Q - Is it possible to bring Israeli war criminals to the international justice?
A - Are you kidding me? On which planet do you think you are?
In retrospect at the major events of the last hundred years, the following horrendous fact becomes very clear: from 1917 (British Balfour Declaration) until this moment, no other nation on planet earth has ever been subjected to so many atrocities on daily basis like the Palestinian nation. Paradoxically, even the European Jews themselves whose sons are ruling Israel today suffered only temporarily on the hands of Nazi authorities in Germany from 1935 to 1945, i.e. before and during the WW II.
Unfortunately, the recent 22-day Israeli massacres in Gaza strip from December 27, 2008 to January 17, 2009 may not be the last one. Despite the hermitic Israeli measures to prevent Western journalists from entering Gaza during the onslaught, using video footages, Webcams, voice-over-Internet massages, blog diaries, cell phones, and testimonies of some UN employees and Red Cross physicians, Palestinians managed to document and break up this extremely violent siege against Gaza.
Some people may argue that Israel is the only superpower in Arabic-Islamic region (Middle East), and USA is the ultimate superpower on earth. So far, no one could take any Israeli war criminals to a foreign court simply because they enjoy the unconditional protection of Americans. That is true.
Not only this, but interestingly enough, the Israeli government already started a new pre-emptive war against the entire world to intimidate those who will chase the Israeli war criminals. Accordingly, they assembled a so-called "legal team" against "Arab war criminals", and to demand compensations from Arabic countries. Yes, you can shake your head and chuckle sardonically. But for the sake of discussion we may say, let them do it, and if the freshly established permanent International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands, decides against some Palestinians so be it! However, the Israeli government media stunt is primarily designed for Israelis themselves and for the Western countries especially USA, because they know that the Arabs are meticulous record-keepers, directly affected by Israeli hostilities, and can only benefit from the Israeli step.
Furthermore, USA and NATO countries cannot provide cover-up for Israeli atrocities forever. A recent reminder may help: Who has ever thought that the mighty Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact would collapse in 1990? Who has thought that some despotic leaders like the President of East Germany, Erich Honecker, would be on the run abroad until he was arrested, brought to Germany to stand trial, and died of cancer during the process? Other examples are the German Nazi leaders at the courts of Nuremberg after the WW II, and the recent International Courts for Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Yugoslavia, and more newly for Congo (The first trial is on Monday, January 26, 2009). In all these cases, none of the leaders have ever thought of being brought to international justice during his lifetime.
Therefore, it is very likely; when many concerned countries, non-government organizations and UN organization coordinate with each other they can bring Israeli war criminals to justice. Maybe not this year, not the next year, but in ten years from now the circumstances will favour this huge humanitarian step, which may bring some comfort and delayed justice to the persecuted Palestinians.
Dr. Ali Alebadi is an Iraqi Writer based in Vancouver, Canada.