On February 6th, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying that the International Criminal Court investigating Israeli war crimes would be “pure anti-Semitism”.
“When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure anti-Semitism,” Netanyahu said in an English-language video sent out by his office.
He also alleged that the ICC was created to investigate Nazi atrocities, and that it had no right to investigate what Israel did.
Netanyahu lamented that “the court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the one state of the Jewish people.”
He further asserted that the ICC is “outrageously” claiming “that when Jews live in our homeland, this is a war crime.” Commenting on the Israeli settlement policy that nobody apart from the United States recognizes.
And, he added, “it claims that when democratic Israel defends itself against terrorists who murder our children, rocket our cities, we’re committing another war crime.”
The prime minister complained that the ICC “refuses to investigate brutal dictatorships like Iran and Syria who commit horrific atrocities almost daily.”
The difference here is that one side’s atrocities actually have evidence, and the others are simply accusations by MSM and the West.
ICC chief prosecutor Bensouda indicated in 2019 that a criminal investigation, if approved, would focus on the 2014 Israel-Hamas conflict (Operation Protective Edge), on Israeli settlement policy and on the Israeli response to protests at the Gaza border.
Netanyahu earlier also commented on this, on February 5th:
“Today the ICC proved once again that it is a political body and not a judicial institution. The ICC ignores the real war crimes and instead pursues the State of Israel, a state with a strong democratic government that sanctifies the rule of law, and is not a member of the ICC.”
“In this decision,” Netanyahu added, “the ICC violated the right of democracies to defend themselves against terrorism, and played into the hands of those who undermine efforts to expand the circle of peace. We will continue to protect our citizens and soldiers in every way from legal persecution.”
Israel is not a member of the ICC and neither is the US. The Palestinians joined the court in 2015.
If Israel and/or Hamas are ultimately convicted of war crimes, and if senior officials are named in such a verdict, they could be subject to international arrest warrants upon travel abroad.
The US State Department also objected to the decision.
“We have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel. The United States has always taken the position that the court’s jurisdiction should be reserved for countries that consent to it, or that are referred by the UN Security Council,” it said.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh praised the decision, calling it “a victory for justice and humanity, for the values of truth, fairness and freedom, and for the blood of the victims and their families,” according to the official Wafa news agency.
Hamas said “any decision that contributes to supporting the rights of the Palestinian people and defends their freedom is an appropriate decision.”
“The Palestinian people await the day that the occupation and its leaders are brought to trial for their crimes against it. We call to use all means to stop Zionist terror and crimes against the Palestinian people,” Hamas said in a statement.
As such the pure hypocrisy is evident: war crimes and atrocities are only that if another actor, and not Israel, carries them out.
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