THE BLOG
01/13/2015 08:49 pm ET Updated Mar 15, 2015

Israeli Military Officers: Don't Punish Palestine for Joining the ICC

If you thought it was a done deal that U.S. aid to the Palestinians would by cut off in punishment of the Palestinian application to join the International Criminal Court, think again. Opponents of Rand Paul's boneheaded proposal to punish Palestinians for embracing the rule of law just got some powerful reinforcements.

Yes, Virginia, the cavalry is here: Israeli military officers.

Defense News reports:

TEL AVIV -- Israeli military officers and experts are warning against funding freezes and other punitive acts against the Palestine Authority (PA) that they insist will jeopardize security coordination with Ramallah.

Targeting PA President Mahmoud Abbas for what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has termed a 'diplomatic assault' against [Israel] will harm Israeli security interests along with those of Ramallah, experts here insist.

'When radical Islam is spreading like a virus through the region and threatening our borders, now is not the time to provoke more radicalism and instability right here at home,' an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer general said.
[...]
In a Jan. 8 interview, the IDF general officer, speaking on background on what he insisted were 'purely operational considerations,' said security coordination was essential. Without the US funding that pays for PA salaries, Israel has to deal with consequences of 'an Iraq-like de-Bathification purge' of thousands of unemployed, highly trained security personnel.

As it now stands, PA forces 'do the minimum, and often a lot more' to maintain stability, said retired Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, a former IDF chief of staff.

By making arrests, confiscating weapons and otherwise acting in coordination with the IDF and Israel's Shin Bet security service, Ashkenazi said PA forces help contain terror not only in the West Bank, but in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem where so-called lone-wolf operatives are influenced by 'the level of fury in the Palestinian street.'

Now, the fact that Israeli military officers are speaking out against Rand Paul's boneheaded proposal to punish Palestinians for embracing the rule of law by cutting U.S. aid to Palestine is no guarantee that the boneheaded proposal will not be enacted: powerful boneheaded political forces are agitating for the boneheaded proposal. What it means is that people who object to the boneheaded proposal on the principle that Palestinians have the right to join the ICC if they want now have a much better chance to win. You can add your voice to the Israeli military officers in opposition to Rand Paul's boneheaded proposal here.