Press TV has conducted an interview with Jennifer Loewenstein, an associate director of the Middle East Studies Program at the Madison University, for her insights into the US stance over Palestinians’ complaint against Israeli crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: I’m wondering the White House has used the word “counterproductive” here to describe this move of the Palestinian Authority. Is it counterproductive for Palestinians to hunt justice?
Loewenstein: No, obviously it isn’t. In fact, it is counter-intuitive to think that it is counterproductive. What the US is really doing is defending not only Israel, which it does as a matter of course, it’s also defending itself, because the US also will not join the ICC. And the reason is because it does not want its own government and its own personnel to be held accountable for their actions. They’re afraid the ICC would come after American officials, and of course they’re correct, it would. So, they’re defending Israel and they’re defending themselves at the same time.
Press TV: Indeed, and I’m glad you’ve mentioned that because many people have pointed out that this is not the United Nations, and sincerely in essence that the US doesn’t have a veto here. How exactly will the US act going forward considering this move at the ICC by the Palestinian Authority?
Loewenstein: That’s a good question right now, because I know that Obama personally does not like Benjamin Netanyahu and neither does Netanyahu get along with Obama, but I think it’s going to transcend that I think what we’re going to see is the continuation of the status quo in terms of US’ policy towards Israel. I think that despite the fact that Obama and Netanyahu don’t get along, we will see the US will continue to back Israel up even if it criticizes it openly in public. In fact, what I expect is that we will hear some very loud criticism from certain sectors and not necessarily from the executive branch. But as always those criticisms won’t be backed up by action and unless we act, unless we do something and not just criticize our policies, they essentially stay the same.
Press TV: I’m wondering on this specific ICC file that has been handed in by the Palestinian Authority. Do you think it is really possible for the Palestinians to finally see even a glimmer of hope for accountability?
Loewenstein: What I think is most possible is that this would be another this report, and the Palestinians attempt to go to the ICC will be another mark in its favor in world public opinion including in American public opinion. We’re seeing change here slowly, but it’s happening and what I mean by that is even those Americans, who pay attention to news at all are starting to question our unconditional support for Israel and this is something that could help that. It’s a small thing, but it’s not unimportant.