Santa came early this year, bringing a special present to the caretaker prime minister of Israel. Rather than donning his traditional red and whites, Santa appeared as Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, who announced on Dec. 20 that there is sufficient evidence to investigate alleged Israeli war crimes in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, territories it has occupied since 1967.
For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the timing was a Hanukkah miracle. Just days ahead of the primaries for the leadership of his Likud party [scheduled for Dec. 26] and less than three months before the March 2 general elections, Bensouda gave Netanyahu a golden opportunity. When masses of Israeli voters watched Netanyahu storm the bastions of The Hague, they saw their savior, a Jewish David challenging an international Goliath. His main political rival, Blue and White chair Benny Gantz, had no place in the scene.