Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Bolton To Set Out Tough U.S. Stance On International Criminal Court

Bolton To Set Out Tough U.S. Stance On International Criminal Court

Bolton's comment over protecting its allies is a clear reference to Israel, which could face ICC probe into human rights violations.

During a speech in Washington, Bolton blamed the Palestinian Authority for failing to take "meaningful steps" to advance peace.

But Nauert said in her statement Monday that the administration is "not retreating from our efforts to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace". Bolton added that there "no evidence that the PLO office in Washington contributed to diplomacy" and argued the decision "will have ultimately a positive impact on the potential for discussion among the parties as it eliminates unrealistic expectations that at least some of the parties have".

But still, the virulent attack on the International Criminal Court that national security adviser John Bolton made today at a meeting of the conservative Federalist Society was notably over the top.

"Lowering the flag of Palestine in Washington, D.C. means much more than a new slap by the Trump administration against peace and justice; it symbolizes the USA attacks against the worldwide system as a whole, including the Paris Convention, UNESCO, and the Human Rights Council". "The United States supports a direct and robust peace process, and we will not allow the ICC, or any other organization, to constrain Israel's right to self-defense".

"We reiterate that the rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale, that we will not succumb to USA threats and bullying", Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

Over two decades after the Oslo accords the airport in Gaza lies in tatters along with Palestinian hopes for an independent state. AFP
Over two decades after the Oslo accords the airport in Gaza lies in tatters along with Palestinian hopes for an independent state. AFP

The Palestine Liberation Organization, commonly known as the PLO, formally represents all Palestinians.

The U.S. does not now recognize the Palestinian territories as an independent state, though the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in 2012 to recognize Palestine as a "non-member observer state".

Under the administration of President Barack Obama, Washington cooperated more with the court.

Since the embassy move, the Trump administration has failed to condemn the continued construction of illegal Israeli outposts in the West Bank, the territory the Palestinians want as part of any future state, and it has cut all funding to the United Nations agency for Palestinians refugees, causing the worst crisis in its existence.

The announced closure was the latest move by President Donald Trump to push the Palestinians into peace talks, toward what the USA president has termed the "ultimate deal". The PLO and the Palestinian Authority demanded that the ICC prosecute Israel and its leaders for crimes against the Palestinian people, and the ICC recently declared that it was "gathering information" on those complaints. "This action should not be exploited by those who seek to act as spoilers to distract from the imperative of reaching a peace agreement".

Bolton said the Trump administration "will fight back" if the ICC proceeds with opening an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by USA service members and intelligence professionals during the war in Afghanistan. Neither the USA nor Israel participates in the treaty that established the International Criminal Court, AKA "The Hague", which means that it takes an act of the UN Security Council to charge nationals of either nation (and other non-signatories). The PLO hasn't cooperated in the talks while pushing prosecution against Jerusalem with the ICC, prompting the order to shutter its offices. We will not join the ICC. "Palestinian are disappointed. They have been let down by their occupation, the worldwide community, and their own leaders". "We will let the ICC die on its own".

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