Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority (PA) is seeking non-state membership in the United Nations so that it may then apply to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes.
According to PLO observer at the UN, Riyad Mansour, Palestine can still pursue an investigation into possible Israeli war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli counter-terrorist operation in Gaza during December 2008-January 2009. On April 3, the ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo rejected the PAs request for a tribunal into the December 2008 war because the PA is not a recognized state. But he noted that the PA, if it becomes a non-member state, could sign the Rome Statute, which established the ICC. At that point, the PA could bring an action against Israel in the ICC. Moreno-Ocampo said, As soon as the General Assembly establishes that Palestine is an observer state, then we can proceed. The PAs Mansour said. The doors are still open for us if we decide to sign the Rome Statute, or go to the UN General Assembly asking to become a non-member state. This is left for the Palestinian leadership to determine (PLO envoy: Palestine can join ICC, Palestinian Maan News Agency, April 4, 2012).
ZOA National Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, Ruyad Mansours statement is but the latest confirmation that Mahmoud Abbas and the PA are pursuing statehood to evade, rather than make peace with, Israel. As Abbas said in his otherwise dishonest op-ed in the New York Times last year, Palestines admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.
We see here very clearly that the PA is pursuing statehood, as it commenced doing at the UN last year, for specific reasons. It is seeking new avenues to advance its campaign of delegitimizing Israel. This has nothing to do with peace-making or establishing the conditions that would permit peace to emerge, like arresting terrorists, outlawing terrorist groups, ending terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder against Israel and Jews or ceasing to falsify history by denying any Jewish right or historical connection to Israel. It has everything to do with achieving statehood without making peace with the country it works ceaselessly to delegitimize.
The Obama Administration needs to state publicly that the award of statehood status by the UN and any subsequent action by the PA to bring a war crimes suit against Israel in the ICC will result in an end to U.S. aid and diplomatic support for the PA.