In a move that was clearly timed to coincide with President Trump’s White House departure, the ICC released a “judgment” declaring their intent to try Israel for war crimes while at the same time establishing “Palestine” as a legitimate nation. A former member of the Sanhedrin emphasized that in doing so, the organization was serving idolatry and lies, thereby cancelling any legitimacy they may have had.
ICC: Israeli War Crimes
After six years of deliberation, the International Criminal Court at The Hague announced their 2-1 decision on Friday that they have the jurisdictional authority to open an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes perpetrated against “Palestinians.”
The ICC, established in 1998, currently has 123 member states including the “State of Palestine” (a non-existent political entity) but, ironically, neither Israel nor the US is a member. The ICC tries individuals and not states with the case naming specific officials who could be subject to warrants upon traveling outside of Israel if the court rules against Israel.
ICC Prosecutor: Sanctioned by US
The investigation was carried out by ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, focusing on alleged Israeli war crimes perpetrated during the 2014 Protective Edge Israeli incursion into Gaza that came in response to Hamas and other terrorist organizations firing over 4,500 rockets and mortars at Israeli civilian centers. The criminal investigation will also focus on Israeli policy allowing Jews to live in Judea and Samaria under the international prohibition against “transferring civilian population into occupied territory.” and the IDF response to riots that challenged the security fence separating Israel from Gaza.
In her 2019 ruling, Bensouda also considered some of Hamas’ actions to be worthy of consideration by the ICC, saying there is a “reasonable basis to believe that members of Hamas and Palestinian armed groups committed… war crimes.” Some of these crimes included torturing Gaza civilians, targeting civilian centers in Israel, and using Gazans as human shields.
A report by Palestinian Media Watch in April revealed that the 2019 report was the result of covert cooperation between Bensouda and the Palestinian Authority and was not the result of a judicial process.
ICC Unilaterally Declares “Palestine” a State
Biden’s State Department spokesman Ned Price said his office was reviewing the decision adding that they have “serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel.”
“As we made clear when the Palestinians purported to join the Rome Statute in 2015, we do not believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state, and therefore are not qualified to obtain membership as a state, or participate as a state in international organizations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC,” Price said.
“The United States has always taken the position that the court’s jurisdiction should be reserved for countries that consent to it, or that are referred by the UN Security Council,” he added.
The 60-page ICC decision included the conclusion that “Palestine” is an independent political entity:
“Palestine qualifies as ‘the State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred,’” and that “the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
But the ruling did not limit the Palestinian state to these areas, saying that they are “neither adjudicating a border dispute under international law nor prejudging the question of any future borders.”
“The Chamber,” it continued, was “not persuaded by the argument that ‘[r]ulings on territorial jurisdiction necessarily impair a suspect/accused’s right to challenge’ jurisdiction under” the Rome Statute.
Responses: ICC Ruling Based in Anti-Semitism
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit published a 34-page response to Bensouda’s ruling, noting Israel’s dedication to international justice since its inception in the wake of the Holocaust. Mandelbilt expressed concern that the ICC’s conclusion was the result of “political manipulation,” noting “the risk that the Court might be exploited for illegitimate political gain.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the decision as “refined anti-Semitism.”
“Today, the International Criminal Court has proven once more that it is a political body and not a judicial institution,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday.
“This is refined antisemitism,” Netanyahu said. “This court was created to prevent horrors like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish nation, and now it is attacking the only country of the Jewish nation.”
Nitsana Darshan Leitner, the founder of Shurat HaDin Israeli Law Center which brings legal actions against terrorist organizations, agreed with the prime minister.
“The decision of the Hague Court is a racist decision that desecrates the blood of thousands of Israeli terror victims murdered by Palestinian terrorism,” Darshan Leitner said in a statement on Sunday. “Those sitting in The Hague are pretending to solve a hundred-year political dispute with legal tools that they unilaterally adopted today. They are biased and solely reflect the Palestinian narrative. The court has no authority at all to discuss Israel and it should have prevented an investigation, just like it decided to prevent an investigation against China a month ago.”
ICC Stripped of Biblical Legitimacy
Rabbi Hillel Weiss, the former spokesman for the Sanhedrin, emphasized that establishing courts and enacting justice is one of the Seven Noahide Laws incumbent upon all of mankind.
“We are in an intense period in which the final redemption is unavoidably imminent,” Rabbi Weiss said. “There are no more second chances. People need to choose right now, which they support: a system of judgment in Jerusalem based on the Bible or an idolatrous court based on lies.”
He emphasized that politics is merely a tool God used to run the world.
“But men can usurp this,” Rabbi Weiss said. “Every nation brings their particular aspect to this which was the only justification for the United Nations and the ICC. But they cannot simply create their own truth that is in contradiction of the Bible and the truth.”
“The truth is that the land of Israel is the physical manifestation of the covenant between God and the Jews. By rejecting this, by serving the agenda of a made-up nation, the ICC has lost their mandate and their legitimacy.”
“This rejection of Jerusalem and the Biblical concept of justice is included in the prophecy by Zechariah,” Rabbi Weiss said, citing the prophet.
When all the nations of the earth gather against her. In that day, I will make Yerushalayim a stone for all the peoples to lift; all who lift it shall injure themselves. (Zechariah 12:3)
“This is why the same declaration of the ICC declaring a judgment has to refute Jerusalem,” Rabbi Weiss explained. “They are rejecting truth in justice but in essence, they are really rejecting Jerusalem.”
“They claim they have jurisdiction in ‘Palestine’,” Rabbi Weiss said. “That is precisely where their justice is relevant; in a made-up country that does not exist because their justice is also made up and does not exist.”
Rabbi Weiss described a solution that many would consider impossible or, at least, improbable.
“Trump began an effort to return the world to truth, to Jerusalem,” Rabbi Weiss said. “Nikki Haley was working to fix the UN. Just because Trump is not sitting in the Oval Office does not mean he is exempt from the task he began. That is just a political agenda. Establishing truth and justice is a Biblical mandate that is essential to all 70 nationalism and to all religions.”
It should be noted that the State Department under former-President Trump sanctioned Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko, head of The Hague court’s Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division, for “illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction.” This was in response to the Hague’s investigation into alleged US war crimes connected to the war in Afghanistan. Bensouda’s six-year term will expire in June.
In addition, the US shut the Palestinian Liberation Organization mission in Washington in response to the case being brought to the ICC as it violated a 2015 Congressional mandate against such a move as it prevented bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.