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Nitsana Shurat HaDin -Israel Law Center sits in the Tel Aviv office of Shurat HaDin on the sun-drenched afternoon of a Sunday. She outlines the challenges Israel faces due to the United Nations in forthcoming weeks.

Her calm and peaceful manner conceals the fierce opposition Israel is likely to face 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) all alleged violations of international humanitarian law as well as all alleged violations or abuses of International Human Rights Laws through April 13th 2021.”

There have been past UN investigation into Israel The difference between the current and prior UN investigation is the fact that this commission was set up for a continuous inquiry that would continue to probe Israel and the IDF. The time frame of this commission has not been set.

Darshan-Leitner clarifies, “The UN Human Rights Council investigation isn’t just coming out a out of thin air,” and he founded Shurat HaDin back in 2003. “It’s linked to the ongoing proceeding of the International Court of Justice (The Hague).

In 1998 in 1998, the Rome Statute established the ICC. The court has the authority to pursue individuals who commit crimes like genocide or human rights violations. Israel as well as the US and numerous other countries have neither signed nor ratified the statute and have no legal obligation to abide by the decisions of the International Court of Justice.

Fatou Bensouda the ICC prosecutor from The Hague announced in March 2021 that she was opening a war-crimes probe against Israel, Hamas, and other nations.

The decision of the International Court against Israel could have repercussions that are serious. The court is a member of most European and Scandinavian countries and is legally bound to follow the decisions of its members. If the ICC were to rule that IDF soldiers were guilty of war crimes and/or crimes against humanity, anyone Israeli serving in different IDF military operations who would be traveling in countries that are members of the court – such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand are likely to be subject to arrest. The Jewish state as well as its banking industry could face severe economic sanctions.

Israel may be facing other threats, like sanctions, weapon embargoes or boycotts. El Al and other Israeli carriers may not be allowed to conduct business in some countries, as an instance.

Bensouda’s tenure as prosecutor and she was replaced by Karim Khan (a British barrister). Bensouda inherited 14 investigations which included eight active investigation. The new prosecutor was able to take on all. Darshan Leitner states that he classified all items on his docket in the planning stage which was to the astonishment of Palestinians. This was a polite way to say that the claims didn’t merit the court’s time or were not urgent enough.

Darshan Leitner: “This upset the Palestinian Authority.” “They could not comprehend how their tireless efforts to convince the prosecutor to open an investigation were thwarted.”

The PA requested for the creation of a commission within the International Court of Justice. This would permit Karim Khan who was not able to take the PA’s suggestion to restart ICC investigations against Israel in the past, to change his decision.

Darshan Leitner stated that the war crimes committed by Israel continue to be carried out by the PA since the time of Darshan Leitner’s statement. Amnesty International reported in February that Israel was accused of discrimination against minorities in and beyond the Green Line. The report said Israel “has established an institutionalized system of oppression against Palestinians” and it also accused Israel in its racial division since 1948.

nitsana darshan leitner -Leitner explains that Palestinian complaints against Israel at the International Criminal Court have focused on two areas: IDF military operations and the issue of Israeli settlements that, according to them, are war crimes.

Karim Khan the ICC prosecutor is pressured by Palestinians to prioritize Israel’s investigation under the “apartheid” claim. The new claims were not examined in the initial investigation Bensouda initiated. She says that “whatever is able to move the investigation forward is valid in their eyes, it doesn’t matter what it’s, or if its true.”

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

Darshan Leitner claims that Pillay Kothari and Sidoti have a history of expressing biases against Israel. “Pillay is known to be a as a victim of apartheid. She also has accused Israel of apartheid. They’re not far behind.”

From February 28 to April 1st, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 49th session (HRC49), will take place in Geneva at the Geneva office.

The most significant feature of the session is likely be the report the commission of inquiry is expected to publish on Operation Guardian of the Walls. This was the Israeli operation that took place in Gaza in the month of May 2021 as an answer to the missiles fired at Israel by Hamas. During the session, Israel will likely to be facing charges of apartheid, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Darshan Leitner stated that the State of Israel would not collaborate or join the inquiry commission. Shurat HaDin, however is unable to afford to ignore the accusations likely to be made by the inquiry commission.

“There are two possible options to fight the Pillay committee” Darshan-Leitner elaborates. “One is the substantive response, answering the charges of apartheid. The other is the personal side that focuses on its members’ inimility.

She asserts that her past experiences have shown that Shurat haDin, or any other person, is not capable of convincing those already opposed to Israel to change their minds.

Shurat HaDin She suggests plans to show that all members on the inquiry committee have biases towards Israel and that UN is willing to sacrifice its fundamental principles and any sense of fairness to undermine Israel.

“We are going to launch a campaign that calls to the removal of all COI members,” says Darshan-Leitner. “We’re going to stage massive protests and file legal action against the COI. Its members and anyone else who supports the COI.”

Shurat haDin is also going to try to demonstrate that the PA rather than the State of Israel is, the main culprit in the violation of human Rights. “We will scrutinize their laws and draw out what we knowabout discrimination towards women, children, and members of the LGBTQ community, and their flawed system of law. Did you have any idea that PA law permits a man to legally rape his wife? Marital rape is not an offense under their ‘advanced human-rights-friendly’ legislation.

“This is only a tiny instance of the ‘champions of human rights’ the UN is keen on helping. While they claim Israel of apartheid, the United Nations promotes an oppression that does not allow elections for 15 years and consistently violates the rights of its own citizens.

Darshan Leitner states that Shurat HaDin also will expose the world to the way minorities are treated within the PA as well as Gaza.” Shurat Hadin of Christians in the PA territories and Gaza is set,” she asserts. Their numbers are continually decreasing. Islamic extremists who demand the murder of ‘infidels’ are growing. are no worse than ISIS figures.

Shurat HaDin leader believes Israel committed serious errors in the handling of the 2009 UNHRC investigation into Richard Goldstone, a South African jurist. Jerusalem refused cooperation with the Goldstone Commission in that scandalous episode. aviel darshan leitner was led by Richard Goldstone, a South African jurist. But the final negative report caused great political tensions in Israel.

“While I wholeheartedly agreed that Israel was right in refusing to aid or participate in the hateful Goldstone witch hunt, I don’t believe that we did our job well. It’s not enough to simply not pay attention to the UNHRC and call them prejudiced and hateful. had to back its decision with a well-organized and proactive campaign to spread its own propaganda and counterattack against the antisemitic UNHRC.”This is where an NGO such as Shurat HaDin can play such vital roles. She says that we can speak up, use legal recourses and take action when the government is stuck.”

Darshan Leitner is trying to fill the gap. She summarises the present situation and states that the PA’s objective is ultimately to influence the Hague’s chief procuror. “If I am able to tear down the basis of The Hague’s commission, show how erroneous it is and show that apartheid is an untruth It will show that The Hague’s commission has no value.”

“If we do not take this action then the consequences will be bad. The prosecutor may be influenced, and may alter his mind. This will be a tragic and significant loss. We can’t let this happen.”