A small Bedouin settlement sprung up recently in the West Bank area of Israel. There were no permissions or permits obtained, and the structures were illegal. As prescribed by law, Israeli officials made plans to dismantle it.
But then last week, the Palestinian Authority (PA) filed a claim with the International Criminal Court in The Hague regarding “Israel’s plans to raze a West Bank Bedouin village,” The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. Once again, Israel was cast in a misleading light depicting her as the villain.
Not all weapons used against Israel are bombs or flaming kites. Everything related to the settlement was just one more example of “lawfare” – another tool in the multifaceted and ongoing terrorism against Israel and the Jewish people. It’s an ongoing strategy of waging legal warfare, or using the law to fight Israel.
How Lawfare Works
Lawfare is defined as an attempt to damage or delegitimize an enemy by tying up their time and resources fighting legal and public relations battles. The PA and nations that refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist consistently fight her with lawfare.
Step one of this form of lawfare is to force Israel to defend herself or enforce her own laws to her detriment. In addition to the Bedouin settlement example, another well-documented instance of recent lawfare was the Gaza terror group Hamas paying individuals to riot at the Israeli border fence this summer. Civilians stormed the fence, launched lethal and damaging incendiary devices into Israel and used other forms of violence to force Israel to defend herself.
Then comes step two: Use international news media to present Israel as the unlawful aggressor in the court of public opinion.
Step three involves filing a claim against Israel with the ICC, which the PA has done numerous times since it became a member in 2014.
The Palestinian Authority has pushed the Court to open a war crimes case “(ever) since it submitted its first files against Israel in June 2015, shortly after it signed onto the Rome Statute in December 2014,” The Jerusalem Post recently reported.
In its 2017 summary report, the ICC said it had reviewed thousands of pages of PA material to determine “whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation” against Israel.
United Nations Involvement
The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) has earmarked millions of dollars for the five years from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2022, specifically to help the Palestinian Authority use the International Criminal Court against Israel.
“UNDAF provides training and technical advice so that Palestinians can effectively access international accountability mechanisms and hold Israel accountable for its violations under international law,” according to a UNDAF document outlining its assistance to the PA that The Weekly Standardreported on last December.
“This is yet another example of the U.N.’s shameful hostility towards Israel, which encourages more false attacks, accusations and criticism of our close ally,” The Weekly Standard quoted Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) as saying in the same article.
The ICC: No Jurisdiction Over Israel
An intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands, the ICC was formed in 2002 under the Rome Statute, a treaty serving as the ICC's foundational and governing document. Countries ratify the Rome Statute to become members of the ICC. To date, there are 123 member states.
Israel is not one of them. Neither is the U.S.
That’s because both Israel and the U.S. refuse to subjugate their citizens to an international tribunal that they believe is political in nature.
In a speech last week to the Federalist Society in Washington D.C., U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton referred to the ICC as an “illegitimate court” that is “ineffective, unaccountable and – indeed – outright dangerous.”
“If the court comes after us, Israel or other U.S. allies, we will not sit quietly,” Bolton threatened. He further said the court “is already dead to us.”
- As these attempts to delegitimize Israel through meaningless legal attacks continue, please join us in praying for the peace of Israel and for protection against orchestrated attacks, whether physical or psychological in nature. Pray also that international media and those bodies that should be promoting peace in and around the Holy Land will finally see through these manipulations and expose them.
- Please give generously to Jewish Voice today to support our office, programs and partners in Israel that work toward Arab-Israeli peace, fight anti-Semitism, provide humanitarian aid, and – most of all – bring the Good News of Yeshua (Jesus) to the Jewish people in Israel and elsewhere.