Opposing the International Criminal Court’s Hostile Moves Against Israel
On December 20, 2019, the Prosecutor's Office (OTP) of the ICC announced that it would be launching an official investigation into war crimes against Israel. The OTP then deferred the question of jurisdiction of the ICC over “Palestine” to the Court. As Israel is not a State Party to the ICC, the Israeli government is in a precarious situation: to officially defend the claim would concede jurisdiction to the ICC however by not defending the claim Israel is unable to state its position or have any control over the outcome. As such the ILF was compelled to stand on the front line.
The results of our interventions exceeded all expectations, with 14 groups submitting amicus curiae requests, in addition to eight state parties, all filing in Israel's favor. The ILF's efforts succeeded by bringing together a coalition of attorneys and organizations, coordinating and dividing the work to be done. Additionally, our efforts included a broad invitation to ICC member states, providing them with an outline of the legal arguments and urging them to join.
This is just the first step of a long battle in the ICC. Most of the countries that joined the effort were recruited by our network and eight of the submissions emerged from our group. It is therefore vital that we continue to lead this civil society movement at a time when the Israeli government’s hands are tied.