MK Cassif on ICC Announcement: Israelis Have to Look Squarely at Crimes Committed in Their Name

Since the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, announced there’s reasonable basis to probe Israel for war crimes against Palestinians, Israeli media and officials have been quick to spread false conclusions and arouse a deep political debate.

The International Criminal Court's (ICC) Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda

The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda (Photo: United Nations)

In light of Bensouda’s statement, Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar stated on Sunday, December 22, that “a few days ago, I stated in [the Arab-Bedouin village of] Khan Al Ahmar that no reason has been given for why the evacuation of the village has been delayed. Today we discovered the reason: the Israeli government is afraid of the Hague.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly promised voters that he would demolish the village that is home to 180 members of the Jahalin Arab-Bedouin tribe, originally said that Khan al-Ahmar would be evacuated by June 2018. The Jahalin have resided in Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied Palestinian Territories since they were forced to move out of Tel Arad by the IDF in 1952. They consider themselves to be Palestinian Bedouins. As far back as 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that there is no reason to prevent the demolition of their homes in Khan al-Ahmar.

Sa’ar added, “A change is needed and we will make this change in four days in order to fight for the future of Judea and Samaria with actions and not just words.” The change Sa’ar was referring to was the upcoming primaries for the Likud leadership that will be held on next Thursday, December 26.

However Hadash MK and leading member of the Communist Part, Ofer Cassif (Joint List), wrote on Facebook that “Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan spends millions of taxpayer shekels through the ‘Strategic Affairs Ministry’ to convince the world that resistance to the occupation and the policies of the Israeli government is anti-Semitic.” Cassif continued “In a time of false right-wing propaganda, the [statement] of the International Criminal Court at The Hague is important because it says Israel can be investigated for crimes against the Palestinian people that lives under its military rule.” According to MK Cassif, “Instead of squealing at international criticism, we Israelis have to look squarely at the crimes committed in our name and funded by our tax money, and resist them.”

Related: Hadash: ICC Investigation into the Situation in Palestine is Justified