The ICC’s Israel Decision Is Bad for Everyone but Mahmoud Abbas and His Cronies

In a recent ruling extending its own jurisdiction on flimsy legal grounds, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has given its prosecutor a green light to pursue an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Hamas and the state of Israel—namely, the launching of rockets and explosive devices at civilians by the former and the building of houses by the latter. Richard Kemp puts the decision in context, and examines its implications:

The ICC has long had its sights on what it no doubt considers an unholy trinity: Israel, the U.S., and Britain. [The outgoing chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda], failed to get her way with the U.S. and the UK. . . . So for the time being, Israel remains the prize.

The effects of the ICC’s decision will be profound. This is only the end of the beginning. Unless halted, investigations into spurious allegations of war crimes will go on for years, perhaps decades, creating a global bonanza for all who hate Israel, [and will be] utilized to stir up hatred and violence against Israelis and Jews everywhere.

But the most detrimental effect of the ICC’s decision will be felt by the Palestinian people who, for decades, have been abused as political pawns by their leaders and who would be the greatest beneficiaries of any peace agreement with Israel. The ICC’s ruling makes such a deal even more remote today.

[There] was an opportunity for creative diplomacy by the Biden administration, [by], on the one hand, encouraging further progress through the Abraham Accords while on the other restoring ties with the Palestinians after their refusal of any relationship with the hated President Trump. . . . Enter the ICC pre-trial chamber, throwing a lifeline to [the Palestinian Authority president] Abbas.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: ICC, International Law, Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. Foreign policy, United Kingdom

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