Thursday 25th of July 2024

investigating ursula von der leyen for complicity...

Today the International Criminal Court has been officially called to investigate Ursula von der Leyen for complicity.

Reasonable grounds exist to believe that the unconditional support of the president of the European Commission to Israel – military, economic, diplomatic and political – has enabled war crimes and the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

The Hague (The Netherlands), 22 May 2024


ICC case against Ursula v.d.Leyen before the ICC for complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza    By Geneva International Peace Research Institute


– A communication is submitted today to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), setting forth in detail, through facts and evidence, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the current president of the European Commission, Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen, a national of Germany, is complicit in a number of violations of international humanitarian law, amounting to crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC, committed by the Israeli armed forces (IDF) against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including the Gaza Strip.

This communication, endorsed by various human rights groups and prominent academics and experts in international criminal law, calls the Prosecutor to initiate investigations on the basis of the information provided against Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen.

The communication documents in detail the fact that Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen personally is criminally responsible and liable for punishment for some of the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide having been committed (and still being committed) by the Israeli armed forces in the OPT, to the extent that she has aided, abetted and otherwise assisted in the commission or attempted commission of such crimes, including providing the means for its commission, in the meaning of Article 25(3)(c) of the Rome Statute of the ICC. Mrs. von der Leyen enjoys no functional immunity before the ICC by virtue of article 27 of the Rome Statute.

Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen has become complicit in violations of articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Rome Statute through a range of positive acts as well as omissions, in her official capacity as president of the European Commission. Positive acts include the following:

− Military support to Israel: Mrs. von der Leyen, in her official capacity as president of the European Commission, has been instrumental in securing the provision of means, under the form of military support, to the IDF. During the period 2019-23, Israel has been the 3rd main recipient of weapons provided by a EU Member State, Germany, itself the 5th largest exporter of major arms in the world.
− Economic and financial support to Israel: both by refusing to take any steps toward the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, and by promoting, amidst the current Israeli assault on Gaza, new EU-Israel cooperation instruments.
− Diplomatic support to the Israeli government: this appears to be a response to the demand formulated by Prime Minister Netanyahu on 7 October 2023, on the international community “to ensure freedom of action for Israel in the continuation of the campaign”. The diplomatic support enjoyed by Israel has been the condition sine qua non of the perpetration of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide plausibly committed by the IDF in the Gaza Strip since 7 October.
− Political support: the various official statements of Mrs. von der Leyen expressing unconditional support to Israel  have amounted to giving encouragement and moral support to members of the IDF, involved in the commission of crimes against the Palestinian population in the OPT.

The President of the European Commission had knowledge of participating, by aiding and abetting, in the commission of the relevant crimes. Given the wide publicity given on a daily basis to the violations of international humanitarian law perpetrated by the IDF in the Gaza Strip, especially since October 2023, and the wealth of official United Nations reports and documents available, which as a matter of fact have prompted numerous UN officials – including the UN Secretary-General – to express their utmost concern, Mrs. von der Leyen cannot escape the simple fact that she knew of such crimes, or at the very least she knew of the plausibility of such crimes, as determined by the ICJ in its Order on provisional measures of 26 January 2024 as regards genocide. She should have taken every possible action at her disposal to prevent the continued commission of such crimes, and at the very least not to facilitate in any manner the commission of these crimes, as she unfortunately did. The obligation to prevent the commission of genocide is paramount in the Genocide Convention and the ICC Statute.

The President of the European Commission has also failed to act to prevent the commission of the relevant crimes. She is thus complicit by omission. Indeed:

− President von der Leyen was, and still is, under a legal duty to act in the circumstances considered, to the extent that international law places upon a person vested with public authority a duty to act in order to protect human life.
− President von der Leyen had, and still has, the ability to act; means were (and still are) available to her to fulfil her duty to act. This is confirmed by actions taken by the European Commission under her presidency, in other contexts (e.g. Ukraine), to prevent the commission of war crimes and curtail the ability of certain powers to conduct military operations.
− Should President von der Leyen have acted pursuant to her legal duty to act, rather than sought to “ensure freedom of action for Israel in the continuation of the campaign”, the crimes would have been substantially less likely to occur, or at the very least to be perpetrated over such a long period of time, and on such a scale and magnitude.

Geneva International Peace Research
Institute (GIPRI), Geneva, Switzerland




BY Rachel Marsden


Von der Leyen proposes ‘vaccines’ for minds and a ‘shield’ for democracy

The European Commission president‘s campaign features an unprecedented preventive crackdown on wrongthink...

One of the hallmarks of the European Union is that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. In fact, it often means the exact opposite.

Take, for instance, the idea that Ursula Von der Leyen, the European Commission president, is running for re-election when in reality she’s just publicly squabbling with a few other establishment hacks to be handpicked and confirmed by the establishment itself, not by popular vote. But that hasn’t stopped her from cosplaying as an actual democratic candidate. It’s not like she didn’t have the opportunity to actually be one rather than just play one, but when her German colleagues asked her to run for an elected EU seat in Germany to establish some democratic credibility, she reportedly declined the inconvenience.

But that hasn’t stopped her from posting “campaign” ads on social media, as though she’s actually trying to appeal to voters. In one such video, she promises that if she’s re-coronated, er, “re-elected,” she’ll defend Europe with a “Democracy Shield.” The whole idea, she says, is to “detect disinformation and malign interference... remove content, including [artificial intelligence] deepfakes, [and] to make our societies more resilient.” Nothing about defending Europe’s democracy from unelected bureaucrats wielding excessive power though, I guess?

Ever since billionaire tech entrepreneur, Elon Musk, took over Twitter, renamed the social media platform ‘X’, and publicly shamed all the Western government authorities that tried to exploit the platform directly for their own propaganda purposes, his “community notes” feature has allowed users to react directly and in real time to content, including deep fake videos, and has proven that the antidote to inaccuracy is more free and democratic speech, not less.

“Democracy,” in the case of this “Democracy Shield” is really just a euphemism for censorship. Because what does this “shield” really protect Europe from, that more free speech can’t achieve, other than inconvenient facts? Or from Queen Ursula and the rest of the European establishment having to defend their own ideological lunacy and explain to citizens why the narratives they peddle often don’t jibe with reality.

Apparently, they figure that democracy would be better off if everything and everyone that didn’t fit their top agenda narratives could just be whacked over the head and dragged off into the shadows by the online Gestapo serving von der Leyen’s online “Democracy Shield.” 

But maybe characterizing the Democracy Shield as little more than a “propaganda shield” is unfair. After all, it’s not like the EU or Ursula actually say that they’re interested in doing propaganda. No, instead she says that she just wants to do a little “pre-bunking,” which totally doesn’t sound like propaganda at all. 

Speaking at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit earlier this month, von der Leyen explainedthat “research has shown that pre-bunking is more successful than de-bunking. Pre-bunking is the opposite of de-bunking. In short, prevention is preferable to cure. Think of information manipulation as a virus. Instead of treating an infection once it has taken hold, that’s the de-bunking, it is better to vaccinate, so that our body is inoculated. Pre-bunking is the same approach.”

Yeah, folks, just think of free debate and discussion as a nasty virus that could get really messy. May provoke verbal diarrhea. Ugly stuff. Wouldn’t it just be better if the EU could inject its narratives like a vaccine straight into the minds of citizens to eliminate any risk of messy opposing views or information?

What if the pre-bunk narrative IS the disinformation, though? Of course that never happens, right? Everything that the EU and Western governments say is always the total and complete objective truth and anyone questioning it is some kind of foreign agent.

By the way, von der Leyen’s “societal resilience” here really just means compliance – that everyone piles into the clown car on command so these bozos can take everyone on a joyride down Dystopian Highway towards wherever fresh Hell their hidden special interests dictate at any given time.

But perhaps Queen Ursula should be given the benefit of the doubt here, though. Maybe she really does just want to deploy her Democracy Shield against armies of annoying online bots and not on the political playing field to quash dissent?

“It’s not just fakes or fabricated content,” von der Leyen argued in announcing the Shield. “It’s also buying influence and causing chaos. We have seen far-right politicians and lead candidates from AfD in Germany in the pockets of Russia. They are selling their souls on Russian propaganda outlets and videos.” 

Well, if she puts it that way… doubt benefit erased.

Want to smear a political opponent because they happen to enjoy free speech on a variety of platforms? Sounds like a job for Queen Ursula’s Democracy Shield, which, like NATO, is totally defensive and does not ever do offensive operations and actively snuff out opponents on the political landscape. The EU already tried to pick off entire media outlets that it didn’t like, censoring Russian platforms like RT and Sputnik at the supranational level and imposing that ban on all member states of the entire bloc in the absence of sovereign and democratic due process. The justification? That they were spreading “distortion of facts” that threatened the EU democratic order. Nothing better for credible journalism than governments arguing that they’re the ultimate arbiters of truthful information.

It turns out that blanket censorship didn’t quite knock everyone into line, so von der Leyen says in her ad that the Democracy Shield will “track down information manipulation and coordinate with national agencies.” Hunting down wrong-speakers on the informational landscape? Sounds super democratic. So does the idea of “national agencies” deciding what qualifies as news.

Is this authoritarian Democracy Shield going to require any independent oversight? Because von der Leyen, back when she was German defense minister under Chancellor Angela Merkel, wasn’t really into that kind of thing. Western press reports were rife with details of her underwhelming performance, with the Washington Post, for instance, citing a shortage of military equipment and promises to rectify the situation that were never fulfilled. They also said that the troops used broomsticks instead of machine guns for NATO exercises. Guess she had lots of those at her disposal.

We know from her stonewalling of the committee demanding to see her text messages with Pfizer brass over her vaccine deals that Queen Ursula really isn’t into transparency, either. Who needs actual democratic values though, when you have a Democracy Shield? Maybe we can see it deployed in real time in a sort of test. If it was truly doing its job of shielding democracy, it would mow down von der Leyen’s propaganda first, then just blow itself up.








Ursula out?.....

The election of Ursula von der Leyen for a second term as president of the European Commission is not obvious and even dangerous for Europe, believes Politico. After being chosen for a second term at the Commission, von der Leyen faces a tight vote in the European Parliament.

The new 2024-2029 legislature will begin on July 16. Ursula von der Leyen, who served as Federal Minister for the Army, Labor and Social Affairs, Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and Minister for Social Affairs, Women, Family and Youth Health of Lower Saxony, before becoming President of the European Commission, “faces a tight vote in the European Parliament, which even its own party allies admit will be harder to achievehighlights Politico.

When the Parliament of 720 MPs meets in mid-July, Ursula von der Leyen will have to convince a little more than half, at least 361, to vote for her in a secret ballot. The current coalition of socialists, liberals and her own center-right group holds just under 400 of those seats. Some analysts predict a defection rate of around 10%, which would put it around 361 seats.

"When she was defense minister, the German opposition published a damning investigative report into her responsibility for a scandal that cost the ministry she led before leaving for Brussels tens of millions of eurosremember Radio France, referring to “tens of millions of euros which were squandered without control to pay consultants, advisors and other private subcontractors who often hid links of cronyism, collusion between senior officials and private lobbyists". "Private consulting firms, including McKinsey, plucked the Bundeswehr like a Christmas goose", while the German army needed to be modernized, wrote Capital in 2020.

According to research from the financial magazine, “the company (McKinsey), where two of Ursula von der Leyen's children also worked, was involved in many more projects with the Bundeswehr than the military department was willing to admit". "Her two professional mobile phones seized for the purposes of the investigation had been carefully purged of any messages before being delivered to the commission", precise Radio France.

Then she is accused to have negotiated directly by SMS with Albert Bourla, the boss of Pfizer, a contract for 1,8 billion doses of vaccine against Covid, during the pandemic. “She would have negotiated a vaccine purchase contract outside of any European trade rules", keep on going Marianne. There, too, the text messages were deleted from her phones. “Refusing to reveal them, Ursula von der Leyen would undermine the rights enshrined in the European constitution. If she had deleted them, this would constitute a destruction of administrative documents", insists the weekly.

When voting to choose the person for the post of President of the European Commission, “Giorgia Meloni and Viktor Orban abstainednotes Public Senate. "Sidelined from the informal negotiations which preceded the summit", Giorgia Meloni castigated an ousting of Italy and her party. "The president of the Italian council, whose group in the European Parliament (ECR) is the third political force with 83 deputies, was offended at not obtaining one of the three key positions", reports the French Senate television channel: the post of EU representative for foreign policy; the post of head of European diplomacy; that of the President of the European Council.

"Ursula von der Leyen is unlikely to protect herself and maintain a tight coalition to get the numbers she needs. Together, her center-right European People's Party, the Socialists and Democrats and the liberal Renaissance group have just under 400 seats. This is an uncomfortably narrow majority, especially since swaths of this coalition – from the French Republicans to the Irish Fianna Fáil – have already declared that they will not vote for her", warns Politico.

"The riskiest strategy of all is to woo Giorgia Meloni and perhaps other elements of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, who now occupy third place in Parliament after edging out Renaissance to this influential spot", Analyzes the English-speaking political media. The Socialists and Renaissance have set a red line: if they find that Ursula von der Leyen is making a deal with Giorgia Meloni, they will pull the plug.

If Ursula von der Leyen fails in the secret ballot, even by a single vote, the European Council has a month to deliberate and propose a candidate, an outcome that would be unprecedented and could trigger an EU political crisis.

If Ursula von der Leyen is nominated for another term, she will then be able to discuss with national governments over their individual candidates for European Commissioner, although countries have already begun informally jostling for names and portfolios they wish.

Ursula von der Leyen made enemies during her first term as head of the European Commission. To succeed this time, Ursula von der Leyen will have to stick to the three center-right parties (People's Party, Social Democrats and Renaissance), also turn to the Greens and broaden her base to include part of the group of extreme right, of which Giorgia Meloni is a member.

Political crisis seems to be inevitable for the EU. Ursula von der Leyen is threatened by not being able to obtain the number of votes necessary for her re-election. Her involvement in illegal procedures at the German Federal Ministry of Defense and as President of the European Commission, as well as her unconditional support for Ukraine against Russia, do not present her at her best. Her re-election will only cause political instability in the EU. Ursula von der Leyen is – in short – a finished politician.

source: Observatory Continental