Sure US denounces ICC probe…US is just as guilty!
“ICC member countries should stand ready to fiercely protect the court’s work from any political pressure.”
“We firmly oppose and are disappointed by the ICC prosecutor’s announcement of an investigation into the Palestinian situation,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
“We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly,” he said, noting that Israel does not accept the court’s jurisdiction.
Despite strong opposition from Israel and the United States, the outgoing ICC chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, announced that she was going ahead with a probe into the situation in the blockaded Gaza Strip as well as the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The website Walla! published talkback comments on an article about the four children killed on the Gaza beach.
Shani Moyal: “I couldn’t care less that Arab children were killed, too bad it wasn’t more. Well done to the IDF.”
Stav Sabah: “Really, these are great pictures. They make me so happy, I want to look at them again and again.”
Sharon Avishi: “Only four? Too bad. We hoped for more.”
Daniela Turgeman: “Great. We need to kill all the children.”
Chaya Hatnovich: “There isn’t a more beautiful picture than those of dead Arab children.”
Orna Peretz: “Why only four?”
Rachel Cohen: “I’m not for children dying in Gaza. I’m for everyone burning.”
Tami Mashan: “As many children as possible should die.”
Under previous president Donald Trump, the United States imposed sanctions on Bensouda after she separately decided to investigate alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden has indicated a more cooperative approach with the court, seeing its value, but has yet to end the sanctions.
“We are committed to promoting accountability, respect for human rights and justice for victims of atrocities,” Price said.
“As much as we disagree with the ICC’s actions relating to the Palestinian situation and of course to Afghanistan,” Price said, “we are thoroughly reviewing sanctions.”
No amount of political propaganda from a weakened secretary of state, or tweeting by an outgoing, lame duck American president, will prevent the ICC from pursuing its duty to investigate the most heinous of crimes against humanity.
So what did Israel do in Gaza in 2014? During a seven-week military invasion, Israel’s military rampaged through the poverty-stricken civilian population, responding to provocations from Hamas.
More than 2,300 Palestinians were killed and nearly 11,000 were injured. The vast majority of the dead and injured were civilians.
Israel defended its actions by arguing that Hamas militants had used the civilians as “human shields.”
Israel justified its invasion by asserting that Hamas extremists were responsible for the murder of three Israeli teenagers, despite a lack of evidence.
Israel blamed all violence on Hamas and the Palestinians generally, rarely acknowledging its own violence or crimes.
With the backing of a biased mainstream news media, and millions of dollars set aside for public relations propaganda, Israel enforced its argument despite the reality of videos, photographs and eyewitness testimony that claimed Israeli soldiers intentionally killed civilians.
But the ICC isn’t swayed by Israel or by the rhetoric of politicians.
Its prosecutor’s report stated: “The Office found there was a reasonable basis to believe that members of the Israel Defense Forces committed the war crimes of: Intentionally launching disproportionate attacks in relation to at least three incidents which the Office has focused on; willful killing and willfully causing serious injury to body or health; and intentionally directing an attack against objects or persons using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions.”
The report added: “In addition, Office found there was a reasonable basis to believe that members of Hamas and Palestinian armed groups committed the war crimes of: Intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects; using protected persons as shields; willfully depriving protected persons of the rights of fair and regular trial; and willful killing and torture or inhuman treatment and/or outrages upon personal dignity.”
Each accusation is backed up by an article of the Rome Statute, which is the legal basis of the ICC’s existence and mandate.
Israel can bury its head in the sand, but it won’t be able to avoid prosecution, regardless of who sits in the White House.