Palestine and the ICC: Watch Ali Abunimah and Phyllis Bennis on Democracy Now!

I appeared on Democracy Now! today, along with author and analyst Phyllis Bennis, to talk to Amy Goodman about the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to join the International Criminal Court (ICC).

We also talked about the significance of the failed effort last week to pass a UN Security Council resolution ostensibly calling for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank.

Will the attempt to join the ICC help bring Israeli leaders to justice for war crimes committed over the summer in Gaza, as well as for long-standing war crimes such as the colonization of occupied Palestinian land? Watch the video above or read a full transcript.

Here’s Democracy Now’s summary:

In a move opposed by the United States and Israel, Palestinian leaders have submitted a request to join the International Criminal Court and sign over a dozen other international treaties. The Palestinian Authority says it will seek the prosecution of Israeli officials for war crimes in the Occupied Territories. In retaliation, Israel has halted the transfer of tax revenues needed to pay for Palestinian salaries and public services.

The Palestinian Authority opted to join the ICC after the United States and Israel successfully lobbied against a UN Security Council measure calling for an end to the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state by 2017. We are joined by two guests: Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer and Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today’s United Nations; and Ali Abunimah, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine.

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As you stated, the UNSC resolution was an insult to the fundamental human rights of Palestinians. Thankfully it didn't pass, but now it seems Abbas is trying to resubmit another bid. When are Palestinians going to free themselves from that traitor? If the ICC is to have any credibility at all, it must hold Israeli and US war criminals accountable. As you emphasize, resistance, including the global solitary movement and BDS are effective and urgent. Ms. Bennis stated that Israel fears "delegitimization." This presumes Israel's legitimacy, which many (including several UN member states) deny, however, imho the issue of legitimacy seems irrelevant at this point in time because Israel appears to be self-destructing and there is also increasing worldwide disgust and awareness of their malevolence. I hope that eventually, through pressure from global solidarity, the pariah entity that is Israel will be peacefully dismantled and replaced by a new state of Muslims, Christians and Jews living together in Palestine as they once did. To quote Sharmine Narwani: "Israelis who don't want to share Palestine as equal citizens with the indigenous Palestinian population--the ones who don't want to relinquish that which they demanded Palestinians relinquish 64 year ago--can take their second passports and go back home."

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Very well said ,weareone,my sentiments exactly.At least now we are going to see some changes providing that the ICC is engaged and Mr.Abbas does not capitulate.And thank you again Ali for your tireless work for the Palestinian people.

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Thanks Guy. I agree---I think that we will continue to see changes as long as we're relentless in applying pressure to Israel and its supporters, in solidarity, through acts of resistance.

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The Palestinian authority is waging futile war with regard to ICC. First Israel is not a signatory member of the agreement. Second the leaders of the countries that protect the codes of the Court are those who have very prolong history of viciously committing war crimes in many regions including the Middle East. Above all, the Court does not need a membership of a country called Palestine to initiate investigation of war crimes against Israel, or do they?

The PA is waging a losing diplomatic efforts. The Israelis and the colonial world are trying to show that there is a possible win something big if and when the Palestinians win that battle after 5 or 15 years, for instance. There is not anything to win by becoming a member in a Court that is not designed to protect your people, but rather to protect the antagonists.

The continuation of the Palestinian authority peace efforts with Israel is giving a moral cover, a false hope, and illusion for many, especially in the Middle East, that peace with the Israeli leaders is possible! The Palestinians, more than others, can give or take away that cover due to their historical roles in fighting colonialism. Uncovering that fallacy is a primitive for real conditions for real peace to happen. If the Palestinian authority continues to deal with Israeli leaders then they are not representing but only a small sect of the Palestinians that want to flourish in business and care less for the liberation of Palestine.

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The Zionist Israel and the Zionist Netynahau needs and will be prosecuted for war crimes against humanity. It'll be a long trek.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.