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The Dangerous Fantasy of “International Law”

Kyle Orton
Kyle, May 20, 2024

“The ICC is constituted as an international institution that claims an authority superseding national governments, yet the eminences at its helm answer only to the thoughts in their own minds and those of their colleagues.”

In the summer of 1998, shortly after the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC) had been signed and four years before it went into effect, David Frum wrote: “power politics being what they are, the International Criminal Court may hesitate to strike directly at the United States. But Israel will provide a convenient proxy”. Points for prescience. Earlier today, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan announced that his office was applying for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for a raft of war crimes and crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed in Gaza.

Several oddities are immediately apparent, even within the ICC framework. First, Israel is not a signatory to the Rome Statute. Khan gets around this by claiming the ICC “can exercise its criminal jurisdiction in the … State of Palestine”, which, of course, does not exist. Second, though Israel is not a party to the ICC, it was cooperating with the Prosecutor in an investigative process that was abruptly and arbitrarily terminated, strongly suggesting the “investigation” was a sham and the decision to apply for indictments had been taken before the evidence was gathered. Third, no indictments were issued for officials in Iran, the State behind the 7 October pogrom in Israel that slaughtered, raped, and kidnapped nearly 1,500 mostly Jewish civilians. … [To read the full article, click here]

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