Since the Nakba in 1947, Israel has displaced, brutalized and murdered Palestinians. The United States is Israel’s biggest supporter and regularly provides cover for the crimes committed by Israel.
- The US gives more money to Israel than to any other country, almost $135 billion since 1946. The last Memorandum of Understanding with Israel, signed by President Obama, gives a record $38 billion over ten years.
- The United States and Israel consistently vote as a bloc in the United Nations to oppose recognition of Palestine and to prevent criticism of Israel’s actions. During the six weeks of peaceful actions by Palestinians starting in March to demand their Right of Return, the United States tried to block a UN resolution calling on Israel to show constraint instead of injuring and murdering Palestinians, including children, reporters and medics. Fortunately, the resolution passed without the US in June.
For these reasons, residents of the United States have a responsibility to demand that Israel is held accountable for its war crimes.
To that end, a letter is being circulated for individuals, political parties and organizations to sign calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel for its crimes against Palestinians. The letter, written by the Peace Action and International committees of the Green Party U.S., is being circulated globally for signatures. A delegation will deliver the letter in person to the ICC in November.
Please circulate this letter to any individuals, political parties and organizations who might be interested in signing it. The goal is to have thousands of signers when the letter is presented to the court.
Read the letter below.
The Right Honorable Ms. Fatou Bensouda
Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
Post Office Box 19519
2500 CM, The
Re: Israeli War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity
Dear Madame Prosecutor:
We, the undersigned, are crying out in unison with all people of conscience and compassion for the ICC to use its momentous authority to establish and preserve peace and justice throughout the world, most urgently for the oppressed and besieged people of Palestine. We, therefore, implore you to institute a full investigation in relation to the preliminary inquiry opened in 2015.1
We agree with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki who told reporters at the ICC in The Hague on May 22, 2018 that the evidence against the Israelis was “insurmountable.” Maliki said his request to move beyond a preliminary inquiry would give prosecutors the authority to investigate alleged crimes starting in 2014 and beyond, including the recent deaths during the protests in Gaza.2 When Palestine was recognized as a State in 2012 by the UN General Assembly, the ICC was given jurisdiction over crimes committed in their homeland, however, not before June, 2014.3
Although the Court cannot investigate crimes committed before 2014, historical events set the stage for the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The arbitrary UN Partition Resolution of 1947 arrogated 56% of Palestinian land to the Zionists for the creation of a Jewish State. The Palestinians naturally rejected the resolution because it did not include any provisions for their civil or human rights. The newly anointed Israelis knew they would have to take the appropriated land by force, so they prepared well for the initial onslaught. Palestinians call that first invasion the “Nakba” or Catastrophe, which resulted in ethnic cleansing.4 Zionist militias brutally raped and molested women and girls; slaughtered men, women and children; sacked 500 villages; and drove out 750,000 Arab and Muslim human beings from their homes, property and livelihoods.5
The quality of life for Palestinians has been poor, with little peace or stability since 1947. The wealthy, U.S.-backed, and nuclear-armed Israelis have fought war after war for supremacy and the acquisition of more and more land, while the Palestinians have defended themselves mostly with rocks, burning kites, balloons and tires, homemade rockets and starkly tragic human suicide bombers. For 70 years they have: suffered the most appalling living conditions imposed upon them by the military occupation and apartheid rule; peacefully resisted the unabated illegal settlements upon their land (at least 80% has been seized since the Nakba); withstood the blockade of Gaza and survived genocidal assaults.6 Since 1947, the Palestinians have steadfastly and peacefully fought for their safety, dignity, freedoms and Right of Return proclaimed by the UN General Assembly Resolution 194 passed in 1948. The Right of Return, to include damages and compensation, was deemed their inalienable right in Resolution 3236 passed in 1974.7
Nevertheless, we understand that only alleged crimes that have been reported since June of 2014 may be investigated by the ICC starting with Operation Protective Edge launched on July 8, 2014 against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. By August 25, the IDF had killed 2,076 Palestinians including 525 children.8 In all 10,224 were injured and Gaza was left in ruins. One teen, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was abducted and burned alive.9
Since March 30, 2018, at the heavily blockaded Gaza border, IDF snipers have used live fire and tear gas, a chemical weapon banned in warfare, on Palestinians peacefully protesting on a weekly basis for their Right of Return. As of August 17, 2018 records indicate that more than 18,000 have been seriously injured and at least 166 killed.10 On June 13, 2018 the UN General Assembly adopted a draft resolution condemning the use of excessive force by Israeli troops on the Palestinian civilians during the protests.11
Lastly, we request the Court investigate the reports of 150 illegal settlements on private Palestinian property in the occupied territories of East Jerusalem and the West Bank housing 750,000 Israelis. It is our understanding that these settlements are in violation of the UN Security Resolution 242. 12
Thank you for your consideration of our most sincere and urgent request.
Peace and best wishes,
The Green Party of the United States
1The Netherlands, International Criminal Court, Press Release January 16, 2015“ The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, opens a preliminary examination of the situation of Palestine” < https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=pr1083&ln=en>.
2Stephanie van den Berg, “Palestinians demand full investigation into Israel at Hague court” Reuters World News, May 22, 2018. <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-icct-israel-palestinians/palestinians-demand-full-investigation-into-israel-at-hague-court-idUSKCN1IN11M>.
3Amanda Taub, “Palestine just formally joined the International Criminal Court. Here’s what that means.” Vox, April 1, 2015 <https://www.vox.com/2015/1/5/7494157/palestine-icc-explained>
4Ilan Pappe’, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2006, One World Publications, Oxford, England.
5Dana Visalli, “A Brief History of Palestine and Israel Explains Everything” Global Research, March 13, 2018 <https://www.globalresearch.ca/a-brief-history-of-palesting-and-israel-explains-everything/5631859
6“Palestine: What has been happening since WWI,” Aljazeera, May 15, 2018 <https://www.aljazeera.com/focus/arabunity/2008/02/20085251908164329.html>
7Mark Levine “Why Palestinians have a right to return home,“ Aljazeera , September 23, 2011 <https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/09/2011922135540203743.html>
8“Operation Protective Edge: What happened, why, and what now? American Friends Services Committee <https://www.afsc.org/resource/operation-protective-edge-what-happened-why-and-what-now>
9Kareem Khadder, Samira Said and Susanna Capelouto “Palestinian teen burned alive autopsy shows” CNN, July 5, 2014 <https://www.cnn.com/2014/07/05/world/meast/mideast-tensions/index.html>
10“Gaza protests: All the latest updates” Aljazeera, August 17, 2018 <https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/gaza-protest-latest-updates-180406092506561.html>
11Michelle Nichols “United Nations condemns excessive Israeli force against Palestinians” Reuters, June 13, 2018 < https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN1J935D>
12Zena Tehan “Israel’s settlements: 50 years of land theft explained” Aljazeera, November 21, 2017 <https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2017/50-years-illegal-settlements/index.html>