Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement on Saturday, calling the recent Palestinian bid to sue Israel for war crimes at the ICC “absurd.”
The fact that the ICC (International Criminal Court) accepted the Palestinian bid to probe Israel over the recent Gaza war is problematic, not just on an ethical level, but also because a “non-state,” like Palestine, cannot present a bid to the ICC.
In his strongly worded statement, the Israeli Prime Minister spoke some home truths about the Palestinian leadership and its strategy, as well as the ICC.
“Israel rejects the absurd decision of the ICC prosecutor. It’s absurd for the ICC to ignore international law and agreements, under which the Palestinians don’t have a state and can only get one through direct negotiations with Israel.”
Ironically, the PA (Palestinian Authority) only became an entity following the 1993 Oslo Accords, and applying to the ICC is a direct breach of those agreements.
Netanyahu pressed the point, saying, “The rules of the ICC are clear: no state, no standing, no case.”
He added, using the word absurd for a third time, “It’s absurd for the ICC to go after Israel, which upholds the highest standards of international law. Our actions are subject to the constant and careful review of Israel’s world-renowned and utterly independent legal system.”
In employing a new adjective, the Israeli Prime Minister added that it was “preposterous” for the Palestinians to try and sue Israel at the ICC as they themselves are blatantly guilty of war crimes — double war crimes, in fact.
“This decision is even more preposterous given that Israel is legitimately defending itself against Palestinian terrorists who routinely commit multiple war crimes. They deliberately fire thousands of rockets at our civilians, while hiding behind Palestinian civilians whom they use a human shield.”
In this respect, Netanyahu makes a good point. By joining the ICC, the PA has opened itself up to lawsuits, as each and every missile fired on Israel by the PA’s unity partner Hamas, and indeed by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah, constitutes a war crime.
As Netanyahu added, “Here’s the ultimate folly of this decision – it is the democracy of Israel, a world leader in fighting terrorism, which is to be hauled to the dock in The Hague, while the terrorist war criminals of Hamas are the ones who are going to be pressing the charges.”
In summing up, the Israeli Prime Minister, who is fluent in English and an eloquent speaker, said, “So we see here something truly tragic. The lofty goals of the ICC are being turned upside-down, the court was founded to prevent a repeat of history’s worst crimes, foremost among them the genocide of six million Jews (in the Holocaust). Now the Palestinians are cynically manipulating the ICC to deny the Jewish state the right to defend itself against the very war crimes and the very terror that the court was established to prevent.”