By Ted Belman
Why Palestine Should Take Israel to Court in The Hague published by the NYT, is predicated on this statement: “The I.C.C. could prosecute major international crimes committed on Palestinian soil anytime after the court’s founding on July 1, 2002.” But that statement is totally erroneous for the following reasons:
There is no “Palestinian soil”,
According to E Kontorovich:
– The ICC prosecutes people not countries; thus no immunity.
– the ICC can only act when the home state refuses to investigate; that is not the case for any Israeli acts in Gaza, etc.
– “ICC has never prosecuted a case referred by a country against nationals of a non-member state. Such an action would terrify US officials and permanently sour American relations with the Court, as it would expose U.S. military and civilian officials to liability for U.S. armed action anywhere in the world, and particulalry for the controversial drone strikes program of Pres. Obama.
– The ICC has never even played with taking a case that does not involve killing and personal violence; a settlements suit would be far outside the kind of things they’ve dealt with
– The relevant actions would have to be on the territory of Palestine, which is a problem since they do not have defined territory, and most of what the oped talks about precedes their nominal statehood, so would be out of bounds.
– The ICC would also have jurisdiction over all Palestinian war crimes