Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Iran Wants to Try Israeli Officials

I'm not sure I can imagine a more hostile environment for an Israeli official than an Iranian court, but that is exactly where Iranian leaders want to bring some Israeli officials. Iran has requested help from Interpol to bring in 15 Israelis including: the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Mossad Chief, Chief of the Israeli Defense Forces, and the Attorney General. Iran wants these officials brought in for war crimes it says were committed in Gaza. Since it is highly unlikely that Interpol will assist in this mission, Iran is also planning to try the officials in absentia.

I realize that such a trial will never happen short of Iran kidnapping those they want and dragging them into its court system, but just thinking about an Israeli being tried in an Iranian court is terrifying. I'm sure the word "trial" would be used very loosely to describe whatever process the court went through to convict the Israeli, and I'm sure that whatever punishment was meted out would be something that fell far short of the 8th Amendment.

Another interesting topic discussed in this article is the International Criminal Court considering its power to investigate Israeli actions in Gaza. Apparently the central issue is whether Palestine is a "state" recognized by the ICC, and the answer seems to be yes since Israel withdrew from Palestinian lands in 2005 and gave them sovereignty. However, no matter what the ICC decides on that issue, Israel is unlikely to subject any of its citizens to the ICC's jurisdiction.

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