“Schlaglicht Israel” offers an insight into internal Israeli debates and reflects selected, political events that affect daily life in Israel. It appears every two weeks and summarizes articles that appeared in the Israeli daily press.
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Main topics covered in this Publication:
- Un Human Rights Council Publishes “Blacklist” of Companies in the Occupied West Bank
- Palestinians Protest Against the Trump Deal
- Third Attempt: Israel Again Before Elections
- Selection of Articles
1. Un Human Rights Council Publishes “Blacklist” of Companies in the Occupied West Bank
Breaking down the UNHRC blacklist
In the halls of the United Nations, they’re calling it a “database,” but it’s more commonly and accurately known as a “blacklist” (…) a list of more than 100 companies conducting business activities with Jewish communities and Israeli enterprises in the West Bank (…) the eventual release of the blacklist has not come as a huge surprise. (…) The targets of the blacklist are judged to be guilty of fostering Israeli economic activity in the disputed territories, rather than the more specific offense of restricting or damaging the Palestinians’ own economy. Once more, then, the United Nations’ principal human-rights body has demonstrated that “solidarity” with the Palestinians does not mean the improvement of their daily lives through education, higher incomes and other benefits, but an institutional fixation with the physical presence of Israeli civilians in “occupied territories.” The fact the overwhelming majority of the companies on the blacklist are Israeli indicates that there is a more sinister aim at work here. The only international institution in which the BDS movement to boycott Israel has any platform is the UN. The BDS campaign has always insisted that Israel be sanctioned in its entirety, in order to pave the way for the defeat of an occupation that began not in 1967, but in 1948, with the very creation of the Jewish state. The blacklist now being operated by the UNHRC is an approximation of that campaign. Its purpose is (…) to poke at Israel’s very legitimacy by adopting the tactics of those who dispute Israel’s right to exist in the first place. (…)
Ben Cohen, IHY, 13.02.20
A message to Israel on its settlements
(…) As a response to the list (…) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided Israel will freeze any ties to the UN human rights office headed by Bachelet, reasoning that she is serving the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. (…) Of the 112 business entities identified in the report, 94 are domiciled in Israel (…). The commissioner’s blacklist (…) means immense pressure on international companies whose operations are also located in the West Bank, meaning these companies may choose to stop their operations there, or even worse, to stop their operations in Israel all together. (…) The list is a statement on the UN’s position on the West Bank, effectively saying that as far as it is concerned, the West Bank is in no way a part of Israel, and any and all Israeli activity there is illegal.(…) most of the businesses on the list already appear on lists published by the anti-Israeli BDS organization, so their inclusion on the UN’s list is nothing new. (…) The council could decide the list is its official stance on the matter and call for member states to ban all companies appearing on it. (…)
Itamar Eichner, YED, 13.02.20
The UN Human Rights Council’s shameful blacklist
The UN has reached a new low. The UN Human Rights Council (…) has now targeted companies that do business in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The so-called blacklist (…) has been in the works since 2016. Countries with the worst human-rights records, such as Cuba and Venezuela, pushed the list due to their anti-Israel views, not because of an attachment to international law. The Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation also supported the list, neither of which are known for having members with stellar human-rights records. Unsurprisingly, the UN does not have a global standard for how it labels companies that operate in different disputed areas, such as Crimea, Kashmir, Afrin, Northern Cyprus or Western Sahara. (…) There is no reason Israel’s role in the West Bank is especially unique. Corporations that do business in the West Bank are no more involved in human-rights abuses than those accused of fueling such abuses from the Gulf to Asia. (…) Israel must work with its partners in the international community to oppose both this list and the biased Human Rights Council. The council is routinely a home for the worst abusers of human rights, a kind of “old boys’ club” used to shield countries from criticism and distract the world by singling out Israel. (…) As such, the council is the embodiment of antisemitism (…).
Editorial, JPO, 13.02.20
BDS wins but the Palestinians lose
The West Bank settlements remain a central point of contention in Israeli society. Most Israelis like the settlers themselves. They are considered the salt of the earth, the first to volunteer, first to join combat units in their military service and first to give back to their communities. But (…) a majority of Israelis oppose settlement expansion beyond the blocs, and 69% of Israelis would support a withdrawal from the settlements in the event of an agreed resolution to the conflict with the Palestinians. When international organizations interject themselves into the legitimate, internal discourse in Israel, they help those on the extreme right who advocate an expansion of settlements. (…) The UN Human Rights Council (…) voted to accept 18 resolutions condemning Israel in 2019; in contrast, just seven resolutions were passed condemning the entire ills of the rest of the world. With Venezuela that persecutes its own citizens, Iran that kills anti-government protesters, Myanmar that carries out ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya minority and China that imprisons millions of Muslims in re-education camps, Israel is still the problem. (…) The industrial areas of the West Bank employ close to 20,000 Palestinian workers. (…) Their income is a vital part of the Palestinian economy and its removal would have long term implications they could not support. (…) Israeli companies named on the blacklist may suffer consequences down the road, but their Palestinian workers will be those who will pay the price. The discussion over the legality or future of the settlements is a legitimate and important one to have – but it is far removed from the boycott campaign that opposes Israel’s very right to exist. (…)
Ben Dror Yemini, YED, 13.02.20
Debunk the UNHRC ‘blacklist’
(…) the UNHRC infringed on the human rights of tens of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians who worked together daily on industrial parks and businesses across Judea and Samaria and in dozens of other places across the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland. (…) the list released (…) proves that it is in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem – areas ostensibly subject to dispute – Jews and Arabs coexist peacefully, fostering working relations and friendships. This is the true peace incubator that the Left and the hypocrites at the UN fear so much. It is the most successful instrument for defeating terrorism, violence, prejudice, and hatred. Here lie the foundations of true peace and coexistence – not in the ridiculous institutions the UN runs that are so very detached from reality. If this “blacklist” and any subsequent boycotts result in Palestinian workers losing their source of livelihood then the UN could chalk up another stellar result to its name, courtesy of its double standards. (…) Does the UNHRC really have nothing better to do? (…) What about the human rights of those opposing Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the megalomaniac sultan in Turkey? When was the last time the champions of human rights at the UN dealt with political prisoners’ rights in Russia and China, or with the indiscriminate executions in North Korea? (…) We, as Israelis, can denounce the hypocrisy on the UNHRC, but we can also counter it in a simple way: Consumer power. Look in your supermarkets and retail chains for products made in settlements. Make it a point to buy them. Search the “blacklist” for businesses and companies operating in Judea and Samaria and opt for their products, goods and services. (…)
Nadav Shragai, IHY, 13.02.20
Israel’s rejection of UN list of companies tied to settlements reveals stark truth about annexation
(…) the annexation everyone is talking about these days has actually happened de facto long ago. Without any dramatic Knesset votes or referendums (…), the entire Israeli establishment stood unambiguously on the side of the settlements. (…) The prize, however, goes to President Reuven Rivlin. The very president who tries so hard to project a statesmanlike, tolerant, balanced image said that the list is a “shameful initiative reminiscent of dark periods in our history.” In other words, publishing an international database about businesses that operate in the settlements – which is illegal according to international law and UN resolutions – is just as bad in Rivlin’s eyes as the Holocaust. It should be pointed out that this list isn’t even accompanied by any actual sanctions or boycotts, much less gas chambers. (…) The support for de facto annexation of the settlements was also glaringly apparent among members of Israel’s so-called opposition. Kahol Lavan Chairman Benny Gantz said this was “a black day for human rights. (…) But the most surprising condemnation came from Amir Peretz, chairman of the ostensibly left-wing Labor-Gesher-Meretz joint ticket. “We oppose boycotts, and outrageous and superfluous UN decisions,” he said – although Meretz, which is part of this ticket, has until now actually supported boycotting settlements products. (…) This was an official death certificate for the Zionist left in the face of the annexation that has already happened. (…)
Noa Landau, HAA, 13.02.20
Breaking the Boycott- Reaction to the UN Human Rights Commission
(…) A racist or bigot can twist their words to justify any sinister motive. However, it is clear that their intent was malicious in nature and part of the broader BDS movement with the goal of paralyzing Israel financially. (…) ultimately it will serve to break the bonds of trust between many in the international community and the State of Israel, and it will cause a further rift in achieving peace. (…) it is imperative we follow the narrative of God and bless those companies that bless and support Israel and show them that we will support them. (…)
Jack Engel, TOI, 14.02.20
2. Palestinians Protest Against the Trump Deal
Israel’s Arab citizens aren’t pawns in the hands of Netanyahu and Trump
(…) At bottom, the transfer’s goal is racist: reducing the number of Arab citizens, weakening their position and their struggle for equality. (…) imagine how residents of Kafr Qara, Taibeh or Baqa al-Garbiyeh feel when they hear the prime minister toying with the idea of placing their homes outside the borders of the state. Will a doctor living in Taibeh and working at Kfar Sava’s Meir Hospital have to quit? (…) This is what oppression of the demographic majority looks like. Arab citizens are not pawns in the hands of Netanyahu and Trump. (…) In a state that respects its citizens, even changes to municipal boundaries require the approval of residents. (…) Many residents of the Triangle own land at a distance from their homes, as well as land from which they were dispossessed. (…) We are citizens fighting for full equality, civil and national, and we are proud of our Palestinian identity. Haifa and Jaffa are part of our homeland, no less than Nablus. This is the legacy the Nakba generation left us, and which we will leave for our children. (…) Our fight for equality is long and stubborn, and I am proud of our community, which has stood firm despite systematic persecution, discrimination and exclusion. (…) Netanyahu is more dangerous now than ever before, and he will do anything to stay in power. The right-wing government is going crazy. Every Israeli citizen, Jewish or Arab, who is guided by the principles of democracy and equality, must fight alongside us. In the Israel of 2020, the right thing to do is to stand in solidarity with the Arab community on behalf of democratic and human values. There is enough room for all of us.
Yousef Jabareen, HAA, 03.02.20
‘Deal of the Century’ born in sin
President Donald Trump’s “peace plan” was born in sin at a time to serve the political interests of the two leaders: a month before elections in Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fighting for his political and legal survival, and during the impeachment debate of the American president. (…) there is virtually no chance it will bring peace between the two sides, however, there is a realistic chance it will cause fierce political battles and a new wave of major violence. (…) Netanyahu has received a great gift for the Likud campaign (…). Benny Gantz, the contender for prime minister, has managed to bypass Netanyahu and met personally Trump, but he and his Blue-and-White Party were put in an awkward position in which they had to make tough decisions before the elections. Israeli Arabs were severely affected by the part of the plan that raises the possibility, subject to the agreement of the parties, that Israeli borders will be redefined so that the “triangle communities” become part of Palestine. The annexation of the Jordan Valley, if it is not part of a comprehensive agreement and understandings with Jordan, will endanger the peace agreement with the Hashemite kingdom and its own stability, and will jeopardize the current security belt on the eastern front. As expected, PA President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the plan altogether, threatening to cease essential security coordination with Israel, and succeeded in persuading or forcing the Arab League and its 22 members to reject the Trump plan. (…) The people behind the American plan – Jared Kushner, Ambassador David Friedman and presidential envoy Jason Greenblatt – are not exactly Middle East experts and are too close to Israeli settler circles to be cautious and creative. It will not be a surprise therefore, if manifestations of antisemitism in the United States will intensify during the election campaign and among extremist American circles. (…) Residents of the Arab triangle community in Israel are right in opposing the proposed plan. (…) The only winners at the regional level are the regime in Tehran – which will surely encourage any Palestinian party to oppose the plan through violence and terrorism – and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, who strongly criticized the plan and has already stuck a stake in Gaza and Jerusalem through his proxies. (…)
Ely Karmon, JPO, 06.02.20
Israel, a state of all its Jewish citizens
It’s not surprising that it was Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal that the “deal of the century” include Israel ceding Arab towns near the West Bank border to the Palestinians, turning Israeli Arab citizens into citizens of a Palestinian state (…). Such a transfer fits like a glove for someone seeking to undermine the right of Arab Israelis to vote and be elected to office. It also fits with his style of humiliation that grants Arab citizens “a right of return” to a shaky Palestinian state that wouldn’t even have its own airport. (…) The logic behind the proposal is one of promoting national purity (…). It seems that Netanyahu, like Avigdor Lieberman, seeks to resolve the contradiction between Israel being both “democratic” and “Jewish” by playing demographic tricks: If all of Israel’s citizens are Jewish, Israel can be a state of all its citizens without undermining its Jewishness. This is sick logic, because the steps needed to ensure that all Israelis are Jews are themselves anti-democratic. (…) The Jews have made a historical copy of the dual-loyalty issue and pasted that burden on the Palestinians in presenting them as people torn between loyalty to their country and their own nation. But did Israel’s establishment deny Diaspora Jews the right to equal citizenship in the countries where they lived? Did they lose the right to be considered French or German, and must they accept being considered second-class citizens; that the country doesn’t belong to them? How would Israel respond if as part of the “deal of the century” millions of American Jews lost their citizenship and automatically were granted Israeli citizenship in order to preserve a Jewish majority? No law will help resolve this issue, and whichever way the land is divided, it won’t settle the problem. In the end, the only way out of this paradox is through a leap of faith into the pool of Israeli identity and nationality.
Carolina Landsmann, HAA, 09.02.20
What the Trump peace plan doesn’t tell us
(…) A crucial element in the plan is the promise that no existing communities and people, Jewish or Arab, will be forced to relocate. (…) The decision to draw up a map that will accommodate existing settlements throughout the West Bank, rather than what were previously defined as settlement blocs, creates a complex border line that will be difficult to secure. (…) Is a 1,000-km fence to be built along all of the twists and turns in the proposed border? Will Israeli soldiers and police officers be tasked with protecting it? (…) How will that border look? (…) According to the map attached to the peace plan, the Palestinian territory in Gaza will not border Egypt, and instead will be surrounded by Israeli land on all sides of their 212 km-long border. Will Egypt agree to a narrow corridor between its border and Palestine? Who will ensure security there? Who will oversee movement across the border? (…) The “Deal of the Century” specifies a tunnel built to connect the divided Palestinians areas. (…) Perhaps the tunnel will be counted as part of the Palestinian state in order to minimize the disparity in territorial size. These are only the problems that stem from the peace plan in reference to the borders and enclaves specified, and not in terms of the strategic danger of annexation or the damage that will no doubt be done to the vision of Israel as both Jewish and democratic, or even safe and moral, with recognized legitimate borders. The plan as it stands will cause irreparable harm to Israel’s relations with both Jordan and Egypt. It will cause violence and terror – destroying the security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and putting our friends and allies in opposition to Israel. A future agreement will not be based on this or any other proposed plan. It will be a political agreement between both sides. (…)
Gideon Bigger, Gilead Sher, YED, 15.02.20
3. Third Attempt: Israel Again Before Elections
Supreme injustice in Israel’s elections
Every democracy has its redlines, and support for terrorism crosses the Israeli version. The (…) High Court of Justice (…) accepted Yazbak’s petition against her disqualification and decided to allow her to run. It also overturned the committee’s decision to ban the Mishpat Tzedek (…) Party, led by Larisa Trembobler-Amir, which seeks to gain a presidential pardon for her husband, Yigal Amir, Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin. The rulings cast a shadow over the public perception of the judiciary. (…) The Central Elections Committee had banned Yazbak (…) based on two Facebook posts. In one, she praised “the martyr” Samir Kuntar, the Palestine Liberation Front terrorist who led the 1979 Nahariya attack which claimed the lives of four Israelis (…). In the other post, she welcomed the end of a nine-year sentence for Amir Makhoul, convicted of conveying sensitive information to the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah. (…) Most party leaders (…) condemned the High Court ruling on Yazbak. Joint List MK Ahmed Tibi’s support for it was regrettable, although not surprising. (…) We urge the court to reconsider these rulings, both on Yazbak and Mishpat Tzedek. It should do so in the name of true justice and in the interests of Israel.
Editorial, JPO, 12.02.20
Elections in Israel: Why Should Europe Care?
(…) The Israeli elections scheduled for March 2, 2020, provide yet another opportunity for the EU to reestablish itself as a meaningful player in this troubled region in its immediate proximity. All parties involved have a lot to gain if the cards are played right in Brussels. (…) These elections are consequential for Israel’s very soul and democratic character. A new and more centrist government may emerge, in unity or without it, bringing fresh thinking and terminology to the frontstage. Whichever way the Israeli electorate goes, making a paradigmatic shift towards stronger engagement in the region should be a high priority for the EU. For most of the past decade, Europe’s influence in the Middle East has dwindled. Europe’s core choices on foreign and security matters and the gap between words and actions have alienated Israelis and all but helped Palestinians. (…) Europe is a key player in leading the necessary reforms. (…) Words are not enough – the EU should enhance structures that support unity and penalize members who do not abide. (…) Europe needs to be more assertive militarily and hold capabilities to deter enemies, in and outside its physical borders. (…) When dealing with Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and more broadly within the context of the Middle East, Europe should update its old paradigms, expectations, and demands. It can no longer ignore the facts on the ground, some of which rise above the surface in Trump’s vision for the region. (…) There is a clear convergence of interests between the EU and Israel. Further developing regional alliances, boldly rejecting violence and protecting liberal democracy wherever it is possible, will serve both Europe and Israel and eventually, Palestinian society in its quest for peaceful independence alongside Israel.
Raanan Eliaz, TOI, 13.02.20
Gantz and Netanyahu must work together
(…) Netanyahu deserves the credit for this momentous change. Together with the Trump administration, he has achieved what no one thought was possible: a complete reset of the international community’s viewpoint on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The UK, Europe and many moderate Sunni Arab states are signaling that they are not opposed to the plan. For the first time since Oslo, there is a political consensus in Israel on how to relate to the Palestinian conflict. Hopefully, the forthcoming election results will not tempt Blue and White to retract its endorsement of the plan in order to curry favor with the far Left. (…) Despite these dramatic developments, our dysfunctional political system and our leaders’ personal political ambitions could lead to a disastrous forfeiting of this unique opportunity. (…) Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s attempt to undermine the US peace plan in a joint press conference with Abbas is unconscionable. All of this is taking place during the runup to the third election, which indicators predict will lead to a third impasse. Blue and White head Benny Gantz’s recent statements suggest that he lacks the leadership to finalize this deal. We should remind Netanyahu and Gantz that with Trump soon facing his own election, there may be only a small window of opportunity to transform this plan into reality. If the forthcoming election results in further deadlock, Trump and his evangelical Christian base will likely become exasperated. If this happens and the plan is scrapped, it will be a self-inflicted disaster that will outrage most Israelis. (…) The historic significance of this plan must override any political or personal considerations.
Isi Leibler, IHY, 13.02.20
Kahol Lavan is oblivious to its own condescension
(…) Kahol Lavan boasts of its members’ integrity. None of its senior figures are suspected of corruption and most of its people are moderate and amiable. (…) Benny Gantz focuses on messages of therapeutic unity and reconciliation, which sometimes drown in their own fluid inexplicability. In their own eyes they are the knights of virtue, who came to rescue Israel from the rule of darkness in which it has been immersed for many years. (…) They view of themselves (…) as the embodiment of good versus the alternating sons of darkness (…). They are incapable of understanding that the way they see themselves is the embodiment of condescension and racism. (…) Those who almost always find the strength to overcome the ethnic demon – and don’t understand why we should still talk about it – are Ashkenazi people from veteran Israeli families. They are totally ready to put it behind them (but hey, they can still eat mafrum and kube soup, there’s beauty in it). During Kahol Lavan’s short life we’ve already learned it isn’t at all a left-wing party, as it offers no alternative either to the disgrace of the occupation, as its enthusiasm for Trump’s plan shows, nor does it offer any alternative to the shame of racism toward Arabs, as shown by Gantz’s statement this week ruling out the inclusion of the Joint list in his government. (…) Kahol Lavan is Mapai’s fit young daughter, one of whose jobs is to bury the fruit of the cultural revolution that began in ‘77, with Likud’s rise to power. (…) Menachem Begin opened Likud to Mizrahi people and Netanyahu, who has reportedly also made racist statements, as has his wife, appointed them as cabinet ministers. I believe Kahol Lavan has good intentions and a desire to establish something a little better here than a muddy expanse of tribes constantly at each other’s throats. The tragedy is that arrogance and condescension are a most persistent obstacle getting in the way of this intent. For too many people this is a bigger obstacle than Netanyahu.
Ravit Hecht, HAA, 14.02.20
4. Selection of Articles
Israel and Sudan on Convergence
Sudan heralds winds of change
(…) Only a few days ago, Sudan was part of the Arab League nations condemning the Trump administration’s peace plan, and now, Khartoum’s need for Israel is great enough that their leader is willing to do the almost unthinkable and meet with an Israeli leader. (…) Sudan borders Chad, Uganda, and Egypt, and it has a very long shoreline on the Red Sea. So at the end of the day, Israel, Egypt and the United States will demand Turkey’s removal from this island. Sudan, after decades of civil war and Islamic rule, is looking to make friends in the West. Usually, such developments need to be helped along, in which case Israel is the one to turn to. (…) Muslim nations in Africa are warming up to the idea of normalizing relations with Israel, as are other nations on the continent, and the Palestinian issue can no longer stop a large Arab state like Sudan from taking care of its own interests first. Israel has may things to offer Sudan, from defense aid to technological, economic, and agricultural assistance, and Sudan obviously sees Israel as a significant factor on their way to Washington. (…) Israel currently enjoys growing support from Arab counties in the region – perhaps even more that the Palestinian do. (…)
Amon Lord, IHY, 04.02.20
President Steinmeier Visits Auschwitz Extermination Camp
Ambassador’s notebook: Entering Auschwitz with the German president
(…) While we must commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz, mankind can never be liberated from the horrific memories and tragedy that Auschwitz Birkenau generated. We landed in Israel on a special flight of the German Air Force with the President of Germany Frank Walter Steinmeier (…). Everyone was stunned when he started it with a blessing in Hebrew that expressed appreciation for reaching this time in our lives. (…) It was an outstanding expression of German sorrow and contrition for the Shoah that has provided the clarity so essential for Israeli German reconciliation in recent years. (…) Speaking with my German friends, you have a clear sense of how both Jew and German still struggle with this horrific past. (…) It was (…) inspiring for both sides to see Presidents Steinmeier and Rivlin lead this journey that started in Yad Vashem, proceeded to Auschwitz and culminated in Berlin. (…) this joint journey into the past also made both sides appreciate how far we have come in building a better relationship between both peoples and doing so with those courageous survivors who we encountered during each of these days. (…)
Jeremy Issacharoff, TOI, 09.02.20
Siding With Israel, Germany Says ICC Has No Jurisdiction in Palestinian Territories
Australia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, Saudi Arabia and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have also requested to join proceedings over question of jurisdiction. Germany announced on Friday that it has sided with Israel in the International Court of Justice in the Hague, claiming that it has no authority to discuss whether Israel committed war crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. As reported in Haaretz, Germany filed a petition with the International Criminal Court in which it requested to be “a friend of the court” (amicus curiae) in deliberations that will examine if the court has jurisdiction to rule on the matter. (…) Australia, Hungary, Austria, Saudi Arabia and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which consists of 57 member states, have filed petitions Friday to participate in proceedings, but have not clarified their stance on the matter. (…) In its petition, Germany backed Israel’s argument that the court’s jurisdiction does not extend to occupied Palestinian territories, as Palestine is not a state that fulfills all the criteria under general international law, although it has joined the ICC’s Rome Statute. “Germany holds the view that only States can become a party to the Rome Statute and does not include ‘Palestine’ on the list of State Parties published in the Federal Gazette,” the petition read. “Palestine does not possess nor did it ever possess the jurisdiction that it would need” to delegate to the Court so it may exercise its jurisdiction,” the petition concluded. The petition also stressed its support for a “negotiated two-state solution and hence the goal of an independent, democratic, sovereign and viable state of Palestine.” It added that determination of territorial boundaries can be achieved only through direct negotiations, and is not the role of the court. Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz embraced later Friday afternoon the German move, saying in a statement that he “views positively the fact the important countries, renowned experts and civil-social organizations are expressing a clear stance according to which the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Katz added that the German viewpoint is “responsible, at one with international law and prevents the politization of the court.” (…) In December, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated that there is reasonable basis to investigate Israel for its actions but has requested the court to decide over the question of jurisdiction. The Prosecutor’s Office specifically noted allegations that Israel has been involved in demolishing Palestinian property and evicting Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It also referenced 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, the war in the Gaza Strip, as well as Israel’s plan to evacuate residents of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar, and Israeli construction of settlements in the West Bank. Following Bensouda’s statement in December, Germany responded that it is confident the court will resolve the matter in accordance with the Rome Statute, and that it opposes politicization of the case. Although Israel tends not to formally take part in such deliberations, as its participation would be perceived as legitimizing the ICC and its procedures, it has requested that a hearing be held to examine the ICC’s jurisdiction to probe its treatment of the Palestinians. (…) In January the ICC said it would delay its debate into whether it has the jurisdiction to probe alleged Israeli war crimes in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem due to a procedural error related to the filing’s page limit. (…)
Noa Landau, HAA, 220.127.116.110
HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: February, 2020.
Dr Paul Pasch,
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel