Skip to comments.(Israeli) Attorney-General slams Belgian court ruling on war crimes (UPDATE)
Posted on 02/13/2003 1:00:31 PM PST by anotherview
Feb. 13, 2003
Attorney-General slams Belgian court ruling on war crimes (UPDATE)
By DAN IZENBERG
Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein on Thursday blasted the Belgian Supreme Court decision paving the way for the immediate trial of three senior reserve army officers and of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon after he leaves office for their alleged involvement in a 1982 in two Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.
"The criminal indictment in Belgium regarding (refugee camps) Sabra and Shatilla against Sharon, [Raphael] Eitan, [Amir] Drori and [Amos] Yaron is an injustice, not a search for justice," said Rubinstein.
"Anyone who examined this case knows that it was submitted solely for political reasons," he added.
Earlier remarks on the court decision by Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who called it anti-Semitic as well a "serious blow" to the war on terrorism and international law, enraged Belgian officials Thursday, and Belgian Justice Minister said they were "scandalous."
Netanyahu accused Belgium of "distorting the facts" about Israel "and permitting anti-Semitic speeches, which deny the rights of Jews to self-defense."
Rubinstein said it was no coincidence that the charge was made 20 years after the event and after Sharon became Israel's Prime Minister, so that "it was obvious to the initiators of the trial that it would become a media event. A fair judicial system in a fair country cannot behave like an ostrich or a visitor from outer space and not to see such simple facts and cooperate, regretfully, in delusional judicial procedures."
Rubinstein said that the actions of the men currently facing war crime charges in Belgium had been investigated in Israel, "whose government is based on the rule of law no less than Belgium's," by a panel headed by a justice of the Supreme Court.
Rubinstein promised that the state would defend any Israeli standing trial in a foreign court. "The obligation to back our people has been fulfilled in the past and will be in the future," said Rubinstein. "It is a shame, however, that [we will] have to waste many human and financial resources on baseless procedures, the nature of which is known to everyone. Belgium and its judicial system know it, too."
"Israel has no substantive reason to worry about any international procedures," said Rubinstein. "It has reason to worry about political moves disguised as judicial ones, which have nothing to do with justice but serve as a tool for conducting political battles. The trial taking place in Belgium is an example of this."
I would love to see the Israelis kick Belgium's ass. Taking Sharon prisoner and trying to subject him to Belgian law for his acts as a defense minister of Israel in Lebanon would be an act of war. Belgium has no right.