Monday, March 18, 2013

Russell Tribunal launches call to bring Israel in front of International Criminal Court

Angela Davis speaks during the closing session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in Brussels. 

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine ends its 4-year examination of third party complicity in Israeli violations of International Law.
The Tribunal concludes that it will support all initiatives from civil society and international organisations aimed at bringing Israel in front of the International Criminal Court. It calls for the ICC to recognise Palestinian jurisdiction and for the organisation of a special session of the United Nations General Assembly on Israeli Apartheid.
Other key Recommendations issued by the Tribunal include:
  • A reconstitution of the United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid
  • Further criminal investigations of corporations aiding and abetting Israeli violations such as the police raid on the Dutch construction equipment company Riwal [1]
  • The establishment of an international committee of former Political Prisoners to campaign on Prisoner issues
  • To support civil society in using the tribunal’s findings to undertake direct actions aimed at confronting state, institutional and corporate complicity with Israel’s crimes.
Jury member Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters said: “The Russell Tribunal is a glimmering light at the end of the tunnel. If you think that what it says is wrong, go to Palestine, go to the refugee camps and judge for yourself. Until then, you’re only speaking of your own prejudices. I feel I can speak because I have witnessed the horror of Israeli Apartheid, I am speaking from personal experience”.

Civil rights activist Angela Davis, also a member of the jury, said: “As we originally drew inspiration from English philosopher Bertrand Russell, we now follow in the footsteps of the late Stéphane Hessel, who combined resistance with integrity, solidarity and advocacy. We have all become advocates for Palestinian and universal human rights from the grassroots to the highest levels”.
Pierre Galland, General Co-ordinator of the RToP said:
“This closing session does not represent the end of our activities, but a new beginning. In the future, the people’s court will work to check that its recommendations and conclusions are integrated into advocacy, activism and legal claims”.
Fadwa Barghouti echoed the words of her husband Parliamentarian Marwan Barghouti, writing from prison where he is serving five life sentences for resisting Occupation: “I salute the fighter, the diplomat, the writer, who is supporting our struggle. And those rising up in the Arab world against tyranny – their dream has filled us with hope. The Russell Tribunal is a key tool in supporting is in reaching our goal of Justice and Peace based on International Law”.

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