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Letter from Larry Shapiro, Calgary, to Minister Melanie Joly re Canada's stance on ICC going after Israel's PM and Minister of Defense when its judges are clearly NOT independent

May 22, 2024

The Honorable Mélanie Joly

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Government of Canada

House of Commons

Ottawa, ON

K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Joly,

Your reaction to the ICC's decision to seek arrest warrants for two Israeli and three Hamas leaders  was to state that Canada supports the independence of the Court. Please tell me how Canada can assure the independence of the Court when the Court's decision to seek arrest warrants was initiated by a British lawyer Amal Clooney, whose decades long anti-Israel position is well known, but apparently not in Ottawa.

How can the Court’s independence be assured when some of the jurists are on record making critical statements about Israel? One justice, Ronny Abraham, a French judge, has written about the security wall built by Israel to separate the Palestinian population in the West Bank. His work did not reflect Israel's position. Do you really think that his anti-Israel bias will assure justice?

ICC judges are chosen by their countries. Do you really think that countries where the courts are not independent from the government such as China will have judges capable of making objective decisions? Would you ever subject Canadian citizens to this Court?

Unlike the President of the USA, who made a point of denying any moral equivalence between Israel's and Hamas' leaders, your statement lumped all five leaders together in a specious moral equivalence. Israel is a democratic country that holds regular elections and is a country of laws including scrupulously following the laws of war, wars that are inflicted on it by the barbarians you make equivalent. Hamas is a bestial terrorist organization that terrorizes its own people. Placing the names of Hamas leaders next to Israel's leaders is like asking rape victims to sit next to their rapists in court.

One other small matter. Israel was not officially notified of the ICC's decision. It learned about the matter from CNN. Do you support the stealth employed by the ICC to initiate the case? If Canada was not officially informed about a case pending against it, would it still participate?

I sincerely hope that you will consider my statements.

Respectfully yours,

Larry Shapiro, Calgary


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