Israel-Palestine News Compiler

S. Africa: War crime suspects must think twice

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 24, 2009
War crime suspect Lt. Col. David Benjamin is thought to be behind Israel's use of white phosphorous against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

War crime suspect Lt. Col. David Benjamin is thought to be behind Israel's use of white phosphorous against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

The international condemnation over Israel’s winter invasion of Gaza and allegations of war crimes has made it increasingly uncomfortable, if not difficult, for members of the Israeli military to travel abroad. A recent incident in South Africa reveals the power and limitations of attempts to enforce international law and to hold war criminals accountable.

At the beginning of August, accused international war criminal Lieutenant Colonel David Benjamin visited South Africa. Benjamin, a native South African who obtained his law degree from the University of Cape Town in 1989, was scheduled to address Limmud, a Jewish cultural and educational organization. Limmud takes the form of an annual conference, and is widely viewed as a highlight on the local Jewish calendar as it usually offers a star-studded lineup of South Africa’s most prominent Jewish academics, business leaders and political heavyweights.