The veto system in the UN Security Council is bankrupt. The Council is complicit with war crimes in failing again to maintain peace and security.
The UN General Assembly can and must act to stop the killing by ending Israel’s state of exception to international law.
(01 August 2006)
The BRussells Tribunal condemns the State of Israel for its barbaric killing of 56 Lebanese civilians, including many children, in Qana. 750 Lebanese have been killed since Israel began its military campaign three weeks ago.
Israel’s offensive on the sovereign state of Lebanon is a clear act of aggression under international law and is a supreme crime against peace. The indiscriminate mass killing of civilians also constitutes collective punishment, another imputable crime under international law.
The United States stands accused alongside Israel. It has rushed massive arms deliveries to Israel. Again, it has proven its partiality in the UN Security Council, vetoing all moves towards an immediate ceasefire.
The United States and Israel are acting as one. The illegal pre-emptive war on Iraq was prelude and made possible Israel’s campaign of aggression on Lebanon. No solution to this crisis can be forthcoming unless the United States is isolated and equally condemned by the international community.
Force cannot justify what law denies. Israel’s continued war crimes, which are a staple of its foreign policy and occupation of Palestine, constitute the gravest threat to international peace in decades.
The BRussells Tribunal opposes all rhetoric of a “greater” or “New Middle East” and condemns the use of this phrase to sanction continued killing in Lebanon and Gaza.
Action is possible now
It is time for the international community to fulfil its duty and prevent Israel being the exception to the rule of international norms and peaceful aspirations.
Under UN General Assembly resolution 377 of 1950 — the “Uniting for Peace” resolution — the General Assembly is empowered to act where the UN Security Council has failed. The UN General Assembly can and must, as an urgent measure and as a moral imperative, convene an immediate emergency session, condemn the State of Israel, and its partner in crime and arms supplier, the United States.
Israel must cease all military operations immediately and unconditionally.
The international community must also stand against US-Israeli plans for the post-aggression interjection of an international force in Lebanon. Any “stabilising” force should be stationed on the Israeli side of the Blue Line. Israel is the aggressor state and must be restrained. It is the sovereignty of Lebanon that must be guaranteed.
The Lebanese have the sovereign right to decide how to organise the defence of their territory and they stand in agreement on how to resist. Their right to resist is guaranteed by the UN Charter and customary international law.
The UN General Assembly should act to implement all UN resolutions regarding Palestine, Israel and Lebanon — including resolutions 194, 242 and 425 — and demand the immediate withdrawal of Israel from all occupied territories, along with just compensation for all human and material losses.
The BRussells Tribunal calls upon all organisations, institutions, parliaments, governments and individuals to ACT NOW and call for an extraordinary session of the UN General Assembly to condemn Israel’s aggression on Lebanon and its continuous war crimes. Inaction or silence is complicity.
The BRussells Tribunal Committee – 01 August 2006
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SECURITY COUNCIL FAILS
… if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures, including in the case of a breach of the peace or act of aggression the use of armed force when necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security. If not in session at the time, the General Assembly may meet in emergency special session within twenty-four hours of the request therefor. Such emergency special session shall be called if requested by the Security Council on the vote of any seven members, or by a majority of the Members of the United Nations …
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 377 (V) “Uniting For Peace” 302nd plenary meeting, 3 November 1950
CAN AND MUST ACT