Tzipi Livni: Proud (and scared) to be a war criminal

by Yaniv Reich on December 14, 2009

No matter your opinions about Israeli war crimes in Gaza last winter, the fact that Israeli officials are beginning to worry about their travel plans is one of the most positive developments in a long time because it creates one small but real pressure to consider the human implications of their military decisions. In a properly functioning democracy with anything like a politically balanced electorate, this wouldn’t be necessary. But we all know Israelis aren’t going to hold their leaders to account. At least, with the fear of universal jurisdiction over war crimes, Israeli government officials will have some incentive to consider international law.

Tzipi Livni is the most recent Israeli official to deal with the fear of accountability for her military decisions. Despite claims to the contrary, she has canceled an upcoming visit to the UK, citing “scheduling conflicts”, while simultaneously issuing a statement that she was “proud of all the decisions she made as foreign minister during the Gaza war.”

She can be proud of whatever she wants, but her pride is not necessarily sanctioned by international law.

Having canceled a speaking event for the Jewish National Fund out of fear of arrest, its clear her pride is insufficiently strong to overwhelm her fear of accountability.

Update: She’s not the only one. Ditto for Moshe Ya’alon, deputy prime minister and minister for strategic affairs.

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