PLO Rejects US Demand to Prohibit War Crimes Charges Against Israel

The US pushed Palestine to add a clause in UN bid barring war crimes charges against Israel. What are they afraid of?

The Palestinians have refused demands from Washington that it soften the wording of the proposed United Nations resolution regarding the recognition of a Palestinian state.

According to Haaretz, “the push did not succeed because the Palestinians refused to add a clause to the draft that would prevent them from filing criminal charges against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.”

Israel, backed by the US, has objected to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) bid at the UN, claiming formal recognition of Palestine needs to happen through negotiations, instead of happening unilaterally at the UN.

But the the defunct peace process has proven over the decades to be a scheme to provide Israel with more time to colonize and annex additional Palestinian land. Israel does not want a Palestinian state on the internationally recognized borders of pre-1967. They don’t want a state at all.

Part of the reason is ideological: Zionists have intended to gain permanent sovereignty over the West Bank since the establishment of Israel. But another reason is more immediate: if Palestine is a state, that means it can bring Israel to court for war crimes.

A secret State Department diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks revealed that one of the primary reasons behind Israeli objections to Palestinian statehood is that lack of statehood keeps Palestinian territories outside the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The US-Israeli effort to get the PLO to include a clause prohibiting Palestine from bringing Israel to court for war crimes is revealing: if they truly believed Israel hadn’t committed war crimes, such an effort wouldn’t be necessary.

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for