Meretz Leader Sticks to Blaming Right Wing for ICC Probe

YERUSHALAYIM -

Head of the left wing Meretz party Nitzan Horowitz. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Nitzan Horowitz, head of the left-wing Meretz party, has refused to back down from accusing the right wing of being the cause of the International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate Israel for war crimes.

“Those who are dragging Israel to court in the Hague are [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, the right, and the settlers,” Horowitz said at a Channel 12-hosted conference in Yerushalayim on Motzei Shabbos.

“This is a failure of Israeli leadership and policy that is preserving the occupation in the territories for years now,” he said. “The leaders of the right should think about what they did that brought us to this situation.”

Asked whether the ICC hasn’t crossed a red line by singling out Israel and ignoring major offenders around the world, he replied: “The red line is that there are no negotiations with the Palestinians and we’re continuing to build settlements like there’s no tomorrow, and then we wonder why there are steps taken against that.”

Regarding IDF actions during ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in Gaza in 2014, he added: “We said there are things that shouldn’t have been done, and massive harm was done to the civilian population there. It’s not for nothing the court said it needed to look into it.”

The Meretz chairman’s comments drew fire from the right.

Yamina Party MK Ayelet Shaked said, “We won’t serve in a government with Meretz. Horowitz’s remark justifying the political and anti-Semitic action of the court at The Hague and its persecution of IDF soldiers is a disgrace to the Israeli Knesset.”

A Likud Party statement: “Horowitz is [turning his back on] IDF soldiers that protect him and all of us. The Hague court’s decision is an ant-Semitic one, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will fight everywhere around the world to have it rescinded.”

Gideon Saar’s New Hope Party also condemned Horowitz’s “miserable remark at the expense of IDF soldiers. No campaign justifies support for the anti-Semitic ruling and he would be wise to apologize for it.”