Wednesday, January 07, 2015

  • Wednesday, January 07, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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The Hague, The Netherlands, January 7 - Following the lead of the nascent State of Palestine, the international terrorist organization Al Qaeda submitted its application today for membership in the International Criminal Court, specifically seeking the court's action on actions by the United States and its allies since the 12th of September 2001.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made good on his intention to join the international body earlier this week, in a move calculated to put pressure on Israel by threatening Israelis with criminal prosecution for alleged war crimes in the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. The Palestinian application requests that the prosecutor look into Israeli military actions beginning 13 July 2014, when IDF forces began rounding up Palestinians in a search for three Israeli teens kidnapped the day before.

Inspired by this precedent, Al Qaeda leaders decided to seize the same opportunity to punish the US for its continued assault on the organization, an assault that began in earnest the day after nineteen Al Qaeda operatives killed almost 3,000 people in airplane crashes aimed at symbols of American economic, military, and political might. By placing the start date of the investigative window precisely, the organization hopes to enable prosecutors to take the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, and its ongoing operations in Pakistan, Somalia, and elsewhere, as a discrete series of events unconnected to cumbersome notions such as context.

"Here we were minding our business then bam! Friggin gringos came out of nowhere," said Qaeda operative Binther Dunthat, recalling how he lost his left arm in a Special Forces raid on the Afghan city of Kandahar in November 2001. "If an unprovoked assault like that isn't a war crime, I don't know what is."

ICC prosecutors have yet to comment on the validity of the Al Qaeda application, or on the strength of any cases that may be brought under its terms. Analysts are divided over whether Qaeda's status as non-state will hinder its cause, but even those who contend it is an obstacle concede that the same would apply to Palestine,and the Court has not said it will reject any Palestinian cases against Israel out of hand on those grounds.

"International organizations, as a rule, bend their rules to allow for singling out Israel for violations of every kind imaginable," notes legal scholar Richard Goldstone. "So it's not inconceivable that the ICC would disregard ts own requirements for membership and accept cases - but only if those cases can be used directly in the campaign to isolate, deligitimize, and ultimately destroy Israel." The question in this case, says Goldstone, turns on whether pursuing the United States in the ICC can be leveraged in any concrete way toward punishing Israel. The US is not a member of the Court, but its leaders will nevertheless be subject to harassment stemming from any case against them.

President Abbas defected credit for the inspiration, noting that he had simply copied the UN Human Rights Council in mandating that William Schabas's investigation into alleged war crimes this past summer also explore events beginning only the day after the abduction and murder of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer, and Naftali Fraenkel.

(h/t @NotAntiSemitic on Twitter)

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