The U.S. Is Correct to Stand Up to the International Criminal Court

Last week, National Security Adviser John Bolton gave a speech in which he threatened that the U.S would consider taking legal action against officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) should it try to prosecute Americans. It could do the same, he added, if the ICC prosecuted citizens of America’s allies, including—Bolton explicitly stated —Israel. Jeremy Rabkin comments:

Some critics [of the speech] warned that such action would undermine respect for the rule of law around the world—since it threatens targeting actual judges! That is missing the point. As a nonparty to the ICC treaty, the United States has never agreed to submit its nationals to the court. Still less has the United States agreed that third-party states can extradite Americans to this court in The Hague.

It is one thing for national courts to prosecute Americans for offenses committed on their territory. . . . It is something quite different for a court claiming to speak for humanity at large to try Americans without—as we see it—any serious legal ground for such action. . . . Why are the officials of the ICC entitled to a special privileged status? To say that [John] Bolton’s blast against the ICC undermines “respect for the rule of law” implies that any official of any corrupt or tyrannical regime who is locally designated a “judge” must have a claim on our respect. That is not respect for law but for the mystique of the robe. . . .

President Trump has repeatedly complained that most NATO states shirk the costs of military preparedness. That’s a serious problem. But surely it is worse when our partners, lacking the resources to provide military assistance, still want to participate in legal second-guessing of what fighters have done. The European idea seems to be that Americans will do the fighting and Europeans will assist with the judging.

Meanwhile, Angela Merkel boasts that the security of Israel is a fundamental principle of German foreign policy (Staatsraison), but there is no sign that her government will lift a finger to resist ICC prosecution of Israeli soldiers for what officials in the safety of The Hague regard as excessive force in responding to missile attacks. The important thing, as Immanuel Kant says, is to prove one’s good intentions by making no exceptions—which means, in practice, no serious judgments about circumstances and ground-level realities. Bolton’s warning was to the point: states that take the side of the ICC can’t be reliable partners.

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Angela Merkel, ICC, International Law, Israel & Zionism, John Bolton, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy