The Palestinians have finally realized that if the UN won't help them (and the US will eternally make sure that it won't, no matter what Obama or any American president says about peace) then suing Israel in the International Criminal Court will have to do.
President Mahmoud Abbas moved on Wednesday to have thePalestinian Authority join the International Criminal Court, opening a new front in the Middle East conflict that could lead to war-crimes prosecutions of Israeli officials and that risks severe sanctions from Washington and Jerusalem.
The step is part of a strategic shift by thePalestinian leadership to pursue statehood in the international arena after decades of failed American-brokered negotiations with Israel. It came a day after the defeat of a United Nations Security Council resolutionthat demanded an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory by 2017.
“There is aggression practiced against our land and our country, and the Security Council has let us down — where shall we go?” Mr. Abbas said at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah as he signed the Rome Statute, the founding charter of the court, and a number of other international conventions.
“We want to complain to this organization,” he said of the court. “As long as there is no peace, and the world doesn’t prioritize peace in this region, this region will live in constant conflict. The Palestinian cause is the key issue to be settled.”
Naturally, we're already threatening Abbas.
An American State Department spokesman called the action “counterproductive,” arguing that it would only push the two sides further apart.
“It is an escalatory step that will not achieve any of the outcomes most Palestinians have long hoped to see for their people,” Jeff Rathke, the spokesman, said in a statement. “Actions like this are not the answer. Hard as it is, all sides need to find a way to work constructively and cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence and find a path forward.”
It'll never happen. Bringing up Israel for war crimes tribunals is the only card the Palestinians have left. The US will find some way of blocking it, of course, or will turn up sanctions to the point where Abbas is ousted and Hamas takes control, opening the door for another round of collective punishment. Certainly Bibi now has his campaign issue heading into March elections in Israel. But it looks like 2015 will be as bad, if not worse, for the Palestinians than 2014 was. And that's saying something.