In a stinging diplomatic defeat for Israel, the world’s largest international police organization on Wednesday accepted the “State of Palestine” as a full member.
At Interpol’s annual General Assembly in Beijing, the Palestinians’ membership bid was accepted with 75 counties voting yes, 24 voting no, and 34 abstaining.
Israel fiercely objected to the Palestinians joining Interpol, arguing that Ramallah’s alleged support for terrorism could hinder rather than aid Interpol’s efforts. The US administration, too, objected to Ramallah’s membership bid and helped Israel lobby against it.
Israel had expressed concerns that the PA’s membership in Interpol would result in sensitive information being leaked to Palestinian terror groups. It also reportedly fears Palestinian efforts via Interpol to mount legal challenges, including travel bans and extradition requests, against Israeli army officers and others for alleged war crimes….
On Monday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced he would again put forward a resolution for Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations, after a failed bid in 2011.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has in recent weeks repeatedly declared that Israel’s standing in the international community has never been better and that the Arabs’ automatic majority is quickly eroding.
“We have many friends,” he declared Sunday.
But Wednesday’s Interpol vote can be seen as a bitter defeat for Israel’s diplomatic efforts. Since Palestine was admitted to Interpol in a secret ballot, Israeli officials cannot argue in this case that the world’s nations secretly support the Jewish state even if they are still unwilling to openly side with it.