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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Spain to amend war crimes law?

On Friday, I reported that a Spanish judge had decided to open an investigation into whether seven senior Israeli army officers committed 'war crimes' when they ordered the assassination of Hamas terror chief Salah Shehadeh in 2002. Now the Spanish government is considering amending the 'universal jurisdiction' provision of the law to require a nexus to Spain. But it may not help the seven Israeli officers whose investigation is pending.
"The [Spanish] government is considering whether to introduce a proposal to change legislation which has been abused by groups all over the world," Juan Gonzalez-Barba Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Spain in Tel Aviv told The Jerusalem Post.

He noted that such legislation would have to be introduced by the Spanish Ministry of Justice, and could take months.

The deputy Spanish ambassador, who was speaking at a Hebrew University conference on the aftermath of the Gaza war, added that it was uncertain that such legislation would be retroactive and affect the case before the courts. He conceded that the matter could impact relations between the two countries.

Israel has informed Spain, which has been among the most anti-Israel countries in Europe during the military operation, that there will be implications in relations between the two countries if such a solution is not found.

In his address, Gonzalez-Barba was at pains to stress that official Spanish-Israeli relations, which were established only in 1986, were "as strong as ever," even if they might be "severely hurt" in the field of private perceptions.

He asserted that Spain had not strayed from official EU policy during the three-week long conflict, but conceded that the "power of images" and the "unexpected" decision by the Spanish judge left a balance against Israel.

In a revealing moment, the Spanish diplomat noted that the lightning visit of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to Jerusalem last month as part of a delegation of six European leaders following Israel's January 17 declaration of a cease-fire was not an endorsement of Israel's position in the conflict but an endorsement of the cease-fire.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.


At 6:39 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Even if Spain amends its law, its doesn't affect the current case. It has less to do with a new-found affection for Israel than the realization that Spanish officials and soldiers could be tried in other countries courts regardless of a nexus to Spain. While Jews may be the initial targets of orchestrated lawfare, it wouldn't stop with them.

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Mike Dugas said...

Sorry to thread jack Carl but I couldn't find an email link to contact you about this.
I guess if anyone was unsure about what the Obama Administrations treatment of Israel and the Palestinians will be like they shouldn't be anymore. Today Obama showed Hamas that if they attack and kill innocent Israelis Obama will respond forcefully....by giving Hamas 10's of millions of dollars. So while our country and it's citizens are in the throes of a government created fiscal nightmare Obama will take more of our tax dollars and give them to terrorists who attack and kill our friends. Nice no? Exactly why yopu voted for him right? That's the change you guys wanted no?


I pray to G-d that Israel can stand strong through the next four years and that this Obama mistake doesn't get a second chance.
Mike Dugas

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Mike, that's just what George and Condi were doing with your tax dollars up until their departure.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."


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