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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/15/10

Universal Jurisdiction to Hold Israel Accountable

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Universal Jurisdiction to Hold Israel Accountable - by Stephen Lendman


The well-established universal jurisdiction principle (UJ) holds that certain crimes are too grave to ignore, including genocide, crimes of war and against humanity.


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Thus, under UJ, nations may investigate and prosecute foreign nationals when their country of residence or origin won't, can't, or hasn't for any reason. Israel used it to convict and execute Adolph Eichmann. A US court sentenced Chuckie Taylor, son of the former Liberian president, to 97 years in prison for torture.


In March 2003, the Special Court for Sierre Leone (SCSL) indicted his father, Charles Taylor, for crimes of war and against humanity. His trial at The Hague's International Court of Justice (ICC) remains ongoing.

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Though never held accountable for murdering Chileans and committing other human rights abuses, Britain used a Spanish court provisional warrant to apprehend Augusto Pinochet, hold him under house arrest for 18 months, and set a precedent, making other heads of state and top officials vulnerable. Pinochet's bogus ill health claim sent him home, irreparably damaged and disgraced.


Under Article 7 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg:


"The official position of defendants, whether as Head of State or responsible officials in Government departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment."

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No one deserves immunity for high crimes demanding accountability. It's time that applied to America and Israel, the two worst offenders.


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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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