COMMENTARY:

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine: Barcelona Session

by Stephen Lendman
Monday, 8 March 2010

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine found Israel in violation of breaching virtually all international humanitarian laws as well as ones covering the rules of war and occupation.

Launched on March 4, 2009, "The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RTP) seeks to reaffirm the primacy of international law (to settle) the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (by focusing on) the enunciation of law by authoritative bodies (and) address(ing) the failure of application of law even though it has been so clearly identified. (It begins where the International Court of Justice) stopped: highlighting the responsibilities arising from the enunciation of law, including those of the international community, which cannot continue to shirk its obligations."

RTP is part of the BRussell Tribunal, named after famed philosopher, mathematician, and anti-war/anti-imperialism activist Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970), who warned over 50 years ago:

"Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war" and live in peace, because there's no other choice.

Established in 1967, the BRussell Tribunal investigated Vietnam war crimes, more recently Iraq war ones and Bush administration imperialism continued under Obama. RTP exposes decades of Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians, calling for an end to colonialism, occupation and apartheid and for justice, equality, and peace.

The First Barcelona Session (March 1 - 3)

Hosted and endorsed by the Barcelona National Support Committee and Office of the Mayor of Barcelona, under the honorary presidency of Stephane Hessel, a jury of distinguished legal experts and human rights activists heard reports from authoritative experts on issues including:

Panel Members

Experts Heard by the RTP

Witnesses

Procedure

It followed "methodology applicable by any judicial body in terms of the independence and impartiality of its members." Israel's absence was no impediment. The evidence presented has been addressed by numerous other bodies, including:

The RTP "simply dr(ew) attention to circumstances that are already widely recognized by the international community." Its proceedings dealt with:

Findings and Conclusions

The RTP found Israel in violation of breaching virtually all international humanitarian laws as well as ones covering the rules of war and occupation, as follows:

  1. Failure to recognize Palestinian self-determination under provisions of the December 1960 UN General Assembly Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and all UN resolutions before and thereafter affirming Palestinian self-determination, including:
  2. Failure to comply with the provisions of the Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (the Apartheid Convention), defined by the Rome Statute to include murder, extermination, enslavement, torture, arbitrary arrest, illegal imprisonment, denial of the right to life and liberty, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and other abusive acts imposed by one group on another.
  3. Failure to observe international laws with regard to:
The RTP found EU states in violation by:The RTP asks EU member states:

The RTP "calls on the European Union and (its) member states to impose" diplomatic, trade and cultural sanctions to end the impunity Israel "has enjoyed for decades." If EU nations won't do it, European citizens must pressure them by all available means.

No longer:


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on March 8, 2010.