Israel and the US have each tried to claim an exemption from international law on the grounds that they did not sign up to the court.
But this only underscores the problem. International law is there to protect the weak from abuses committed by the strong. The victim from the bully.
A criminal suspect does not get to decide whether their victim can make a complaint, or whether the legal system should investigate. The same must apply in international law if it is to have any meaningful application.
Even under Bensouda, the process has dragged out interminably. It has taken years for her office to conduct a preliminary investigation and to determine, as she did in late April, that Palestine falls under the ICC’s jurisdiction because it qualifies as a state.
The delay made little sense, given that the State of Palestine is recognised by the United Nations, and it was able to ratify the Rome Statute five years ago.
The Israeli argument is that Palestine lacks the normal features of a sovereign state. However, as the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem recently noted, this is precisely because Israel has occupied the Palestinians’ territory and illegally transferred settlers onto their land.
Israel is claiming an exemption by citing the very crimes that need investigating.The US and Israel Hope to Scare the Hague War Crimes Court off from Helping Palestine