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Weekly Update: What happens when the nations reject God’s appointed conscience of humanity?

5 March 2021

God called Abraham and established the nation of Israel to be a “light to the nations”. Israel’s calling is to be the “conscience of humanity”: to remind the nations of the world that there is a Creator of heaven and earth. And their return to the land is meant to be a sign to the nations that God reigns, and He alone is to be worshiped.

This week, those nations decided that the return of the Jewish people to the land is an offence to the conscience of humanity. They have thus rejected this sign, and declared war on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

On Wednesday 3rd March the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (Ms. Bensouda) announced that she will open an investigation into war crimes “on the territory of Palestine”.

This follows the decision of the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber early February that the Court has “jurisdiction” (ie. authority) to prosecute crimes “in the territory of Palestine”. That was a very controversial decision, because it is widely recognized that “Palestine” is not a state in the normal meaning of the word, and Israel is not a party to the ICC. So many other States (such as Germany, Austria, Australia, and Brazil) and international law experts said the ICC has no business investigating crimes “in Palestine”. Those arguments were summarily rejected by the Court, which decided that the fact the UN considers Palestine to be a State is enough.

The Prosecutor is looking at two kinds of crimes. First, the excessive use of force by Hamas and the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in the context of the Gaza wars since 2014 as well as the Gaza border conflict in 2018-19 (“The Great Return”). Second, Israeli war crimes in “occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank” – principally Israel’s policies enabling Jews to live there.

Of course, Israel is not above the law. Israel, like any other nation, has to comply with international law. But Israel decided, for good reasons, not to join the ICC in 2002. Along with the USA, Russia, China and many other nations, Israel believed the Court would be used as a political weapon against Israel.

And that is exactly what has happened. The Court has become a politicized institution, simply doing what a majority of states want to be done, and in the process overriding the sovereignty of Western nations like Israel.

The Court was established twenty years ago to end impunity for “unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity”.

To say that it “shocks the conscience of humanity” to allow Jews to live in the Old City of Jerusalem, Judea or Samaria just shows how far the Court has fallen.

And to recognize “Palestine” as a State – when it patently is not – is not only absurd, it is dangerous. The Palestinians have no right to a State as long as they refuse to live in peace with the Jewish people. That is the bottom line. The only way that peace will be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians is when the Palestinians accept the right of the Jewish State to exist. The fact that they refuse to abandon their claim to a “right of return” shows their real intentions: the elimination of a Jewish State.

These decisions represent a watershed. The nations of the earth have now openly rejected God’s sovereign choice in bringing the Jewish people back to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Not only have they rejected it, they have declared they will oppose it. The only possible result can be God’s judgment.

Instead of condemning Israel, the nations should be encouraging Israel to be what it was called to be: a “light to the nations”.

The International Criminal Court has shown it is not receptive to arguments based on sound reason or morality. It has made its political choice.

The states that established the ICC are at the end of the day responsible for it. They need to be made aware of what is really happening. Every effort – political, legal, moral, spiritual – must now be made to urge them to come to their senses – to make sure the Court sticks to doing what it is supposed to do: end impunity for those who commit atrocities that really offend the conscience of humanity.

The Editorial team

Israel & Christians Today


The ICC is exceeding its mandate 

“The decision has no basis in law or precedent; rather, the ICC has become just another anti-Israel international organization,” Professor Eugene Kontorovich, director of International Law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, told JNS. Read more..

Why the Palestinian claim to a “right of return” is undermining peace 

Authors Dr. Einat Wilf and Adi Schwartz explain why Western indulgence of the Palestinian dream has obstructed the path to peace. Read more..

Muslims can be Zionists

Dr. Einat Wilf, Ibrahim Al Rashidi and Maryam AlZaabi argue: “Zionism was never about replacing Arabs but about living with them and next to them as an equal nation and people…. There is nothing in Arab history and in Islam that necessitates fierce opposition to this idea.” Read more..

 

Scripture for the week: Jeremiah 31:1-14

“At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.”

This is what the Lord says:

“The people who survive the sword
    will find favor in the wilderness;
    I will come to give rest to Israel.”

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
I will build you up again,
    and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt.
Again you will take up your timbrels
    and go out to dance with the joyful.
Again you will plant vineyard on the hills of Samaria;
the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit.
There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim,
‘Come, let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.’”

This is what the Lord says: “Sing with joy for Jacob;
    shout for the foremost of the nations.
Make your praises heard, and say,
    Lord, save your people,
    the remnant of Israel.’
See, I will bring them from the land of the north
    and gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the lame,
    expectant mothers and women in labor;
    a great throng will return.
They will come with weeping;
    they will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead them beside streams of water
    on a level path where they will not stumble,
because I am Israel’s father,
    and Ephraim is my firstborn son.

10 “Hear the word of the Lord, you nations;
    proclaim it in distant coastlands:
‘He who scattered Israel will gather them
    and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’
11 For the Lord will deliver Jacob
    and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.
12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion;
    they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord
the grain, the new wine and the olive oil,
    the young of the flocks and herds.
They will be like a well-watered garden,
    and they will sorrow no more.
13 Then young women will dance and be glad,
    young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
    I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
14 I will satisfy the priests with abundance,
    and my people will be filled with my bounty,”
declares the Lord.