Jewish organizations criticized Interpol, the international organization for criminal police, for granting the Palestinian Authority full membership.
“We are disappointed by the Interpol vote to admit the ‘State of Palestine’ as a full member state,” said Anti-Defamation League Senior Vice President for International Affairs Sharon Nazarian, in a statement “We believe this admission is premature.”
“Today’s vote must be seen as the latest step in the ongoing Palestinian campaign to seek international recognition as a state outside the context of bilateral negotiations with Israel,” she continued.
“Issues such as statehood, borders, security and related mechanisms can only be resolved through direct negotiations, and the international community should refrain from rewarding Palestinian efforts to circumvent this process.”
“There is also legitimate concern expressed by Israel that the Palestinians could use their membership in Interpol to mount unwarranted legal challenges, including travel bans and extradition requests, against Israeli military and security officials,” Nazarian concluded.
Interpol is based in Lyon, France, and numbers 190-member states, making it the second-largest international organization after the United Nations.
The president of the American Zionist Movement, Richard D.Heideman, stressed -that the Palestinians ‘’have clearly not met the standards set by Interpol in contributing to make the world a safer place, in fact the opposite remains true.’’ He said that the murderous terrorist attack in Har Adar, which has yet to be properly condemned by the Palestinian leadership, ‘’is just another example of the unconscionable conduct of the PA/PLO’s use of sanctioned violence through an ongoing campaign of hatred, incitement and the providing of financial incentivization and rewards by the Palestinian Authority.”
“Accepting the Palestinians as the newest member of Interpol under such circumstances is a travesty for justice,” he said. “Interpol now has an absurd situation where member states will share sensitive information with Palestinian police, whose members have been accused of involvement in countless murders and heinous attacks throughout the years. This is a dark day in the fight against global terrorism.”
The European Jewish Congress (EJC) also decried the Palestinian Authority’s acceptances to membership to Interpol, which, it said, ‘’is likely to only exacerbate difficulties in international cooperation in the critical fight against terror.’’
“It is unconscionable that the Palestinian Authority, only a day after a major terrorist attack in Israel, is being rewarded by being welcomed into an organization whose whole raison d’être is to fight international crime and terror,” said EJC President Moshe Kantor.
“The Palestinian Authority must meet standardize criteria before even approaching Interpol membership, and at the moment it falls well short in this regard.”
“Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority must commit itself to cease terror incitement, payment to terrorists and their families and immediately disarm terrorists organizations within its jurisdiction, as indeed it has committed to on countless occasions, before it can truly be seen as a force for good on the global anti-terror stage.” Kantor added. Israel has expressed concern that the Palestinians might abuse their membership and use Interpol as a platform from which to undermine the Jewish state, including potential demands to extradite Israeli officials or pursue other legal action against them, based on the Palestinian argument that the settlement enterprise is a “crime.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought up the issue during a meeting in Jerusalem with Jason Greenbatt, US President Donald Trump’s visiting international negotiations representative.
According to Netanyahu’s office, the Prime Minister told Greenblatt that “the actions of the Palestinian leadership in recent days severely impair the chances of achieving peace,” and vowed that “Palestinian diplomatic warfare would not go unanswered.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also slammed the Interpol decision: “This decision will harm Interpol’s ability to fight international terror. This is not a decision based on professional need. It is absolutely a political decision. It is very sad, that the Palestinians have been able to politicize another professional body, as part of their campaign to undermine peace talks and delegitimize Israel.”