Thursday, January 23, 2020

Israel, under pressure from the ICC, falls back on charges of anti-semitism

Benjamin Netanyahu is playing the anti-semitism card yet again.
Fatou Bensouda, the Gambian chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has declared that there is a "reasonable basis" on which to proceed with a war crimes case against Israel for various of its military actions in the Gaza Strip and the construction of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank.
Netanyahu is clearly incensed by this, especially given that he has been personally responsible for most of the said actions, and he has been looking for support from his "friends"in the international community. Donald Trump has spoken up (no surprise there). But there has been a deafening silence from most other quarters. Natanyahu's specific appeal to Justin Trudeau - based on the supposed "special relations" between Israel and Canada - has met with a notable silence, unlike the much more sympathetic hearing he was used to from Stephen Harper and the previous Conservative administration (what is it with Conservatives and Israel?)
So, of course, Netanyahu has fallen back on the tried and trusted ploy, which has worked for him so often in the past, of calling the court - which Israel does not recognize anywhere, not being a member of the organization (I wonder why?) - anti-semitic.
Ms. Bensouda has reacted with admirable phlegmatism, calling the assertion "particularly regrettable" and "without merit". But what a tired old trope that is, calling any action or comment even slightly critical of Israel anti-semitic. Netanyahu (and why is he even still there, for God's sake?) debases and degrades the whole concept every time he over-uses it.

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