Like television’s energizer bunny, they just keep on going. There is simply no end to the Arab attempts to utilize venues for political or legal warfare (now referred to as “lawfare”) to undermine Israeli sovereignty and demonize the Jewish state. Happily the most recent attempt ended in failure for the Palestinian Authority and a victory for Israel and for Jews world-wide.
Recently, the International Criminal Court (ICC) turned down a three-year old request by the Palestinian Authority to investigate PA accusations that Israel committed war crimes during its invasion of Gaza in December 2008-January 2009. This lawfare farce began in 2009 when, shortly after Israel’s retaliatory invasion of the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead), the PA requested the intervention if the ICC regarding putative Israeli war crimes during that military operation. The response then from ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo was that the ICC held no legal jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories because the ICC holds such jurisdiction only over sovereign states that have recognized the court and accepted its jurisdiction. These legal limitations mean that the ICC does not have universal jurisdiction. Since the Palestinian territories are not a state, and since neither Israel nor the PA had at that time recognized the ICC’s authority, the ICC lacked legal basis to examine the PA allegations.
But that did not stop the PA. Palestinian leaders quickly offered their unilateral recognition of the ICC’s jurisdiction and “upped the ante” by changing the request by demanding an ICC investigation of Israeli war crimes committed on the territory of “Palestine” dating back to 2002. Suddenly (perhaps after a little arm-twisting and nudging) 400 written requests flooded the ICC prosecutor’s office demanding that the ICC take the case; and the PA proudly pointed out to the ICC that more than 130 sovereign states and a variety of international organizations had already recognized “Palestine” as a state and had commenced bilateral relations with it.
After almost three years of deliberation, the ICC concluded that it had no authority to decide the sovereign status of a non-statepolitical entity, and that it could launch investigations only if petitioned by the U.N. Security Council or an involved state that has recognized the court. Because the PA held only observer status at the UN, and not the status of a state or a non-member state, Moreno-Ocampo had no choice but to refer the issue to the either the “relevant bodies at the United Nations” or to the group of nations that constitute the court.
The real issue, only vaguely alluded to or omitted completely by mainstream media, is that this is nothing more than another attempt by the PA and its Arab and NGO allies to achieve legal statehood status for “Palestine” by exploiting and abusing international legal or political venues.