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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Malaysia wants Israel dragged to court

Wed, 01 Apr 2009 07:04:10 GMT | PressTV

Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said a tribunal -- similar to the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia -- must be formed to drag Israeli officials to court.

Malaysia explains why the international community needs to take Israeli leaders to court as a first step toward peace and prosperity.

At a Tuesday forum in London with the theme The Gaza Genocide: The World Community Must Act, Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim suggested Israeli military aggression against Palestinians to be worthy of prosecution.

We drag a person to court to be prosecuted for his act of having killed someone. We use the maxim mens rea in determining his murderous intent," noted the Malaysian diplomat.

But we simply allow a neighboring state to marauder thousands with guns, air strikes, chemicals and tanks," continued Rais, questioning the impunity Israel has enjoyed for sixty years.

Israel in December began pounding the Gaza Strip in air operations that later escalated into a full-fledged ground attack on the densely-populated territory.

Tel Aviv went against its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and attacked schools, mosques, houses, UN compounds and government buildings during the conflict.

The three weeks of military aggression inflicted more than $1.6 billion in damages on the Gazan economy. The carnage also killed around 1,350 Palestinians and injured nearly 5,450 people -- mostly civilians.

Israel also committed war crimes, including the use of the deadly white phosphorus shells in densely populated civilian areas, as revealed by various investigations.

Rais responded that the Palestinians had suffered more than their fair share of human calamity ever since Britain and world powers allowed the establishment of Israel in 1948 and the dispossession of the Palestinian homeland.

Israel has been emboldened by sixty years of world inaction and supposes that there is very little the international community can do in terms of punitive measures, he explained.

"It knows for sure that the American government shall always shield them, at least from the operatives of the Security Council (SC). Israel also knows that for so long as the SC is controlled under the veto system, nothing much could be done by way of sanction and execution," he said.

The US has so far vetoed at least 45 anti-Israel resolutions at the UN and has blocked official condemnation of crimes committed against the native Palestinian population.

"Israel continues to receive armaments from the United States which, in turn, were used as weapons of mass destruction against the Palestinians," Rais said.

The aggression against Gaza was the latest in a series that began when world powers created Israel in 1948 under the Zionist slogan of a 'land without a people and a people without a land'.

The establishment of Israel in the Middle East was carried out in compensation for the hardships and suffering imposed on the Jews of Europe due to anti-Semitism in the continent.

ionists benefited by gaining power over the native land of the Palestinians, but the establishment and the subsequent terror attacks against the Palestinian population gave rise to the philosophy of resistance and in recent years armed retaliation.

The United States and European powers have since failed to condemn Israeli crimes against Palestinians for their fear of the powerful Zionist lobby and being labeled 'anti-Semitic'.

Celebrated Malaysian politician and former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad touched on the issue on the sidelines of the forum in an interview with Press TV.

"I feel that his (US President Barack Obama's) hands are tied. Most American presidents and I will say including Obama may not take any stand against Israel for fear of losing comfortable support in the US itself," he said.

"The Israeli lobby in the US is truly powerful and they can determine who wins and who loses in the elections."

Mahathir explained that while Israel should "exist in some form or another", the current trend that it "occupies Palestinian land" and terrorizes Palestinians must not continue.

Malaysian officials believe the only way the world can see peace is for war to be criminalized.

Rais said the Israeli conduct in Gaza amounted to "genocide" and suggested that "If there be nothing else, Malaysia and like-minded states move that an Israeli War Crimes Tribunal be formed under the UN Charter, that an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) be organized along the lines of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) established by the Security Council."

"The establishment of ICTI should provide some small degree of justice to the victims of Israeli war crimes against humanity and genocide against the people of Palestine, just as the ICTY had done in the Balkans," he added.