Netanyahu calls ICC arrest applications “the new antisemitism” – Day 227

Netanyahu calls ICC arrest applications “the new antisemitism” – Day 227

Netanyahu raves against Int’l Criminal Court decision, as Gazans are displaced, babies are dying, and the West Bank faces violent invasion; meanwhile, much of the world – but not the US – applauds the decision; ICC prosecutor makes his case for continued investigation, refuses bullying attacks; Biden’s strange claim at Clemson; NYPD “aggressive response” to weekend pro-Palestine march

By IAK staff, from reports

Israel shuts down Associated Press’ Gaza live video feed, confiscates equipment

Associated Press reports: Israel’s communications minister ordered the government to return seized camera equipment to The Associated Press after blocking its live video of Gaza earlier Tuesday.

Israeli officials seized the equipment after accusing the news organization of violating a new media law by providing images to Al Jazeera.

Israeli officials used the new law on May 5 to close down the offices of Qatar-based Al Jazeera, confiscating its equipment, banning its broadcasts and blocking its websites.

The Biden administration, journalism organizations and an Israeli opposition leader put pressure on the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after officials seizing the AP equipment.

Al Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, is one of thousands of AP customers, and it receives live video from AP and other news organizations.

40% of Gazans have moved in 12 days – most already displaced at least once

OCHA reports: According to UN estimates, between 6 and 18 May, more than 900,000 people or nearly 40 per cent of Gaza’s population have been displaced; these include about 812,000 displaced from Rafah and more than 100,000 people displaced in northern Gaza. Displaced people from Rafah are currently seeking shelter in Khan Younis and Deir al Balah on any open land available, including access roads and agricultural land, as well as in damaged buildings that have not been structurally assessed.

Premature baby dies at Kaman Adwan Hospital: Report

Al Jazeera reports: A baby in an incubator at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza’s Beit Lahiya has died, the Wafa news agency reports, after an oxygen machine stopped working.

A severe lack of fuel, which provides electricity to incubators at Gaza’s hospitals, has resulted in the death of several premature babies over the last several months of Israel’s assault on Gaza.

West Bank: Israeli forces kill seven Palestinians, including doctor, teacher, student, during assault on Jenin

WAFA reports: Seven Palestinian civilians*, including a doctor, a schoolteacher, and a student, were killed on Tuesday morning, and 12 others were injured, including two seriously, as a result of the ongoing Israeli occupation aggression against the city of Jenin and its camp.

The Ministry of Health said that seven people were killed and 12 others were injured by occupation forces, including two with serious injuries, during confrontations that broke out after the occupation forces stormed Jenin camp.

The director of Jenin Governmental Hospital, Wissam Bakr, said that among the slain civilians was the surgical specialist at Jenin Hospital, Aseed Jabareen, who was targeted in the vicinity of the hospital, teacher Allam Jaradat, who was on duty in a school, and Mahmoud Hamadna, a student in the 9th grade, while he was on his way back home.

*Israeli news site Ha’aretz reports eight dead.

Netanyahu: ‘Absurd’ ICC bid to arrest Israeli leaders is ‘the new antisemitism’

NOTE: On Monday, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim A.A. Khan, stated that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant “bear criminal responsibility for…war crimes and crimes against humanity, including starvation of civilians, cruel treatment, willful killing or murder, intentional attacks on civilians, extermination or murder, and persecution.
Each of these allegations was based on interviews, authenticated video, photo, and audio material, satellite imagery, and statements.
(Members of Hamas were also accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.)
It is in this context that the Israeli prime minister made the following remarks:

Times of Israel reports: In his first public comments on the arrest warrant sought against him by the International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday evening that the “absurd and false warrant by the prosecutor in The Hague is directed not only against the prime minister of Israel and the defense minister but against the entire State of Israel.”

Netanyahu said he rejected “with disgust” Khan’s ostensible comparison, and said it is an example of “the new antisemitism” that has moved from college campuses to The Hague. The premier promised the Israeli public that the ICC would not prevent Israel from toppling Hamas and achieving “total victory.”

NOTE: Actual antisemitism is not as prevalent as Israel partisans would like us to think. A large portion of what they call antisemitism is simply criticism of Israel, the self-proclaimed “Jewish State.” Most of the animosity Israel experiences is opposition to Zionism. Zionism is not a benign philosophy, but a racist ideology – the ideology under which Israel dispossessed 750,000 Palestinian people and exiled them to Gaza and other locations. The so-called “demonization” of Israel is in most cases a legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies of occupation, apartheid, and genocide, and other illegal practices.

“With what audacity do you compare Hamas that murdered, burned, butchered, decapitated, raped and kidnapped our brothers and sisters and the [Israeli] soldiers fighting a just war?” he asked.

NOTE: Here, Netanyahu is repeating tropes about the October 7th attacks that have long ago been debunked (see, for example, this, this, this, and this).

Schumer condemns ICC arrest warrants

Divisions within the Democratic party and its progressive flank over ICC prosecutor Khan’s request for arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant have been on full display.

Speaking on the Senate floor today, Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the chamber, called Khan’s move “profoundly unfair” and “reprehensible”.

He accused the ICC of harboring “deep biases” against Israel.

Meanwhile, progressive Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, said Khan was “right to take these actions”.

“Without these standards of decency and morality, this planet may rapidly descend into anarchy, never-ending wars, and barbarism,” he said in a statement.

The Israeli government is responding to the ICC’s bid to issue arrest warrants for its leaders with a “political blitz” aimed at undermining and isolating the court, according to Israel’s Channel 12. Israeli allies will be pressured to announce they will refuse to enforce the arrest warrants if issued, the report said.

Biden says Israel will get ‘everything it needs’; makes another unsubstantied claim

JTA reports: President Joe Biden told a Jewish gathering that he will ensure that Israel will have “everything it needs” to fight Hamas.

“I’ll always ensure that Israel has everything it needs to defend itself against Hamas, and all its enemies,” Biden told a White House reception on Monday marking Jewish American Heritage Month. The crowd of several hundred in the Rose Garden cheered and applauded.

Biden also denounced the charges of genocide against Israel in the International Court of Justice.

In his speech at the Clemson University commencement, Biden claimed that he had seen “pictures of [Palestinians] tying a mother and a daughter in a rope, pouring kerosene on them, burning them and watching as they died.”

Rising’s Briahna Joy Gray reports that “he’s been getting a lot of push back” for the unsubstantiated claim, pointing out he had previously claimed he had seen photos of beheaded babies, which turned out to be untrue.

Amal Clooney backs ICC call for arrest warrant for Netanyahu

Amal Clooney, wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney, and herself a renowned human rights lawyer, provided an “expert report” supporting the ICC’s arrest warrant application for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and three senior Hamas officials, she said in a statement.

Human rights lawyer and philanthropist Amal Clooney
Human rights lawyer and philanthropist Amal Clooney (photo)

Published on the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s website, the statement said that Clooney joined a panel of international legal experts to evaluate evidence of suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and Gaza.

“The Panel and its academic advisers are experts in international law, including international humanitarian law and international criminal law,” she explained.

“Despite our diverse personal backgrounds, our legal findings are unanimous. We have unanimously determined that the Court has jurisdiction over crimes committed in Palestine and by Palestinian nationals.”

Ms. Clooney received her law degree at NYU, and has held various appointments with the Government of the UK, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court. She is an adjunct law professor at Columbia Law School. Among her clients was Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. 

(Read the full statement here.)

Effort to prosecute Israeli leaders for starvation ‘watershed moment’: Expert

Statement: Catriona Murdoch, a director of Global Rights Compliance’s Starvation and Humanitarian Crisis Division and leading international law expert, has said that the effort to prosecute Israel’s Netanyahu and Gallant for the war crime of starvation is particularly significant.

The move represents the first time an ICC prosecutor has sought an arrest warrant for civilian starvation, according to Global Rights Compliance.

“This is a watershed moment in addressing this egregious crime, which has long been viewed solely as a collateral or incidental effect of armed conflict, rather than a deliberate and calculated strategy,” Murdoch said in a statement.

Children wait in line to receive food as Israeli attacks continue in Khan Younis
Children wait in line to receive food as Israeli attacks continue in Khan Younis (photo)

B’Tselem: The era of impunity for Israeli decision-makers is over

Statement from Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem: The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s request to issue arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on suspicion of committing war crimes in Gaza signals Israel’s rapid decline into a moral abyss.

The international community is signaling to Israel that it can no longer maintain its policy of violence, killing and destruction without accountability. Likewise, the request for arrest warrants against Hamas leaders for the crimes of October 7 is important and draws a red line where harm to civilians is concerned.

Given the escalating violence, it is our duty to state clearly: the Israeli regime that controls the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea cannot, and does not want to, investigate its crimes against the Palestinians. For decades, Israel has used its domestic law enforcement system as a whitewash mechanism to deflect international criticism. “The system does not investigate the orders themselves, nor the responsibility of those who issue them or who determine the policy”, stated B’Tselem in its report The Fig Leaf of Occupation.

The Israeli violence directed at Palestinians to perpetuate the occupation is state violence and is inherent to the Israeli apartheid regime. This is true in the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip and everywhere else. The ICC intervention and ICJ rulings are a chance for us, Israelis, to realize what we should have understood long ago: that upholding a regime of supremacy, violence and oppression necessarily involves crimes and severe violation of human rights.

We call on the international community to act urgently to bring about a ceasefire and a deal for the release of all the hostages, in order to stop the bloodshed and humanitarian catastrophe.

Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu
Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu (Unz)

ICC prosecutor threatened: Court ‘built for Africa and thugs like Putin’

Interview: The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor said he received threats while conducting investigations against top Israeli officials with a senior figure telling him the court was “built for Africa and for thugs like Putin,” and not for the West and its allies.

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters about the violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in The Hague, Netherlands, October 12, 2023.
International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters about the violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in The Hague, Netherlands, October 12, 2023. (photo)

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour, Karim Khan said: “I’ve had some elected leaders speak to me and they were very blunt. ‘This court is built for Africa and for thugs like Putin,’ was what one senior leader told me.”

“We don’t do it like that,” he said, adding: “This court should be the triumph of law, over power and brute force: grab what you can take what you want, do what you will.”

“Nobody is above the law,” he said.

He suggested that if Israel disagrees with the ICC, “they are free to challenge the jurisdiction before the court judges, and that’s my advice to them.”

“We don’t view it like that. This court is the legacy of Nuremberg. This court is a certain indictment of humanity. This court should be the triumph of law over power and brute force; grab what you can, take what you want, do what you will, and we are not going to be dissuaded by threats,” he told Christiane Amanpour.

He added, “if we don’t apply the law equally, we’re going to disintegrate as a species.”

(Watch the full interview here.)

RECOMMENDED READING: ICC seeks arrest of Israeli and Hamas leaders. What happens next?

In response to ICC warrants, US says Hamas should be ‘killed’ or prosecuted by Israel

State Department briefing: The first way that Hamas’s top leadership should be prosecuted for war crimes in the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza is by being killed by Israel’s military, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said during a news briefing on Monday.

“We absolutely believe that Hamas should be held accountable. That could either be through the prosecution of the war effort by Israel. It could be by being killed. It could be by being brought to justice in an Israeli court,” Miller told a crowd of reporters at the State Department.

“The Israeli government should hold them accountable on the battlefield. And if not a battlefield, then a court of law.”

NYC mayor defends police response after videos show officers punching pro-Palestinian protesters

Associated Press reports: New York City Mayor Eric Adams defended the police department’s response to a pro-Palestinian street demonstration in Brooklyn over the weekend, calling video of officers repeatedly punching men lying prone on the ground an “isolated incident, adding, “I take my hat off to the Police Department, how they handled an unruly group of people.”

Footage shot by bystanders and independent journalists shows police officers intercepting a march in the street, shoving participants toward the sidewalk, and then grabbing some people in the crowd and dragging them down to the asphalt. Officers can be seen repeatedly punching at least three protesters, in separate incidents, as they lay pinned on the ground.

“We will not accept the narrative that persons arrested were victims, nor are we going to allow illegal behavior,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry said in a statement on X.

The NYPD agreed to change the way it handles public protests last summer after it had to pay out at least $35 million to settle claims of police misconduct during the large protests against racial injustice after the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

The City Council member who represents Bay Ridge, Justin Brannan, said on X, “Bay Ridge is home to the largest Palestinian community in NYC. There has been a Nakba Day demonstration here every year for the past decade without incident. I saw no evidence of actions by protestors today that warranted such an aggressive response from NYPD.”

New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman criticized the arrests and called them an escalation of police tactics against demonstrators.


Al Jazeera: US lawmakers slam ICC prosecutor’s Israel arrest warrant requests.
Mondoweiss: Israel’s extortion leaflets and Namecheap: How to do corporate accountability during a genocide.
Middle East Eye: Israeli deputy mayor humiliates blindfolded Palestinians in photos shared online
IMEMC Reports.

Palestinian death toll from October 7 – May 20: at least 36,166* (35,647 in Gaza* – 4,959 women (20%), 7,797 children (32%) identified – and at least 519 in the West Bank (117 children). This does not include an estimated 10,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 43,640 Palestinian deaths. (Information on Gaza statistics here.)

At least 42 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons (27 from Gaza, 14 from West Bank).

At least 31 Palestinian children and several adults have died due to malnutrition**.

About 1.7 million, or 75% of Gaza’s population are currently displaced.

About 1.1 million (out of total population of 2.3 million) are facing Catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – May 20: at least 84,406 (including at least 79,852 in Gaza and 5,040 in the West Bank).

It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties in Gaza.

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – May 20: ~1,433 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 283 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza; 16 in the West Bank) and~8,730 injured.

Times of Israel reports: The IDF also listed 41 soldiers killed due to friendly fire in Gaza and other military-related accidents – nearly 16%.

NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel on October 7 were caused by Israeli soldiers.

*Previously, IAK did not include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile was being disputed. However, given that much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, Israel had previously bombed the hospital and has attacked many others, Israel is prohibiting outside experts from investigating the scene, and since the UN and other agencies are including the deaths from the attack in their cumulative totals, if Americans knew is now also doing so.

**Euro-Med Monitor reports that Gaza’s elderly are dying at an alarmingly high rate. The majority die at home and are buried either close to their residences or in makeshift graves dispersed across the Strip. There are currently more than 140 such cemeteries. Additionally, according to Euromed, thousands have died from starvation, malnourishment, and inadequate medical care; these are considered indirect victims as they were not registered in hospitals. 

Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.

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