Saturday, August 26, 2006

Double Down

Two international legal scholars at Opinio Juris, Avi Bell (Bar Ilan University) and Kevin Jon Heller (Georgia) discuss an attempt by some retired Israeli diplomats to sue Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the ICC for incitement to commit genocide.

There are really two issues at play here. The first is standing, since neither Iran nor Israel is party to the Rome Statute. Professor Bell thinks this is an insurmountable hurdle, Profesor Heller thinks the statute contains a work-around. Second is whether Mr. Ahmadinejad's remarks constitute incitement to commit genocide. I think that they do, but I'm not sure that there isn't enough ambiguity--especially as to whether he wants to destroy merely the state of Israel or also all its (Jewish) inhabitants--for him to escape in a court of law.

Legal issues aside, however, I agree that this is somewhat quixiotic. The odds that a UN judicial body--whose pronouncements have been so uniformly hostile to Israel in the past--would stretch even an inch in order to protect the Jewish state is so far-fetched as to be fanciful. Israel can't count on the UN for protection when it comes to the likes of Ahmadinejad. They have to protect themselves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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