Frank Barat writes for Al Jazeera on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine

Bertrand Russell - philosopher and peace activist

In an article for Al Jazeera Frank Barat, co-editor of Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation, writes about the tradition of the Russell Tribunal and the importance of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine:

From the experience of past Russell Tribunals – on US military intervention in Vietnam (1966-1967) and internal repression (with outside interference) in Latin America (1973-1975), and judging from the conclusions of the first two sessions of the RToP, it is clear that findings of the tribunal provide a legally grounded body of arguments, constituting an important tool to be used by those who seek to ensure respect for the rule of international law, and the rights of the Palestinian people.

The RToP is an international people’s tribunal, created in 2009 as a response to the failure of the international community to act appropriately to bring to an end Israel’s recognised violations of international law. In particular, the organisers of the RToP were very concerned by the inadequate international response to the Advisory Opinion of July 9, 2004, of the highest judicial body in the world, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), on the legal consequences of the establishment of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territories – which called for the wall to be dismantled and which reiterated the need to respect past resolutions of the United Nations.

International law is very clear when it comes to Israel/Palestine, and should be at the core of any negotiations. Many UN resolutions (181, 194, 242, 338, 1322, 1397 and 1435) call for a State of Palestine to be established, while the right to self-determination was at the heart of the Advisory Opinion. The Advisory Opinion also placed a strong emphasis on the duties of third-party states to ensure that the Palestinians are able to exercise their right of self-determination.

Indeed, the International Court of Justice went on to articulate the duty that states have to bring to an end the practical and legal consequences of the wall (and by clear implication any other established systematic violations of Palestinian human rights).

Despite the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion, the Court’s above injunction has yet to be acted upon: The wall is planned to be 810 kilometres long, but whereas around 300 kilometres had been constructed in 2004, by the summer of 2010 it was already at least 520km long (ie: almost two-thirds complete).

Visit Al Jazeera to read the article in full.

STOP PRESS! BOOK LAUNCH!

We are pleased to announce that editors Frank Barat and Asa Winstanley will be launching Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation at the Amnesty International Human Rights Centre in London on Thursday November 17th, 6.30pm. The full venue address is: Amnesty International Human Rights Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, EC2A 3EA, London.

Speaking alongside them will be Rafeef Ziadah, a Palestinian human rights activist, trade unionist, academic and spoken word artist and Joseph Dana, a writer and journalist based in Ramallah who has written for Le Monde Diplomatique, The Nation, The London Review of Books and has reported for Al Jazeera English.

Keep an eye on the events section of the Pluto website for further details.

Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation

Evidence from the London Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine

Edited by Asa Winstanley and Frank Barat. Foreword by Alice Walker

Damning exposé of corporate complicity in Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land. A vital legal resource on this pressing issue.

“As we prepare for the South African session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, this book is an important, practical tool in the non-violent struggle against apartheid in the Holy Land.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“A compelling and urgent read for anyone concerned about corporate complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.” – Omar Bargouti, co-founder of the Palestinian Civil Society BDS Movement

£19.99 only £17.50 on the Pluto site

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