by Richard Kemp
May 21, 2014
The British government should deny its enemies the opportunities for exploitation presented by the International Criminal Court and withdraw now from the process. Any other course would represent an unprecedented and historic betrayal.
Today the United Kingdom sits alongside Libya, Darfur and Sudan as the International Criminal Court [ICC] launches an investigation into alleged war crimes by the British Army in Iraq.
This perversion brings to mind German Pastor Martin Niemoeller’s powerful words at the end of the Second World War:
“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me— and there was no one left to speak for me.”
It was not long before they came again for the Jews – this time in the newly established Jewish state. And over the years, Israel’s enemies, unable to destroy her in battle, have used “lawfare” – the abuse of Western laws and judicial systems – to try to undermine and delegitimize her.
A leading player in this unremitting assault has been the UN Human Rights Council [UNHRC], which has passed resolution after spurious resolution against Israel while ignoring horrific human rights abuses around the world. The fundamentally flawed Goldstone Report, which concluded that Israel had been guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the IDF’s defensive operation in Gaza in 2008-09, is an example of the UNHRC’s distortions of reality.
To their credit, the United States and five European countries opposed the UNHRC’s resolution to endorse Judge Goldstone’s assault on the Jewish state. Predictably, the United Kingdom declined to vote. This is characteristic of Britain’s refusal to speak out when Israel, one of the West’s staunchest allies, comes under attack, whether by rockets from Gaza directed against her civilian population or by lawfare, directed against her government and armed forces.
And now another instrument of the “international community” is coming for Britain. In the latest of a barrage of legal attacks against British forces in recent months, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s preliminary examination will look into allegations that British troops abused detainees during the Iraq conflict between 2003 and 2008.