Does the UNESCO vote pave the way for broader Palestinian acceptance within the UN system?

on 25 Comments

Phyllis Bennis discusses the fallout of the UNESCO vote on Democracy Now.

Former British Ambassador Craig Murray says the UNESCO also sets a precedent for Palestine to join the International Criminal Court:

The UNESCO membership is crucial recognition of Palestine’s statehood, not an empty gesture. With this evidence of international acceptance, there is now absolutely no reason why Palestine cannot, instantly and without a vote, join the International Criminal Court. Palestine can now become a member of the International Criminal Court simply by submitting an instrument of accession to the Statute of Rome, and joining the list of states parties.

As both the USA and Israel refuse to join the ICC because of their desire to commit war crimes with impunity, acceding to the statute of Rome would not only confirm absolutely that Palestine is a state, it would reinforce the fact that Palestine is a better international citizen with more moral legitimacy than Israel.

There is an extremely crucial point here: if Palestine accedes to the Statute of Rome, under Article 12 of the Statute of Rome, the International Criminal Court would have jurisdiction over Israelis committing war crimes on Palestinian soil. Other states parties – including the UK – would be obliged by law to hand over indicted Israeli war criminals to the court at the Hague. This would be a massive blow to the Israeli propaganda and lobbying machine.

Of course, this also means the US could end up withholding funding to many more parts of the UN system. The Christian Science Monitor asks – will the UNESCO Palestine vote lead the US to defund nuclear watchdog IAEA, too?

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25 Responses

  1. Whizdom
    November 1, 2011, 1:03 pm

    Yup, Exactly. Having a Palestine fully integrated into international institutions, Including the IAEA, conventions on weaponry, and international justice, while Israel increasingly becomes estranged and isolated, the contrast is obvious.

  2. Kathleen
    November 1, 2011, 1:18 pm

    If Israel’s crimes against humanity (Palestinians) ever makes it to the ICC. Israel will be standing on that they did not “knowingly” target civilians. Which we know is bull

    • DBG
      November 1, 2011, 1:28 pm

      How about the Palestinian’s crimes? We all know that ever projectile fired from Gaza is consider a war crime. How about the years and years of terrorism? How will that be judged?

      • dumvitaestspesest
        November 1, 2011, 2:08 pm

        I guess ,you meant self defense, not “terrorism”.
        Please use proper terms.

      • dumvitaestspesest
        November 1, 2011, 2:14 pm

        If somebody, DBG, continuously steals your land, destroys your house, kills some of your family members, then the fact that you do not let them do it, that you try to protect yourself, your land , your family against it, make you a terrorist??

      • Hostage
        November 1, 2011, 2:28 pm

        We all know that ever projectile fired from Gaza is consider a war crime.

        No, only the ones used to target civilian objectives. FYI, there was no evidence supplied to support the UN Fact Finding Mission’s conclusion that mortars and rockets can’t be aimed at military targets. The claim that, even those mortar shells or rockets that fell harmlessly in the desert constituted prima facie evidence of a war crime was unpersuasive.

      • DBG
        November 1, 2011, 3:22 pm

        and there was no evidence supplied that concluded Israel purposely targeted civilians.

      • pabelmont
        November 1, 2011, 5:33 pm

        I agree that Gazan rockets could be aimed (insofar as aiming at all is even possible with such crude weapons) at military targets. the shooters could certainly say that they hoped to hit military targets. Q: did you know where there even WERE military targets? A: No. Q: But you hoped? A: Yes.

        Israel, by marked contrast, is always rocket-bombing automobiles and saying, “We knew that there were shooters | Hamas officials | terrorists aboard”. And then hitting the car plus a few others.

        I am not so sure that the world should accept Israel’s claim to “know” it had a proper target, only perhaps that it knew as well as it could. And that is the problem for Gazan rocketeers, too.

        Slippery ground all round/

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 1, 2011, 2:54 pm

        “We all know that ever projectile fired from Gaza is consider a war crime.”

        No we don’t. Some was, some might be, some certainly isn’t.

        “How about the years and years of terrorism? How will that be judged?”

        Again, some of it might be terrorism; much was legitimate armed defense against an occupier.

      • libra
        November 1, 2011, 4:07 pm

        DBG: “We all know that ever projectile fired from Gaza is consider a war crime.”

        Looks like DBG is standing in for Witty whilst he’s busy two-timing Phil at Larry Derfner’s new blog.

      • Charon
        November 1, 2011, 4:32 pm

        DBG, typical you would say such a thing. Blame the effect and ignore the cause.

        Israel is founded by terrorists and they are proud of it. In addition to electing terrorist leaders for PMs like Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, they commemorated terrorist group Lehi (who offered an alliance to the Nazis by the way) with a ribbon and put Avraham Stern on a stamp. The ideology of these terrorists is revisionist Zionism and exists today in Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, among other parties literally made up of the sons of terrorists.

        Your questions are meaningless and unrelated. Israel’s crimes far outweigh the Palestinian ones. By the way, yes there is proof Israel deliberately targets civilians. See the MacBride commission report regarding the 1982 war with Lebanon.

      • talknic
        November 2, 2011, 8:50 am

        DBG Here is THE list of war crimes:

        “We all know that ever projectile fired from Gaza is consider a war crime”

        No ‘we’ don’t. The only person who actually knows is the person who might be deliberately firing at a civilian/civilian target.

        Statistics show us that IDF personnel have also been injured and or killed .

    • Charon
      November 1, 2011, 1:45 pm

      Yep. They would say they didn’t knowingly target civilians, they’re being unfairly singled out, the ICC is a joke, basically the usual deal we’ve come to expect from them. Double standards and ignorance

      • Hostage
        November 1, 2011, 2:32 pm

        Yep. They would say they didn’t knowingly target civilians, they’re being unfairly singled out, the ICC is a joke

        Nope. The ICC is very serious business. You only get to offer the lame defense that you mentioned in a criminal court – where you are facing a life sentence. Israel and the US are used to exonerating themselves by means of a press conference, but those days are coming to an end.

      • Charon
        November 1, 2011, 4:21 pm

        I hope you’re right. They’ve managed to avoid taking responsibility and being punished for so long. The US response definitely isn’t a lifeline for Israel this time. Cutting off WIPO and other agencies would be extremely counterproductive for the US and puts the interests of a foreign nation over those of itself. The criticism would be so loud and heads would roll

    • American
      November 1, 2011, 2:44 pm

      “Israel will be standing on that they did not “knowingly” target civilians. Which we know is bull”

      I don’t think any Israeli ‘claim’ would matter—-and you have to check with Hostage on this since I’m a not an international law attorney—-but the way I read the criteria, the “patterns” of the offenders actions carries big weight in establishing their guilt…and I believe it even says …that often the pattern is what establishes the crime…or words to that effect.
      A court would have to be blind not to see the Israel pattern in their assaults on Palestine and Palestinians.

      • American
        November 1, 2011, 3:33 pm

        Can we go for war crimes and genocide? Sock it to them.

        Proving Intent

        “By not requiring a motive, the Convention lightens the burden of proof. Tribunals trying crimes of genocide have determined that intent can be inferred from patterns of action. The ICTY Appeals Chamber ruled that a number of different facts can serve as evidence of the intent to destroy the group, including:

        The number of victims selected only on account of their membership in the targeted group,
        The general context,
        The commission of other culpable acts systematically directed toward the targeted group,
        The scale of the atrocities,
        The repetition of destructive and discriminatory acts.

        All of these things, said the court, “would lead one to the conclusion that an intent to destroy the group, at least in part, was present.”

        I am sure Israel would use Hamas ‘terrorist’ as an excuse for most of their actions but I don’t see how they could escape the pattern of systematic bombings of civilians, civilian areas and civilian infastructure, blockades, moving their settlers onto occupied land,
        confiscating what is necessary to the occupied’s liveilhoods, random inprisonment without trials, jailing underage children, demolitation of homes,….
        Israeli officials have made so many public statements about like “starving Gaza” and even worse it would take a u-haul-it
        to cart all the press clippings to court.

      • Charon
        November 1, 2011, 4:38 pm

        I can see Bibi addressing these accusations now…

        “Genocide? How dare you accuse Israel of all people for genocide!? You call this a genocide? Call me back at six million”

  3. pabelmont
    November 1, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Matt Lee! Wow! (If only NYT published this exchange, verbatim. does AP?)

  4. seafoid
    November 1, 2011, 5:40 pm

    The bit about the Yanks excluding themselves from UNESCO by non payment of dues and thus forfeiting the right to be represented in other UN fora such as the one that covers intellectual property is amazing. Let’s see Apple and Microsoft etc take on the Lobby in broad daylight. Handbags at the ready.

    Ultimately Zionism brings no money to the US. It creates no value.

    BTW such a pity to see this thread derailed by DBG.

    • lysias
      November 1, 2011, 6:56 pm

      Not just WIPO and the IAEA, but the WTO and the World Bank!

    • RoHa
      November 1, 2011, 8:14 pm

      “Let’s see Apple and Microsoft etc take on the Lobby in broad daylight.”

      Hollywood, Tin Pan Alley, and publishers (textbook publishers especially) are going to have an interest too. There are quite a few Zionists among that lot. Will they still support Israel, or will their loyalties go to their royalties?

  5. seafoid
    November 1, 2011, 5:44 pm

    Phyllis Bennis is a most impressive lady. I guess the UNESCO stunt is no different to the gimping of Goldstone. That is how Zionism works and why it is ultimately going to end up repeating Masada.

  6. Les
    November 1, 2011, 6:05 pm

    Something else from today’s DemocracyNow is the dogged persistance of the AP reporter who kept pounding away that nothing had changed on the ground and that the sole reason for cutting Unesco money was because Israel was irritated. I don’t remember when I heard a mainstream media US reporter with the willingness to be so persistant in questioning the US/Israel relationship.

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