Resolution on International Criminal Court

WHEREAS Jewish tradition teaches that we are not to stand idly by at the suffering of other human beings; and

WHEREAS the world community has witnessed a number of war crimes and human rights violations in the past century which continue to bring an abhorrent level of loss and suffering to innocent people; and

WHEREAS former President Clinton signed the treaty to establish an International Criminal Court on December 31, 2000 stating that  “we do so to reaffirm our strong support for international accountability and for bringing to justice perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity;” and

WHEREAS the State of Israel signed on to the treaty, saying that the Israeli lawyers and statesmen who contributed to formulating the statutes of the treaty “had in mind and in heart the memories of the Holocaust, of the Shoah, the greatest and most heinous crime against mankind” (Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Yehuda Lancry); and

WHEREAS the Nuremberg trials that sought justice against Nazi war criminals provided the first impetus for an international criminal court; and

WHEREAS further negotiation could lead to remedies that would alleviate the concerns of the United States about the potential risks for personnel of the United States Armed Services if vulnerable to the jurisdiction of such a court.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Rabbinical Assembly call upon the President of the United States and the Congress to actively engage in negotiation with other treaty signatories and propose acceptable jurisdictions and procedures that would receive the approval of the treaty by the current Congress and facilitate ratification of the treaty by the United States.

Passed by the Rabbinical Assembly Plenum, June, 2001