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.
With the Goldstone Report delegitimized by its own author, and the failure of PA President Mahmoud Abbas to gain the UN’s consent to admit “Palestine” as a state, PA leadership is making good on Abbas’ threat to internationalize the Arab-Israel conflict once the PA joined the world’s family of nations at the UN:
Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.
NGO-Monitor gets it right. This ploy to create a faux legal reality and spurious international recognition for the fiction of a Palestinian state is in reality just another hostile assault against Israel, an assault aided and abetted by a host of international NGOs whose original humanitarian missions and noble aims have been transmogrified into a disgraceful collusion with thedeeply evil Arab and Muslim forces that seek Israel’s destruction and the genocide of its Jews:
"Throughout this process, the ICC - created to punish the worst perpetrators of war crimes and mass murder - was exploited by several EU- and European-government funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which intensively lobbied the OTP [Office of the (ICC) Prosecutor] as part of their campaign to attack the legitimacy of the State of Israel," says Anne Herzberg, legal advisor for NGO Monitor. "The NGOs Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Al Haq, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l´Homme (FIDH), and Adalah campaigned at the ICC in support of the Palestinian Authority's political goals. This clearly was contradictory to the spirit and substance of peace negotiations."
It is important to recognize that these Arab political and legal machinations regarding the PA are pure farce. The PA leaders and their terrorist allies have made it clear numerous times that they do not want a state alongside of Israel. They want a state instead of Israel. They want a “one-state solution,” “Palestine from the river to the sea:” no room for a Jewish state in that vision of the future.
Had they ever really wanted a state alongside of Israel they could have had it 31 times since 1937. But Arab leadership, and myriad rank-and-file followers, chose every time to reject offers for Palestinian statehood, and for peace and co-existence with Israel, in favor of war, terrorism, and an endless, relentless campaign of delegitimization and demonization of Israel and of Jews.
Therefore, as much as we can rejoice in this recent lawfare victory, we need to keep it in perspective and be mindful of the dynamic of the past 75 years. Thanks to Arab oil wealth, a tragically compromised UN, anti-Semitism revived in the EU, much of mainstream media, and a host of enablers and allies among international and local NGOs, Abbas will have other opportunities to wage lawfare against Israel.
In fact, the ICC prosecutor has already instructed Abbas (perhaps inadvertently) as to how to go about doing exactly that. Luis Moreno-Ocampo was careful to describe to the PA the two circumstances under which another PA request could be honored by his court. If the UN Security Council would make a referral regarding the court’s jurisdiction over the PA, or if the Assembly of States Parties (the states that have recognized the ICC’s jurisdiction) were to resolve the legal issue regarding article 12 of the Rome Statute, which limits the ICC’s jurisdiction, then the ICC could consider the PA's allegations. With these opportunities in mind, the PA legal counsel and allied NGOs can go back to the drawing boards and prepare for the next hostile lawfare assault against Israel.
Will our next president instruct the American ambassador to the United Nations to veto any UN Security Council resolution for such a referral? Will he or she urge the Assembly of States Parties to validate article 12 of the Rome Statute as it now stands?
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