We’re Going Back to the International Criminal Court (ICC)


Skip Ash

February 20, 2020

4 min read




The ICC Prosecutor now has her crosshairs set on Israel. She is preparing her team to investigate “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” allegedly committed by Israelis against the Palestinians. She’s been threatening to unleash her investigators for months.

Late last month, she took the first step. She submitted a request to a panel of ICC judges seeking from them an answer concerning what territory claimed by Palestinians—misleadingly referred to as “oPt” or “occupied Palestinian territory” by some in the international community—actually constitutes the so-called “State of Palestine.” Without knowing what territory actually constitutes the so-called “State of Palestine,” she can’t determine whether or where the Court has jurisdiction over the alleged “crimes.”

The panel of judges, in turn, has asked for interested States, organizations, and individuals to seek leave of the court to assist the judges in answering the Prosecutor’s question. The ACLJ (through our European affiliate, the ECLJ) was one of the first organizations to submit a request for leave to provide a submission to answer that question. Our request was filed on 4 February 2020.

Today, February 20th, we received the order from the panel of judges granting us (and a host of other organizations, both pro-Israel and against) permission to submit our observations to them for consideration.

All responses must be filed no later than March 16. We’ve been working on our brief since we submitted our request for permission to file it. We are currently in the process of putting the finishing touches on our draft before circulating it among our team of lawyers to ensure that we have everything nailed down correctly.

It needs to be said that going after Israel and Israelis is a travesty. Israel is a democratic nation dedicated to the rule of law with a sophisticated judicial system whose courts are not bashful about ruling against government policies and actions and enforcing the law when Israeli officials are found to have transgressed the law.

As it relates to this case, the entity that brought charges against Israel, the so-called “State of Palestine,” does not meet the requirements of statehood under customary international law, thereby wholly nullifying its complaint, since (with only one exception that doesn’t apply here) only States may agree to ICC jurisdiction over their territory and nationals. Simply put, under the relevant standards of international law, there is not, and never has been, a State of Palestine. It is actually incredible that the same Palestinian government that is currently rejecting yet another peace plan and complaining that they are stateless is now claiming that they do in fact have an independent state, but only when it suits them.

As we intend to prove, among other things, the fact is that under the relevant principles of international law, the land in question, Judea and Samaria, actually belongs to the State of Israel.

Because until now, the law has been twisted to give the ICC jurisdiction over Israel when it has none; because Israel is held to standards expected from no other country; and because it is being attacked from all quarters by nations whose policies and actions cannot hold a candle to the high standards it upholds, it is hard to escape the impression that we are witnessing antisemitism, pure and simple, against the world’s only Jewish State.

The ACLJ is dedicated to upholding the Rule of Law internationally. The ACLJ is dedicated to fighting antisemitism whenever and wherever it raises its ugly head. The ACLJ is dedicated to helping our democratic ally, Israel. Accordingly, assisting Israel in this fight is both a solemn duty and a high honor.

Please join with the ACLJ as we assist Israel in this righteous fight. Stand with the ACLJ and sign on to our Petition to Defend Israel from Lawfare at the ICC.