And of course, Finland is a member of the ICC…
The ICC has become a politically motivated court, something that was inevitable since the UN itself is entirely political as well, just take a look at its GA Assembly and Human Rights Council, which regularly votes against Israel. It’s a joke. No state should be stupid enough to sign over its sovereignty to it.
But there is also no doubt that Israel is not just going to roll over and gently accept this. It will fight it and try to get the court not to continue the process. And in doing this, it will launch a variety of different campaigns, from waging a full-throttle public and diplomatic campaign against the legitimacy of the court and accusing it of just being the newest international organization to be hijacked by the Palestinians, to trying to enlist powerful friends and allies to its side.
And the most important ally in this battle will be the United States.
Back in March, when Pompeo declared sanctions against ICC, he also said US visa restrictions may be used “to deter ICC efforts to purse allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies consent.”
On Friday he tweeted the US “firmly” opposes “this unjustified inquiry that unfairly targets Israel.” It is unlikely this US opposition will manifest itself only through a tweet.
The ICC prosecutor decided to start a fight on Friday. From responses by both Israeli and US leaders, it is clear that there is a strong intention to fight back – and that type of fight, though obviously not good for Israel, could also end up very damaging to the ICC itself.
International law expert Eugene Kontorovich on Twitter:
“The ICC Prosecutor is saying that Jews living in the Old City of Jerusalem is a war crime. No one has ever been prosecuted for this “war crime”, & Prosecutor herself has ruled that Russians moving into occupied Crimea is NOT a war crime. This is not int’l law, its something else.”
ICC picks fight, Israel will fight back – analysis
Bensouda disregarded Israel’s arguments that the court did not have jurisdiction in the case, since the Palestinian territories do not constitute a state.
DECEMBER 22, 2019 12:03
“The hard truth is there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace. This is a complex political problem that can only be solved by negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
Thus spoke US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on November 19, when announcing the United States does not view Israeli settlements as illegal.
The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, emphatically declared on Friday she does not agree with that sentiment when she recommended opening an investigation into alleged war crimes as a result of the settlements and Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014.
Bensouda disregarded Israel’s arguments the court did not have jurisdiction in the case, since the Palestinian territories do not constitute a state, and wrote, “There are no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice.”
December 20 will likely go down as the day when the Palestinian Authority, which brought the case to the ICC five years ago, won its biggest victory, and also the day when the ICC – already a body whose legitimacy is questioned – will begin a decline into irrelevance.