Russia Shows Why Palestinians Can’t Be Allowed to Join Interpol
The Times of Israel reports:
Israel successfully prevented the Palestinians from joining the international police force Interpol, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday, praising the Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic efforts.
The Palestinians wanted their request to join Interpol to come to a vote during the organization’s annual general assembly, which is taking place this week in Bali, but Jerusalem worked behind the scenes to prevent the vote.
Related coverageMarch 30, 2017 10:32 am
Sixty-two Interpol member states voted against the Palestinian proposal to have a vote on their membership bid, according to a joint press release by the Foreign Ministry and the Israel Police.
Israel fears that sensitive information could be leaked to terrorists if the Palestinians join the organization, an official in Jerusalem said last week, without giving further details.
That’s one reason.
But for the main reason, read this New York Times article about how despotic nations are misusing Interpol:
Determined to punish domestic opponents who flee abroad, as well as non-Russians whose lives and finances it wants to disrupt, Moscow has developed an elaborate and well-funded strategy in recent years of using — critics say abusing — foreign courts and law enforcement systems to go after its enemies.
Some countries, including Russia, “work really hard to get Interpol alerts” against political enemies, said Jago Russell, the chief executive of Fair Trials International, a human rights group in London, because “this helps give credibility to their own prosecution and undermines the reputation of the accused.”
“It is also potentially a good threat to use against people still in the country: ‘You may be able to leave, but don’t assume you will be safe,’” he added.
…the Interpol membership of nations’ — like Russia, Iran and Zimbabwe — routine use of their justice systems to persecute political foes has stirred worries that wanted notices can be easily misused. In September, the congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission heard a litany of complaints about abuse from experts and victims of Interpol notices during a discussion of how to reform the police organization’s system of so-called red notices.
Interpol does not release figures for how many red notices or other arrest alerts are issued through its computer system by each member country, but the number of people identified in Interpol’s databases as wanted criminal suspects has risen sharply in recent years.
The Palestinians, whose only purpose for joining Interpol is political, would use Russia’s playbook to prosecute any Zionist worldwide that they can find a flimsy pretext to. They would prosecute Jews in Judea and Samaria, claiming jurisdiction and demanding they be extradited when they visit relatives in Europe or the US. They would file baseless lawsuits against Israelis and demand Interpol detain them.
Interpol doesn’t have a system to determine the validity of the request, and would be forced to comply with the demands of any member.
Luckily, the organization saw through the attempt this time. But as the Russian cases already show, the organization will need to revamp itself to stop things like this from happening in the future.