“Shalom! This beautiful word, so dear to you, means salvation, happiness, and harmony. Peace is a gift of God, a fragile gift placed in human hands that all humankind must safeguard, says Saint Pope John Paul II in ‘Shalom … Welcome!’

In Modern Israel, it often seems we’re still light years away from reaching a state of ‘Shalom’ among the Jews and Palestinians, the seeds of Abraham.

The Editorial, ‘The ICC’s Decision is a Red Flag for Israel,’ published by the editors of the Israeli daily, Haaretz, cracks a window of what’s happening behind the scenes.

               “First, says PM Netanyahu, ‘The court ignores the real war crimes and instead pursues Israel, a country with a strong democracy that sanctifies the rule of law.’

               Second, the Prime Minister insists, ‘In this decision, the court undermined the right of democratic countries to defend themselves against terror.’

But [asserts the Editorial] Netanyahu’s arguments are ludicrous.

               The court didn’t rule that Israel was guilty of war crimes; it merely responded to a request from prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who asked the pretrial chamber of judges to rule on the fundamental question of the court’s territorial jurisdiction.

               Democracies have committed and still commit war crimes, and the fact that they are democracies doesn’t grant them immunity from investigation or prosecution.

Israel’s complaint that the ICC ignores real war crimes and is ‘persecuting’ it for political reasons tells us more about Israel than it does about the court.

               Israel has failed to understand that its very status as a democratic, law-abiding country obligates it to uphold higher standards than those demanded of countries like Iran, Syria, or Sudan.

               Nor has the court denied Israel’s right, or that of any other country, to fight terrorism to protect itself.

               But [the court] insists that the war on terror is conditional on compliance with international law and the laws of war and that an international body has the power to determine what constitutes legitimate action and what constitutes a war crime.

The most important part of the decision is its recognition of Palestine as a state with the right to seek redress from the court.

               The judges didn’t rule on its borders or seek to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Still, they considered Palestine’s recognition by the UN General Assembly and the fact that the Palestinian Authority joined the ICC in 2015 and deemed these sufficient under the Rome Statute, which determines who is authorized to seek redress from the court.

John Paul II in ‘Shalom … Welcome:’

“Every Christian [person of faith] feels called to share the pain and difficulty of the ‘other’ in whom God Himself is hidden. However, this opening to the needs of others implies a truly warm welcoming. It entails the fruit of the new heart which God gives us.

               I urge every Christian [person of faith] to evidence his walk with God through a concrete sign of love toward those in need, recognizing in this person the face of God and repeating, as if almost face to face: I was poor, I was marginalized … and you welcomed me(Exodus 23: 9; Matthew 25: 40).


               This is my cordial greeting to you.

               May God, in His goodness, protect and bless each one of us.

               May He especially bless all who forge a path of friendship and peace among the men and women of every race and culture.

When humanity works for peace, we help make the world become better.”

Read more: ‘Shalom … Welcome!’

Read more: ‘The ICC’s Decision is a Red Flag for Israel.’

With Every Good Wish to You, I am,



Building the Bridge Foundation, The Hague


Abraham A. van Kempen

Senior Editor


* ‘Christian Zionism … Enraptured Around a Golden Cal” (2nd Edition)



e-book version  $  3.33 (2nd Edition Available on Amazon)

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A Theo-geopolitical eye-opener expounded with conviction, common sense, and compassion. With 500+ references, ‘Christian Zionism … Enraptured Around a Golden Calf’ pits the Holy Trinity of Zionism – One Tribe, One Land, One God – against the Holy Trinity of Christianity – ALL people, ALL nations, indeed, glorifying the one ‘I Am’ with many names.

Be sure you order the 2nd Edition, published in 2019.