Moreover, it was only after the resignation of the probe’s partisan chair, upon revelation of his past paid consultancy for the Palestine Liberation Organization, that the anticipated report of the council’s “commission of inquiry” on last year’s Gaza hostilities has been deferred.
The circumstances prompting the deferral of this latest inquest’s conclusions – conclusions that were somehow to be deemed credible despite the fact that the very resolution launching the probe had excoriated Israel in advance, with no mention of Hamas at all – were not acknowledged in the commission’s postponement notice.
Some discerning observers’ focus on Lake Geneva may now shift, appropriately, to the international negotiations with Iran – intended to reach at least a tentative outcome by the end of this month – over Tehran’s illicit nuclear program, which has roiled Arabs and Israelis alike in an already unstable region.
However, perhaps feeling unencumbered following Israel’s parliamentary elections, Palestinian Authority officials seem geared to escalate an explicit strategy of “internationalizing” their conflict with Israel, an approach that has not brought progress toward peace between the parties but has exacerbated and exported divisions while distracting from the region’s foremost challenges.
Beyond Palestinians’ unilateral pursuit of upgraded status in intergovernmental bodies, and agitation against Israel within them, this approach could soon culminate in steps to practically hinder Israeli counterterrorism efforts by threatening the prosecution of civilian leaders and military personnel at the International Criminal Court for any difficult operational decisions.
Palestinians, who have obtained premature recognition as the “State of Palestine” by the U.N. General Assembly but not the essential endorsement of the Security Council, expect to be considered a “state” party of the court beginning in April.
Tragically, if judicial authorities in The Hague do acquiesce to Palestinian politicization of the ICC, the result will be not merely a deterioration of Palestinian-Israeli relations both on the ground and in multilateral institutions. Rather, an important strategic victory would also be handed to the proliferating array of fanatic Islamist non-state actors.
Those forces are, on the whole, still shielded from the accountability demanded of (some) governments within a global system that has failed to effectively tackle the chief contemporary threat to international stability, security and human rights.
What the world most needs at this stage in its history is collaborative, consistent action to undercut terrorism – not measures that permit it to fester unchallenged.