‘International Criminal Court being politicized’ says Edelstein

Edelstein says 'outrageous approach of that lady from Gambia’ is politicizing the court, in reference to ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

ICC CHIEF PROSECUTOR Fatou Bensouda in The Hague earlier this year (photo credit: EVA PLEVIER/REUTERS)
ICC CHIEF PROSECUTOR Fatou Bensouda in The Hague earlier this year
(photo credit: EVA PLEVIER/REUTERS)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein has denounced what he described as “the politicization” of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, and said he is actively lobbying other governments to stop the phenomenon.
The ICC’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said last month that there was “a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed in the context of the 2014 hostilities in Gaza,” by the IDF, along with Israel’s settlement policies in the West Bank and the IDF’s response to the Gaza border protests staged during 2018 and 2019.
“The outrageous approach of that lady from Gambia is perceived not just in Israel as the total politicalization of the ICC,” said Edelstein in reference to Bensouda during an address at the Conference of President’s annual leadership mission in Jerusalem.
Edelstein referenced his recent visit to Germany two weeks ago where he spoke with senior government officials as part of Israeli diplomatic attempts to stop the ICC prosecution advancing.
He said that Germany “definitely, historically,” sees the ICC as the institution that is supposed to prevent war crimes and violations of human rights, and as such plays an important international role.
“I said ‘let’s do something together in order not to let those who are trying to turn the ICC into what the UN Human Rights Council and different international bodies have turned themselves into’,” Edelstein recalled, in reference to the rampant politicization of the UN body.
Last week it was reported that six countries filed amicus briefs to the ICC asking permission to present legal arguments against the tribunal’s jurisdiction to adjudicate war crime suits against Israel.
Those countries included Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Brazil.
“The Czech Republic was the first, then Germany, and then others, and they expressed their approach loud and clear,” said Edelstein on Monday.
“I hope it will put an end to [the attempt to] turn the ICC into another political body and present a danger to Israeli soldiers and political leaders, this is something we want to avoid in every possible way.