Tag Archives: ICC

jerusalem-adam-biggs

Perché, In Questo Momento, Il Riconoscimento Di Uno Stato Palestinese Sarebbe Disastroso

Bisogna evitare facili entusiasmi nell’accogliere la richiesta di riconoscimento che lo Stato palestinese ha avanzato presso l’ONU, soprattutto se ciò non considera adeguatamente le esigenze di sicurezza di Israele. Una certa pazienza si rende necessaria per scongiurare sviluppi altrimenti catastrofici.

[dhr]

[dhr]

Articolo in riposta a: “Ostacolare la creazione della Palestina: il grande errore degli Stati Uniti

[hr]

La richiesta di riconoscimento istituzionale che l’Autorità Nazionale Palestinese ha avanzato presso l’ONU ha rappresentato, per molti,  una possibile via d’uscita dalla questione mediorientale: si reputa, infatti, che una tale istanza possa esercitare una maggiore pressione internazionale su Israele. Di conseguenza, assecondando questa logica, i contrari al suddetto riconoscimento statuale rischierebbero un passo falso diplomatico: pare, infatti, che la richiesta dell’ANP goda di crescente consenso presso gli Stati membri delle Nazioni Unite. Gli Stati Uniti, sostiene ancora la tesi dell’articolo precedente, vi si opporrebbero poiché preoccupati dalla possibile denuncia che, un eventuale Stato palestinese, intenterebbe presso la Corte Penale Istituzionale contro Israele, con l’accusa di occupare illegalmente i propri territori. Infatti, continuando a sostenere un alleato storico, gli Stati Uniti finirebbero però per  tradire i propri stessi principi e valori, vedendo poi compromessa la propria influenza all’interno del mondo arabo. In aggiunta, conclude l’articolo, l’atteggiamento americano nei confronti dell’ANP suscita qualche perplessità, dato che appare in forte contrasto con il supporto fornito alle rivoluzioni democratiche in Nordafrica.

A questo punto, sarebbe il caso di confutare le argomentazioni descritte. In primis, approvare la richiesta dell’ANP potrebbe generare pericolosi sviluppi non solo per Stati Uniti ed Israele, ma anche e soprattutto per lo stesso Stato palestinese;  e, più in generale, per tutta la regione mediorientale. E’ infatti per ragioni legate alla stabilità e alla sicurezza regionale che gli Stati Uniti si oppongono a tale epilogo, piuttosto che per opinabili legami di lealtà a Gerusalemme. In questo momento storico l’ANP non è pronta a configurarsi come entità statuale, e se le valutazioni strategiche avanzate da Israele dovessero essere ulteriormente ignorate, si profilerebbero instabilità politica e il rischio di un conflitto generalizzato a tutta l’area circostante.

L’ANP, in effetti, non gode del pieno controllo sui propri territori, nemmeno per quanto riguarda la Zona A: non è in grado, dunque, né di esercitare lo stato di diritto sulla regione, né di garantire stabilità nei territori di confine – come ad esempio nella Striscia di Gaza dove perdura e si consolida la presenza di Hamas. A tal proposito, pur supponendo che l’ANP acquisisca lo status desiderato, appare improbabile che possa subentrare o affiancarsi pacificamente ad Hamas nel governo di Gaza. L’organizzazione in questione continuerebbe le proprie attività anche all’interno di uno Stato palestinese ormai indipendente, come il lancio di missili su Israele e la politica di reclutamento tra le tribù beduine, in modo da garantirsi un rafforzamento strategico nella zona del Sinai. Un eventuale Stato potrebbe costituirsi solamente nel momento in cui dovesse possedere le caratteristiche adatte a diventarlo: per adesso territorio e popolazione non sono affatto attributi sufficienti.

Relativamente a considerazioni di ordine interno, si provi ad ipotizzare uno Stato palestinese indipendente che ottenga, da parte della Corte Penale Internazionale, una sentenza sul ritiro di Israele dai Territori Occupati. Cosa accadrebbe in seguito? Storicamente, nessuna entità statale ha mai rinunciato volontariamente alle proprie posizioni strategiche, ancor più per sentenza e senza calcolare le ripercussioni sulla propria stabilità interna. Sia a livello di apparato statale, che di forze di sicurezza, l’ANP risulta troppo debole per poter affrontare proteste e rivolte; e sembra avere ancora meno chance di debellare il terrorismo di matrice domestica. Abu Mazen sarebbe davvero in grado di fermare un possibile lancio missilistico verso l’aeroporto di Tel Aviv? Di ostacolare il contrabbando di armi da fuoco giordane a Ramallah? E di impedire ad agenti di Hezbollah di infiltrarsi in Palestina per reclutare ed addestrare nuovi terroristi?

Non sembra decisamente il caso di correre rischi così consistenti; tanto più adesso che l’intera regione è scossa da conflitti settari. Con le sue deboli istituzioni statali, e le sue forze di sicurezza impreparate e corrotte, l’ANP non è in grado di esercitare il potere sufficiente a garantire una certa stabilità. Al contrario, Israele riesce, in maniera efficace, ad arginare la minaccia terroristica proveniente dai Territori Occupati, malgrado i vergognosi abusi umanitari e le violenze che ne conseguono. Sarebbe dunque ipotizzabile che, sulla base di un mero imperativo morale, lo Stato israeliano decida di affidare la propria sicurezza ad istituzioni deboli e poco influenti? Basterebbe solo un po’ di buon senso per affermare il contrario.

In primo luogo, lo stato di diritto potrà essere esercitato dall’ANP, sia nella Striscia di Gaza che in Cisgiordania, solo quando sarà in grado di evitare che il terrorismo locale giunga a colpire Israele. In secondo luogo, non è pensabile che Israele possa essere costretta, per di più da potenze straniere, ad accettare l’esistenza di uno Stato palestinese. La pressione esercitata su Gerusalemme non basterebbe comunque a determinarne un cedimento; per quanto riguarda la parte palestinese, tale situazione potrebbe dare il via libera ad una Terza Intifada. Ne conseguirebbero eccidi, violenze e l’intensificarsi della presenza militare israeliana nei Territori Occupati: una mossa del genere ritarderebbe almeno di vent’anni la risoluzione della questione palestinese, facendo sfumare ogni possibilità di stipulare un compromesso pacifico.

In ultima analisi, la negoziazione del processo di pace deve coinvolgere le grandi potenze. Ogni argomento contrario sarebbe irrilevante e fuori luogo, poiché già nel 2001, nel corso del Summit di Taba, furono definiti tutti i parametri per una risoluzione consensuale. Il problema risiede nella mancanza di buona volontà da entrambe le parti: se desiderassero realmente risolvere la questione, uno Stato Palestinese potrebbe sorgere nel giro di una notte. Allo stesso modo, ogni soluzione internazionale che prescinda da Israele sarebbe rovinosa: il rischio di violenze aumenterebbe vertiginosamente, determinando il rinfocolarsi di atteggiamenti aggressivi da parte di israeliani e palestinesi.

In conclusione, il riconoscimento statuale sarebbe disastroso per l’ANP e la sua legittimità. Se, successivamente all’ottenimento di tale status istituzionale le condizioni di vita per gli abitanti palestinesi non dovessero migliorare, l’ANP si ritroverebbe ulteriormente danneggiata, e il già debole supporto di cui attualmente gode verrebbe compromesso. Non è difficile ipotizzare come un’ondata di proteste popolari possa favorire la base radicale, che, attaccando l’inerzia e la passività dell’ANP, vedrebbe rinsaldata la propria credibilità, incitando la popolazione a rivendicare con violenza ciò che le stesse Nazioni Unite avevano promesso. Se dovesse scoppiare un’altra Intifada, l’ANP non avrebbe alcuna possibilità di gestirla, né risulterebbe credibile nel prendere le redini del conflitto, ponendosi come alternativa al populismo militante di Hamas. Se Arafat non fu in grado di gestire la Seconda Intifada, è assolutamente fuori discussione che il poco carismatico Abu Mazen riesca a fare di meglio.

Non si voglia leggere, in quest’articolo, un’apologia di Netanyahu o delle politiche repressive israeliane. Bisogna, però, evitare facili entusiasmi nell’accogliere la richiesta di riconoscimento che lo Stato palestinese ha avanzato presso l’ONU,  soprattutto se ciò non considera adeguatamente le esigenze di sicurezza di Israele. Una certa pazienza si rende necessaria per scongiurare sviluppi altrimenti catastrofici. Bisogna comunque riconoscere che, indipendentemente dalle posizioni sull’argomento dibattuto, al momento le relazioni israelo-palestinesi – sia a livello sociale, che diplomatico – sono pacifiche come non accadeva da qualche anno.

[hr]

Articolo tradotto da Antonella Di Marzio

Editing: Giuseppe Paparella

Articolo originale: Recognizing A Palestinian State Would Be Disastrous

Photo Credit: Adam Biggs / theriskyshift.com
A view of Jerusalem

Recognizing A Palestinian State Would Be Disastrous

A hoorah enthusiasm to accept Palestinian statehood at the United Nations no matter what - and with no regard for Israel’s say in the matter – would be catastrophic. We must be patient.

[dhr]

A view of Jerusalem

[dhr]

This is a response to  ’Blocking Palestine: America’s Big Mistake

[hr]

Many groups have seen hope for a solution to the Middle East conflict in the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN, the thinking being that international pressure will exert  pressure on Israel. Following this logic, American opposition to the move is regarded as a diplomatic mistake given a growing consent among the UN member states for the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) request for statehood. Americans, the argument goes, are opposed to it out of concerns that the Palestinian state could then file a lawsuit at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Israel for illegal occupation of its territories. This stance takes root in its loyalty to a close ally despite the fact that such policy goes against its principles and values and undermines its influence across the Arab World. American behavior with regards to the PA is even more perplexing when one takes a look at its efforts to support democratic changes in North Africa.

I would like to counter that argument. Accepting a Palestinian bid for statehood would be a dangerous development, not only for the US and Israel, but first and foremost for Palestinians and the wider region. Americans oppose Palestinian statehood out of security concerns rather than a morally dubious attachment to its ally. At this moment in history Palestine is by no means ready to become a state, and the blatant international disregard for the Israeli input in the matter could have dire consequences, including an all-out conflict across the region.

The first and most important risk originates in the fact that the PA does not exercise full control over its territories, even in Zone A, and cannot guarantee the rule of law over all of its lands and stability at its borders – the Gaza Strip and Hamas, for example. Let’s imagine the PA finally gets the statehood it wanted – how is it supposed to oust Hamas from Gaza and reinstate itself as the ruling power? What do Abbas’s assertions on peaceful cooperation with Israel mean if once Palestine becomes independent Hamas will continue to dictate its own policies, fire missiles at Israel and recruit Bedouins to attack from Sinai? Palestine can only become a state if it has all the features of a state – territory and population are not enough.

Let us imagine the newly independent Palestine files a lawsuit against Israel at the ICC, the ICC finds Israel guilty and demands its withdrawal from the Occupied Territories. Then what? No state in history will voluntarily abandon strategic positions without being fully confident that its withdrawal will not be instantaneously used against it. Palestinian state apparatus and security forces are too weak to deal with rioting and protests, let alone successfully fight domestic terrorist groups. Can Abbas really guarantee that no missiles will be launched on Ben Gurion Airport from the West Bank hills? That he will make sure nobody smuggles firearms from Jordan into Ramallah? That Hezbollah operatives would not enter Palestine to train and recruit new terrorists?

The risk is just too big to take, especially now with sectarian conflicts raging all over the region. The PA does not wield enough power – state institutions are weak and security forces are ill-trained and corrupt. Israel contains the terrorist threat coming from the Occupied Territories at the disgraceful costs of humanitarian abuse and violence, but its tactics and strategy are successful. Can Israelis gamble put their safety and security in the hands of weak and semi-failed institutions out of a moral imperative? It would be against common sense to claim they should.

The first condition for the PA is to exercise the full rule of law, both in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, when it will be able to contain terrorism on its own territory before it hits Israel. Secondly, Israel cannot be forced into an internationally orchestrated Palestinian statehood. Israelis would not yield to such pressure, whereas encouraged Palestinians would interpret such move as a green light for staging a Third Intifada. The consequences would be more bloodshed, more violence and a greater Israeli military presence in the Occupied Territories. Such a move would delay any chance for a comprehensive solution for another couple of decades.

The peace process must be negotiated with the involvement of the great powers. The counter-argument is irrelevant as all the parameters for a peace solution have been set and defined as far back as Taba Summit in 2001. The problem lies in the lack of good will between the two sides; if the solution was mutually desired, Palestine could become an independent state over one night. Any international solution without the Israelis on board would deteriorate the situation, enhance the risk of violence, and fuel hawkish moods both in Israel and in Palestine.

Lastly, statehood would be disastrous for the PLO and its legitimacy. If the PLO could not gain any substantial improvement in the Palestinian situation following recognition, Palestinian society would question the PA’s ability to deliver, thus further undermining its already weak support. It is not hard to imagine a wave of social protests bolstering radicals’ support base, who could build their popularity on harsh critique of the PLO’s inertia and passiveness, calling for the people to forcefully take what has been promised by the UN itself. If another intifada were to break out, the PLO would have no chance of controlling the uprising, nor would it be able to compete with the militant and populist Hamas in rallying the support of the society to lead the fight. If Arafat could not control the Second Intifada, it is beyond the realms of possibility that someone as uncharismatic as Abbas will do better.

I do not intend to defend Israeli policies; I am no fan of Bibi and his politics. But a hoorah enthusiasm to accept Palestinian statehood at the UN no matter what - and with no regard for Israel’s say in the matter – would be catastrophic. We must be patient and appreciate the current situation, as irrespective of what we think, Israeli-Palestinian relations, both on official and social levels, haven’t been as peaceful as they are now for some time.

[hr]

Photo credit: Adam Biggs / theriskyshift.com

kony hitler bin laden

Kony & Justice: A View From Uganda

There is no option but for the UPDF to continue their pursuit of LRA until Kony and all his commanders are captured and have them answer charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC.

[dhr]

kony hitler bin laden

[dhr]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter all the mayhem visited upon the people of northern Uganda by the notorious Joseph Kony’s Lords Resistance Army (LRA), it is unfortunate that there are those in the political realm who are pushing for amnesty to be granted to Major General Caesar Acellam, one of LRA’s top commanders, who was captured by the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) this month.

This group of Kony and Acellam sympathizers need to be reminded of the horrendous crimes committed by the rag-tag LRA bandits against their fellow country men. The mobile LRA gang was started by Kony and his henchmen in January 1987 and went on to wreck havoc in northern Uganda for over 20 years, killing and maiming thousands of innocent civilians and driving well over 2 million people out of their homes. One of their killing fields was at Purengo, where they executed 30 civilians in 1989 and later massacred another 400 in Lamwo county, Kitgum district. They did not even spare young children when they raided St. Mary’s college in Aboke Apac district on October 10, 1996 and abducted 139 students taking them as sex slaves and enlisting others in the LRA army.

Kony and his group of butchers have murdered an estimated 30,000 people during the execution of their two-decade, ruthless rebellion in the northern part of the country. Under Kony and the now captured Acellam’s command, the LRA used machetes and hoes to maim their victims, chopping lips and ears off their captives. They raided schools and forced students to fight and kill their own relatives. Many of the surviving victims will never recover from the trauma visited upon them by the blood-stained hands of Kony, Acellam and those under their command.

Because of this near unprecedented cruelty, Kony, Acellam, and the wider LRA deserve no sympathy in the civilised world.

It has been 12 years since the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute), the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome. The statute, which came into force on July 1, 2002 and has since been ratified by 110 countries including Uganda, has drastically changed international criminal law as we have come to know it .

The Rome Statute, and its implementing agency the International Criminal Court, has in the short period of its existence ensured that perpetrators of crimes against humanity do not escape the rule of law. And the list of indicted suspects grows by the day; the latest being those accused of perpetuating crimes against humanity during the 2007/8 post election violence in Kenya.

Kony’s deputies – Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo and Raska Lukwiya – have also been indicted but are yet to face trial at the ICC. They stand accused of 33 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the people of northern Uganda in the last 20 years. Acellam, although not indicted by the ICC, was part of the criminal acts of Kony and the LRA for all these years: Acellam must not be allowed to hide from justice under the amnesty law.

Kony and Acellam have long duped the international community and the leadership in this country, costing the Ugandan taxpayer billions of shillings in wasted spending on the joke that was the Juba peace talks. It was clear from the onset of the talks that Kony – aware of the heinous crimes he has committed against humanity – would never surrender without putting up a fight.

That’s why there is no option but for the UPDF, supported by Uganda’s regional and international allies, to continue their pursuit of LRA until Kony and all his commanders are captured and have them answer charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the ICC either here in Kampala or at the Hague.

Once a person has committed war crimes, as spelt out in the Rome Statute, then that person should not benefit from the provisions of our amnesty law. War crimes and crimes against humanity are international in nature and suspects can be picked from anywhere in the world by any spirited individual or state to arraigned them at the ICC for trial.

The UPDF should use all its capabilities and bring all resources to bear in this new effort to find Kony and his commanders to have them answer for their criminal acts. The UPDF should earn the support of the people of Uganda and hope our brothers and sisters in northern Uganda never suffer again the vicious brutality of Kony and the LRA.

kony

KONY 2012: You Must Watch This

KONY 2012: You Must Watch This.

[dhr]

[dhr]

Have you watched the Kony 2012 campaign video? If so you have played one of the 83 million views (and counting) this controversial short film has had in the last three weeks on You Tube. Created by US-based charity Invisible Children, the 30-minute video has sparked a massive international debate, allegedly precipitating the creator’s personal meltdown, and one of the fastest viral campaigns in internet history.

Whatever your view on the politics and ethics of the medium and the message, as a piece of filmmaking, it is compelling in its narrative. A complex story about Joseph Kony, a leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army operating primarily in Uganda accused of the abduction of children to become sex slaves and child soldiers, is told simply and emotively. It ends with a call to action that has ignited young people’s activism in the US, by demanding that Kony is held to account for his crimes and tried by the International Criminal Court.

Yet the simplicity has been part of the film’s undoing, which has come under heavy fire from criticsfor failing to reflect the nuances of the current situation, not least because Kony is said to have long fled Ugandaand that the LRA has been in retreat for years. All political campaigns have to simplify issues to transmit ideas to a mass audience – it is an intrinsic part of telling a story and one that can sit uncomfortably for those close to the reality. But the claims that the film is misleading and perpetuating a disempowering advocacy model are altogether more damaging.

Ugandan critics have been quick to point out that the video presents a negative and inaccurate image of their country, based on outdated interpretations of Uganda’s past. Ugandan journalist Rosebell Kagumire reports former UN Prosecutor’s Dr. Payam Akhavan’s comments that the video reflects a lack of consultation with Ugandan communities – if they had been consulted, Akhavan says the money raised on the back of it would have been better directed to those who need it.

Whilst Invisible Children, in a detailed response to their critics, maintain that most of their staff in Uganda are Ugandan, the implication is that those staff work on their in-country programmes rather than in the driving seat of their political campaigns and messaging. Out of all the many criticisms being made of the film, the failure to locate the leadership of its policy decision-making within the communities most affected by Kony’s crimes repeats the same failures too many domestic and international charities fall foul of. The first act of liberation is to find one’s own voice, and that is incompatible with others, however well-meaning, taking the reins of advocacy.

But there is something awe-inspiring about 83 million views on You Tube for an international campaign, and the resulting activism and awareness that has followed. If you hold any hope for the political activism of a generation that isn’t occupying campuses and streets as the Vietnam protesters did, then the fact that millions of young people are choosing to watch a video and take a stand about international human rights has to be a cause of celebration.

There is an extraordinary shift taking place in people power and only to carp from the sidelines about the flaws of the campaign is to miss the significance of political engagement on this scale. It has become a mass platform to discuss not only Kony’s crimes and that of other international fugitives like Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, accused of genocide in Darfur, but to debate how to effectively campaign on international human rights issues.

Some expertsdoubt that the campaign to bring Kony to justice in 2012 will be effective via the International Criminal Court, although agree it would be a welcome move. It has been argued that failure and misinformation will dent activism, and whilst no-one should condone campaigns based on misinformation, it might be more de-motivating to a new activist to have their efforts met with scorn by commentators.

Kony 2012 should be scrutinised for its methods and means. But neither should the optimistic signals demonstrated by this film’s impact be overlooked in the critique.