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A group of international human rights activists have taken a page out of the American playbook and produced a deck of cards with the faces of alleged war criminals. They include members of the Biden and Netanyahu administrations, as well as politicians not currently in office who have expressed support for the death and destruction in Gaza.
The move calls to mind the deck of cards produced by the Bush administration during its invasion and occupation of Iraq, which it adorned with the faces of loyalists of Saddam Hussein and other wanted figures.
The lead organizer of the effort, Ashish Prashar, is a former adviser to Tony Blair as well as to Boris Johnson. Prashar was on Blair’s staff when the former British prime minister served as Mideast envoy, giving him an insider’s perspective on Israeli–Palestinian relations.
Much of the rest of Prashar’s playing cards campaign has declined to be named publicly, but one is a former prosecutor at the International Criminal Court. Others are also offering expertise and experience when it comes to converting outrage at apparent Israeli war crimes into criminal charges against specific Israeli officials.
The coalition of attorneys, activists, and human rights organizations is pursuing charges against Israeli or American officials, or both, in Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, Bolivia, and Colombia. Many countries, unlike the United States, allow human rights organizations to present evidence of crimes to a judge, who can then decide whether a case can be brought. Prosecutors recently moved ahead with a case in Switzerland aimed at Israeli President Isaac Herzog, timed for his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos. The charges serve as a model for how the activists plan to move forward.
I was at the State Department briefing today and asked if the U.S. would pledge not to veto the International Court of Justice’s preliminary ruling on the genocide charges against Israel, which is due out tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. Spokesperson Vedant Patel wouldn’t commit.
I was a guest co-host today on the show “Breaking Points,” and we talked about this new effort. We covered the United Auto Workers’ endorsement of Joe Biden, which came after internal dissent, my colleague Prem Thakker reports, and led to protests by UAW members against Biden over Gaza at the event.
We also interviewed Emily Kopp, a reporter with the organization U.S. Right to Know, which has continued to secure documents related to the origins of Covid-19 through Freedom of Information Act requests. Her latest revelations are perhaps the most significant in the quest to identify the start of the pandemic.
For a long time, Dr. Richard Ebright, a prominent biologist who has been outspoken on the origins of Covid-19, has leaned toward believing a lab to be the most likely source of the pandemic but left room open for a natural origin possibility. Following Kopp’s new report, the room for doubt is closed, he said. “There is no – zero – remaining room for reasonable doubt that EcoHealth and its associates caused the pandemic,” he said, referring to the new report as a “smoking gun.”
We also talked to Kopp about what it’s like to continue covering an issue of such transcendental importance that the mainstream media is, by now, completely ignoring.