(Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2019)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s statement that she accepts the Palestinian canard that “war crimes have been or are being committed” by Israel, and that she will investigate those, is profoundly improper and dangerous.
Clearly, Bensouda cannot tell the difference between war crimes and Palestinian propaganda. It is the Palestinians who have for decades subjected Israel to the high crimes of unrelenting, indiscriminate terrorism – thus necessitating Israeli defensive efforts – and an open campaign of national extermination. By contrast, despite singularly difficult circumstances, Israel, the Middle East’s only actual democracy, has carried out its pursuit of security with a degree of restraint and care rarely if ever seen in the history of military conflict.
Israel has appealed and sacrificed for peace with the Palestinians, as it had successfully with other Arab neighbors, but been met only with more Palestinian violence against its civilians, rejection of mutual compromise and attempts to circumvent direct negotiations by instead recruiting international political and even juridical bodies to pressure and harm the Jewish state.
Beyond the fact that Israel has its own renowned and fully functioning legal system to ensure the country’s compliance with key national and international obligations, the ICC does not have jurisdiction over baseless charges leveled by the Palestinians since the latter do not as of yet, and never have, represented an existing state. Since 1947, the Palestinians consistently rejected opportunities to establish their own state alongside a Jewish state.
The ICC gravely risks politicizing itself, and losing fundamental credibility, by exceeding its mandate and accepting false, politically motivated claims. Such a step is deeply harmful to peacemaking, to vital counterterrorism efforts anywhere and to the cause of all those suffering from genuine atrocity around the world.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org