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IPFS News Link • Israel - Palestine

The Wrath Of Khan... Or Why At Some Point The Lack Of Global Rule Of Law Will Matter Mightily

•, By Michael Every

Sadly, however, this does not signal a new era of global adherence to the rule of law, but rather the ICC's likely self-evisceration.

Khan wants to arrest Netanyahu and Gallant, as a start, for "causing extermination, starvation as a method of war, including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies, [and] deliberately targeting civilians in conflict" within "the territory of the state of Palestine" (which is not a state), and perhaps even for before October 7. Balancing this, though not his CNN speech or media headlines, Khan is also applying for arrest warrants for Hamas leaders Sinwar, Deif, and Haniyeh --two hiding in Gaza, one lounging in Qatar-- for extermination, murder, hostage taking, rape, and sexual assault in detention. Even so, Khan is equating an elected Western leader --albeit one Gallant himself last year implied is demagogic, and last week accused of dragging the war out because he can't make a political decision on what happens next-- to terrorists.

So, some celebrate. Others despair and argue the evidence against Israel is clearly biased while that against Hamas is from its own bodycams; the 'controversial' phrase Netanyahu used, "Remember what Amalek did to you," is written on the wall at Yad Vashem and in The Hague Holocaust memorial; the allegation Israel closed all crossings into Gaza includes Rafah, which it did not control until very recently; Hamas steals most incoming aid and resells it at vastly inflated prices; Hamas just hugely reduced the casualty figures Western media, politicians, and the ICC repeat; Israel's judiciary hold its leaders to account; and testimony from Western military experts on the exemplary way Israel carries out the (awful) business of urban combat was ignored. As such, Israelis across its political spectrum are calling this a "blood libel", as from Europe's past and today's US campuses; Hamas complains it should be allowed to do anything as "resistance"; and others point out the ICC hasn't dived in against clear-cut abuses in many other locales. In short, this is all controversial and divisive rather than lining us up behind the rule of law.

Indeed, the ICC decision can be seen as neutering the right to self-defence it professes to support: what Israeli military action would the Court allow vs. tens of thousands of heavily armed terrorists in a crowded urban area if Israel was, as it strongly claims, simply obeying the existing laws of war? (Which, to be clear, are like calorie-free double chocolate fudge cake: more about psychological than physical comfort or health.) If nothing effective, Israel's and the West's enemies will take note and heart. "They knew exactly where to hit us," says Spock in Star Trek II.