Challenging Israeli war criminals
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Challenging Israeli war criminals

Since Occupation forces launched the devastating invasion of Gaza in December in 2008, the world stage has seen a wave of increased demand for justice. The release of the Goldstone Report has strengthened the case of the European lawyers, with human rights lawyers and pro-Palestinian activists in a number of European countries preparing lists with the names of Israeli officers they aim to take to court for involvement in war crimes in Gaza. Legislation in a number of European countries would allow warrants to be issued against the officers involved if they set foot in these countries, which include Britain, Holland, Spain, Belgium and Norway.

In the UK, for example, a number British lawyers are especially keen to hold Israel accountable for its deadly war on Gaza last year have expanded their legal campaign by seeking the arrest of Israeli military officers entering Britain. The attorneys plan to go to British courts to obtain arrest warrants against individuals linked to war crimes so they would be taken into custody if they entered Britain.

In addition to legal challenges, Israel spokespersons and politicians on international speaking engagements have found that their apologetics are not welcome. Many American universities have staged protests against Israeli officials in relation to the war crimes committed in Gaza. At Tulane University in New Orleans on October 14th and University of Chicago in Chicago on the 15th, large groups of students and activists organized against former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who oversaw wars during term in Palestine and Lebanon that killed more than 3,000 people. In Chicago, the protest against Olmert effectively prevented him from delivering his speech as planned. Later in the month, 22 activists in San Francisco were arrested after attempting a citizens’ arrest of the former leader.

Such actions have not been limited to the US, and similar opposition to Israeli spokespersons has recently been seen in London and Turkey. On October 26th, 2009, over 50 students and activists greeted Daniel Ayalon (Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel) outside of the lecture on the London School of Economics’ campus with placards and banners, whilst inside audience members heckled the Minister as a “racist” and “murderer”. Again, on November 5, 2009, protestors at the University of Nottingham let the Israeli Ambassador to England know that we has not welcome, holding pro-Palestinian signs and interrupting his speech. In Turkey, students protested a visit by the Israeli ambassador on the 4th and 5th.