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Setting the Wolf to Guard the Sheep: Electing the Palestinian Attorney-General to the ICC Nominations Committee for Judges – Amb. Alan Baker (JCPA via Daily Alert)

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Dec. 26, 2018

Setting the Wolf to Guard the Sheep: Electing the Palestinian Attorney-General to the ICC Nominations Committee for Judges – Amb. Alan Baker (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • The election of the Palestinian Attorney-General, Dr. Ahmad Barrak, to serve as a member of the “Advisory Committee on Nominations” of judges of the International Criminal Court is indicative of a far wider and more serious problem facing the ICC.
  • By any international, legal and factual criterion, “The State of Palestine” is nothing more than a political fiction invented and given prominence by the UN General Assembly. There exists no sovereign Palestinian state, and there exists no sovereign Palestinian territory over which the ICC could exercise its jurisdiction.
  • The acceptance in 2014 of the “State of Palestine” as a party to the 1998 Rome Statute of the ICC remains legally flawed, since membership of the Court, pursuant to its Statute, is restricted to states, and there exists no sovereign Palestinian state.
  • The Palestinian leadership has little interest in the vision, aims, and purpose of the ICC, so laboriously negotiated and drafted over many years by the international community. Their only purpose for engaging the ICC is to utilize the Court politically in their campaign to delegitimize Israel and its leadership.
  • It is widely acknowledged that the final status of the West Bank and Gaza is an open negotiating issue between the Palestinians and Israel pursuant to the Oslo Accords. Pending their final settlement, the territories cannot be regarded as Palestinian territories but as disputed territories.
  • Hence, any determination by the UN or by the ICC as to any form of Palestinian status of the territories cannot be seen as other than an attempt to prejudge the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.
  • However, this has not prevented the international community from blindly accepting and advancing this parallel Palestinian attempt to bypass their negotiating commitment in order to achieve statehood unilaterally through international bodies.The writer, former legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians.
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