US delegates attend the 86th INTERPOL General Assembly at Beijing National Convention Center in Beijing, China.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli politicians on Wednesday reacted furiously to the decision to accept the 'State of Palestine' as a member of the International Police Organization (Interpol). The criticism was aimed both at the decision and, in the case of the opposition, at the Israeli government on whose watch the vote was lost.
Environmental Protection Minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) said that "Israel can not stand idle in the face of the Palestinians' diplomatic warfare. We must convene the cabinet and stop all of our good-will gestured towards the Palestinian Authority." Elkin, who also holds the Jerusalem portfolio in the Cabinet, said Israel must withdraw the special transfer permits it approves for PA officials, who he claimed were inciting against the Jewish state.
MK Shuli Moallem (Bayit Yehudi) said Interpol, like all other international organizations, was biased against Israel. "The struggle on our part must continue, even though it appears endless," she said. She added, however, that there were things that the Israeli government should have done, but failed to, to prevent the outcome.
The move passed by a vote of 75 to 24, with 34 abstentions. The Palestinians needed more than two-thirds of the yes-or-no votes counted, and passed that threshold easily.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak tweeted that it was "another one of Netanyahu's failures. The gap between reality and impressive but empty speeches is growing. Leadership built only of 'talking big' is endangering Israel."
Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) reacted by saying the decision was "bad, bad for Israel," adding that "Israel must recognize that in the international community there is no vacuum." Livni, like others, said that the Palestinians' insistence on joining international bodies was a result of the breakdown of peace talks with Israel.
Deputy Knesset Speaker Yoel Hason (Zionist Union) called the development another "metastasis of a failed policy." He added that "You cannot 'manage the conflict' to no end, and the acceptance of the Palestinians into Interpol proves it."
Joint List MK Ahmed Tibi expressed satisfaction with the outcome. He tweeted that "This is what a diplomatic Tsunami looks like. And this is just the beginning."
The term "Diplomatic Tsunami" references a phrase coined by Barak, who has long been warning that the government's isolationist positions would lead to negative backlash from other countries and international organizations.
The decision to accept the Palestinian Authority into the international policing body comes at a particularly sensitive time
, a day after a Palestinian assailant killed three people at the entrance to the West Bank village of Har Adar.