The Russell Tribunal on Palestine is billed as “an International People’s Tribunal created by a large group of citizens involved in the promotion of peace and justice in the Middle East.” The first Russell Tribunal was convened in 1966 during the Vietnam War by the distinguished leftwing Nobel Laureate, anti-nuclear campaigner, mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), whose phrase “May this tribunal prevent the crime of silence” has become the watchword of subsequent tribunals.
“The Russell Tribunal has no legal status but acts as a court of the people, a Tribunal of conscience, faced with injustices and violations of international law, that are not dealt with by existing international jurisdictions, or that are recognised but continue with complete impunity due to the lack of political will of the international community”, we learn from the present tribunal’s website.
"Today, and in the same spirit, the Bertrand Russell Foundation supports the setting up of a Russell Tribunal to examine the violations of international law, of which the Palestinians are victims, and that prevent the Palestinian People from exercising its rights to a sovereign State.
This Tribunal … will reaffirm the supremacy of international law as the basis for a solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. It will identify all the failings in the implementation of this right and will condemn all the parties responsible for these failings, in full view of international public opinion."On 20-21 November this “kangaroo court” will be in session on the premises of the Law Society, prompting distinguished barrister Jonathan Goldberg QC to observe:
"It is hard to think of any other learned profession in the United Kingdom which has benefited so much from its distinguished Jewish members over the centuries as the solicitors’ profession. Examples abound, right up to the present Supreme Court Judge Lord Collins of Mapesbury. It is deeply offensive to British Jews and lawyers that the Law Society is hosting this controversial political event. It is little more than an Israel-bashing fest, in the guise of a kangaroo court, which has arrogantly summonsed companies doing business with Israel to appear before it to justify themselves. Many of the usual cast of hard left-wing Zionist-haters are speaking."And Jonathan Hoffman has added:
"It seems that the Law Society has been duped into thinking that this is some kind of high minded quasi-judicial inquiry. But it is a sham show trial with the result predetermined. By using the credibility of the Law Society, the organisers - utterly cynically - are trying to give it a veneer of respectability. They are bringing the name of the Law Society into disrepute and that should be sufficient to lead to the cancellation of the booking. Let's hope the Society's Officers make the right decision. If they do not, many lawyers will question why they should remain members and why they should hold events there."Last evening, a preliminary session of the Russell Tribunal took place at the headquarters of Amnesty International. The panel comprised film director Ken Loach, well-known for his odious anti-Israel invective, journalist Ewa Jasiewicz (no stranger to readers of the Israel-hating Guardian), whose accomplishments allegedly include helping to desecrate a wall of the Warsaw Ghetto with anti-Israel slogans, and others of their ilk.
“Rather than try to deal with my on-point objections to the speakers’ comments, I was censored”, notes Hoffman. “Bertrand Russell would surely be turning in his grave. Totalitarian societies begin with curbing free speech. It seems that Amnesty's espousal of 'human rights' does not extend to the right of Jews to protest at antisemitism during Amnesty meetings.”
However, on hand to report on (and photograph) last evening’s event was the doughty Richard Millett, who relates on his blog that “Last night at Amnesty felt less about the delegitimisation of Israel and more about the delegitimisation of Jews.”
Read more at richardmillett.wordpress.com/.../russell-tribunal-on-palestine-presents-ken- loach-at-amnesty/