As of today, Palestine is now recognized a “non-member observer state” in the United Nations. The Israelis as well as the Americans have said, it won’t solve anything. Well, I am not so sure. It may not solve anything by itself, but it does show progress for the Palestinians. That is very important. It shows that a large part of the world might be willing, at some future day, to recognize Palestine as an independent state, and it gives hope to the Palestinians.
The Israelis are afraid that once Palestine becomes a state, they can then join the International Criminal Court (ICC). Charges can then be brought against Israeli leaders for “war crimes”. The Palestinians did bring charges in 2008 against Israel but the ICC blocked the request because Palestine was not a state. It is conceivable that, with UN recognition, the Palestinians could then join the ICC and make things truly miserable for the Israelis. If charges were brought, the ICC could issue an arrest warrant which would oblige any member state to arrest anyone on their territory with an ICC warrant. The Israeli leadership could no longer travel out of the country because of the real fear of being arrested.
Another problem — and this is getting worse and worse — is the Jewish settlers. As long as there was no official Palestine State with fixed, recognized, borders, the settlers could keep crossing into the West Bank and build their own cities. What is their rationale for doing that? Well, according to their reading of the Old Testament, “God gave them the land”. It certainly appears that these zealots, in the name of their god, are indeed committing war crimes. They are in violation of the Geneva convention of 1948.
Now, suppose that there was no progress toward the beginnings of a two state solution. With the current situation, the Palestine people are under the control of Israel. The demand will get louder and louder that these people be allowed to vote in Israeli elections. Else, Israel would be considered an apartheid state and the world would be justified in boycotting Israeli products.
Israel can’t give West Bank Palestinian residents the vote. If they do, Israel will no longer be a “Jewish State”. The majority Palestinian population would not stand for it — and why should they? We all have our problems.
Israel would no longer serve as a refuge for Jews who are persecuted anywhere in the world. Memories of the Holocaust are a powerful incentive for making sure that there is at least one country in the world where Jews are unconditionally welcome. If not Israel, than who?
Israel is in a very bad situation — some of which is of their own doing. We live in interesting times.