“I have spoken with several leaders from these countries and, along with international organizations and leading experts in the world, they have expressed a clear stand that the international court has no authority to discuss the conflict between the State of Israel and the Palestinians,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
“The fact that many countries have lined up alongside us… is a fact that certainly needs to encourage every friend of Israel around the world and every citizen of Israel.”
“Issues like the fact that recognition can be symbolic [but] not legal, that the territory of the Palestinian entity is undetermined and subject to negotiation, and just the exceptional degree of controversy and uncertainty surrounding this entire question, all make the case for ICC jurisdiction highly doubtful even for recognizing states,” he said.
Israel has long argued that the ICC lacks jurisdiction over the case not least because there is no sovereign Palestinian state that could delegate to the court criminal jurisdiction over its territory and nationals.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which is headquartered in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, said it would highlight the “historical aspects of the Question of Palestine and the injustices the Palestinian people have been subject to,” including the 1917 Balfour Declaration and 1947 UN Partition Plan, “which determined the historical founding contours of the State of Palestine and Palestinian sovereignty rights.”
But these umbrella groups mainly represent themselves and not their member states, very few of which are members of the court, and can be expected to influence the three judges of the pre-trial chamber much less than the powerful and democratic Western nations that spoke out against the court’s jurisdiction.