The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has expressed gratitude to the Australian Government for expressing its concern about the International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor’s decision to launch an investigation into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict announced on Dec. 20.
In a statement made to the Jwire news service and published on Dec. 24, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said:
“Australia is concerned by the ICC Prosecutor’s proposal to consider the situation in the Palestinian Territories, subject to a ruling by the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber on the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the matter.
“Australia’s position is clear – we do not recognise a so-called ‘State of Palestine’ and we do not recognise that there is such a State Party to the ICC’s Rome Statute.
“We consider that the question of territory and borders can be resolved only through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. This is the only way to ensure a durable and resilient peace.”
AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein AM expressed “sincere thanks for the government’s rejection of the ICC’s intention to pursue Israel for war crimes and unequivocal refusal to recognise a State of Palestine.”
“This principled stance and moral clarity is deeply appreciated not only by Australian and world Jewry but very sincerely throughout Israel,” he added.
Dr. Rubenstein went on to argue that “DFAT’s statement serves both the interests of peace and Australia’s national interests. The ICC risks both its own reputation and the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians in a lasting two-state peace by proceeding with this case. This is a case in which the ICC clearly has no jurisdiction under its own statutes, and it is obvious that the ICC is only considering this case because of a non-legally binding and completely politicised UN General Assembly decision, which should have no place in the considerations of a supposedly neutral judicial body.”
For additional information, contact AIJAC on (03)-9681-6660.