Palestine Can Now Join the International Criminal Court 161

Palestine is now a state. Membership of the United Nations is not in international law a pre-condition of statehood, and indeed is not compulsory for states. The existence of states not members of the UN is recognised in international law, not least by the UN itself. Palestine has just joined UNESCO for example under a provision which allows states which are not members of the United Nations to join if they get qualified majority support – which Palestine overwhelmingly did.

So the UNESCO membership is crucial recognition of Palestine’s statehood, not an empty gesture. With this evidence of international acceptance, there is now absolutely no reason why Palestine cannot, instantly and without a vote, join the International Criminal Court. Palestine can now become a member of the International Criminal Court simply by submitting an instrument of accession to the Statute of Rome, and joining the list of states parties.

As both the USA and Israel refuse to join the ICC because of their desire to commit war crimes with impunity, acceding to the statute of Rome would not only confirm absolutely that Palestine is a state, it would reinforce the fact that Palestine is a better international citizen with more moral legitimacy than Israel.

There is an extremely crucial point here: if Palestine accedes to the Statute of Rome, under Article 12 of the Statute of Rome, the International Criminal Court would have jurisdiction over Israelis committing war crimes on Palestinian soil. Other states parties – including the UK – would be obliged by law to hand over indicted Israeli war criminals to the court at the Hague. This would be a massive blow to the Israeli propaganda and lobbying machine.

It would also be a huge chance for the International Criminal Court to redeem its reputation. It is widely believed, particularly in Africa, that the ICC is merely a tool of western domination and used against those that the NATO powers want it used against. That is a bit unfair on the court, who are dealing with the cases brought before them according to the statutes. Palestinian membership could give a chance for the court to assert its independence, and become a watershed for both Palestine and the ICC.

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161 thoughts on “Palestine Can Now Join the International Criminal Court

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  • Stephen


    You overinflated the amouunt of Israel’s withdrawn funding from UNESCO by a factor of 1000, you understated the amount lost to fraudulent benefit claims per the Panorama program (where I still nevertheless agree with your general drift).

  • mary

    Stephen. The million into billion was an honest mistake. I assumed all funding to UNESCO was in $billions. The report I copied said $2 million so why the fuss.
    The benefit fraud figures were copied from Stevo on Medialens as I said.

  • ingo

    So Israel is not only stopping its funds to UNESCO, and with it its say on that body, saving millions, whilst also punishing the Palestinians for daring to advance their state in International bodies as such, by withholding 100 million of owed tax revenues to the west bank and Ghaza.

    Eid is fast approaching and it looks like Israel wants to create some anger and strife with their measure. Tops, I win head you loose, How ill the PA pay its Authority and security staff?
    The Iran boys Bibi and Ehud, with their idea of going to war with Iran rejected by many in Mossad and shin beth, look like the loony lonesomes now, but still they are prepared to attack Iran for their master voice.

  • Stephen


    “So Israel is not only stopping its funds to UNESCO, and with it its say on that body, saving millions, ” well 2 to be precise.

    Reminds me of the old maxim

    that one is number, many is two, several is three or more.

  • Peter

    Pleased about Palestine’s recognition, at last, by the UN. I am still really troubled by the position that the US and Israel take on the same matter. The word recalcitrant comes to mind.

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