Netanyahu: Putting U.S. or Israeli Troops on Trial is ‘Absurd’

Talks to select Israel's premier to start Monday, aired live
AFP

TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the International Criminal Court’s rejection of a request to investigate U.S. troops for possible war crimes in Afghanistan, and added that it bodes well for Israel. 

“To come and put on trial US or Israeli soldiers, or the State of Israel or the US, is absurd. It is the opposite of the original goal of the international court,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

He said the decision constituted a “correction of injustice” and would have “far-reaching implications” for the future  treatment of Israel in the international community.

The ICC decision “was a very important development for the State of Israel and the international community,” Netanyahu said.

The ICC is still considering a request by the Palestinian Authority to investigate Israelis for alleged war crimes in both Gaza and the West Bank.

The UN Human Rights Council has gathered a secret list of Israeli soldiers that it believes are guilty of war crimes in their actions vis-a-vis the violent Palestinian riots along the Gaza border.

Netanyahu said, “This blocked a move that would have upended the original goal of establishing the international court. It was mainly established after the outrages of the pogroms, genocide, and other problems that arose over the years in order to deal with countries and regions that have no true legal system.”

“They harass the US and Israel, democracies, which by the way are not members of the international court. But, without doubt, we have one of the best legal systems in the world, which is not a given because there are very few of these,” he added.

“I commend the US, President Trump and the Trump administration for their strong stand alongside the citizens of Israel and the soldiers of the IDF. As on previous occasions, it has been proven that Israel has no better friend than the US and we very much appreciate the support in this field as well,” Netanyahu said.

On Friday Trump said the ICC’s decision was a “major international victory, not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law. We welcome this decision and reiterate our position that the United States holds American citizens to the highest legal and ethical standards.”

In the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu also addressed Israel’s failed attempt to land on the moon.

“Over the weekend, the State of Israel made history. It became one of the seven countries to reach lunar orbit and of the four countries to land on the moon, although not in the optimal way,” Netanyahu said. “This is a tremendous achievement for the consortium of SpaceIL, Israel Aerospace Industries and the State of Israel in support.”
Netanyahu repeated his vow that Israel would try again.

“I hope that this time will be successful. In that case, we will indeed be the fourth country to land successfully on the moon,” Netanyahu said.

“This proves, first of all, our abilities, our aspirations and the fact that we are not stymied by failures. The difference between winners and losers is that we do not give up,” he added.

“We will try again and again until we succeed. I estimate that we will have a better chance of succeeding the second time. According to what I have heard and the mishaps that I saw there — people will evaluate the problem and are also capable of dealing with it,” he stated.

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