TEL AVIV – The head of the second-largest party in the Netherlands has called on his country to expel the “biased pro-Palestinian” International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor over her bid to put Israel on trial for unsubstantiated war crimes claimed by the Palestinians.
“The International Criminal Court has no authority at all here and behaves as a biased pro-Palestinian institution and an antisemitic kangaroo court,” Geert Wilders tweeted on Thursday.
“The ICC prosecutor Bensouda should be declared persona non grata and be evicted out of The Netherlands,” he added.
The @IntlCrimCourt has no authority at all here and behaves as a biased pro-Palestinian institution and an antisemitic kangaroo court.
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) December 26, 2019
The ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said that there is a “basis” to probe Israel’s actions in the Palestinian territories, including alleged war crimes in Gaza during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the move as “pure anti-Semitism.”
He appealed to several heads of state with close ties to Israel to express their opposition to the decision.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the probe “unfairly targets” Israel.
“As we made clear when the Palestinians purported to join the Rome Statute, we do not believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state, and they therefore are not qualified to obtain full membership, or participate as a state, in international organizations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC,” Pompeo said.
Australia joined the U.S. in condemning the move on the basis that a ruling on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not in the ICC’s jurisdiction. Germany, however, welcomed the probe but warned against a politicization of the case.
Wilders, a staunch Israel supporter, has come under fire in the past for his anti-Islam rhetoric and has been the target of jihadist assassination attempts. A 2015 declaration that he would air cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on national television sparked outrage among Dutch Muslims as well as other Dutch lawmakers.