Statement: Israel's Allies Blast ICC Ruling
02/08/21: The International Criminal Court (ICC) was immediately condemned by the world community over what is perceived to be a politically motivated ruling that it can investigate Israel (and Palestinians) for supposed war crimes.
Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, immediately condemned the ruling and said, "the Judges' decision exposes the court as a political body aligned with international organizations that are motivated by antisemitism".
America's response was similarly strong. The State Department's spokesperson said that the ICC's decision "claiming jurisdiction in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza...we do not believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state, and therefore are not qualified to obtain membership as a state, or participate as a state in international organizations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC".
Canada too must be commended for quickly reacting appropriately and with condemnation. Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau said: "The creation of a Palestinian state can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties. Until such negotiations succeed, Canada's longstanding position remains that it does not recognize a Palestinian state and therefore does not recognize its accession to international treaties, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court".
Writing in the Times of Israel, Alan Baker, former legal advisor and deputy director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs - and former Ambassador to Canada said: "It is both tragic and ironic that the State of Israel, one of the founding fathers of the vision of creating the ICC after unimaginable atrocities committed against the Jewish people during the Holocaust, has now become the target of that very court, based on Palestinian political manipulation".
MY OBSERVATIONS: The ICC has been pursuing Israel since 2015 while largely ignoring war criminals like Syria's Bashar Al Assad. Since the start of the conflict in Syria, some 500,000 people have been killed, including children
as a result of gassing. Additionally, China has not been brought before the court for its treatment of the Uyghurs and unlawful incarceration of two Canadian citizens. Iran is another country accused of murdering its own citizens and persecuting minorities.
Israel is a free and democratic state operating within the rule of law and is not a member of the court. At the same time, it is widely documented and recognized that Israel is harassed by international UN affiliated agencies like the Human Rights Council, that act in the interest of tyrannical regimes. The ICC's ruling therefore appears to be motivated by bias and a clear double standard.
The Palestinian Authority continues to try and find ways to undermine Israel instead of negotiating directly to achieve peace. This latest "law fare" campaign against Israel will not bring about a peaceful resolution between the parties. Sadly, the ICC ruling attempts to put Israel on the same level as terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The previous American administration put the ICC on notice by stating: any attempt by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain or prosecute any US personnel without the consent of the US, or of personnel of countries that are the US allies and who are not parties to the Rome Statute or have not otherwise consented to ICC jurisdiction, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States".
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Avi Abraham Benlolo, BA MA, Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa)
Order of Vaughan, Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal, Race Relations Award