by Dan Schueftan, December 24, 2019

European countries prefer to live in a utopian fantasy rather than confront reality. That is why they allow oppressive regimes to manipulate the ICC.

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor recently accused Israel of committing war crimes. Her statement underscores a much wider phenomenon: The structural faults in international bodies and legal tribunals, particularly those dealing with conflicts.

The built-in distortion of those bodies inevitably results in bias, which in turn leads them to depart from their original goals and values.

The problem lies in the disparity between the noble goals that these bodies were set up to promote — peace, tolerance, and human rights — and the fact that most regimes that shape these organizations have no respect for those values, resulting in the manipulation of the ICC and other bodies.

To gain influence over those bodies, European countries join forces with the oppressive regimes, and this is particularly outrageous because it grants them legitimacy.

Only rarely has the US joined Europe in walking down that path, as was the case during the Carter and Obama administrations.

The legitimacy afforded by Europe and many enlightened nations to international organizations lies at the heart of the problem. Without this legitimacy, a clear line would have been drawn, which would have allowed a proper distinction between tolerant and democratic societies and the despised regimes that do not uphold progressive values.

Without this legitimacy, the international bodies would have been dismissed as nothing more than a circus that should be ignored because they are being controlled by outcast regimes, unlike the enlightened countries who acknowledge their mistakes whenever they depart from their values and try to right wrongs.

But the Europeans chose a different path and have systematically stood by those who distort the very values they have championed and instilled worldwide.

Those who cannot deal with the world as it is, live in a fantasy. Because European countries have successfully turned the continent around after the horrors of World War II, the European elites continue to live according the illusion that the world will embrace peace, tolerance, and human rights and that such a world must be built by the international community under the auspices of international law using global legal and political bodies.

If you confront European countries with the reality that there are major cultural gaps between Europe and most of the world or tell them that they are divorced from reality, you will be dismissed as racist.

European countries are also somewhat in denial, unwilling to realize that their own people no longer agree with the long-pursued immigration policy of welcoming everyone based on universal solidarity. These governments insist that such disapproval is only found on the extreme Right.

What's troubling is not just that the ICC is distorted. What's truly troubling is that civilized countries, especially in Europe, might one day allow their legal system to accept ICC warrants and that terrorist entities and their sympathizers around the world — from Hezbollah and Hamas to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Jeremy Corbyn — will take great encouragement from humiliating those who challenge the court.

Dan Schueftan is the head of the International Graduate Program in National Security Studies at the University of Haifa.

This article was published by Israel Hayom and is archived at
It is archived at Think-Israel at

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