Beyond the ICC ruling

The US loves ‘international justice’ when applied to Russia — but not Israel

We Palestinians have learned over time not to vest our hopes in international institutions, starting with the United Nations. Ultimately, they proved to be under the control of the US and its Western clients who always supported and sustained our displacement, occupation, and persecution.

So we can’t take too seriously the announcement by International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan that he is requesting arrest warrants for Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and war Minister Yakov Galant, and for Hamas’ Gaza Strip leader Yahya Sinwar, military commander Muhammad Deif, and Qatar-based political leader Ismail Haniyeh.

The ICC, which is manipulated by the US even though it is not among its 124 member-states, drew a false equivalence between the victims and perpetrators of occupation and oppression, and failed to condemn the latter for launching a genocidal war of extermination (35,000+ killed so far, mainly women and children, two million people forcibly displaced, and 95% of homes and infrastructure have been destroyed, including almost all schools and hospitals).

Predictably, Netanyahu accused the court and its prosecutor of anti-Semitism, and was echoed by the US, the principal sponsor of his racist entity and direct participant in its genocidal war.

The US warmly applauded Mr. Khan and the ICC when they issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin over the transfer of Ukrainian children from homes and orphanages in the war zone into Russia. But it is outraged that they should consider the mass death and destruction inflicted by Israel on the Gaza Strip to be worthy of investigation, or anything other than legitimate and supremely moral self-defence.

I doubt the leaders of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza will have bothered to even read Mr. Khan’s indictment, let alone worry about its consequences for them. Sinwar has only ever left the Gaza Strip twice — for meetings in Cairo after he was released from 23 years in Israeli detention. Deif has never left at all. They will not fret about being prevented from vacationing on the French Riviera to avoid being arrested by Interpol and handed to the ICC.

It was surreal to hear Netanyahu rant against the ICC for equating him — prime minister of a supposedly civilised and democratic state — with the ‘terrorists’ of Hamas. What kind of democracy is that which slaughters thousands of children and deliberately starves more than two million people?

One day, the Palestinian people will bring Netanyahu and his generals and ministers to trial for committing massacres and genocide. They won’t have to rely on the ICC or its judges or prosecutor.

If that sounds like wishful thinking, just consider:

Who would have expected the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip could hold out for eight months and confound the fourth most powerful army in the world?

Who would have thought that 300,000+ Israeli settlers would have to evacuate their settlements in northern and southern occupied Palestine due to the Al-Aqsa Flood and the Lebanese resistance’s war of attrition on the Galilee front?

And who would have ever imagined that the heroic Yemenis would effectively close the Red Sea to Israeli and related shipping, and go even further?

Only time will tell where all this ends up.

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