Israel Should Prepare to Strike Back if the ICC Recognizes a Palestinian State

July 22 2020

In December, Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), issued a 120-page brief arguing that the court should consider the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and parts of Jerusalem as the already extant “state of Palestine”—as a precursor to trying Israel for committing crimes against humanity there. Maurice Hirsch comments:

In order to invent a state that does not exist, and has never existed, Bensouda needed to complete a complex puzzle. On the one hand, she had to negate or ignore critical documents that designated for Israel all the areas she now claims to be part of the “state of Palestine.” These documents include the Balfour Declaration, the decisions made by the allied forces in San Remo following World War I, and the League of Nations mandate for Palestine. All these documents reaffirmed the historic connection of the Jewish people to the area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and granted that area to the Jewish people for its future state.

On the other hand, she needed to discount . . . the Arab rejection of the [1947] UN Partition Plan, turn the 1948-9 armistice lines—which the Arab leaders demanded never be seen as borders—into borders, and negate clear provisions of the Oslo Accords that specifically deny the Palestinian Authority state status. These acrobatics were possible because the proceedings against Israel are not founded in either fact or law, but are entirely politically motivated.

Hirsch urges Jerusalem to discourage the ICC from making such a decision by holding the United Nations—which has some authority over the court, and has long cultivated the irrational and legally incoherent treatment of Israel that Bensouda has endorsed—responsible:

Israel should carry out a political preemptive strike by informing the United Nations that should the ICC decide to invent “Palestine,” all UN staff in Israel will be declared personae non gratae. First on that list would be the UN secretary-general’s special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, who recently called for “Palestinian unity” against Israel. While this call may seem innocuous to some, in practice Mladenov called for Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud . . . to join hands with the internationally recognized terror organization Hamas.

Next, Israel should demand that the UN immediately vacate the Governor’s Palace compound in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. The compound is home to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, the UN force created to monitor the 1949 armistice lines. If the ICC invents [a Palestinian state] and sets its borders, thereby nullifying the armistice agreements, there is no need whatsoever for this UN force to remain in Israel.

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Read more at JNS

More about: ICC, International Law, Israel diplomacy, United Nations

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism