Paul Alster
Israel-based print and broadcast journalist

ISIS to take US to ICC for airstrikes?

Ridiculous, isn’t it, the thought that a designated terrorist organization with a bloody track record of murder and violence can possibly pursue a democratic state through any kind of international institution. And even more ridiculous that the majority of international leaders remain silent on the issue.

Yet that is possibly the situation that could face Israel as Hamas and the Palestinian Authority consider taking their enemy to the ICC (International Criminal Court), essentially on the grounds of legitimately defending its citizens against thousands of indiscriminate cross-border rockets and tunnel attacks from Gazan terrorists.

Having broken the rules of warfare and the Geneva Convention by using its own civilian population as a human shield on numerous occasions in a bid to draw maximum casualties and cultivate a media image – unquestioned in many quarters – of the persistent victim when, truth be told, it is in fact the persistent perpetrator of the crimes, Hamas, together with its so-called governing partner, the Palestinian Authority, is now seeking to hijack a raft of self-serving international institutions, including the ICC, in a bid to demonise Israel before a majority audience already anti-Israeli, anti-Zionistic, or anti-Semitic.

All the more balmy is that only last week a major Hamas cell was arrested in the West Bank for planning to overthrow the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority itself in a violent coup. Still, Hamas and Fatah are pretending to put behind them that ‘local difficulty’ and are reportedly considering walking hand-in-hand on the application to the ICC, portraying a veneer of Palestinian unity and tolerance. (Try telling that to the senior Fatah official who last week had his kneecaps blown off by Hamas for resisting ‘house arrest’!)

Were ISIS, an organization not at all far removed from Hamas’ own radical Islamist ideology, to seek to prosecute the United States for the recent airstrikes that appear to have gone some small way to rolling back the progression of the despicable, butchering murderers of not only US journalist James Foley, but thousands of others innocents across Syria and Iraq who have been summarily shot, beheaded, or crucified, there would likely be an outcry from the ‘civilized’ world.

But on the suggestion of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, being laughingly held up to judgement by Hamas, the terror organization that only this weekend executed 22 people without trial in a street in Gaza after allegedly executing dozens, possibly hundreds of its own tunnel diggers a week earlier for fear they might give locations of the subterranean terror maze to the enemy, as yet, there is not a word. Not a word.

So, can we look forward to ISIS seeking legal redress from the US for the airstrikes? How about the Tuareg rebels in Mali taking France to the ICC for seeking to limit their ability to butcher villages of innocent people? Of course, Boca Haram would be fully justified in pursuing the African Union and others for attempting to stand in the way of their abduction, rape, and murder of Christian women and schoolchildren in Nigeria, wouldn’t they?

The whole perverse scenario seems ridiculous. Hell, it is ridiculous.

The way things are going though in the concerted attempt to de-legitimize Israel via ever possible route – no matter what the eventual long-term repercussions might be in their own backyard – the international community is surely sleepwalking to a major disaster of its own making.

As a result of its blind hatred of Israel, and, probably more significantly, its fear of grasping the nettle of tackling growing and increasingly radical Muslim minorities within its own borders, Israel is being used as a whipping boy by a frightened international community misguidedly turning to appeasement of an incredibly vicious enemy as a way of postponing the growing inevitability of retribution on its own doorstep.

The appeasement didn’t work with the Nazis or with any other murderous regime throughout history. It won’t work this time either. It should be stopped in its tracks right now – before it’s too late.

About the Author
Paul Alster is an Israel-based broadcast journalist with a special interest in the Israel/Palestinian conflict and Middle East politics. He is a regular contributor to a variety of international news websites including The Jerusalem Report, and was formerly's main Middle East correspondent. He can be followed on Twitter @paul_alster or at