The same day the Biden administration and European Union offered their condolences over the death of Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, the “Butcher of Tehran,” the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, sought the arrest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli war council members over imaginary war crimes.

The first question we need to ask is: Karim Khan and what army?

It’s not worth taking a deep dive into the intricacies of law and war, because Hamas does not recognize any moral or legal restrictions on warfare and the ICC has no real jurisdiction over anyone, anyway. Khan says, “Nobody is above the law.” But there is no such thing as international law. The term is a contradiction and a fantasy. Law is a system of rules regulating citizens — in our case, with the consent of the governed — and is overseen with due process and enforced with penalties. Americans do not recognize any international government, so there can’t be “international law.”

Though we occasionally enter treaties with other nations — neither the U.S. nor Israel signed onto the ICC agreement in 2002 — the ultimate authority that governs us is the Constitution. We do not recognize the ability of illiberal European institutions to punish our citizens, and neither does Israel.

None of that is to mention that the ICC is an enemy of the Jewish State masquerading as a court. Just read the indictment.

To begin with, the ICC draws a moral equivalence between the actions of Israel and Hamas. Need it be repeated, Hamas — which even the EU designates as a terrorist organization — targets civilians, women and children for murder and rape and torture. It is still holding hostages, among them Americans. It does not recognize any rules of warfare.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was never indicted by the ICC. Nor has Bashar al Assad. Nor has Xi Jinping. Nor have dozens of other genocidal dictators. Netanyahu is charged with “extermination,” “starvation of civilians” and “intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population,” among other imaginary crimes. The ICC presumably relies on the wholly conjured fatality statistics provided by Hamas and spread by the media and the Left. The Israel Defense Forces estimates it has killed around 15,000 terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, or half of fatalities — which is a better civilian-to-combatant ratio in an urban warfare setting than perhaps any in history.

Notice as well that indictments only charge members of right-center Likud who are in the war cabinet. Right now, Israel has a unity government. Every major political party in Israel is in basic agreement that Hamas must be destroyed in Gaza. There is no government coalition that could survive that does not hunt down the remaining Hamas battalions. And the war cabinet, overseeing the decisions that brought on the ICC indictments, features Netanyahu’s biggest political rival Benny Gantz, as well. Yet he is not charged.

Placing blame on this one man falls in line with the American Left’s rhetoric about Israel’s democratically elected unity government. Using Netanyahu as a straw man is a politically expedient way to attack Israel’s democracy. The entire point of the ICC indictments is to further isolate Israel and reward Hamas. (Israel was about to host Khan to explain their decision making process, but the “prosecutor” was not interested.)

In this regard, the real tell is that the alleged crimes cover actions in both the “territory of Israel” and the “State of Palestine.”

The ICC creates a fictitious “state” and downgrades an existing one to a “territory” — even though it is recognized by most United Nations member states.

There is no Palestine. An independent Arab Palestine has never existed. There is no historical precedent for it. It didn’t exist under Ottoman rule or the British Mandate or, in the end, under a United Nations Partition Plan that was rejected by every single Arab state and Palestinian leadership. It didn’t exist when the Palestinians were ruled by governments in Jordan and Egypt (a time when there was virtually no international pressure to create an independent “Palestine”), and it didn’t come into existence when the Arab states rejected Israel’s peace gestures after the 1967 and 1973 wars.

If Palestinians keep supporting nihilism and terrorism, such a state may never exist. And it won’t make one lick of difference how the UN or ICC or EU describes Gaza in press releases.

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David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior writer at National Review and author of "Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent."

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David Harsanyi

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