in the promotion of peace and justice in the Middle East, in the spirit of the International War Crimes Tribunal initiated by Lord Bertrand Russell and constituted in 1966 to investigate crimes committed in Vietnam and judge them according to international law.

The RToP sat in special session in September 2014 and heard testimony from witnesses to the onslaught on Gaza. Amongst its findings, published in full here (http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Summary-of-Findings.pdf), is this finding on the subject of genocide:

“28. The evidence received by the Tribunal demonstrates that the state of Israel is failing to respect its obligations to prevent and to punish the crime of direct and public incitement to genocide.”

According to the 1948 Genocide Convention, individuals who attempt or who incite to genocide ‘shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals’. The evidence submitted to the RToP points overwhelmingly in this direction and it is imperative that the UN to hold its own enquiry and, if coming to the same findings, to hold the state of Israel to account. Failure to do so is a betrayal of the principles on which the UN was originally founded.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Casey
Brussels
October 2014

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Richard Falk: Is Israel Guilty of Genocide in Its Assault on Gaza?

“The presence of genocidal behavior and language, even if used in government circles, is not by itself sufficient to conclude that Protective Edge, despite its enormity, amounted to the commission of the crime of genocide.

What the jury did agree upon, however, was that some Israeli citizens and leaders appear to have been guilty in several instances of the separate crime of incitement to genocide, which is specified in Article 3(c) of the Genocide Convention. It also agreed that the additional duty of Israel and other parties to prevent genocide, especially the United States and Europe, was definitely engaged by Israeli behavior. In this regard, the Russell Tribunal is sending an incriminating message of warning to Israel and an appeal to the UN and the international community to uphold the Genocide Convention, and to prevent any further behavior by Israel that would cross the line.”

 

Continue reading at http://www.thenation.com/article/181858/israel-guilty-genocide-its-assault-gaza#

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Watch: testimonies of atrocities in Gaza from the Russell Tribunal

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine convened an emergency session in Brussels last month to examine whether Israel committed war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip during “Operation Protective Edge,” the summertime military assault that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including more than 500 children, and left Gaza in ruins.

After hearing testimony from journalists, eyewitnesses, legal scholars and physicians present during the onslaught, the twelve-member jury, made up of world-renowned intellectuals and international law experts, found Israel guilty of “war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and also incitement to genocide…”

Taken together, the testimonies presented at the Russell Tribunal (all of which can be viewed here) demonstrate a clear pattern of intentional destruction of Gaza and its people by an increasingly extreme settler-colonial state “primed for genocide,” as Max Blumenthal put it.

Genocide does not happen overnight or in a vacuum. There are warning signs, many of which were raised at the Russell Tribunal.

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Richard Falk: “For genocide to enter into the discourse of the Palestinian movement is a bold development”

For the first time, Abbas raised the spectre of genocide: Israel was accused of a “new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people”. And while doing so, affirmed the Palestinian right of resistance against Israel’s occupation.

What may be most significant here is that the formal authority structure representing the Palestinian people on the global stage seemed to be in temporary sync with pro-Palestinian civil society activists around the world. For instance, the Russell Tribunal (RT) at an Extraordinary Session held in Brussels on September 24, focused on charges of genocide directed against Israel in connection with Protective Edge. RT found Israel guilty of the distinct crime of “incitement to genocide” under the 1948 Genocide Convention as well as aggravated crimes against humanity. The testimony at Brussels established strong circumstantial evidence of a genocidal intent on Israel’s part. Nevertheless, this evidence failed to convince the jury that Israel’s leaders possessed the specific intent required to establish the crime of genocide…

Continue reading at http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/10/israel-palestine-conflict-turn-w-20141056428427744.html

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Ronnie Kasrils: Gaza and the ‘crime of crimes’

“Millions of us in South Africa collectively recoiled from Israel’s gruesome assault on the people of Gaza during those 51 nightmarish days of “Operation Protective Edge” and the attendant ongoing cruelty in the West Bank. As the dust settled, we were left shocked beyond belief as we witnessed a community of 1.8 million in ruins; Khozaa, Shujaiyya, Beit Hanoun, with entire families and neighbourhoods, gone…

For the first time with regards to Israel and its’ actions in Gaza, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which I am proud to be a juror for, has examined the crime of genocide. As Professor John Dugard, another Tribunal Jurist explains: “The crime of genocide is the crime of crimes. Great care should be taken in considering it. Nevertheless Operation Protective Edge was of such gravity that the Russell Tribunal believes it is necessary to consider whether this crime has been committed.

Continue reading at http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/09/gaza-crime-crimes-201492664043551756.html

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Russell Tribunal Extraordinary Session on Gaza: “Risk of the Crime of Genocide Being Perpetrated”

 Previous sessions of the RToP have established that the Israeli state is implementing an apartheid system based on the dominance of Israeli Jews over Palestinians. Beyond the prolonged siege and collective punishment of the Palestinians of Gaza, the ongoing settlement project in the West Bank, and the now regular massive military assaults on the civilian population of the Gaza Strip, one must add the increase in aggravated racist hate speech. It is recognised that in a situation where patterns of crimes against humanity are perpetrated with impunity, and where direct and public incitement to genocide is manifest throughout society, it is very conceivable that individuals or the state may choose to exploit these conditions in order to perpetrate the crime of genocide. Alert to the increase in anti-Palestinian speech which constitutes the international crime of direct and public incitement to genocide, and the failure of the Israeli state to fulfil its obligations to prevent and punish incitement to genocide, the RToP is at this time compelled to place the international community on notice as to the risk of the crime of genocide being perpetrated. The jury has listened to alarming evidence over the course of this extraordinary session; we have a genuine fear that in an environment of impunity and an absence of sanction for serious and repeated criminality, the lessons from Rwanda and other mass atrocities may once again go unheeded.

Continue reading at http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/sessions/extraordinary-session-brussels/findings

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