The Real Victims of the International Criminal Court's Obsession with Israel

(Ha'aretz) Brandon Silver and Elyakim Rubinstein - The founding of the International Criminal Court crystallized the notion that mass atrocity necessitates a collective response, and that no perpetrator, no matter how powerful, can enjoy impunity. But the court has abdicated these responsibilities by prioritizing the most politically expedient cases, absolving those responsible for the gravest of crimes. The sad reality is that the court appears to have no time, resources or inclination to investigate atrocities suffered by Syrian civilians, Iranian dissidents, the Uigurs in China, or the Venezuelan people - but boundless patience in engineering a tendentious judicial framework in order to target Israel. The court launched an "Inquiry into the Situation in Palestine," to cover alleged crimes committed in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, despite the fact that Israel is not a member state of the court, and based on a referral by Palestine, which is not yet a state. The Pre-Trial Chamber prejudicially pre-empted the entire process by issuing an unprecedented order for the establishment of "outreach activities among...the victims of the situation in Palestine" with the goal of "facilitating [their] participation," before the Prosecutor had decided whether to pursue the case, the first time such a move had been made in the court's history. Moreover, in this case, the Prosecutor engaged those with ties to terrorism, misrepresented legal scholarship in her submission, and heavily relied on non-legally binding political resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council, which is run by the very human rights violators the court is supposed to hold accountable and is notorious for singling out Israel for discriminatory and disproportionate opprobrium. No one should be above the law - including Israelis - but everyone should be entitled to equality under the law. The current direction of the court is prejudicial to the interests of justice. Brandon Silver is the Director of Policy and Projects at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. Justice Professor Elyakim Rubinstein is the former Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Israel.

2020-05-11 00:00:00

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