More on the ICC statement

February 8, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Israel’s Security Cabinet has completely rejected the scandalous decision of the International Criminal court that it could enable the investigation of Israel for false war crimes.

The judges and guests of the International Criminal Court at the opening of the ICC judicial year on Jan. 18, 2019, in The Hague. Credit: International Criminal Court.

It said in a statement: “The Cabinet determines that the court has no authority to make such a decision. Israel is not a member of the international court and the Palestinian Authority does not have the status of a state.

The international court was established to prevent horrors such as those that were perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jewish people. Instead, it is persecuting the state of the Jewish people.

Even as it allows the investigation of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East that is committed to the rule of law, the court shuts its eyes to the awful war crimes being perpetrated time and again by dark dictatorships such as Iran and Syria.

The claim that Jews living in their homeland and their capital of Jerusalem constitutes a war crime is scandalous. Also, the claim that the IDF – there is no more ethical army – is carrying out war crimes even as it protects us from terrorists that launch rockets at our cities – is no less scandalous.

The judges’ decision exposes the court as a political body aligned with international organizations that are motivated by antisemitism.

The Security Cabinet instructs the relevant elements to take the necessary steps to protect the interests of the state and to defend its citizens and soldiers.”

In Australia, The Executive Council of Australian Jewry issued a statement saying: “For those who had hoped that the International Criminal Court (ICC) would remain untainted by external political pressures, it is deeply disappointing that one of the Court’s Pre-Trial Chambers has decided, albeit in a split decision, that the Court has jurisdiction to deal with “the Situation in the State of Palestine”.

The convoluted nature of the majority’s reasoning, and their avoidance of basic issues of fact and law in order to arrive at their conclusions, is highlighted in the powerful dissenting judgment of Judge Péter Kovács, and will only add to the scepticism with which the decision will be viewed.

The Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) decided that “Palestine” can be considered a State for the purposes of the ICC’s governing statute. Yet the PTC expressly declared that it was not deciding that “Palestine” qualifies as a State “under general international law”.

Sidelining the express terms of the Oslo II agreement, the PTC also decided the West Bank, Gaza Strip and “eastern Jerusalem” come within the geographical scope of the ICC’s jurisdiction, but then declared that “the Chamber is neither adjudicating a border dispute under international law nor prejudging the question of any future borders”.

It is especially regrettable that the PTC has characterised the UN General Assembly resolution in 2012, which granted “Palestine” non-member observer State status, as a legally binding “determination”. The General Assembly is not a judicial body and its resolutions are not judicial determinations. Treating them as such involves a fundamental re-writing of the UN Charter, and has enormous implications for all States which are not part of the “automatic majority” of countries ruled by dictatorships.

We thank the Australian government and the Foreign Minister for expressing concern about the PTC’s decision, and reaffirming that the International Criminal Court should not exercise jurisdiction in this matter. Once again, Australia stands as an island of sanity in the world’s troubled seas.”

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