The legal tsunami is on its way
Michael Sfard, Ha'aretz, May 4, 2011
srael’s cautious foreign policy on legal matters over the past 44 years is likely to collapse in September. The mechanisms of legal defense that it built since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to combat the “danger” of international jurisdiction about its conduct toward millions of people who are under its control, are likely to turn into dust at the stroke of the diplomatic moves.
If indeed the international community recognizes a Palestinian state, the question whether officers in the Israel Defense Forces who are involved in assassinations, shooting at unarmed demonstrators and using phosphorus bombs will be interrogated and brought to trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the question of whether international human rights treaties (and other treaties) will obligate Israel during action in the territories, will no longer be decided in the government offices in Jerusalem but rather in the corridors of the Muqataa in Ramallah.
Together with the diplomatic “tsunami” that Defense Minister Ehud Barak has forecast, Israel can expect a legal tsunami, which for the first time will claim a price for violating human rights in the occupied territories.