The ICC’s Vendetta against Israel Won’t Help Palestinians or Strengthen International Law

Feb. 12 2021

While the International Criminal Court (ICC) has proved itself unable or unwilling to weigh in on the Chinese government’s brutal persecution of the Uighurs, Bashar al-Assad’s bloody war against his own people, or the depredations of Islamic State, it last week ruled that its authority extends to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The Scottish journalist Stephen Daisley observes:

This is judicial activism on a global scale and the UK should oppose it—and loudly—for two reasons. For one, there is the principle that a body created by a treaty should not claim powers which that treaty does not grant it. The Rome Statute does not empower the ICC to prosecute non-party states, except where such states “accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the court.”

Instead the Rome Statute gives the court jurisdiction where “the state on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred” is a “party to this statute,” but Israel has not ratified the statute and the Palestinian Authority, which acceded in 2015, is not a state. If the UK is for international law, it should be against this lawless behavior.

No doubt the court yearns to see an end to the [Israel-Palestinian] conflict, as do we all, but its apparent attempt to jump-start that process is as knuckle-headed as Barack Obama’s “daylight” strategy towards Israel or Downing Street’s endless scolding over settlements. . . . It is for the Palestinians to claim their own sovereignty at the negotiating table.

An ICC vendetta against Israel will not achieve dignity, prosperity, and self-determination for the Palestinians. It will only promote the suspicion that the ICC imperils national sovereignty in pursuit of political ends.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: ICC, International Law, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Why an Arab Party Is the Real Winner of the Israeli Election

Nov. 29 2022

Although Mansour Abbas’s Islamic Ra’am party won only five seats in the new Knesset, Ofir Haivry argues that his victory is, in the long run, more significant even than Benjamin Netanyahu’s:

At first glance [Abbas’s] achievement could be overlooked: with 195,000 votes, Ra’am won five seats in the Knesset, the same number as the joint Ḥadash (Communists) and Ta’al (Arab Movement for Renewal) list, which together received 180,000 votes. Balad, [a third Arab party], didn’t pass the electoral threshold. . . . In other words, Ra’am received some 40 percent of the votes for Arab parties, and the remaining 60 percent were divided between the three other parties. The significance of the numbers is that Ra’am, by quite a margin, is the largest Arab party, and the only one that passed the electoral threshold on its own.

Its success comes in the wake of the move taken by Abbas after the 2021 elections—a move that was controversial in the Arab sector—when he declared his willingness to be a partner in a coalition with Zionist parties and held negotiations both with Netanyahu and the opposing camp. In the end, Abbas joined forces with the Bennett-Lapid coalition in the face of stern opposition within the Arab sector and even within his party.

The Arab electorate didn’t reject the move but rewarded him with its votes, which gave Ra’am the status of the largest Arab party and crowned Abbas as the leader of the sector. The results were not just a reward for a political maneuver. They also broke a 40-year veto that the Arab parties had imposed on any real cooperation with the Zionist parties.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Israeli Arabs, Israeli Election 2022, Israeli politics, Mansour Abbas