The International Criminal Court’s Incoherent Case against Israel

December 24, 2019 | Ben-Dror Yemini
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Last Friday, in response to a petition filed by the Palestinian Authority, Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), announced that she is opening an investigation against Jerusalem for alleged war crimes committed during the 2014 Gaza war and in subsequent anti-terror efforts. Twice before, Bensouda had rebuffed the court’s request that she investigate Israel for other allegations. Ben-Dror Yemini points out some of the many flaws of the current investigation:

[First], a complaint to the ICC can only be filed by a state, which Palestine is not. In addition, the Oslo Accords state that the Palestinian Authority does not possess the legal standing to file such a petition at an international court. But . . . this is an assembly of judges who have been appointed by nations hostile to Israel.

It is a fact that the majority of fatalities [in military conflicts around the world] over the last two decades have been innocent civilians. Sometimes it is done with malice, such as the Darfur genocide or the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against its civilians or the Iranian-sponsored bombings and starvation in Yemen. Sometimes it is done unintentionally, such as the death and destruction in the Iraqi city of Mosul, where some 190,000 civilians perished in the battle against Islamic State.

Apart from the former president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, none of the people involved in these incidents was ever indicted. Bashir was never extradited, due to widespread support from various Arab and Muslim nations, nations in Africa, as well as China and Russia.

[Moreover], the data show that compared with other militaries around the world, Israel has far fewer civilian casualties during its military operations.

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