United States – An event featuring former Israeli Foreign Minister and war crimes suspect Tzipi Livni was interrupted by dozens of protesters Wednesday evening.
The protest began at an event hosted by The Duke Program for American Grand Strategy (AGS) and sponsored by the Duke Israel Public Affairs Committee, an advocacy group on campus, as well as Duke’s departments of political science and public policy.
Students for Justice in Palestine at Duke has been assembling a coalition of individuals working to cancel the event.
The students reminded Livni of war crimes that she committed as she helped orchestrate the 2008-2009 massacre of Palestinians in Gaza, in which the Israelis killed over 1400 civilians. She told press that “Israel would strike all targets associated with what she called the illegitimate, terrorist government of Hamas.”
Livni has so far evaded war crimes probes and has been the subject of investigations brought by the UK in 2009, and Switzerland and Belgium in 2017.
She is the subject of a complaint by Palestinian victims filed in Brussels in 2010 for war crimes during the 2008-2009 assault which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians.
Livni evaded investigation and possible arrest for war crimes when she canceled a trip to Brussels in January 2017.
“If her crimes disqualify her from entering Belgium without threat of arrest, they should disqualify her from speaking at Duke without first having to answer for her crimes before a court of law,” wrote Lama Hantash of Duke SJP over the weekend.
In June 2016, Livni was summoned to voluntarily appear at Scotland Yard’s War Crimes Unit, but the UK government intervened and granted her diplomatic immunity.
In an open letter and petition to the university administration, students warn that Livni’s appearance contravenes Duke’s purported “high ethical standards.”
In sponsoring Livni’s event, the letter adds, the Middle Eastern Studies center directly violates its educational mission.
“We will not be silent as Livni glorifies crimes against humanity, evades justice and accountability, and minimizes the lives and deaths of her victims,” the students say.
Source: Electronic Intifada