In a recent interview on The Thinking Muslim, Tayab Ali, A lawyer specializing in counter terrorism, international security and international law, stated that he will not allow the West to get away with complicity to the war crimes being perpetrated against the Palestinians by Israel.  Ali is Director of International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP).  Among other impressive roles, Mr. Ali has represented clients in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The international law that Mr.  Ali will invoke was erected from the destruction of WW2.  As Israel has declared “never again” so too does the international system of law.  Ali believes that to allow Israel and those complicit to rest under the impunity that has protected them for so long, runs counter to the values that the West exports; that in fact the system will collapse if it fails to stand  and uphold the beliefs, values and thus the derived policies that make it a democracy.   “It is the politicians and the lack of political will that are the assess [not the law itself] says Tayab Ali.

Ali has stated that international law, although immature in outcome is developed enough to identify complicity to a war crime. Alongside other international law, Article 147 of the Geneva Convention indicates a list of separate crimes wherein the sum of those crimes amounts to genocide.  ICJP is preparing criminal prosecution files against commentators, politicians, and suppliers of weapons complicit with the war crimes against Palestinians.

Think about this!  If a commentator on the war, or a politician supports what Israel is doing toward the Palestinians presently and it is determined by law that war crimes have been committed in the strip, then those supporting Israel are, by definition, criminals.  This is no small undertaking for Mr. Ali and the consequences of this path need to be scrutinized. The weight Mr. Ali’s law suit carries if the outcome rules as war crimes the activity such as reporiting on, or lending military, political and financial aid to for a particular country at war, is enormous. Each participant in war must be certain they are supporting a just cause. The outcome of this prosecution could result in President Joe Biden being convicted of criminal activity for supporting an American ally.  America advising its Ally Israel to dial down the war while funnelling in the fuel to keep it going is the hypocrisy many in the streets are decrying.

At the very least, Tayab Ali’s proceedings highlights the seriousness of what it means for a country and its infrastructure (media, and military) to involve itself in war.  I’ve not yet sorted out my feelings or cognitive reaction to this monumental move by ICJP, but it has my attention.  What does it mean, if anything, for countries to stand by and watch genocide happen (it has not been proven that Israel has committed genocide, although many commentators are saying this)?  Morally there is an obligation, but what effect will law have on this inaction? If Mr. Ali loses in court, could there be a counter law suit for what might amount to defamation? What if support for Israel can be argued as supporting its sovereign right to defend itself where proportionally (an international law guiding defense) the civilian carnage is justified to eliminate the threat of terror? Is support for Hamas a war crime: will this case get it’s day in Court?

As citizens we must educate ourselves on these matters.  Canada ratified the Geneva Convention in 1965 and acceded 4 protocols since then.  How we present ourselves on this issue aligns our position, on a continuum, with the demands of international law.  Our feelings are important, nevertheless if we agree with codified law, we submit to a system of accountability.