Friday, January 2, 2009

A very interesting idea: sue the bastards!

There is an interesting idea being floated around by the Iranian government and other circles. The idea is to sue Israel and/or Israeli leader for war crimes, crimes against humanity and even genocide. Sounds silly? Think again.

It all began when the government of Iran asked the ICC to issue warrants for the arrest of Israeli leaders. Soon thereafter a US professor, Francis Anthony Boyle, has offered the Iranian President a plan according to which he would open a legal case against Israel. Boyle has interesting views on this topic (see his article about the legal basis for prosecution) and his offer could do something very useful: internationalize the effort to sue the Israelis.

I find this very interesting. First, it shows that Iran is willing to actually do something to help the Palestinians (proving the Iran bashers wrong, yet again). Second, while the actual probability of seeing Olmert or Livni sitting next to Karadzic in the Hague is remote, there is a huge potential for all sorts of legal headaches for the Israeli leaders in their travels. Think about it, literally any judge in any country might issue an arrest warrant for any Israeli leader (even without an ICC warrant, by the way). Of course, the vast majority governments of the world will immediately bail out any Isareli official in trouble (after all, who would dare alienate the USraelian Empire?), but still - imagine the embarrasment. Thirdly, with the USraelien Empire in decline there just might be a country where such an arrest would "stick" and where the charge would actually go to a court (remember Pinochet).

Lastly, this example shows that there are things a government can do to help the Palestinians short of declaring a war on Israel. The fact that *all* the Arab governments are simply "sitting on their hands" is not due the a lack of options but to a shameful lack of will and care.