Bennett: ICC 'is a sham'. Sa'ar: Ruling is 'dangerous', 'shameful'

Bennett asked if the ICC is currently making a list of "Israeli suspects," that he be first put at the top of that list and take the allegations head on.

Gideon Sa'ar  (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Gideon Sa'ar
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Prime ministerial candidates Naftali Bennett and Gideon Sa'ar have both spoken out in condemnation of the International Criminal Court, after it ruled it has the jurisdiction to probe allegations of war crimes perpetrated by Israel in Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Such war crimes suits could be leveled at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, defense ministers and any other high-level officials involved in such activity since June 13, 2014. Soldiers and commanders could also be targeted.

"Let me be clear, the ICC has no right to investigate, no right to indict, no right to try and no right to convict any Israeli whatsoever," said Yamina Party leader Bennett. "The International Criminal Court is a sham."

"Israel is not a member of this fake court," he added.

Bennett then went on to explain a document that every Israeli soldier has to carry with them during their service, called the "Spirit of the Israel Defense Forces." The document explains the values IDF soldiers are meant to uphold.

Bennett quoted the "purity of arms" clause to symbolize his argument: "The soldier should make use of his weaponry in power, only for the fulfillment of the mission and solely to the extent required. He will maintain his humanity, even in combat."

"We don't need anyone to lecture us about morality," Bennett said, explaining the human rights abuses carried out by Hamas. "In Gaza, Hamas stores weapons in schools, it digs tunnels under mosques and fires rockets from within hospitals.

"I've seen it: Hezbollah likewise."

Bennett made a call that he will ensure that the "hands of Israeli soldiers will never be tied" and "will never again be at the mercy of others."

He then asked that if the ICC is currently making a list of "Israeli suspects," he be first put at the top of that list and take the allegations head on. 
Sa'ar made his own statement, claiming that the ruling is "dangerous" and "shameful."
The New Hope Party leader said that the ruling contradicts the ICC's founding principles, adding that it only "serves to promote terror and push off any hope for peace."
"It is yet another example of how the Palestinian Authority is working to hijack international institutions to attack Israel," Sa'ar said.
"Shame on the ICC, for allowing sponsors of terror to abuse the cause of justice," he added.
Sa'ar said that Israel has been attacked more than any other country in the world, and has been forced to defend itself against constant threats and ever-looming promises of commination from its neighbors, since its creation.
"Israel is the most attacked country in the world, with the most moral army in the world, " Sa'ar said, asking: "And this is the country that the ICC chooses to undermine its right to self-defense?"
The New Hope leader said that under his leadership, "Israel will take all measures to combat this injustice."
"I will not allow Israel to be attacked in this way," he added. "I will work closely with our greatest ally, the United States, and other countries to fight such hypocrisy and double standards."
Sa'ar said that he will work day and night to protect the men and women who risk their lives to defend Israel and its people.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.