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1967 oPt: Israeli occupied Palestinian territory

Prosecuting U.S. complicity in Israeli settlement war crimes: plunder, colonizing, murder, arson

 

by Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

 

Letter to: Copy to:
John Conyers (chairman)
U.S. Congress
House Committee on the Judiciary
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515

Patrick Leahy (chairman)
U.S. Congress
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
226 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510
  Carl Levin (chairman)
U.S. Congress
Senate Committee on Armed Services
228 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510

Joe Biden (chairman)
U.S. Congress
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
450 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510

March — 2008 (via email, House, Senate)

{draft, December 16 2007, June 1 2009}

Re: Prosecuting U.S. complicity in Israel settlement war crimes

Dear Mr. Conyers, Mr. Leahy:

Germany’s confiscation of farmland — a violent war crime — during its occupation of Poland, in world war 2, is a template for Israel’s confiscation of land and water, during its occupation of the Palestinian territories (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza), and Syria/Lebanon territory (Golan Heights, Shaba Farms).

legal memo

The legal memorandum below, details this violent crime, complicity in it, and issues about the U.S. federal district court’s war crimes jurisdiction.

I ask the committee to conduct a hearing:

1. To consider, once again, creating an independent counsel, with unlimited funding (like the judgment fund), to prosecute U.S. complicity in this war crime, specifically, multiple criminal acts, enterprises, and conspiracies, by U.S. nationals and residents, to incite, aid and abet, facilitate, a war crime by Israel:—

To wit, Confiscation of land and water in the occupied territories, in violation of the laws of war, for settlements, for outposts, for the wall, for barricaded highways, utility corridors, confiscation of land-use rights (“closed military zones”), and such.

2. To examine jurisdiction of the U.S. federal district courts, to try this war crime, to ensure, it encompasses all criminal acts, and all criminal actors.

Congress has already authorized those courts to try U.S. complicity in most of these criminal confiscations. But some details need attention.

3. To examine the U.S. criminal law of complicity, to ensure, it reaches all complicit acts under international criminal law and applies to all complicit acts in this particular war crime, by U.S. nationals and residents and others, such as members of Congress and their staffs, officials in the State Department (including its Legal Advisers), White House, congressional witnesses, think tank advocates, lobbyists, fund-raisers, contributors, settlement real estate agents, settlement house buyers, settlement house mortgage lenders, editorial/Op-Ed writers, broadcasters, preachers, professors, paid propaganda contractors, Israeli government officials, and such.

Yours truly,
Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

Copy: U.S. Attorney General

CJHjr, from Nashville Tennessee:
Woodmont Grammar School (1948-1956)
Montgomery Bell Academy (1956-1960)
Vanderbilt University (1960-1964 BA)
Vanderbilt Law School (1964-1967 JD)
Tennessee Bar No. 005483 (August 12 1967)

 

____________________

Copy: To each committee member (59 members, 46 lawyers), above letter {to be} emailed, attaching a pdf copy of this page (on that date) and a link to this page (reflecting later updates), to wit:—

Senate Judiciary Committee members
(19 members, 15 lawyers)

Democrats:Republicans:
Patrick J. Leahy (chairman) Arlen Specter (ranking)
Edward M. Kennedy Orrin G. Hatch
Joseph R. Biden Jr. Charles E. Grassley
Herb Kohl Jon Kyl
Dianne Feinstein Jeff Sessions
Russell D. Feingold Lindsey Graham
Charles E. Schumer John Cornyn
Richard J. Durbin Sam Brownback
Benjamin L. Cardin Tom Coburn
Sheldon Whitehouse  

House Judiciary Committee members
(40 members, 31 lawyers)

Democrats:Republicans:
John Conyers Jr. (chairman) Lamar S. Smith (ranking)
Howard Berman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr.
Rick Boucher Howard Coble
Jerrold Nadler Elton Gallegly
Robert C. "Bobby" Scott Bob Goodlatte
Mel Watt Steve Chabot
Zoe Lofgren Daniel E. Lungren
Sheila Jackson-Lee Chris Cannon
Maxine Waters Ric Keller
William Delahunt Darrell Issa
Robert Wexler Mike Pence
Linda Sánchez J. Randy Forbes
Steve Cohen Steve King
Henry C. "Hank" Johnson Jr Tom Feeney
Betty Sutton Trent Franks
Luis Gutiérrez Louie Gohmert
Brad Sherman Jim Jordan
Tammy Baldwin 
Anthony D. Weiner 
Adam Schiff 
Artur Davis 
Debbie Wasserman Schultz 
Keith Ellison 

 

And copy: To candidates for U.S. President (2008), who are also members of Congress, or former members, above letter emailed, with a link to this page:—

Senate/House presidential candidates
(7 lawyers)

Democrats:Republicans:
Joe Biden John McCain
Hillary Rodham Clinton Ron Paul
Christopher Dodd Duncan Lee Hunter
Dennis Kucinich Thomas G. Tancredo
Barack Obama
John EdwardsFred Thompson
Mike Gravel
Bill Richardson

 

____________________

Legal Memorandum

 

To:  Senate/House Judiciary Committtees
(U.S. Congress)
Copy:  U.S. Attorney General
From:  Charles Judson Harwood Jr.
Date:  December — 2007
Re:  Prosecuting U.S. complicity in Israel settlement war crimes

 

“ Ehud Olmert: The achievements of the settlement movement in its major centers will forever be an inseparable part of the sovereign State of Israel, with Jerusalem as our united capital. Let us come together around this consensus and turn it into a uniting political and moral fact.”
Address to the Knesset by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on the presentation of the 31st Government of Israel” (May 4 2006).

A belligerent occupier (e.g., Israel), confiscating property, in occupied territory (e.g., West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza), not authorized by the laws of war, and permitting others to do so too (e.g., Israeli settlers)—

This violent war crime was settled international criminal law before Israel was born.

As such, this violent crime is part of the law of the United States, like other war crimes, and Congress has authority to authorize U.S. federal district courts to try this crime, and all those complicit in it.

Congress did this already, by the War Crimes Act, which applies to this violent crime, and to connected violent crimes, and to the criminal actors, with some few issues discussed below (18 U.S.C. § 2441).

 

____________________

Overview

“[A]cts committed in the course of a war are in themselves and apart from war, criminal acts.

Their criminality disappears only if they are in conformity with the principles of the international law of war; if not, they remain criminal acts, and as such, are punishable.

This is especially so of all acts which infringe the property of inhabitants of occupied territories.”

Law of Belligerent Occupation {9.0mb.pdf, source}, pages 134-135 (U.S. Army, The Judge Advocate General's School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, J.A.G.S. text no. 11, June 1 1944, 12+277 pages) {SuDoc: D 101.22:27-??, LCCN: 45000564, OCLC: 6987966, ditto, WorldCat}, quoting, M. Nast, “Les sanctions penales de l'enlevement par les allemands du material industriel en territoires français et belges occupes par leurs troupes,” 26 Revue Generale de Droit International Public 111 (1919), and others.

____________________

Scope

This memorandum is about four violent war crimes, all connected to Israel’s plunder of Palestinian land.

“Violent,” because you can’t confiscate and destroy property, if you don’t have an army standing by, or police, or a gang, to menace and attack, those who resist.

Accordingly, Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land is the violent crime of armed robbery, not a non-violent crime of theft.

And so too, Israel’s destruction of Palestinian land improvements, during the course of its confiscations, this is the violent crime of arson (houses, shops, greenhouses, farmland, wells, irrigation, water distribution, olive/citrus groves, roads, and such).

When done by an occupying power (Israel), in occupied territory (Palestinian territory, Golan Heights, Shaba Farms), these violent crimes — crimes under the laws of all civilized peoples — these violent crimes are also international “war crimes” too, and as such, crimes under the law of the United States.

And so too, Israel’s third violent war crime, the motive for most of the other two, namely: transfer of a foreign population into the occupied territory, permitting, enforcing, facilitating, enabling, this transfer, by armed force.

The “settlers.”

The 450,000 Israeli Jews now living in the occupied Palestinian territory. (I’ve read, Israel prohibits Israeli Palestinians in the settlements, living there, visiting there, I don’t know the details of any such Jew-Arab distinction among Israeli citizens, concerning the settlements).

Many of the settlers, like most Israeli Jews, had no prior connection with the Middle East. These many are foreigners, and the children of foreigners, people from foreign lands, foreign nationals, ethnic Jews, imported by Israel, granted Israeli citizenship, and shipped off to the occupied Palestinian territory, to live in wonderful houses, built, paid for, and subsidized, largely by U.S. taxpayers, aiding and abetting, facilitating, this violent criminal enterprise.

This memorandum is about the criminal prosecution of U.S. nationals (citizens and residents), for their complicity in these three violent war crimes, mainly U.S. government officials, past and present, including members of Congress and their staffs, but also others, including members of the Israel lobby (a loose coalition of activists).

This memorandum is not about other war crimes, by Israel against the Palestinians, by the United States directly against the Palestinians, ill-treatment, aggressive war, conspiracies to murder, and such.

____________________

Facts

Israel has plundered (a war crime) about 60% of the occupied Palestinian territory.

Area C: 60%

The land Israel plundered is known as “Area C,” 1,297 square miles (3,360 square kilometers), about 60% of the occupied Palestinian territory.

All of it, in the West Bank (2,162 square miles, 5,600 square kilometers) (which includes East Jerusalem).

Area C is all the Palestinian land, except Gaza and a designated archipelago, in the West Bank, of 227 islands of Palestinian land, Area A (7 principal Palestinian towns, 17.2% of the West Bank), Area B (the remaining principal Palestinian population centers, 23.8% of the West Bank, all under Israeli military control).

“According to an Amnesty International report, the Oslo Accords have created 227 separate areas under Palestinian control. Of these areas 190 measure less than 2 square kilometres.”

Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, article 11(3)(c) (“Land”) (“Oslo II”, Washington, D.C., September 28 1995), Israel and the Occupied Territories: The Demolition and Dispossession of Palestinian Homes (Amnesty International, International Secretariat, Peter Benenson House, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 0DW, United Kingdom, December 8 1999, AI index MDE 15/059/1999), quoted by, Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan, U.N. Docs. A/55/84, E/2000/16 (U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, U.N. General Assembly, 55th session, June 14 2000), Sara Roy (CMES: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University), “Why Peace Failed: An Oslo Autopsy” {92.7kb.pdf} (Current History, issue number 651, “The Middle East,” January 2002, volume 101, pages 8-16) (“the oldest United States publication devoted exclusively to world affairs ... founded ... in 1914”).

Area C is occupied Palestinian territory and contains all Israeli settlements and outposts and their environs (regardless of Palestinian density).

Israel divided-up Area C (60% of the West Bank) into two categories, and then plundered them both:—

Confiscated: 38% of the West Bank, 822 square miles (2,128 square kilometers) of Area C:

From this Palestinian land (the 38%), Israel expelled, ethnically cleansed, Palestinians, by armed force, and converted that Palestinian land to exclusive Israeli use, for Israeli settlements, outposts, barricaded road/utility corridors, security zones, military bases, nature reserves (partly, a warehouse for future settlements). Some few Palestinians may yet remain here and there, by special permit, and some small portion of that land is not plundered, but rather used for a legitimate purpose, some land for some Israeli military bases, for example.

Appropriated: 22% of the West Bank, (476 square miles, 1,232 square kilometers), the remainder of Area C:

From this Palestinian land (the 22%), Israel has not expelled Palestinians.

But Israel enforces severe restrictions upon them, by armed force (where they can go and when, what they can do and not, can they build a house, drill a well, farm their land).

And, Israel has sealed-off this Palestinian land from others, by armed force, outsiders, Palestinians living elsewhere, in Areas A and B, severing relationships.

And, Israel has divided-up this Palestinian land into many ghettos, by armed force, each isolated from the others within Area C.

Prisons.

Egg-crating Palestinians, by armed force, by walls, barricaded roadways, trenches, fences, checkpoints.

Isolating Palestinians, by armed force, from each other, from public services, hospitals, schools, workplaces, and such.

These severe restrictions amount to an “appropriation,” the plunder, of all that restricted land, the whole 22%, a confiscation of material rights, of ownership, enjoyment, access, ingress, egress.

Israel has likewise appropriated some of the 227 islands of Areas A and B, too, by converting them into walled, locked, ghettos, with access, ingress, egress, controlled by the armed force of the Israel army. These being all islands of Areas A and B in the seam and most, or all, of them adjacent to the wall, on the other side.

This appropriation, in the service of Israel’s settlements and outposts. To maintain a buffer zone, in their environs, free of Palestinians. To corral Palestinians, into despair, ghettos, to teach them hopelessness, to motivate them, to exile themselves, ethnically cleanse themselves, flee their bleak house, abandon their homes, their farms, their land, and leave, relocate, into Areas A and B.

To facilitate Israel’s ongoing, continuous, confiscations (a war crime) of that “abandoned” land.

Many Palestinians, about 70,000 of them, live in Area C, under these severe restrictions. Israel permits them to continue living there, on their own land, in the occupied Palestinian territory, but only by written permit, which the Israel army can revoke, summarily, on whim — a Damocles Sword — and if they disobey movement restrictions, and other orders, of the Israel army.

Area C is apparently Israel’s shopping list, the Palestinian land Israel has selected, to confiscate for itself (a war crime), and to incorporate into Greater Israel. And some part of it, as a bargaining counter, plundered land Israel can “give up” in a negotiation, demanding praise, for their generosity, and a quid pro quo, for the loss of their loot.

This plunder (a war crime) is carried out, on political orders, by the Israel army, which continuously enforces this continuous war crime, to separate Palestinians from their land.

To obey and enforce those criminal orders, from its political masters, the Israel army employs different modalities:—

formal confiscations (with paperwork, using the forms of law),

informal confiscations (seizures, with no pretense of law),

de facto confiscations (excluding owners, by armed force, from their land),

expropriation of most public land (excluding Palestinian inhabitants, by armed force), and

appropriation of the rest (enforcing severe restrictions, by armed force, on Palestinian use of their own land).

 

The wall

“The wall” exemplifies all facets of all three war crimes.

Most of the wall is a “composite obstacle:” a wire fence, an armored trench, a patrol road, 50/80 meters wide (see, “Design of the Multi layered Fence system” (Israel Ministry of Defense, “Israel’s Security Fence”), posted with signs threatening the ambush killing (a war crime) of any who cross it.

That’s about 96% of it, the barrier as will be, if complicit U.S. officials permit Israel to complete it, its final length (472 miles, 760 kilometers).

But most people don’t see that, because that’s where the population is sparse.

The 2.444 million Palestinians living there, in the West Bank portion of their occupied territory, most of them, those who see it, what they see is a wall, not a fence.

A high concrete wall, 18.6 miles of it (30 kilometers), in densely populated areas, 8 meters tall (26 feet), and some sectors higher, 12 meters tall (40 feet), with embedded concrete watchtowers.

And so, the International Court of Justice, after argument and deliberation, decided to term it a “wall.” Not a fence, not a barrier.

A wall.

It may be 4% only, of the whole barrier length, but that 4%, that’s what most people see. And the whole of it functions as a wall. You can’t cross it, unless you’re willing to be killed, by a sniper, in an ambush (a war crime), or imprisoned, in a distant desert, indefinitely.

In U.S. public discourse, the wall is portrayed as simply defending Israel.

But this is Israeli rhetoric, and framing, adopted by the U.S. corporate media, dominated by Jews, which conceals a simple fact, a material fact, a fact which is not rhetoric:

80% of the wall defends, not Israel, but Israelis. 340,000 Israeli “settlers,” about 75% of the 450,000 Israeli settlers, now dwelling, not in Israel, but on Palestinian land, plundered land, Palestinian land Israel confiscated (a war crime) (includes Israeli occupied East Jerusalem). Israeli citizens Israel permitted (a separate war crime) to transfer there, into the Palestinian territory, to live on confiscated Palestinian land.

And not merely defends the Israeli settlers. The wall purports to incorporate them, into a Greater Israel. To annex all that Palestinian land, de facto. Palestinian land Israel has patiently confiscated, and ethnically cleansed. To annex it, physically, to Israel, with the wall.

Israel erected the wall (the 80%), not along its border, to defend Israel.

Instead, Israel (a belligerent occupier) erected the wall (the 80%), by armed force, on land its occupies by force, its neighbor’s land (occupied Palestinian territory).

Israel plundered Palestinian land for the wall itself (the 80%), its footprint, erected on confiscated Palestinian land:

“The "footprint" of Phase One construction has been estimated at 11,500 dunums (2,875 acres, or 11.5 sq. km) {4.44 square miles, 1,150 hectares}.

When completed, this first phase of the Wall will cut across roads and water networks and will form a barrier between Palestinians on each side and their agricultural lands, water wells, urban markets, and public services.”

The impact of Israel's separation barrier on affected West Bank communities (U.N. OCHA-oPt, Humanitarian and Emergency Policy Group, Local Aid Coordination Committee, May 4 2003).

This confiscation of Palestinian land, for the footprint of the wall, this is a war crime, unless the wall is “justified by military necessity.”

Is the wall “justified by military necessity”? (Geneva-4, 1949, article 147, quoted below).

Is destruction of Palestinian property, for the footprint of the wall, “rendered absolutely necessary by military operations”? (Geneva-4, 1949, article 53, quoted below).

Here’s a clue:

If there were no Israeli settlers, in occupied Palestinian territory, would there be any need for a wall (the 80%), in occupied Palestinian territory?

No settlers, no wall (the 80%).

No need, no pretext, no excuse, no rationale, no necessity, no justification, to erect a wall (the 80%), in occupied Palestinian territory.

The plain purpose of the wall (the 80%) is to aid and abet two violent war crimes, to defend them, to service them, to entrench them.

These two violent war crimes: (1) confiscation of Palestinian land for Israeli settlements and (2) transfer into those settlements by Israeli citizens.

The wall (the 80%) is part and parcel of those two violent crimes.

Surely, to be “justified,” military action must be lawful, as well as necessary.

Bank robbers, they can find it necessary, to kill pursuing police officers, to make their escape.

As with the bank robbers, the goal here too is criminal (aiding and abetting two violent war crimes).

Hence, no amount of military necessity can “justify” confiscations for the wall.

And likewise, a connected, separate, third war crime, namely: (3) extensive destruction of Palestinian property, to clear a path for the wall.

The wall itself (the 80% of it), being a violent criminal enterprise (aiding and abetting two violent war crimes), destroying property to make way for it, this too is a violent war crime, destruction not “justified by military necessity.”

A land grab, not protecting settlers, this is the actuating motive for the wall (the 80% of it), according to many Israelis.

Be that as it may, if settlers need protecting, then Israel has lawful remedy: To unsettle them, dissettle them, remove them, back inside the borders of Israel, where they belong.

But Israel did not choose this lawful path, withdraw from its violent criminal enterprise, bring all its settlers back home.

Instead Israel chose to intensify its violent crimes, to build a wall, on its neighbor’s land. To commit yet more violent war crimes, to plunder yet more land, to protect its settlers, to defend Israel’s plunder, to secure it, the war crime loot of Israel’s armed robbery, to entrench Israeli transfers, a war crime, permitting foreigners to transfer into occupied territory.

Describing the wall as defending Israel, we’ve heard this before. It’s a famous refrain:—

“Ich bin Deutschland.”

Adolph Hitler was not Germany.

His word was law, yes, but not to this extent:—

He could not legalize his own violent crimes.

And so too Israel.

An Israeli settler can say, “Ich bin Israel.”

But that does not make it so.

Everywhere Israelis dwell is not Israel. Israel cannot rob its neighbor of their lands, permit its citizens to transfer there, to live there, and by those two violent crimes, remake that stolen land, Israel.

Yes, they can do it — grab the land, as they have done, a powerful, violent, criminal, state, especially as they have protection, another powerful, violent, criminal, state, complicit with them, in their joint, violent, criminal, enterprise.

But complicity by the United States (a criminal tort), and criminal complicity (violent crime) by many U.S. nationals (government officers, employees, extra-governmental operatives):—

This powerhouse, a violent criminal enterprise, yes, Israel can do it, and yes, the United States can make it stick, as facts on the ground.

But no, they cannot make it legal.

They cannot make their violent war crimes, their violent criminal torts, legal.

Wherever they hide, one day, down the road, so long as they shall live, each one of them, one by one, they can be hunted down, apprehended, prosecuted, convicted, imprisoned, executed.

For their violent crimes.

By any country in the world.

Including their own countries.

And that, is legal.

 

Maps

Map of Security Fence Project (“Revised route of the security fence according to the government decision of April 30, 2006”) {2.6mb.jpg, source} (“Revised route of the security fence, updated map as of April 30th 2006”) (IDFMU, map scale 1:200,000).
Map of Security Fence Project (“Revised route of the security fence as of April 2007”) {7.25mb.jpg, source} (Israel Ministry of Defense, IDFMU: Israel Defense Forces, Aman: Military Intelligence Directorate, MU: Mapping Unit, map scale 1:250,000).

_______________

Source: (for those below): U.N. OCHA-oPt: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, occupied Palestinian territory {maps: barriers, closures}, copy: OCHA, ReliefWeb, Complex Emergency: Occupied Palestinian Territory (CE)) {maps}.
West Bank Barrier Route (map, June 2007) {464kb.pdf, barriers, copy, source}.
West Bank Barrier Update (map, April 2007) {293kb.pdf, source}, “on 30 April 2006, the Israeli cabinet approved a revised route ... the revisions include ...”
West Bank Barrier Route Projections (map, April 2007) {with the previous map, separate earlier versions: 436kb.pdf, 547kb.pdf, barriers}, 712 km, 80% of it seizing 10.17% of the West Bank and East Jerusalem (142,130 acres, 57,518 hectares), isolating 200,000 Palestinians in guarded ghettos.
The next maps depict additional confiscations: barricaded settlements, networks of barricaded roads (which double as internal “barriers”), right of free passage, access rights to extensive “closed areas.”
West Bank & Gaza Strip Closure Maps (April 2007) {7.20mb.pdf, closures}, inside the occupied territories: “a 17 pages booklet with in-detail maps of all governorates, key figures, and barrier projections. Detailed maps of Hebron's old city and East Jerusalem.”
West Bank Closure Photo Album (May 2 2007) {9.62mb.pdf, closures}, inside the occupied territories: photos of tools, erected by the occupying power, to block access and restrict movement, inside the occupied territories, by the occupied population, and to alter and control their behavior, marked on maps by symbols, with these names: “checkpoint, earthmound, road block, road gate, earth wall, trench, road barrier, passage, observation tower.”
West Bank: Effect of closure and permit regime on Palestinian movement (map, November 2006) {308kb.pdf, closures, copy, source}, inside the occupied territories: “permit required for all 'closed areas' ... effective partitions due to closure policy.”
Fragmentation of the West Bank (map, May 7 2007) {508kb.pdf, closures, copy, source}, inside the occupied territories: “Israeli settlements, roads primarily for settler use, closed military zones ... checkpoints, underpasses.”
West Bank: Access and Closures (map, April 19 2007) {8.27mb.pdf, closures, summary}.
South Qalqiliya (map, July 2 2007) {367kb.pdf, barriers, copy, source}.
North Tulkarm (map, July 2 2007) {508kb.pdf, barriers, copy, source}.

 

The seam

In addition to its own footprint, the wall plunders 222 square miles of Palestinian land, 10.2% of the “West Bank,” 142,130 acres (575 square kilometers, 57,518 hectares) (source below).

Israel calls this “the seam.”

The seam is Palestinian land, occupied territory, between the wall Israel erected on Palestinian land (80% of the wall), and Israel’s border (the “green line”), the border recognized by the law of belligerent occupation (I.C.J. advisory opinion).

Israel had already confiscated (a war crime), previous to the wall, roughly 100 square miles of it, of the 222 in the seam. This, for 49 of its 121 current settlements, with 190,000 Israeli settlers, plus East Jerusalem, with 12 settlements, confiscated houses, and 180,000 Israeli settlers.

28.6 square miles of the seam is visibly developed, by Israel, for those Israeli settlements, and outposts, inside the wall, on Palestinian land, in the seam, and the rest of that 100 (70-80% of settlement “jurisdiction” generally), is Palestinian land Israel confiscated, in the seam, and reserves for future expansion.

Dror Etkes, Hagit Ofran, Breaking the Law in the West Bank—One Violation Leads to Another: Israeli Settlement Building on Private Palestinian Property (Peace Now, Settlement Watch Team, Jerusalem, published November 21 2006) {644kb.pdf}, Lara Friedman (Americans for Peace Now), Dror Etkes (Peace Now), “For the Record: Peace Now Answers Questions about its Report on Settlement Construction on Privately-Owned Palestinian Property” (December 2006).

Israel snaked its wall, carefully, to incorporate the land it confiscated for its settlements, the biggest and the nearest of them, and the 320,000 Israeli settlers living there, in the “seam.”

30% of Israeli settlers dwell outside the wall, on Palestinian land confiscated by Israel, deep inside the occupied Palestinian territory, about half the 219 square miles of land Israel has confiscated so far, for settlements (their “jurisdiction”).

Most of the rest of the land in the seam Israel has also plundered (a war crime), though not yet confiscated.

The Israeli military bases in the seam, the confiscation of land for these, some of it anyway, is likely justified by military necessity, for legitimate activity by the Israel army, the government of the occupied territory.

But not the “Jews-only” roads.

As detailed below, the “Jews-only” roads are barricaded roadways, entirely within the occupied Palestinian territory. They too are violent war crimes, identical to the wall itself. They too are constructed on confiscated Palestinian land. They too have the same criminal purpose. They too are walls, appropriating Palestinian land on both sides. They too cannot be crossed, except at gates, also few and far between, also closed most of every day, also only with a permit, often refused. They too egg-crate the lawful inhabitants, to please the unlawful inhabitants.

And not Palestinian farmland.

Israel routed its wall, within the occupied Palestinian territory, to separate Palestinian owners from their Palestinian farmland, to destroy their livelihood, to encourage them to disappear, to increase the Lebensraum, of Greater Israel.

Palestine’s bread basket, now lies fallow.

This is a de facto confiscation, of occupied Palestinian territory, a violent war crime, “appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity” (Geneva-4, 1949, article 147, quoted below).

“It is expected that an estimated 100,000 dunums of the West Bank’s most fertile agricultural land {39 square miles, 25,000 acres, 100 square kilometers, 10,000 hectares}, confiscated by the Israeli Occupation Forces, have been destroyed during the first phase of the wall construction, which involves the disappearance of vast amounts of property, notably private agricultural land and olive trees, wells, citrus groves and hothouses upon which tens of thousands of Palestinians rely upon for their survival.

In addition, further agricultural land adjacent to the wall has been allegedly declared off limits to Palestinians, rendering it useless.”

Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, U.N. Doc. A/58/311, ¶ 26, page 10 (35th report, August 22 2003, U.N. General Assembly, 58th session) {UNBISnet, browse}.

“The land confiscated is some of the most fertile land in the OPT {occupied Palestinian territory}.

By constructing the fence Israel will also effectively annex most of the western aquifer system (which provides 51 per cent of the West Bank’s water resources).

With the fence/wall cutting communities off from their land and water without other means of subsistence, many of the Palestinians living in these areas will be forced to leave. It is estimated that 6,000 to 8,000 people have already left the area of Qualquilya.”

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler, on His Mission to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (3-12 July 2003), U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2004/10/Add.2, ¶ 51, page 18 (UNCHR: U.N. Commission on Human Rights, 60th session, U.N. Economic and Social Council, October 31 2003) {UNBISnet, browse}.

 

Those excerpts, from those U.N. documents, were quoted by the 15-judge U.N. I.C.J., in its opinion condemning the wall (2004 I.C.J. 136, 190-191 ¶ 133, July 9 2004).

Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 2004 I.C.J. 136 (U.N. I.C.J.: International Court of Justice, The Hague, Advisory Opinion, July 9 2004) {8.1mb.pdf, source}, ICJ summary {128.5kb.pdf, source} {UNBISnet: ICJ883, ISBN: 9210709934, LCCN: 2001380451, OCLC: 156587491, WorldCat}, series, I.C.J. Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders {UNBISnet, ISSN: 0074-4441, LCCN, UCal}, U.N. Doc. A/ES-10/273 (July 16 2004) {469kb.pdf, UNBISnet, browse}.

A reverse situation, some Palestinians, business owners, lost their trade, when the wall separated them from their customers, walling Palestinian customers out of Palestinian land (the seam).

This is a de facto confiscation, from the business owners, of their property, destroying its value, its income-producing asset value, and their society, their way of life.

And, it’s an appropriation, from the walled-out Palestinians of their land too, their freedom to patronize the business owners, their shops and services, on the other side of the wall, on Palestinian land (the seam).

In some rural locales, Israel permits walled-out farmers to cross the wall, at a single guarded gate, mostly on foot only, to trudge to their distant farmland in the seam, to work during a few hours only, on certain days only, sometimes during harvest season only.

Such severe restrictions, these amount to an appropriation of their farmland, tantamount to confiscation of it.

“In October 2003, the area between the Barrier and the Green Line in the northern West Bank was declared closed by military order.

All Palestinians living in this area are required to obtain 'permanent resident' permits from the Israeli authorities.

Non-resident Palestinians who need to enter the area, in particular famers, must apply for a visitor permit to access their farmlands and water resources through designated gates.

Eligibility requirements for Palestinians needing visitor permits have become increasingly stringent. Consequently, fewer Palestinians are obtaining such permits. Those who are unable to prove direct ownership of the land — for example, relatives to landowners such as nephews, uncles, cousins and grandchildren, landless labourers, sharecroppers and leaseholders — find that their access to the closed areas is now virtually impossible.

By mid-2006, only 40% of farming families with land in closed areas could reach their family holdings.

For the minority who are granted permits, access is restricted to a specific gate. Gates open and shut irregularly, and can be totally shut without warning. Only 26 gates in the northern West Bank are open to Palestinians on a regular basis, typically for short periods in the early morning, noon and late afternoon, and 'visitors' are prohibited from staying on their land overnight.

Many gates are 'seasonal,' open only for a limited period during the olive harvest. This regime prevents the ploughing, pruning, spraying and weeding required throughout the year that is necessary for optimum yields.

Tractors and other agricultural equipment and materials may not be allowed through, and an individual's land may be located a long distance from the gate over difficult terrain.

Restrictive gate openings and permit allocations are already having a negative impact on agricultural practices and on rural livelihoods. Many farmers cultivate their land infrequently or not at all, or have changed to lower maintenance and lower yield crops.

The longer term consequences for these communities is uncertain, as they lose contact with the land on which they depend both for their present livelihood and for their future survival.”

The Humanitarian Impact on Palestinians of Israeli Settlements and Other Infrastructure in the West Bank {22.7mb.pdf, source, source}, Chapter 4, “Settlements and Palestinian rural centres,” “The Barrier separates Palestinian communities from their land,” pages 110-111 (U.N. OCHA-oPt: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, occupied Palestinian territory, July 2007), reported, “Israeli infrastructure divides West Bank into enclaves, hurts Palestinians — UN{pf} (U.N. News, Friday August 31 2007) and (UN Daily News, issue DH/4974, August 31 2007) {173kb.pdf, source}.

This is an appropriation of land not yet confiscated.

A material curtailment, expropriation, of the rights of ownership.

And, a slow motion confiscation, in progress.

The apparent Israeli goal is to drive Palestinians insane.

To torture them, plunge them into despair, hold them under, until they drown, in hopelessness, abandon their land, and leave.

A sadistic, immoral, despicable, hateful, criminal, regime.

Administered by violent criminals, bold and audacious, in their sense of impunity.

Untouchable, they feel, in powerful company.

Complicit with them, in their violent crimes.

Americans, United States nationals.

For 40 long years, aiding and abetting, facilitating, these violent crimes, in high gear the last 25 years, beginning with Ronald Reagan, in 1981.

Certainly, some Israelis, and some Americans, are not sadistic, immoral, despicable, criminal, people. Maybe even many of them.

They oppose these violent crimes.

As do others, not because they’re crimes, but because the industrial scale of them attracts unwanted attention. They believe it wiser, to wage violent crime on a smaller scale, over a longer period.

Jimmy Carter says Israel’s decision to seize Palestinian land for settlements, that decision was made by a small number of greedy people, and he cites polls, that a majority of Israeli citizens oppose the settlements.

But they do not vote their claimed beliefs.

They secretly support the crimes, or else consider other political issues more important, more important than violent crime against their neighbors.

May be, as Jimmy Carter says, that’s how it started, a few greedy people.

But the few are now many.

Crime is contagious.

As Adolph Hitler discovered, all you have to do is divide-up the loot, and suddenly, voices fall silent, people with reservations swallow them, and stick out their hand, for their share.

450,000 Israeli settlers, in the occupied Palestinian territory. All of them in housing, built by U.S. taxpayers, lured by Israeli tax and cash incentives, funded by U.S. taxpayers.

Most settlers doubtless have extended families, relieved about their settler-children, their settler cousins, that they have such a nice house to live in, and on such good terms.

Settlement builders, developers, bankers, real estate agents, advertisers, merchants:—

A lot of people, a lot money, a lot of satisfaction, from violent crime.

A lot of voters.

Democracy, as a criminal enterprise.

Let’s vote.

To rob our neighbors.

And split the loot.

All in favor, say aye.

The character of a nation emerges, from what it does, not from polls, not from isolated voices, in its midst, their objections, their opinions, their laments.

The Israel army restrictions on Palestinians, their movements in the seam (Palestinian land), this too constitutes an appropriation by Israel from them, of their land, all the Palestinian territory they are prevented, by armed force, to visit, to move to, to drive to, to walk to.

The Israel army permits them to move around inside their walled ghettos, and often to exit their ghettos, and move around their near vicinity, during limited hours. But The Israel army prohibits them going elsewhere in the seam, or outside the seam. And the Israel army prevents others, dwelling outside their locality (in the seam or elsewhere), to come and visit.

The Israel army isolates them.

The Israel army grants special permissions now and again, here and there, for this or that person to go out, or an outsider to come in, but this is not the norm.

By this regime, Israel has appropriated their land from them, all the land in the Palestinian territory they could otherwise access, without begging permission, and being usually denied.

Palestinians still occupy some land in the seam, some of that 222 square miles.

60,500 Palestinians dwell in the seam, in 42 villages and towns.

But, the Palestinian land these Palestinians still occupy, there in the seam, is more accurately viewed as appropriated by Israel (a war crime), and then licensed back to them by Israel, with severe restrictions attached, curtailing their use and enjoyment of their own property.

They are entitled to continue to occupy their own land if they receive a permit from Israel. Otherwise they have to abandon their land, flee the seam, or face prison.

And, to keep their permit, they must obey severe movement restrictions.

This appropriation of their land (via imposition of severe movement restrictions), this is not “justified by military necessity” (Geneva-4, 1949, quoted below).

Like the wall itself, and like the Jews-only roads, these movement restrictions, they too have the same criminal purpose, to aid and abet the two violent war crimes, settlement land confiscations and population transfers.

Even with a permit, the Israel army imprisons them.

More than half of them (31,400), Israel has walled into 12 ghettos, completely encircled by the concrete wall — its loops, its spurs, its detached clones — corralled, guarded, locked at night, sometimes for days or weeks.

And the rest as well (29,100), they too are likewise ghettoed and curfewed (most of them, all of them, I do not know), by various barriers and gates.

This a war crime of ill treatment (a violation of various laws of war), beyond the scope of this memorandum.

But, this ghetto regime likewise amounts to a confiscation of their property rights, of free ingress and egress:—

Confining them, isolating them, excluding their family, friends, colleagues, opportunities, commerce, education, health care.

Equally on the other side of the wall.

More than twice the length of Israel’s West Bank boundary, the sinuous wall surrounds a further 124,300 Palestinians, in 28 villages, on the other side of the wall, the Palestinian side, walls them in on three sides, with barricaded roads, other barriers, and guarded gates on the fourth, a ditto ill treatment and confiscation of their property rights.

Ghettos: To lock them in, to lock them out, to bar their friends, their family, their commerce, toy with them, mystify them, harass them, by whimsy, to lessen their number, family by family, impress upon them, each of them, one by one, the bleak life they face, how little life holds, if they don’t abandon their homes, their farms, their businesses, and leave. Just go.

A slow motion, sadistic, holocaust, a life and death of despair.

West Bank Barrier Route Projections—“Preliminary Overview” (U.N. OCHA-oPt IMU: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, occupied Palestinian territory, Information Management Unit, map/text, July 5 2006) {547kb.pdf, source}, ditto, (map/text, April 2007) {293kb.pdf, source} (source of most of the numbers about the seam, the settlement numbers are sourced below).

 

Besides new settlement construction, on confiscated Palestinian land, Israel also confiscates (a war crime) existing Palestinian houses on Palestinian land. Most are urban houses Israel seized in occupied East Jerusalem, a large Palestinian region where Israel also constructed 12 new settlements on Palestinian land it confiscated (a war crime). Israel has permitted (a war crime) 200,000 Israeli settlers to transfer into occupied East Jerusalem, to live in these confiscated houses and settlements built on confiscated land.

The International Court of Justice dealt with the wall and the Palestinian land it encloses (the “seam”).

There’s also land beyond the wall, likewise occupied Palestinian territory.

Settlements

Israel has constructed settlements and outposts all over the West Bank, on Palestinian land Israel confiscated (a war crime).

121 current “settlements” the Israel government formally approved, a prima facie violent war crime by each member of the Israel cabinet who did not vote against it. (Israel removed 17 additional settlements, from Gaza, in 2005, and 4 additional settlements from the northern West Bank).

Settlements List (121 current settlements, with their populations in 2005, 267,500 Israeli settlers currently, descriptions, map locations, linked from a JavaScript menu) (excluding East Jerusalem, 12 settlements, confiscated houses, 180,000 Israeli settlers), “Table of population in the settlements since 1967 (according to the Central Bureau of Statistics)” {81kb.xls} (spreadsheet file, dated February 2 2007, listing 145 settlements, including 17 closed in Gaza and 4 closed in the northern West Bank, some censored data: name, year established, population by year from 1980, east/west of fence, social profile), “Settlement population growth graph (according to Central Bureau of Statistics),” 1993 (189,000) to 2005 (590,000) {15kb.xls} (spreadsheet file, dated April 10 2007) (Peace Now, Settlement Watch Team, Jerusalem).

For these settlements, Israel confiscated Palestinian land (a war crime) in a formal way, at least for some of them, maybe many, perhaps most, possibly all.

Confiscations by the forms of law, administered by the Israel army. Written notices (military orders by an Israel army commander), sometimes appeals heard by military “courts.”

Paperwork, stamps, dates, descriptions, signatures, an appearance of legality, a narrative, a myth, that this land is Israel, and what goes on there is perfectly normal and routine and legal, and “Look, here are the papers to prove it.”

And, of course the Israel army, to enforce the confiscation orders.

Forms of law, barren of substance, a mirage, an illusion.

To mask a violent criminal enterprise, a war crime.

This is precisely what Adolph Hitler did, in Poland.

It was “legal,” under German law, under law the German occupier imposed on the occupied territory, it was “legal,” for Germany to confiscate 14 million acres of Polish land, and urban houses, for German settlements in Poland.

It was “legal,” for Germany, the occupying power, to transfer foreigners into the occupied territory, to dwell in those settlements, German citizens, and ethnic Germans from other lands.

It was legal, if judged by the occupying power, its laws, regulations, administrative proceedings of its occupation bureaucracy.

There was plenty of paperwork, to prove it was legal (linked below): Forms, legal notices, administrative court appeals, published laws, regulations, proclamations, bureaucrats, and such.

And, of course, the German army, to enforce the confiscation orders.

In criminal trials, after the war, these forms of law, German officials used, to make it look legal:—

These counted for nothing.

Armed robbery is violent crime, a war crime by an occupying power confiscating land, and no amount of paperwork, and official notices, and bureaucrats, and forms of law, can alter that simple fact.

It is beyond the legal capacity of an occupying power to legalize its own illegal conduct, to legalize the violent crimes of its own officials, agents, operatives, and others it permits to perpetrate crime, in the territory it occupies.

So ruled the military tribunals, at Nuremberg.

Stealth expansion

In the last decade, or so, Israel has largely abandoned forms of law, when confiscating Palestinian land (a war crime) for Israel’s settlements.

Instead, Israel resorts to informal confiscations. Seizures of Palestinian land, in violation of Israel’s own illegal law, with no paperwork, no pretense of legality.

This, to obscure the facts, to not admit the facts, in public documents, seizure notices, that Israel continues to expand its settlements, despite periodic public pronouncements, by Israeli officials, to the contrary.

Israeli settlements have two components: What you can see (the physical footprint, buildings, roads, parks, perimeter road/fence). And what you can’t see (the settlement’s “jurisdiction”), adjacent Palestinian land Israel also confiscated (a war crime) for future expansion.

Be it a formal confiscation with public paperwork (this confiscated adjacent Palestinian land), an informal secret confiscation with secret paperwork, a simple seizure with no paperwork:—

I do not know.

But I presume there is paperwork, and some or all of it is secret, but known to some Israeli government departments, because the size of these settlement jurisdictions (confiscated Palestinian land), long-secret from the Israeli public, has now finally been secured via an Israeli court order. Whether it’s honest or not, the full story, I do not know. Israeli courts and judges (many of them) are co-principals, with other Israeli officials, aiding and abetting, facilitating, these violent war crimes.

Because nobody can see their jurisdiction boundary, settlers build outside their jurisdiction, in nearly all settlements, even though they have ample confiscated land within it. 88% of their confiscated Palestinian land is vacant, inside the jurisdiction of the settlements. Yet, the settlers have built 30% of their buildings outside their jurisdiction, on adjacent confiscated Palestinian land.

This, to create yet new “facts on the ground,” by stealth, to pressure politicians, conserving their confiscated jurisdiction land for future expansion.

This stealth expansion of the settlements, onto newly confiscated land (a war crime), is done with the knowledge and assistance of Israeli officials, who build the roads, provide the utilities, grant financial/tax incentives, police/army protection, for the new settlers, and such:—

All working together harmoniously, in a serene group effort, to increase the Lebensraum, of Greater Israel.

The “settlement movement.”

A violent war crime.

Excel viewer {74.1mb.exe} (.xls file)
Dror Etkes, Hagit Ofran, Construction and development of settlements beyond the official limits of jurisdiction – July 2007 (Peace Now, Settlement Watch Team, Jerusalem, published July 6 2007) {644kb.pdf}, “table showing the settlements according to the percentage of their use of the area” {644kb.xls} (spreadsheet file dated July 5 2007), tabulating 163 settlements/outposts, with a jurisdiction of 567,812 dunams {219 square miles, 140,309 acres, 567 square kilometers, 56,781 hectares} (settlement jurisdiction plus stealth expansion plus outposts), visible development on 27.7% of that (157,367 dunums) {61 square miles, 38,886 acres, 157 square kilometers, 15,736 hectares}, 30% outside their jurisdiction boundaries, with 88% vacant confiscated land, inside their jurisdiction.

 

Outposts

“Since 1996, no government has officially decided upon the establishment of a new settlement on the West Bank.”

Instead, Israel implemented a new regime, to continue settlement expansion.

A species of informal confiscations of Palestinian land, the seeds, of future big settlements.

Identical to the stealth expansions, but without the guise of stealth.

Both are war crimes, both are illegal even under Israel’s own illegal settlement regime (the forms of law).

The agents of the “outpost” confiscations (war crimes) are Israel’s heroic pioneers (as they portray themselves), doing god’s work, they say, secretly commissioned by Israel (state-sponsored, with winks, nods, money, services), to continue the settlement movement, sow seeds for future settlements, expanded settlements, slowly, patiently, accreting facts on the ground, increasing the Lebensraum, of Greater Israel.

They boldly seize Palestinian land at a distance from existing settlements, not adjacent land.

Israel promised the U.S. it would freeze its settlements, because the U.S. had an image problem (aiding and abetting Israel’s violent war crime).

Israel created the outpost regime, and the settlement stealth expansions, to evade that promise.

Israel has created 106 outposts (at November 6 2007), in addition to its 121 declared settlements, demonstrating its promise was empty, for public show, which neither side, apparently, ever intended to keep or enforce, at any rate neither has.

Outpost List (106 outposts, descriptions and dated aerial photos, linked from a JavaScript menu), Updated Outpost List {58kb.xls} (spreadsheet file, dated November 6 2007, listing 106 outposts: name, date established, number of permanent houses and caravans, the closest settlement, and distance from it) (Peace Now, Settlement Watch Team, Jerusalem).

U.S. officials, and their image consultants, they did not impress the watching public, the foreign public, the public not ignoranted, by the U.S. corporate media.

They did not impress Osama bin Laden who — like everybody else — knows violent crime when he sees it.

And, complicity in violent crime, when he sees it.

Army (IDF)

Israel’s army (IDF: Israeli Defense Force) routinely participates in this violent war crime too, this armed robbery of the vigilante variety, by attacking with armed force, any Palestinian so bold to resist the violent crimes of the outpost builders, their seizure of Palestinian land.

Those few Palestinians still remaining there, in the “closed military zones,” where the Israeli settlers dwell. Like the rest of the Palestinians, they too won’t be there much longer, to trouble the tranquility of the Israeli settlers. The settlers, they’re only trying to mind their own business, enjoy their looted property, in peace and quiet.

And, the Israel army does another thing.

Nothing.

When Israeli settlers attack Palestinians going about their lawful business, especially farmers, throw stones, beat them, shoot and kill them;—

The Israel army stands by, and does nothing.

Criminal complicity in the settler’s violent criminal terrorism.

Now and again, here and there, the Israel army escorts Palestinians, to protect them from violent criminal Israeli settlers.

But never, has the Israeli army, the government of the occupied Palestinian territory, never (to my knowledge) has the occupier government suppressed the violent crimes of the Israeli settlers, arrested, prosecuted, imprisoned them for their violent crimes, attacked them, to suppress their violent crimes in progress, in defense of their Palestinian victims, as the laws of war require the Israeli army to do.

The Israel army, Jewish mafia muscle.

The Israel army, a violent, criminal, state-sponsored, terrorist, organization.

This, instead of an Israel Defense Force (IDF) doing what its duty demands, namely, arresting and prosecuting those Israeli outpost builders, a violation even of Israel’s own law, as the laws of war also require Israel to do, the occupying power.

It’s not surprising they’re confused about it, what they’re supposed to do.

Why is one violent criminal enterprise “legal” (settlements) and another not (outposts)?

That’s enough to befuddle PhDs in ivory towers, let alone young soldiers on the ground.

And so, they just obey orders.

“ The Background for the Establishment of the Unauthorized Outposts

In fact, the unauthorized outposts phenomenon is a continuation of the settlement enterprise in the territories.

But while in the distant past the Israeli governments officially acknowledged and encouraged the settlement enterprise, in some of the years, a major change took place in the beginning of the nineties. The Israeli governments were no longer officially involved in the establishment of settlements, apparently due to Israel’s international situation, and the negative position of most nations towards the settlement enterprise.

That was not the case for public authorities and other Israeli government bodies, who took, along with others, a major role in establishing the unauthorized outposts.

Some of which were inspired by the political echelon, sometimes by overlooking, sometimes by actual encouragement and support, but never as a result of an authorized resolution by the qualified political echelon of the State.

* * *

Conclusion ...

The IDF, who has sovereignty in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and is responsible for peace and security, and the Israeli police, who is responsible of law enforcement in these territories —

Both fail to stand up to their missions.

Law enforcement bodies cannot act against State authorities breaking the law. They cannot handle a mixed message, that the outposts are illegal but encouraged by the authorities.

The security concept, that wherever there is an Israeli person — IDF will be there to protect him, resulted in a very sad reality.

Therefore, any settler who places his home wherever he chooses, even if unauthorized and against the law — gains the protection of the army.

The outcome is that the settlers are the ones who set the army’s deployment in the territories, not the army. Everyone is king. In order to protect one outpost, forces must be taken out of other places. The forces are not unlimited, and so the security level drops down.

The protection supplied by IDF to unauthorized outposts, its mere existence there, drags it unwillingly to give its “seal” to unauthorized outposts.”

Word viewer {24.5mb.exe} (.doc file)
Talia Sasson (advocate), Sasson Report (to the Israel prime minister, copy to the Israel attorney general), Summary of the Opinion Concerning Unauthorized Outposts {297kb.doc, source, 201kb.doc, copy, source, html} (italics and boldface in the original), full report in Hebrew, omitting maps {1.84mb.pdf, source}, “PM Receives Sasson Report on Unauthorized Outposts” (Israel Prime Minister’s Office, press release, March 8 2005) (archive), reported, “Israel 'funded illegal outposts'{pf}, Jonny Dymond (Jerusalem, reporting), video (nb, bb) (BBC News, March 9 2005).

Roads (Israeli-only)

All Israeli settlements, in the occupied Palestinian territory, are connected, among themselves and to Israel, by barricaded highways and utility corridors.

Like the settlements, these Israeli-only roads are also erected on confiscated Palestinian land (a war crime).

The Israel army (IDF), by armed force, prevents Palestinians from traveling on these “Jews-only” roads, as Israelis call them.

Theoretically, Israeli Palestinians are allowed on these roads too, because they have the same Israeli licence plates as Israeli Jews do.

And so, I’ll call them “Israeli-only roads.”

____________________

Israeli Palestinians (20% of Israelis) are second class citizens in Israel, a “Jewish state.” They have many, maybe most, but not all, the same rights and protections as Israeli Jews.

Israel has some laws which discriminate against Israeli Palestinians. And, like most other states in history, including the U.S., most Israeli discrimination against its own citizens (Israeli Palestinians) is extra-legal, unwritten, a devious, deceitful, immoral, illegal, social norm.

And so, what might be in theory, might not be in practice.

I wonder if any Israeli Palestinians live in an Israeli settlement, on Palestinian land.

I read that some settlements are advertised for Jews only, and Jews who believe this and not that, who do this and not that. Maybe all settlements are for Jews only, including some for secular and pagan Jews.

This is the same as restrictive covenants in U.S. neighborhoods once declared:— “No Jews.” (Now, unenforceable, under U.S. law).

____________________

Israeli-only roads are shown on the U.N. maps, I haven’t measured them.

Amnesty International says, 700 kilometers of roads {435 miles}, in the West Bank (occupied Palestinian territory), “are banned for Palestinians.” Presumably, these are Israeli-only roads of all descriptions (main, regional, secondary, local).

Enduring occupation: Palestinians under siege in the West Bank {2.6mb.pdf}, page 2 (Amnesty International, International Secretariat, Peter Benenson House, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 0DW, United Kingdom, June 4 2007, AI index MDE 15/033/2007).

B'Tselem says, 312 kilometers of “main” roads {194 miles}, on these “main” roads, in the West Bank (occupied Palestinian territory), “Israel forbids or restricts vehicles bearing Palestinian license plates.”

Ground to a Halt: Denial of Palestinians' Freedom of Movement in the West Bank (summary), executive summary {53kb.doc} (B'Tselem –“The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories,” August 7 2005), “For seven years, Israel has denied Palestinians freedom of movement to ease travel for Israelis in the West Bank” (press release).

Here’s what the Israel army does to you, if you drive your car, with Palestinian license plates, on an Israeli-only road, in occupied Palestinian territory:

“ John Dugard: Israel takes care, not to announce its apartheid practices.

There are no signs, on the roads, or in the closed zone, saying,

“No Palestinians Allowed”

or

“Settlers Only.”

And there are no laws, providing that only Palestinian houses, built without a permit, may be demolished.

In this respect, Israel has learnt the lesson, of apartheid.

But the result is the same:—

Oppressive discrimination.

I can do no better, than quote a recent article, by a former Israeli cabinet minister, Shulamit Aloni (“Indeed there is Apartheid in Israel,” 31 December 2006) {Yedioth Ahronoth, Tel Aviv}:

“The US Jewish Establishment’s onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter is based on him daring to tell the truth.

Which is known to all.

Through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of apartheid, in the territory it occupies....

For example, Jewish-only roads have been built.

Wonderful roads, wide roads, well-paved roads, brightly lit at night,

All that, on stolen land.

When a Palestinian drives on such a road, his vehicle is confiscated....”

She then tells the story of an occasion, when she questioned an Israeli soldier, who was confiscating a vehicle, belonging to a Palestinian, for driving on a road that he described as “a Jews-only road.”

In response to her question, whether — and if so, where — there was a sign, indicating, that the road was for Jews only, he replied:

“It is (the Palestinian’s) responsibility to know it.

What do you want us to do?

Put up a sign here?

And let some anti-Semitic journalist?

Take a photo?

So that he can show the world?

That Apartheid exists here?”

Apartheid, and colonialism, are contrary to international law.”

John Dugard (Special Rapporteur), oral statement, presenting his annual report (U.N. Doc. A/HRC/4/17, January 29 2007, 24 pages) {103kb.pdf, also via this, this, OHCHR, this, this, and ODS}, prepared oral statements menu (HRC Extranet, via password login), 19th plenary meeting (conference room 27, Thursday afternoon March 22 2007, 3:05-6:05pm CET, UNHRC: U.N. Human Rights Council, 4th session, Palais des Nations, Geneva, March 12-30 2007), HRC video {16:07, 29mb.rm, source} (Geneva, March 22 2007, 3:06-3:22pm CET).

To illustrate, confiscating Palestinian land, for an Israeli-only road (it’s footprint):

“One of the main components of this plan was the construction of an extensive system of bypass roads intended to meet four key needs defined by the Ministry of Defense: to permit Israelis to travel without passing through Palestinian population centers; to permit Israelis to travel across the Green Line by the shortest route; to maintain “an internal fabric of life” within the Israeli settlement blocs; and to ensure that Palestinian traffic did not pass through the settlements. According to an examination undertaken by the State Comptroller, between August 1994 and September 1996, the army issued requisition orders in the framework of this plan for 4,386 dunam of private land {1,084 acres}, for the purpose of constructing seventeen bypass roads.”

Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank, page 50 {2.3mb.pdf} (B'Tselem –“The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories,” May 13 2002, 140 pages), “Settlements are built on 1.7% of West Bank land and control 41.9%” (press release).

An Israeli court ruled these confiscations were “absolute security needs,” according to the B'Tselem report.

May be, Israeli-only roads are “absolute security needs,” for Israeli settlers. The roads are certainly a convenience, for them.

But that’s not the test, for judging whether the confiscations are lawful. The test is, are these confiscations “justified by military necessity” (Geneva-4, 1949, quoted below).

By no stretch of my imagination could any judge, acting honestly, and applying this, the proper, applicable, law, conceivably consider it legal, these road confiscations.

____________________

Like some German judges, during the 12-year Nazi regime, and like some U.S. federal court judges today, Israeli judges, they too are willing, powerful, participants in the state, violent, criminal, enterprises.

They refuse to apply the international law which, they know, trumps Israeli land grab law, and trumps the whims of the Israeli military (the shadow government of Israel).

They refused to apply the law which they knows governs Israel’s conduct, in the occupied Palestinian territories.

A knowing, wilful, complicity in violent crime.

Accordingly, each such Israeli judge, who ventures outside Israel, s/he will not be surprised, if s/he is arrested, prosecuted, tried, convicted, imprisoned, for his or her decision, to enable Israel’s violent international war crimes, instead saying, “No,” applying the applicable law, and throwing the matter back in the face of the politicians, and the public, to either terminate their violent crimes, or thumb their nose, at the courts.

____________________

The plain purpose of the Israeli-only roads is to aid and abet two violent war crimes, to defend them, to service them, to entrench them.

These two violent war crimes: (1) confiscation of Palestinian land for Israeli settlements and (2) transfer into those settlements by Israeli citizens.

The Israeli-only roads are part and parcel of those two violent war crimes.

And so too, deploying the Israel army, to defend these settlers, to enable them to remain on plundered land, that is a criminal mission, aiding and abetting the same two violent war crimes.

Like the Israeli-only roads, and like the wall (the 80%), so too the army, these measures may be “necessary” but, being criminal, they are not “justified.”

The lawful remedy available, if Israel wants to protect its settlers, is to unsettle them, dissettle them, forcibly remove all Israeli settlers, from their habitations, constructed as they are, on stolen property, and deposit every last one of them back inside the borders of Israel, where they belong.

This would be a lawful mission, for the Israel army, to defend the safety of the settlers, as they remove themselves back to Israel.

And then devise a legal institution, a mechanism, to oversee the delivery of the settlements to Palestinians.

It’s their land, not Israel’s.

Egg-crating

These barricaded Israeli-only roads double as walls, in addition to “the wall,” further carving-up the West Bank, into yet more isolated bantustans.

A “wall,” because Palestinians can’t cross these barricaded roads, except at scattered, guarded, underpasses, few and far between, usually closed, only with a permit in most cases, some being underpasses being merely a single dirt lane, a cart-track (“narrow agricultural passageways”), for a local farm tractor, some of them barricaded too.

This constitutes the war crime of plunder (the topic of this memo), because it expropriates from Palestinians all of their land which these barriers prevent them from accessing.

It’s also a war crime of ill treatment, prohibited by the Geneva-4 treaty, denying them free movement, the ability to create and pursue commercial and social interests, to have a life.

Security zones

Israel has expropriated huge areas of Palestinian land, for the exclusive use of Israelis, most of the Jordan River valley, for example.

21% of the West Bank, 454 square miles {1,175 square kilometers} (at October 5 2006), including 27 military bases.

PowerPoint viewer {25.8mb.exe} (.ppt, .pps file)
Slide number 3, Powerpoint presentation (August 2007), Closures in the West Bank, “Checkpoints and road blocks, known as “closures,” are a policy of physical barriers and permit requirements used to control Palestinian pedestrian and vehicular movement” {261kb.ppt, source} (U.N. OCHA-oPt: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, occupied Palestinian territory), source, “OCHA oPt has been monitoring the closures since 2003. Our field teams record the obstacles with a GPS unit. These files are used to make maps. The figures are regularly updated.”

Israel designates this land “closed military zones.”

“Closed” to Palestinians, inhabitants of the occupied Palestinian territory, but not closed to Israelis, and foreign tourists, who have free reign in this territory.

Israel permits some Palestinians a restricted access, to certain areas, inside these zones, the Palestinians who live there, access by permit only, to where they live only, along designated roads only, and not to the neighboring land, the rest of this vast territory.

Palestinians who don’t live there, Israel excludes them completely

This is plunder.

Expropriating land by denying free access to it.

And so too, a war crime, of ill treatment, denying right of free movement.

Sadistically, Israel prohibits access even to those connected to permit-holders, their family, friends, neighbors, business partners, they are all excluded.

As with the walled ghettos, the effect of Israel’s sadistic policy, and so its presumptive purpose, is to oppress Palestinians, with despair, with hopelessness, and so spur them, to flee their prison, abandon their homes and lands, to Israeli settlers.

Apartheid

To enforce, to aid and abet, its massive, violent, criminal, enterprise, Israel deploys its army throughout the occupied Palestinian territory.

To suppress resistance, to banish hope, to deconstruct, to prevent, a viable, flourishing, society.

The Israel army enforces, by armed force, a violent, criminal, brutal, regime of extreme apartheid, to an extent never before seen, as far as I know, in the history of belligerent occupation.

The details of this severe ill treatment are very lengthy to recount, abundantly documented in many U.N. reports, about the Palestinian inhabitants of the occupied Palestinian territory.

In sharp contrast, the Israel army does not restrict, or trouble, Israelis in the seam, or elsewhere in Area C, of the occupied Palestinian territory (the 60% Palestinian land Israel has plundered).

Israelis there have the same freedoms as they have in Israel, to come and go and do as they please, they’re governed by the laws of Israel, presumably, not by the Israel army’s harsh occupation regime imposed, uniquely, on Palestinian inhabitants.

Israel’s apartheid conduct, in the occupied Palestinian territory, this has always been criminal, under the laws of war, violations of a collection of various provisions of occupation laws.

Apartheid is also a crime, as well, even when the laws of war don’t apply. For example inside Israel. Israel’s discrimination against its own non-Jew citizens, the 20% of Israelis who are Palestinians (Arabs, Christians, Druze, pagans, and such).

If Israel’s discrimination against its own citizens — which is oppressive, and growing worse — if that discrimination is oppressive enough, to amount to apartheid.

The parties to these three treaties consider apartheid a crime, an international crime, a topic for a separate memorandum, not discussed here:

The crime of apartheid

International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, article II (“the crime of apartheid” defined) (adopted November 39 1973, entered into force July 18 1976), 1015 U.N.T.S. 243 {402kb.pdf} (t.reg. 14861), status {31kb.pdf, 21kb.xml} (mtgsc) (107 parties).
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) (Geneva, adopted June 8 1977, entered into force December 7 1978), 1125 U.N.T.S. 3 (t.reg. 17512), volume 1125 {11mb.pdf} and in segments, Protocol I in English {2mb.pdf}, French {2.07mb.pdf}, and the 4 other official languages, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish {7.47mb.pdf}, depositary gvapr1 webpage, with pdf links to Protocol I in all 6 official languages and, in French, German, Italian, both pdf and html copies, article 85(4)(c) (“Repression of breaches of this Protocol”) (ICRC commentary).
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (adopted July 17 1998, entered into force January 7 2002), article 7 (“crimes against humanity”), section 2(h) (“the crime of apartheid”), 2187 U.N.T.S. 3 {1.02mb.pdf, cod, 218kb.pdf, icc} (t.reg. 38544), status {126kb.pdf, 101kb.xml} (mtgsc) (108 parties) (ICC, The Hague).

As in Nazi Germany, it is official government policy of Israel, a racist state, to condone, incite, encourage, hatred of Israeli Palestinians (Israeli citizens), and hatred of all other Palestinians.

Hate speech is common, routine, in the mouths of Israeli government officials, speech which would have them arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned, in Europe.

Hate speech identical to that by Germans, against German citizens and others, paving the way, preparing impressionable young Germans to do their duty, the holocaust, the industrial murder of Jews, Gypsies, communists, Slavs, Untermenchen (sub-humans), and “useless eaters” (as Adolph Hitler termed the infirm and the elderly).

Anti-Semitism.

Against Palestinians, Semitic cousins of the Jews.

That topic (apartheid and equivalent occupation war crimes of ill treatment) I omit from this legal memorandum, which pertains only to three connected war crimes, namely, (1) criminal confiscations of land, (2) criminal destruction of property, (3) criminal transfer of Israeli citizens to dwell in occupied Palestinian territory.

U.S. complicity in Israel’s ill treatment — a collection of separate violent war crimes, under the laws of war — I might write a separate memo about it, and I might not (as I have other pressing memos to write).

So, I here request you to make that topic too the subject of a separate hearing, to document those violent war crimes too, and U.S. complicity in them.

And, hence, the further need for an independent prosecutor, beyond the control of violent criminal U.S. government officials, who are themselves targets of the criminal prosecutions, for their own criminal complicity.

A violent war crime.

A violent criminal state enterprise.

A violent criminal conspiracy.

To confiscate land.

A criminal violation of long-settled laws of war.

 

____________________

Law

 

1863: Lieber Code

“Section II:
Public and private property of the enemy ...

Article 31. A victorious army appropriates all public money, seizes all public movable property until further direction by its government, and sequesters for its own benefit or of that of its government all the revenues of real property belonging to the hostile government or nation.

The title to such real property remains in abeyance during military occupation, and until the conquest is made complete.

* * *

Article 37. The United States acknowledge and protect, in hostile countries occupied by them, religion and morality; strictly private property; the persons of the inhabitants, especially those of women: and the sacredness of domestic relations.

Offenses to the contrary shall be rigorously punished.

This rule does not interfere with the right of the victorious invader to tax the people or their property, to levy forced loans, to billet soldiers, or to appropriate property, especially houses, lands, boats or ships, and churches, for temporary and military uses.

Article 38. Private property, unless forfeited by crimes or by offenses of the owner, can be seized only by way of military necessity, for the support or other benefit of the army or of the United States.

If the owner has not fled, the commanding officer will cause receipts to be given, which may serve the spoliated owner to obtain indemnity.”

Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, ¶¶ 31, 37-38 (U.S. War Department, “General Orders, No. 100,” Washington D.C., April 24 1863) {LCCN: 10010408, OCLC: 6647087, uc, gwu, WorldCat}, reprinted, The War of the Rebellion {html} (U.S. War Department, 1880-1901), series-3, volume-3 {html} (“Series III--Volume III”) (volume number 124), pages 1 {html} (“Correspondence, Orders, Reports, and Returns of the Union Authorities from January 1 to December 31, 1863”), 148-164 {html: 148-164}, at 151-152 {page 151: html, 71kb.pdf, 185kb.gif, page 152: html, 72kb.pdf, 192kb.gif} (U.S. Congress 56-1, House Doc. 287, 1899) {SuDoc: W 45.5:V.124, Serial Set: 3964, source, list} (the “Lieber Code”) {source, copy, copy, copy} (boldface added).
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies {html} (U.S. War Department, 1880-1901, 129 volumes, 138,579 pages) {SuDoc: W 45.5, Serial Set: (list), LCCN: 03003452, OCLC: 00427057, DL, WorldCat}.

 

1899/1907: Hague-4

[Annex] “Section II: Hostilities ...

[Annex] Article 23. In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden ...

(g) To destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;

* * *

[Annex] Section III: Military authority over the territory of the hostile state ...

[Annex] Article 46. Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected.

Private property cannot be confiscated. ...

[Annex] Article 55. The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.”

Hague-4/1907 {source, copy, copy}: Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annex, “Regulations respecting the laws and customs of war on land” (The Hague, October 18 1907), parties {ditto} (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands, depositary, 1907 Hague Peace Conventions), incorporating these articles from an earlier treaty of the same name, Hague-2/1899 {copy}, annex, articles 23(g), 46, 55 (The Hague, July 29 1899).

 

1945: IMT Charter

In 1945, 4 countries agreed (France, Soviet Union, U.K., U.S.), it’s a war crime to confiscate land, public or private, in occupied territories, just like the Hague treaties said, in 1899 and 1907. 19 other states ratified that agreement, by the end of the year, as did the U.N. General Assembly, the next year, in its first session:

{p.11} “Article 6 ... (b) War Crimes: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war ... ill-treatment ... of civilian population of or in occupied territory ... plunder of public or private property.”

Charter of the International Military Tribunal, article 6(b) {copy, copy}, annexed to, Agreement for the Prosecution and Punishment of the Major War Criminals of the European Axis (London, August 8 1945) (the “London Agreement”), reprinted, 1 I.M.T. 8-9 (agreement), 9 (23 nations: 4 signatories, 19 adherents), 10-18 (charter), at 11 {volume 1: 16.5mb.pdf, source}, 82 U.N.T.S. 277, 280, 58 Stat. 1544, 6 F.R.D. 69, affirmed, “Affirmation of the Principles of International Law Recognized by the Charter of the Nürnberg Tribunal,” U.N. Doc. A/Res/95(I) {81kb.pdf, copy copy} (A/236) (U.N. General Assembly, 1st session, resolution, December 11 1946).
Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal, “Nuremberg, 14 November 1945 – 1 October 1946, Published at Nuremberg, Germany,” (English language edition, 42 volumes, IMT Secretariat, Nürnberg, 1947-1949) (“the blue series”) {SuDoc: W 1.2:C 86, LCCN: 47031575, OCLC: 00748042, ISBN: 0404536506, DL, WorldCat}.

These 42 volumes were posted {pdf} by the U.S. Library of Congress (apparently on August 7 2007), in files dated February-July 2007, one for each volume. Trial transcript (“Official Text in the English Language, Proceedings”): volumes 2-22 (Yale html), transcript indexes: volumes 23-24, documents in their original language, in exhibit-number order: volumes 25-42 (omitting Russian-language documents). “The first volume contains basic, official, pre-trial documents together with the Tribunal’s judgment and sentence of the defendants.” (volume 1, preface, page vii).

 

1945: IMT Indictment

The indictment charged the war crime of confiscation:

“(E) Plunder of Public and Private Property ...

{p.254} The defendants engaged in the following acts and practices, among others: ....

3. In all the occupied countries, in varying degrees, they confiscated businesses, plants, and other property.

4. In an attempt to give color of legality to illegal acquisitions of property, they forced owners of property to go through the forms of "voluntary" and "legal" transfers. ...

{p.256} 7. They abrogated the rights of the local populations in the occupied portions of the U.S.S.R. and in Poland and in other countries to develop or manage agricultural and industrial properties, and reserved this area for exclusive settlement, development, and ownership by Germans and their so-called racial brethren. ...

9. ... the Nazi conspirators created an instrument for the personal profit and aggrandizement of themselves and their adherents. They secured for themselves and their adherents: ...

(c) The acquisition on advantageous terms of foreign properties, business interests, and raw materials. ...

These acts were contrary to international conventions, particularly Articles 46 to 56 inclusive of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed and to Article 6(b) of the Charter.”

IMT indictment (Berlin, signed October 6 1945, filed October 18), count-3, 1 I.M.T. 27-93, at 55-56 {16.5mb.pdf, source}.

 

1945: IMT Trial

The court heard detailed evidence about confiscations in many countries, including the Polish land confiscations, part of the “Nazi program of Germanization.”

{p.575} Captain Samuel Harris (Assistant Trial Counsel for the United States): ...

Poland was, in a sense, the testing ground for the conspirators’ theories upon Lebensraum; and I turn to that country first.

The four western provinces of Poland were purportedly incorporated into Germany by an order of 8 October 1939 ... frequently referred to in correspondence among the conspirators as “incorporated Eastern Territories.”

The remainder of Poland, which was seized by the Nazi invaders, was established as the Government General of Poland by an order of Hitler dated 12 October 1939. ...

We submit that the documents we are about to introduce on Poland show the following:

First: The conspirators specifically planned to exploit the people and material resources of the Government General of Poland ... to impoverish the Government General, and to reduce it to a vassal state.

At a later stage plans were formulated for creating islands of German settlements in the more fertile regions of the Government General in order to engulf the native Polish population and accelerate the process of Germanization.

Second: The incorporated area of Poland, which was deemed to be a part of the German Reich, was to be ruthlessly germanized.

To that end ...

{p.576} (e) They planned to bring thousands of German subjects into the incorporated area for purposes of settlement.

(f) And finally, they planned to confiscate the property — particularly the farms — of the Poles, the Jews, and all dissident elements. ...

Confiscation likewise served three additional purposes: (1) It provided land for the new German settlers and enabled the conspirators to reward their adherents ...

We turn now to the specific items of proof. ...

{p.593} The magnitude of the conspirators’ confiscation program in Poland was staggering.

I ask Your Honors to turn to the chart on the sixth page of Document Number R-92, which was introduced into evidence a moment ago as Exhibit Number USA-312.

This chart shows that as of 31 May 1943 the staggering total of 693,252 estates, comprising 6,097,525 hectares {15,067,312 acres}, had been seized and 9,508 estates, comprising 270,446 hectares, had been confiscated by the Estate Offices Danzig-West Prussia, Posen, Ciechanów, and Silesia. This, it will be noted, represented the seizure and confiscation of only four offices.”

{p.592} “In this connection I offer in evidence document Number R-92, which is Exhibit Number USA-312. This document, which is dated 15 April 1941, bears the letterhead of the Reich Leader SS, commissioner for the consolidation of German nationhood, and is entitled, “Instruction for Internal Use on the Application of the Law Concerning Property of the Poles, of 17 September 1940.” {with its attached sample confiscation forms and (it’s a composite exhibit) a later confiscation report, dated May 31 1943}.

IMT trial transcript (day 20, Friday December 14 1945, afternoon session, 2pm), 3 I.M.T. 573-601 {25.6mb.pdf, source}.

When they submitted documents in evidence, U.S./U.K. prosecutors also submitted to the tribunal, at the same time, English translations, often excerpts only, and English is the original language of some trial documents (e.g., affidavits and BBC Monitoring translations of German newspapers and public radio broadcasts).

A finding list, for these particular documents, the English translations, is printed (pages 1080-1096) at the end of this article (the prosecution’s case):

“Germanization and Spoliation,” 1 Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression 1023-1096 (volume 1 chapter XIII) {volume 1: 49.4mb.pdf, source} (Office of United States Chief of Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nurnberg Germany, January 20 1946, 8 volumes, 12 books, U.S. GPO, Washington D.C. 1946-1948) (“the red series”) (“A collection of documentary evidence and guide materials prepared by the American and British prosecuting staffs for presentation before the International Military Tribunal at Nurnberg, Germany”) {SuDoc: W 1.2:N 23, LCCN: 46026855, OCLC: 03820704, ISBN: 0404536506, DL, WorldCat}.

This 12-book red series was posted {pdf} by the U.S. Library of Congress (apparently on September 28 2007), in files dated September 5-28 2007, one for each volume.

In English, a “Partial Translation of Document R-92” (Exhibit Number USA-312), mentioned in the quoted trial transcript, is printed in the 12-book red series, at volume 8, pages 61-70. A finding list, of all documents in the red series, is printed in that volume 8, at pages 783-1090 {30.2mb.pdf, source}.

In German, the full text of that document is printed in the 42-volume blue series, at volume 38, pages 237-250 {28.8mb.pdf, source}.

 

1946: IMT Judgment

Today, the United States is party to the Hague-4 treaty.

But Israel is not {parties, copy}.

And so too, in world war 2.

Some of the belligerents were not party to that treaty.

The defendants asserted, that the Hague-4 treaty therefore did not apply.

And their confiscations were not criminal.

So the tribunal had to decide this:

Was its charter legal?

Were such confiscations (and the other charter crimes) already criminal before the defendants participated in them?

Or did these supposed crimes make their first appearance in the tribunal’s charter? (after the war was already over).

Could the judges legally sentence confiscating defendants to death, or imprisonment?

Or, instead, would they themselves (the judges) be committing a crime if they issued a punishment sentence? (because such confiscations were not crimes when the defendants committed their knowingly complicit acts).

The judges had no difficulty with this question.

This is a violent international war crime.

Treaty or no treaty, that makes no difference.

It’s international customary law:

{253} “[T]he crimes defined by Article 6, section (b) of the Charter were already recognized as War Crimes under international law. They were covered by Articles 46, 50, 52, and 56 of the Hague Convention of 1907, and Articles 2, 3, 4, 46, and 51 of the Geneva Convention of 1929.

That violations of these provisions constituted crimes for which the guilty individuals were punishable is too well settled to admit of argument.

But it is argued that the Hague Convention does not apply in this case, because of the "general participation" clause in Article 2 of the Hague Convention of 1907. That clause provided:

“The provisions contained in the regulations (Rules of Land Warfare) referred to in Article I, as well as in the present convention, do not apply except between contracting powers, and then only if all the belligerents are parties to the convention.”

Several of the belligerents in the recent war were not parties to this convention.

In the opinion of the Tribunal it is not necessary to decide this question.

The rules of land warfare expressed in the convention undoubtedly represented an advance over existing international {254} law at the time of their adoption. But the convention expressly stated that it was an attempt "to revise the general laws and customs of war," which it thus recognized to be then existing, but by 1939 these rules laid down in the convention were recognized by all civilized nations, and were regarded as being declaratory of the laws and customs of war which are referred to in Article 6(b) of the Charter.”

IMT judgment (September 30–October 1 1946), 1 I.M.T. 171-341, at 253-254 {copy, copy}, transcript (as read in open court), 22 I.M.T. 411-587, at 495-496 {volume 1: 16.4mb.pdf, volume 22: 26.1mb.pdf, source}.

The tribunal did not mention the Polish farms, in its written judgment, which instead summarized confiscations in many countries.

The tribunal convicted several defendants for their role in these confiscations.

 

1947: NMT RuSHA Judgment

The following year, the Polish land confiscations were again considered, by a Nuernberg Military Tribunal, in the separate criminal prosecution of principal officials of the German resettlement program:

{p.147} As country after country was overrun by the Nazis, the plunder of public and private property was carried out on an immense scale in practically every conquered territory.

The plunder seized consisted of various objects — from cultural property, such as paintings, carpets, and crystal, to agricultural property consisting of millions of acres of land.

Greifelt, as deputy to Himmler, was deeply involved in the plunder and confiscation of this property. ...

These confiscations were not carried out by reasons of military necessity, but mainly were a part of a preconceived plan {148} to strip the Polish population of the Eastern territories of all their property and in turn to make the property available to resettlers. ...

Some conception of the extent of these confiscations may be gained from a report made by Greifelt to Himmler as early as 3 August 1942.

Following page after page of statistics, the report reveals that in four Eastern Gaue [districts] alone the total number of confiscated farms and estates amounted to 626,642, with a total area of 5,849,987 hectars {14,455,632 acres}.

Roughly, the land confiscated consisted of more than 14,000,000 acres. ...

For the ruthless and indiscriminate confiscation of property without regard whatever to military necessity Greifelt bears full responsibility. ...

{p.151} The defendant Lorenz, as chief of VoMi {Office for Repatriation of Ethnic Germans}, confiscated property for use of VoMi ...

The evidence has clearly established the responsibility of Lorenz for the plunder and confiscation of public and private property belonging to enemy nationals without regard to military necessity; and for these acts Lorenz is criminally responsible.”

The RuSHA Case, 5 N.M.T. 88-169 (opinion), at 147-152 (“plunder of public and private property”) (U.S. Military Tribunal 1, Nürnberg Germany, trial, 20 October 1947-1948 February 17, judgment, March 10, 1948), volumes 4 (pages 597-1185) and 5 (pages 1-192), Trials of War Criminals before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10 (“Nuernberg, October 1946–April 1949”) (15 volumes, U.S. GPO, Washington D.C., 1949-1953) (“the green series”) {SuDoc: D 102.8, ditto, LCCN: 49045929, 97071903, OCLC: 12799641, UC, WorldCat}, volume 4 {54.24mb.pdf, source}, volume 5 {29.6mb.pdf}, and see, “C. Plunder of Public and Private Property” (documents and testimony), 4 N.M.T. 954-989.

The U.S. Library of Congress posted volume 1 of the green series on October 31 2007, volumes 2-7 on November 29, volumes 8-11 on December 31, and volumes 12-15 on January 31 2008, all 15 volumes {pdf}.

The blue series, the red series, the green series, as posted by the Library of Congress, the text embedded in these pdf facsimiles, that text is replete with errors. And you can see them, and get a sense of them, by saving the text as a separate text file (from the Adobe Acrobat reader) and then looking at the file with a text editor.

These errors, because the text was created by the computer OCR program (optical character recognition), and was not corrected by a human, using the OCR spelling checker (a tedious process, but search/replace can quickly fix many duplicate errors).

This means, if you search for something and don’t find it, that doesn’t mean it’s not there, as you can see for yourself, if you look as an embedded text file.

The html version of the green series, at the Mazal library, and volume 1 of the blue series, and a few other volumes there, this tedious process was been carried out, slowly, over many years (still ongoing), by volunteers, and so its text is virtually perfect. That perfection can now be verified, against the pdf facsimiles, posted by the Library of Congress.

An official U.S. government publication, the green and the red series, their text is prima facie authentic, accepted as a trustworthy text, in a U.S. court (an exception to the hearsay rule), unless proved otherwise. And the U.S. federal courts, their rules (civil and criminal), and/or the statute, which says that, I’ll get around to finding, one day.

 

1949: Geneva Conventions

After the war (1939-1945), military people and diplomats, they gathered in Geneva, and produced new treaties, in 1949.

Practically every country in the world has ratified these 4 Geneva Conventions (194 countries, at October 22 2007).

These treaties define war crimes, including confiscations:

“Article 147. Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: ... extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.” {ICRC commentary}

“Article 53. Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.” {ICRC commentary}

“Article 49. The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” {ICRC commentary}

Geneva-4 (civilians): Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 75 U.N.T.S. 287 (t.reg. 973) {v75, 6.57mb.pdf}, U.S. ratified August 2 1955, effective February 2 1956, 213 U.N.T.S. 378-384, 384 (t.reg. A-973, U.S.) {v213, 5.85mb.pdf}, depositary gva4 webpage (Switzerland, federal department of foreign affairs, Berne).

 

1956: U.S. Army Field Manual FM 27-10

Israeli settlements and outposts, some of them, are situated on hilltops, in the occupied Palestinian territory.

And I recollect hearing some say, who attempt to defend Israel’s settlement confiscations, that these hilltops could be used as artillery sites, by combatants, to bombard Israel.

An occupying power certainly has legal authority to deny such use of such sites, for example, by garrisoning a military force on the hilltops, or anyway keeping them under surveillance, for defense by aircraft and mobile forces.

But such military matters are plainly no justification for the armed robbery of the hilltops:— Confiscating them, converting them into residential suburbs, bedroom communities, for Israeli commuters and settlers.

Which is what Israel has done.

The U.S. military defines such confiscations, appropriations, as a war crime, citing the same international law applied by the International Military Tribunal in 1946, and the later 1949 Geneva Conventions:

FM 27-10 (U.S. Army, 1956):

Chapter 6 
   Occupation ...

Section V. Treatment of Enemy Property

393. Destruction and Seizure of Property

a. Prohibition.

It is especially forbidden * * * to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war. (HR, art. 23, par. (g).)

b. Occupying Power.

Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations. (GC, art. 53.) ...

399. Property Control

Property within occupied territory may be controlled by the occupant to the degree necessary to prevent its use by or for the benefit of the hostile forces or in a manner harmful to the occupant. ...

Measures of property control must not extend to confiscation. ...

402. Occupant’s Disposition of Real Property of a State

Real property of the enemy State which is essentially of a nonmilitary nature, such as public buildings and offices, land, forests, parks, farms, and mines, may not be damaged or destroyed unless such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations (see Art. 53, GC; par. 393 herein).

The occupant does not have the right of sale or unqualified use of such property.

As administrator or usufructuary he should not exercise his rights in such a wasteful and negligent manner as seriously to impair its value.

He may, however, lease or utilize public lands or buildings, sell the crops, cut and sell timber, and work the mines.

The term of a lease or contract should not extend beyond the conclusion of the war. ...

406. Private Property: General

a. Treaty Provision.

Private property cannot be confiscated. (HR, art. 46, 2d par.)

b. Prohibited Acts. The foregoing prohibition extends not only to outright taking in violation of the law of war but also to any acts which, through the use of threats, intimidation, or pressure or by actual exploitation of the power of the occupant, permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of the use of his property without his consent or without authority under international law.

407. Private Real Property

Immovable private enemy property may under no circumstances be seized.

It may, however, be requisitioned (see par. 412).”

Chapter 8:
Remedies for Violation of International Law; War Crimes ...

499.  War Crimes.  The term “war crime” is the technical expression for a violation of the law of war by any person or persons, military or civilian.

Every violation of the law of war is a war crime.

500. Conspiracy, Incitement, Attempts, and Complicity. Conspiracy, direct incitement, and attempts to commit, as well as complicity in the commission of, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes are punishable.”

The Law of Land Warfare {10.3mb.pdf, source}, Chapter 6: “Occupation,” Chapter 8: “Remedies for Violation of International Law; War Crimes” (U.S. Army Field Manual, FM 27-10, July 18 1956, and amendment dated July 15 1976) {SuDoc: D 101.20:27-10, ditto, LCCN: 56062174, OCLC: 39027139, GPOCat, WorldCat} (html: U.S. NARA: National Archives and Records Administration, archived DoD website).

 

1998: International Criminal Court

“ Article 8. War crimes ...

2. For the purpose of this Statute, "war crimes" means:

(a) Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely, any of the following acts against persons or property protected under the provisions of the relevant Geneva Convention: ...

(iv) Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; ...

(vii) Unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement;

(b) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts: ...

(viii) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory; ...

(xiii) Destroying or seizing the enemy’s property unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war; ...”

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (adopted July 17 1998, entered into force January 7 2002), 2187 U.N.T.S. 3 {1.02mb.pdf, cod, 218kb.pdf, icc} (t.reg. 38544), status {126kb.pdf, 101kb.xml} (mtgsc) (108 parties) (ICC, The Hague).  CJHjr

 

____________________

Complicity

Veto

A single act towers, above all others.

In the power of its criminal punch.

This single act shields Israel, from all effective efforts to suppress, the violent international crimes of Israeli officials, their confiscation of Palestinian land, their brutal oppression of the Palestinian people.

The simple act of raising a hand, at a U.N. Security Council meeting, when asked by the presiding president,

“Those against?”

The U.S. has vetoed 41{?} draft resolutions, of the U.N. Security Council, criticizing Israel’s conduct, many of them specifically condemning the very war crimes discussed in this legal memorandum (property confiscations, destruction, population transfers).

And threatened to veto many more, thereby preempting a vote, and so deterring others from even tabling draft resolutions.

And vetoed, or threatened to veto, draft presidential statements, of the Security Council, which condemn Israeli conduct.

In the last 41 years (1966-2007), the U.S. vetoed 82 resolutions on all topics, many condemning its own conduct, isolating itself in world opinion, far more than any other member. USSR/Russia, for example, cast 17 veto votes during those same 41 years.

A U.N. Security Council veto is a “no” vote by one (or more) of the 5 permanent members (China, France, Russia, U.K., U.S.), but only if there are also 9 or more “yes” votes, i.e., only if the draft resolution would otherwise pass.

Draft resolutions not adopted owing to the negative vote of a permanent member (first 58 years, 16 February 1946-2004 April 21), being part-1 (pages 13-17) of “Negative votes of permanent members at public meetings of the Security Council,” being annex 3 (pages 13-19) to Report of the Open-ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters related to the Security Council (U.N. Doc. A/58/47, adopted July 21 2004, 32 pages, as amended by, U.N. Doc. A/58/47/Corr.1, January 26 2005, 1 page, U.N. General Assembly, 58th session) {also via this, this, this, and ODS}, see also, supplemental finding aid, Celine Nahory, Giji Gya, Misaki Watanabe, “Subjects of UN Security Council Vetoes” (Global Policy Forum, New York City). These finding aids cite the U.N. document number of each vetoed draft resolution (full text) and each meeting number of the U.N. Security Council at which a veto vote was cast (recorded in the transcript of that meeting).

These U.S. veto votes, many of them, incite intensifying hatred of the U.S. — justified hatred — hatred any decent person naturally feels, at violent crime by powerful forces — hatred of the U.S., for its complicity, in the violent crimes of Israel.

Voting for violent crime, that naturally is also a violation of the U.N. treaty, by the U.S., which promised, as all members do, to act in good faith.

It’s bad faith, not “good faith,” to facilitate, assist, enable, bankroll, shield, violent crime.

And, these U.S. veto votes are a prima facie act of criminal complicity, by each U.S. official who raised that hand.

Maybe not this one, maybe not that one, but many of them.

Many of those 41 veto votes.

Uniting the U.S. with Israel.

Together, in their joint, violent, criminal, enterprise.

An Axis of Evil.

I haven’t yet counted or analyzed each U.S. veto vote, and so I don’t yet know how many are merely political and how many are also criminal, aiding and abetting violent international crimes: The three international war crimes discussed in this legal memorandum (property confiscations, destruction, population transfers) and many other violent international crimes too (ethnic cleansing, ill treatment, aggressive war, murder, torture, hostage taking, targeting).

S/he knew for a fact, a certain fact — the U.S. representative, raising that hand, in many of those Security Council meetings — a certain fact, that the veto vote s/he cast would shield Israel, from effective international action, and so incite, aid and abet, facilitate, Israel’s ongoing violent crimes against the Palestinians.

S/he, and the others too, all those in the back rooms, on the telephones, together, in a single violent criminal conspiracy, agreeing to cast that veto vote, inciting it, aiding and abetting it, facilitating it.

Besides a violent crime by each U.S. official complicit in that veto vote, each such veto vote is equally an act of complicity by the United States, in the tort, aiding and abetting Israel’s criminal tort (crimes are also civil torts).

Were the U.S. not a rogue state, had the U.S. not withdrawn from the compulsory jurisdiction of the U.N. International Court of Justice, then the Palestinians (or maybe the U.N. on their behalf) could sue the U.S. for damages, the full damages, Israel caused by its tortuous international crimes.

But the U.S. is a rogue state, like Israel.

They thumb their nose at such laws.

They will not be sued, for their torts.

And when some country manages to sue the U.S. anyway (via some special, partial, treaty jurisdiction), the U.S. thumbs its nose at the judgment of the court.

And the U.S. Congress joins in the chortling, at the rogue jamboree, the perfunctory U.S. Congressional hearing, consigning the court’s judgment, to the trash can.

A judgment the U.S. promised to obey.

This decision, by the U.S. and Israel, to be rogue states, by this decision they shed all restraint on their conduct.

Were U.S. officials wary of lawsuits, they would behave differently, and U.S. taxpayers, paying judgments, with their hard-earned money, they would soon find a method to constrain their leaders, criminal prosecution being tried and tested for crimes, impeachment and defeat in elections, for other torts.

U.N. veto votes, these are not the only acts of U.S. complicity.

In Israel’s violent international crimes.

There’s money, weapons, accounting exemptions, Congressional testimony, op-eds in newspapers, radio/TV interviews, scholarly articles.

Inciting/soliciting, aiding and abetting, facilitating, Israel’s international crimes.

Some ad hoc, the most of them overt acts in criminal conspiracies.

What the U.S. today asserts to be complicity, in U.S. crimes generally, this is what the tribunals and military trials usually applied in world war 2 trials (knowingly supplying material assistance which would further a criminal aim, whether or not that aim was desired):—

The four U.S. federal statutes quoted below illustrate the criminal act and the criminal state of mind which constitute complicity in many U.S. federal crimes.

The first (conspiracy) is a separate crime, in addition to the actual doing of the crime, recognizing the extra peril society faces from criminal enterprises (like this one) involving lots of people. They can inflict greater damage as a group than they can individually, and so they deserve extra punishment for their agreement, in addition to their normal punishment for their own actual criminal acts, or the criminal acts of others (e.g., a conspiracy to aid and abet).

The first three (conspiracy, solicitation/incitement, aiding and abetting) require “specific intent” under U.S. law: The accused desired the criminal aim.

The fourth (criminal facilitation) does not require specific intent, merely general intent: The accused did not desire the criminal aim, but s/he knew, the material support s/he supplied would probably help the person commit a crime. S/he did not want that crime, s/he opposed that crime, or was indifferent about it, but s/he believed, the person would probably commit that crime, and s/he supplied the material assistance anyway.

Do the first two species of complicity apply to the fourth? Under U.S. law, is it:—

criminal conspiracy to agree to assist—

criminal solicitation to incite—

criminal facilitation (a double inchoate crime), i.e., specific intent, not to assist the ultimate crime (e.g., the war crime of confiscation), but merely the intervening crime (criminal facilitation), e.g., providing $3.0 billion a year to Israel, knowing Israel will probably continue to spend big sums of money to build a wall, settlements, barricaded highways, utilities, and such, on confiscated Palestinian land.

Packaged together:

The Israel lobby, pressing for money for Israel:—

A violent, criminal, conspiracy, to incite, aid and abet, a violent war crime?

By some?

Who want to help Israel confiscate Palestinian land?

And:—

A violent, criminal, conspiracy, to incite, aid and abet, the criminal facilitation of a violent war crime?

By the rest?

Who want to help Israel, despite its confiscations?

Or simply help themselves?

By working to replenish each year, with U.S. taxpayer money, Israel’s New York City bank account, an unaudited, secret, $3.0 billion annual slush fund, which might pay their salaries, expenses, trips to Israel, campaign contributions, and such.

 

Conspire

“ 18 U.S.C. § 371. Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States

If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. ...”

 

Incite/solicit

“ 18 U.S.C. § 373. Solicitation to commit a crime of violence

(a) Whoever, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a felony that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against property or against the person of another in violation of the laws of the United States, and under circumstances strongly corroborative of that intent, solicits, commands, induces, or otherwise endeavors to persuade such other person to engage in such conduct, shall be imprisoned not more than one-half the maximum term of imprisonment or (notwithstanding section 3571) fined not more than one-half of the maximum fine prescribed for the punishment of the crime solicited, or both; or if the crime solicited is punishable by life imprisonment or death, shall be imprisoned for not more than twenty years.

(b) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that, under circumstances manifesting a voluntary and complete renunciation of his criminal intent, the defendant prevented the commission of the crime solicited. A renunciation is not “voluntary and complete” if it is motivated in whole or in part by a decision to postpone the commission of the crime until another time or to substitute another victim or another but similar objective. If the defendant raises the affirmative defense at trial, the defendant has the burden of proving the defense by a preponderance of the evidence.

(c) It is not a defense to a prosecution under this section that the person solicited could not be convicted of the crime because he lacked the state of mind required for its commission, because he was incompetent or irresponsible, or because he is immune from prosecution or is not subject to prosecution.”

 

Aid and abet

“ 18 U.S.C. § 2. Principals

(a) Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.

(b) Whoever willfully causes an act to be done which if directly performed by him or another would be an offense against the United States, is punishable as a principal.”

 

Facilitate

“ 18 U.S.C. § 2339A. Providing material support to terrorists

(a) Offense.— Whoever provides material support or resources or conceals or disguises the nature, location, source, or ownership of material support or resources, knowing or intending that they are to be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, a violation of ... {various crimes} ... or in preparation for, or in carrying out, the concealment of an escape from the commission of any such violation, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life. ...”

Accord, criminal facilitation: Arizona, § 13-1004 (“knowingly provides the other person with means or opportunity for the commission of the offense”); Kentucky, § 506.080 (“knowingly provides such person with means or opportunity for the commission of the crime”); New York Penal Code, § 115.05; North Dakota, § 12.1-06-02 (“knowingly provides substantial assistance to a person intending to commit a felony”); Tennessee, § 39-11-403 (“knowingly furnishes substantial assistance in the commission of the felony”); Guam, § 9-4.65 (“knowingly furnishes substantial assistance to him”), and see, Model Penal Code § 206, commentary (American Law Institute) {LCClass: KF9219, ditto, ditto, LCCNs: 80050699, 84051700}.

 

ICC: Facilitate

“ Article 8. War crimes

{excerpts above}

Article 25. Individual criminal responsibility ...

3. In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person: ...

(c) For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission, including providing the means for its commission;

(d) In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either:

(i) Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; or

(ii) Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime; ...

* * *

Article 30. Mental element ...

2. For the purposes of this article, a person has intent where:

(a) In relation to conduct, that person means to engage in the conduct;

(b) In relation to a consequence, that person means to cause that consequence or is aware that it will occur in the ordinary course of events.

3. For the purposes of this article, "knowledge" means awareness that a circumstance exists or a consequence will occur in the ordinary course of events. "Know" and "knowingly" shall be construed accordingly.”

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (adopted July 17 1998, entered into force January 7 2002), 2187 U.N.T.S. 3 {1.02mb.pdf, cod, 218kb.pdf, icc} (t.reg. 38544), status {126kb.pdf, 101kb.xml} (mtgsc) (108 parties) (ICC, The Hague), “Part 3. General Principles of Criminal Law.”

 

____________________

Jurisdiction

Is there a court, with jurisdiction, to try this crime?

Are criminal actors shielded from that jurisdiction?

Will judges concoct excuses? to evade trying the case?

A prima facie crime by the judge?

A criminal complicity in the crime s/he won’t try?

Incitement and facilitation of future crimes?

As watching government officials breathe a sigh of relief (the dark forces)?

And other government officials, a sigh of disappointment? That they have no protector, no basis to refuse, no choice, but to continue their complicity too, into the future, to save their jobs?

For many decades, the U.S. evaded its legal obligation {ICRC commentary} to implement the “grave breaches” enforcement provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

During this period, U.S. military people could be prosecuted in U.S. military courts (for those and any other war crime), but not the king pins, the main actors, the dark political forces calling the shots, members of Congress, and other civilian government officials.

This refusal was an important cog in the legal structure of the U.S. empire.

U.S. officials, contractors, agents, operatives, and all their complicit entourage of government officials, they could wage violent crime all around the world knowing, no U.S. court had jurisdiction to try their crimes, even if a big surprise happened, i.e., even if an honest U.S. Attorney General was appointed, determined to prosecute them.

With the adoption of the U.S. War Crimes Act, that changed (August 21 1996).

At least for some of their violent crimes.

Now, there’s a court with jurisdiction to try them, if the big surprise happens.

This big surprise is a very unlikely prospect, given the grip of U.S. elites in Washington D.C., of both political parties, secure in their grip, as most of them (by agreement among them all) are on the many secret U.S. taxpayer payrolls, whether they be in office or not, at any particular time.

An unlikely prospect.

Yes.

But yet, a prospect still.

Nonetheless.

Awaiting a bold candidate.

With an unequivocal promise.

And voters to back him, or her.

At the polls.

____________________

Ensuring Jurisdiction

Picture this:—

Your government passes a law, which says:

“Armed robbery is a crime.”

And, your government also passes another law:

“The courts of this government have no jurisdiction to try the crime of armed robbery.”

Is armed robbery a crime?

____________________

This is what Adolf Hitler did.

It was as simple as that.

He wanted to do what he wanted to do.

So he surrounded himself with lawyers.

And they made it look legal:

They adopted laws and executive orders, which prohibited criminal indictments, and civil suits for damages, in the normal German civilian courts, against his criminal gang, and the vast forces they commanded, virtually the whole of the government, and their quasi- and non-governmental operatives: Police, internal security (Gestapo), intelligence, army (Wehrmacht), his political party (Nazis: National Socialists), its officials and operatives, and such.

They created special courts, for these folks (to make it look respectable, and to make them afraid to disobey orders), and required consent from a gang-leader, for any investigation, and for any prosecution, by a special investigator/prosecutor.

What many people did were crimes, under normal German law.

But, so what:—

They were immune from prosecution.

They painted the German courts out the picture.

German society had no peaceable remedy, no deterrent, to protect them, from their own government.

It was a big enterprise, to be sure, converting the power sectors, of the German government, into criminal enterprises. It took time and patience, to replace heads of agencies, with people who thought in the right way.

German law enforcement, the tens of thousands of honorable police, civil servants, state and federal, who would normally be investigating, prosecuting, and thereby deterring such crimes:—

They too were painted out the picture.

Their authority was terminated, to investigate, to prosecute, any member of a government criminal enterprise.

A task which anyway takes uncommon courage, a secure tenure, steadfast backers to stand with them, and so is rarely seen, in any government in the world.

German law enforcement busied themselves instead on routine crimes, and stayed well clear of the dark forces, except to play their small role, arresting people, and handing them over for others to deal with, in ways they didn’t want to know.

Details: The Justice Case, 3 N.M.T. 1-1236 (U.S. Military Tribunal 3, Nürnberg Germany, trial, 5 March-October 18, judgment, December 4, 1947), volume 3 (1951, 31+1236 pages), Trials of War Criminals before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10 (“Nuernberg, October 1946–April 1949”) (15 volumes, U.S. GPO, Washington D.C., 1949-1953) (“the green series”) {SuDoc: D 102.8, ditto, LCCN: 49045929, 97071903, OCLC: 12799641, UC, WorldCat}, volume 3 {24.69mb.pdf, source}.

____________________

This, is what “ensuring jurisdiction” is about.

If we’re going to have a crime, let’s don’t pretense to have it, by prohibiting prosecutions of it.

And thereby make ourselves a Hole-in-the-Wall.

A refuge, for gangs of violent criminals.

Loose coalitions, of dark, powerful, forces.

With a grip, on sectors of government power.

A hole-in-the-wall gang.

A target.

For law enforcement officers, from other lands.

To do our duty for us.

To attack us.

To suppress our violent crimes.

The violent crimes of the hole in the wall gang.

Which we aid and abet, and facilitate.

Instead of suppress, and prosecute.

Let’s make the crime enforceable.

And give those violent criminals no place to hide.

Then, maybe, they’ll give up their life of crime, and turn their hand to some decent work, instead.

____________________

At long last, do the U.S. federal district courts now have jurisdiction, to try this particular violent war crime?—

Israel’s confiscations of land and water in the occupied Palestinian territories.

And also in Syrian/Lebanon occupied territory: the Golan Heights (32 Israeli settlements) and Shaba Farms.

Jurisdiction to try these criminal indictments?—

Against “the hole in the wall gang”?—

U.S. nationals, for example.

For their criminal complicity, in this particular violent international war crime.

Do we now need only an honest prosecutor?

To end this massive violent criminal enterprise.

Or will that prosecutor yet lack a court?

To try the case.

____________________

The U.S. War Crimes Act extends jurisdiction to the U.S. federal district courts to try war crimes.

But all war crimes?

Like the U.S. military courts can try?

Or only a few:

War crimes

“ 18 U.S.C. § 2441. War crimes ...

(c) Definition.— As used in this section the term “war crime” means any conduct—

(1) defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party;

(2) prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907;

(3) which constitutes a violation of common Article 3 of the international conventions signed at Geneva, 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party and which deals with non-international armed conflict; or {this paragraph replaced by the following paragraph, effective October 17 2006}

(3) which constitutes a grave breach of common Article 3 (as defined in subsection (d)) when committed in the context of and in association with an armed conflict not of an international character; or

* * * ”

War crimes, defined: 18 U.S.C. § 2441(c) (August 21 1996, November 26 1997), as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Public Law No. 109-366, § 6 (“Implementation of Treaty Obligations”) (October 17 2006) {129kb.txt, purl, 126kb.pdf, purl} {SuDoc: AE 2.110:109/366, OCLC: 77134899, GPOCat, paper, DL, WorldCat}, 120 Stat. 2600-2637, at 2632-2635 {SuDoc: AE 2.111:120, ISSN: 0083-3401, LCCN: 07035353, OCLC: 1768474, GPOCat, paper, DL, WorldCat} {volume 120 not yet published}, to be codified at, 18 U.S.C. § 2441 (legislative history).

All war crimes?

By no means.

And so, any congressional hearing about it, and any Act of Congress appointing an independent prosecutor, to prosecute this particular war crime:—

Those congressional proceedings must also ensure, at the same time, the jurisdiction of the U.S. federal district courts is amended, if needs be, to empower those courts to try those indictments.

____________________

But do U.S. federal courts already have that jurisdiction?

Let’s start with the obvious, Hague-4 annex 23(g):

“Section II: Hostilities ...

[Annex] Article 23. In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden ...

(g) To destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war; ...”

Hague-4 {source, copy}: Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annex, “Regulations respecting the laws and customs of war on land” (The Hague, October 18 1907).

Yes.

The U.S. War Crimes Act cites that annex article 23.

And, that annex article 23 appears to cover this particular violent war crime (Israeli confiscations of Palestinian land and water).

But not so, according to the world’s highest court.

The 15-judge U.N. I.C.J. asserted, in its advisory opinion about the wall, that annex article 23(g) does not now apply in the occupied Palestinian territory, because international hostilities long ago ceased.

Israel has been a belligerent occupier for more than 4 decades (since 1967) and so, the court said, the occupation provisions of Hague-4 have long-since applied instead (and other treaties and international laws):

“124. With regard to the Hague Regulations of 1907, the Court would recall that these deal, in Section II, with hostilities and in particular with “means of injuring the enemy, sieges, and bombardments”. Section III deals with military authority in occupied territories. Only Section III is currently applicable in the West Bank and Article 23 (g) of the Regulations, in Section II, is thus not pertinent.”

Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 2004 I.C.J. 136 (U.N. I.C.J.: International Court of Justice, The Hague, Advisory Opinion, July 9 2004) {8.1mb.pdf, source}, ICJ summary {128.5kb.pdf, source} {UNBISnet: ICJ883, ISBN: 9210709934, LCCN: 2001380451, OCLC: 156587491, WorldCat}, series, I.C.J. Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders {UNBISnet, ISSN: 0074-4441, LCCN, UCal}, U.N. Doc. A/ES-10/273 (July 16 2004) {469kb.pdf, UNBISnet, browse}.

Is this good news for the U.S. war-party?

Do they now finally have their cash reward?

Can the U.S. now legally confiscate Iraq’s oil fields?

International hostilities long ago ceased, when the U.S. defeated Saddam’s forces, and instituted its occupation regime (in 2003).

OK, it would have been criminal to confiscate during those international hostilities.

But that’s ancient history, long done with.

Now, is what we want to know about.

Has the I.C.J. flashed the green light?

Can the U.S. now legally seize its war booty?

Plunder Iraq’s oil.

To its heart’s content?

Hardly.

But hardly too, will U.S. federal courts try an indictment charging Israel’s violent criminal enterprise of confiscations, that it violates Hague-4 annex 23(g).

It’s a violent crime, yes.

But not because of 23(g).

So says the U.N. I.C.J.

And that’s likely good enough for a U.S. federal district court, to quash any such indictment.

____________________

So, if it’s a violent crime, what law says it’s so?

This law says it’s so:

Section III: Military authority over the territory of the hostile state ...

[Annex] Article 46. ... Private property cannot be confiscated.”

Hague-4 {source, copy}: Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annex, “Regulations respecting the laws and customs of war on land” (The Hague, October 18 1907).

This is occupation law.

From the Hague-4 annex, section III, which deals with occupation, not hostilities.

The International Court of Justice held (above), this very Section III applies, to the conduct of Israel, in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The International Military Tribunal held, a violation of annex article 46, in that very Section III, is a war crime:

{253} “[T]he crimes defined by Article 6, section (b) of the Charter were already recognized as War Crimes under international law.

They were covered by Articles 46, 50, 52, and 56 of the Hague Convention of 1907, and Articles ... of the Geneva Convention of 1929.

That violations of these provisions constituted crimes for which the guilty individuals were punishable is too well settled to admit of argument. ...

[B]y 1939 these rules laid down in the convention were recognized by all civilized nations, and were regarded as being declaratory of the laws and customs of war which are referred to in Article 6(b) of the Charter.”

International Military Tribunal, judgment (September 30–October 1 1946), 1 I.M.T. 171-341, at 253-254 {copy} {16.5mb.pdf, source}, further cited above.

So.

Does Congress permit U.S. federal district courts to try this particular war crime?

A violation of Hague-4 annex article 46?

No.

The U.S. War Crimes Act (above) does not mention that article.

Nor article 55 which says what the occupying power can do with public property, and therefore says by implication what it can not do (confiscate it, expel locals, import settlers, sell it).

Nor “the laws and customs of war,” which apply without regard to any treaty.

So, we have a violent crime.

But no court to try it.

Adolph Hitler would surely chuckle, at his legacy.

And so too, the hole in the wall gang.

The many U.S. nationals, complicit in Israel’s crime.

They can chuckle too.

____________________

Well then, this law says it’s so, too:

“Article 147. Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: ... extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.” {ICRC commentary}

Geneva-4 (civilians): Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Geneva, August 12 1949), further cited above.

Yes.

The U.S. War Crimes Act cites the “grave breaches” of the four 1949 Geneva Conventions, and that includes this particular grave breach, in the fourth treaty.

And yes, this crime appears to describe most of what Israel has confiscated in the occupied Palestinian territories.

So yes, Congress permits the U.S. federal district courts to try criminal indictments asserting that particular war crime.

Granted, Geneva-4 has strings attached, which Hague-4 does not, “extensive,” “carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”

Hague-4 purports to outlaw any confiscation, extensive or not, carried out wantonly or not, it doesn’t matter.

And so, this Geneva-4 “grave breach” encompasses less than all what Hague-4 outlaws.

Does Geneva-4 repeal Hague-4?

Does Geneva-4 legalize confiscations?

Which are not “extensive”?

Which are not “wanton”?

A little bit of armed robbery is OK?

Just don’t get too greedy?

Hardly.

Geneva-4, explicitly, does not repeal any part of Hague-4:

“Article 154. In the relations between the Powers who are bound by the Hague Conventions respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, whether that of July 29, 1899, or that of October 18, 1907, and who are parties to the present Convention, this last Convention shall be supplementary to Sections II and III of the Regulations annexed to the above-mentioned Conventions of The Hague.” {ICRC commentary}

Geneva-4 (civilians): Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Geneva, August 12 1949), further cited above.

Hague-4 has no strings attached.

To legalize a little bit of armed robbery.

Under Hague-4, every single act of armed robbery, by the belligerent occupier (property confiscation not justified by military necessity), or by it’s puppet governments, or by its citizens, or by any other group it permits to operate in the territory it occupies:—

Every single such act is a war crime.

No exceptions.

If Hague-4 doesn’t legalize it, then confiscations remain a violent crime, namely, armed robbery.

So it appears to me.

And I never heard any court say differently.

____________________

Why don’t the 1949 Geneva Conventions define all war crimes as “grave breaches”?

These treaties are about particular facets of war and do not purport to restate the whole of the laws of war.

But, having gathered together, in a gigantic conference, about war, they took the opportunity to state a few basic war crimes, in the aftermath of the Nuremberg trials (1945-1949).

The 1949 conventions, for example, do not cover targeting, or belligerent occupation, except incidentally.

But Hague-4 deals with both, targeting and occupation, and remains in force, side by side with the Geneva Conventions, both as a treaty and, separately, as evidence of “the laws and customs of war” binding on all non-treaty countries too (like Israel).

The Geneva “grave breaches” are a component of a regime of international cooperation, extradition, international obligations, and such.

A bold new idea, in 1949.

A toe in the water, a brick in the wall, of a future world view, which may yet be, but may never be.

They established a framework, of international cooperation, to enforce the criminal laws of war.

A bold initiative, which surely would have floundered, politically, had they demanded a task beyond the capacity of mankind, and also reached deep, into the citizenry of many nations:—

Prosecution/extradition of every last war criminal, for every last war crime, and every last person complicit in those crimes.

They settled for the ring leaders, the main actors, and some headline crimes.

They couldn’t undo the past.

But they wanted deterrence, against future crimes.

Deterrence with teeth.

I haven’t read the transcripts/reports of their proceedings, to know the subtleties, the whys and wherefores, of the Geneva Conventions, their “grave breach” regime.

It doesn’t seem to much matter, for present purposes.

Geneva-4 appears to criminalize much, or even all, confiscations of Palestinian land and water, in the occupied territories, by Israel, and by private parties Israel protects.

And the U.S. War Crime Act authorizes U.S. federal district courts to try indictments for those crimes.

____________________

Indicting whom?

Who can be prosecuted, under the U.S. War Crime Act?

The king pins? The criminal gang? Who set this violent criminal enterprise in motion?

Israeli government officials? Past and present?

The U.S. State Department can ensure, the U.S. Immigration Service welcomes them entry into the U.S., on a regular passport.

So they can be promptly arrested.

And deny them entry, on a diplomatic passport.

But did Congress shelter them, immunize them, to wage their violent crimes, against the Palestinians.

Congress permits prosecution only of U.S. nationals, and others in the U.S. military, and nobody else, under the War Crimes Act, but also anybody else, if a victim be one of those people.

In this case, an owner of some confiscated property, for example, might be a U.S. national.

If so, then Israeli officials can presumably be prosecuted, under this law, for that particular confiscation, but presumably not for others.

“ 18 U.S.C. § 2441. War crimes

(a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.

(b) Circumstances.— The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the person committing such war crime or the victim of such war crime is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act).”

18 U.S.C. § 2441(a)-(b) (August 21 1996, as amended November 26 1997) (legislative history), citing, the definition of “national of the United States,” now codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(22).

____________________

When appointing an independent prosecutor, Congress should dispel all doubts and resolve all uncertainties.

Congress should, at the same time, amend that law, to permit prosecution of anyone the U.S. government can get its hands on (not just U.S. nationals), including Israeli government officials, past and president.

And, if there be any doubt about it, Congress should make clear, that full complicity is included: Not just those who personally committed the crime, or those who ordered it, but all the rest too, who are complicit in it, those who conspired, incited, aided and abetted, facilitated.

And, Congress should add, to the list, Hague-4 annex articles 46 and 55, and “the laws and customs of war” pertaining to confiscations as interpreted by the Nuremberg tribunals.

And thereby enable criminal prosecution for every last inch of confiscated occupied Palestinian territory.

No exceptions.

And so, eliminate distractions, about what the Geneva-4 strings mean (“extensive,” “wanton,” and such).

It’s not for Congress to redefine this crime, to tinker with its definitions.

Many of the criminal confiscations are in the past.

These crimes are long since defined, settled, criminal law, at the time Israel did its confiscations, with its many complicit U.S. helpers.

And their crimes continue, into the present day.

All Congress needs to do is authorize the court to try this crime in full, with no strings attached, and appoint and fund an independent prosecutor to do the work, beyond the reach of the Israel lobby.

And all the U.S. voters need to do, is vote for candidates for Congress, candidates who promise to do precisely that.

{draft in progress}

 

 

This document is not copyrighted and may be freely copied.

CJHjr

Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

Posted Oct. 21 2006. Updated June 1 2009.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jksonc/docs/ic-settlements.html

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