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Breaking: International Criminal Court Targets Israel in New Investigation

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2021 12:00 pm

Breaking: International Criminal Court Targets Israel in New Investigation

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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March 4, 2021 12:00 pm

Breaking: International Criminal Court Targets Israel in New Investigation...

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This is Jay Sekulow breaking news.

The International Criminal Court targets Israel in a new investigation. Live from Washington, D.C., Jay Sekulow live. Phone lines are open for your questions right now. Call 1-800-684-3110.

That's 1-800-684-3110. And now, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow. Hey everybody, welcome to the broadcast. We do have some breaking news here, and it's significant breaking news. And that is the International Criminal Court, which has flirted with this idea of doing this investigation of Israel, the prosecutor is leaving. We've talked about that before, her term is up. But now, she announced yesterday that in fact she is going to begin this investigation of Israel for potential war crimes. Now, let me say first, I'll go to Wes Smith on this before we get into the particulars.

I have to say this right up front. The United States State Department has issued a fantastic statement. I know this is coming as a shock to everybody that's listening to this broadcast. But what it really means is that your voice matters. We take a position, it makes a difference.

And I'm going to read you that statement once we explain everything, but we've got to explain it. So the International Criminal Court is trying to bring up Israeli soldiers on war crimes. But yet, the State Department has pushed back. But what we've got here with this war crime, you're a soldier. This is very dangerous for these individual soldiers because it's not against the state. It's against the soldiers. They can arrest individual Israeli soldiers and other Israeli officials.

This is much like what happened last year, Jay, that you were involved in at the ICC. When they wanted to bring and investigate United States soldiers in Afghanistan on similar kinds of alleged war crimes. Knowing that while Afghanistan is a signator of the Rome Statute, a member of the ICC, we are not. The same with Israel. Israel did not sign the Rome Statute. They're not part of the ICC.

They do not fall under that. And yet, at the same time, they're trying to give the Palestinian state status, which they don't have at the UN, in order to try and arrest Israelis and investigate them for war crimes. It is a real atrocity of justice.

So let me tell you what's happened. The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has, in fact, launched. So they have begun the investigation into these alleged war crimes in what they call the Palestinian territories. It's a lengthy statement from the prosecutor. She's leaving.

There's a new prosecutor coming in. But I have to say, and we're going to get into this in the second statement of the broadcast. The State Department, Anthony Blinken, the Secretary of State, has issued a very strong statement not only condemning the ICC for what they've done, but supporting Israel. Now you're going to say, and let me go to Andy on this, people are going to say, I can't even believe that's happened.

Why would they do that? Well, because the success of the previous administration, President Trump, as it relates to the establishment of relationships with these other Arab countries in the Abraham Accords, has made a big difference. And in a sense, I think the Biden administration is probably going to try to build on that.

Well, it seems like that's the case. I really applaud Secretary Blinken for the statement that he made. When I read it, I was dumbfounded because of the strength of the statement that it made in support of Israel and against this decision of the International Criminal Court, which, by the way, was a two-to-one decision. It was a decision that had a strong dissent by one of the judges from Poland, I believe it was, who made an excellent dissent saying that the ICC had no jurisdiction, the prosecutor, to get involved in investigating Israel because Israel is not, as Colonel Smith said, a signatory to the Rome Statute, which created the ICC. But I was very pleased, and I think you're right, Jay. What Blinken's statement, the Secretary of State of the United States, builds upon is what President Trump established in the Middle East, and they're not retreating from that.

And I'm glad to see the Biden administration taking that strong position in favor of Israel. Folks, you're going to want to share this information with your friends. So if you're on Facebook or YouTube or Periscope or ACLJ.org, share the information with your friends right now. We're going to get into this statement.

Fan, really quickly, we got like 30 seconds here. Speaking out makes a difference. It makes a difference, especially on this issue, Jay, because the Democrat base, they agree with us on this. They want to stand by Israel.

They want security in the Middle East. We can win on these issues, Jay. Folks, this is a big win.

I mean, this is a shocking win. I am very glad to be saying this. This comes while Iran is saying that the world will kneel before Iran and will lift sanctions because of the defeat of President Trump, what they call the defeat of President Trump at the polls. We'll get into that as well. Don't forget ACLJ.org matching challenge campaign. That's why we have an office in Jerusalem, folks. ACLJ.org. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, a play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. Music. But the United States, even with this administration, has recognized the danger of it, and I will say that we talked about this early on, and I want to go back to Thanh because we only had a few seconds there. And Thanh, we talked about this when it was first developing, when it was first breaking, and we said we need to speak out on this. We issued statements.

We issued legal analysis. I know that we've been contacting members of Congress. Of course, we had Mike Pompeo, who is now our Senior Counsel of Global Affairs, and Rick Grenell, the former Director of National Intelligence and Ambassador to Germany, also Senior Advisor to the ACLJ, all on our team now. And we were very aggressive about this, Thanh, but the United States needed to condemn this, and we were also very concerned that they would not. Yeah, and the news today, Jay, is exactly why we engaged in that particular strategy.

Look, we were up front with our members. We've been up front with everyone we've talked to on this, that we're going to have many disagreements with this administration, largely because they're bringing in the same people that had the same failed policy the last time around. But Jay, let me just give people a glimpse into the political lens and why we took this particular strategy.

While the left in Washington, D.C. is sort of by instinct in the wrong place on this issue, Jay, large swaths of the voting base of the American people, including, by the way, on the left, definitely inside the Democrat Party, Jay, they're with us on this. They want to stand with our allies in the Middle East. They want to expand on agreements like the Abraham Accords. They want to see peace and prosperity throughout the region, and they want the American word to mean something across the world, especially to our allies. So that puts the politicians in Washington, D.C. in a little bit of an interesting place, Jay.

Do they sort of pander to their radical base, or do they go back to the wishes of their broader base? That's why we can win on this, Jay. That's why we say, you know, we're going to have a lot of disagreements, but you've got to dig in, you've got to fight, you've got to play defense.

Jay, sometimes playing defense, you get offensive wins as well, and that's what today is. Yeah, let me read to you what the State Department, again, this is under President Biden, what they said. Listen. The ICC, as we have said, has no jurisdiction over this matter. Israel is not a party to the ICC, and it has not consented to the court's jurisdiction.

And we have serious concerns about the ICC's attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel. This is a very big development and a really positive development, but let's go through the statement. I want to get everybody's attention to turn to the statement that was issued by the State Department. I think we need to break it down for everybody. This is really important, folks.

If you're concerned about the Middle East, if you're concerned about Israel, this is a big deal, and this was a very good development. Look, we told you early on, when we disagreed with the administration, we're going to be loud and clear, and boy, we have been. We also told you, when we think they do something, they get right, we're going to say it.

Well, this one looks like they got it right, based on what the statements are. Let me read it to you. This is the first part. Today, this is from Anthony Blinken. He is the Secretary of State, Secretary Blinken. Today, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, whose term ends in June, which is interesting because she could have waited for this and given it to the next prosecutor, which would be normal, Andy, when you're in the last three months. You're a prosecutor.

Yeah, you wait, and then you give it to your successor, who is Khan, a Pakistani, but a British-trained lawyer. But boy, Fadhu Bensouda, the current prosecutor, couldn't wait. Couldn't wait.

She was so interested. And when her term ends in June, the fact that the Secretary of State pointed that out, I thought, was very good. Then it says, they confirm the opening of the investigation into the Palestinian situation. The United States firmly opposes and is deeply disappointed by this decision. The ICC has no jurisdiction over the matter. Israel is not a party to the ICC and has not consented to the court's jurisdiction. And we have serious concerns about the ICC's attempts to exercise its jurisdictions over Israeli personnel, Wes.

We've got to hit that again. Yeah, absolutely. This, you know, if they were to go forward with this and succeed with this, it means that individual Israeli citizens and especially individual Israeli soldiers could be, if they're traveling, be arrested and taken to the Hague or wherever it is, the ICC and the Hague, I believe. Yeah. Taken there and put on trial. Oh, that's what they do. We've done it.

Yes. I mean, I've done, we've done a trial at the Hague. We know what it's like. But then listen to, read this next one.

I'm going to read this next one for everybody. The Palestinians, well, actually, it's the, they talk about jurisdiction. Then they talk about the Palestinians.

This is their words, folks, so don't cancel us out here. I'm just reading what the State Department said. The Palestinians do not qualify as a sovereign state. Now, let me read you that again. The Palestinians do not qualify as a sovereign state and therefore are not qualified to obtain membership as a state, to participate as a state in or delegate jurisdiction to the ICC.

Fan, that is what we've been arguing. There is a process for Palestinian statehood as part of the original two-state solution. It never happened. No one has recognized Palestinian territory as a separate state. They can't function as a separate state. They don't have an operating government as a separate state.

Everybody knows this. But a group of judges, unelected, of course, made that decision at the ICC, kind of. And then this prosecutor decided to take it full tilt. Jay, let me make two quick comments. First of all, on the jurisdiction issue, look, this is an argument we've been making for a long time and Israel's a sovereign state. By the way, so is the United States, and the same arguments will be made at the ICC over the United States, so protecting Israel's sovereignty, absolutely critical. But on this issue of whether or not Palestine is a state, Jay, let me tell people another reason why this is so significant, because one of the things that we were the most concerned about at the end of the Obama administration is that that administration walked away from these issues at the United Nations Security Council. Jay, with the U.S. State Department now saying that the Palestinians do not qualify as a sovereign state and making that part of their official statement, when we've got to go back to the Security Council on those other issues, Jay, how are they going to walk away from that?

I would think the United States would have to now reassert their veto at the Security Council, something the Obama administration walked away from. Big statement there. But that's the next step of what we need to see happen here, and that is what takes place now. We're going to go through the rest of the statements.

Very, very important to understand this. But then there's going to be the UN activity. Wes has some interesting statistics, and not good statistics, but not surprising from the United Nations. Yeah, over the last two decades, there have been more UN resolutions passed against the State of Israel than any other country in the world, all 192 nations that are part of the UN. But, Jay, last year, last year alone, there were 17 anti-Israel resolutions passed in the United Nations. Meanwhile, how many resolutions were passed against Syria? One. Against North Korea? One. Against Iran?

One. But 17 in last year alone passed against Israel. There are real atrocities being committed. There are real war crimes out there.

They're not being committed in the nation of Israel. And the other thing, too, the ICC was established as a sort of a court of last resort so that countries that do not have an impartial functioning judicial system, that that's where they can go for relief. So Israel falls into the same category as the United States. They have a judicial system. Absolutely, a complementary system.

Yes, exactly. The United States remains deeply committed to ensuring justice and accountability for international atrocity crimes. We recognize the role that the international tribunal such as the ICC can play within their respective mandates in the pursuit of those important objectives. And it talks about why the ICC was established. Those limits on the court's mandate, though, are rooted in fundamental principles of international law and must be respected. And I read that provision, Andy, because the United States is now acknowledging because, look, the same prosecutor is trying to bring an investigation against US soldiers because of Afghanistan. We were at the ICC litigating that, okay, at the Hague 14 months ago, litigating that very issue. So this is not new in one sense. But it's important to understand what I think the United States is setting up here, Andy, and that is this putting the jurisdictional limitation in place so that they cannot now go after the United States.

That's right. There is a principle in international law known as complementarity, and that means that international tribunals defer, okay, to the jurisdictional courts of a particular state when those states have world-class judicial systems, as Israel does, okay? So Israel has the capacity within it to investigate war crimes if they were committed by Israelis or by whomever is in the territoriality. Therefore it has no business, the ICC prosecutor doesn't have any business interfering where there is the capacity on the part of Israel to investigate itself and to take action against these people that have committed war crimes within its borders or within its jurisdiction. And that's an important principle of international law that Secretary Blinken pointed out. In other words, ICC, stay out of Israel because Israel has the capacity to investigate and determine the liability and culpability of people itself. Carol from YouTube asked this. If Israel doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC, what's their argument over the alleged crimes? Carol, you're 100 percent correct. And that's exactly what is said in the statement, and that is the ICC – I'm reading the statement again from the Secretary of State – has no jurisdiction over this matter. Israel is not a member of the Rome Statute, which is what you have to sign on to to be part of the ICC, nor is it the United States, nor is China, nor is Russia.

I can list a whole lot of the big G5s that aren't. Now what's the plan here? Hopefully this is a positive sign.

We're going to get into what all of that means, but you need to understand this. Your voice made a difference here. Our work at the ACLJ made a difference here. Our ability to come to you each and every day on this broadcast, live, on radio, TV, multiple social media platforms, makes a huge difference.

The ability for fans team in Washington to talk with members of the House and Senate. So we want to encourage you to support the work of the ACLJ, especially this month as we're in a matching challenge campaign. Go to ACLJ.org and any amount you donate, we're going to get a matching gift from somebody else for.

ACLJ.org, do it today. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched.

A $10 gift becomes $20, a $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. I'm going to play for you...how long was that, Will?

Two minutes? I'm going to play for you in just a few minutes an appearance that I made on behalf of you all, on behalf of our European Center for Law and Justice, which of course affiliated with the ACLJ. In front of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Andy was there, we prepared for weeks, and it was over the United States. But it's exactly the same issue of jurisdiction. So I read you that the...listen to this also from the Secretary of State, if you're just joining us, the State Department's come out in support of Israel on this ice move by the International Criminal Court. This is huge.

We're taking your calls, by the way, 800-684-3110. Moreover, the United States believes a peaceful, secure, and more prosperous future for the people of the Middle East depends on building bridges and creating new avenues of dialogue and exchange, not unilateral judicial actions that exasperate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution. We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly. Harry, that is a...from a policy standpoint alone here, this statement out of the State Department is very, very strong and very positive.

Absolutely. And in some sense, it's a very surprising decision, but a highly welcome decision. This decision by the Secretary of State ultimately benefits not only Israel, but it benefits the United States because the United States is also in the crosshairs of the ICC. And I think Wesley has correctly pointed out that the ICC, the United Nations, have disproportionately targeted Israel.

This is the first step in a process of disproportionately targeting the United States and any rule of law country. And so I think it's very, very important to note that the Biden administration has correctly pushed back against this outrageous decision by the outgoing ICC prosecutor. And I think it is clear beyond question that the decision by the ICC prosecutor makes little sense because the ICC has zero jurisdiction over a sovereign country unless and until it accepts jurisdiction and becomes a party to the ICC. It's clear beyond question that Israel is not a party. It's clear beyond question that the United States is not a party to the ICC.

They are without jurisdiction. I'm gonna take you to the International Criminal Court, but I think I'm gonna do that in the second half hour of the broadcast. In the second half hour of the broadcast, I'm gonna take you inside the ICC.

You're gonna actually – and will we be able to play it for our television? Yeah. So you're gonna see us in action actually at the ICC because John on YouTube says, what is the ICC, because we do throw these terms around, and what is the actual legal authority they have. So Andy, the International Criminal Court is the ICC, but it is a court of limited jurisdiction on international atrocities during war.

That's right. It is a court of limited jurisdiction, and it applies only to those who have signed up to join it under what's called the Rome Statute that was enacted in the 20th century. And it is a court that investigates war crimes and atrocities. But when it says limited jurisdiction, folks, that's an important term to think about. Limited jurisdictions means it doesn't have its right to stick its nose or its prosecutor to stick its nose in every time that an alleged war crime has occurred, especially when there is a judicial system in existence in the state where the alleged acts occurred that can do that.

That's a principle that I mentioned before, complementarity. If the state of Israel, which has a world-class judicial system, can investigate war crimes, then the ICC has no business in there. Of course, it doesn't have it anyway because Israel is not a signatory to the Rome Statute.

Of course, nor is the United States. But as we saw, this prosecutor thinks she can go after the United States too. And so did a pretrial chamber. Now, it's at the beginning stages and we're getting a lot more fighting there. But one of the things we did, we've had this before, we've had these international investigations of Israel. We actually deployed a team that went over to Israel. And I mean, right now with COVID, it's tough, but this may be what we have to do here. We may have to take our team in Israel, get everybody together.

I don't know how you do this with COVID, maybe four months from now. These things don't move quick. So I mean, these do not move, we're not under a time crunch. And we present our own case.

The Israelis don't participate. But as a non-governmental organization, we can raise issues directly with the International Criminal Court. We've had standing to do that. So we use the advantages of what we have, and then we put together what the case would look like. So we would have a whole section on complementarity.

In other words, a legal analysis. And we would talk with judges over there in the military. Of course, David Benjamin is our senior counsel there.

He is also an IDF lawyer, Israeli Defense Force lawyer. So we could do that. We could set up various interviews on these. So there's a lot of things we can do on the legal side of this. But you need to understand that this is an attack aimed at, I keep saying this, it's at the soldiers, Israeli soldiers because of the Palestinian territory, the United States, Afghanistan.

Wes? Yeah, absolutely. This is directed not towards putting sanctions on a country or something like that. This is designed to target individual people for atrocities and war crimes. And in this case, that would mean individual Israeli citizens and especially Israeli soldiers. You know, the other, the effect of this also, Jay, which I find very disconcerting is that what this does implicitly is that it sort of rewards the Palestinians' support of terror and their intransigence on peace. And what this will end up doing is pushing the Palestinians further away from any real negotiations. Well, what's working is the Abraham Accords. And the Palestinians didn't like that either. The Iranians certainly did not. But Harry, the Palestinians didn't like it either because they thought they would always be the stumbling block to getting legal recognition for Israel by the majority Muslim Arab countries. And that's been put away.

Absolutely. So I think President Trump has done at least two very powerful things to strengthen Israel. First, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the country. And secondly, has produced the so-called Abraham Accords, which strengthens Israel's relationship with moderate Arab countries. I think it's also important to point out that the Secretary of State's decision here to come out strongly in favor of Israel also notes something that is hugely important. And that is that Palestine, that the Palestinians do not possess a sovereign state.

And as such, they cannot be members of the ICC. And it's important to note that the decision by the prosecutor here was done to do what? It was designed to reward, as Wesley correctly points out, a supporter of terror, which is not a sovereign state. And the Biden administration has done something really important. It's reaffirmed that decision. Yeah, this is good from the Secretary of State. I'm very pleased with this.

I'm very pleased with the administration's move on this. We have a petition up at aclj.org that has 153,745 signatures to defend Israel from legal warfare at the ICC. And that's what it is.

It's a form of warfare. I'm going to take you inside, in the next half hour, I'm going to take you inside the ICC. You're going to go with me to the Hague. You're going to see it and hear it. What it was like presenting a case at the Hague, it'll be a two-minute clip from the hearing. I want you to see it.

I want you to hear it if you're listening on radio. But it'll also give you a sense of what we can do at the ACLJ. And this is where we need your support. We're in a matching challenge campaign day four.

Go to aclj.org. Any amount you donate, we're going to get a matching gift. So that if you donate $20, it's $40, $100, $200, $500, it's $1,000. We went to a group of our donors, asked them to participate in the match, and they said yes. And then we come back to you and say, we want you to participate in that as well.

That's how we get the match to work. So go to aclj.org. That's aclj.org.

We'll be back with the next half hour in just a moment. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at aclj.org. Live from Washington, D.C., Jay Sekulow live.

And now, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow. Welcome to the broadcast, everyone. This is part two.

If you're just joining us, we encourage you to share this with your friend. We're giving you some insight you're not getting anywhere else. We have a breaking news. So a couple of weeks ago, the court in the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which we've appeared before a couple of times, issued a order saying that the prosecutor can proceed against Israel.

Well, she's asked. Now, she's leaving in June, but they're bringing this criminal investigation against the state of Israel. The United States under Joe Biden, this is positive, folks. I know that some people can't believe, we can't believe it, frankly, came out not only in support of Israel, but condemning the ICC, saying that the ICC has no jurisdiction, does not have the ability to hear it, should not be hearing it, and then went further and said that we continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly. Listen to what Benjamin Netanyahu had to say about the ICC.

Who do they put on investigation? Israel. They don't put on Syria, where the Assad regime has butchered over half a million people, or Iran, that every Monday and Wednesday commits these horrible war crimes. This is pure anti-Semitism. This is a perversion of justice.

This is something that happens to us today, but tomorrow it'll happen to you. In fact, your soldiers are being, they're thinking about investigating your soldiers. So this is an affront to all democracies, and everyone should stand together. When we come back from the break, what Benjamin Netanyahu just talked about, I'm gonna play for you. And that was the attempt to investigate U.S. soldiers for actions in Afghanistan. And we were there on behalf of our European Center for Law and Justice, I was there presenting those arguments. Now, Than, the fact is we got a really good statement out of the State Department here, very strong statement out of the State Department.

I think it helps the Abraham Accords, I think it puts, as Andy said, I think it puts the Palestinians in a more difficult spot. And it lays down a marker. Now, how long that marker stays in place, I don't know, but this was certainly a good start. You gotta say it when you see it. And I'm gonna say it, because I saw it. I read the statement, I see what they've said, we're gonna play with what they've said, what the State Department has said.

It's very strong. Jay, I think two things, I mean, I think people are asking, well, why would the Biden administration do this? And I think there's two answers to that. One, there's a recognition that the Trump administration policy in the region had been successful. And the second reason is people like us pointed out that their own voters are with us on this issue. And that's why we got this positive statement. But Jay, I think, you know, you asked the question, well, what do we do with this?

It may not last that long. Well, I'll tell you what, we are gonna be using this statement by the State Department for a long time, and we're gonna be using it in a lot of international venues. Let me just give a quick example. Harry talked about how maybe one of the most important statements in this is when it says that the Palestinians do not qualify as a sovereign state. Jay, the secretary of state is only saying that to the ICC. But I will tell you that claim that the Palestinians have a sovereign state, Jay, that is the hook by which they use to get into all sorts of international bodies.

That's the hook that they use at the United Nations Security Council. So look, the administration might walk away from this, Jay. But when we go to the United Nations Security Council later this year on behalf of Israel, you know what one of the things is we're gonna say?

We're gonna say, according to the U.S. State Department, the Palestinians do not qualify as a sovereign state. Jay, we won't walk away from that even if they do. No, when we come back, we're gonna play those key statements.

We're gonna take you inside the ICC. And what I'm trying to show you with this, with our whole team here, is that we don't just talk about these issues, we're involved in them. Dan just talked about what we're doing on Capitol Hill. Andy and I were in The Hague arguing the case a year and three months ago, a year and two months ago. That's because of your support of the ACLJ.

You're listening to us right now or watching us on our social media platforms or on TV, whatever it might be. That's because of the work of the ACLJ supported by you, and you've been very generous in your support. I wanna encourage you to go to ACLJ.org. We're in our first matching challenge of the month.

These are the months that set our budget for the year. Any amount you donate to us, of course it's tax deductible, but more important than that is any amount you donate, we get a matching gift. So I wanna encourage you to go to ACLJ.org and make an online gift, ACLJ.org.

So if you donate $20, it's $40. But that allows us to broadcast to come to you every day, radio, TV, social media. It allows us to deploy lawyers in Washington and government affairs professionals in Washington and in Strasburg and in The Hague and lawyers around the globe, ACLJ.org. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

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Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. Hey, welcome back, we were just playing a clip and in that clip we talked about that the ICC is recognizing the Palestinian territory as a state. The United States doesn't, the UN does not, they have not gotten recognition, Harry, out of international tribunals until the ICC.

Absolutely. And so in that sense, the ICC is a clear and unmistakable outlier and I think it certainly shows beyond question that the ICC and the ICC supporters have a disproportionate malevolent focus on Israel, as Wesley has pointed out earlier, that the only nation on earth that can commit war crimes is apparently Israel in the eyes of the global elites, notwithstanding the butchery that's going on in Syria, that's going on in Iran, that has gone on in the Middle East, and it's going on today in North Korea. So when is the ICC going to step up and take action against these brutal dictatorial regimes rather than go after a sovereign state which complies with the rule of law? They're not.

Apparently, the ICC has basically said, never. We want to maintain our disproportionate hatred, if you will, against the state of Israel. They're not going to. I mean, this is just the way it is. Now, I'm very happy that the State Department came out this strong and those are very strong words.

It's very helpful and as Stan said, it's going to be helpful in a lot of other areas. But we can't rest on that because these are international tribunals and they're up to no good. Wes, they're up to no good. They're always up to no good when it comes to Israel and the United States. Yeah, one of the ironic things about this whole proposed investigation with the ICC, part of their reasoning for starting this investigation is the conflict in and around the Gaza Strip and the disproportionate casualties on each side since 2014. I'll give you an example, since 2014, 22 people, Palestinians, have been killed in this war against Israel. By the way, a war which the Palestinians started. Sixty-seven Israeli people have been killed and the ICC has said, oh, look at that, look at that. Well, there's a reason for that and that is because Hamas puts their weapons and their arsenals in schools, hospitals, and civilian neighborhoods and then fire from their own Israel. But in and of itself, putting civilian populations at risk as combatants is a violation of the Geneva Conventions. That is a war crime. Right.

And yet they're not investigating that. We've got a lot of questions coming in 1-800-684-3110. I'm actually going to take Bill's because I think this is a question probably on a lot of people's minds. Bill, go ahead. You're on the air. Yeah. Hi.

Thank you for taking my call. I'm really confused about the ICC. Like, how long have they existed and what's the purpose or reason or process? Well, the ICC came into existence pursuant to a treaty. See, these international tribunals can't just exist. They have to have a basis upon which they exist and here it was, the Rome Statute, and they had to get a certain amount of countries to agree to consent to jurisdiction and to the rules and regulations in order for the ICC to come into existence. The idea was to fight, to do something against war crimes.

It was in light of what took place during World War II. The problem has been, and it's been consistent – we've dealt with now two prosecutors because they have tenure terms and we're in our second – we just finished our second prosecutor. That's how long we've been litigating at the ICC, over 20 years. The problem is, Andy, that it's a limited jurisdiction court, yet they are trying to creatively pursue other jurisdiction.

That's right. It is a court of limited jurisdiction. Now, I think the Rome Statute was established in 1954 in 160 states – 1998, I'm very – I'm sorry. I was thinking of another international tribunal. And the idea is it is a court of limited jurisdiction in the sense that it is not there to investigate where there is a judicial system in existence already in the state where the acts allegedly occurred.

It's not a complementarity principle. The idea is that if there is a judicial system, as there is in Israel, that can investigate war crimes, individuals who have alleged to have been committed to war crimes, then its jurisdiction is not present. It must defer to the local jurisdiction, and that's where the International Criminal Court finds itself today. And I don't think – first of all, Israel does not join – is not part of that, where the United States is not part of the International Criminal Court.

Why they're doing this, it is simply to undercut Israel again. All right. Now, here's where we're going to do something very unique. So I want you, if you're on Facebook, YouTube, ACLJ, dot org, whatever social media platform you're watching this on – and maybe we should post this to our Facebook pages today.

Probably very appropriate. I'm going to take you inside the ICC. You're not going to get this anywhere else. I'm going to take you inside the International Criminal Court. If you're listening, you'll be able to hear it on radio.

If you're watching, you're going to be able to see it. This was a case involving the United States, but it was the same issue of jurisdiction. And I was there as chief counsel for the European Center for Law and Justice. Let's go inside the Hague. The European Center for Law and Justice. You have 10 minutes.

Please proceed. Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honors, and may it please the chamber. I'm here today on behalf of the European Center for Law and Justice. The first question before this chamber is whether the pretrial chamber's assessments under Article 53.1c are jurisdictional for the purpose of Article 82.1a.

The answer to that question is yes. The availability of a separate appeal procedure on preliminary issues, such as jurisdiction and admissibility, as distinct from appeals on convictions or acquittals, is in our view crucial to the efficient functioning of this court, as well as the interest of justice as highlighted in this very case. The prosecutor here was attempting to press ahead against nationals of a non-cooperative, non-state party, ex parte, without any opportunity for that state's legitimate objections to jurisdiction to be considered. And the pretrial chamber reached the impugned decision on relevant matters under Article 15, including the interest of justice, without fully considering the critical information about jurisdiction and admissibility.

In the case of the United States, for example, these threshold objections would include, first, the principle of customary international law, second, the existence of specific treaties between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, giving the United States exclusive jurisdiction over its personnel, and finally, the principle of complementarity, because the United States is demonstrably both willing and able to investigate and prosecute its own cases. I'm here to ask you to support the work of the ACLJ, to be part of our matching challenge, double the impact of your donation right now at ACLJ.org. There you go.

You were inside the ICC. And, Andy, we knew we were not going to win that case, because there's no way you're going to win it. But we laid down the line.

We laid down the markers on this. That's true. You know, the United States and Israel does not win before the ICC. It doesn't happen. But you make it very clear, as you say, you lay down the markers by simply saying to them, there are principles of international law, customary international law, the rule of complementarity that really says to you, International Criminal Court prosecutor, stay out of these things.

Well, that's not what happened. The prosecutor was determined. She is determined to put Israel on trial, as the prime minister of Israel said. This is backwards from what it should be, because this was the nation that was found as the consequence of war crimes that were committed, and yet now it's being investigated as a war crime committer. How ridiculous is that? Unbelievably so. As the best complementary system, not probably, as the best complementary system in the Middle East.

No doubt. Legal system. I mean, this is a total farce. But having said that, Tham, back on the governmental affairs side, people spoke out. We spoke out. You spoke out with your teams, and we got a good result here from the State Department under Joe Biden.

I never would have thought I'd said that. Jay, I think this is a great example of how we have said so many times, just because the deck is stacked against us, and it's going to be stacked against us in a lot of different venues at a lot of different times, but that doesn't mean you don't show up. And you show up, and you make the right argument so that one day you will carry the day. And Jay, you know, that's true at the ICC. It's true at the United Nations.

It's true an awful lot right now in Washington, D.C. I'll tell you that right now. A number of issues we're working on today. The deck is stacked against us.

But you make the right argument anyway, because at the end of the day, Jay, you can convince the American people that your argument is correct, and ultimately, that can have sway on the people that they elect, even if they don't see the world the same way we do. Let me ask you this, Tham. This is off topic, but I think it's important. On the Becerra nomination for HHS, the most pro-abortion nominee they could possibly think of, where is it today? We talked about it yesterday. What's the latest on that?

Yeah, really glad you brought that up, Jay. It's a pivotal day for that nomination. It's moving to the floor of the United States Senate. That vote will likely be next week on the floor of the Senate.

But I want to tell people this. We are sending a letter this afternoon to every single U.S. Senate office. And Jay, his confirmation hangs on a single vote. We need to convince one Democrat that he is not the right person to lead that agency in the midst of a pandemic. We want to get the number on our petition that's going to be attached to that letter over 200,000 by the time we send it.

Jay, the last time I looked, it was around 193,000. So I would just ask you out there, if you don't want people, if you don't want someone without any public health experience leading that Department of Health and Human Services during the time of a pandemic, I would ask you to sign that petition. We're going to talk to every single Senate office later this afternoon. We're going to talk more about that on tomorrow's broadcast, I can assure you. All right, folks, we're coming up.

Your questions. 1-800-684-3110. Phone lines are now open.

800-684-3110. Don't forget, support the work of the ACLJ at ACLJ.org. We're a matching challenge campaign.

A lot going on globally, a lot going on domestically. We're here to fight back. That's what we're going to do. So go to ACLJ.org to participate in the matching challenge campaign. We come back from the break, we're taking your questions both on the phones and on YouTube and on Facebook. So get your questions in now, 800-684-3110.

Back with more in a moment. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, plan parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched.

A $10 gift becomes $20, a $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. All right, we take your calls as we do this last segment of the broadcast, 1-800-684-3110. We'll go in order. Steve's calling from California, line one. Steve, go ahead.

Yeah, thanks for taking my call. I'd like to know, say in case, if there is a two-state solution, would that change things as far as the criminal courts being able to help the Palestinians then, would that make any difference? Well, they would be a state, and they could then legitimately subscribe to the Rome Statute, but Israel still is not a state. And the fact of the matter is, Andy, the court, knowing that the Palestinian Authority is not...

They're not... They don't have statehood at the UN. I mean, Sam, when you go to the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority is not listed as a state fully recognized.

Absolutely not, but it's one of the core questions that they're always trying to push. They're always trying to get recognition at the United Nations Security Council. And Jay, that's why I've actually tacked back to this several times in this broadcast. It's not directly related to the ICC, but it's the exact argument they'll make at the Security Council that they should be a state, that they should be recognized, and the Security Council is the entity that would have to acknowledge it.

And Jay, here's the kicker. It's the United States that can stop it, and historically has stopped it, but the Obama-Biden administration, at the end of their term, walked away from that position. And our concern was that this administration would walk away from it as well. Jay, they can't walk away from it if this is their position, that the Palestinians do not qualify as a sovereign state.

So when it comes back up again, I said it before, I'll say it again. This is Article 1 in our evidence that we'll submit. The United States doesn't see them as a state, they must veto it.

It's interesting. Melanie on YouTube writes, why would any country join the ICC, Andy? What would it be beneficial to them? There is no benefit to that. That's why we're not part of it in the United States.

It would be – there would be no reason for them. I don't want an international tribunal that is skewed against me investigating atrocities allegedly committed by United States soldiers when I've got a system of complementarity that will – that can address that. So what do I want an international court to do? The idea was, Harry, there are countries that don't have the capacity.

I think that is true. And certainly if Palestine was to become a state, they might qualify as a state without the legal capacity. Indeed, I think if the Palestinians joined the ICC, it would backfire against them unless they stopped their terror – Well, they can send it to jurisdiction now. I mean – Until they stop their terror and atrocity campaign against Israel. So who is committing the atrocities?

It's the Palestinians. But, Wes, they'll never look at them. They will. I mean, that's the problem. You're right legally, Harry. Yeah. You're 100 percent correct.

But in practicality, it will never happen. Absolutely not. They keep referring back to this conflict with the Gaza Strip. Israel has always tried to defend itself.

Hamas routinely has fired rockets into civilian neighborhoods in Israel. Are they being investigated? No. And they will not be.

But Israel will be. Yeah. Let's go to Lou, who's calling, I believe, from Israel. Lou, go ahead. You're on the air. Yeah. Hi, Jay. Hi.

I'm happy that you've taken my call. Sure. We really appreciate what you and the ACLJ are doing in defending the only Jewish and democratic state in the Middle East. And it's an absolute farce what the ICC is doing. Would you call them an outlaw organization? And who actually is behind them?

Who's funding them? Well, I'm not going to call a court an outlaw organization, because I just don't do that. I would say that I've questioned the legitimacy of their decisions, especially as it relates to jurisdiction. But that I didn't do in secret.

I did that on the floor of the criminal court in The Hague, wearing the robe to the judges. I think we had five judges in that proceeding, Andy. And so that was no surprise of what Jay Sekulow's view of the International Criminal Court was as to jurisdiction. But you have to understand, you're dealing with these international tribunals, so everything is nuanced. Everything is nuanced. You saw I went in, there was a very academic argument. It wasn't boom, boom, boom. It wasn't even like a Supreme Court argument. It was much more academic in tone. I mean, if I could take you into the hotel room in Amsterdam, preparing for this case, and you would have seen the painstaking till the early morning hours, we looked at, and Andy was part of this team, every single word.

We did. And Lou is right. They're turning against the people that they were intended to protect. And I said this earlier, Israel has been, and the Jewish people have been the subjects of terror and racism and anti-Semitism throughout the ages. In 1948, the State of Israel was created as a sovereign state in the Middle East. That state now is being attacked when it was the subject of attack for centuries and generations.

That's the hypocrisy and the double standard here. And no doubt about it. Let's go to Bob. Is Bob calling from Hong Kong?

This is International Law Day. Bob, welcome to the broadcast. You're on the air from Hong Kong. Thank you very much. Yeah. I've spoken to you once before.

I'm Pastor Bob. So nice to talk to you. Great. Good to talk to you.

Yeah. What happens is I deal with the International Court almost on a daily basis from Hong Kong with the people who are protesting here. And I think that the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction in this case because they have a treaty with 169 countries. So the recognition as Palestine as a state is really a separate issue at most, you know, that's what they... Yeah, but what would be... Bob, just to be clear here, China's not a party to the Rome Statute. Well, I can only talk about the International Criminal Court.

Well, the Rome Statute is the basis of the International Criminal Court. So I would think that, and I understand the sympathies of lodging complaints, I understand what you're thinking, the protesters are being abused, but Hong Kong was not separately, I don't believe, ever looked at as a separate state. It was always a protectorate or, Harry, how would that be viewed? Well, A, Hong Kong was not seen as a separate state. There was an agreement between Great Britain and China, which essentially ceded some authority to the Chinese government. But the Chinese government has not given Hong Kong separate authority to join the ICC. That's my understanding.

And so without that connection, I think it will be extremely difficult for the ICC to... Unless there's a referral from the UN itself, General Assembly. Correct. Which China could veto.

Yes. And so it's very, very unlikely that the international powers are going to go after China. Now, don't get me wrong, I agree with the pastor, the international authorities ought to go after China for human rights abuses, but the key question is whether or not they have jurisdiction. Yeah, it could be maybe the International Court of Justice. That's a different tribunal. I mean, you'd have to look at that, but look, you could be sympathetic to the people that are being harmed, and I am, but you still got to follow the law.

And the law is if you're not a member state, they shouldn't have jurisdiction. And that's what it is. All right. We're getting a lot of questions. We only got a minute left on HR1. Van, we're going to get into it tomorrow. What's the latest on this? Give a 15-second summary of what it is.

We don't have 30 seconds. Oh, man. An 800-page boondoggle. It's a DC takeover of elections. It really is, Jay, and it's invasion into private groups donor list. You talked about that last with Xavier Becerra. That is in there as well. Jay, this is going to be a big fight moving forward.

Let me give you one example in 10 seconds. If you contribute $200 to John Doe's congressional campaign in California, taxpayers will chip in an additional $1,200. Does that sound like a good idea, Jay? Not a good idea. Just passed the House last night.

No. We know exactly what this is. Now, we're going to get into it. We're going to oppose it. You're going to find out how we're going to oppose it. You're going to participate. I'm sure you'll be getting mail on it.

You'll be getting emails on it. We're going to talk about it on tomorrow's program. In the meantime, day four of our Matching Challenge campaign, go to ACLJ.org. Make that donation. It will be matched.

Talk to you tomorrow. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-18 14:59:00 / 2023-12-18 15:23:38 / 25

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