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In Netanyahu’s warped mind, committing war crimes is Israel’s right

April 30, 2024 at 4:00 pm

An Israeli flag covered with blood and a sticker of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu seen during a protest calling for the resignation of Netanyahu on 04 November, 2023 in Jerusalem [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “The court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the one state of the Jewish people.” That’s not true. Zionism created an exclusive Jewish state dependent upon the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, while exploiting the Jewish faith and people in the process. What the International Criminal Court is, or should be, concerned with, are Israel’s war crimes, which are perpetuated as a result of the Zionist colonial ideology that underpins the state.

The possible ICC indictments would be related to Operation Protective Edge in 2014, the Great March of Return in 2018 and Israel’s settlement expansion. The international community has long since normalised the war crimes committed during these periods, while settlement expansion has been treated as a hindrance to the two-state facade, rather than the war crime that settlements are under international law. In that regard, Israel has little to worry about.

However, Israel’s genocide in Gaza will be harder to avoid scrutiny, if the ICC eventually opens an investigation.

And playing the “anti-Semitism” card will only save the day for Israel if there are no repercussions for its genocide accomplices in Washington, London, Berlin, Brussels, et al.

It is Netanyahu who is purporting that Jews living in Palestine constitutes a war crime, not the ICC. “When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure anti-Semitism,” he claimed in a video intended, it would seem, for a global audience. The ICC, he added, “claims that when democratic Israel defends itself against terrorists who murder our children, rocket our cities, we’re committing another war crime.”

‘A war criminal’, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blood on his hands – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

“Democratic Israel” is actually a fiction to cover the settler-colonialism which the international community has normalised in order to determine that the Palestinians’ legitimate anti-occupation resistance is “terrorism”. The truth is that Israel’s colonial existence is not only incitement, but also the prime cause of war crimes against which Palestinians have the legitimate right to defend themselves.

If Netanyahu hadn’t embarked on genocide in Gaza, his words may have swayed public opinion in Israel’s favour. Instead, governments across the world supportive of Israel and complicit in its war crimes are meting out similar repressive tactics as those used by Israel against protesters who demand an end to their governments’ slavish support for the apartheid state. It was Israel, remember, that marketed its “self-defence” security narrative to the world under the pretext of the US “war on terror”. Today, those who dare stand with Palestine are being targeted simply for standing against genocide; for taking a stance against the ultimate war crime.

“As prime minister of Israel, I assure you, we will fight this perversion of justice with all our might,” concluded Netanyahu. His words are a blatant threat to the ICC and its officials, and are reminiscent of the language used by arrogant Israeli officials against Palestinians. This comes as no surprise. For decades, world leaders have allowed Zionism to expand in Palestine, to create narratives that run counter to those based on international law. When an international organisation such as the UN is moulded in a way that serves the interests of the oppressors, genocide becomes their right, and justice for the oppressed becomes a “perversion”. No matter what sort of twisted logic he uses, though, Netanyahu can never justify Israel’s ongoing genocide, war crimes and other atrocities.

OPINION: Global outrage is growing against Netanyahu’s genocide in Gaza

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.