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By Micah Halpern

Monday March 9, 2009


Lieutenant General Omar al Bashir is a ruthless thug.

The despotic president of Sudan has spurned the world's condemnations of the mass murders perpetrated under his rule and following his direction in Darfur. The delusional al Bashir has gone so far as to, on the one hand, say that the mass murders never happened and on the other hand, to claim that he is doing everything in his power to prevent further killings.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has just drawn up papers ordering the arrest and prosecution of Omar al Bashir. The court is charging him with direct and indirect responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Darfur. Modest estimates put the death toll at 300,000 and the number of people forced from their homes at 2.7 million.

The ICC is the court of justice. The Hague is charged by the United Nations with the task of defending the oppressed and with prosecuting tyrants who persecute, terrorize and murder masses of people. Practically, the Court is problematic and it has a very uneven track record. But the principle under which it was created - that the free world should have access to an international court of justice that takes on issues of human rights, is an important one.

In the case of the people of Darfur the process has been extended, but finally, justice will be served. In corridors of power throughout the world the decision to act against al Bashir was met with great enthusiasm and expelled sighs of it's about time. In two corridors, however, news of the decision has been met with anger laced with fear.

Neither the leadership of Iran nor the leadership of Hamas is pleased to know that the leader of Sudan is to be prosecuted by The Hague.

Rather than acknowledging that justice is to be served, the Iranians publicly condemned the world court calling the action a corruption of justice and wondered how it was possible for the world court to act against Sudanese President al Bashir before it had acted against the Zionists. Similarly, Hamas announced that it was acting in solidarity with the Sudanese leader and issued a call for other true Arabs to do the same.

To prove their points, on Friday Hamas and Iranian delegations flew to Khartoum, Sudan to show their support for al Bashir.

Upon touching down at the Khartoum airport Ali Larjani, speaker of the Iranian parliament, made a strident and aggressive announcement. He termed the decision of the international court to prosecute al Bashir "an insult." In the eyes of Larijani and all of Iranian leadership, the act truly is an insult not just to al Bashir, but to all Muslims. The Hamas spokesman, Tahir Nunu, called the indictment a political ploy.

In choosing to prosecute Omar al Bashir the International Criminal Court in The Hague has violated a fundamental principle in the Muslim world. According to that principle non Muslim-authority and non-Muslim forces may not impose their standards and their values on Muslims, especially in Muslim controlled lands.

Iran and Hamas are not just being good friends and good Muslims. Iran and Hamas have their own axe to grind. Certainly, both constituencies long to see Israel in the docket, but right now, that is not their biggest worry. They fear that they will be next in line for prosecution by The Hague.

For Iran and for Hamas, this is personal. If the Sudanese leader can be arrested and brought to The Hague for trial so can they. And that is not a precedent they want to see set.

Iran is responsible for numerous terror attacks around the world. Iran sponsors terror organizations including Hezbollah and including Hamas. Hamas, obviously, is a terror organization that has perpetrated hundreds of terror attacks. They are speaking out and politicking in support of al Bashir out of pure, selfish, self interest.

What neither Iranian nor Hamas leadership realizes is how ridiculous their actions. What neither Iranian nor Hamas leadership realizes is how slowly the wheels of justice at The Hague turn. Look at the enormity of the crime perpetrated by the tyrant Omar al Bashir and then look at how long it took to draw up a warrant against him for that crime. The likelihood that they will be the next targets of ICC justice is truly, quite small.

But let that be the little secret of the freedom loving world. Let Iran and Hamas sweat a little or even a lot. It's OK, let them sweat.

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4 June 2017 12:13 PM in Columns

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