The legal assault on Israel is gathering speed

Leaders of the assault against Israel's legitimacy need to reverse course.

anti israel in spain 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
anti israel in spain 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Although talk of peace, "two states for two peoples" and the "Arab League initiative" fill the lofty speeches of American and European leaders, the political war to delegitimize Israel is accelerating. Officials of the Arab League and the Palestinian Authority, working with powerful groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam, exploit the rhetoric of international law to brand Israeli defense against terror as "war crimes" and "collective punishment." As a result, talk of peace process continues to be a façade, demonstrating that the core ideology and objectives - the elimination of Jewish sovereignty and statehood - remain unchanged since 1947. The Gaza war that took place six months ago, like the 2006 Second Lebanon War, provided major platforms for accelerating political warfare against Israel. Erasing the context of Hamas rocket attacks, this coalition uses international frameworks to pursue a campaign of delegitimization. The UN Human Rights Council's Goldstone Commission, with a mandate that found Israel guilty before any "evidence" was gathered, is one example, and there are many more. These objectives unite the "moderates" and "radicals" who, on other issues, are bitter enemies. In theory, the PA, dominated by Yasser Arafat's old Fatah organization, is supposed to be the moderate wing and Israel's peace partner, while Hamas, which controls Gaza, is the militant Islamic terror group. But in campaigns to label Israel as an "apartheid state," Mahmoud Abbas' PA and Amr Mousa's Arab League are on the front lines. A PROMINENT example of this division of labor, and the façade of the peace process, is seen in the efforts to use the International Criminal Court as another front in which to attack Israel over Gaza. While standing in the ICC is supposedly limited to state parties, and the PA does not qualify, its leadership manipulated the system in filing a declaration aimed at opening a case against Israel. The ICC was created in 1998 ostensibly to deal with cases of genocide and crimes against humanity in instances where the national courts do not function, such as in Rwanda or in brutal military dictatorships. But like the NGOs and the UN's human rights frameworks, moral principles have been hijacked for ideological campaigns, particularly targeting Israel, which resisted calls to join the ICC precisely for this reason. On February 13, ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo met with PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki and Justice Minister Ali Khashan. The ICC's press release noted that "326 communications under Article 15" had been already submitted "by individuals and NGOs, related to the situation context of Israel and the Palestinian territories." In the months that followed, many more such "communications," primarily from NGOs that lead the anti-Israel campaigning, have been added to the file. The Arab League and Amnesty International have presented the ICC with unsubstantiated claims of Israeli war crimes. Such "research reports" consist of lengthy compilations from Palestinian "eyewitnesses," accompanied by pseudo-technical analysis with no methodology and no credibility. John Dugard, a virulent anti-Israel campaigner and recipient of the "Gaddafi Human Rights Prize," was its chairman. But Moreno-Ocampo has ignored such details, and on July 1, he published an article in The New York Times ("Impunity no more") which highlighted this bogus "first-ever fact-finding report on crimes committed in Gaza." Inadvertently exposing the moral absurdity, Moreno-Ocampo listed the Gaza campaign with instances of mass murder in Africa and similar examples. The role of the Arab League in delegitimizing Israel is central, and provides another reason that Israelis do not take the talk of peace and the various "initiatives" seriously. While exploiting the ICC to purse attacks against Israel, the Arab League rejected the court's decision to open proceedings against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir over the mass murder in Darfur. IN ADDITION, European governments, including the leaders of the European Union, such as foreign policy head Javier Solana (who wants the UN Security Council to impose a Palestinian state), have a major role in anti-peace campaigning. They provide the tens of millions of tax euros every year to radical NGOs that lead this process, under the façade of "partnerships for peace" and the "European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights." For example, the EU, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, and other governments fund the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (to its credit, the Ford Foundation has ceased support), which prepared the agenda and coordinated the "field visits" for the 254-page Arab League report. PCHR is a leader of anti-Israel lawfare in Spain and elsewhere, referring to the murder of Israeli civilians as acts of "resistance." Its reports list terrorists as civilians, including Nizar Rayan, a major Hamas terror leader who sent his own son to commit mass murder in a 2001 suicide bombing. By funding PCHR and dozens of similar groups that are responsible for this political warfare, European governments ensure the failure of their own policies. If the claims of seeking peace are to be taken seriously, the leaders of this assault against Israel's legitimacy through exploiting international law and human rights need to reverse course. This group includes the Arab League, the PA and European governments that facilitate this warfare in the media, the ICC and elsewhere. The writer is the executive director of and chairs the Political Science Department at Bar-Ilan University. Caroline B. Glick is away.