In recent weeks, South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia have all announced their intention to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC). Kenya and Namibia are considering exiting as well, and other African nations may follow. Why? Mostly because they’re reluctant to extradite the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, indicted by the court for his role in the genocide in Darfur, should he visit their countries. This collapse of the court’s authority, writes Ariel Bolstein, justifies both America and Israel’s longstanding refusal to accept its jurisdiction:
Israel and the U.S . . . recognized early on that the [ICC] would be used by an array of shadowy regimes, eventually becoming a weapon for the worst of criminals. . . .
[A total of] 139 countries supported the establishment of the ICC, mostly as a means of bashing their opponents. Some saw it as the ideal playing field for hurling accusations against Israel. . . . Israel’s enemies fantasized about seeing Israeli leaders and soldiers led into the courtroom in handcuffs. This court has been asked to investigate Israel at least twice, and no objections were made in response. In case you were wondering, the court is not investigating the massacre in Syria. The court is not even capable of arresting Bashir al-Assad, whose hands are stained with the blood of millions. Bring a ruthless tyrant to justice? No. Blame Israel? Most definitely.
The ICC has fallen victim to the same plague that [has undermined] international initiatives like the UN and UNESCO. All of these . . . started off as the initiatives of pure idealists, and were instantly hijacked by those with dark ulterior motives. . . . Israel was wise not to follow in the way of fools and become a part of this process.