News You Really Need To See: “Palestinian Leaders Seek Actions In Security Council and Court”

“Palestinian Leaders Seek Actions In Security Council and Court”

The New York Times, September 3, 2014, p.A7

Israel’s 50-day war with Palestinian militants in Gaza was a ‘game changer’ that persuaded the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to shelve the already moribund American-sponsored peace talks and decide to join the International Criminal Court, even if that meant defying the United States, a senior Palestinian leader said Tuesday.  ‘Because enough is enough, and what has the U.S. done for us?’ Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in an interview during a visit to the United Nations.  Dr. Ashrawi’s visit was part of a new strategy by Mr. Abbas to put international pressure on Israel and to lift his government’s standing among Palestinians in the aftermath of the Gaza war.  …  Ever since Palestine won upgraded status at the United Nations in late 2012, over Israeli and American opposition, its government has threatened to join the international court as a way to prosecute Israeli actions in the occupied territories.  But Mr. Abbas deferred a decision, Dr. Ashrawi said, in order to give American-led diplomacy a chance to succeed and to convince other Palestinian political factions, including the militants, that they would have more to gain than to lose from an international war crimes tribunal.  Joining the court means subjecting Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to its jurisdiction. Mr. Abbas, Dr. Ashrawi said, ‘wanted to ensure that all factions are O.K. with it.’  She added, ‘He got, finally, the acceptance of all factions.’ … Dr. Ashrawi asserted that peace talks with Israel had been so frustrating that a shift in strategy was needed and expected by the Palestinian population, which has grown increasingly bitter and disappointed.”

Quickie Analysis:  The Palestinians have finally decided they have nothing to lose by joining the ICC.  (Given Israel’s tendency to ignore UN directives, it’s not clear the Palestinians have anything to gain either.)

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