The American Jewish Congress strongly condemns the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into Israel. The decision of the prosecutor to proceed with this investigation is misguided, lacks legitimacy, and undermines the mission of the Court.

The singling out of Israel by the ICC, especially when some of the worst violators of human rights around the world are excluded from such scrutiny, attests to the biased nature of this probe. The fact that the ICC’s investigation was cheered by the terrorist organization Hamas only reinforces its polarizing and dangerous nature.

We strongly believe that human rights must be defended and their violators prosecuted. While we’re not aware of such cases taking place in Israel, if there are violations, the Israeli courts are the right venue for handling such cases. Israel is not a party to the ICC, is a democracy with a strong rule of law, and can properly handle such cases.

With its latest decision, it’s clear that the ICC is prioritizing politics over human rights, subverting and harming its very mission. And while this mission doesn’t include participating in diplomacy towards advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace, it will certainly make such an outcome more difficult.

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