For years the Middle East peace process has waxed and waned over the difficult question of forming a new Palestinian state. It might be surprising to know, then, that I just returned from the International Criminal Court in The Hague where the Palestinians are apparently attempting an end-run around the Middle East peace process to get international institutions such as the ICC to recognize a Palestinian state, with no negotiation or compromise at all.
It began in January, 2009 when the Palestinian Authority filed a submission asking the Prosecutor of the ICC to take jurisdiction over all war crimes or crimes against humanity that may have been committed by Israel during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in December, 2008. The Prosecutor of the Court rightly said he had no jurisdiction since Israel is not a party to the Court and Palestine is not a state. Since, then, he has been reconsidering whether some creative theory of statehood might lead to a different result.
The Prosecutor invited eight experts on international law to discuss the matter and inform his eventual decision. If he decides he has jurisdiction, it will have huge political implications on the Middle East peace process, as well as open the doors of the court to independence movements all over the world.