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ICC Ruling in Favor of Israel May Force Palestinian Authority to Change Course

April 4, 2012 2:38 pm 7 comments

The International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. Photo: wiki commons.

According to an attorney involved in the case, the International Criminal Court’s decision to reject the Palestinian Authority’s request that Israel be investigated for war crimes in Gaza in 2009 may force a change in strategy for the PA at the highest levels of government.

“It’s going to cause them to re-asses their legal strategy.  Anytime you suffer a defeat like this, you have to reassess your position and your strategy,” said Jay Sekulow, who worked in defense of the state of Israel in the ICC case.

The ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor, led by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, rejected the PA’s request to investigate Israel for committing war crimes during the Gaza conflict, which lasted from December of 2008 to January of 2009,  because “Palestine” is not a state, meaning the ICC has no jurisdiction to proceed with an investigation.

“The ICC, which was heavily lobbied by the PA and the Arab League, still found there was no jurisdiction,” Sekulow told The Algemeiner.

“There are literally thousands of pages of briefs that have been filed on this case. We had a private presentation before the prosecutor and I was one of the oral advocates at the public presentation, and the end results were that I think we saw there was significant legal authority, globally, supporting Israel.”

Human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called for an investigation into  alleged Israeli war crimes during the Gaza conflict. The infamous Goldstone Report published by the United Nations, accused Hamas and Israel of committing war crimes during the conflict, although Richard Goldstone, the report’s main author, questioned the validity of the claims included in his report after it was published.

According to Sekulow, the ICC’s decision in favor of Israel closes the book on this case, which “should be off the docket for the ICC.”

Those lobbying on behalf of the Palestinian Authority were clearly frustrated.

“There’s no domestic remedy for Palestinians to seek justice here. There’s nothing before Palestinians except to search for justice outside. The most important body for us was the ICC,” said Shawan Jabarin, a representative of the Palestinian organization al-Haq, which lobbied on behalf of the Palestinians in the ICC case.

The case drew lawyers from around the world, with Israel’s interests represented by attorneys from the United Kingdom, Poland, Canada, the United States, France, and Germany.  The PA was represented by attorneys from Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy and others.

According to Sekulow, which worked on behalf of the American Center for Law and Justice, in conjunction with the European Centre for Law and Justice, the Palestinian Authority’s recent tactics in major international forums have fallen short of success.

“You have two major setbacks in less than one year, the United Nations statehood bid and this.  This shows that their lawfare strategy in the leading international criminal tribunal was a complete failure,” he said.

7 Comments

  • Israel will be preserved regardless of the actions taken by the PA, Hamas, etc. God’s promises to Israel will be fulfilled in the end andd dher terriroty enlarged! America and the President must unwaveringly support Israel.

  • Of course the enemy will continue to threaten and harass Israel, the land God gave to his chosen people through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God will preserve the land of Israel and, in the end, enlarge her territory. America and the President muct take a firm, unwavering stand FOR Israel.

  • Of course the enemy will continue to threaten and harass Israel, the land God gave to His chosen people and will preserve the nation of Israel as He promised. The PA,Hamas, etc. will not defeat the plans God has for this country. In the end Israel will exist with an enlarged territory. America must be a strong ally for Israel.

  • David Meir-Levi

    Unfortunately, this setback is not likely to force the PA to change its strategy. What it is more likely to do, in my opinion, is to refine some of the tactics of this current “Lawfare” strategy. Moreno-Ocampo is nearing the end of his 9-year term. His successor may be more amenable to PA and other Arab pressures. So the PA is likely to wait and try again under a new ICC prosecutor.

    Also, the PA and its Arab state supporters can lobby the Assembly of States who have accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC. If they agree, the ICC can adjudicate the PA accusations.

    Third, if the Security Council of the UN officially refers the case to the ICC, the ICC will then need to address it. So if the Arab Bloc in the UN succeeds in getting the issue to the Security Council, and if the American President does not veto the UN Security Council resolution referring the case to the ICC for adjudication, the ICC, probably under its new prosecutor, will indeed be able to accept the case and create a new and improved Goldstone Report.

    In all likelihood, Arab political forces in the UN and the EU will try all three tactics.

    David Meir-Levi

  • John W. Rosen.

    It is about time that the world realizes what a farce this whole exercise has been. No where has the UN. and it’s various affiliates, been duped into wasting precious resources, on mad schemes, ideas and whims, perpetrated by the “Intellectual Left” and it’s proxies , like the PA., Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. They have wasted the World’s time.

  • Rabbi Happyman

    ISRAEL IS THE LIGHT UNTO THE NATIONS
    ISRAEL IS GOD’S PROMISE TO THE GENERATIONS

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