While staunchly backing the establishment of an independent Palestinian Arab state, the Obama Administration last week dealt a demoralizing blow to Palestinian efforts to achieve that goal unilaterally.
Shortly after losing a UN Security Council vote to recognize a Palestinian state and demand a full, unconditional Israeli withdrawal from said state, the Palestinian Authority threatened to become the newest member of the International Criminal Court, where it would no doubt file copious lawsuits against Israel and its leaders.
But US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki reminded the Palestinian Authority that it isn’t a state, and therefore can’t join the ICC.
“The United States does not believe that the state of Palestine qualifies as a sovereign state and does not recognize it as such and does not believe that it is eligible to accede to the Rome Statute,” Psaki said at a Washington press conference.
She went on to warned that the US Congress would now deliberate on whether or not to halt $400 million in annual financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.
Former US Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross encouraged European powers to take a similar stand against ongoing Palestinian intransigence if they are serious about facilitating a genuine peace.
In a New York Times op-ed, Ross noted that the Palestinian Authority had rejected three separate peace deals – in 2000, 2008, and 2014 – and that the Palestinian leadership had unfortunately been conditioned to believe it could get everything for nothing.
“Palestinian political culture is rooted in a narrative of injustice; its anti-colonialist bent and its deep sense of grievance treats concessions to Israel as illegitimate. Compromise is portrayed as betrayal,” he explained. “If saying yes is costly and doing nothing isn’t, why should we expect the Palestinians to change course?”
Ross insisted that the Palestinians must start suffering consequences for so many failed peace efforts.