Any Means To Demonize Israel
The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands (UN Photo/Rick Bajornas via Flickr)

Any Means To Demonize Israel

Ma’ariv, Israel, November 24

In recent years, the Palestinian leadership has decided to expand its reach into the field of international law. The Palestinians are trying to expand their influence among the only sector that naively continues to attribute seriousness to them: the international community. The Palestinian leadership is not satisfied with the politicization of major United Nations bodies such as the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Now, it aims to influence the central legal body of the UN, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), based in The Hague. This is in an attempt to turn the court into another international body working against Israel. In addition to false political accusations directed against Israel, the Palestinians are now initiating a petition through the United Nations Special Political Committee on Decolonization, asking the court to examine the legal consequences of “prolonged annexation” of what they claim is “Palestinian territory.” They do this even though there has never been an accepted legal determination at the international level according to which such a “Palestinian territory” exists. This question remains an open issue for negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians by virtue of the Oslo Accords. The Palestinians are also asking the International Court to examine what they claim is Israel’s crime of “altering the demographic composition, character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem,” claiming that the city, due to its religious heritage, is exclusively Palestinian. Even more delusional is the attempt to invent a new legal status in international law known as “prolonged occupation.” The Palestinians are asking the court to determine how the same imaginary status they invented legally applies to the countries of the world and the UN. In fact, there is no status known as “prolonged occupation” in international law. There is no definition or recognition of such a thing. Even the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), widely and universally recognized as an authority on international humanitarian law, has never set a time limit for an occupied territory. On the contrary, a major study led by the ICRC, which included a series of meetings of international legal experts in the field of international humanitarian law, concluded in 2012 that “an accurate determination of when a state of occupation ends is considered a very difficult task.” The study went on to state that “nothing, according to international humanitarian law, will prevent an occupying party from maintaining a long-term occupation.” Therefore, it is puzzling how the same countries that allowed the adoption of such a request by the Special Committee on Politics and Decolonization of the United Nations could support such a flawed and manipulative decision. One can only hope that the International Court of Justice, a respected international legal body, will not lend a hand to these irresponsible Palestinian political machinations – and will not allow these parties to abuse it and harm its respected status. Equally, one wonders when, if ever, the international community that supported such an initiative will come to the realization that it is being manipulated by an irresponsible Palestinian leadership that is trying to use any means possible not to achieve peace, normalization or good relations with its neighbor – but merely to demonize, delegitimize and criminalize Israel. – Alan Baker, Israel’s ambassador to Canada (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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