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Nitsana Darshan-Leitner discusses the issues Israel faces in the coming weeks from the United Nations while sitting in the Tel Aviv offices of Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center.

Her calm and peaceful manner conceals the fierce opposition Israel faces against the UN Human Rights Council [COIcomposed of three members. The UN Human Rights Council was given the mandate to “investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) any alleged violation of International human rights law, as well as any alleged abuses or violations of International Human Rights Laws through April 13, 2021.”

There have been past UN investigation into Israel The difference between the current and previous UN investigations is the fact that this commission was set up to be a permanent investigation and will continue to investigate Israel as well as the IDF. The commission was not assigned an expiration date for its time.

Shurat Hadin Darshan-Leitner is the founder of Shurat HaDin, explained that “the UN Human Rights Council investigation isn’t coming out of the air”. “It’s connected to the proceedings of the International Court of Justice (The Hague).

In 1998 in 1998, the Rome Statute gave birth to the ICC. The court is authorized by the Rome Statute to prosecute those who are convicted of crimes of genocide or crimes against mankind, in addition to the crime of aggression. Israel initially supported the creation of an international court. But, it was concerned that this court might be employed against Israel. Israel, the US as well as a number of other nations have not signed or adopt the statute. They are not legally bound by the decisions of ICC.

Fatou Bensouda (the ICC prosecutor at The Hague) announced in March 2021 that she would start a war crimes probe against Israel and Hamas. A decision made by the International Court against Israel could have significant implications. Most European and Scandinavian nations are members of this court and legally are obligated to follow its rulings. If the ICC could decide that IDF soldiers were guilty of war crimes or other crimes, anyone Israeli serving in different IDF military operations and who happen to travel to countries which are members of the court, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand may be held indefinitely. Harsh economic sanctions could also be imposed on the Jewish state and its banks sector.

Israel might be a target for sanctions, weapons embargoes, and boycotts. El Al and other Israeli carriers might not be permitted to operate in certain countries, for instance.

Bensouda was dismissed from office in June 2021. Karim Khan, a British barrister, was appointed her replacement. Bensouda left 14 investigations to the new prosecutor and eight of them were in active. Darshan Leitner clarifies that he classified all items on his docket in the planning phase which was to the astonishment of Palestinians. This was a tactful way for him to state that the cases were not worthy of the court’s time or were not urgent enough.

Darshan Leitner states that Darshan Leitner says that this “frustrated the Palestinian Authority”. “They could not understand why their efforts to convince a prosecutor to open an investigation have not succeeded.”

In September 2021, the PA demanded the creation of a commission at the International Court of Justice to influence Karim Khan to reconsider his views and restart the ICC’s investigation against Israel.

Darshan Leitner claims that Israel has been accused of war crimes and other violations of apartheid laws since the time of his interview. Amnesty International’s February report inflicted blame on Israel of committing apartheid violations in and outside of the Green Line. The report said that Israel “has constructed and sustained an oppression system against Palestinians” and charged Israel with racial discrimination against Palestinians from 1948.

Darshan Leitner explains that the Palestinian claims against Israel in the International Criminal Court focus on two areas. IDF military operation and Israeli settlements. Darshan Leitner believes these areas constitute war crimes.

Karim Khan Karim Khan ICC prosecutor is being urged by Palestinians to prioritize the investigation of Israel under the “apartheid” claim which is a brand new assertion which was not one of the claims that was being investigated in the initial investigation which Bensouda conducted. Yet, “whatever gets this investigation going is legitimate according to them, and it does not matter what it is, or if it’s true,” she says.

KARIM KHAN, new ICC prosecutor. (Credit: Michael Kooren/Reuters)
The UN’s three-member Commission of Inquiry (led by Navi Pillay (South Africa) and comprising Miloon Kthari (India), and Chris Sidoti [Australia), is the latest effort to convince The Hague.

Darshan Leitner states Darshan Leitner states that Pillay Kothari, Sidoti, and Kothari have a history of biases against Israel. “Pillay has been accused of accusing Israel of apartheid and was the driving factor behind the antisemitic Durban conferences. The others are not far from the scene.”

The 49TH session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC49) will be held in the HRC’s office in Geneva from February 28 through April 1.

It is expected that the main attraction of the session will be the report that the commission of inquiry will release about Operation Guardian of the Walls The Israeli operation in Gaza which took place in the month of May 2021, in response to the missiles that Hamas launched at Israel. During the session, Israel is expected to face charges of apartheid, war crimes and crimes versus humanity.

Darshan Leitner stated that the State of Israel would not participate or be a part of the inquiry commission. Shurat HaDin, however, cannot afford to ignore the accusations that could be made by the inquiry commission.

Darshan Leitner explained that there were two main alternatives to counter the Pillay panel. The first is the material one, which answers the allegations of apartheid. The other is the personal angle – focussing on the lack of impartiality of its leaders.”

She states that prior experiences have shown that Shurat HaDin or any other individual will not be able to convince those who are unfavourable towards Israel to change their mind.

Shurat HaDin, she suggests, plans to illustrate that all members of the inquiry commission have biases towards Israel and that UN will sacrifice its core principles and any notion of fairness in order to delegitimize Israel.

Darshan Leitner Darshan Leitner explains “We’re going to start an initiative that calls for all COI Members to resign.” “We are planning to launch mass petitions, take legal action against COI members, and anyone else who assists this committee,” Darshan Leitner states.

Shurat haDin will also attempt to show the PA as opposed to the State of Israel is, the main culprit in the violation of human Rights. “We will examine their laws to find out what we can discover – discrimination against women, children and the LGBTQ community, as well as their inadequate legal system. Are you aware that a person is legally allowed to rape a spouse according to PA law? Marital rape is not an offense under their ‘advanced human-rights-friendly’ legislation.

This is just one of the examples of the UN’s ‘champions for human rights which the UN will do everything to help. While they are claiming Israel of apartheid, the UN promotes a tyranny with no elections for 15 years and regularly infringes on the rights of its own citizens.

Darshan Leitner states that Shurat HaDin will also reveal the world to how minorities are treated inside Gaza and the PA as well as Gaza.”The fate of Christians in the PA territories and Gaza is set,” she asserts. Their numbers are shrinking. They are on the rise.

According to Shurat HaDin, Israel committed grave errors when it was handling the UNHRC inquiry into the South African jurist Richard Goldstone’s 2009 case. Jerusalem did not cooperate with the Goldstone Commission in that scandalous incident. The commission was led by Richard Goldstone who was an South African jurist. Israel was a victim of international tensions resulting from the crucial final report.

“While Israel did the right choice in refusing to aid or participate in the vile witch-hunt based on Goldstone, I do not believe that we played our hands correctly. It’s not enough just to ignore the UNHRC and call them prejudiced and haters. The government must supplement its decision by organizing a proactive and well-organized campaign to disseminate it’s own propaganda, and to combat the antisemitic UNHRC. She says we can engage, speak out and pursue legal actions when the government has its hands bound.”

Israel Law Center Darshan Leitner aims to fill this gap. She summarizes the current situation and explains that the PA’s goal was to influence The Hague Chief Prosecutor. Israel Law Center “If I can tear down the basis of The Hague’s commission and show how erroneous it is, and how apartheid is a false claim and prove that the commission is devoid of any worth.”

“If this is not done, it will result in poor outcomes. The prosecutor may be attracted by the possibility of changing his decision. Shurat Hadin It would be a tragic and catastrophic event. It cannot be allowed to happen.”