a different side of Israel

Tag: War Crimes

Israel Goes to College

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was giving a talk at England’s Oxford University on Monday night, hosted by the university’s Student Union, when a student began shouting,

“Itbah Al-Yahud”

…Ayalon knew what it meant…it means “kill the Jews.”

“Our policy is always to await the outcome of police investigations where criminal offences are alleged, and to look at any internal disciplinary process after the police have finished their investigation,”

an Oxford University spokesperson said,

“So we will await the outcome. We abhor racism but obviously now this is in police hands we cannot comment on the individual case.”

Ayalon was not so much intimidated as he was sickened, he said:

“This demonstrates our new policy on hatred and racism and we will have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, something that should have happened a long time ago.”

Throughout his lecture, Ayalon was heckled with accusations of “war crimes” and racism. Another student carrying a Palestinian flag attempted to approach the speaker’s platform and was led out by security staff.

At a demonstration outside the lecture hall, Oxford’s Palestine Society protesters chanted

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Ashley Perry, Ayalon’s media adviser said:

“Comments like these show proof that the narrative on campuses have been hijacked by those who have a hatred for not only Israel but also Jews…The event also proved that if the Israeli narrative is explained in a calm matter, as the deputy minister did, we can increase understanding among those who have not ever been exposed to another narrative.”

Meanwhile, also on Monday night, this time at the University of California in Irvine, roughly 100 arab students tried to disturb a speech being given by Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the United States.

Oren is touring the West Coast giving lectures, and he decided to visit Irvine despite the fact that the local campus is considered hostile to Israel.

Two groups of some fifty students gathered on either end of the lecture hall, which contained 700 people. Shortly after Oren began speaking, the arab students got up and begin their verbal assault.

One student cried,

“Michael Oren! Propagating murder is not an expression of free speech!”

The man’s yelling was followed by heavy applause and objections.
Once every few seconds a student would stand up in one of the corners of the hall and shout:

“I accuse you of murder”


“How many Palestinians have you killed?”


“Israel is a murderer”.

Oren had difficulty continuing his speech, and left to the next room while local police officers entered the hall and detained 10 students; he then came back and stated

“this is not Tehran,”

before continuing his speech.
Professor Mark P. Petracca, Direct of the University’s Political Science department, told the protesters:

“This is beyond embarrassing…this is no way for our undergraduate students to behave. We have an opportunity to hear from a policy maker relevant to one of the most important issues facing this planet and you are preventing not only yourself from hearing him but hundreds of other people in this room and hundreds of other people in an overflow room. Shame on you! This is not an example of free speech.”

Several months ago an event was held at UC Irvine, with the participation of British Parliament member, George Galloway, a prominent pro-Palestinian activist, in which donations were collected for Hamas.
The local Muslim Students Union at Irvine is under federal investigation, on suspicion of gathering funds for terror activity.

Goldstone Indicted a Fictional Character of War Crimes in the Past

Richard GoldstoneIt seems that Judge Richard Goldstone – the selfsame jurist in charge of the Goldstone Report accusing the IDF of “war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity” in Gaza this past winter – indicted a fictional Serbian character for war crimes back in 1995.

While we all know that fictional characters can often be really really bad and evil, indicting them as part of an international criminal tribunal is perhaps taking it a bit too far. And is the step from indicting fictional characters to indicting real people for fictional crimes really that big of a leap?

So the story goes, as first reported by Makor Rishon newspaper in Israel, that back when Yugoslavia was breaking up, Goldstone presented an indictment of several Serbs for crimes against humanity. Among those was a man named Gruban, with a silhouette for a picture, charged with raping Muslim prisoners in a Serbian concentration camp. The witness to these crimes was supposedly “Witness F,” who claimed to suffer at the hands of Gruban.

As the picture of Gruban’s silhouette was distributed, all of his details – including description, father’s name, location, and age, were listed as “unknown.” Later identified as Gruban Malic, he was found to have been a fictional character from a Serbian World War II novel called Hero on a Donkey.

The hoax began because some American journalist really, really wanted to see a real live war criminal. So a Yugoslavian war correspondent who probably read Hero on a Donkey, told the journalist about Gruban Malic, likely trying to get the journalist off his back, or simply pulling his leg. He later wrote his own book, Hero on a Donkey Goes to The Hague, capitalizing on the fascination with the silhouetted war criminal with no known description, and how his comment to an American Journalist took off suddenly into an indictment.

The charges were dropped in 1998 for lack of evidence. (Note: Not lack of reality though.) I wonder when the charges against Israel will be dropped as well. Does it even matter?

War Crimes Lawsuit Filed Against Barak

Ehud BarakIt seems our Defense Minister may find himself in a bit of a legal pickle for his alleged “war crimes” committed in Gaza in December/January when he decided enough was enough and Hamas should stop firing rockets at Israel already. A lawyer representing Palestinian families apparently asked a London court to order the arrest of Ehud Barak on suspicion of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. Barak was urged by government officials in Israel to leave Britain immediately. But like a man, he stayed, instead of running away at the threats. As I type this, he is still there, and we don’t know exactly what will happen.

When I heard this, my mind moved right to Ahmadenijad and Gaddafi as they twaddled around New York, the latter actually looking for a place to pitch his tent. Nobody would let him, thank God, and he had to spend the night in the Lybian embassy without a tent, poor soul. Why doesn’t anybody arrest THESE people on suspicion of war crimes? I’d say bombing a plane full of civilians counts, or seeking nuclear weapons maybe? How about just being a dictator? Why doesn’t that count for anything anymore?

The argument Israel is planning to make is that Barak, as an official in the Israel government, has diplomatic immunity, which means even if he WERE a war criminal, they can’t really touch him. But the secret is this. This doesn’t really have to do with legal issues, whether he has immunity or not, or whether he is actually a war criminal. It has to do with, yes, Anti Semitism. If they really want to prosecute Barak, believe me, they’ll find a way to do it.

In my opinion, Israel shouldn’t make any legal arguments to anyone besides the following one: “Be quiet and leave me alone.”

And who wants to even think about what will happen to the dying Labor party if Barak is detained in England for war crimes? What happens to Netanyahu’s coalition then?

Barak is scheduled to meet today with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Foreign Minister David Miliband about the Iranian issue, and was warned about a possible move such as this, which was finally made by attorney Michel Massiah.
The British court is expected to decide Tuesday whether to discuss the claim, which was filed on behalf of Palestinian families hurt during the Gaza war.

The Defense Minister’s office refused to comment on the lawsuit filed against him.

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