Arrest warrants are about delegitimisation of Israel

The JC Leader, 24 May 2024


International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan KC (Photo by LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images)

May 24, 2024 10:36

The timing could hardly have been more grotesquely appropriate. On the same day that the Iranian regime confirmed the death of Ebrahim Raisi, president of the world’s leading funder of terror, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor Karim Khan revealed that he was seeking arrest warrants for the leaders of the nation which was the victim of the massacre carried out by one of Iran’s key proxies.

Given Khan’s approach of putting the two applications together, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that he is drawing a moral equivalence between Israel, a democratic state fighting to protect its citizens’ lives, and Hamas, the terrorist organisation against which it is fighting. That is not just morally repugnant, it is legally absurd. The ICC was established to step in when a nation is unable or unwilling to operate within a legitimate legal framework. Israeli jurisprudence is renowned throughout the world – and its military is, of course, subject to the appropriate internationally recognised legal constraints. The ICC has no locus involving itself.

That alone shows that the putative arrest warrants are nothing to do with international law and everything to do with the process of delegitimisation and demonisation that Israel’s enemies have used in recent years. None of this is based on evidence but rather assertion – that Israel is starving Gazans, that it is targeting civilians and that it is ignoring international law. The evidence in fact shows the opposite: that it is Hamas which is responsible for problems with aid delivery, that Israel has spent more time and effort attempting to avoid civilian casualties than any other army in history (when Hamas has placed itself among civilians) and that the IDF has lawyers embedded in almost every aspect of its decision making process.

Mr Khan presumably believes he has struck a blow for the relevance of the ICC. In reality the only blow he has struck is against the legitimacy of the court.

May 24, 2024 10:36

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