In 2012 when the United Nations granted the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Non-Member Observer State Status (Resolution 67/19), Israel warned the world that this could lead to the PLO bringing proceedings against every Israeli official and every Israeli soldier for war crimes.
Israel’s fears and predictions were warranted and spot on.
In the past two weeks, Gambian Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda did the unthinkable and used the “nuclear option” against Israel. She issued an infuriating and anti-Semitic announcement following a five-year “ preliminary examination” stating, “There is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda focused on “disproportionate attacks” during the 2014 Gaza War, officials who were responsible for moving Israeli civilians into Judea and Samaria, and finally, the IDF’s killing of terrorists near the Gaza Border fence in March of 2018.
Saab Erekat, the PLO spokesman, likened the ICC probe to that of the “first astronaut on the moon.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu appropriately compared it to the Greek edicts against the Jews at the time of the Maccabees. He rightfully called it “pure anti-Semitism.”
At the end of President Obama’s second term the horrific Resolution 2334 was passed on December 23, 2016 which states that “Israel’s settlement activity constitutes a flagrant violation of international law.” Resolutions of this type had come up before but America always vetoed them. President Obama decided to completely change course. He actually orchestrated the resolution’s passage. (Please refer to my article “Obama’s Ultimate Betrayal of the Jews” 12/25/16).
The strategy was plain and simple: First the passage of Resolution 2334, then the passage of a resolution declaring a PLO state at the United Nations. This was planned to occur during the Hilary Clinton years. President Trump’s election threw a monkey wrench into the idea. Instead of trying to negotiate with Israel towards a true and lasting Peace, the PLO decided to continue to use the United Nations and the International Criminal Court to do their bidding.
Although the United States did not buy into the Rome Statute which created the ICC in 2002, the ICC can go ahead with a prosecution in a country if the state has delegated jurisdiction to the International Court.
The PLO was hoping to be granted full state status by the UN by now. If Hilary Clinton was President this indeed would have happened. This would have ensured their ability to bring charges against Israel. Despite not being a state, the PLO would not be deterred and brought charges anyway. The courts will now have to debate if non member observer state status can indeed be considered “delegated jurisdiction.”
Israel’s Attorney General has issued a legal brief that shows the PLO’s lack of jurisdiction.
When the ICC tried to investigate possible US War crimes in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Pompeo issued a visa ban on any ICC personnel. This put an end to their investigation. The International Criminal Court should be abolished. In the meantime Fatou Bensouda must be forced to resign.