Aug. 15, 2018
In July, judges from a pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court ordered a campaign of outreach to Palestinian “victims residing within or outside of Palestine.”
With this unprecedented move, the court is openly turning itself into a Palestinian propaganda engine, similar to the UN Human Rights Council, with a regular reporting regime on Palestine and a distinct section of its website devoted to Palestine.
This is curious in light of the fact that the court has yet to decide whether it indeed has any jurisdiction whatsoever regarding the Palestinian complaints, and whether a non-state can indeed be a party to the ICC statute.
Moreover, this measure ignores the basic question whether, pursuant to the ICC statute, a “State of Palestine” can be party when no Palestinian state exists, apart from in a non-binding General Assembly upgrade recommendation, which is far from being a legal ground for acceptance.
All this indicates that the ICC is venturing far beyond its role and is being politically manipulated – or is manipulating itself – against its own better interests.
The writer, director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center, participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians and served as deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.