Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America


Winter 2003

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) strongly condemns the Belgian Supreme Court ruling opening the possibility that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon may be tried for war crimes in that country once he leaves office. The Belgian court has ruled that charges can be brought against Sharon for crimes alleged to have taken place in events at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in 1982. The ruling also opens investigations against other Israeli military commanders who do not enjoy diplomatic immunity. The JWV expresses serious concern over this ruling. The JWV has long been on record as agreeing with the American position of opposing the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court or any other court of claim to try the troops or representatives of another sovereign nation. The JWV supports the comments of Israeli Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein in condemning the decision regarding the Israeli Prime Minister and the other Israeli military commanders. Attorney-General Rubinstein is quoted in the Jerusalem Post as asserting that "Israel has no substantive reason to worry about any international procedures. It has reason to worry about political moves disguised as judicial ones, which have nothing to do with justice, but serve as a tool for conducting political battles." In light of this ruling and Belgium's position within NATO expressing opposition to U.S. policy regarding Iraq, the JWV also demands the removal of U.S. troops from Belgium and their relocation to a country not claiming universal jurisdiction and the immediate grant of immunity to Americans in Belgium and at NATO pending removal of all American personnel.


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