Subject: George Bisharat on Israel before the ICC

February 1, 2013   ·   2 Comments

Source: NYTX


From: Eugene Schulman

To: Editor
International Herald Tribune



I agree with George Bisharat ( op-ed, NYT Jan 29, IHT January 31, 2013) that Palestine should haul Israel before the International Criminal Court.  Unfortunately, even if their status as an observer state gives them such a right, the US would block any attempts to do so with a veto.  Any such trial of Israel before the ICC would open the door to the same accusations against the United States for committing similar war crimes with its targeted assassinations in Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan, not to speak of Libya and elsewhere.  I am afraid, in the face of the US/Israel partnership, the ICC is a paper tiger.

Eugene Schulman
Geneva, Switzerland


Readers Comments (2)

  1. Curious George says:

    Hey Eugene,

    I am writing based on my expertise in the field of public international law – and most specifically the field known as international humanitarian law (aka the Law of Armed Conflict).

    I have read your post. Unfortunately, the International Criminal Court (ICC) doesn’t work that way — you might be confusing it with the United Nations, where the US holds veto power in the Security Council. The ICC, to which both the US and Israel are not party, has a different and independent mechanism for jurisdiction. In fact, it would require the US mobilizing full support in the UNSC (to the absence of a veto by the other members) to intervene and block ICC jurisdiction.

    Finally, jurisdiction of the Court faces massive legal hurdles that must be dealt with, long before and independent of any question regarding US intervention.

    Not everything is orchestrated by the US and its cronies. Regarding “targeted assassinations” — you may be surprised to hear that the practice of “targeted killing,” as the policy is called in legal parlance, is actually quite lawful in situations of armed conflict. And in any event, the US’ policy would not be subject to the Court’s jurisdiction due to the way the Court receives jurisdiction in the first place (much like the situation would be in Israel).


    • Gene Schulman says:

      Thank you for clarifying these legal points about ICC. Actually, the idea is irrelevant anyhow, because the US is not a member of the ICC. However, I am sure that if the ICC does charge Israel, the US will use whatever means necessary to keep those charges worthless.

      Actually, I understand the ICC did call Israel up, today. We’ll see what happens.



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