Interpol votes to allow Palestinians as a member-'state'
A terror-supporting fox has just been invited into the global police henhouse. Over strenuous Israeli objections, Interpol, the international police agency that shares information and arrest "red notices," voted at its annual general assembly in Beijing to admit the Palestinian Authority as a member-"state." Israel points out that the P.A. is not a state, but that did not prevent the required two-thirds majority from voting to admit it and the Solomon Islands to membership, making a total of 192. A similar bid last year in Interpol's Jakarta general assembly meeting had failed.
There are a number of concerns over this move. Primarily, it is seen as another step toward full U.N. membership for the Palestinian Authority, conferring legitimacy on it. The P.A. now becomes eligible for membership in the International Criminal Court, which will enable it to push to criminalize Israelis for the "crime" of defending Israel's right to exist. This could lead to "red notices" being issued for the arrest of Israeli officials overseas.
Some Israeli media commentators have voiced concern that as an Interpol member, Palestine could ask the organization to issue a "Red Notice", an alert to police worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest an individual, pending extradition.
But the procedure does not appear to pose serious legal problems for Israelis such as government officials and military officers whom pro-Palestinian groups have sought to have arrested by local authorities as suspected war criminals during overseas visits.
A red notice is not an international arrest warrant, and on its website Interpol notes that it cannot compel any member country to detain an individual named in one.
But there are plenty of left-wing governments in the world that would love to harass Israelis with arrests based on Palestinian-issued red notices, even if they are not compelled to do so.
Then there is the issue of access to the Interpol databases. How much intelligence would be available to the Palestinians, who, it must be kept in mind, pay a substantial part of their budget as rewards to the families of terrorists who attack Israelis and are killed or detained?
This may not be a disaster, but it is hardly a good thing when terror supporters take on the legitimacy of a member of a global police agency.
Hat tip: John McMahon