Israel’s Ashkenazi on diplomatic blitz towards ICC ruling

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Feb 11, 2021

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague  dominated Feb. 5 that regardless of Israeli objection it may possibly examine alleged struggle crimes perpetrated within the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since then, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi has been busy calling his counterparts throughout the globe. He is campaigning relentlessly towards the ruling.

Shortly after the choice, Ashkenazi revealed a harsh response, stating that it turns the ICC right into a political device of anti-Israeli propaganda. “We call upon all nations that value the international legal system, and object to its political exploitation, to respect the sovereign rights of states not to be subjected to the Court’s jurisdiction. The State of Israel will take every necessary measure to protect its citizens,” he added.

A primary public alternative got here on Feb. 8, when Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias arrived in Jerusalem, to conclude an settlement with Israel over mutually opening frontiers for folks vaccinated towards the coronavirus. Diplomatic sources confirmed that the difficulty of the ICC was mentioned at size within the non-public assembly between the 2 ministers.

The identical night, Ashkenazi spoke over the telephone with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Ashkenazi didn’t must persuade Blinken. Shortly after the ruling, State Department spokesman Ned Price made it clear that the United States objects to it, reminding everybody that Israel will not be a state social gathering to the Rome Statute. “We will continue to uphold President Biden’s strong commitment to Israel and its security, including opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly,” tweeted Price.

After the telephone name with Blinken, Ashkenazi tweeted, “I thanked him [Blinken] for the administration’s public support of Israel in the face of the outrageous decision by judges of the ICC. I emphasized to the Secretary of State that the tribunal’s decision is fundamentally wrong, discriminatory, and that it jeopardizes the rare opportunity to promote peace in our region.”

Later that day, Ashkenazi spoke with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. “I emphasized the severity with which Israel views the decision of the judges of the International Criminal Court. I made it clear that the decision damages the prospects for promoting peace, and strengthens extremists in the region,” tweeted Ashkenazi.

The subsequent day, Ashkenazi continued hammering his anti-ICC message. On his checklist had been Canada, Hungary and Cyprus. Ashkenazi congratulated newly appointed Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau for taking on workplace, and thanked him for his nation’s help on the ICC problem. He then spoke with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto. “I thanked him [Szijjarto] for Hungary’s position regarding the wrong decision of the judges of the ICC,” he tweeted. Last however not least, Ashkenazi spoke with Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Christodoulides, who is about to travel to Israel on Feb. 14. Ashkenazi will then get yet one more public alternative to carry up the difficulty.

The telephone calls to Haas and Szijjarto paid off. “Our authorized view on jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court concerning alleged crimes dedicated within the Palestine territories stays unchanged: The courtroom has no jurisdiction due to the absence of the factor of Palestinian statehood required by worldwide legislation,” stated Haas. The Hungarian minister reacted in the identical method. “Similar to Israel, Hungary does not agree with this choice. During the authorized process we already signaled that, in line with our place, Palestine doesn’t have felony jurisdiction over Israeli residents. We have at all times supported Israel’s proper to defend itself. We consider that peace within the area can solely be achieved via negotiations primarily based on mutual respect. The choice of the ICC doesn’t take us nearer to this,” said Szijjarto.

Feb. 10 was the tour of Australia and the United Kingdom. Ashkenazi thanked Australian Minister of Foreign Affrairs Marise Payne for “Australia’s clear and decisive stance that the choice of the ICC is basically incorrect.” With British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominique Raab Ashkenazi “made clear Israel’s complete opposition to the choice of the ICC.”

Clearly, Ashkenazi started his diplomatic campaign the easy way, by calling Israel’s traditional allies. Germany and Hungary had already expressed last year their objection to the ICC judging Israel. Ashkenazi’s test will be when he contacts those who support the ICC stance. Still, Ashkenazi’s engagement in this campaign is to his credit. The foreign minister had already announced he will not run in the March 23 elections, so he could have taken a more relaxed course of action. Clearly, even on his way out, Ashkenazi does not want an investigation by the ICC opening on his watch.