Jaafari on Golan: Trump Tweet Flagrant Violation, Contempt for International Law

Bashar Jaafari Syria UN Representative Ambassador - UNSC بشار الجعفري مندوب سوريا الدائم لدى الأمم المتحدة - سفير

His Excellency Bashar al Jaafari issued an urgent statement on Syria’s Golan, via a UN stake out, 22 March 2019. While maintaining his immaculate standard of professional diplomat, the Syrian ambassador crushed US President Donald J. Trump’s “irresponsible tweeting.” He laid waste to the escalation of “American arrogance,” and explained the many UN Security Council Resolutions which support Syria’s sovereignty over its Golan, resolutions which call for the end of illegal Israeli occupation.

Golan
Though there were a substantial number of reporters present, at this writing, AFP is the lone MSM service to write an anemic short, ignoring all key points on Trump’s criminal plot to authorize the theft of Syria’s Golan.

Dr. Jaafari explained to his audience there is no “Golan heights,” there is only the Syrian Golan. The word “heights” was affixed by Israeli propagandists as part of its psychological warfare campaign to make its illegal occupation appear more powerful.

Syria’s ambassador read a five-minute statement in Arabic, followed by its English translation, after which he took questions from the reporters.

One reporter said that Syria’s official request for the UNSG to publicly condemn Trump’s aggression was met by a generic response that the SG stands by all resolutions, but is not ready to condemn the US president’s tweet.

Golan
Syria officially called on the UN to put an end to “American arrogance” of Trump’s mafioso-type plan to give that which is not his, but Syria’s, Golan, to its illegal Israeli occupiers.

Here, the author interjects to again remind our readers of the corruption and bias of Antonio Guterres — Guterres, the friend of war criminal Tony Blair, Guterres whose own imperialist arrogance contains putting lies in writing. Consider his claim that the OPCW “fact-finding mission” was “in the Syrian Arab Republic,” despite OPCW’s admission it was too afraid of terrorists to actually send in investigators.

Diplomat Jaafari meticulously explained that Trump’s imperious tweet — “diplomacy now about tweeting, apparently” — was contemptuous of the international community, showed “flagrant violation of international law, the charter of the UN and the simplest…values and ethics,” and demonstrated escalation against member states of the United Nations: It’s “my way or the highway.”

Golan
You can’t declare war with everybody [though that is basically what Trump did when he spoke at UNGA in September]. The 100th year anniversary of the League of Nations is approaching, & Trump is trying to move international law to pre-1918.

Before taking questions, the Syrian diplomat asked everyone to focus exclusively on the Golan. He told them that there would be another “humanitarian meeting” on the 27th, at which time they could ask all questions. His request to “Please let us focus on this important issue” of course fell on deaf western ears, as someone immediately asked about Trump’s statistics on the remaining “Islamic State.”

Excellency Jaafari did respond, however, to educate the reporter that there is no such thing, there is “a bunch of terrorists gathered from all over the world…all kinds of hyenas.”

Golan
“Allies performed records in demolishing infrastructure.” H.E. Jaafari was speaking of the Fascist Coalition of war criminals against Syria.

One English-speaking colonialist whined from a State Department-type script, about these being “different times.” Nu, is it not always different times? Since when does the movement of the planet legitimize theft, authorize a third party to declare theft to be lawful?

Golan
UNSCR 242 (1967). Israel must return the Golan to its legal country, Syria.

Not surprisingly, one of the most fetid collections of questions came from an incel-sounding voice claiming to be of the Middle East Eye. “MEE is the offspring of the inbred relationship of UK’s The Guardian and Qatar’s al-Jazeera, consistently supportive of NATO Spring takfiri in Syria.

“MEE”‘s first question was sheer idiocy, suggesting that a tweet has the power to legalize a crime. The second question was an attempt to propagandize against Syria’s Golan, and to propagandize for future hypothetical victimhood of Israeli occupiers on the Golan which belongs to the SAR.

Syrians on Syria’s Golan fly the Syrian flag.

Dr. Jaafari carefully explained that Syria will regain that which it owns, and that there are no Israeli civilians on Syrian land: “They are settlers, not civilians. They must leave.”

Golan
“What is the alternative to diplomacy? You know the answer.” “When you have no other choice to get back your rights, it’s your duty.”

Multiple attempts were made to provoke Dr. Jaafari into a response to create another wave of anti-Syria hysteria in western media. His character state of professional diplomat is likely the reason his urgent statement on Trump’s criminal tweet in support of Israel’s criminal occupation of the Golan has been ignored by “mainstream media.”

ADDENDA:

Ambassador Jaafari’s statement focused on UNSC Resolutions supporting Syria’s ownership of its Golan.

We remind our readers that both the US and Israel are signatories to the Geneva treaties, which have strict principles governing occupation, which is supposed to be temporary:

golan
Principles governing occupation.

We also remind our readers that Israel has bragged about providing terrorists with state of the art medical care on the Syrian Golan, which it occupies; that Israeli medium reported that Israel is the number one purchaser of oil stolen by terrorists; that Israel breaches all of the principles governing what is supposed to be temporary occupation.

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Syria Eight Years Later

https://i0.wp.com/www.granma.cu/file/img/2019/03/medium/f0132727.jpg96% of Syrian territory is under the control of the Armed Forces and the national government. One and a half million of those who had to leave the country due to the war, have now returned and begin normal life and the colossal task of reconstruction in a nation devastated by shrapnel, both from the terrorists of the so-called Islamic State and Al Nusra Front, and from the US air force that still continues bombing operations and maintains troops at illegal bases in the Arab state.

That is the situation until this March 15, the eighth anniversary of an externally imposed war.

Preliminary accounts of the injuries caused there indicate that more than 360 000 people have died and several million have been displaced or have had to emigrate. An estimated 1 106 children died in 2018 alone, according to UNICEF data.

A report from the UN agency said: “People believe that the conflict is ending, but many children remain as exposed to danger as at any time in the past eight years”.

Material losses in excess of $400 billion and a reconstruction of the country, which, according to the UN, will need $250 billion, is part of the Arab nation’s landscape today.

But the international community must be aware that there are two wars against Syria: that of the terrorists of the Islamic State and Al Nusra Front, supported by the United States with money and weapons, and the bombing of U.S. planes that continue to cause deaths of hundreds of civilians, mostly children and women, as well as major material destruction.

On the eve of the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the war, units of the Syrian Army discovered and exposed before the world the most varied armaments that have been seized and that have the label of origin of the United States and Israel.

This week also saw the deaths of 50 Syrian civilians in a new massacre by U.S. fighters in the Deir Ezzor region.

In late January, the U.S. Department of Defense admitted that some 1,190 civilians lost their lives in coalition attacks in Syria and Iraq over the past three and a half years; however, human rights bodies report a much higher number.

It is curious that, while Trump talks about the triumph of his forces against the “terrorists”, the only territories where the few remaining pockets are grouped together are located in areas protected by US military and aviation bases, which illegally entered Syrian territory.

And although Trump had recently announced that his troops would leave the Arab nation, the opposite has happened. Even John Bolton, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, told ABC News that “he hoped that the British and French allies would join Washington’s efforts”.

Translation by Internationalist 360°

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A Peek into the Horrific Findings of the UN Report on israel’s (apartheid state) Massacre of Gaza Protesters

A Peek into the Horrific Findings of the UN Report on Israel’s Massacre of Gaza Protesters

The commission found serious human rights violations that may constitute crimes against humanity and called on Israel to “Lift the blockade on Gaza with immediate effect.

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council have released a powerful report, on the Gaza ‘Great Return March’ demonstrations, stating that they have grounds to believe Israel committed International War Crimes against demonstrators during “large-scale civilian protests”.The 22-page document has been condemned by the Israeli government, as there is talk of Israel being brought to the International Court of Justice and tried for war crimes and violations of International Law against demonstrations that “were civilian in nature”.

The commission conducted 325 interviews and meetings with victims, witnesses, government officials and members of civil society, from all sides, and gathered more than 8,000 documents, including affidavits, medical reports, open source reports, social media content, written submissions and expert legal opinions, video and drone footage, and photographs.”

Here are the most important points concluded in the report:

  • The commission found in the killings of 189 demonstrators between 30 March and 31 December 2018, 183 were killed with live ammunition, including 35 children, 3 health workers and 2 members of the Press. Only 29 of those killed were members of Palestinian armed groups.
  • Only 4 Israeli snipers were lightly injured, none were killed by demonstrators.
  • 23,313 Palestinian demonstrators were injured during the 2018 demonstrations, 6106 with live ammunition, “contributing to the highest toll of injuries recorded in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 2005.
  • On the killing of child demonstrators, the commission found “reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot them intentionally, knowing that they were children”.
  • On the killing of health workers, “the commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers intentionally shot health workers, despite seeing that they were clearly marked as such”.
  • On the killings of journalists, “the commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot journalists intentionally, despite seeing that they were clearly marked as such”.
  • The commission found that both male and female protestors were shot in the groin. The female victims told the commission they are now “unlikely to be able to have children”.
  • The policy of the Israeli Minister of Defense, was to deny passage to any person injured during demonstrations, causing unnecessary deaths and life changing injuries.
  • According to the commission, except in two possible cases, “the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces against demonstrators was unlawful”.
  • Israel used a “disproportionate use of force”.
  • The “demonstrators were shot in violation of their right to life or of the principle of distinction under international humanitarian law”.
  • The commission found “reasonable grounds to believe that the excessive use of force by Israeli security forces violated the rights” of thousands of demonstrators who were peaceful.
  • The commission found “reasonable grounds” to believe that Israel violated “The Convention on the Rights of the Child”.
  • “Violations of international law, such as those committed by Israeli security forces and set out in this report, give rise to State responsibility…”.

The commission found serious human rights violations that may constitute crimes against humanity and called on Israel to “Lift the blockade on Gaza with immediate effect.

The often repeated Israeli claims of the protests being inspired and organized by “Hamas terrorists”, were also addressed in the report, which stated that the demonstrations were inspired by the internet posts of 34-year-old Palestinian poet and journalist, Ahmed Abu Artema, with the demonstrations being organized by “A higher national committee and 12 subcommittees.”

The report went on to say, that “while the members of the committee held diverse political views, they stated that their unifying element was the principle that the march was to be “fully peaceful from beginning to end” and demonstrators would be unarmed”.

Activities such as the use of incendiary kites, cutting barbed wire or tire burning were organized by “self-declared” units. The report further states “the commission found no evidence to suggest that they were directed or coordinated by armed groups”.

The commission interviewed what it called an international journalist who said, “I have covered wars in Syria, Yemen, Libya. I have never seen anything like this. The slow methodical shooting. It was just shocking…”

The commission also noted that Israel refused to assist with the UN investigation and did not “cooperate or provide information.”

The following is a sample of the cases investigated by the commission.

 

March 30 demonstrations

Palestine Israel | Gaza Protest<img class=”size-full wp-image-256004″ src=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited.jpg” alt=”Palestine Israel | Gaza Protest” width=”1400″ height=”942″ srcset=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited.jpg 1400w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-300×202.jpg 300w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-768×517.jpg 768w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-800×538.jpg 800w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AP_18089523570964_edited-1145×770.jpg 1145w” sizes=”(max-width: 1400px) 100vw, 1400px” />

Palestinian protesters carry a wounded youth who was shot by Israeli troops during a March 30, 2018 demonstration on the Gaza Israel border. Khalil Hamra | AP

Injury of 17 Mohammed Ajouri (17 years old)

      • “Israeli forces shot Mohammad, a student-athlete, in the back of his right leg as he gave onions to demonstrators to relieve tear-gas symptoms, approximately 300 m from the fence. His leg had to be amputated.”

The murder of Abdel Fatah Nabi (18 years old)

      • “Israeli forces killed Abed, from Beit Lahia, when they shot him in the back of the head as he ran, carrying a tyre, away from and about 400 m from the separation fence.”

The murder of Bader Sabagh (19 years old)

      • “Bader, from Jabaliya, was killed by Israeli forces when they shot him in the head as he stood smoking a cigarette 300 m from the separation fence.”

Injury and murder of schoolgirl (13 years old) and Marwan Qudieh (45 years old)

      • “Israeli forces injured a schoolgirl with bullet fragmentation. As she lay on the ground, four men attempted to evacuate her. The forces shot three of them, killing Marwan Qudieh (45) from Khuzaa village and injuring a potato seller and another man in the legs. One of the rescuers had to have a leg amputated.”

Injury of Alaa Dali (21 years old)

      • “Alaa, a member of the Palestinian cycling team, was shot by Israeli forces in the leg as he stood holding his bicycle, wearing his cycling kit, watching the demonstrations, approximately 300 m from the separation fence. His right leg had to be amputated, ending his cycling career.”

 

May 14 demonstration, seven children killed

Israel Palestine | Gaza Protest<img class=”size-full wp-image-241991″ src=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988.jpg” alt=”Israel Palestine | Gaza Protest” width=”1600″ height=”901″ srcset=”https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988.jpg 1600w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-300×169.jpg 300w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-768×432.jpg 768w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-800×451.jpg 800w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AP_18134570623988-1145×645.jpg 1145w” sizes=”(max-width: 1600px) 100vw, 1600px” />

Palestinian children suffering from teargas inhalation recover in a medical tent during a protest near Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, May 14, 2018. Dusan Vranic | AP

      • “On 14 May, Israeli security forces shot and killed seven children: a girl, Wisal Khalil (14), and six boys: Izzedine al-Samak (13); Said al-Kheir (15); Ahmad al-Sha’ar (15); Talal Matar (15); Saadi Abu Salah (16); and Ibrahim al-Zarqa (17).”

The murder of Mohammad Najar (33 years old)

      • “Israeli forces shot Mohammad, a naval police officer, in the chest, killing him, as he sat on a hill with a friend, around 500 m from the separation fence.”

The murder of Yasser Abu Naja (11 years old)

      • “On 29 June, Israeli forces killed Yasser from Khan Younis with a shot to the head as he was hiding with two friends behind a bin, approximately 200 m from the separation fence. The children had been chanting national slogans at Israeli forces.”

The murder of Nasser Mosabeh (11 years old)

      • “Nasser was from Khan Younis. On 28 September, Israeli forces shot him in the back of the head as he stood 250 m from the separation fence. He died the same day.”

The murder of Razan Al-Najar (20 years old)

      • “On 1 June, an Israeli sniper bullet hit Razan, of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society and who at the time was wearing a white paramedic vest and standing with other volunteer paramedics approximately 110 m from the separation fence, in the chest at the Khuzaa site, east of Khan Younis. She died in hospital.”

The murder of Yasser Murtaja (30 years old)

      • “On 6 April, Yasser, a journalist from Gaza City, was shot in the lower abdomen by Israeli forces at the Khan Younis site while he was filming the demonstrations for a documentary. He was wearing a blue helmet and a dark blue bulletproof vest clearly marked “Press”. He died the following day.”

Amputation of Abed Nofal (11 years old)

      • “On 17 April, Abed, a schoolboy from the Bureij refugee camp, was shot by Israeli forces while he was playing football near the separation fence. His leg had to be amputated.”

The extended version of the report is set to be released on March 18, 2019. The commission recommended that UN members consider imposing individual sanctions, such as travel bans or an asset freezes on those responsible.

Top Photo | A relative reacts to the lifeless body 15-year old Palestinian boy, Azzam Hillal (Owidah), at the family home during his funeral in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, April 28, 2018. The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza says a boy has died a day after being shot in the head by Israeli soldiers. Khalil Hamra | AP

Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, political analyst and human rights activist who specializes in delivering insight into the geopolitical scene of the Middle East, specializing in the political and humanitarian situation in Palestine.

‘Israel’ Burying Nuclear Waste in Syria’s Golan

‘Israel’ Burying Nuclear Waste in Syria’s Golan

By Staff, Agencies

UN chief Antonio Guterres will unveil a report which accuses the Zionist ‘Israeli’ entity of burying radioactive nuclear waste in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Guterres will submit the report – which is based on Syria’s charges against ‘Israel’ – to the UN Human Rights Council [UNHRC] at the panel’s 40th session, set to open in Geneva Monday and run through March 22.

“The Syrian Arab Republic noted that ‘Israel’ continued to bury nuclear waste with radioactive content in 20 different areas populated by Syrian citizens of the occupied Syrian Golan, particularly in the vicinity of al-Sheikh Mountain,” the report says.

“The practice has put the lives and health of Syrians in the occupied Syrian Golan in jeopardy, and constituted a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” it added.

The Zionist regime is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, but its policy is to neither confirm nor deny having atomic bombs. The regime is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

However, it is not a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT], whose aim is to prevent the spread of nuclear arms and weapons technology.

The UN report further accuses ‘Israel’ of “providing logistical support to terrorist groups,” such as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.

It is providing terrorist groups with weapons, ammunition, money and medical care to frighten the local population and to maintain a no-go zone along the Syrian border.

The report also censures ‘Israel’s’ decision “to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan” as “null and void and without international legal effect,” calling on the occupation’s regime to “rescind forthwith its decision”.

The report drew an angry reaction from the Zionist entity, with its foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon claiming it is an “another false report from the UNHRC which specializes in attacking ‘Israel’.”

israel (apartheid state) burying nuclear waste in Syria’s Golan: UN

Israel burying nuclear waste in Syria’s Golan: UN

UN troops stand near a watch tower at Syria's Quneitra crossing in the occupied Golan Heights on September 27, 2018. (Photo By AFP)UN troops stand near a watch tower at Syria’s Quneitra crossing in the occupied Golan Heights on September 27, 2018. (Photo By AFP)

UN chief Antonio Guterres will unveil Monday a report which accuses Israel of burying radioactive nuclear waste in the Golan Heights, a Syrian territory under occupation for over five decades.

Guterres will submit the report – which is based on Syria’s charges against Israel – to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at the panel’s 40th session, set to open in Geneva Monday and run through March 22.

“The Syrian Arab Republic noted that Israel continued to bury nuclear waste with radioactive content in 20 different areas populated by Syrian citizens of the occupied Syrian Golan, particularly in the vicinity of al-Sheikh Mountain,” the report says.

“The practice has put the lives and health of Syrians in the occupied Syrian Golan in jeopardy, and constituted a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” it added.

Israel is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, but its policy is to neither confirm nor deny having atomic bombs. The regime is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

Israel is not a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which aims is to prevent the spread of nuclear arms and weapons technology.

Tel Aviv seized the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and has continued to occupy two-thirds of the strategically-important territory ever since.

Over the past decades, Israel has built dozens of settlements in the Golan Heights in defiance of international calls on the regime to stop its illegal construction activities.

The UN report further accuses Israel of “providing logistical support to terrorist groups,” such as the Nusrah Front which is affiliated to al-Qaeda.

Israel, the report says, is providing terrorist groups with weapons, ammunition, money and medical care to frighten the local population and to maintain a no-go zone along the Syrian border.

The report also censures Israel’s decision “to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan” as “null and void and without international legal effect,” calling on the regime to “rescind forthwith its decision”.

The Syrian army has repeatedly seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from militant groups.

Tel Aviv has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria in an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats at the hands of Syrian government forces.

Read more: 

Israel’s angry response 

The UN report drew an angry reaction from Israel, with its foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon dismissing it at “another false report from the UNHRC which specializes in attacking Israel.”

The UNHRC had initially said that at this four-week session it would publish for the first time its data base on companies doing businesses with illegal Israeli settlements. Israel has reportedly worked behind the scenes to prevent the publication of the data base.

Read more:

The UN body is also expected to debate Israeli actions against Palestinians along the fence between the besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied territories.

Netherlands recognizes Gaza, West Bank as official Palestinian birthplaces

This undated photo shows Palestinian protesters demonstrating in front of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands. (Photo by Reuters)

This undated photo shows Palestinian protesters demonstrating in front of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands. (Photo by Reuters)

Authorities in the Netherlands have allowed Palestinians living in the country to register the besieged Gaza Strip and the West Bank as their official places of birth, instead of registering under such designations as ‘the Israeli-occupied territories’ or ‘unknown’.

Dutch State Secretary Raymond Knops, in a letter addressed to the House of Representatives in The Hague on Sunday, stated that he intends to add Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, to a list of official states used by the Dutch civil registry.

Knops added that the new category is in accordance with “the Dutch viewpoint that Israel has no sovereignty over these areas.”

The Dutch minister further highlighted that the new category was named based on the Oslo Accords and the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Dutch news outlets reported that the new category will be available to Palestinians born after May 15, 1948, when Israeli forces displaced some 700,000 Palestinians, forcing them to flee to different neighboring countries. Israeli soldiers also wiped nearly 500 Palestinian villages and towns off the map, leaving an estimated total of 4.7 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants dreaming of an eventual return to their ancestral homeland more than six decades later.

The Israeli-occupied land was the only birthplace available to Palestinians registering in the Netherlands up until 2014. The category “unknown,” also known as code “0000,” was made available to Palestinians living in the country after opposition to listing Israel as their birthplace.

While the UN General Assembly and at least 136 countries have recognized Palestine as a sovereign state, the Netherlands has refused to do so.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.

US threats against the International Criminal Court

International court judge resigns, citing ‘shocking’ interference from ‘above the law’ US

above the law’ US

RT | January 30, 2019

International court judge resigns, citing ‘shocking’ interference from ‘above the law’ US

A senior judge has resigned from the UN International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, after the United States threatened judges investigating alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan.

The judge, Christoph Flügge, has worked with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) since 2008. More recently, he got involved with preliminary investigations into claims that US military service members and CIA operatives tortured prisoners in Afghanistan.

Flügge told German newspaper Zeit that he handed in his resignation after open threats from US officials, including a speech by hawkish national security adviser John Bolton last September, where Bolton “wished death” on the Court.

“If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the US or investigate an American citizen, he said the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States – and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted,” Flügge told Zeit, in an interview translated by The Guardian.

“The American security adviser held his speech at a time when The Hague was planning preliminary investigations into American soldiers who had been accused of torturing people in Afghanistan,” Flügge explained. “The American threats against international judges clearly show the new political climate. It is shocking. I had never heard such a threat.”

Bolton’s speech was delivered in September to the conservative Federalist Society in Washington, DC. It came a year after the ICC began investigating claims that at least 61 detained persons in Afghanistan had been tortured by American troops and another 27 by the CIA at secret prisons in Afghanistan and abroad, according to prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

Bolton called the investigation “utterly unfounded” and “unjustifiable,” and promised to “protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.”

The senior US official also vowed to defend Israeli citizens from the court. US “friend and ally” Israel was at the time accused of perpetrating war crimes against Palestinian civilians. He warned that the US would disregard arrest warrants, ban judges and prosecutors from entering the country, and even try them in American courts.

Flügge said his colleagues were “stunned” that “the US would roll out such heavy artillery,” but added “it is consistent with the new American line: ‘We are No 1 and we stand above the law’.”

American disregard for the ICC is not a new phenomenon. After much debate, President Bill Clinton signed the Rome Treaty that established the International Criminal Court, but the Congress never ratified it. Clinton’s successor George W. Bush symbolically ‘un-signed’ the treaty in 2002, when the war in Afghanistan was in full swing.

Later that year, the Congress passed the American Service Members’ Protection Act, which obliged the president to prevent any ICC prosecution of US armed forces “to the maximum extent possible,” and even authorized military force to free any US service members from ICC custody. Bolton, incidentally, was Bush’s under-secretary of state at the time.

The court has come under fire from more countries than just the US. Russia withdrew its signature from the Rome Treaty in 2016, after the court criticized the reunification of Crimea. China, India, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are among the other nations that never signed the treaty.

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