The Upside of UN Palestine Vote for Israel

Soon after I returned home last night I heard that Palestine won at the UN. No surprises there.

At that moment I thought of all the people who Mahmoud Abbas is probably thanking for their support. Suddenly the name of two people came to my mind, so I wrote the following on my facebook wall:

Mahmoud Abbas should thank Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Lieberman for being important contributors to the success of tonight’s Palestine vote. It was their unilateral settlement expansion policy which produced much sympathy and legitimacy for the PLO’s position at the UN tonight.

I truly believe it.

Despite the concern here in Israel, there are upsides to the recent promotion of Palestine at the UN as a non-member observer.

After yesterday it’s not just the Palestinians who can refer Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC), Israel can do the same to the PLO. If any PLO official is involved in acts of terror, unlike before, Israel can now start legal action against them at the ICC. This should send a strong warning to all future potential terrorists.

I am no legal expert, but perhaps Israel can even take anyone inciting hatred against Jews or Israel in the West Bank to court as well.

None of these would not have been possible before.

Future Israeli Prime Ministers can also use Palestine’s new position at the UN and its ability to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court to put the brakes on extremists within their own governments.


Now that Palestine can take Israel to the ICC for things like settlement expansion, if at any time any future prime ministers really does not want to build more settlements but is under pressure to do so, he can now use the ICC as a deterrence to his advantage. He can say to those who want more settlements “if I do this, I could be taken to the ICC. No way.”

It’s difficult to imagine that any ultra right-wing MK would want to step in and face the possibility of being dragged in front of the ICC.

About the Author
Meir Javedanfar is an Iranian-Israeli author, commentator and lecturer. He teaches the Contemporary Iranian Politics course at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya. Mr. Javedanfar has guest lectured in five languages (Persian, Hebrew, English, Spanish and Portuguese) at more than 20 Universities around the world. He is the coauthor of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's biography, 'The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran.'