Palestine’s UN Vote and the ICC Connundrum

I keep reading news and analysis that should Palestine succeed in winning UN General Assembly recognition as an Observer State it will strengthen Palestine’s case that the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction to investigate crimes committed in “Palestine.”  So far, the Palestinian leadership have been unable to convince the ICC that they have the legal authority to accept the ICC’s jurisdiction, so the thinking goes that a General Assembly vote would finally convince the ICC that Palestine is a legitimate entity with which it can sign agreements and all that.

What people don’t seem to be saying–at least not yet–is that should the ICC launch an investigation into crimes against humanity in Palestine, Palestinians will almost certainly be implicated as well. The ICC would not exclusively investigate Israeli crimes, but crimes committed by Palestinians (bombings, rocket attacks, that sort of thing).

The irony here is that since the Palestinians are apparently willing to accept the ICC, and Israelis are steadfastly opposed, the chances are far greater that a Palestinian defendant would end up at a war crimes tribunal in the Hague before an Israeli.  Palestinians are apparently far more willing to cooperating with the ICC than the Israelis. Remember:  ICC doesn’t have the ability to arrest anyone, it depends on the cooperation of local authorities for that. At this point it is far more likely that the Palestinian authorities would send a wanted suspect to the Hague than the Israeli police.

Something to think about.