Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Russell Tribunal on Palestine launched to Try Israeli
War Criminals in Absence of Trying them by the ICC
March 12, 2009
The recent war waged by the Israeli government and the Israeli army on
the Gaza strip, already under a blockade, underlines the particular
responsibility of the United States and of the European Union in the
perpetuation of the injustice done to the Palestinian people, deprived of
its fundamental rights.
It is important to mobilize the international
public opinion so that the United Nations and Member States adopt the
necessary measures to end the impunity of the Israeli State, and to reach a
just and durable solution to this conflict.
Nurit Peled, and
Leila Shahid, and with the
support of over a hundred well-known international personalities, it has
been decided to organise a Russell Tribunal on Palestine.
the Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued on the 9th of
July 2004 and on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Organisation,
this Russell Tribunal on Palestine is a civic initiative promoting
international law as the core element of the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Further than Israel’s responsibility, it aims to demonstrate the complicity
of Third States and International Organisations which, through their
passivity or active support, allow Israel to violate the rights of the
Palestinian People, and let this situation be continued and aggravated.
The next step will then be to establish how this complicity results in
Through a decentralised functioning,
the organisation of public sessions and other public events, the
organisation of a Russell Tribunal on Palestine is designed as a large
communication event, with widespread media coverage over the tribunal and
its outcomes. Indeed, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine having no official
mandate, its impact rests on its ability to mobilise public opinion, so that
the latter puts pressure on governments to obtain that they change their
policies in the ways that are necessary to reach a just and lasting peace in
the Middle East.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was launched today at a press
conference chaired by Stéphane Hessel, Ambassador of France. The initiators,
Ken Coates, Chairman of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Leila Shahid,
General Delegate of Palestine to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg
and Nurit Peled, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, discussed the
history and reasons on why they called for the creation of this Tribunal.
Speaking for the Organising Committee, the former Belgian Senator Pierre
Galand explained how it will work. Amongst more than a hundred international
personalities who have given their support to this Tribunal, Ken Loach, Paul
Laverty, Raji Surani, Jean Ziegler, François Rigaux, Jean Salmon and
François Maspero were present to give encouragement.
tradition of the Russell Tribunal on War Crimes in Vietnam, the Russell
Tribunal on Palestine is a citizens’ initiative that aims to reaffirm the
primacy of international law as the basis for solving the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and at raising awareness of the responsibility
of the international community in the continuing denial of the rights of the
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine will base its
work on Experts’ and Witnesses’ Committees that will establish the facts and
build up the legal arguments that will be presented to the Tribunal.
National Support Committees will contribute to the preparation of experts’
reports, promote popular mobilisation and media coverage and participate in
fundraising. We can already count on strong support from the United Kingdom,
France, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal,
Ireland, Lebanon, Algeria, Australia, Italy, South Africa, Egypt and, of
course, from Israel and Palestine. Further contacts are under way for the
creation of such Committees in other countries and continents.
the accusation has been fully prepared and the witnesses summoned, the
sessions of the Tribunal will be organised at the beginning of 2010 in
several major capitals. A jury made up of well-known personalities who are
respected for their high moral standing will consider the reports and hear
the witnesses for and against.
The jury will announce its
conclusions which, we are persuaded, will attract widespread international
public and political support, thereby contributing to a just and durable
peace in the Middle East.
Contact Tel / fax: 00 32 (0)2 2310174
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