Netanyahu compares ‘anti-Semitic’ ICC to villains of Chanukah story

Netanyahu referenced the Jewish people’s ancient foes during the Chanukah epoch in comments on Monday slamming the International Criminal Court’s probe of alleged Israeli “war crimes.”

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday released a statement addressing the recent announcement that the International Criminal Court intends to pursue an investigation of alleged Israeli war crimes in 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.

The ICC probe also focuses on the existence of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

“The claim by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court that Jews do not have a right to live in the Jewish homeland is pure anti-Semitism,” said Netanyahu.

“So is the claim that Jews have no right to defend themselves against those who seek their annihilation,” continued the prime minister.

“As we celebrate Hanukkah, the ICC issues decrees that are just as anti-Semitic as those of the ancient Seleucid Empire against the Maccabees,” Netanyahu added, referencing the Greek adversaries whose defeat the Jewish people celebrate each year during the Chanukah holiday.

“We triumphed then, we will triumph now,” said Netanyahu.

Currently, Jews in Israel and around the world are observing the eight-day Chanukah festival, which involves retelling the story of the Maccabees victory over the Seleucid army and the Jewish people’s refusal to succumb to a Hellenist culture that was antithetical to traditional Jewish values. In addition to a military struggle, the Hellenists also issued decrees banning observance of commandments central to the Jewish faith.

Netanyahu’s comments Monday were designed to draw parallels between the Jewish people’s historic struggle during the Chanukah epoch and the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) current pursuit of the State of Israel.

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Last week, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that pursuant to a request by the Palestinian Authority, the body is initiating a probe into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, a defensive conflict that erupted following an onslaught of Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

According to international legal expert Eugene Kontorovich, who spoke with JNS about the probe, “[The ICC] ignores international law by inventing a Palestinian state that does not exist and creates a crime that no one in international law has ever been charged with before: the crime of people living in places.”

“To say it is a war crime for a Jew to live in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City is absurd,” he said. “It is quite clear that the crime of people living somewhere is a crime for which one must be Jewish to be eligible.”