Taking To The International Stage: Israel V. Palestine

Original content created by Lina Abisoghomyan
Photo Credit: CUPE

Photo Credit: CUPE

The Dome of the Rock stands powerfully against the skyline of the Holy City of Jerusalem

The Players: 

Palestine- represented officially and internationally by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), an organization that is largely recognized and has diplomatic relations with countries across the globe  in 1993. Initially looked upon by both Israel and respectively the US as a terrorist organization, until it gained recognition by the UN as an observer member in late 2012.

Israel- a full UN member and close ally of the United States, Israel disputes the existence of Palestine as a state and continually condemns the violence of the extremist wing of Hamas

The international community-  the UN has played perhaps the largest role in mediation between the two parties, aided most notably and publically by the US, and its ally Jordan 

Photo Credit: Channel News Asia

Photo Credit: Channel News Asia

An Israeli woman mourns the loss of an Israeli soldier to Hezbollah

The Background:

Israel and Palestine have long been hostile towards each other. The establishment of the Israeli state by the UN in 1948 was a type of apology for the atrocities committed against the Jewish people in WWII, and was meant to give them a state. The land apportioned for the purposes of the creation of this state came from a chunk of the Brittish-controlled Palestinian territory. Ever since then, the violence continues, with some bursts more sever than others. Both sides accuse the other of committing acts of mass violence, terrorism, and violating the human rights of their civilians. 

Palestine has slowly been making its way onto the international stage. The recognition of the PLO as an official representative of the Palestinian people, then more recently Palestine joining as a non-member, observer state in the UN in 2012, crucially named "The Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations".  Israel condemns Palestine as using terrorist tactics through Hamas, to which Palestine replies that the Israeli army has long been brutally massacring their people. In the beginning of 2012, an independent body of the UN filed a report giving evidence of atrocious human rights abuses by the Israelis and threatened to take the case to the ICC. This report was not previously able to be legitimized with Palestine not being officially recognized as a state, but after the 2012 occurrences, Palestine may now finally have its cries heard by the world.

Photo Credits:     Media Two

Photo Credits: Media Two

Palestinian children flee their homes after they are destroyed by Israeli airstrikes on civilians
Photo Credits: The Telegraph, UK

Photo Credits: The Telegraph, UK

The International Criminal Court (known commonly as the ICC), located in the Hague, Netherlands

The Story:

On the evening of April 1st, Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon confirmed Palestine's membership in the ICC despite Israel's argument that Palestine's membership is illegitimate as long as they are not a sovereign state. However, their argument is nulled by the legal precedent of Switzerland that became part of the ICC in 2002 when it, too, held an observer-only membership in the UN. The only avenue for Israel at this point is to conduct internal war-crime trials against its own people to prevent the ICC from intervening, something it has already begun doing since last summer. Israel itself is not part of the ICC, but it can still be tried by the ICC for violations against any state that is deemed part of the ICC, in this case Palestine. 

Palestine has said that it will begin its own investigations via its interim government, the Palestinian National Authority, should the ICC fail to pursue their request for a case in a timely manner. Meanwhile, Shurat Hadin, an Israeli NGO has filed human rights charges against Palestine, specifically Hamas. There is no telling what will happen- Israel is adamantly taking all the steps it can to mitigate any possible damage to its now powerful stance on the global stage, and Palestine is pushing with all its might to be noticed on the international stage. 

Thumbnail Photo Credit: Blog Spot