Why the Term “Annexation” Wouldn’t Apply to Israel’s Actions in the West Bank

June 15 2020

The international media, as well as many diplomats, have spoken of Jerusalem’s plans to apply Israeli law to parts of the West Bank as “annexation.” To Arsen Ostrovsky and Richard Kemp, this is a misapplication of the term, and sometimes a knowing one:

In essence, annexation means one state imposing legal authority over the territory of another state acquired by force or aggression, normally during war. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines “annexation by the use of force of the territory of another state of part thereof” as “constituting the grave Crime of Aggression.” Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus are prime examples of such cases.

[Prohibitions in international law against the annexation of foreign territory] apply to territory acquired by force or in an offensive war. The Six-Day War, in which Israel was compelled to defend itself from neighboring Arab armies seeking the Jewish state’s destruction, was defensive. Second, in 1967, there was no “state of Palestine,” nor does such an entity exist today under international law. Therefore, Israel is not, and cannot, be annexing the territory of “another state.”

Third, and perhaps most importantly, all of the above negates the Jewish people’s . . . connection to Judea and Samaria, which is rooted both in historical rights, and in undeniable legal ones.

More accurate would be to say that Israel is “extending Israeli sovereignty” or “applying Israeli law” to parts of Judea and Samaria. One may reasonably argue about the policy merits of Israel’s proposed actions in Judea and Samaria, but to call such actions “annexation” is false.

Read more at JNS

More about: Annexation, International Law, 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