Friday, October 23, 2009

It's hard out here for a war criminal: Ehud Olmert's speaking tour met with protest, citizen's arrest attempts

Poor Ehud Olmert. Being a world-renowned war criminal just isn't what it used to be. After facing protests and disruptions at speaking stops at the University of Kentucky and the University of Chicago, Olmert was the target of an attempted citizen's arrest during a speech to the World Affairs Council in San Francisco. The Electronic Intifada reports:
Twenty-two people were arrested for challenging Olmert directly and demanding he be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Olmert has faced protests at Tulane University, University of Kentucky and the University of Chicago. The recent International Independent Fact-Finding Mission, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, found evidence that Israel had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during a three-week long attack on the Gaza Strip last winter, killing more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and destroying much of the area's infrastructure. In 2006, similar Israeli attacks on Lebanon killed 1,200 people. Olmert has refused to be held accountable.
The organizers of the San Francisco protests include US Campaign member organizations and supporters. Check out this video of the action: As the U.S. and Israeli governments continue to oppose the Goldstone Report, the need for civil society to hold those responsible for attacks on Palestinian civilians is becoming increasingly evident. Get involved in the citizen's movement for accountability by participating in our November Weeks of Action and by joining the movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions. U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine creates incentives for the continuation of occupation and apartheid. We need to create incentives to end occupation and apartheid. It's up to us to make sure that it's hard out here for a war criminal. Update: Chicago Olmert protesters comment on their decision to participate here.