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ICC arrest warrants: Gaza, Israel, what justice?

That the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) requested on the same day to issue arrest warrants for war crimes and against humanity against Benjamin Netanyahu, his Minister of Defense, and three leaders of the Hamas, could create jurisprudence with considerable consequences.

According to Karim Khan, it is a question of pointing out criminal responsibility for all civilian victims of wars, almost eighty years after the Nuremberg trial which established the principle. All things considered, it's a bit as if, in 1946, the Nazis had been indicted for their crimes and the Americans for Hiroshima.

The courageous British prosecutor – he worked on the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda – intends to point out the obvious: “All lives are equal. » Refusing to speak of genocide, he spares neither Israel: “intentional attacks against civilians and the starvation of a population”, nor Hamas: “hostage-taking, cruel treatment, attack on the dignity of the person, rape, sexual violence.”

The entire Israeli society considered these requisitions “scandalous”, even though the conflict in Gaza is causing a global epidemic of anti-Semitism. The Western camp is divided, notably France. The “global South” is jubilant that an arrest warrant has been requested against a Western leader. This is what these countries for whom the ICC practiced double standards were demanding, in particular by attacking African leaders. The court has 124 signatories – including European states. If the judges followed these requisitions in a few weeks, Netanyahu would risk being arrested by going there.

What is under discussion is “equivalence”: the placing on the same level of a democratic government practicing total war with a bloodthirsty terrorist movement. And yet: while the UN conflict prevention system is paralyzed, warning the powerful that international justice would hold them to account if their armies massively massacre civilians for the purpose of war, isn't that moral and innovative?

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