The Global Hypocrisy about Israel’s “Occupation” of the West Bank

Based on disingenuous legal reasoning, European governments, the United Nations, and many other institutions and individuals believe that Israel’s presence in any territory gained during the Six-Day War is a violation of international law. Yet there are numerous occupations around the world that don’t receive even a fraction of the negative attention and condemnation directed at the Jewish state. Eli Lake comments:

[W]hen was the last time you heard about a campaign to boycott, divest from, or sanction Armenia for its occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan? . . . The example of Russia is [especially] instructive. [Currently] Russia occupies Ukrainian territory in Crimea and Donbass, the Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, [and] the Moldovan territory of Transnistria.

But Russia is paying a price only for its occupation and annexation of Crimea, which has caused the U.S. and its European allies to sanction sectors of the Russian economy. Russia was initially sanctioned for its occupation of Georgian territory, but those sanctions were lifted in 2009 following a flimsy cease-fire agreement that Russian-backed separatists have since violated. The EU treats Transnistrian goods as if they were Moldovan. There are no restrictions on trade from the Georgian territory that Russia occupies.

Part of the problem, according to the report, is that states which choose to occupy territory through proxy forces, such as the Turkish regime in charge of northern Cyprus or the Russian-backed separatists in the Donbass, are rarely treated the same as states that occupy territory with their own armed forces. Another problem is that some UN institutions are composed of states that have a political interest in demonizing Israel.

That said, Israel is a unique case. It won the West Bank from a UN-recognized state in a war. But no one today argues that Israel should return that land to Jordan. Rather, Israel is expected to turn over the land it won to create a new state.

Read more at Bloomberg

More about: Azerbaijan, International Law, Russia, West Bank


Israel’s Covert War on Iran’s Nuclear Program Is Impressive. But Is It Successful?

Sept. 26 2023

The Mossad’s heist of a vast Iranian nuclear archive in 2018 provided abundant evidence that Tehran was not adhering to its commitments; it also provided an enormous amount of actionable intelligence. Two years later, Israel responded to international inspectors’ condemnation of the Islamic Republic’s violations by using this intelligence to launch a spectacular campaign of sabotage—a campaign that is the subject of Target Tehran, by Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ilan Evyatar. David Adesnik writes:

The question that remains open at the conclusion of Target Tehran is whether the Mossad’s tactical wizardry adds up to strategic success in the shadow war with Iran. The authors give a very respectful hearing to skeptics—such as the former Mossad director Tamir Pardo—who believe the country should have embraced the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Bob and Evyatar reject that position, arguing that covert action has proven itself the best way to slow down the nuclear program. They acknowledge, however, that the clerical regime remains fully determined to reach the nuclear threshold. “The Mossad’s secret war, in other words, is not over. Indeed, it may never end,” they write.

Which brings us back to Joe Biden. The clerical regime was headed over a financial cliff when Biden took office, thanks to the reimposition of sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal. The billions flowing into Iran on Biden’s watch have made it that much easier for the regime to rebuild whatever Mossad destroys in addition to weathering nationwide protests on behalf of women, life, and freedom. Until Washington and Jerusalem get on the same page—and stay there—Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will remain an affordable luxury for a dictatorship at war with its citizens.

Read more at Dispatch

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