A British Jew Committed to Prosecuting Israeli Leaders

Nitzana Darshan-Leitner reveals who is behind the effort to prosecute IDF commanders in Europe - a British lawyer who is also a former Israeli.

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Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, | updated: 08:44

Atty. Daniel Machover
Atty. Daniel Machover
Israel News photo: (IJSN)

Attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, chairwoman of the Shurat Hadin legal advocacy organization, told Arutz Sheva Radio on Thursday who exactly is behind the effort to prosecute former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon and other IDF commanders. He is Daniel Machover - a British lawyer who is also a former Israeli.

Machover, a co-founder of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, represents the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, based in the Hamas-run Gaza half of the Palestinian Authority. According to Leitner, Machover has dedicated his life to collecting evidence against IDF officers and political leaders in an effort to charge them with war crimes in Europe. He and the center he represents prepare legal ambushes for Israeli military and civilian leaders who visit European countries, hoping to bring about their arrest and prosecution.

"Attorney Daniel Machover is an expatriate Israeli, son of a Communist family that emigrated to England after the Six Day War," Leitner said. The family left Israel because of what they saw as "the suffering of the Palestinians and the Israeli occupation. The family distanced itself from anything related to Jews and Israel and became close to the Palestinians," Leitner continued.

According to the Shurat Hadin chairwoman, Machover has been trying to bring about the prosecution of Israeli officers long before the recent Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. "We have been following his activities for several years," Leitner said. "Thank God, thus far he has not seen the fruits of his efforts and we hope that it will continue to be possible to foil his despicable efforts."

The British Jewish lawyer Machover is one of a string of "former Israelis who hold hard Left opinions" who have set themselves up as enemies of Israel, Leitner explained. "The goal of people such as him is to undermine the Jewish identity and the Jewish people."

Last year, for example, Machover took part in the the International Jewish Solidarity (later, Anti-Zionist) Network's conference under the heading, "International Resistance to Zionism: In solidarity with 60-plus years of Palestinian resistance to the founding of Israel".

"I can only be saddened that that man calls himself an international human rights attorney, because he cares only for
I can only be saddened that that man calls himself an international human rights attorney.
Palestinian human rights and doesn't care about Jewish blood [that is shed]. If human rights are important to him, then let him worry about the rights of both sides," Attorney Leitner added.

Leitner's organization is attempting to fight back against all the hostile elements currently active in the courts. "We are engaged on several fronts," she detailed. "First of all, in assisting with the filing of counterclaims of war crimes by Israel's enemies, despite the fact that in this way we are in effect recognizing the jurisdiction of foreign courts; however, if that is the field our enemies are playing in, then we too will compete in the same arena, with the same tools. And then we can perhaps prove who the real war criminals are."

Leitner told Arutz Sheva about several successes. "In Spain, they wanted to file charges against Israeli officers who were involved in the elimination of [Hamas mastermind] Saleh Shehadeh. We also turned to a Spanish attorney and requested to initiate a similar investigation of Javier Solana, who was the head of NATO forces during the war in Kosovo, responsible for the accidental bombing of a hospital, leading to the deaths of children. After a short time, it was decided in Spain to end the investigation of the Shehadeh incident and we were informed that our counter-investigation caused the Spanish legal system to understand that there is no place for investigations in Spain of actions carried out in other countries."