ICC Accusations Against Israel Are Outrageous – Col. Richard Kemp
The ICC prosecutor accuses Israel, during the 2014 Gaza war, of using disproportionate force, willfully killing and injuring civilians, and intentionally attacking protected individuals and locations. She also alleges that the IDF committed war crimes against Gazans violently attempting to breach the border into Israel in 2018 and 2019.
aI was present during these conflicts, witnessed, and was extensively briefed on IDF operations. I was a member of an investigation into the 2014 Gaza war by the High Level Military Group, an independent body of retired generals from Western armed forces and human rights experts. The group unanimously concluded that: “The IDF not only met its obligations under the Law of Armed Conflict, but often exceeded these on the battlefield.”
Gen. Martin Dempsey, at the time Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, commented: “Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties.” My first-hand observations during the Hamas-instigated Gaza border violence in 2018-19 echo these assessments.
The allegation that Israel committed war crimes by transferring parts of its civilian population into occupied territory can only be described as outrageous. The West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza are not “occupied territories.” The suggestion that willing tenancy on this land by Jews is intrinsically illegal sees the ICC prosecutor adopting the Nazi concept of Judenrein, cleansing an area of Jews.
Despite situations where such crimes have actually occurred, including Northern Cyprus and Crimea, no prosecutions for war crimes in this category have ever been brought against anyone. Special treatment is reserved for the Jewish state. The writer is a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan. (Jerusalem Post)
ICC Prosecution of Israel Just Another Way for Palestinians to Avoid Peace – Jonathan S. Tobin
The announcement by Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, that she is prepared to begin an investigation into Israeli “war crimes” is just the latest evidence that the Palestinian Authority, which originated the complaint, would rather seek to wage legal war against Israel than to negotiate with it.
No matter how prejudiced the ICC and its chief prosecutor may be, the supposed moderates running the Palestinian Authority made this farce possible; it represents their desperation to avoid negotiations with Israel under any circumstances.
The PA has rejected Israeli peace offers that would have given it statehood over nearly all of the West Bank, Gaza and a share of Jerusalem. It refused because doing so would require it to give up the hope of eliminating the State of Israel altogether. The PA wants to delegitimize Israel in the international courts because it is incapable of living in peace with a Jewish state, no matter where its borders are drawn. (JNS)
Israel’s Defensive Arguments Fell on Deaf Ears at the ICC – Nitsana Darshan-Leitner
Since September 2012, when the Palestinians’ status was upgraded in the UN to an observer state, they have repeatedly warned that if Israel does not submit to their demands, they will turn to the International Criminal Court in The Hague and formally submit war crimes complaints.
Israel tried to persuade ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda that the tribunal has no authority to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, since Israel is not a signatory to the Court’s Rome Treaty and the Palestinians are not a state. Israel correctly argued that it has a strong and independent judiciary investigating every incident, and does not hesitate to prosecute and frequently convict whenever there is even the shadow of a violation of law. As such, the ICC has no authority to act as a super-review court for the Israeli justice system.
Every IDF tank and helicopter has an on-call legal advisor who is relied upon to instruct the units whether to shoot a shell or fire a missile when there is even the slightest question concerning collateral damage to civilians. But all of these defensive arguments seem to have fallen on deaf ears. The writer, an Israeli civil rights attorney, is president of the Shurat HaDin Law Center. (Jerusalem Post)/p>