Thursday, September 22, 2011

Queens Assemblyman: Don't reward the Palestinians' 'lawfare' campaign with statehood: Make peace with Israel first

(Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman-NYDailynews).The United Nations' potential blessing of a Palestinian state in an end run around direct negotiations with Israel will add a dangerous new dimension to the Palestinians' decades-long campaign of conventional and unconventional war against the Jewish state - the commencement of a full-blown "lawfare" campaign against Israel and its allies.

Granting Palestinian statehood (even if via "observer status") would turn existing lawfare tactics into the equivalent of nuclear-armed smart bombs aimed at both Israel and the U.S., and grant Palestinian institutions a nearly impenetrable bunker against being held accountable to terror victims.

For example, once the Palestinians obtain the authority to bring a case directly against Israel in the ICC, it is a foregone conclusion that the court will declare Israel's maritime "fence" around Gaza - instituted to prevent Hamas from acquiring materiel to launch rockets into Israeli cities - illegal.

Perhaps nowhere will the privileges of statehood more likely be abused than in the International Criminal Court. Israel, like the United States, withdrew from that court to protect its citizens from political prosecutions. Understanding that the key to the courthouse door is rooted in statehood, the Palestinian Authority in 2009 purported to accept the ICC's jurisdiction - a right granted only to states - over "the territory of Palestine," and in turn have the same powers of court member states.

This dubious maneuver has so far failed, but a UN declaration of statehood will instantly give the Palestinians full membership in the ICC, and the power to refer for ICC prosecution every Israeli soldier in the West Bank and Gaza operating to thwart missile attacks and suicide bombings, and every Israeli civilian (and many Americans, as well) living outside the outdated 1967 borders. Individual Israelis will become global fugitives, and the ICC will become yet another hostile international forum in which Israel's very legitimacy - its right to be free from attack and to affirmatively act in self-defense - must constantly be defended.

UN statehood will also block American victims of Palestinian terror from obtaining justice in American courts, by giving Palestinian institutions involved in terrorism a blanket of sovereign immunity reserved only for states.