Al-Arab Blog - مدونة العرب
Sharon , like any common criminal, does not like courts, of course 1
ISRAEL will boycott the International Court of Justice hearings on its controversial separation barrier in the West Bank, the government said yesterday.
The decision was taken by the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and five senior ministers, one of whom opposed it on the grounds that it would damage the image of Israel.
"After we reviewed the positions of other countries that were submitted to the court, we decided we have nothing to add" to a written submission to the ICJ, said Alan Baker, legal adviser to the foreign ministry.
The court is to convene on 23 February in response to a request from the UN General Assembly that it delineate the "legal consequences" of building the barrier in occupied territory. Israel says the barrier is essential to thwarting suicide bombers.
Its brief, submitted two weeks ago, argues that the ICJ has no authority to discuss the matter because it concerns a basic right of self-defence.
By not appearing, Israel hopes to undermine the legitimacy of the proceedings, said Akiva Eldar, a columnist for Haaretz newspaper.
"If the court rules against Israel, the government will be able to tell the public: ‘We don’t care, we didn’t even bother to appear’," Mr Eldar said. "Even if Sharon loses this case, he will win. He will say look at those antisemites in the court, the whole world is against us, we must do what is best for us."
Israel maintains that the barrier is a temporary measure that the Palestinians have brought upon themselves.
But Palestinians counter that it cuts tens of thousands of people off from their farms, schools and hospitals and slices up their future state into enclaves.
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Anti War - Anti Racism
Let the downFall of Sharon be end to Zionism
By the Late, great political cartoonist Mahmoud Kahil