Reactions to the ICC

March 4, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Both Israeli and Australian leader have made statements on the International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate Israel have ranged from “absurd” to “scandalous”.

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.

Israel’s  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “The decision of the International Court to open an investigation against Israel today for war crimes is absurd. It’s undiluted antisemitism and the height of hypocrisy.

Without any jurisdiction, it decided that our brave soldiers, who take every precaution to avoid civilian casualties against the worst terrorists in the world who deliberately target civilians, it’s our soldiers who are war criminals.

They said that when we build a house in our eternal capital of Jerusalem, it’s been our capital for 3,000 years, that too is a war crime.

This court, that was established to prevent the repetition of the Nazi horrific crimes committed against the Jewish people, is now turning its guns against the one and only state of the Jewish people. It’s targeting Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. But of course it turns a blind eye to Iran, Syria and the other dictatorships that are committing real war crimes left and right.

We will never stop fighting this injustice. We will speak the truth in every forum, in every country, on every stage until this outrageous decision is reversed and becomes null and void.”

President Reuven Rivlin commented: “The decision of the International Criminal Court at the Hague to commence investigations against the State of Israel is scandalous.

We will not accept claims against the exercise of our right and our obligation to defend our citizens. The State of Israel is a strong, Jewish and democratic state which knows how to defend itself and to investigate itself when necessary.

We are proud of our soldiers, our sons and daughters, the essence of our people, who stand guard for their country generation after generation, a defensive wall against all those who seek our harm.

We will stand guard to ensure that they are not harmed because of this decision.”

In Australia, the Zionist Federation of Australia stated: “International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has announced the launch of an investigation into the ‘Situation in Palestine’. This is based on the ICC’s determination that Palestine is a state for jurisdictional purposes, despite Palestine manifestly not being a state.

Zionist Federation of Australia President Jeremy Leibler slammed the decision. “For too long, international organisations have allowed officials with a vendetta against Israel to obtain positions of influence, due to the automatic anti-Israel majorities in supposedly ‘democratic’ institutions that vote for them”, he said.

“The ICC Prosecutor’s decision smacks of sour grapes”, continued Mr Leibler. “With four months left in her nine-year term, she’s launched a highly controversial investigation that was rejected by key members of the ICC, including Australia. It is the triumph of politics over justice, and of hatred over reason.

The ICC Prosecutor’s decision is a victory for injustice and will set back the cause of Palestinian statehood. The Australian Government should not only reject it, but should actively canvass like-minded countries to censure the ICC and to shut down this witch hunt.”

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council  (AIJAC) condemns and deplores the announcement by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor that an investigation will formally be opened into “The Situation in Palestine,” with a focus on alleged Israeli crimes in the “territory” of the non-existent State of Palestine.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s announcement of the investigation relies on the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber decision last month “that the Court may exercise its criminal jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine, and that the territorial scope of this jurisdiction extends to Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.” As AIJAC noted at the time, that 2-1 decision was a “a legal witch-hunt against a democratic country with enemies at its border”, and was opposed by numerous democratic nations, including Australia and the US.

AIJAC’s Dr. Colin Rubenstein said, “Bensouda’s decision is an abuse of ICC jurisdiction and international law that undermines the ICC’s claim to be a supposedly independent and non-political international legal body, because it relies almost wholly on non-binding and thoroughly political UN General Assembly resolutions. More than this, it materially damages any hopes for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ms. Bensouda is departing her position shortly, and we call upon her successor, British lawyer Karim Khan, to reconsider this ill-advised decision.”

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