We all knew this day would eventually come and now it has arrived, the conducting of an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into Israeli actions during their wars against Arab forces which instigated these wars and skirmishes by their terrorist activities. The area of scrutiny will be this past summer’s war between Gaza Hamas terrorists who had initiated the conflict with the launching of thousands of rockets into Israeli towns and cities aiming not for military targets but for civilian homes, businesses as well as schools, camps, daycares, hospitals and other civilian locations. ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office would conduct an “analysis in full independence and impartiality” into supposed war crimes by Israel, including accusations from Hamas’s most recent terror war against Israel last summer. The Honorable Fatou Bensouda is currently one of the Chief Prosecutors of the International Criminal Court where she had previously been a Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. She is a native of Gambia and attended law school at University of Ife Nigerian Law School International Maritime Law Institute. Some might wonder why the ICC has dedicated their Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on an investigation of Israeli actions and not assigned a prosecutor to investigate Bashir al-Assad and Syria, ISIS, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or Boko Haram for their far more obvious criminal actions and threats they pose to the societies and nations in their vicinity. Could one of the mitigating factors be that Israel is a liberal democracy with freedom of the press and is an open book making any investigation much easier and that Israel offers a safe location in which to perform ones investigations and a ready supply of functioning five star hotels perched right on pristine beaches with an active and cultured night life while investigating these other far more worthy targets for crimes against humanity and war crimes are far more dangerous, have limited accommodations while conducting the investigation and simply looking into actions of these entities could easily result in great danger to those conducting such investigations. I am sure such creature comforts and relative safety had little to do with the decision to investigate Israel and none of these other entities. If I were to be detached and honest about the choices in prosecuting Israel over Syria, Boko Haram, ISIS or al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula by the Honorable Fatou Bensouda, I would completely agree with her choice as by comparison any groundwork to be performed in Israel, even if it included daytime trips into Gaza and seeking Hamas members for their giving interrogatories and affidavits, I too would most certainly decide to investigate Israel and would take my sweet time about it even knowing and being fully aware even before I started that if any irregularities or infractions were found and Israeli officials, either or both political or military, were made aware that Israel would immediately begin their own investigation and prosecution if one were seemed warranted. What many in the world might find hard to fathom but I feel I can predict this accurately and with little risk of being disproven, if the ICC demanded to be privileged to the entire investigation and to co-investigate the Israelis would welcome the assistance and expertise the ICC investigator could provide. Would any of the other entities which the ICC has thus far refused to launch any investigations be anywhere near as cooperative or even assure the investigator and their support staff’s safety to anywhere near the level that they will receive in Israel?
The reason being provided by the ICC’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, “A preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an (actual complete) investigation.” Needless to point out, Israel has deplored the needless investigation and pointed out that the Palestinian Authority is not a nation and thus may not call for an ICC investigation nor can it actually receive ICC membership. It was also pointed out that the war in Gaza pitted Israel against Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists who consistently ignore all the laws of warfare and regularly target civilian Israelis while utilizing the civilians in Gaza as human shields for their fighters and rocket launchers and have regularly placed their leadership within a bunker built underneath Gaza’s largest hospital to assure Israel will not target the Hamas leadership. Further, it is noted that Israel uses their military to protect their civilians as proven by the Iron Dome systems and their saving of Israeli civilians in the last war and that Hamas and Islamic Jihad use their civilians to protect their weapons of war and fighters. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated emphatically that, “Israel rejects the absurd decision of the ICC prosecutor. It’s absurd for the ICC to ignore international law and agreements, under which the Palestinians don’t have a state and can only get one through direct negotiations with Israel.” Earlier in the day Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman took to the offense accusing the ICC of starting an investigation in order to “try to harm Israel’s right to defend itself from terror.” He further accused that the ICC was “solely motivated by political anti-Israel considerations,” and he further stated he would advise against any Israeli cooperation with the probe. Cooler heads will prevail as nothing will be gained by refusing to cooperate. But should the investigation prove to be more witch hunt than honest seeking of information and truth, then expect a very public explosion of accusations from across most of the political spectrum against the Honorable Fatou Bensouda and her staff and expect them to be invited to depart from Israel controlled areas. Since Israel removed themselves from membership in the ICC they are not obliged to offer cooperation or to subject their people to rulings or trial by the ICC and should the ICC convict any Israelis of war crimes or crimes against humanity they will be investigated by Israel as well and if found guilty of such crimes the ICC will be the least of their troubles. Surprisingly, the United States, even including the State Department, have come out in complete agreement with the Israelis in that the Palestinians are not a recognized nation nor a state by the definitions of statehood. And oddly, there is an actual treaty which is accepted as providing the legal definitions of what an entity is required to meet to be recognized as a state and thus be accepted by international conventions, agendas, treaties and other legalities. The definition for recognizing an entity as a state they must first meet the definitions within the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, something which virtually every international lawyer and is used by the United Nations and the majority of nations. Just in case anyone is curious, the Palestinians do not meet the requirements in the Montevideo Convention to qualify as a state.
I guess we have reached the point where I get to get myself in trouble by making predictions which could also qualify as guessing or taking stabs in the night while blindfolded. The Honorable Fatou Bensouda will spend over four months and demand Israel provides more documentation than any reasonable person might find necessary. Numerous prolonged trips to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to gather information and to research the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and their actions in Gaza this past summer will be required with most coming during the winter months when Tel Aviv is nice and warm and the ICC home in the Hague in the Netherlands is experiencing wonderful winter weather with near or below freezing temperatures and horrific rain or snow and Tel Aviv has weather suitable for swimming in the Mediterranean. Well, as long as one is not a skier or ice skater, where would you rather be in the middle of the winter, freezing in the Netherlands or swimming in the Mediterranean even if it requires you to visit Israel. Me too and I already live less than five blocks from the Mediterranean in Israel but fortunately not Tel Aviv. The Honorable Fatou Bensouda will refuse to comment quoting regulations and restrictions which do allow for the Prosecutors’ Offices from commenting on an ongoing investigation. She also will not want to let out that she has completed all the investigation necessary to reach a determination but with next winter arriving in a few months why give up on a reason to escape the worst of the winter weather swimming in the Mediterranean. The inevitable result will be, at the worst, one or two potential investigations which Israel will have completed proper investigations and have prosecuted any deserving soldiers or commanders which will negate the need for an ICC intervention. There has already been one investigation launched about six weeks ago into a potential situation which may require hearings or even a trial. The earliest hearings were held against a commander who was exonerated from the charges of refusing to pass information which may have caused investigations within his units to higher-ups but the investigation resulted in turning up the actual paperwork which had been filed with his superiors negating any suspicions or need for further actions. When the ICC Prosecutors’ Office releases their report signed and approved by the Honorable Fatou Bensouda revealing that no discrepancies or criminal investigation has been determined to be required and that the IDF has been cleared of any wrongdoings over their actions during the war with Hamas and the terror entities in Gaza during the Protective Edge operations over the summer there will be denounced and the Arab Authority, PLO, Fatah, Hamas and other Arab spokespersons will take turns denouncing the ICC for being duped or controlled by the Israelis or by the Jews who have infiltrated the Prosecutors’ Offices and tainted their impartiality. The Arab League will convene an emergency meeting to address the crisis caused by the obviously politicized lack of findings of guilt of war crimes committed by Israel during the summer war. It would not be surprising for the Arab nations or the Palestinian Liberation Organization to take a petition to the United Nations General Assembly demanding that they pass a resolution demanding that the ICC act on the crimes against humanity and war crimes which they must have discovered during their investigations and immediately make those crimes known to the world such that those guilty Israeli soldiers are able to be tried by European nations who claim international jurisdiction and demand that the IDF can be roundly condemned by the United Nations General Assembly in lieu of any action from the ICC. At the least the condemnation will be passed by the General Assembly and potentially there will be another resolution demanding the ICC release the entirety of their presumably confidential findings complaining that the summation and report they provided was inadequate and the General Assembly desires to review all of the evidence to determine what crimes were overlooked by the ICC under duress exerted by Israel and the Jewish world lobby. The grousing by Abbas, Erekat, Haniyeh, Mashaal and the rest of the Arab spokespersons even to include Ministers of the Knesset Zoabi and Tibi and others that there must have been dubious findings which had to be the result of evil influences which forced the ICC to issue their report exonerating the IDF which obviously had to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. The overwhelming evidence, they will claim, was evidenced by the lack of Israeli civilian casualties compared to the overwhelming numbers of civilian casualties suffered by the citizens of Gaza. This disparity can only be explained by war crimes and the IDF targeting the civilians and could not have been the result of Hamas using their civilian population as shields for their rocket launchers and terrorist fighters or by the Iron Dome intercepting virtually all of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets fired which were likely to strike inhabited areas. There will be some European justices who will accept the Arab accusations and will issue warrants for the IDF hierarchy and potentially issue warrants for Israeli politicians in high office or holding Ministerial positions. Eventually everything will calm down and the warrants will lapse or be cancelled outright and the end will come when the Arab whining politicians have wrought all the media coverage they can from their whining about the evil Israelis and treacherous Jews. By then there will be something else with which to condemn Israel and demand that Israel be forced to conform to any and all demands made by the Arab Authority.
Beyond the Cusp