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John Bolton: “The Illegitmate ICC Will Come After The US Next”

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton spoke to several media outlets following the unprecedented announcement by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that he is filing arrest warrants for Israeli leaders along with senior Hamas murderers.

As I first wrote in 1998, the International Criminal Court is fundamentally illegitimate,” Bolton told The Washington Post. “It’s illegitimacy is why America unsigned the court’s founding Rome Statute in 2002, and has kept its distance since.”

“Now, reawakening from a protracted irrelevance, the ICC has intervened in an ongoing conflict in which a vibrant democracy is defending itself from barbarians, seeking arrest warrants for both Hamas terrorists and for key Israeli officials on highly contentious charges. The ICC’s existence rests on the fantasy that a court drifting somewhere in the international ether, untethered to any constitutional structure, unchecked by distinct legislative or executive authorities, and utterly unable to enforce its decisions, will somehow impose order on an anarchic world.”

“But the hard reality is that the ICC is at best meaningless, and at worst dangerous. For Americans, a purported court supervising its own prosecutors merges executive and judicial functions, which our forefathers rejected as dangerous to liberty. Certainly, the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties doesn’t supervise the court. And the absence of jury trials is obviously unacceptable.”

“ICC acolytes argue that ‘complementarity’ protects sovereign nations against ICC overreach, by supposedly deferring to the state’s courts to prosecute any war crimes. But complementarity is merely an academic pretense that this prosecutor has revealed to be no protection at all: If the ICC can so easily second-guess the decisions of a democratic, rule-of-law state, then the ICC, not Israel, has controlling sovereignty.”

“What’s more, intervening while the war rages starkly reveals the prosecutor’s irresponsibility. Amid intense combat, with escalatory risks readily apparent, the indictment might well prolong the war. How wars end is a matter of power and politics; the pretensions of unaccountable “judges” at The Hague play no role.”

“Israel should receive full U.S. backing. Jerusalem and Washington should not cooperate in any way with the ICC, which would simply provide it a patina of legitimacy. In 2018, I laid out a road map for sanctions against the ICC if it pursued the United States or its allies, which Congress is now considering. If this is to be war with the ICC, let it begin here. The ICC has finally and irreversibly begun digging its own grave.”

Bolton told Newsmax that “the International Criminal Court is a fundamentally illegitimate institution. It’s a fantasy idea that sits out there in the atmosphere somewhere, with no accountability, no control over it, no checks.”

“And you know historically people have referred to Israel as the canary in the coal mine for the United States and that’s exactly what’s going on here. When a prosecutor can go after a rule-of-law democratic state in the middle of a war, with no oversight, no accountability at all – it’s only a matter of time until they come after the US. ”

“It’s a thoroughly bad idea from top to bottom and the fact that it has intervened in the middle of a war, without anybody who has stakes in the war, like the US or anybody else on the Security Council of the UN weighing in – may well prolong the war, may well make a resolution more difficult. So the only silver lining here is that this ought to cement the US never having anything to do with the ICC. And I support what’s going on in Congress now. In fact, I proposed it during my time as the National Security adviser – to put sanctions on the ICC if it comes after the US and its allies.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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