ICC is anything, but impartial

The International Criminal Court’s deliberations on whether to open an investigation against Israel over its settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria and for alleged war crimes committed during the 2014 Gaza War clearly has only one goal: to harm the Jewish State.

The Hague-based ICC was established in 2002 under the Rome Statute, and both the United States and Israel have refused to become members, fearing that the court will be used as a weapon to fulfill a political agenda.

Both the authority of the ICC and the legitimacy of this investigation have been questioned on the world stage: eight members of The Hague, including Canada, Germany, and Australia, have formally objected to this probe. The US – whose top diplomat Mike Pompeo recently slammed the ICC as a “kangaroo court” – has launched its own investigation into alleged corruption by ICC officials.

For the ICC to begin an investigation, at least one of the parties involved must be a member of The Hague, and only states can become signatories to the Rome Statute. It would seem that because Israel is not a member and there is no sovereign Palestinian state, it would be impossible for an investigation to occur. But acting against all apparent logic, the ICC has allowed the Palestinians to be considered a member, even though a Palestinian state does not exist.

As the ICC prepared to investigate Israel, it has been reported that its jurists have been working with a Palestinian Authority committee which included known terrorists. Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat has stated that members of Hamas, representatives from the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and countless other groups were included on this committee. In what world is it acceptable for the ICC, which is supposed to investigate criminals, to consult with terrorists prior to opening an investigation?

Furthermore, this investigation has been strongly influenced by complaints from anti-Israel Organizations, such as Addameer and Al-Haq, which are directly affiliated with terror groups. According to a report by the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, Addameer’s accountant was the leader of a group of terrorists that killed one Israeli citizen and injured two others. Additionally, the Director General of Al-Haq, Shawan Jabarin, has been convicted of recruiting and training members of the PFLP.

These are just two examples of how known terrorists are hiding in plain sight behind legitimate organizations. The promise to maintain impartiality when conducting an investigation has been replaced with the hatred that known terrorists have for the State of Israel.

Lastly, lead ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda was one of the highest officials of a dictatorship that ruthlessly oppressed their citizens. Prior to joining the ICC, Bensouda was the Justice Minister of Gambia, whose former President is accused of orchestrating mass killings, torturing political opponents and raping countless women.

According to the Began-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, victims of human rights abuse have claimed that Bensouda played a crucial role in assisting this dictatorial regime. After openly supporting such terror on her own citizens, Bensouda’s judgment cannot be trusted to lead this investigation.

Six years ago, a complaint was filed with the ICC against Turkey, by Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, a leading human rights organization, and a Cypriot member of the European Parliament, which contained the identical allegations that Israel faces today. The Office of the Prosecutor refused to act and failed to respond to this complaint. Regardless of political affiliation, all can agree that this blatant hypocrisy proves that the ICC is not acting in the name of justice and, in reality, must be acting with an ulterior motive.

This past year alone, the United Nations passed eighteen resolutions against Israel and only seven against the rest of the world. The BDS movement continues to grow and is determined to strangle the Israeli economy by leading a worldwide boycott of Israeli goods. It is time that we open our eyes and recognize what the ICC’s investigation truly represents – the latest attempt to delegitimize, harm, and ultimately destroy the State of Israel.

About the Author
David Billet is a student at Fordham University School of Law and has a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Queens College, CUNY. He is also a political commentator and a published writer and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Israel National News and almost twenty other media publications.
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