The Israel Allies foundation Zoom
The Israel Allies foundation ZoomCourtesy of the Israel Allies Foundation

The Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) initiated an online meeting for over 60 legislators from 31 countries to discuss the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel for alleged “war crimes.”

These legislators are Chairmen of the Israel Allies Caucuses in their parliaments which work to strengthen the connection between their country and Israel. The legislators came from a range of countries, including those who have publicly criticized the ICC for its biased ruling as well as those who have actively supported the probe.

Leo Van Doesburg, the European Representative of the Israel Allies Foundation moderated the conversation among the parliamentarians who spoke candidly with each other about their criticism of the ICC. Chairman of the EU Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus Bert-Jan Ruissen noted that while the EU has formerly backed the investigation, there are many individual MEPs like himself who are committed to engage with his colleagues about the errors he sees within the ICC’s decision and promote a re-evaluation of the terms of their engagement with the ICC.

"I am disappointed by the court's decision to open an investigation on Israel based on dubious grounds. The ICC must refrain from taking cases of a questionable legal and factual basis like the one on the disputed territories. I would also like to stress that the court should adhere to its original mandate and pursue cases in which it can make a difference instead of targeting countries with an advanced judicial system like Israel,” he said.

Professor Eugene Kontorovich, Director of the International Law Department at the Kohelet Policy Forum, addressed the parliamentarians from a historical and legal perspective.

"In the history of international law, no court has ever done what the ICC is trying to do - prosecute people for the crime of living somewhere. But their action is so lawless, that a growing number of countries and lawmakers are rejecting its investigation as illegitimate - something that has not happened with any other ICC action," he said.

Member of Knesset Sharren Haskel (Likud), Chair of the Knesset Christian Allies, which serves as a sister-caucus to all the Israel Allies Caucuses around the globe, highlighted the double standard against Israel.

"There are many other instances of disputed territories within the ICC’s actual jurisdiction, and yet the ICC has not once accused the so-called 'occupiers' of being war criminals. Applying this accusation only towards Israel is anti-Semitic plain and simple," said Haskel.

The webinar closed with the publishing of an IAF statement which called for more countries to re-evaluate their relationship with the ICC and pressure reforms: "We agree with and applaud the affirmations from ICC members including Germany, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Austria, the UK, Hungary and the Czech Republic, that the ICC lacks jurisdiction over Israel including the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria."

"We urge other countries to join the ICC member states that have publicly rejected the ICC investigation, and to announce that they will not honor arrest warrants issuing from the ICC’s procedure since the ICC’s proceedings on this matter do not have a proper legal basis."

President of the Israel Allies Foundation Josh Reinstein said: "This decision by the ICC is an organized attempt to delegitimize Israel. Through the work of the Israel Allies Foundation, we are able to unite like-minded parliamentarians from countries throughout the world, proving that they are not lone voices but rather one large global network whose faith-based support for Israel is unbreakable."