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

 

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia