Defense Minister: ‘Israel will provide a legal Iron Dome for its soldiers and officers’

The Hague is a breeding ground for modern anti-Semitism,” the defense minister told graduating IAF cadets, referring to the recent ICC decision to investigate Israel for “war crimes.”

By World Israel News Staff

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said on Wednesday that he won’t allow the anti-Semitic International Criminal Court (ICC)  to harm Israel’s soldiers.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony of cadets at the Israeli Air Force’s Flight Academy, Bennett said he won’t let “anti-Semitism fly in the cockpit” and the government will provide legal protection to its soldiers and officers like an “Iron Dome.”

“I know that when you go on a mission, serving as Israel’s long arm that strikes the evildoers in precision strikes, you have to handle enormous stress. This pressure is now worse as a result of the ICC’s decision, but that cannot hold you back,”  Bennett said.

“Any attempt to please or appease this body will not succeed. The Hague is a breeding ground for modern anti-Semitism. It encourages terror. Now that it is clear, we must treat it as such. We will fight terror as if there is no Hague, and fight The Hague as if there is no terror,” he said. “Any attempt to please or appease this body will not succeed. The Hague is a breeding ground for modern anti-Semitism.

Read  Congress preparing for 'disgraceful' ICC warrants targeting Israel

On Friday, the ICC’s top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda recommended opening a formal investigation into alleged Israeli “war crimes” against the Palestinians during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. As a step forward, Bensouda asked judges to outline the territorial jurisdiction of a full investigation.

Even though Israel is not a member of the court and does not recognize its jurisdiction, those who might be found guilty  – including government ministers, IDF chiefs and soldiers – could be subject to international arrest warrants.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that the Trump administration will stand by Israel’s side.  On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also threw his support behind the Jewish State, saying that Australia recognizes neither a “State of Palestine,” the term used by Bensouda in her ruling, nor the Palestinian Authority’s status as a member state of the ICC.