Netanyahu: ICC Inquiry is Height of Hypocrisy

At his weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu discusses ICC probe, Japan PM's visit and the plan to raise Israel's minimum wage.

Cynthia Blank,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash 90

At his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the International Criminal Court's probe into Israel, the Japanese Prime Minister's visit to Israel, and the raising of the minimum wage

"The decision by the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court to begin an inquiry against the State of Israel is the height of hypocrisy and the opposite of justice," Netanyahu began. 

"I already encountered such phenomena during my years of public service representing the State of Israel both as ambassador to the UN and as prime minister, but this decision by the prosecutor is in a category of its own. It gives legitimacy to international terrorism."

"We will fight it every way possible and we will also recruit others to fight this absurdity, and they are already being recruited. We will not allow IDF soldiers to face international tribunals," the Prime Minister stressed. 

"I would also like to say that these steps will not deter us from doing what is necessary to defend the State of Israel and its citizens."

Netanyahu then addressed ways to counter the ICC's "crude step" including strengthening the state through immigration and economic measures. 

"Today, we will accept a report on the continued removal of impediments to the immigration of Jews from France, Europe and wherever they may be. We also intend to submit at our next meeting a decision to facilitate this implementation," Netanyahu told his ministers." 

"Today, we will also welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who is arriving at the head of a large delegation of 100 government officials and 100 heads of leading Japanese global companies." 

"I remind you that the Japanese economy is the third largest in the world and there is a common desire, which found expression in my visit to Japan several months ago, to tighten relations, increase trade and increase investments between Israel and Japan." 

Netanyahu noted that tightening relations with Japan fit in with his vision to vary Israel's markets.

"I emphasize eastern markets," the Prime Minister explained, "not because we want to give up on other markets but we certainly want to decrease our dependence on certain markets in Western Europe, which is undergoing a wave of Islamization, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

"These waves are washing over it and we would like to ensure that the State of Israel will have varied markets around the world. We would also like to decrease cartelization [sic]." 

"Of course, we are also advancing the development of Israel in other areas," Netanyahu added, referring to technology.  

"Today, we will receive a report on actions to advance the digital Israel. This is in parallel with our major efforts in transportation infrastructure. We are also building rapid communications infrastructures that are also reducing the social periphery and giving to every boy and girl in Israel access to the world of tomorrow."

Netanyahu concluded with a mention of the decision to raise the minimum wage - which is to be voted on in the Cabinet meeting, and is expected to pass. 

"We are also strengthening the State of Israel and all sectors of the population in that we are concerned about the minimum wage. We first raised the minimum wage in 2011, if I am not mistaken, to NIS 4,300, and now we are raising it again to NIS 5,000."

"I think that this reflects our desire to help all parts of society and I am pleased that it is being done in agreement with employers and workers. This is important for the State of Israel and we certainly welcome it," the Prime Minister stated.