Mahmoud Abbas Tries to Take Israel’s Legitimacy to Court

In the latest move in his campaign to obtain a Palestinian state (or make a pretense of doing so) without negotiating with Israel, Mahmoud Abbas has declared his intention to sue Great Britain in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the damage allegedly inflicted on the Palestinian people by the Balfour Declaration. Dan Margalit comments:

But the Balfour Declaration didn’t exist in a vacuum. The world supported it. Even King Faisal of Iraq, whose family originated in [what is now] Saudi Arabia, reached an agreement with [the Zionist leader Chaim] Weizmann on its terms. The declaration was approved in 1920 by an international conference that met in San Remo after World War I. The approval of the mandate by the Council of the League of Nations in 1922 gave the Balfour Declaration international validity, almost like the 1947 UN resolution to establish a Jewish state in part of the land of Israel. . . .

If the ICC discusses the matter, it will have to address the question of whether Israel’s existence is legitimate in the eyes of the world, while ignoring the world’s decisions on that subject thus far.

It might be that Abbas . . . is hoping that if he can put Britain on trial for the 1917 document, the justice of Zionism will be called into question hereafter. That approach certainly doesn’t fall into line with his pretense of supporting a two-state solution.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Balfour Declaration, Chaim Weizmann, ICC, International Law, Israel & Zionism, Lawfare, Mahmoud Abbas

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy