The only way to describe the threats coming from the U.S. government to cut funding for the PA in the aftermath of its application to join the International Criminal Court is: the death of irony (I stole the general idea from the brilliant, Billmon).
First, in joining the ICC, the PA is doing what the international community generally approves: creating accountability among nations for their deeds (and misdeeds). After all, isn’t that the very foundation of the United Nations itself: building a matrix of responsibility and trust among member states? What can be wrong with holding member states responsible for their behavior?
Second, isn’t there a delicious irony in the PA joining an international body we, the U.S., has refused to join for fear that we will be held accountable for our own war crimes? By what right do we determine to curtail funding for the PA, when we ourselves are black sheep in this regard?
Third, it’s ironic that Israel plans to withhold transfer of tens of millions in tax receipts it collects on behalf of the PA for imports handled by Israeli ports. These are funds that belong to the PA and which Israel has signed an agreement to transfer. But we can see how binding Israel finds such agreements.
I was especially tickled when Sen. Lindsay Graham, fresh from a consultation with his political mentor, Bibi Netanyahu, threatened that the Senate would suspend all U.S. support for the UN if it accepts the PA into the ICC. So essentially, Graham is telling that body to suspend its rules and prohibit the PA from joining an international body simply because the U.S. and Israel don’t want it there.
On a related subject, Graham told Bibi during their tete a tete intime that his fellow GOP senators would take their lead from Israel regarding Iran sanctions and the P5+1 nuclear talks. That surprised a number of observers who’d been under the mistaken impression that U.S. foreign policy was supposed to be devised in this country and in our own interests.
Returning to the ICC, what really angers Israel and the U.S. is that the PA will file a case against Israel for war crimes after the 60-day waiting period ends. Last summer’s Gaza massacre would be a perfect first case, which is why the IDF is scurrying to produce reports and investigations excusing its forces from any potential violations. They do this in the false belief that if the nation accused of war crimes has conducted an investigation, then the ICC has jurisdiction over the matter. What the IDF refuses to realize is that a sham investigation is not the same as a legitimate one. An investigation whose sole purpose is to whitewash war crimes, as the IDF’s is, does not pass muster with the ICC.
The NY Times’ Jodi Rudoren yesterday published an especially meretricious article on this subject which confused and erred far more than it enlightened. But it’s useful to know how the MSM is portraying this issue, even when it’s wrong (especially when it’s wrong).