Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV CONDEMNS BELGIAN HYPOCRISY

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) has called for US officials to closely examine the dangerous conditions under which Americans assigned to NATO will be allowed to travel to or work in Belgium. The call was issued by JWV National Commander Bernard Becker. Under a new Belgian law people are allowed to sue others for crimes against humanity whether the matter involves Belgium or its citizens in any way. Survivors of the Sabra & Shatilla massacres in the early 1980's have brought suit against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in that court. 20 years after the Christian Phalangist militiamen attacked Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatilla camps in Lebanon, the Court in Belgium says it is investigating whether there are reasons to go forward and charge PM Sharon, who was the Israeli commander at the time. At the same time, survivors of terrorist attacks on Israelis have sought to file a similar suit against Yassir Arafat. Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel responded to the news of that effort, stating "We knew that clowns would take advantage of the situation." "The comment by one who is supposed to be a responsible official about the Israelis who filed, who have lost loved ones to terrorism, is not only offensive, but it is the height of stupidity," said Commander Becker. "But it points out glaringly a problem with the situation with Belgium and its new law." "NATO is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. Members of our military and government travel to and from NATO HQ constantly, or are on assignment there. We must immediately demand from the Belgian government that these servicemen and women be granted total immunity from this court, lest they be charged later if the court decides it doesn't like the way the US military conducts itself in Afghanistan or in some other venue." "Lacking such protection, the US should immediately seek to relocate NATO's headquarters to friendlier territory," Becker said. He went on to note that "This sort of insanity is one of the reasons that the US has stayed away from involvement in such international courts. The court's main principles are the consent of the member states to judge or be judged, and a forward looking approach that does not deal with matters predating the courts founding. In seeking to handle the matter of Mr. Sharon and the Sabra-Shatilla massacres, the court is violating both of its founding principles."

JWV is dedicated to America's veterans. Through its hospital, rehabilitation and veterans' service programs, JWV assists the Veterans' Service Offices in major cities throughout the country. JWV supports the underprivileged, homeless, and handicapped of our nation through a variety of civic betterment projects, including low-cost, federally subsidized senior citizens housing. JWV also works to combat anti-Semitism and bigotry. JWV supports American youth through scouting, scholarships and anti-drug programs. The organization supports strong U.S.-Israeli relations by sponsoring an Allied Veterans' Mission to Israel each year. JWV is a familiar presence on Capitol Hill, providing its opinions on matters of National Defense and the Armed Forces.

 

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