‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’
‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’
‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.
‘I won’t!’ said Alice.
Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.
‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’
— Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Ch. 12 (h/t Lise)
The recent actions by the PLO in joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) and threatening to prosecute IDF personnel and Israeli leaders for war crimes seems to have generated several kinds of response.
One is that the ICC doesn’t work the way the Arabs would like it to, and this is yet another empty threat. The US calls it “counterproductive.”
Another is that Israel should hurry up and investigate the IDF itself (and probably punish some scapegoats) before the international community does.
There is even an argument that the PLO believes a) that the move will help Bibi and right-wing candidates in Israel’s elections, and b) they think this would be good for them in the international PR arena.
The ICC itself has no enforcement powers and procedural issues would take years before anyone could be convicted of anything. The court’s legitimacy has been damaged (at least in the eyes of anyone who is not Israel-obsessed) by the way the Arabs slipped a specifically anti-Israel clause into its founding statute. Anything that Israel can be accused of doing has been done ten times over by other nations, with impunity; and both Hamas and the PLO are champion war criminals.
Nevertheless, Israel can’t expect fair play from international institutions dominated by its enemies. ICC proceedings, even long before any trial could occur, will be the propaganda gift that never stops giving for the PLO and Hamas. And I don’t want to think about the damage that could occur here if Israel’s own legal establishment decides to investigate IDF conduct.
Israel should not cooperate with any ICC investigations, any more than it is with the UN Human Rights Council’s outrageously biased Schabas Commission.
Ironically, while the PLO has directly violated the Oslo Accords by its unilateral moves — including this one — it continues to assert its rights under Oslo, such as the right to receive tax money collected on its behalf by Israel (some of which Israel has cut off in response to the ICC bid).
Although it mixes its plausibly deniable terrorism with diplomacy, the PLO is no less an enemy of Israel than Hamas. Israel needs to start thinking seriously of an alternative way to maintain the necessary security control of Judea and Samaria without the Palestinian Authority (PA), the PLO ‘government’ set up by Oslo. Ambassador Alan Baker has argued that the PLO has abrogated the Oslo accords by its unilateral actions, and Israel is no longer bound by their provisions. Since the PA is an interim authority set up by Oslo, its existence is no longer justified. It should disappear (and so should the PLO).
Finally, I would like to see Israel more assertive with the so-called “international community.” Israel has technology which is available nowhere else, it has (or will have, if domestic political insanity can be overcome) large reserves of natural gas, and — last, but not least — is the strongest military power in the Middle East. Surely they can be made to understand that it is in their interest to be on our side.