Press TV has conducted an interview with Paul Larudee, co-founder of the Free Palestine Movement from Berkeley, for his insights into the Palestinian Authority’s decision to lodge its first complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Israeli crimes.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Many activists like yourself, you must be thinking, finally the Palestinian Authority has acted and is sending this file to the ICC, how do you feel about this point?
Larudee: There’s an element of that, but that’s not quite the way I feel. Because the Palestinian Authority has the possibility of submitting much more convincing crimes to the ICC such as for example the killing of the four children playing football on the beach in Gaza last summer that was witnessed by a lot of Western press and which got a lot of publicity. There’s no clear case of, well actually, there are may be a few, but it’s a very clear case of a war crime. And that’s not what Mahmoud Abbas is submitting. He’s submitting some very general things. Things that will not immediately result in a prosecution, but are suggestive of the kinds of things that could be brought and might trigger an investigation or it might not. So, this is typical of Mahmoud Abbas. What he really wants is this. It’s not liberation for Palestine. He just wants a deal with Israeli authorities. He wants a deal that makes him look pretty good and gets him a secure place in the history of Palestine and this sort of things. That’s what he’s looking for. He doesn’t want to upset the Israelis. He just wants them to give him something, some crumb from the table. And he’s pushing them for this. He’s doing incremental things to push them a little bit in this direction. He’s not serious about bringing Israel to court.
Press TV: If it is what Mahmoud Abbas wants to look good to get that street cred even among Palestinians, do you think Palestinians there will be fooled by this, because you yourself as an activist are not fooled by this, So what about Palestinians who are living through this oppression?
Larudee: A lot of Palestinians know much better than I do, exactly what to expect from Mahmoud Abbas. The thing is that a lot of them depend on him for their salaries for their livelihood. They don’t consider him a champion. They consider him a wealthy uncle who manages to provide them with something so it’s not as bad as it could be. So, I really don’t think he has a lot of respect. And I’m not sure that this is the way together. If he wants to get respect, let him charge Israel with something serious. Something that will get Israel condemned in the world media. He’s not doing that.