The International Criminal Court is a political body, not a judicial institution. This unfortunate reality has been confirmed yet again by the ICC Prosecutor’s attempt to assert jurisdiction over Israel, which like the United States, is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the Court.
On April 30, the ICC Prosecutor re-affirmed her attempt to exercise jurisdiction over the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza through a new filing to the Court. As we made clear when the Palestinians purported to join the Rome Statute, we do not believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state, and they therefore are not qualified to obtain full membership, or participate as a state in international organizations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC.
Seven states that are party to the Rome Statute – Australia, Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, and Uganda – have made formal submissions to the Court that assert that the ICC does not have jurisdiction to proceed with this investigation. We concur. A court that attempts to exercise its power outside its jurisdiction is a political tool that makes a mockery of the law and due process.
The United States reiterates its longstanding objection to any illegitimate ICC investigations. If the ICC continues down its current course, we will exact consequences.