Trump Says Israelis Should Be Immune from International Criminal Court Prosecution

US President Donald Trump has announced that Israelis should be immune from any prosecutions launched by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

According to an official statement issued by the White House and directly attributed to Trump (“Statement from the President,” April 12, 2019), he included Israelis in a “victory” statement after the ICC rejected a request to investigate US personnel for actions in Afghanistan.

“Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced its unanimous rejection of a request to investigate American military and intelligence professionals who served in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

“This is a major international victory, not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law.  We welcome this decision and reiterate our position that the United States holds American citizens to the highest legal and ethical standards.

“Since the creation of the ICC, the United States has consistently declined to join the court because of its broad, unaccountable prosecutorial powers; the threat it poses to American national sovereignty; and other deficiencies that render it illegitimate.

“Any attempt to target American, Israeli, or allied personnel for prosecution will be met with a swift and vigorous response.”

There was no immediate or apparent reason why Trump saw fit to include Jews in his statement, but the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) pointed out that this was the “second time that the Trump administration has extended its vow to protect allies from the court explicitly to Israelis.”

The JTA said that in March 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said ICC officials who prosecute Americans or Israelis would be denied entry into the United States.

The ICC is known to be considering whether to act on a request by the Palestinian Authority to investigate Israeli officials for war crimes. Like the United States, Israel is not a member of the court and thus its citizens are susceptible to court action only if they are in countries that belong to the ICC, the JTA added.

Simultaneously, the Trump administration announced that it has  invited Jewish leaders over for a briefing on “pertinent” issues.

“Gathering with Jewish leaders,” an invitation viewed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency says. “You are invited to a discussion with key Administration officials on pertinent issues impacting the community.”

The JTA said that it was “not clear how many Jewish leaders are invited to the meeting set for Tuesday, or what the ‘pertinent’ issues are, or who the ‘key officials’ are.”

In another related development, nine Jewish groups, including five associated with the Reform and Conservative movements, wrote to Trump asking him to “preserve the two-state solution in the face of a pledge by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex West Bank territory,” the JTA reported.

“The letter is unusual, if not unprecedented, in mainstream Jewish groups pleading with a US president to take steps to restrain an Israeli prime minister,” the JTA continued.

““We believe that it will lead to greater conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, severely undermine, if not entirely eradicate, the successful security coordination between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and galvanize efforts such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement that are intended to isolate and delegitimize Israel,” said a letter released early Friday to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“It will create intense divisions in the United States and make unwavering support for Israel and its security far more difficult to maintain.”

This last paragraph once again highlights the fact that the only real “division” between “left wing” and “right wing” Jews is on how best to present Israel to the outside world, rather than on any substantive difference on the issue of Jewish Supremacy in Israel or the international Jewish lobby’s control of the US government.

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