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ICC moves towards full investigation into Israeli war crimes, pending ruling on jurisdiction

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After years of delays into launching a full investigation into Israeli war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territory, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda announced on Friday that there is basis to investigate Israel for its actions in the West Bank and Gaza.

“I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine,” Bensouda wrote in her statement, adding that due to the “unique and highly contested legal and factual issues attaching to this situation” she requested the court decide over the question of its jurisdiction in the Palestinians territories.

The court has been conducting preliminary investigations into potential war crimes committed by Israeli in the occupied territory since 2014, before Israel’s devastating war on Gaza that year.

Earlier on Friday, out of fear of a looming ICC investigation, Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit published a legal opinion Friday that the court has no jurisdiction in the West Bank or in Gaza.

On the question of the court’s jurisdiction, Bensouda wrote:

“This foundational question should be decided now, and as swiftly as possible in the interests of victims and affected communities; potential witnesses and their related protection needs and obligations as well as the conduct of the investigations and the efficiency of the judicial proceedings, not to mention providing clarity for the States concerned.”

According to Haaretz, Bensouda’s full opinion highlighted the 2014 Israeli offensive on Gaza, saying “there is a reason to believe that war crimes were committed” and that evidence suggests that Israeli forces “intentionally launched disproportionate attacks in relation to at least three incidents” that the court has focused on.

The full opinion also reportedly noted Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and Israel’s intentions to annex portions of the occupied territory, as well as potential crimes committed by Hamas and other armed Palestinian factions in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Bensouda’s announcement by calling it a “a dark day for truth and justice,” reinforcing the Israeli position that the ICC has no jurisdiction in the case.

“The ICC only has jurisdiction over petitions submitted by sovereign states. But there has never been a Palestinian state,” Netanyahu said in a statement, adding that Bensouda’s decision “has turned the International Criminal Court into a political tool to delegitimise the State of Israel.”

Despite the investigation potentially having implications for Palestinians as well, the Palestinian leadership welcomed Bensouda’s announcement.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat called the decision a “positive and encouraging step that, “brings us closer to…putting an end to the impunity of the perpetrators and contributing to the achievement of justice.”

“It is the final step towards opening a criminal investigation, and it is a message of hope to our people, the victims of those crimes, that justice is indeed possible,” Erekat said, urging the court to move swiftly towards opening a full investigation, adding that Palestine would fully cooperate with the court in any related proceedings.

Executive Committee member of the PLO Dr. Hanan Ashrawi also lauded Bensouda’s announcement, saying there was “no doubt that the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction in Palestine, by virtue of Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute and our communication with the Court five years ago granting it such jurisdiction.”

“Israel must pay for its crimes and the Palestinian people will not accept exclusion from the universality of human rights. We are empowered and determined to achieve justice, redress, and accountability through international mechanisms, including the ICC,” she said.

Earlier this month, hundreds of rights groups from around the world signed on to a Dutch petition urging the ICC to open its investigations into Israeli actions in Palestine without further delay. The groups expressed their frustrations over Bensouda’s refusal to press charges l over theIsrael’s deadly 2010 raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is the Palestine correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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57 Responses

  1. Talkback on December 20, 2019, 11:10 pm

    In November 2012 the UN admitted Palestine as an Observer State. Before that date the ICC Prosecutor declined the possibility for Palestine to accept the Court’s jurisdiction due to the fact that Palestine could have not been considered a State for the purposes of the Rome Statute. But after thtat date (and Palestine’s second attempt in 2015) the ICC Prosecutor did accept the retrospective ad hoc jurisdiction over Palestinian territory and nationals. The International Criminal Court even held a ceremony on the same date at the seat of the Court in The Hague to welcome Palestine as the 123rd State Party to the Rome Statute.

    But Israel’s delusional legal advisers think that they still can deny the statehood of Palestine by claiming that is not a “souvereign” state. This is quite stupid, because a state cannot exercise its souvereignity as long as it is under belligerent occupation or under mandate.

    • mondonut on December 21, 2019, 8:34 pm

      @Talkback
      I fully expect the ICC to proceed (for political reasons), despite a very clear reading of the statute that requires the State of Palestine to have territory, which it does not.

      Article 12
      Preconditions to the exercise of jurisdiction

      1. A State which becomes a Party to this Statute thereby accepts the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to the crimes referred to in article 5.
      2. In the case of article 13, paragraph (a) or (c), the Court may exercise its jurisdiction if one or more of the following States are Parties to this Statute or have accepted the jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with paragraph 3:
      (a) The State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred or, if the crime was committed on board a vessel or aircraft, the State of registration of that vessel or aircraft;

      • Talkback on December 22, 2019, 6:40 am

        mondonut: “… that requires the State of Palestine to have territory, which it does not. ”

        Please explain how the State of Palestine declared within 1967 lines in 1988 became a UN non-member state in 2012 and state party to the Rome Statute of the ICC in 2015 without “having” a territory.

        You know, just for the laughs.

      • mondonut on December 22, 2019, 4:31 pm

        @Talkback , You know, just for the laughs.

        Because Palestine’s claims are nothing more than that, claims. They have no sovereign territory nor have they ever. But you are correct about the Rome Statute, Palestine should never have allowed to accede.

      • mondonut on December 22, 2019, 4:38 pm

        Talkback , You know, just for the laughs.

        But just for laughs, tell us if the international community considers Gaza to be the sovereign territory of the State of Palestine, and the people who live there to be Palestinian nationals living within the State of Palestine.

      • Talkback on December 23, 2019, 4:26 am

        mondonut: “Because Palestine’s claims are nothing more than that, claims.”

        You mistake Palestine for Israel which declared statehood in partition borders and therefore even has no claim to Jerusalem which is the reason why the UN considers Jerusalem to be occupied and illegally annexed by Israel.

        But you haven’t answered my request. Let me rephrase it:
        Please explain how the State of Palestine declared within 1967 lines in 1988 became a UN non-member state in 2012 and state party to the Rome Statute of the ICC in 2015 allthough – as you claim – they have not territory, but only claims.

        mondonut: “They have no sovereign territory nor have they ever.”

        If you are going to repeat Israel’s idiocies make sure that you understand them. Israel claims that Palestine has never been a souvereign state. Which is irrelevant to the cause, because its obvious that states under mandate or occupation cannot exercise their souvereignity over their territory. That doesn’t mean that they don’t “have” a territory or that they are not the souvereign of their territory or entitled to it.

        modonut: “But you are correct about the Rome Statute, Palestine should never have allowed to accede.”

        But you are correct that not only Palestine, but also Israel an all other state should accede to the Rome statute. But guess which state has declared that it has no intention in doing so.

        mondonut: “ut just for laughs, tell us if the international community considers Gaza to be the sovereign territory of the State of Palestine, and the people who live there to be Palestinian nationals living within the State of Palestine.”

        Agains, you don’t know what you are talking about. Territories can’t be souvereign. States can be, if they are not dependent states (for example under mandate) or occupied. Because when we are talking about souvereign states it means that its people which are the souvereign of the territory exercise their souvereignity over this terrriotry.

        The international community considers every occupied Palestinian territory to be an integral part of the State of Palestine. That’s why these territories are called occupied. And the people in Palestine who are Israeli citizens don’t belong to the Palestinan nation and are either soldiers of the illegal occupation force, illegal settlers or are civilians who are legally invited by Palestine.

        Now please, just for the laughs, explain why all of your idiocies are irrelevant, because the State of Palestine became a UN observer state and acceded as a state party to the Rome Statute.

    • oldgeezer on December 21, 2019, 11:23 pm

      @mondonut

      Over 70% of countries recognize the State of Palestine. Those states represent the vast majority of the planet’s population.

      Israeli denials and rejectionism doesn’t override the fact there is a state of Palestine and it is illegally occupied by Israel which perpetrates war crimes and crimes against humanity on Palestinian territory. That rejectionism is the norm for outlaw states.

      • mondonut on December 22, 2019, 4:34 pm

        @oldgeezer ,Over 70% of countries recognize the State of Palestine.

        Recognized as a state or not, they have no sovereign territory, nor have they ever. Israel has never taken an inch of land from “Palestine”.

      • oldgeezer on December 22, 2019, 11:09 pm

        @mondonut

        Skipping to the end of the chain, the ICJ has already ruled Israel’s use of the land is illegal and Israel is neither legally entitled to it nor the sovereign.

        There is no ruling that Palestine is not the sovereign so until you get one your point is unsupported and not factual.

      • Talkback on December 23, 2019, 3:57 am

        mondonut: “Recognized as a state or not, they have no sovereign territory,”

        Your just confusing concepts. The State of Palestine is a de jure souvereign state. Why only de jure? Because it is de facto occupied by Israel which exercises the Palestinian’s souvereignity over Palestine as an occupying state.

        mondonut: ” Israel has never taken an inch of land from “Palestine”.”

        If you are talking about the territory of pre 48 State of Palestine under mandate every inch of Israel has been taken from Palestine. If you are talking about the territory of post 88 State of Palestine IKsrael illegally annexed East-Jerusalem, the land on which it illegal build settlements, including more land that it illegally confiscated and the land and which it de facto illegally annexed behind and under its illegally build Apartheid wall.

  2. Mayhem on December 20, 2019, 11:50 pm

    The ICC reeking of hypocrisy has “intentionally launched disproportionate attacks” on Israel as Iran, Syria, North Korea and China remain untouched for horrendous crimes against humanity on a totally different scale.
    The bottom line is that this won’t help the Palestinians who are resorting more and more to desperate measures as their cause gets marginalised.

    • eljay on December 21, 2019, 9:18 am

      || Mayhem on December 20, 2019, 11:50 pm ||

      Murderers exist, so it’s OK to rape, says the Zionist.

      But maybe you’re right: Israel shouldn’t be “singled out” so while the ICC launches investigations into Iranian, Syrian, North Korean and Chinese war crimes, the U.S. and other Western nations can proceed with imposing crushing sanctions, existentially threatening, destabilizing, bombing, militarily-occupying and otherwise devastating Israel. I agree.

    • oldgeezer on December 21, 2019, 12:17 pm

      Oh you wild and wacky Zionists. You use English words but you abuse, invert or distort the meaning of them.

      Disproportionate attacks. Get a grip you whimpering ninny. It’s an investigation.

      And there is no hypocrisy at all. There are a couple of routes to get a case before them and this followed one of them. I too wish the UNSC would refer those other situations to the court (and more besides) but they haven’t so far.

      Calling it disproportionate is risible. Sadly she can’t go back before the state of Palestine was recognized and joined the Rome Statutes as there has been 70 years of war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel and other players need to be held accountable for.

      Israel is not a beacon unto any nation other than lawless states. It’s crimes against humanity are being copied by other states often with Israeli complicity.

      Rogue outlaw states lack legitimacy and it’s all on the government of Israel for that situation

    • Talkback on December 21, 2019, 12:28 pm

      Mayhem: “The ICC reeking of hypocrisy has “intentionally launched disproportionate attacks …”

      What an disturbing perversion of reality to claim that an investigation into war crimes would amount to the very same war crime. Goebbels would be proud of you, Mayhem.

      Mayhem: “… as Iran, Syria, North Korea and China remain untouched for horrendous crimes against humanity on a totally different scale.”

      According to Mayhem’s pervert reasoning one shouldn’t touch criminals if there are even worse out there, cause that would reek of hypocrisy. Do you defend pedophiles, too, by any chance?

      You don’t even seem to understand how the ICC works. In all cases in which crimes allegedly happen on a territory of a state that has not acceded to the Rome Statute the United Nation Security Concil has to refer the case to the court.

      Syria and Iran have signed the statute but not ratified it, yet.
      Israel has signed it, but expressed that is has not longer the intent of ratifying it. (Sudan, Russia and US did the same, what a surprise).
      North Korea and China have neither signed not ratified it and probably never will.

      So the only hipocrisy that exists is only your own, again.

      Mayhem: “The bottom line is that this won’t help the Palestinians who are resorting more and more to desperate measures as their cause gets marginalised”

      The bottom line is that you seem to have a problem with victims of crimes bringing their case to court and that you need to defame this as a “desperate measure”. That’s pretty f***ed up, even for someone like you, Mayhem. And it perfectly somes up why Palestine’s move is so important, because you would never ever have a problem with that if Jews were the victims. So much for hypocrisy.

    • bcg on December 21, 2019, 1:01 pm

      “Whataboutism”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

      Whataboutism, also known as whataboutery, is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent’s position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument.

    • Talkback on December 23, 2019, 5:18 am

      I reconsiderd Mayhem’s comment.

      Isn’t it funny that Jewish Zionists of all people who support a state that is not the state for all of its citizens in general even have the audacity to talk about being treated unequally and that something reeks of hypocrisy?

      It is even more disturbing that Zionists never call for punishing all countries equally, but for not punishing Israel, because there are some other countries that are not punished allthough they allegedly act worse than Israel. This is not to be mistaken for a call for equal treament. Zionists always pull this trick if people or a state allegedly act worse than Israel. What they actually mean is that the “Jewish state” shouldn’t be punished at all, if other states are not punished first, otherwise they would call that every state should be punished for its crime, including Israel. But they don’t and that’s just another expression of Jewish racist exclusivism and supremacism with its culture of impunity.

  3. Misterioso on December 21, 2019, 10:03 am

    “Netanyahu said in a statement, adding that Bensouda’s decision ‘has turned the International Criminal Court into a political tool to delegitimise the State of Israel.’

    What “State of Israel”? “Israel” has yet to officially declare its borders and have them agreed to as such by the international community.

    • mondonut on December 21, 2019, 5:44 pm

      @Misterioso , “Israel” has yet to officially declare its borders and have them agreed to as such by the international community.

      Israel has declared borders with each and every adjacent country. And borders are not “agreed to” by the international community. But for it’s worth, Israel’s borders with Jordan and Egypt are agreed to by treaty and the border with Lebanon is on the line published by the UN.

      • Talkback on December 22, 2019, 6:59 am

        mondonut: “Israel has declared borders with each and every adjacent country.”

        So what’s the border between Israel and the territories it occupies: Gaza, Westbank and East-Jerusalem?

        modonut: “And borders are not “agreed to” by the international community.”

        Which is complete nonsense, because the mere declaration of statehood within certain borders has not legal international effect if these borders are not recognized by the UN and its member states. The Security Council could not determine violation of borders and neither call for withdrawal, sanctions or even military interventions. The International Court of Justice couldn’t rule on these issues either for example when determining which territories are occupied or not, etc.

      • Talkback on December 22, 2019, 7:31 am

        mondonut: “But for it’s worth, Israel’s borders with Jordan and Egypt are agreed to by treaty and the border with Lebanon is on the line published by the UN.”

        There must be a reason why you don’t mention Syria or Palestine. LOL.

      • mondonut on December 22, 2019, 4:22 pm

        @Talkback , So what’s the border between Israel and the territories it occupies: Gaza, Westbank and East-Jerusalem?

        There is no declared border between Israel/Gaza and Israel/West Bank, as the land is in dispute and Palestine has no sovereignty in which to declare a border between. As for Jerusalem, there is of course no declared border as it is considered Israel.

        Which is complete nonsense, because the mere declaration of statehood within certain borders has not legal international effect if these borders are not recognized by the UN and its member states.

        Really? Show me the UN Resolution in which the borders of the U.S. are recognized by the UN and its member states.

      • mondonut on December 22, 2019, 4:25 pm

        @Talkback, There must be a reason why you don’t mention Syria or Palestine. LOL.

        Because although declared the border with Syria is in dispute. How is that not self evident? LOL.

      • Talkback on December 23, 2019, 4:54 am

        mondonut: “There is no declared border between Israel/Gaza and Israel/West Bank.”

        The state of Israel was declared within partition borders. And East-Jerusalem, Gaza and the Westbank are occupied by Israel.

        modonut: “… as the land is in dispute …”

        That’s occupier’s nonsense. Land that is defined as being “occupied” is not “in dispute”. Even the Supreme Apartheid Court of Israel bases its rulings on the framework that the Westbank is under Israel’s belligerent occupation. Just for the laughts, explain why the UN calls the occupied Palestinian territories not “disputed”, but “occupied Palestinian territories”.

        mondonut: “… and Palestine has no sovereignty in which to declare a border between.”

        Again, you don’t know what you are talking about. Palestine as a state is the souvereign over its territory, even if an occupation prevents it from exercising its souvereignity.

        mondonut: “As for Jerusalem, there is of course no declared border as it is considered Israel. ”

        Considerd by whom? Sec Res 465 (1980):
        “5. Determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;”

        mondonut: “Really? Show me the UN Resolution in which the borders of the U.S. are recognized by the UN and its member states.”

        Why should there be a resolution recognizing borders? Because of the US veto there wouldn’t even be one, if it would occupy its neighbours. US borders are clearly demarcated and it it would start to occupy its neighbours or parts of their land there would be no controversy in the UN that this happens beyond US borders.

        mondonut: “Because although declared the border with Syria is in dispute. How is that not self evident? LOL.”

        Let me remind you that your ludicrous claim was that “Israel has declared borders with each and every adjacent country.” So much for LOL.

        And it’s self evident that you don’t even know that the UN considers the Golan and Jerusalem to be illegally annexed by Israel and as occupied by Israel as the Westbank and Gaza.

        What do you actually know? You are just spouting Israel’s propaganda.

    • Nathan on December 21, 2019, 6:39 pm

      Misterioso – I think that under the circumstances of an ICC investigation against Israel, you’ll have to decide which battle you wish to fight and which battle you’ll have to abandon. You insist that there is no State of Israel, which is a very common anti-Israel position. However, if the state does not exist (i.e. you don’t recognize its existence or its legitimacy), then obviously you cannot support the ICC investigation. Such an investigation can take place only if there is a State of Israel. If, on the other hand, you justify the investigation, then obviously you have recognized the State of Israel.

      Moreover, we hear again and again here that there is a reality of a single state. However, in order to request an investigation, a state had to have made its claim to the ICC. In other words, there is a State of Palestine and its complaining to the court about the State of Israel. This means that there is a reality of two states.

      Lastly, since there is a State of Palestine that is entitled to complain to the ICC about another state, we’ll have to draw the conclusion that the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are citizens of the State of Palestine. This would mean that the countless articles here at Mondoweiss about Palestinians’ not having equal rights in the one-state “reality” were just total nonsense. They are citizens of Palestine (griping about another state, Israel), meaning that the Palestinians are insisting on this two-state reality.

      In short, if anyone supports this ICC investigation, they are (1) recognizing the State of Israel, and (2) accepting the two-state reality. If nevertheless you believe that there is a one-state reality (and you will never accept the existence of Israel), then you should be screaming to high heaven that the Palestinians should withdraw their case. Certainly, it should be obvious that one cannot present the propaganda of “apartheid” when the Palestinians themselves maintain that they have their own state and their own citizenship.

      • bcg on December 21, 2019, 7:48 pm

        @Nathan: I can’t comment on the legal niceties re borders and who recognizes who, I’m not an expert on international law.

        But the ICC investigation (if it happens) will be about human rights violations, war crimes and such – that’s the real issue.

        Any comments on that?

      • eljay on December 21, 2019, 9:16 pm

        || Nathan: Misterioso – I think that under the circumstances of an ICC investigation against Israel, you’ll have to decide which battle you wish to fight and which battle you’ll have to abandon. … ||

        You’re absolutely right. Israel should be subjected either:
        – to an ICC investigation; or
        – to the same sort of treatment Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iran have received.

        You’ll have to decide which battle you wish to fight and which battle you’ll have to abandon.

      • oldgeezer on December 22, 2019, 12:31 am

        Nathan I have to credit you with spewing garbage at a phenomenal, even mind boggling,rate.

        Keep it up! And few decades of experience and you’ll be an expert in illogic and sophistry.

      • Talkback on December 22, 2019, 7:17 am

        Nathan: “Such an investigation can take place only if there is a State of Israel. ”

        Why? The crimes happened on Palestinian territories and the ICC convicts individuals, not states.

        Nathan: “In other words, there is a State of Palestine and its complaining to the court about the State of Israel. ”

        This is another attempt of our local Jewish racist supremacist Nathan to dehumanize Palestinians. Palestinians according to him only have “grievances” when their Human Rights and rights under international laws are violated by Jews. And if they accuse Jews of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against them they are only “complaining”. Did you learn this from Nazis, Nathan?

        Nathan: “This would mean that the countless articles here at Mondoweiss about Palestinians’ not having equal rights in the one-state “reality” were just total nonsense.”

        Not at all. Israel forces a one state reality unto Palestine in which the occupied Palestinians and even the Nonjews in Israel don’t have equal rights.

        Nathan: “(1) recognizing the State of Israel, …”

        True but irrelevant and not necessary, because the crimes happened in Palestine.

        Nathan: “(2) accepting the two-state reality.”

        Nope, the two state solution not the one state reality.

        Nathan: “one cannot present the propaganda of “apartheid” when the Palestinians themselves maintain that they have their own state and their own citizenship.”

        Israel doesn’t recognize that a Palestinian state even exists. it imposes its laws and regulations on all of historic Palestine, allthough Jews are a minority between the river and the sea.

        And it has been an Apartheid state from the get to, because it keeps Nonjews expelled to maintain regime dominated by Jews which. And you can’t deny that with your Anti-Apartheid propaganda.

      • Nathan on December 22, 2019, 8:32 am

        bcg – The “real issue” here is also a matter of debate. As an avid reader of the Mondoweiss, for me one of the issues at hand is: What exactly is the truth that the anti-Israel crowd believes in and what is just propaganda? One reads again and again that the reality today is a one-state reality. Then, suddenly, one learns that there is a State of Palestine, and this state wants to take the State of Israel to court. Since the article doesn’t repeat the mantra of a one state reality, we find ourselves in a contradiction. Suddenly, we have a self-evident two-state reality in a publication that tries to convince us that it’s a one state reality. Moreover, the “sudden” existence of the State of Palestine means that there is Palestinian citizenship. The oft-repeated claim of “apartheid” turns out to be mere propaganda. It is a worthy topic of discussion to try and figure out why we have this strange change of positions (and you don’t have to be an expert in international law in order to comment about it).

      • Nathan on December 22, 2019, 8:58 am

        Talkback – The Palestinian complaint to the ICC is published on the net. In the text thereof you can see that there is a self-evident two-state reality. There is the State of Palestine and there is Israel.

      • Talkback on December 22, 2019, 3:32 pm

        Nathan: “The Palestinian complaint to the ICC is published on the net.”

        They didn’t “complain”, but submitted a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) calling to open an investigation into crimes within its territory. But please continue to dehumanize Palestinans. It just shows what the main problem is. which is Jewish racist supremacism. Keep up the good work and spread the news.

        Nathan: “In the text thereof you can see that there is a self-evident two-state reality.”

        Nathan: “anti-Israel crowd”

        Who are you referring to?

        Nathan: “… and this state wants to take the State of Israel to court …”

        Not the state of Israel. The ICC convicts individuals.

        Israel disagrees and and a Jewish minority controls all the Palestine. Israel even denies that it occupies Palestinan teritories. Israel makes it de facto a one-state reality and commits its crimes on this background. For example illegaly colonizing Palestine, illegaly confiscating its land and illegaly using and reselling its water.

        Nathan: “There is the State of Palestine and there is Israel.”

        I don’t disagree. My point is that the crimes happened in Palestine and theortiically that doesn’t raise the question, what other states exist. Of course if someone is going to be convicted it will be a citizen of Israel. And I don’t understand why someone would claim that one of both states don’t exist.

        Nathan: “The oft-repeated claim of “apartheid” turns out to be mere propaganda.”

        I explained to you many times that Irsrael is an Apartheid state, because it keeps Nonjews expelled for demographic reasons and created a law under which only Jews are its nationals. But you continously fail to argue against that and only repeat your denial. That’s propaganda.

      • RoHa on December 22, 2019, 10:01 pm

        Nathan, you seem to be under the impression that MW and the “anti-Israel crowd” all adhere to a single party line.

        This is not so.

        If you look at the articles, you will see that they are written by different people, with differing ideas. The only common feature of the articles is that they are critical of Zionism.

        You will also see that the commenters, many of whom are regulars, frequently disagree both with the articles and with each other.

        (Some even disagree with me, though they are, of course, just plain wrong.)

        As for “two-state reality” versus “one state reality”, I suspect that this is a case in which lawyers would invoke the distinction between de jure and de facto. Some of the commenters are lawyers, so perhaps they could employ their expertise here.

      • Nathan on December 23, 2019, 8:36 pm

        RoHa – No, it’s not true that the “only common feature of the articles [in Mondoweiss] is that they are critical of Zionism”. Criticism and hostility are not quite the same thing. If you would tell someone that his French is sloppy, that would be criticism. However, if you tell him that you wish he hadn’t been born, that would be hostility. There is a “single party line” in the articles here, and that line is that the State of Israel should not have come into existence, and that it shouldn’t exist. Obviously, a publication has the right to present its ideology, but it is silly to understand such an ideological position as “criticism”. There is no intention to fix Israel’s shortcomings; rather, the intention is to convince the readership that Israel just shouldn’t be.

      • eljay on December 23, 2019, 9:15 pm

        || Nathan: … There is no intention to fix Israel’s shortcomings … ||

        I agree: Israel’s shortcomings include colonialism, (war) criminality and religion-based supremacism and Zionists show no intention of fixing any of them.

      • RoHa on December 23, 2019, 10:08 pm

        “There is a “single party line” in the articles here, and that line is that the State of Israel should not have come into existence, and that it shouldn’t exist. ”

        I’m not sure that that is so, but if it is, then it surely counts as criticism of Zionism.

        Is that the best you can do to defend your “contradiction” line?

        Incidentally, it should be:

        “If you were to tell someone that his French is sloppy,…”,

        or, more informally:

        “If you told someone that his French is sloppy,…”

      • echinococcus on December 23, 2019, 11:55 pm

        “If you would tell someone that his French is sloppy…”

        …it would show that your English is more than sloppy, and that you have some Zionist-sized crust judging other people’s French, even if your English were near-grammatical.

      • Talkback on December 24, 2019, 6:07 am

        Nathan: “If you would tell someone that his French is sloppy, that would be criticism. However, if you tell him that you wish he hadn’t been born, that would be hostility.”

        And if you tell someone that you are new born child while you are in fact a terrorist murdering a minor who hasn’t reached independece yet, than you are not only a terrorist, but also an imposter.

        Nathan: “There is no intention to fix Israel’s shortcomings; rather, the intention is to convince the readership that Israel just shouldn’t be.”

        And you never engange the actual arguments, why it shoulnd’t be, because you have no resaonable counter argument. That’s why there’s nothing left for you to say, except complaining about MW and the “anti-Israel crowd”. You are just frustrated with your intellectual and ideological impotence.

      • eljay on December 24, 2019, 7:29 am

        || Nathan: … There is no intention to fix Israel’s shortcomings; rather, the intention is to convince the readership that Israel just shouldn’t be. ||

        You make a good point. No-one ever tries to convince people that Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen “shouldn’t be” – they just work very hard to convince people of the “intention to fix” these countries’ “shortcomings” through crushing economic sanctions, destabilization, bombing campaigns, military occupation and regime change.

        And yet for some reason you Zionists oppose BDS’ “intention to fix” Israel. But I think I finally understand why: You feel that BDS isn’t severe enough.

        I completely agree with you that Israel “should be” and that the “intention to fix Israel’s shortcomings” (incl. colonialism, (war) criminality and religion-based supremacism) should be on par with the “intention to fix” the “shortcomings” of those other countries. (We wouldn’t want to “single out” Israel for special treatment, right?)

      • Talkback on December 24, 2019, 5:57 pm

        Nathan: “However, if you tell him that you wish he hadn’t been born, that would be hostility.”

        Here we have another example of the Nathan’s manipulation of language. We ought to believe that a state is like a human being which naturally came to existence. And human beings have rights. The most important one is the right to live. So Nathan is trying to make the point that the “Jewish state”‘ has a not only a right to live but that this alleged right not only outweighs the human rights of real human beings, but that its right to “live” justifies the violation of their rights. Or as he calls them “grievances”.

    • Talkback on December 23, 2019, 5:23 am

      Misteriosi: ““Netanyahu said in a statement, adding that Bensouda’s decision ‘has turned the International Criminal Court into a political tool to delegitimise the State of Israel.’”

      What Netanyahu implies is that the legitimicy of the State of Israel is build upon war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinians.

  4. Vera Gottlieb on December 21, 2019, 10:42 am

    She might want to start watching her back…Zionists…

    • oldgeezer on December 22, 2019, 12:37 pm

      Sadly you’re quite correct. While there may be a large number of passive zionists, those who take no criminal actions on their own but support those of others, there are many who resort to terrorism and violence including murder to advance the cause. Indeed the state machinery itself has no hesitation to use violence, including murder, all too frequently.

  5. pabelmont on December 21, 2019, 12:44 pm

    Law (and politicized law especially) is complex, and welcoming ceremonies may not in the end constitute a basis for jurisdiction, but we may hope that the ICC finds jurisdiction to investigate the many questions of war crimes in I/P.

    As to”is there a sovereign state” question, there was of course a state of Palestine, under the League of Nations Mandate system, mandate granted to Britain. Did that state persist after events of 1947 at UNGA and events of 1947-50 (war of 1948)? Did Egypt and Jordan, in 1948-50, occupy Palestine, occupy Israel, or occupy terra nullius (nobody’s land)? One might also ask whether Israel itself occupied Palestine or terra nullius. Britain gave up its mandate in 1947 and perhaps thereby evaporated the previously existing state (and it was a state, with its own passports, postage stamps, etc.)

  6. gingershot on December 21, 2019, 6:45 pm

    Wonderful historic news! All these years and Palestine can be so proud

  7. Mayhem on December 21, 2019, 8:20 pm

    Not a mention by those pushing the ICC agenda that it was unabated rocket fire from Gaza on to Israel that was the major pre-cursor to the 2014 Gaza conflict. So convenient to block out the facts when bashing Israel.

    • oldgeezer on December 21, 2019, 8:53 pm

      @Mayhem

      Not really but save it for the court anyway.

    • eljay on December 21, 2019, 9:10 pm

      || Mayhem: Not a mention by those pushing the ICC agenda that it was unabated rocket fire from Gaza on to Israel that was the major pre-cursor to the 2014 Gaza conflict. So convenient to block out the facts when bashing Israel. ||

      Yup, not a mention by those pushing the ATR (arrest the rapist) agenda that it was unabated lashing out from those women chained in the basement that were the major pre-cursor to the severe beatings inflicted on them by the rapist. So convenient to block out the facts when bashing the rapist.

    • Talkback on December 22, 2019, 6:47 am

      Not to mention that the “unabated rocket fire” was a reaction to Israel’s Operation “Brother’s Keeper” which arrested 350 Palestinians and killed 5 of them. So convenient to block out the facts when bashing Palestine, crybaby

      But here is thought. Why doesn’t Israel acceed to the Rome Statute of the ICC and have it launch an investigation? We all know the answer, don’t we.

    • Talkback on December 23, 2019, 5:33 am

      Mayhem: “… unabated rocket fire from Gaza …”

      According to Nathan’s racist perversion of truth and manipulation of language you are just refering to Jewish “grievances” and “complaints”. You know, unsatisfactory living conditions. Nothing really serious or worth to be even considered.

  8. bcg on December 22, 2019, 12:31 pm

    Recent editorial in Haaretz: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/israel-s-final-warning-from-the-icc-1.8295209?utm_source=smartfocus&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-brief&utm_content=https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/israel-s-final-warning-from-the-icc-1.8295209

    Israel has demonstrated crude and continued contempt for international law. At the same time, in the absence of negotiations, Israel has pushed the Palestinians directly into the arms of international institutions. The only surprising thing is Israel’s own response. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit rushed to release, just a moment before the prosecutor’s announcement, an urgent legal opinion whose main point was the old claim that the ICC does not have the jurisdiction to hear the matter because Israel never confirmed its membership in the treaty, and because Palestine is not a real state and therefore cannot provide the court with the criminal judicial authority required….In practice, Israel does not deny the carrying out of war crimes but is focusing on the question of who is authorized to judge it, if at all, and accuses the ICC of politicization.

    • PaulMerrell on December 22, 2019, 11:10 pm

      @ bcg: “In practice, Israel does not deny the carrying out of war crimes but is focusing on the question of who is authorized to judge it, if at all, and accuses the ICC of politicization.”

      In fairness, it should be recognized that jurisdiction under international law, the issue raised by Mendelblit, is a threshold issue that has to be decided before the court can consider the merits. It’s customary to raise that issue before discussing the merits.

  9. ahadhaadam on December 22, 2019, 1:04 pm

    Haven’t we been here before? The most likely scenario: the Apartheid state mobilizes its vassal state, the United States, with marching orders to use its full economic and diplomatic power to halt the ICC in its tracks, throwing in accusations of antisemitism. ICC, under pressure by the US and its satellite states in Europe, withdraws the investigation. Oppression and Apartheid rule supreme for a few more decades.

  10. jon s on December 24, 2019, 12:45 pm

    Hamas leadership could be in bigger trouble than the Israeli officials.

    From the Guardian:

    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/dec/20/icc-to-investigate-alleged-israeli-and-palestinian-war-crimes

    “The investigation also identified evidence to support claims of war crimes against Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas.

    “In addition, there is a reasonable basis to believe that members of Hamas and Palestinian armed groups committed the war crimes [including] intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects and using protected persons as shields; wilfully depriving protected persons of the rights of fair and regular trial and wilful killing or torture and/or inhuman treatment and/or outrages upon personal dignity.”

    • eljay on December 24, 2019, 1:39 pm

      || jon s: Hamas leadership could be in bigger trouble than the Israeli officials. … ||

      Seeing as how they haven’t been running a deliberately and unapologetically colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state for seven decades and counting, I don’t see how Hamas officials could be in bigger trouble than Israeli leadership. Regardless, alleged perpetrators of (war) crimes on both sides should be tried and, if found guilty, held accountable for their actions.

      • oldgeezer on December 24, 2019, 10:27 pm

        @eljay

        Yep nothing there that Israel doesn’t do on a regular routine basis as a matter of policy.
        I bet it would take days and a lot of effort to complete the charges against Israel
        – murdering clearly identified medical staff.
        – murdering clearly identified members of the press
        – attacking clearly identified medical vehicles and facilities
        – kidnap and torture of children
        – removing members of the protected persons category from the territory in which they were captured in violation of GC IV
        – destruction of civilian facilities.Particularly those needed for health and safety particularly those related to water, sewage and electricity.
        – theft of resources from the occupied territories
        – actively suppressing the local economy in violation of GV IV
        – Denying medical aid and letting victims of Israeli violence bleed out and die. This one is particularly evil and lacks any humanity. The world will be a better place as anyone who supports it dies out.

        I could go on. Others might want to add to it. You can see jon s’ glee as he suggested that Palestinian leadership might fair worse than Israel’s. If that’s the case then so be it. But I’d much rather have to deal with Hamas than Israel. Hamas only wants what is rightfully theirs. Israel is an expansionist outlaw state which murders people who are not able to defend themselves in order to steal what they want.

      • eljay on December 25, 2019, 9:05 am

        || oldgeezer: @eljay … You can see jon s’ glee as he suggested that Palestinian leadership might fair worse than Israel’s. … ||

        Yup, that’s what stood out the most for me in his comment.

        No need to comprehend or accept when you can simply deflect seems to be a coping method for Zionists.

    • Talkback on December 24, 2019, 3:04 pm

      jon s: “Hamas leadership could be in bigger trouble than the Israeli officials.”

      Define “bigger trouble”. Worse than living under the occupation and blockade of “Israel’s officials”? Is it going to be more likely that they will be killed? Or can we except even tighter travel restrictions?

      Or do you mean that they committed bigger or more crimes than Israel’s officials? Let’s see the some of the accusations: “intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects and using protected persons as shields; wilfully depriving protected persons of the rights of fair and regular trial and wilful killing or torture and/or inhuman treatment and/or outrages upon personal dignity.””

      Yep, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of Israel’s crimes.

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