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Israel Targeting International Criminal Court Funding Over Inquiry Into Israeli War Crimes

The home of the Kware' family, after it was bombed by the military.jpg

Israel is lobbying members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to cut funding to the organization in response to the ICC opening an investigation into Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories related to Operation Protective Edge which took the lives of over 2,000 Palestinians most of which were civilians. Part of the operation involved Israel firing ordinance into civilian areas including humanitarian shelters which led observers at the time to criticize Israel for violating international rules of warfare.

Israel’s primary ally, the United States, is already not a member of the ICC leaving Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to focus on his pressure on Canada, Australia, and Germany. Much of ICC’s budget comes from developed countries, particularly in Europe.

“We will demand of our friends in Canada, in Australia and in Germany simply to stop funding it,” he told Israel Radio. Officials told Reuters the lobbying effort would also target Japan, whose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting Israel.

“This body represents no one. It is a political body,” Lieberman said, adding that he would raise the matter with visiting Canadian counterpart John Baird on Sunday.

The ICC has 123 member-states and by and large represents mainstream views of human rights throughout the world. Israel, on the other hand, has survived numerous sanction bills at the UN due solely to the United States exercising its veto power. While it is no doubt true that Minister Lieberman represents a significant portion of Israeli opinion it is equally true that the values that underlie the ICC are part of an international consensus concerning international law and human rights.

It remains to be seen what, if any, impact Israel’s lobbying will have on damaging ICC funding or, as seems likely the motive, in pressuring the ICC to back off investigating Israel for war crimes. With the Israeli-Palestinian peace process dead in the water international organizations may be the only restraint on bloodshed left.

Photo by Muhammad Sabah under Creative Commons license.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Israel Targeting ICC Funding After Inquiry Opened Into Israeli War Crimes

The home of the Kware' family, after it was bombed by the military.jpg

Israel is lobbying members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to cut funding to the organization in response to the ICC opening an investigation into Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories related to Operation Protective Edge which took the lives of over 2,000 Palestinians most of which were civilians. Part of the operation involved Israel firing ordinance into civilian areas including humanitarian shelters which led observers at the time to criticize Israel for violating international rules of warfare.

Israel’s primary ally, the United States, is already not a member of the ICC leaving Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to focus on his pressure on Canada, Australia, and Germany. Much of ICC’s budget comes from developed countries, particularly in Europe.

“We will demand of our friends in Canada, in Australia and in Germany simply to stop funding it,” he told Israel Radio. Officials told Reuters the lobbying effort would also target Japan, whose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting Israel.

“This body represents no one. It is a political body,” Lieberman said, adding that he would raise the matter with visiting Canadian counterpart John Baird on Sunday.

The ICC has 123 member-states and by and large represents mainstream views of human rights throughout the world. Israel, on the other hand, has survived numerous sanction bills at the UN due solely to the United States exercising its veto power. While it is no doubt true that Minister Lieberman represents a significant portion of Israeli opinion it is equally true that the values that underlie the ICC are part of an international consensus concerning international law and human rights.

It remains to be seen what, if any, impact Israel’s lobbying will have on damaging ICC funding or, as seems likely the motive, in pressuring the ICC to back off investigating Israel for war crimes. With the Israeli-Palestinian peace process dead in the water international organizations may be the only restraint on bloodshed left.

Photo by Muhammad Sabah under Creative Commons license.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.