ICC’s anti-Israel ruling ignores its military ethics

The JC Leader, 12 February 2021


A picture taken on November 23, 2015 shows the new building of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, The Netherlands. AFP PHOTO / ANP / MARTIJN BEEKMAN +++ NETHERLANDS OUT (Photo by Martijn Beekman / ANP / AFP) (Photo by MARTIJN BEEKMAN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

February 11, 2021 15:32

Last week’s ruling by two International Criminal Court judges asserting that body’s supposed authority over Israel was entirely unsurprising. The ICC has long been viewed as a potentially useful tool by Israel’s enemies. Such attempts to have Israel seen as a rogue state and Israeli soliders depicted as war criminals are part of this process. But however expected the ruling was, it is no less grotesque for that. As our disclosure of the story behind the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh shows, Israel sets standards of ethics in the conduct of its defence that few other nations even aspire to, let alone match. At considerable risk to the possible success of the mission, the Mossad assembled a pin point accurate gun to ensure that only Fakhrizadeh was killed. A bomb would have been far easier, but Israeli security is based on a code of ethics that all involved must adhere to. Its enemies cannot, of course, acknowledge this, because to do so would be to destroy their own case.

No silencing

When the likes of Ken Loach are offered a platform, it is tempting to demand that the platform be removed. Tempting but wrong. One of the most basic principles of democracy is free speech. We might find Mr Loach’s views repellent but so long as he or anyone else is within the law when invited to speak, we have no right to demand that they be silenced. We are rightly outraged when Israeli officials are hounded when they are scheduled to speak on campus. This is the same principle, and it is worrying that some communal leaders cannot see how counter-productive it is for them to call for those with whom they disagree to be silenced.


February 11, 2021 15:32

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