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

Feb. 17 2021

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.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Gatestone

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

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy