JNS: Visiting European lawmakers decry ICC moves against Israel

A group of European parliamentarians in Israel on a solidarity visit expressed shock and disbelief that the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in The Hague would create a false equivalence between Israeli leadership and a terror organization.

The unequivocal pushback from the pro-Israel lawmakers across the continent came a day after the court’s war crimes prosecutor sought arrest warrants for the leaders of Hamas and Israel, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, over actions during the seven-month-old war — a move that was strongly condemned by Western governments led by the United States.

The female lawmakers in Jerusalem were part of an 18-member delegation from 12 European countries aimed to combat gender-based violence. The weeklong women-only trip was organized by Elnet (European Leadership Network), a non-governmental organization that promotes links between Europe and Israel. It included visits to southern Israeli communities attacked in the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre; a visit to “Hostages Square” in Tel Aviv; briefings at the Knesset, where they launched an international coalition of women against gender-based violence as a weapon of war; and a gala event at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, where they viewed a new exhibit on women’s testimonies from the terrorist attacks that Black Shabbat.

“In all other conflicts, including in Ukraine and Bosnia, people believed women, but here they did not,” said Helena Ferro de Gouveia, a Portuguese lecturer on gender violence referring to the months-long global delay or outright refusal in condemning the sexual assault and rape during the Hamas-led massacre. “And [this] even in the gender-strong liberal countries of Europe.”

“If someone cannot condemn attacks on women, that is pure antisemitism,” said Elise Fajgeles, the French Secretary General of the Governmental Agency that deals with racism, antisemitism and hatred against LGBTQ+ individuals. “Many of the feminists come from the far-left and avoid accepting reality.”