Using International Law to Condemn Israel’s Existence

A group of 45 academics—all but two of whom obsessively hate the Jewish state—are scheduled to assemble in Ireland this spring to debate Israel’s right to exist. In the words of the conference’s organizers, it will be “unique because it concerns the legitimacy in international law of the Jewish state of Israel. Rather than focusing on Israeli actions in the 1967 Occupied Territories [sic], the conference will focus on exploring themes of legitimacy, responsibility, and exceptionalism, all of which are posed by Israel’s very nature.” According to Denis MacEoin, the conference is part of a larger delegitimization strategy greatly abetted by the recent UN Security Council resolution on the settlements:

[T]he resolution has handed the Palestinians a weapon as powerful as any they have used against the Jewish state in their many physical attacks upon it for more than a century. Lawfare has for many years now replaced warfare (although not terror) as the Palestinian method of choice for the long-term [goal] of eliminating Israel; this new resolution, even if only advisory, is a major step along the way to declaring not just the settlements but the entirety of Israel itself as illegal. . . .

A major impetus for [further directing international law against Israel] will be given early in 2017 over three days at a conference at University College Cork in the Republic of Ireland—a country already well known for the strength of its anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiment. This upcoming conference . . . is [an] international gathering of, for the most part, academics who are also anti-Israel activists. . . . [It] will not be an academic conference in any real sense of the word. It is, from the outset, a hate-fest of anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic rhetoric and distortion. . . . [A] significant majority of the participants have made no secret of their support for the boycott of Israeli academics—a boycott that in itself strips from the conference any semblance of academic neutrality.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: BDS, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Lawfare, United Nations

In Dealing with Iran, the U.S. Must Make the Best of a Bad Deal

Jan. 23 2017

Were Donald Trump to tear up the nuclear deal with Tehran, Washington would gain little leverage while Iran would still have pocketed enormous sums of money, would continue to benefit from the lifting of international sanctions, and could continue work on its nuclear program unimpeded. Therefore, argue Emily Landau and Shimon Stein, U.S. interests would best be served by working to constrain the Islamic Republic within the parameters of the agreement:

[M]uch can be achieved simply by changing the U.S. approach to the deal and to Iran, and by altering the rhetoric. Given the strong reservations voiced by Donald Trump and his administration toward Iran, the new president should send an unequivocal message, . . . warning it against any erosion of the deal and the consequences that will follow from any violation. The next step will be to work with the [the other parties to the deal] to clear up [its] ambiguities—especially regarding inspections at suspicious military facilities and looking for unknown facilities—and set clear guidelines for responding to every type of Iranian violation.

The Trump administration should press to end the secrecy surrounding many of Iran’s nuclear activities and plans. . . . But the Trump administration must also carve out a more comprehensive approach to the Islamic Republic, taking into account the dynamics between the United States and Iran that have unfolded over the past eighteen months since the nuclear deal was presented and that underscore the absence of any convergence of interests between the two states. . . .

New policies that reflect the Trump administration’s determination to pursue an uncompromising course in dealing with Iran—both on the nuclear front and with regard to its regional behavior—could in the long run help to reduce the likelihood of an Iranian breakout, and contain Iran from further destabilizing the region in its drive to realize its hegemonic ambitions.

Read more at National Interest

More about: Donald Trump, Iran nuclear program, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy