Michael Riordon

the view from where I live


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“Crimes against humanity”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is notoriously fearful of scolding Israel, even as it commits overt war crimes.  But he was sufficiently shocked by Israel’s August 3 bombing of a UN-run school in Gaza (the 6th attack by Israel on a Gaza school) to call it a “moral outrage and a criminal act”.  He confirmed that Israel had been “repeatedly informed of the location of these sites.”  UN schools are designated safe areas for people fleeing Israeli attacks.  An estimated 10 people died in the latest school bombing.

Calling the attack a “gross violation of international humanitarian law,” the UN Secretary General demanded that those responsible be held to account.  More detail here.

International legal authority Michael Ratner puts these charges in a longer perspective. President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, based in New York, and Chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, based in Berlin, he explained in a July 27 interview:

“These killings are part of a broader set of inhuman acts by Israel constituting international crimes, carried out by Israel over many years, going back to at least 1947 and 1948.  They include crimes that aren’t talked about that much in the media or the press, the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and apartheid.  These crimes can be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court.”  The interview is here.

All attempts to prosecute Israel for war crimes have been blocked for decades, primarily by the United States, to ensure that Israel enjoys the same blanket impunity from international law that the US assumes for itself.

After Israel’s 2014 invasion of Gaza, the same could happen again.  And again.

Or not.