Gaza: ‘West is talking about a humanitarian corridor but it’s not a natural disaster’
The International Criminal Court's first chief prosecutor on justice and vengeance
In all the faux empathy being expressed by Western politicians for the bombed and besieged civilians of Gaza, no one has articulated the situation with the clarity and compassion of Luis Moreno Ocampo.
Mr Ocampo, the first chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), is 71 and left his ICC post 11 years ago. Now, in a conversation with The Washington Post’s Today’s WorldView, he addressed the crucial issue of war crimes. Those possibly committed by Hamas and by Israel. The fact that Hamas is a brutal organisation and has undertaken monstrous crimes on October 7, does not mean that Israel, which purports to be a rule-of-law democracy, should do the same. And that it should continue to commit crimes against civilians in Gaza.
Mr Ocampo addressed the issue of Israel’s continuing bombardment of Gazan civilians and the death toll’s sharp rise every day. He noted the inherent problems of the current situation: “…Western politicians are not talking about stopping the (Israeli) crimes, they are talking about opening a humanitarian corridor. That’s not the problem. This is not a natural disaster. This is because of the decision of Israeli officers. So they should put pressure on Israeli officers to not commit crimes.”
He added: “And look, it’s not just because its illegal or legal. History should teach us but humanity is not learning. When Americans were attacked in the twin towers, if we didn’t attack Afghanistan, they could have had prosecutions. Send the troops to arrest Bin Laden, arrest his people and then prosecute them. That is legal. But instead, President Bush decides war. Because war sounds more powerful — but it’s not. Afghanistan is a great example, because 20 years later the Taliban is back in power. Al-Qaeda has allies around the world now. Stanley McChrystal, the head of US troops in Afghanistan, said that when you kill massively, you create retaliation. It’s ‘insurgency math’ — you have 10 terrorists, you kill two and you end up with 20. You multiply the fighters. And obviously, that will happen here.”