Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

This #GivingTuesday, whatever is your first priority, your second priority has to be independent media.

2021 has been one of the most dangerous and difficult years for independent journalism that we’ve ever seen. Our democracy is facing existential threats including the climate emergency, vaccine apartheid amid deadly pandemic, a global crisis for biodiversity, reproductive freedoms under assault, rising authoritarianism worldwide, and corporate-funded corruption of democracy that run beneath all of this. Giving Tuesday is a critical opportunity to make sure our journalism remains funded so that we can stay focused on all your priority issues. Please contribute today to keep Common Dreams alive and growing.

Please Help This #GivingTuesday -- Though our content is free to all, less than 1% of our readers give. We’re counting on you. Please help Common Dreams end the year strong.

 In the words of John Dugard, special rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council concerning Palestinian affairs, "the ICC at this stage faces a real credibility test." (Photo: Reuters)

In the words of John Dugard, special rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council concerning Palestinian affairs, "the ICC at this stage faces a real credibility test." (Photo: Reuters)

After Palestinians Submit Formal Complaint with ICC, US Backers of Israel Lash Out with Threats

Palestinian officials filed evidence of Israel's war crimes and human rights violations to International Criminal Court

Sarah Lazare

For the mere act of submitting documents to the International Criminal Court detailing Israel's ongoing human rights violations and history of war crimes on Thursday, the Palestinian Authority is now facing a barrage of threats and rebukes from U.S. lawmakers and the White House.

The warnings followed the PA Foreign Ministry's submission of documents to the ICC in the Hague on Thursday which provided prosecutors with information regarding Israel's policies relating to last summer's seven-week military assault on Gaza, the existence of illegal settlements, and continued mass detention of Palestinians living under occupation.

"The United States has made it clear that we oppose actions against Israel at the ICC as counterproductive," White House National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey said in response to the filing.

A handful of congressional representatives have already threatened to withhold $400 million in aid for the West Bank.

"By formally submitting allegations against Israeli forces to the ICC Chief Prosecutor, President [Mahmoud] Abbas has triggered a provision in U.S. law that suspends all economic assistance to the PA," said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee in a statement.

Stop!

We Interrupt This Article with an Urgent Message!

Common Dreams is a not-for-profit news service. All of our content is free to you - no subscriptions; no ads. We are funded by donations from our readers.

Our critical Mid-Year fundraiser is going very slowly - only 1,165 readers have contributed so far. We must meet our goal before we can end this fundraising campaign and get back to focusing on what we do best.
If you support Common Dreams and you want us to survive, we need you now.
Please make a tax-deductible gift to our Mid-Year Fundraiser now!

While the documents themselves have not been publicly disclosed, Palestinian diplomats and human rights groups discussed their contents with reporters.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has already launched an initial probe into Israeli war crimes and is weighing whether to launch a more serious investigation. Because Palestine is now officially a member of the ICC, even if Bensouda's investigation does not bear fruit, Palestinians officials maintain they can still issue their own complaint.

"The challenge is that these are long and drawn out processes that may not result in an outcome for five, ten, or 20 years," Yousef Munayyer, executive director for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, told Common Dreams. "It's very important that Palestinians are looking at different venues through which they can advance their rights."

That, in fact, is just what Palestinian civil society and social movement organizations are doing through multiple, ongoing efforts to win self-determination, from protest movements throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem to the global call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.

Meanwhile, the human rights crisis in Palestine continues to escalate amid growing international condemnation of Israel's occupation and apartheid policies, including from the United Nations.

However, Israel has historically dodged accountability for human rights violations, thanks in large part to backing from world powers, including the United States.

Amid this climate, the small act of seeking redress from the ICC could result in severe repercussions. When the Palestinian Authority applied to join the court earlier this year, Israel swiftly punished them by seizing and withholding millions of dollars in tax transfers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed earlier this year, "We will not let [Israeli army] soldiers and officers to be dragged to the International Criminal Court in The Hague."

But as Washington Post reporter William Booth points out, "If Israel were ever prosecuted by the court, the defendant would not be a conscript but a top Israeli commander or Netanyahu himself."

It is not clear at this point if Netanyahu will, in fact, ever see charges under this global body.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

New Climate Study Predicting More Rain Than Snow in the Arctic 'Rings Alarm Bells'

"There are huge ramifications of these changes," said the lead researcher, "all of which have implications on wildlife populations and human livelihoods."

Jessica Corbett ·


Durbin Introduces Amendment to End 'Legacy of Cruelty' by Closing Guantánamo

"It's time at long last to face reality and... close the detention facility at Guantánamo. Let's put this dark chapter behind us once and for all."

Brett Wilkins ·


With SCOTUS Set to Hear Abortion Case, Anti-Choice Groups Prepare to Enact 'Post-Roe Strategy'

Right-wing groups are lobbying lawmakers to pass state-level restrictions and ban sales of abortion pills, should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

Julia Conley ·


As Executives Hike Prices, US Corporations Rake in Biggest Profits Since 1950

"Prices are high," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, "because corporations are raising them—so they can keep paying themselves with ever-larger executive bonuses and stock buybacks."

Jake Johnson ·


Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo