Australia says no to ICC involvement in “situation in Palestine”

February 7, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The International Criminal Court in the Hague has claimed it has jurisdiction in Palestine.

International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda wants to charge Israel with war crimes against the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes – this is pure antisemitism.

The court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the one state of the Jewish people.

First, it outrageously claims that when Jews live in our homeland, this is a war crime.

Second, it claims that when democratic Israel defends itself against terrorists who murder our children and rocket our cities – we are committing another war crime.

Yet the ICC refuses to investigate brutal dictatorships like Iran and Syria, who commit horrific atrocities almost daily.

As Prime Minister of Israel, I can assure you this:

We will fight this perversion of justice with all our might!”

 

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said: “Australia has deep concerns with the ruling of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court that it has jurisdiction in relation to the ‘Situation in Palestine’.

Australia does not recognise a ‘State of Palestine’, noting that matters relating to territory and borders can only be resolved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

We made clear in our observations submitted to the Pre-Trial Chamber that Australia does not, therefore, recognise the right of any so-called ‘State of Palestine’ to accede to the Rome Statute.  The International Criminal Court should not exercise jurisdiction in this matter.”

Zionist Federation of Australia President Jeremy Leibler roundly condemned the decision of the ICC Prosecutor. “This is a clear case of activism trumping common sense. It is yet more proof of the politicisation of the ICC, which undermines its raison d’être, and will lead to more Palestinian refusals to negotiate with Israel, and thus make peace more remote.”

The Australian Government has shown its commitment to the consistent and just application of international law in condemning the recent decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber.

This case considered whether the ICC had the authority to investigate allegations of war crimes committed by the Israel Defence Forces, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups.

In expressing “deep concerns” with the ICC’s ruling, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and the Morrison Government have maintained a commitment to this important issue of international law.

“The Australian Government is commended for calling out a blatant injustice in the ICC’s ruling to accept the non-existent ‘state of Palestine’,” the national chairman of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) Mark Leibler said.

“This principled approach to international law is welcomed by AIJAC. AIJAC thanks the Australian Government for its continued interest and astute advocacy in this  case.”

AIJAC executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein added: “This case should be called out for what it is: a legal witch-hunt against a democratic country with enemies at its border.”

“Palestine is not a state and international law should not be abused in order to manufacture one. A Palestinian state will only be created after negotiations with Israel resolve important issues such as borders, refugees and the status of Jerusalem .”

“In any case, Israel has an independent legal system which is quite capable of addressing any allegations of war crimes, and the ICC is only supposed to intervene where such domestic legal processes are not available.”

“Rather than doing the bidding of Israel’s enemies, the ICC should focus on the egregious human rights breaches in Xinjiang, in Myanmar and in Iran,” Dr Rubenstein concluded.
 

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