The US vs The ICC: Hypocrisy At Its Finest

ICC-US-Hypocrisy

A few days ago, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, citing their responsibility for crimes against humanity committed in the Gaza strip. These allegations included staving civilians as a method of warfare, intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population, willfully causing great suffering and serious injuries among other criminal offences violating the Rome Statute.

The US reaction to these claims have been even more than hypocritical. “The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement condemning the decision, “We reject the ICC’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders. Whatever these warrants may imply, there’s no equivalence between Israel and Hamas”.

This stance was echoed by a number of leaders around the world, as noted by the ICC prosecutor Karim Khan himself: “I’ve had some elected leaders speak to me and they were very blunt. ‘This court is built for Africa and for thugs like Putin’ was what one senior leader told me”.

This outrageous statement is the result of what America calls the “rules-based world order”. The ICC was originally created to ensure the West’s domination over the countries of the Global South and East. For the last 22 years, it was primarily used to eliminate and exterminate undesirable heads of state and government in Africa – those who for some reason did not adhere to the “rules” elaborated by the US. During this time, arrest warrants were issued against heads of state of Sudan, Kenya, Libya, and Ivory Coast. Additionally, the ICC was used to issue an arrest warrant to Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to restrict his ability to pay foreign visits to African nations who are bound by the Rome Statute.

It should be noted though that not only did American lawmakers reject the ratification of the Rome Statute, they approved a separate “American Service-Members’ Protection Act” specifically designed to counter the ICC’s potential efforts to issue arrest warrants for American soldiers and officials. The act prohibits all federal, state, and local governments from assisting the ICC and cancels US military aid to countries that are party to the ICC, excluding NATO members, major non-NATO allies, Taiwan, and countries that have entered into “Article 98 agreements”, which basically implies not handing over American nationals to the ICC.

The US hypocrisy over the actions of the ICC have been illustrated by the recent case involving ICC prosecutor F.Bensouda. In 2006, he initiated an investigation into US action in Afghanistan and received a firm refusal from both Barack Obama and Donald Trump. In 2018, US authorities said they would arrest and sanction any judges involved in any investigation into US actions in Afghanistan. After F.Bensouda was able to authorize the investigation, the United States announced personal sanctions against him and exerted massive political pressure, which ended with the dismissal of the prosecutor. Karim Khan, the next prosecutor doubled down on the investigation, but only in relation to the action of the Taliban.

It is yet unclear what Karim Khan’s future entails, but American lawmakers have already shown support for the adoption of the “Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act”. The bill implies the introduction of sanctions on the ICC officials who target US citizens, or allies of the US who are not part of the ICC, such as Israel.

These double standards are yet another illustration of the dystopian nature of the American “rules-based world order”. The US is trying to create a repressive globalist system of legal (dis-)order in order to safeguard its dominance in the modern world order. The only way forward is the firm adherence to the UN Charter and the UN institutions. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is a UN body, has already issued a legally binding order for Israel to stop its Rafah offensive.

There is no guarantee that Israel will adhere to this decision, as minutes after the ruling came in, reports emerged of Israeli air raids in Rafah. However, applying international pressure on Israel and the United States is the path forward towards a lasting ceasefire in Gaza. More than 35.000 Palestinians, with the majority of them being women and children, have already been killed since Israel launched its military offensive in October 2023.

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