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Can Palestine Bring Israeli Officials before the International Criminal Court?

Author: Prof. John B. Quigley
September-October 2014
Volume 47 , Issue 4
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About This Issue

The International Criminal Court opened its doors on July 1, 2002.

It is the first treaty-based international court set up to prosecute individuals for the worst acts known to man: genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Currently, 122 countries are parties to the Statute of the Court, 31 others have signed the Statute but have not yet ratified it.

At first, the United States  did sign,  but before it got to ratifying it,  Pres. George Bush, in May 2002, directed his Undersecretary of State John Bolton to inform the U.N. Secretary General that the U.S. no longer intended to be a party to the Statute. Consequently, the United States had no legal obligations as a result of its former signature.

Soon thereafter, the State of Israel followed suit.

Then, on Nov. 29, 2012, the U.N. General Assembly, in the face of intense opposition from the United States and Israel, voted overwhelmingly to upgrade the U.N. status for “Palestine”  from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state.”

This, at once, raised two questions: Does this upgrade in status mean that Palestine  can now bring criminal charges against Israeli officials before the International Criminal Court?  And, if so, what charges?

For the answers to these questions we went to John Quigley, professor emeritus of International Law at Ohio State University. He is the author of “The Genocide Convention: An International Law Analysis” and “Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice.”  I reminded Professor Quigley that his last feature article for The Link was back in 1989 — a quarter of a century ago—entitled “The  International Crimes of Israeli Officials.”

  On page 14, Jane Adas reviews the book “Contested Land, Contested Memory” by Jo Roberts.

 The Order Form for this book, as well as  other books and DVDs  is on page 15 of the PDF.

 We note with sadness the passing of Nick Eoloff, a longtime peace activist who, with his wife Mary, in 1996 adopted Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli who was serving an 18-year prison sentence for revealing Israel’s nuclear program. The Eoloffs, both Americans, told their story in our 2004 Link  “Mordechai Vanunu.”

Both the Quigley and Eoloff Links— as well as all our Link issues going back to 1968—can be found on our updated website:

--John F. Mahoney, Executive Director

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