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‘Spiral,’ ‘threat,’ ‘polarization,’ or ‘full-scale popular campaign for Palestinian freedom’ — reactions to the ICC move

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Here are some responses to the Palestinian Authority’s surprise move to sign a treaty giving it access to the International Criminal Court, which followed on the heels of the UN Security Council rejecting Palestine’s resolution to end the Israeli occupation within three years.

First, the U.S. is “deeply troubled.” The Palestinian move at the ICC “increases polarization and allows more space for destabilizing actions.” Thanks to AP’s Matt Lee:

State Department on Palestinian move to join ICC

State Department on Palestinian move to join ICC

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is enraged that the Palestinians would “threaten” the most moral army in the world. From Facebook:

Abu Mazen can sign any Covenant that he wants, the only ones who commit war crimes in the conflict are the Palestinians themselves, who are responsible for the murderous terrorism against babies, children, men and women indiscriminately, for the last hundred years. The same judge deaf, blind and dumb idea. So that Abu Mazen will not threaten us, the country with the most moral army in the world!

The American liberal Zionist group J Street also had deplored the Palestinian initiative, in an earlier statement taking no position on Palestine’s failed bid at the UN Security Council to end the occupation, but urging American leadership to restart peace negotiations to achieve a two-state solution:

We implore the Palestinians as well not to respond to yesterday’s failure by turning to the International Criminal Court, a step that could set off a spiral of counterproductive actions and still leave them no closer to freedom and self-determination.

What is a spiral of counterproductive actions? Al Jazeera:

Abbas’ decision is expected to trigger a harsh response from Israel…

But as Allison Deger reported for us, there’s joy in Ramallah:

Al Jazeera’s Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from Ramallah, said that people were expecting President Abbas to stand by his pledges.

“People here wanted a muscular response from the president, and he has made good on his promises as to what would happen if the resolution failed.”

The New York Times changed the lead on Jodi Rudoren’s story stating that the Palestinian move was a “provocative” one to say instead that the Palestinians had opened “a new front in the Middle East conflict.” This after Ahmed Moor said:

@rudoren starts the new year with a gift. ICC is “provocative” but “war crimes” are not

And Ali Abunimah jibed:

Palestinians joining ICC is “provocative,” while Israel murdering thousands is “adolescent”.

(A reference to an earlier Rudoren piece, saying that in the last rough year, “Israel, still an adolescent nation, is going through something of an identity crisis.”)

Just a day back the Institute for Middle East Understanding had released experts’ comments on the UN Security Council decision. Palestinian leader Mustafa Barghouti said the U.S. is opposed to the two-state solution:

“Those countries that voted against or abstained on the Palestinian resolution at the Security Council, regardless of how weak and compromised it was, are sending a strong message: They oppose the two-state solution and cannot be considered peace brokers.”

Diana Buttu, the former negotiator and international legal scholar, called on the PLO leadership to go to the ICC because the Oslo process had only tripled the number of Israeli colonists living under Israel’s “racist occupation regime.”

“Despite being a flawed and weak resolution, the US and UK governments voted against it largely because it places a deadline on ending Israel’s military occupation, without even specifying what penalties Israel might face should the deadline not be met. It is clear from this that the US, UK and other members of the international community will continue to provide unqualified support to Israel even as it continues to systemically violate their national policies and international law, and that their professed desire to see Palestinians live in freedom and achieve their rights is nothing more than empty rhetoric.”

Yousef Munayyer, soon to be the head of the US Campaign to End the Occupation, pointed out that the rejection gives momentum to the BDS movement:

“Today’s vote is but another meaningless one for Palestinians living under the boot of the Israeli military. Each and every episode like this, where the international community underscores its failure to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian question, is another boon to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which provides an alternative to stagnation at the UN. Perhaps that is the silver lining of this moment.”

Fadi Quran, West Bank activist, said it was time to go to the ICC:

“The vast majority of United Nations members recognize the state of Palestine and have opened the door to its freedom, but the US and a few others continue to slam it shut. Today’s vote was a clear message to the people of Palestine that the route to freedom does not run through New York or Washington. Now is the time to take Israel to the International Criminal Court and to grow nonviolent popular resistance to the Israeli military occupation.”

Ali Abunimah said that the UN has ignored earlier and more forceful UN resolutions, such as 465 of 1980, stating that Israeli settlements are illegal under the Geneva Conventions, a resolution the Oslo process has helped to undermine.

“The Palestinian people do not need more — and weaker — UN resolutions, they need existing ones to be enforced.”

Noura Erakat also said that the vote gave impetus to the BDS movement and said it opens a new era in Palestinian resistance:

“It is also more reason for the Palestinian leadership to place its eggs in other diplomatic baskets beyond the United States, and to launch a full-scale grassroots, media, legal, and popular campaign for Palestinian freedom and rights.”

And she said the US acted to protect a fellow settler-colonial society:

“The US’s vote is particularly telling. Combined with its 2011 veto of a resolution condemning Israel’s settlement enterprise, it makes clear that the US is still willing to shield Israel to continue its detrimental practices and to impede possible solutions to the conflict, thus demonstrating its centrality as a part of the problem. There is no irony in the fact that the two votes against the resolution, the US and Australia, are also settler-colonial regimes.”

Here is part of Ambassador Samantha Power’s “explanation” for why the U.S. voted in the Security Council against the Palestinian bid to end the occupation in three years:

We voted against this resolution not because we are indifferent to the daily hardships or the security threats endured by Palestinians and Israelis, but because we know that those hardships will not cease and those threats will not subside until the parties reach a comprehensive settlement achieved through negotiations. This resolution sets the stage for more division – not for compromise. It could well serve to provoke the very confrontation it purports to address…

[W]e will continue to oppose actions by both sides that we view as detrimental to the cause of peace, whether those actions come in the form of settlement activity or imbalanced draft resolutions in this Council.

Notice that both Israelis and Palestinians face daily hardships. Notice that the U.S. will oppose settlement activity. The U.S. is presuming to be an honest broker between equal parties, at a time when very few folks see it that way.



Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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115 Responses

  1. Blownaway on January 1, 2015, 10:21 am

    Remarkable to read righteous enlightened outrage and solid opinions till one gets to Samantha Power and hilarity ensues. Does she think she can continue to fool all the people all the time?

  2. CloakAndDagger on January 1, 2015, 10:39 am

    So tired of continuously hearing the same refrain:

    – The rapist and the victim must work together for a comprehensive solution through negotiations.
    – The victim should not go to the courts to seek justice as that is provocative to the rapist
    – We are opposed to the rapist continuing to rape the victim and have made our viewpoint known to the rapist as being ‘unhelpful’.
    – We will continue to oppose unilateral actions by either the rapist or the victim as we view that as detrimental to peace, whether they be continued rape by the rapist or an attempt to seek justice by the victim.
    – If the victim is not cooperative in this, we may greatly reduce the food and material support to the victim while we keep her locked up without recourse. We will, of course, continue to provide material support to the rapist.
    – We will work with the victim’s neighbors in order keep her confined to her quarters, however, it is not our role to prevent the rapist from having complete access to her quarters and her person.

    Stick a fork in it already!

    • Kris on January 1, 2015, 1:01 pm

      This is it, exactly. Thanks, cloakAndDagger.

    • Kay24 on January 1, 2015, 8:38 pm

      Well said C & D. You have explained the US bias towards the criminal very well.

      I am sick of hearing the US stand up time and time again, and make strong statements about giving the criminal unwavering support, and even arm it, so that it can continue it’s horrendous crimes.

    • Mayhem on January 2, 2015, 1:19 am

      The rapist-victim metaphor again and again. How about some constructive thought instead of using deliberately emotive language. Anything to keep the pro-Palestinian cause alive, to keep the fires burning, going to the ICC is like flogging a dead horse – it will do absolutely nothing to advance the prospects for peace.

      • annie on January 2, 2015, 11:06 am

        the ICC is like flogging a dead horse – it will do absolutely nothing

        then why all the hullabalu from israeli officials. why not just ignore it if it’s so nothing?

      • CigarGod on January 2, 2015, 11:11 am

        Arent comments without reasoning…a dead horse?

      • CloakAndDagger on January 2, 2015, 12:25 pm

        @ Mayhem

        The rapist-victim metaphor again and again. How about some constructive thought instead of using deliberately emotive language.

        Under the circumstances, emotive language is perhaps the most constructive thing we can employ. In the face of hasbara, where the facts are clouded by obfuscation, omission, and deliberate lies, it is imperative for America and the world to view the situation in the ME in terms that it can relate to and identify with. Israel and its supporters have used this to great advantage in the past by painting Israel as being “just like us” – the light of western civilization among the Arab savages.

        In fact, let me add a few more extensions to the analogy (I am sure others can think of more):

        – If the victim fights back against the rapist, rape her some more, and complain about how the victim loves violence more than she loves peace.
        – When taking a break from raping, move your friends into some of the rooms in her house and steal what you can from the other rooms. When the victim protests, offer to give back a portion of some room. If the victim rejects that as an equitable settlement, point out how unreasonable the victim is.

        I could go on…

      • Mayhem on January 2, 2015, 4:11 pm

        @robbins, all the hullabalu because Israel is sick and tired of being pushed on to the ‘succumb to the Palestinian pressure agenda merry-go-round’ and the incessant intractable demands. Israelis want an end to the constant politicising of the ‘Palestinian’ cause and an end to the virulent campaign to delegitimize and criminalize Israel.

    • Pixel on January 2, 2015, 3:09 am

      Great analogy, my friend.

    • CigarGod on January 2, 2015, 10:35 am

      I love waking up to a masterpiece.
      Thanks c&d.

    • alen on January 2, 2015, 1:41 pm

      Well said Cloak and Dagger. I feel so frustrated. But Palestinians are beyond frustrated, they are starting to give up in Gaza and the refugee camps. I can’t imagine what they are going through.

    • raincatsgalore on January 2, 2015, 3:54 pm

      My sentiments exactly CloakAndDagger. Well put.

  3. Teapot on January 1, 2015, 11:19 am

    “[W]e will continue to oppose actions by both sides that we view as detrimental to the cause of peace, whether those actions come in the form of settlement activity or imbalanced draft resolutions in this Council.” (Samantha Powers)

    However, their opposition to Palestinian actions at the UN consist in frantic lobbying and bullying countries like Nigeria into abstaining from the vote. OTOH, Settlement activities get a short statement from the White House about being unproductive. They can’t even get themselves to use the word illegal. The US would never do anything that might actually prevent further settlements.

    “We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” the U.S. official said. “ This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians.”
    – See more at:

    • amigo on January 1, 2015, 1:23 pm

      “OTOH, Settlement activities get a short statement from the White House about being unproductive “teapot.

      Hardly unproductive.They have facilitated the housing of 600,000 illegal squatters.

  4. Steve Macklevore on January 1, 2015, 11:21 am

    That’s a brilliant analogy CloakAndDagger – thank you!

  5. Marnie on January 1, 2015, 11:24 am

    So typical of a racist, colonial system. Don’t go to the ICC. That’s not the way we play the game and man we still want to play. We promise not to change the rules every time we’re close to an accord, honestly! You can trust us, would we lie to you? There is no point to ever again go to Washington or play nice with Kerry or the next administration because they only have Israel’s interests at heart. The US fingerprints are all over Gaza. Mr. Abbas, you are not the BFF of the US. Why go to them like a beggar, hat in hand, eyes cast down but looking for compassion and fairness from a system that does not know what that means. The US has a history steeped in white supremacy and slavery. There is no justice to be found in a country that is the mirror image of the state of Israel.

    • amigo on January 1, 2015, 1:27 pm

      “So typical of a racist, colonial system. Don’t go to the ICC. That’s not the way we play the game and man we still want to play.” Marnie.

      Yeah , reminds one of the Mafia who threaten witnesses or make them disappear or beat up their family members or burn their houses or threaten or pay off the prosecutors.

  6. Blownaway on January 1, 2015, 12:11 pm

    The NYT has another lame editorial taking the Palestinians to task for going to the ICC and making things worse. Typical NYT institutional crap. But what makes it fun is to read the comments section and to see that the Hasbarra is NOT working.

    • John O on January 1, 2015, 12:27 pm

      I had a quick read, following your recommendation. The contrast between the editors’ picks and the readers’ picks says it all.

      • piotr on January 1, 2015, 6:47 pm

        As I wrote, the defense of Israel by NYT is very perfunctory. They picked grand total of 3 letters, one pro-Israeli, one against the editorial, one ambigous. Pro-Israeli letter had 44 recommend, the top readers’ pick, more than 10 times as much. Where are Hasbara trolls? Perhaps Netanyahu’s conniption against NYT led to a prohibition for trolls to subscribe?

    • MRW on January 1, 2015, 6:23 pm

      But what makes it fun is to read the comments section and to see that the Hasbarra is NOT working.

      No kidding. Look at the numbers. One highly recommended comment accused the NYT editorial board of being bought and sold by AIPAC and Sheldon Adelson.

      The people in DC, the NYT, and the people/officials of Israel are clueless about the results of this past summer’s war on the American populace. Maybe the 2.7 million viewers of Fox News bought into it. But not the hoi polloi. Those results have consequences and America has woken up; they’re just not talking out loud yet. The disgust and ennui that run through the Reader’s Picks—the ones the moderator approved—represent a sea-change from a year ago.

  7. Taxi on January 1, 2015, 12:39 pm

    The Palestinians, more specifically Abbas, had cooperated with the Americans time and time again at the risk of life and limb, warning them each time that this cooperative servitude has an eventual expiration date that they must be mindful never to reach before peace is achieved. The failure of the statehood bid a couple of days ago, especially the blatant coercion that the USA employed to insure the bid’s failure (read Nigeria’s 12th hour flip-over) – this was the precise limit that Abbas had long warned them about and the last straw that broke his back. For two decades, Israel and America took and took from Abbas and they never gave him a single thing in return to work with – and now he has absolutely zero of nothing and therefore has no other option but to turn his back at ‘more of nothing’.

    Abbas, during his speech after the failed vote, basically stated that “that was America’s last chance” and that he was going to be signing and submitting the ICC applications. Mideast analysts of the speech noted that Abbas has said ‘last chance for America’ and not ‘last chance for israel’. Meaning: the Palestinians are no longer wanting to deal with America as sole mediator and they’re taking their cause now to the international community.

    This is a complete disaster for US mideast foreign policy: our influence has now been weekend so thoroughly by our ‘special friendship’ that even the stateless weakling Palestinians are turning their backs on us and refusing our calling-card. And this coming not even 24 hours after Samantha Powers and Netanyahu’s Pyrrhic victory over the failed statehood bid.

    A new and definitive Palestinian policy and direction has been birthed by the ICC application. There is no going back now. And both sides of the fractured Palestinian political community are pushing it forward (Hamas and Fatah). In a TV interview a couple of days ago, a Fatah big shot (sorry I forget his name right now), when asked whether Fatah supported the formation of armed resistances in the West Bank a-la Gaza style replied that it was occupied people’s right to form resistances and that “resistance comes in many forms and we are open to using armed resistance in an appropriate fashion at an appropriate time “. He then went on to remind viewers that Fatah was established and founded as a ‘resistance’ group and that resistance was an integral part of its fabric whether its leadership decides to temporarily dis-employ it or not.. Obviously, when you hear stuff like this from Fatah honchos, you can safely ascertain that the Oslo Accords that prohibited Fatah from armed resistance is now dead and well buried.

    So the Palestinians are in a unique time period presently where the majority will of the world is behind them and against israeli occupation. But as all realists will note, this in itself will not make the zionists give back a single inch of what they stole, will not convince them to allow the return of Palestinian refugees or force them to share Jerusalem. The ICC too cannot deliver them justice on the ground, neither will BDS (though all are profoundly helpful in spreading the cause). The Palestinians, an occupied people living it day after day, understand only too well that organized, vigilant resistance on all fronts, especially the armed resistance, can at some stage make a difference – it would at worse kneecap the occupation, and at best end it – “at the appropriate time”.

    The world’s reaction to the failed statehood bid was of disgust and disappointment, of more hostility and anger at the state of israel. From here on, every israeli victory at the UN will just create more hatred towards israel because the world can now clearly see a consistent pattern of corruption when it comes to israeli issues at the UN. Saddam, after announcing his victory over Iran and seeing the cold shoulder he got from the oil Arabs, the USA and the international community, was known to have said to an aide: “victory is not sweet when the whole world hates you”.

    24 hours after the Palestine statehood bid failed, can we really say that israel won yesterday? I really think not. There are no more true victories to be had for israel either at the UN or at the battlefields: should the Palestinian issue turn into a regional war.

    • Walid on January 1, 2015, 12:43 pm

      Hi Taxi, looks like the fight was thrown when it was insisted that the vote happen at this time. With the reputed inefficiency of the ICC, we’ll have another 10 years of ring around the rosy while the settlements expand even more into what’s left of the Swiss-cheese Palestine. All these moves are leading towards the establishment of a state on the east bank.

      • Taxi on January 1, 2015, 1:57 pm

        Happy New Year Walid and Family!

        I beg to disagree old pal – they would have lost anyway as America had loudly threatened to use it’s veto if the bid had received 9+ votes. The timing (perhaps unwittingly?) caused a strategic exposure of the naked prejudice practiced by America against the suffering Palestinians, and it has actually provided Abbas and the Palestinian Authority with a clean break from America’s ball and chain – hence the immediate announcement of the ICC signatures, despite seething American threats. Now the PA can maneuver internationally without America pulling them back by the hair. I don’t see this as a bad thing at all.

        And besides, they can apply again for statehood – according to a couple of articles I read. But I’d actually like a confirmation of this from an expert – like MW’s one and only Hostage (oh Hostage where art thou when we needeth thou?!).

        Also, Walid, I don’t believe the ‘East Bank’ scenario is possible without igniting a regional war that israel will lose.

        The israelis are strategically in a tighter corner than you think – they’re just pretending they’re not.

        I think all these UN “moves” by the Palestinians are not wasted per say – they will prove to be effective in creating a ‘ripe’ global environment for the establishment of a Palestinian state, either based on the ’67 border, or based on the whole historic Palestine. It’s really about how the israelis want to play it next: negotiate the ’67 and risk jewish civil war, or go to regional war and lose. They lose either way. They do not have a third option. And…. looks like the israelis will be choosing the regional war option, judging by where their next elections are heading: sharp right.

      • Walid on January 1, 2015, 2:59 pm

        Thanks Taxi, the same good wishes to you and to yours.

        It’s hard for me to see anything less than a full collaboration between the PA and the bad guys. Now that the battle at the UN has been lost, Ashrawi is making speeches all over the place how the not so nice UNSC members blew it for the Palestinians and not a nasty word for the PA of which she is a senior member having actually lost it by not allowing the resolution to work its way to the GA where it had a big chance of making it, irrespective of a US veto. Driving the bus since the treacherous Oslo was signed are the same drivers that got the Palestinians into the Oslo and that have been running interference all these years for the other guys. Since 1948, the Palestinians have been going around ruderless for longer than the Jews wandered in their journey out of Egypt. Now with the ICC claims and counterclaims and counter-counterclaims, another 20 years will be lost since if the US did not want to see the birth of Palestinian state by way of the UN, it will surely block it again at the toothless ICC.

        You mentioned a possible regional war, you surely did not mean to include Arab states in those. Even Hizbullah has declared that it would not fight the Palestinians’ war for them in Israel, and neither would Iran so who would that leave to fight Israel?

        Speaking of Hizbullah, today the northern command of the IDF declared something to the effect of Hizbullah currently mobilizing to attack the northern settlements so it was practicing evacuation excercises. Usually when Israel makes such announcements, it’s a signal that it is itself preparing something nasty for Lebanon and is laying the groundwork for it by playing the victim preparing to defend itself.

      • Taxi on January 1, 2015, 3:37 pm

        “Even Hizbullah has declared that hit would not fight the Palestinians’ war for them in Israel, and neither would Iran so who would that leave to fight Israel?” – Walid.

        Two counts of false in the statement above: both the hizb and Iran are actually very involved in the Palestinian resistance, providing weapons, training, intelligence and moral support. Both have vowed they are ready “to do what is necessary” to liberate Palestine when called upon by the Palestinian resistance – (do they really have to spell out what this statement means, Walid?). Nasrallah has even promised hizb boots in israel’s southern Galilee at the next clashbang – Jerusalem is but a step from there, so are the West Bank and Gaza. And you’re forgetting to include Syria into the equation.

        And I wouldn’t worry one bit about idf shenanigans on the Lebanese border – they know damn well that to strike at Lebanon will lead to immediate and painful retaliation against tel avivi. It’s called a balance-of terror and the hizb achieved it in 2006; as Hamas also inched towards during Protective Edge, with all its unexpected surprises’ during the battles.

        I see the Palestinians right now as ‘getting it together’ more than ever. And on all fronts.

      • Walid on January 1, 2015, 4:29 pm

        Not false but a clarification is needed here. The one day in the year when all the talk by both Hizbullah and Iran devoted to Palestine is on Yom al-Quds, which falls on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan. The rest of the year, talk of Palestine is rather sporadic if at all. This Palestinian rememberance day was instituted by Ayatollah Khomeineh a few years after the Shah was deposed.

        No argument about Iran massively supplying Hizbullah and Hamas with the funds and the hardware to defend themselves against the Zionists. But supplying and funding is one thing and actually fighting for the Palestinians is something else. In the last 3 assaults on Gaza, which of Iran or Hizbullah lifted a finger in the actual fighting? None.

        As to Hizbullah’s declaration about overrunning the Galilee in the next encounter, the Sayyid said that the next time Israel so much as tries to attack Lebanon, Hizbullah would not be waiting for them as usual on the Lebanese side of the border, but that it would actually take the battle all the way inside the Galilee to fight the Zionists there for a change. He also said that if Israel tries to lay seige to Lebanon’s coast line, Hizbullah would reply with a seige to block all incoming and outgoing ships to and from Israel and if Israel bombs a hospital or a school, Hizbullah would do likewise and if Beirut is bombed, so will Tel Aviv be bombed. This statement was pronounced in the spirit of self defense and not al related to having anything to do with fighting the Palestinians battles for them.

        The Zionists have been trampling all over the holy sanctuary in Jerusalem for months, what has the Jordanian king, which is the custodian of the Haram al-Sharif done about it? What about the Saudi king that is the custodian of the 2 holy sanctuaries done about it and what has Hizbullah and Iran done about it? Nothing.

      • Taxi on January 2, 2015, 12:15 am


        You’re mistaken about what Nasrallah said, and he’s said this numerous times by now: “we will take the battle into occupied Palestine and liberate the Galiliee “.

        The liberation of Palestine is so often mentioned by both Iran and the hizb,, that’s it’s not funny – you are mistaken to dismiss this point off-handedly.

        Entering into a war with israel needs much patient preparations, Walid, and the only side that’s not ready in practical terms is the West Bank (and Jerusalem). The Golan front has been trained and is perched quietly in the shadows, the hizb is ready, and Iran’s long range missiles are ready too, camouflaged in south Lebanon.

        The Palestinian resistance has not asked for help during the last 3 Gaza assaults – they’re saving that for the big one and they’re preparing for the big one and have said this themselves. The Axis of Resistance against israel has already been formed by Syria, Iran, hizb and the Palestinians, the battle plans have already been drawn up, high-value targets have already been identified etc. This is all established news, Walid.

        You can be as cynical about this all you want but it’s a mistake to just out and out dismiss the axis of resistance and its capabilities – israel certainly doesn’t. If Jordan and the Arab oil countries were saying that they will liberate Palestine, then yes, I would laugh that off, but Iran and Syria and the hizb have immediate strategic and deep ideological motives to defeat the zionists – I wouldn’t underestimate their dedication or resolve regarding Palestine.

        The majority of israel’s neighbors, both citizens and leaders understand that only force will dislodge the israeli grip on historic Palestine, including the Holy Sanctuary in Jerusalem. The eventual war that is coming is coming because of blatant israeli aggressive expansionism – all these Palestinian moves at the UN serve to clarify this to the world, whether they pass or not.

      • Walid on January 2, 2015, 1:38 am

        Hey, Taxi, I’m not dismissing any future effort by Hizbullah, I’m sure in the next fight, Hizbullah will enter Israel and give the Zionists a bad beating but I’m equally sure that Lebanon will also suffer much from another war and it will be worth it if the world can be rid of the Zio-cancer, and this is what will most probably happen.

    • CloakAndDagger on January 1, 2015, 1:40 pm

      @ Taxi

      a very cogent analysis and enjoyable read!

    • Mayhem on January 2, 2015, 1:47 am

      @taxi, yes we know the whole Muslim world with the help if their left-wing confederates hates the Jewish upstarts. We know the Israel’s Muslim neighbours would like one of their vurulent Islamist proxies to start a regional war. Is Israel going to kowtow to such obvious pressure tactics? I don’t think so. Forced into a corner any animal will come out fighting to ensure its survival. With the US pushed more to Israel’s side than ever before the PA can start looking for funding its bureaucrats from other sources.

      • Taxi on January 3, 2015, 1:58 am


        Nobody loves a holy war more than israel! LOL – are you even on this planet?!

        And if you think you’re so chosenly invincible, then you got nothing to worry about, right?

  8. Les on January 1, 2015, 1:28 pm

    Notice that the US mainstream media pretends that Israel and the Palestinians have equal power just like the Jews and the Nazis did during the battle of the Warsaw Ghetto.

  9. Atlantaiconoclast on January 1, 2015, 1:44 pm

    What continues to amaze me is the complete lack of awareness among the Western peoples of the hypocrisy in their stance toward violent Palestinian resistance. We arm vicious Islamic extremist Syrian rebels, engineer a violent coup in Ukraine, and have a history of arming resistance to Marxism in Central America and Africa, yet somehow, the Palestinians are terrorists when THEY resist. I guess the only way to explain it is that Americans and Europeans ignorantly see the conflict as a symmetrical Hatfield vs. Mc Coys kind of fight.

    • Les on January 1, 2015, 3:23 pm

      Both Israel and the US media consider Israel’s Jews to be the great white hope in the Middle East.

      • Walid on January 2, 2015, 1:27 pm

        I still remember Harry’s recommendation to Hamas last summer to buy some rocket guidance gizmos from Radio Shack that would make every Qassam rocket score a direct hit. I hope they acted on his suggestion.

  10. Blownaway on January 1, 2015, 2:14 pm

    There will be no civil nor regional war. There is no regional power that can threaten Israel, the U.S. has guaranteed that. The only thing that will get the Israelis to move is the financial pain of a global BDS movement. That will also have to be at the grassroots level since politicians in the world but especially in the US are too blinded by money and guilt.

    • Taxi on January 1, 2015, 2:46 pm


      American “guarantees” in the region grow more flaccid by the day. And even if that were not the case, we’ve already witnessed how a well organized and determined resistance can succeed at defeating the israelis on the battlefield and thereby liberating their land – and all this despite mighty American and Saudi “guarantees” (read 2006 hizb victory).

      At this stage, with the rapidly shrinking Palestinian landmass, armed resistance must be an option on the table. It’s the right of every Palestinian to want it there as an option amongst other options. Survivalism demands this.

      Besides, what makes you so confident that military victory is guaranteed to those whom America supports? I mean how the heck is israel gonna survive 24,000+ sophisticated missile and rocket hits per day in a regional war, even if it were able to hit back? It’s a sliver of land and won’t take long to turn it to rubble. And in that part of the world, there are by far more natives than there are western colonial jews.

      • Blownaway on January 1, 2015, 6:33 pm

        24000 sophisticated missiles? That’s Israeli propaganda. The Palestinians can not count on any one to come to their aid in an official capacity. Those missiles will stay land bound. My mom used to say the Palestinians need the Americans because they are the only ones who can move the Israelis. She’s long since gone and now we know that’s not true. Jettising the Americans is step one (though I don’t trust Abbas that he has truly but the cord) and step two is getting rid of the PLA. Then the real work can start in building a true freedom movement. All organized armed resistance can do is justify more brutality by the Jewish State. But individual actors seem to be much more effective much more scary.

      • Taxi on January 2, 2015, 12:28 am

        It’s not israeli “propaganda” – there are actually that many missiles and rockets pointing at israel times ten and the military strategy is to ‘shock and awe’ israel in the first forty-eight hours. High-value targets include military theaters and military communication centers. The chaos that will ensue in israel when this happens will be monumental and you will find that by then, there will be the lowest support ever for israel in the international community.

        While you’re getting jittery about the scenario I describe, preparations for war are ongoing by both sides. It’s your prerogative to assimilate this fact into your analytical picture, or not.

      • Walid on January 2, 2015, 1:54 am

        Blownaway, she had it half-right. Not just Americans but some American Jews. In general, non-Jewish Americans don’t care what’s hapening in the ME.

      • HarryLaw on January 2, 2015, 7:53 am

        One problem I have with the Palestinian resistance is how ineffective it has been, I do not mean lack of bravery, of the 3/4,000 rockets fired from Gaza, hardly any hit an economic target of any value, non hit the hub of the Israeli economy Ben Gurion airport which if closed for even a short length of time would destroy confidence and cause billions of dollars loss to the economy [trade, tourism etc] The greatest boxer the world has produced Rocky Marciano also had the shortest reach of any heavyweight at the time [just like the short range home made Qassam rockets] in order for Marciano to deliver his famous Susie Q he had to get up close to his opponent, he certainly did not launch it from his stool. These home made rockets are so easy to produce and can be devastating if launched from the right range, I wonder why the resistance do not either make them in, or transport them to a more effective range?

      • Taxi on January 2, 2015, 8:26 am


        Don’t sweat the home-made rockets: they’re used tactically and not strategically.

        Plus the Palestinian resistance’s bigger rockets were not deployed, for intelligence/strategic reasons.

        Plus Iran’s government has opened an Iranian bank account where Iranian citizens can make contributions that would go towards arming the Palestinian resistance. Not to mention the upgrades in military ware that iran is already shifting undetected into the Gaza strip – some analysts even say that the West Bank is currently and secretly being stocked up with Iranian military hardware.

        Yeah, the Palestinian resistance is catching up and the hizbollah resistance model is being studied and adopted by them.

      • CloakAndDagger on January 2, 2015, 11:35 am

        @ Walid

        In general, non-Jewish Americans don’t care what’s hapening in the ME.

        I am not so sure if that is true anymore – perhaps before the recent wars which have seen a massive drain of our finances leading to hardships at home.

        At least among my friends (myself included), we do care what is happening in the M.E., perhaps not so much out of identifying with the Palestinians, but with the idea of a foreign nation controlling our politics, foreign policy, and indirectly, our finances. More of us have come to realize that our misadventures in the M.E. (and Afghanistan) have been caused by our one-sided involvement in the M.E. with little or no benefit to us, and at a great cost in blood and treasure. We are clearly seeing the unanimous expressions of fealty from our representatives to Israel and its excesses, a congress whose popularity continues to plummet, and one that cannot be united on any other issue, and we are confronted with a cognitive dissonance with respect to the realities around us – thanks greatly to the Internet. Most of us are convinced that this corruption is caused by bribes from Israel and its supporters while many of us also believe that our venal politicians may have been blackmailed.

        It is also telling that mass media has lost most of its credibility (and readership) and is fighting a losing battle against alternative media (including MW).

        I think that great change is upon us, and perhaps even the second American revolution.

      • CigarGod on January 2, 2015, 11:50 am

        Id like to think so, but i seem to find less and less thinking, processing, bullshite detecting ability in our populations. We seem be be as emotiona driven as we ever were. But, i am happy…that even unthinking emotional people are starting to reject the status quo.

      • CloakAndDagger on January 2, 2015, 1:09 pm

        @ Walid

        And to put it in perspective, the war cost us between $4 and $6 TRILLION!

      • Walid on January 2, 2015, 1:17 pm

        D & G, it’s like you described; the overal concern of what Israel is doing to the US. It still doesn’t highlight the plight of the Palestinians with the masses. There is awareness of course on college campuses but this is due to confrontations between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel activists. The average American doesn’t know what a Palestinian is about other than being a terrorist and other idiocies that have been pushed on Americans by Israel.

      • CloakAndDagger on January 2, 2015, 1:25 pm

        @ Walid

        Yes, it is US-centric at the moment. But, I believe that what is inherently good for the US (and by that I mean the nation and not the elite who run it) is also good for the rest of the world – including Palestine. I think it is human nature, but charity begins at home.

      • Walid on January 2, 2015, 1:38 pm

        I agree, C & D, it’s a good start. Americans starting to get a whiff of Israel’s foul odors would eventually lead to a better familiarity with the Palestinian cause. I have American relatives and Palestinian ones too, so I know the feeling.

      • Sycamores on January 2, 2015, 2:29 pm

        hi Taxi,

        you are talking about a conventional war with a state that has unconventional weapons.
        what would prevent Israel from using its nuclear arsenal when the war goes bad for them?

      • Memphis on January 2, 2015, 3:11 pm

        Taxi, what are you sources for your claims? I am curious, as I would like to peruse them. Thank you!!

        And I really hope that Palestinians are not relying on other nations or groups to step in for their self defence. One of the key tenets of Realism is self-help, that no nation can rely on another for its defence. Usually cause no nation will risk its soldiers life and nations international standing fighting for another state. And I hardly see how it is in the national interest of either Lebanon, Iran, or Syria to step in for the Palestinians. Syria is embroiled in a civil war, they don’t have the resources, or will, or man power to fight for Palestinians. Iran is involved in nuclear negotiations, and is suffering from sanctions. Are they going to risk the ire of the U.S and the other P5 during nuclear negotiations to fight for the Palestinians? I find that doubtful. The only country that might have a vested national interest would be Lebanon, but I still don’t see Hezbollah coming to the defence of Palestine.

        I may be wrong, and I would enjoy reading your response. Maybe you can convince me to think otherwise

      • annie on January 2, 2015, 3:50 pm

        I still don’t see Hezbollah coming to the defence of Palestine.

        i think, as a recall, nasrallah said they would. and it was hezbollah who trained hamas after the cast led massacre. i was in lebanon last summer and this stuff was all over the news on mainstream tv.

        “We are in the place where there is a defense of the axis of resistance,” his eminence said.

        …Speaking about the big danger sweeping, advancing and committing huge massacres without any controls, barriers or intellectual, moral and legitimate and humanitarian limits, Sayyed Nasrallah expressed beliefs that everyone who can be a part of this battle has a duty to defend Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, the region, the Palestinian cause, Muslims, Christians and religious minorities.

        “There is a loose monster in the region, if one came out to fight this monster and stop him from devouring the peoples of the region and its countries and entities, should he be thanked or convicted?” he said.

        Now is not the time to talk about disappointments and the past. It is more important for the Resistance to win in Palestine because its victory is a further step towards undermining the foundations of the other axis that protects Israel. The other axis includes not only the United States and a large part of the West but also a significant number of Arab regimes.

        Hezbollah not only supports Hamas, it is willing to do whatever it takes to provide support.This was the essence of Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s speech yesterday, on International Quds (Jerusalem) Day.

      • Memphis on January 2, 2015, 4:21 pm


        I’m currently reading a book by John Mearsheimer “Why Leaders Lie” and as he shows, leaders are more likely to mislead their own publics than other states. The point is that lying occurs most often when addressing your own people, for obvious reasons. And like an ex girlfriend once told me, “actions speak louder than words.” One can talk a good talk, but if it is not backed up by action it is idle chatter.

        And what does it take for them to step in? Was Gaza not enough? I really don’t believe that they would ever step in for the Palestinians. The only way they would engage in war with Israel is if Israel attacked them first. And then it would not be in defence of Palestinians but of their own territory.

        I think it is unrealistic for supporters of Palestine to put their hopes in other nations coming to their defence. It hasn’t happened in the past, and it won’t happen in the future. Nations do not enter into violent conflict unless it serves their national interest. So unless someone can show me how it serves any the three aforementioned countries national interest I will not put any hope in any nation or military group coming to the aide of Palestinians.

        I think the Palestinians should demand the vote and mobilize the ENTIRE Palestinian community (every man, woman and child) in the West Bank and Gaza in massive non-violent resistance. And if that doesn’t work, then mobilize the ENTIRE Palestinian community in violent resistance. And yes, both actions will result in much blood shed. And yes, it’s easy for me to say sitting in the comfort of my home in Canada, but blood is being spilt anyways.

        I have no faith in the international community, I have no faith in the ICC, I have no faith in the U.N, and I have no faith in other nations forcing Israel to give Palestinians human rights. I believe they can only do it for themselves.

      • CigarGod on January 2, 2015, 6:35 pm

        Blacks did not “do it themselves”…during the civil right movement. A whole lot of us stood with them…and in the streets. With blood and donations. Just like a lot of the world did for apartheid south africa…and how a lot of the world is helping Palestine.

      • Memphis on January 2, 2015, 11:05 pm


        You are absolutely correct, African-Americans and Black South Africans did not do it by themselves. Many with no real vested interest, other than an unwavering belief in human rights and justice for everyone, stood with those people. I should have been more concise. What I was trying to say is that I have little faith that an international organization can compel Israel to do what is right, whether that be granting full human rights to all (1SS) or giving the Palestinians a viable state (2SS). I support everyone using whatever tools are available to grant Palestinians their human rights. I whole heartedly support the BDS movement. I am happy about them joining the ICC. It is a tool. I just don’t think it will have any teeth, sadly. I guess I am waiting for a cogent analysis of how it will effect change. I am hoping desperately that I am wrong!

        I’m sorry, I am impatient, and I feel like a piece of shit saying that. I watched this movie last night “Inch’Allah’ about a French-Canadian doctor working in a women’s health centre in the OPT. A scene moved me to weep for about 5 minutes, I had to pause the movie. It was a scene where the friend of the doctor was forced to give birth at a checkpoint. I wrote a paper – not very good, I got a C, partially cause I did not link it to globalization, but I digress – on the challenges to women’s health living in the OPT. It just made me angry, sad, and cynical that change can actually happen in a timely fashion. My heart goes out to these people.

      • CigarGod on January 3, 2015, 10:29 am

        Thanks, Memphis,
        I understand your point better now. I agree, based on the history of other hopeful moments in somewhat similar situations…being dashed. Some of Israel’s present leaders openly disparage UN organizations. I understand they also have not ratified the rome statute…so cant even be charged. I do understand your frustration that the individual human disasters that you mention dont turn the human heart of those in charge like they do yours…and mine. At one time i wondered why the palestinians didnt all come together. Well, we have to remember these people have been under assault…for 70 plus years. They must be one of the largest examples of group ptsd…except there is no “p” in it. They have been raised in prisons. They have been starved in body and soul. They have had their hopes dashed countless times…by friend and foe. When a leader rises…to help rise them…he/she is assasinated. How can we possibly expect them to react as those of us in free countries react? There is no idealistic fairy tale we can expect of them. This is why they need our help. We read about parents and perverts that keep children caged in closets or chained in hidden cellars. How do those children help themselves? I think the answer is: we work together. They do the suffering that opens our eyes…and we work to free them.

      • Taxi on January 2, 2015, 11:41 pm

        @ Sycamore,

        It would be like striking an own-goal if israel used nukes on Syria, Lebanon, West Bank or Gaza: too close geographically; and to use a nuke against Iran would not only guarantee israel’s anihilation (not just mere defeat on the battlefield), but it would ignite a global backlash against every single jew in every single corner of the world. And you can be damn sure that this would also lose them the holocaust begging bowl forever.

        Actually, it’s the jews who should be scared of srael using nukes, not Iranians.

        P.S. Iran would only physically enter the battlefield if the hizb, the Syrian army and its many Golan militias could not deal. But they can deal, I assure you. Just because Syria doesn’t respond to israel’s intermittent pin-prick strikes does not mean that they are incapable of hitting back.

        This is not 1967 – now even ‘rag-tag’ hizbollah can shoot down isreal’s F-16’s.

      • Taxi on January 3, 2015, 12:15 am


        I really have no desire to change your mind about anything. If you find my analysis ‘interesting’ to you, then please go and research it for yourself – plenty of stuff out there about it. Like annie rightly pointed out: this subject is often in the news in the middle east – Al Mayadeen TV (sorry only in Arabic) always has top analysts (European/Arab/Russian/American etc) discussing this very topic. (I am currently visiting the south of Lebanon and my pidgin Arabic catches a lot of their points).

        But I would like to point out to you that Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and a green strip of south-western Iraq is inhabited by the ‘people of the Levant’ and despite the imperial West having drawn boundaries and divided them up into separate countries, they really are still one and the same people: they share the same folklore, cuisine, physiognomy, history, music et. etc. And not forgetting one very important point: israel has attacked/occupied all the above Levant countries, not just Palestine, so there are national as well as regional motivators to slay the beast that is israel.

        Also, Syria is not experiencing “a civil war”, they’re fighting an invasion by foreign islamists who’ve come from 73 different countries. Yet despite all this, Syria’s eye is still on israel and its numerous battalions who’ve been training to liberate the Golan for decades are all still focused on ONLY this task. The crisis in Syria is NOT a distraction away from what needs to be done about israel.

        Please take a good look at the map of the Levant, baring in mind that the Axis of Resistance’s defensive capabilities are only getting stronger. It’s educational to study this map because it will illuminate to you what hasbara is trying so hard to keep in the dark: isreal is f*cked and pretending otherwise, creating wars and strife in its neighboring countries to deflect the truth and the inevitable: israel’s already toast. It’s really just about how many people israel will mass-murder while in its death throes.

        The long-suffering people of the Levant, like you, have no faith in the international community either – anymore. This is why support for resistance is now growing in leaps and bounds.

      • CigarGod on January 3, 2015, 12:30 am

        Nice, taxi.
        That is also my concern.
        How many people….will the people raised on heroic stories of resistence…and suicidal resistence… take with the?

      • CigarGod on January 3, 2015, 12:31 am

        Nice, taxi.
        That is also my concern.
        How many people….will the people raised on heroic stories of resistence…and suicidal resistence… take with them?

      • Walid on January 3, 2015, 5:27 am

        Annie, it’s as you said, an al-Quds Day speech in solidarity with Palestine, but it doesn’t translate into any actual fighting by Hizbullah on behalf of Hamas. It’s true that Hizbulah helps Hamas with training, but it will not fight for it. You’d remember the Hizbullah member that was arrested by Egypt for trying to move “equipment” into Gaza from the Sinai. He escaped from jail during the uprising against Mubarak and is back in Lebanon. The only instance where Hizbullah actually had fighters on the ground in a foreign country was in Syria about 18 months ago and it was to fight Israel’s pals, the ISIS fanatics that had announced that as soon as they’d finish mopping up the Shia villages in Syria of people of Lebanese roots, they would be crossing into Lebanon to do likewise with the rest of the Shia of Lebanon and Hizbullah jumped the gun by crossing into Syria and beating them there (Battle of al-Qusayr). This battle actually turned the tide for the Syrian government against ISIS but it costs Hizbullah many lives and it saved Lebanon and a good part of Syria from ISIS.

        Hard for others to grasp that Hizbullah would never put the interests of another country (even Iran’s) ahead of those of Lebanon. The only time it would cross into Israel would be to protect Lebanon’s interests, as it has done in Syria. When Israel viciously attacks Lebanon as it has done several times, most of the victims are of Hizbullah’s Shia population and most of the destruction is of Shia villages, not Sunni or Christian ones.

        Last July during Israel’s massacres, Hamas asked for Hizbullah’s help: “We hope the Lebanese front will open and together we will fight against this formation [Israel],” deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouk told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

        “There’s no arguing that Lebanese resistance could mean a lot,” Abu Marzouk stressed.

        Hizbullah gave Hamas lots of pointers on what to do against the Zionists but no physical help.

      • Taxi on January 3, 2015, 6:22 am

        I’d say it’s hard for you, Walid, “to grasp” the fact that all the attacks on Gaza were very small battles, by measures of war, that the Palestinians did not want help with these battles – how the heck else are they supposed to get ‘experience’ if they don’t even step up their game during a local assault?

        You gotta think grand military strategy here and know that when the big war comes, all the Axis of Resistance groups/countries will be well coordinated – and yes fighting side by side to defeat israel.

        It behooves you as half-Palestinian living in Canada to digest the fact that Palestine is NOT alone, by any small measure – at least over here in the mideast they’re most definitely not alone – and this will count for something during times of war.

      • Walid on January 3, 2015, 8:59 am

        Hi again, Taxi, I’m not half-Palestinians but I have half-Palestinian nephews and nieces. I’d be the happiest guy to see Hizbullah giving the Zionists the beating they deserve.

        Abou Marzouk of Hamas didn’t want Hizbullah to come fight in Gaza but to simply open a front on the Lebanese side to relieve some of the pressure on Gaza as HIzbullah had done in 2006 a few weeks after the capture of Shalit when it captured Goldwasser and Regev. Hizbullah’s guys may be all heart for the Palestinians, but they’re not stupid.

        Sorry to not have a military mind to be grasping the small games played and the big ones being prepared. It’s starting to sound like another version of Armageddon being set up; spooky.

      • Taxi on January 3, 2015, 11:23 am

        Nothing spooky about a liberation war. And all them ‘end-timers’ can stuff it with their fairy tales!

        There is no ‘choseness’ and there certainly aint’ no Jesus coming back.

      • Walid on January 3, 2015, 12:34 pm

        Spooky is your description of the coming war of the worlds, with Iran, Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas on one side and the bad guys on the other. Sure sounds spooky to me. Wouldn’t want to be around for that one. If Jesus doesn’t come back, there will be a lot of disappointed people.

  11. Whizdom on January 1, 2015, 3:11 pm

    More interesting than the war crimes dimensions of this move, is the possible impact on rulings related to determinations of the legal status of the West Bank. In prior rulings the ICC has determined that the West Bank is “occupied Territory”, the portions of the Separation Barrier that is across the green line is illegal and should be dismantled and compensation be made to the former landowners.

    In fact, Israeli claims to sovereignty on territory outside the UNGA 181 partition boundaries could be challenged in the ICC.

    • annie on January 1, 2015, 4:25 pm

      i think you’re getting warm whizdom.

      this article is about the geneva summit i wrote about last month:

      By Associated Press December 17, 2014
      GENEVA — The international community delivered a stinging rebuke to Israel’s settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, saying Wednesday the practice violates its responsibilities as an occupying power.

      A declaration adopted by consensus among 126 of the 196 parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention insists that international humanitarian law must be followed in areas affected by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.


      This is a signal and we can hope that words count,” Fivat said. The declaration emphasizes one aspect of the Geneva Conventions: a prohibition on colonizing occupied land.

      • Whizdom on January 1, 2015, 7:34 pm

        One interesting aspect of the Rome statutes is that the 120 odd signatory nations have an affirmative duty to apprehend indicted individuals if found in their territory and transport them to the Hague. That’s most of Europe and all of South America. Not the US, India or China.
        Also, signatory nations are obliged to not contribute to the conditions and illegal acts under the statutes. That’s the basis for economic sanctions.
        Noteworthy that Israel is now investigating 14 incidents that occurred during Protective Edge operation include the Brigade’s Hannibal operation in Rafah. Likely to preclude ICC investigation.

      • annie on January 1, 2015, 8:26 pm

        yes i read the big scary headline today about israel’s “investigation.”

        but either way, that won’t impact the land/sanctions issue.

  12. ramzijaber on January 1, 2015, 5:12 pm

    Let the talking end and the actions begin.

    us/uk/australia/canada MUST NOT be part of any engagement by the Palestinians. they are more zionists than the zionists and no longer have a place at the table.

    • Rodneywatts on January 2, 2015, 12:54 pm

      Hello Ramzi

      May an oldtimer from the UK make his first comment on Mondoweiss in response to your short and pointed comments. believe me I feel your right anger, pain and frustration, as I have done for the Palestinian people for many years. I am a veteran of the anti-apartheid BDS campaigns and campaigns for racial equality etc in the UK in the 1960’s onwards. I was politically active, mainly in the liberal democrats, but for the past 5 years or so I have not felt able to be a member of any party. However I am still in touch with a number of MP’s of all parties who were key to the passing of the non-binding resolution to recognise Palestine as a State in October 2014.

      Of course you are reiterating the words of Mustafa Barghouti and Diana Buttu, which at this time wrt the UK are certainly not the best informed. There were good reasons from a political viewpoint why the UK abstained, and frankly the US was let off the veto hook by the hasty presentation of the resolution to the UNSC. Things really are changing here in the UK, and we have parliamentary elections in May, which hopefully will produce a government which will absolutely break any ties with the US wrt Israel/Palestine.

      Also on personal note, I was a Christian zionist in the 1960’s, but long ago realised zionism was not what Jesus taught nor what the Tanakh really teaches. . I have since done what I can to encourage other Christians to follow my understanding, and in the UK we are in the definite majority now. I think even in the US, there is a turning –although I appreciate that there is a long way to go. Ramzi, It was the plight of Stephen Salaita, that I picked up in Al Jazeera that led me to Mondoweiss and Corey Robin’s blog, both progressive Jewish in origin, which relit my fire to see peace, justice and dignity for all Palestinians and renewed my hope that this will happen before I die. I hope our encounter will give you hope too.
      God Bless – Salaam Alaikum- Shalom- Rod

      • Walid on January 2, 2015, 2:39 pm

        Welcome aboard, Rod.

      • Rodneywatts on January 3, 2015, 8:10 am

        Hi Walid Thank you for your kind welcome. Rod

      • Taxi on January 3, 2015, 11:07 am

        I’ll second Walid: WELCOME RODNEY!

        Glad you’re visiting. Please keep up abreast of all UK friends of israel’s nefarious activities across the pond.

  13. RoHa on January 1, 2015, 5:47 pm

    “Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is enraged that the Palestinians would “threaten” the most moral army in the world. ”

    I don’t know why he’s enraged. As he himself points out, the most moral army in the world does not commit any crimes, so the ICC is no more a threat to the army than the Queensland Criminal Court is a threat to me*.

    (*It wan’t me, I wasn’t there, and no-one can prove I was.)

    • Kris on January 2, 2015, 9:33 pm

      Let’s hope the Israeli spokespeople will continue to repeat the absurdity that the IDF is “the most moral army in the world.” It’s wonderful, because it immediately brings to mind the horrifying videos and photos we have all seen of this “moral army” in action.

      I know I’m not the only one who instantly sees the little Palestinian boys who were murdered by the IDF as they played soccer on the beach, the dead Palestinian babies in the ice cream freezers, etc., etc.

  14. Xpat on January 1, 2015, 7:26 pm

    The U.S. has launched the diplomatic front to allow Israel’s punitive actions against the Palestinians to go ahead. We are expected to greet the soon to follow Israeli sanctions against the PA with a shrug. What can you do, they’ve been fighting each other forever.

  15. Kay24 on January 2, 2015, 1:41 am

    With the Israeli elections around the corner, Chickenshit will try to impress the voters by doing something which could be considered stupid by the rest of the world. Yes, he will announce more land theft, a predictable response, but he must be steamed that things look out of control.
    The most”moral” army will be now exposed to the long list of ugly war crimes, and Israel will look even more like a war criminal, once international agencies bring out their lists.

    As usual the US is on the wrong side of the issue, and making a fool of itself, with idiotic statements, and blaming the victims.

    • CigarGod on January 2, 2015, 11:08 am

      I dream of the day…thousands of notebooks are piled to the ceiling of the hague.

  16. Taxi on January 2, 2015, 2:26 am

    Israel Wants Int’l Criminal Court to Reject Palestinian Bid: It’s ‘Not a State’:

    • Kay24 on January 2, 2015, 5:23 am

      Israel wants, Israel wants, Israel wants….US will indulge, give, offer, support.

  17. eljay on January 2, 2015, 8:43 am

    Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is enraged that the Palestinians would “threaten” the most moral army in the world.

    “If the world weren’t watching, I’d crush every last one of those Arab cockroaches,” he swore, “and preserve the everlasting purity of the most glorious ‘Jewish State’ of Israel.”

    Zio-supremacists are truly hateful and immoral people.

    • annie on January 2, 2015, 11:10 am

      unreal! and i just trashed one of the pro israel comments the other day calling palestinians (or arabs i can’t recall) cockroaches.

      • CigarGod on January 2, 2015, 11:18 am

        Has anyone ever said: cockroaches…better than al pacino?

  18. Taxi on January 2, 2015, 11:17 am

    Israeli settlers stone U.S. diplomatic cars: police:

    More bad news from isreal – lol!

    • CigarGod on January 2, 2015, 11:22 am

      I expect the idf will shoot sponge bullets into the faces of settler children…since the rocks thrown by children have been determined to be fatal weapons.

  19. Taxi on January 2, 2015, 11:33 am

    What would Happen if the Int’l Criminal Court Indicted Israel’s Netanyahu? – Juan Cole

    There’ll be dancing in the streets, I guess:

    • CigarGod on January 2, 2015, 11:44 am

      I do like that the icc has been – practicing – on those ex-yugo state players, and those african state guys. I think the – rules -….crafted with western help (that ol’ double edged sword)…will make things a lot easier when the icc starts picking off a few noteworthy actors.

    • Walid on January 2, 2015, 2:11 pm

      CigarGod, ICC has a piss-poor track record

    • Walid on January 2, 2015, 2:12 pm

      Good article, Taxi. One of the clauses that spooks Israel from signing on to the ICC is “forcible deportation or transfer of members of a group” I read somewhere that this is Israel’s most vulnerable point if the ICC was to go after it for various war crimes. You’d remember how the UK did not cooperate to have Livni and other war criminals arrested on its soil, so an indictement of Netanyahu or any other Israeli criminals would be of no effect in Europe and especially not in the US, Canada or Australia.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 2, 2015, 2:26 pm

        All the major British parties are in the pockets of the various ‘Friends of Israel’ groups, so Britain is a lost cause, even if the people often disapprove of their government’s stance. Other European countries are not such reliable allies for Israel, however, and an ICC arrest warrant is rather different from someone threatening a form of ‘citizen’s arrest’, as was the case with Livni a few years ago.

        Were there to be an ICC arrest warrant out for an Israeli politician or soldier, I can’t see them daring to travel to any ICC signatory nation – ie most of the Western world, except the US. Israel’s status as a pariah onto the nations increases every day.

      • HarryLaw on January 2, 2015, 2:27 pm

        In my opinion, as far as the UK goes, the only change to the law was to stop a private individual from seeking an arrest warrant, now the Attorney General in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions have to give their consent. Of course there will be no political considerations involved, you know separation of law cough cough, from the political process.

    • ritzl on January 2, 2015, 4:30 pm

      Thanks Taxi. I think Israel’s basal fear on ICC involvement is as Cole alludes, it’s just so obvious.

      Judgements favorable to the Palestinians are “no-brainers.” All this has been going on for generations (but I understand that the PLO/PA accession papers narrow that time frame to June 2014 forward). The evidence must be literally mountainous and irrefutable. Israel is even threatening to provide more evidence in real time in their desperate attempts to punish the Palestinians for seeking their legitimate and long-denied rights as humans.

      iI I was on a train heading for that cliff, at speed, throttle stuck, yeah, I’d be worried too.

      The Israelis just can’t help themselves now. Generations of having their own criminal way have rendered them incapable of change.


  20. Whizdom on January 2, 2015, 11:37 am

    US consular officials were investigating complaints from US citizens residing near the outpost of Adi Ad near Jalud in Area “C”” of destruction of their olive trees and other property. Ari Ad is an illegal but rapidly expanding outpost slated for evacuation and demolition. The settlers have clashed with the IDF in the past.
    This is where PA Minister Ziad Abu Ein died during a clash last month.

    Meanwhile Congress is announcing intent to defund the PA because of their transgressive desire to seek legal protection from displacement of their land and property

  21. Vera Gottlieb on January 2, 2015, 2:14 pm

    As israel’s President said…it is a sick nation in need of treatment.

  22. Memphis on January 2, 2015, 3:32 pm

    I really don’t know why anyone is getting excited. What mechanism is available to the ICC to enforce their rulings, if it ever even gets there?

    Does anyone really think any powerful countries will apply sanctions or use military force against Israel to force them to comply?

    The U.N has passed how many resolutions in regards to Israel? And how many have been enforced? ZERO.

    I”m sorry, the International arena is anarchic, there is no global police force, and no means of enforcing rules or rulings.

    The ICC has convicted only two invididuals since its inception. I really don’t see it have any real effects on the ground i Palestine.

    Lets say for instance that the ICC rules in favour of Palestinians; the settlements are illegal and must be disbanded, Israel against the Geneva conventions transferred its population to an occupied territory, that the IDF commits war crimes, and crimes against humanity and that the occupation must end. Who will enforce those rulings? And how? We all know this to be true, but even though we know that, what is in place to enforce it?

    • ritzl on January 2, 2015, 4:48 pm

      I think Whizdom points out the consequences upthread. The effect is not so much whether the ICC has its own enforcement mechanism on broad issues. The ICC could not roll back the borders. What happens (in my understanding of it all) is that the people who engineer the crimes are apprehendable in signatory countries. This makes travel impossible for complicit non-diplomats/state officials.

      As Ellen pointed out a year or so ago (does anyone know how to search for user id’s…), it also throws investment/business risk through the roof because the uncertainty of doing business in/with Israel is unmeasurable and/or accompanied by potential criminal liability. Tough to include that risk factor in a prospectus without chasing people away (e.g. We use WB water and have for years. This may be a war crime and expose the company to substantial liability…). Heck, they couldn’t even disclose it without admitting criminality. That’s uncertainty amplifying uncertainty (i.e. what aren’t they saying?, asks the investor).

      I’m sure the more knowledgeable people here can answer your question better, and I’m sure the list is long. But that’s my first pass at it.

      Again, see Whizdom’s comments upthread.

      • tree on January 2, 2015, 6:31 pm


        does anyone know how to search for user id’s

        Of course there is always clicking on a commenter’s name to get access to all their comments in the archive, but if you don’t see any current comment that you can click on, you can search for their archives by entering something like this in the internet address window:

        which will get you to Ellen’s comment archive that you can then search by key word.

        A couple of rules apply. Don’t use capital letters, even if the user id contains capitals. Every letter should be lower case when searching for the comment archives. If the user name includes spaces between words, replace them with dashes instead, for example type:

        “” to search a blah chick ‘s archive

        and “” to search Stephen Shenfield’s archives

        and “” to search Mooser’s archives

        and “” to search for CloakAndDagger’s archive
        (He doesn’t use any spaces in his user id so don’t use dashes).

        for four examples of the rules that apply to letter case and spaces.

        There are a few oddball ones as well. To search for yonah fredman’s archive you must enter


        since that was his original user name here

        and Annie Robbins must be searched under

        since that was her first user name here. There may be a few other oddball ones as well that don’t come to mind right away.

        Hope that helps.

      • ritzl on January 2, 2015, 7:49 pm

        Thanks so much, tree. Very kind of you.

        Glad I asked! I would never have figured it out.

      • tree on January 2, 2015, 8:10 pm

        De nada, ritzl. Happy New Year to you and to all fellow Mondoweissians!

    • Whizdom on January 2, 2015, 6:09 pm

      Enforcement? Maybe another futile, meaningless clash of arms that decimates and exhausts the participants. The post WW2 order was established to introduce arbitration of disputes and normative rules to prevent another conflagration and massive displacement and massacres of peoples.
      The rule of law vs. the rule of the jungle.

  23. Whizdom on January 2, 2015, 6:00 pm

    The political impact, within Israel , of being restricted on travel is huge. In Israel, the idea of being a normal country with normal rights and normal privileges is central to identity, an equal among states, or even a leader in a moral and expression of the best of human capacity. This ICC thing blows that up.

  24. Kay24 on January 2, 2015, 9:03 pm

    It seems Iran is looking better than Israel these days. It has cooperated with the US and the other nations, and there is at least some progress being made in those talks:

    “Iran and U.S. reach tentative agreement in nuclear talks
    Agreement would have Tehran ship to Russia much of the material needed for the building of an atomic bomb, diplomats tell AP.

    Iran and the United States have tentatively agreed on a formula that Washington hopes will reduce Tehran’s ability to make nuclear arms by committing it to ship to Russia much of the material needed for such weapons, diplomats say.

    In another sign of progress, the two diplomats told The Associated Press that negotiators at the December round of nuclear talks drew up for the first time a catalog outlining areas of potential accord and differing approaches to remaining disputes.

    The diplomats said differences still dominate ahead of the next round of Iran-six power talks on Jan. 15 in Geneva. But they suggested that even agreement to create a to-do list would have been difficult previously because of wide gaps between the sides.” Haaretz

    Chickenshit must be irate that his desire to bomb Iran is getting slimmer by the day.

    • amigo on January 3, 2015, 2:05 pm

      “It seems Iran is looking better than Israel these days.”Kay 24..

      I think the BBC carries out it,s annual poll on popularity of world nations around this time.Israel has always hung in just below Iran as the least liked or trusted.Perhaps Israel can push Iran out of first place and finally become the most disliked or least trusted nation on earth .So richly deserved.

      • CigarGod on January 3, 2015, 2:22 pm

        Hi amigo.
        The only purpose popularity polls serve is to guage how well the propaganda is working…and how to capitalize on it. Well, i guess mobs do like to know how many they have in their gang, too.

  25. JustJessetr on January 2, 2015, 9:56 pm

    Then there is this comment by Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of Hamas:

    “I was very hesitant before I wrote this “harsh” title. I erased it time after time and rewrote it. But every time I reread the article, the title jumps to my mind and drags me towards it.

    The title hit me while I was attending a meeting of some political powers. I was listening to them talk for more than three hours and it seemed futile, lost, insipid.

    It was not the first meeting I left feeling aggravated. I had previously taken part in discussions, be it bilateral between Hamas and Fatah or “national” dialogue that brings everyone together. I attended tens of conferences, seminars and workshops for “brainstorming.” But this time a profound sadness overcame me and feelings began to consume me. What are they saying? What are they doing? What time are they wasting? What world are they living in? Suddenly, a thought popped into my mind, unbidden: Now do you understand why Palestine is lost?

    It was dangerous, frightening and scary. I no longer have any doubt that these sterile seminars and workshops that were repeated a thousand times, were nothing but blabbering, rumination of the past and fleeing from facing the facts.

    I recalled many of these summits, agreements and understandings that have been signed since 1993 until the Shati Agreement in 2014… they passed in a moment and disappeared.

    Oddly, everyone believes they are close to achieving their goals: Fatah believes it’s a step away from achieving statehood, while Hamas thinks it’s on the brink of liberating Palestine!

    It seemed to me that we had lost dozens of years in haggling, disagreements and differences over texts that did not bring us anything but more resentment and fragmented, failed solutions. And because of the devolvement of these issues, I look at where we have arrived after a twenty year political process of failure and searching for success on paper, and I look at the state of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in terms of its weakness and attenuation, and I look at the political and societal division and how our divisions have sharpened until it became an indispensable tradition?

    What calamity did the Palestinians create by themselves for themselves?

    We have always held the Arab regimes responsible for the loss of Palestine, which is an indisputable matter, and have equally faulted the Western regimes for their collusion and unlimited support for Israel… But what is our share in bearing responsibility?

    It is true that we, as Palestinians, fought and struggled, presented an amazing model of sacrifice, and created revolution after revolution, intifada after intifada. We knocked on the doors of the international community and prowled the streets of world capitals in search of support. Many applauded us at international forums and we received “theoretical” recognition as a country. But where is the practical result on the ground? Where is the Palestinian expansion – after 65 years – versus the cancerous occupation? Where are the foundations of victory and liberation that we release as empty slogans?? Where is the source of deficiency given these great sacrifices and tremendous lengths of political effort?

    What is strange is that after a fierce war that lasted 50 days (which inspires pride in the resilience and heroism [of Hamas]); our demands reflected nothing but a lack of political and strategic vision. [All we requested was] the opening of border crossings and the expansion of the fishing zone!

    Oddly, everyone believes they are close to achieving their goals: Fatah believes it’s a step away from achieving statehood, while Hamas thinks it’s on the brink of liberating Palestine!

    Instead of getting a state as is our historical right, we have begun to expect it through a UN resolution that cannot be implemented!

    Often we transform into nihilists: We damn everything, we reject everything, we doubt everything.

    Palestine cannot be freed or built by this lacking, arbitrary path that is far from any deep planning, strong preparation, and joint, continued and accumulated national action. It is transforming into merely wishes and no more. This does not mean that I am downplaying the value of what each side is doing, but the fracturing of directions and of efforts will lead us to counterproductive results.

    Why and how did our efforts come to naught?

    In short, because Palestinians lost two of their national pillars: strategic vision and national consensus. Hence, their paths diverged. They moved – or let us say dissipated – to opposing areas that drained their energies and deflated their abilities. They moved between temporary and permanent solutions, between the PA and resistance, between the PA and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), between the statehood project and the liberation project, between strategy and tactics, between legitimacy and illegitimacy, they got lost between reconciliation and division…

    This dilemma has exacerbated the divisions between Palestinians until they became a model of professional discord. You will find that we disagree about everything, from the liberation or statehood project to the most trivial of issues. This has dragged us into drowning in the small details that have worn us down and blocked us from thinking about strategic issues.

    Indeed, the lack of a strategic vision is a national disaster for which everyone bears responsibility.

    President Abu Mazen is rushing between capitals searching for signatures for a country (that doesn’t exist on the ground) while the other factions watch from a distance, without participating, as if it were a fate created behind their backs.

    Fatah is going along with the political negotiations as if they were an inevitable, inescapable fate and Hamas clings to resistance and doesn’t see anything else. Hamas doesn’t benefit from Fatah’s political strength and Fatah doesn’t benefit from Hamas’s military strength. The result: How does the nation benefit from these two options if one hand can’t clap on its own?

    Hamas claps with one hand at its festivals, sings of its heroism, listens to itself and describes the other as faltering. Fatah claps with one hand at its central and revolutionary councils and receives ominous reports about Hamas and its activities.

    Does Hamas want Fatah to be weak and fragmented? Does Fatah want Hamas isolated from the political spectrum? It is an equation bred on failure and political fatigue.

    Rather than focusing the struggle against the occupation, the struggle has become intra-Palestinian par excellence. It is a struggle in which each of the sides tries to prove that his option is best and the other’s has failed. How long has this battle lasted, undecided? Is it really necessary for us to do this?

    The occupation has benefited greatly from these disputes and fought against each party as it suits it. It has fought against Fatah and its PA by procrastinating, deceiving, and suffocating them, transforming them into a subservient authority. It has also fought against Hamas by isolating it in Gaza, keeping it occupied with construction and blockade. As a result each group ended up with its own particular “goal” and its considerations in the conflict.

    Today, we have arrived at the moment of facing bitter reality. Everything is stalled, suspended, and failing: Negotiations, Reconciliation, and Government. Now the people are confused and frustrated.
    The Magic Solution: A Unity Government

    We no longer see anything prosperous, successful, and inspiring except for flogging and smashing. We’ve even destroyed the (nascent) government formed just a few months ago, cursed it, and said that it is failed and incompetent. “Okay, give me one government that satisfied the Palestinian people since 1994!!”

    We tried a Fatah government and corruption was rampant in both the administrative and security services. Then came a national unity government, but it only took two months before it reached its demise. Then there was the Hamas government, accompanied by wars and a siege….Then came the reconciliation government (after seven years of discussion and debate) and we said that it was weak and incapable…But we finally said let’s move forward and we discovered the magic elixir of life, “Oh people, Let’s seize the opportunity of a unity government, it will save us!!” Even if they formed a national unity government, would it be a “Superman” capable of untying all the knots?

    The tragedy goes beyond just being a government problem: it strikes at the heart of the divided nation.

    As has become our custom, we are rushing from failure to greater failure!!

    Indeed, the lack of a strategic vision is a national disaster for which everyone bears responsibility.

    Then we turned our attention to the rebuilding process — with my appreciation for all the criticism that it is facing — and we began by sharpening our knives. Soon everyone started to compete with each other in demonstrating their “rhetorical” and spoken skills. Thereafter, conspiracies penetrated our thinking and we began damning the rebuilding process and spreading false rumors about it without posing a practical alternative.

    Often we transform into nihilists: We damn everything, we reject everything, we doubt everything. No one poses a pragmatic alternative or a comprehensive positive change. We only employ the language of rejection and doubt even in the smaller aspects of our lives. In this respect, we are failing and failing again (we enjoy the pain and injustice), we repeat them in other forms and colors.…We complain and grumble…Then we complain and grumble again…Our failure only increases in size…Then we complain and grumble again!!

    It has become exhausting for the ball of failure to continually roll from one square to another.

    He, who fails, finds someone watching him closely…taking pleasure and joy in his failure. No one extends a helping hand to save him and no one acts kindly. No one provides him with advice or succor. Thus, he continues to fail again and again.

    As a result — after six decades — Palestine has vanished and its blood has been divided between the different tribes/factions.

    Excuse me for my tardiness in explaining my understanding (of the situation)!!”

  26. JustJessetr on January 2, 2015, 10:00 pm

    And then there is why the move at the ICC is not the endgame everyone thinks it is:

    From the Times of Israel:

    “Jerusalem reacted angrily Wednesday to the Palestinians’ decision to join the International Criminal Court, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning of “steps in response.” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had long threatened to make this move, which many considered his doomsday device against Israel.

    But those who are familiar with the workings of the Hague-based court know that the route to convicting Israelis for war crimes or crimes against humanity is long and complicated.

    According to some experts, it is unlikely that the ICC would even launch criminal proceedings against prominent Israelis for actions and policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians. Even if it did, and eventually issued indictments, it would take many years before any convictions were handed down.

    In the best-case scenario for Israel, the Palestinians’ intended complaints against Israeli officials will be little more than a nuisance, causing some bad press.

    And will the ICC advance the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestine, presumably Abbas’s prime goal? Not a bit.

    Abbas can’t sue Israel

    Contrary to what some headlines have suggested, Abbas will not be able to sue Israel at the ICC. It’s a criminal court, which means that only the prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, can decide who gets indicted.

    What the Palestinians can do is submit complaints to the court — which they have actually been doing for years. To date, the court has not had jurisdiction over the territory on which the alleged crimes occurred.

    By signing the Rome Statute, which governs the court, the Palestinians on Wednesday took the first step toward membership in the court, though it takes two months before the treaty enters into force. If they are accepted as members — and it is not certain that they will — “Palestine” can start formally lodging complaints against Israel that will be considered seriously by the court.

    Before the prosecutor looks at the complaints and decides whether to launch a preliminary examination, she will have to establish that the Palestinians indeed qualify for membership in the court. Only states can join the court, and experts disagree on the question of whether “Palestine” is enough of a real state to be eligible. In order to determine whether “Palestine” is indeed entitled to accede to the court, Bensouda will likely launch a process of consultations, over the course of which she might seek to deliberate the question with other countries and international bodies.

    Some experts are convinced that the ICC will immediately accept the Palestinians’ application, since it has already hinted that it would consider Palestine a state if the United Nations General Assembly recognized it. On November 29, 2012, the GA overwhelmingly voted in favor of granting the “State of Palestine” nonmember state status. This suggests that the ICC will also treat the PA similarly.

    Once it is established that Palestine is indeed a member of the court, and once it files complaints against Israelis, the prosecutor can decide whether to launch a preliminary examination into the accusations. She is by no means obligated to do that, and might decide not to touch the issue at all.

    It is quite likely that Bensouda would in fact open a preliminary examination, experts said. But even if she did, a full investigation would still be far from imminent.

    “I assume that they will start a preliminary examination,” said Robbie Sabel, a professor of international law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “But the prosecution will soon find that it’s an entirely political issue, and unless Israel goes mad and decides to start committing mass atrocities, which it won’t, the prosecutor will be reluctant to proceed with an actual criminal investigation.”

    In order to determine whether there is a “reasonable basis to proceed” from the preliminary examination to a full-fledged investigation, the prosecutor ponders several considerations, among them:

    jurisdiction (temporal, material, and either territorial or personal jurisdiction);
    admissibility (complementarity and gravity); and
    the interests of justice.

    Even the question of jurisdiction will present many hurdles to the Palestinian gambit. For one, the ICC generally only has jurisdiction over crimes committed on the territory of a member state from the moment it joined the court. In other words, the Palestinians would ordinarily not be able to complain in The Hague about this summer’s Operation Protective Edge, because at the time Palestine was not a member of the court. The ICC would only have jurisdiction over past events if the Palestinians explicitly included them when they ratified the Rome Statute. At this moment it is unclear what exactly Abbas signed Wednesday in Ramallah.

    Complaints about Gaza are further complicated, because the ICC might find that Hamas — as opposed to the “State of Palestine” — is in control there and that the court therefore has no jurisdiction in the Strip.

    It will also be difficult to determine the ICC’s territorial jurisdiction. Since Israel is not a member of the court, any event occurring on Israeli soil is out of bounds for the court. What should the court do with alleged crimes committed in East Jerusalem, or in Area C of the West Bank, where Israel exercises control?

    Determining jurisdiction in such cases means wading into the highly politicized question of where the border lies between Israel and Palestine. The prosecutor might not want to go near this matter, as it has more to do with decades-old core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than with the prosecution of war criminals.

    The court’s requirement that cases be “most serious” could also thwart the Palestinian goal of seeing Israeli officials in the dock for war crimes. “The jurisdiction of the Court shall be limited to the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole,” the Rome Statute states in Article 5. According to the statute’s preamble, the ICC was founded to prosecute people for “unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity.” It may be doubtful that the court will find Israel’s actions in the West Bank, and even in Gaza, relevant to that description.

    “The settlements are problematic, but are they an ‘unimaginable atrocity’? Clearly not,” said Sabel, the Hebrew University expert. “Even if people were killed, the ICC deals with mass murder and genocide. They will probably decide not to deal with this matter.”

    The Palestinians are expected to complain about Israel’s “war crime” of building settlements in East Jerusalem and West Bank. According to their interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, transferring Israeli citizens into occupied territories constitutes a war crime.

    The settlers themselves are not the ones transferring populations; the Palestinians would thus have to find the people responsible for the settlement enterprise — Israeli leaders. “Putting them to trial means getting involved in a political issue, and I suspect the prosecutor won’t pursue it,” Sabel said. “But you never know.”

    ICC precedent

    Recalling the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (which determined that Israel’s West Bank security barrier is illegal), many Israelis are wary of possible prosecution at the ICC. But if precedent is any indication, the court has proved that it takes its mission seriously and does not seek to engage in frivolous Israel bashing.

    In March 2012, it refused to look into more than 400 complaints over alleged Israeli crimes, arguing that “Palestine” is not a state and that the court lacks jurisdiction there. In November 2014, after a preliminary examination into Israel’s 2010 raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara that left nine Turkish citizens dead, Bensouda stated that despite “reasonable” indications that Israeli troops committed war crimes, the incident was of insufficient gravity to justify further action by the ICC.

    That is not to say that Israel should dismiss the Palestinian threat to take Israel to the ICC. Although it is a long shot and might take years, indictments and eventual convictions against Israelis are not impossible.

    And even if the accusations lead to nothing more than a preliminary examination, the Palestinian are sure to make use of this for propaganda purposes. Israel is already unpopular in many parts of the world and would prefer to avoid further bad headlines. But excessive worry may be unnecessary. Having to deal with complaints at the ICC is an unwanted headache, but one Israel might find itself able to live with.”

    • Walid on January 3, 2015, 12:20 am

      I agree that all the Palestinians are going to get out of joining the ICC is some publicity on what the bad guys are doing to them, but not much more. With the PA’s track record and its year-end stunt at the UNSC, it’s obviously another road to nowhere. I believe the waiting period is 3 months rather than 2 as mentioned in the article. There are currently about 7 countries with multiple “under prelimnary investigation” cases at the ICC, some of which have been so for several years while the ICC conducts its research into the validity of filed claims. I’m afraid that whatever Palestinians file will be added to that long waiting list. There are also 7 countries currently “under investigation” with some cases opened over 7 years ago. In short, Palestinian claims could languish for many years in the ICC’s “preliminary investigation” section to determine admissability, only to move over to the “under investigatioin” section for several more years, if admissable, and still come out empty-handed.

      For progress reports on the various cases fermenting at the ICC:

      • Taxi on January 3, 2015, 2:04 am


        The ICC drama will create a positive global environment for Palestine: it will give it the higher moral ground when eventually the liberation war breaks out.

        This is most crucial and most desirable for the success of the eventual war.

      • Taxi on January 3, 2015, 3:42 am

        Gotta have as many people as possible on your side before going to war.

      • JustJessetr on January 4, 2015, 10:24 pm

        @Taxi. Haven’t the Palestinians had the higher moral ground for decades? No military action whether under the banner of ‘liberation’ or otherwise has made their lives any better. The Biafrans (supported militarily by Israel by the way) had the moral high ground too.

        And the BDS movement is being co-opted by European governments using it as a tool to further the 2SS.

      • Taxi on January 5, 2015, 12:59 am


        Unfortunately, especially in western countries, the Palestinians have been perceived as “terrorists” for the past 65 years. Such was the power of zionist hold on western media.

        It’s really the advent of the internet and the free-flow of information that has humanized the Palestinians and put forth their suffering narrative.

  27. pabelmont on January 4, 2015, 9:28 am

    “Israel, still an adolescent nation, is going through something of an identity crisis”. And so, the world, ever so kindly to the young, must allow it its adolescent errors? Well, in that case, how much more so must it allow Palestine its errors, cuddly little eensy-weensy Palestine not yet even a baby?

    The ICC must be called upon to address the allegation that all the settlers are present in OPT illegally and as a war crime and those who support (and supported) the settlement project are criminals who must be punished. I assume this means only government and army folks, not the settlers themselves as such.

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