The Palestinian Authority (P.A.) unsuccessfully tried to pass a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from the territory it gained during the Six-Day War in 1967, including East Jerusalem. Now the P.A. has turned to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as the next venue in which it can continue its diplomatic attacks against Israel.
By sidestepping negotiations and seeking to join international bodies in the absence of a peace agreement with Israel, the P.A. has fractured the peace process. It has not just created an environment hostile to peace, it has erased every effort made by Israel, the U.S., and the international community to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The P.A. was created – at the inception of the peace process – and allowed to govern the West Bank with the understanding that it would work to end the conflict. In fact, it has done the opposite. When Israel extends its hand in peace, the Palestinians respond with terrorism. And this terrorism has now taken two forms – Hamas‘ violent attacks, and the P.A.’s diplomatic warfare.
These seemingly different approaches work hand-in-hand. Hamas initiated a bloody war this summer – forcing an Israeli military response – and then placed its civilian population on the receiving end of Israeli fire. After the smoke cleared from the battered Palestinian towns in Gaza, the P.A. began maneuvering in order to prosecute Israeli leaders for war crimes at the ICC, trying to rob Israel of its right of self-defense.
Thus, the idea that Israel can negotiate a lasting peace with the P.A. is ludicrous. No democratic nation should have to sit at the negotiating table with a terrorist organization, and the Palestinian Authority is a terrorist organization. And yet, even Israel’s friends in the U.S. continue to insist that Israel do just that.
In case you aren’t convinced the PA is a terrorist organization: The P.A. sat with Hamas in a unity government throughout the summer as Hamas kidnapped Israeli kids on their way home from school, attempted to attack Israeli communities through underground terror tunnels, and fired thousands of rockets on Israeli towns. Fatah – the P.A.’s military wing – even boasted that it too launched rockets against Israeli civilians during Operation Protective Edge.
Furthermore, the P.A. glorifies suicide bombers and breeds the kind of hatred that inspires terrorists to act. They have incited an uprising in Jerusalem over the past few months, culminating in a horrific massacre at a Jerusalem synagogue.
Considering all this, the P.A.’s efforts to join the ICC in order to prosecute Israeli leaders for “war crimes” will likely backfire. Every Palestinian politician – from Hamas to the P.A. – has blood on their hands. If they think Israel will defend itself at the ICC without prosecuting Palestinian leaders in return, they are dead wrong.
A group of Israeli lawyers had already prepared a number of cases to prosecute P.A. leaders the minute they become members of the ICC. Knowing that they are guilty of shedding so much Jewish and Palestinian blood, Palestinian leaders would be wise to rethink their bid to join the ICC. Unfortunately, wisdom among Palestinian Authority leadership is very hard to come by.