Australian Government commended for ICC approach
Feb 7, 2021 | AIJAC staff
The Australian Government has shown its commitment to the consistent and just application of international law in condemning the recent decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber.
This case considered whether the ICC had the authority to investigate allegations of war crimes committed by the Israel Defence Forces, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups.
Australia had previously made a formal submission to the ICC in this case outlining that the ICC does not have the jurisdiction to consider “The situation in Palestine”. This is because “Palestine” is not a sovereign state according to international law and not a party to the ICC.
In expressing “deep concerns” with the ICC’s ruling, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and the Morrison Government have maintained commitment to this important issue of international law.
“The Australian Government is commended for calling out a blatant injustice in the ICC’s ruling to accept the non-existent ‘state of Palestine’,” the national chairman of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) Mark Leibler said.
“This principled approach to international law is welcomed by AIJAC. AIJAC thanks the Australian Government for its continued interest and astute advocacy in this case.”
AIJAC executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein added: “This case should be called out for what it is: a legal witch-hunt against a democratic country with enemies at its border.”
“Palestine is not a state and international law should not be abused in order to manufacture one. A Palestinian state will only be created after negotiations with Israel resolve important issues such as borders, refugees and the status of Jerusalem .”
“In any case, Israel has an independent legal system which is quite capable of addressing any allegations of war crimes, and the ICC is only supposed to intervene where such domestic legal processes are not available.”
“Rather than doing the bidding of Israel’s enemies, the ICC should focus on the egregious human rights breaches in Xinjiang, in Myanmar and in Iran,” Dr Rubenstein concluded.