Holding Israel Accountable
Israeli rogue officials to the ICC.
by Stephen Lendman
For decades, world leaders let Israel get away with murder. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights ( PCHR ) said enough is enough. It wants Israeli officials held accountable.
It launched a "Palestine to the ICC" campaign. It wants relevant stakeholders involved. They include Palestine, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, and enough world leaders who matter.
It wants them to "fulfill their responsibilities" to ensure long delayed justice and redress for decades of horrendous Israeli crimes against Palestinians.
The ICC is a permanent tribunal. It was established to prosecute individuals for crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. In 2017, it's jurisdiction extends to criminal aggression.
On July 1, 2002, it was established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It's history isn't encouraging. It serves wealth and power. It's an imperial tool.
It targets victims, not perpetrators. It prosecutes individuals Western powers designate.
Jose Luis Moreno-Ocampo was Bensouda's predecessor. He followed American orders and obeyed.
He ignored horrendous US crimes of war and against humanity in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and elsewhere. He did nothing about similar Israeli crimes.
He rejected Palestine's bid to investigate Israel's Cast Lead criminality. PA officials sought court action under the Rome Statute's Article 12(3).
Ocampo's reasoning was spurious. He claimed "only internationally recognized states can join the court." His official statement said:
"(T)he current status granted to Palestine by the United Nations General Assembly is that of 'observer,' not as a 'Non-member State,' (and only) relevant bodies at the United Nations" or group of states that make up the court may decide if Palestinians can become part of the Rome Statute.
"(T)he Office has assessed that it is for the relevant bodies at the United Nations or the Assembly of States Parties to make the legal determination whether Palestine qualifies as a State for the purpose of acceding to the Rome Statute and thereby enabling the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court."
"The Rome Statute provides no authority for the Office of the Prosecutor to adopt a method to define the term 'State.' "