The ICC’s Vendetta against Israel Won’t Help Palestinians or Strengthen International Law

While the International Criminal Court (ICC) has proved itself unable or unwilling to weigh in on the Chinese government’s brutal persecution of the Uighurs, Bashar al-Assad’s bloody war against his own people, or the depredations of Islamic State, it last week ruled that its authority extends to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The Scottish journalist Stephen Daisley observes:

This is judicial activism on a global scale and the UK should oppose it—and loudly—for two reasons. For one, there is the principle that a body created by a treaty should not claim powers which that treaty does not grant it. The Rome Statute does not empower the ICC to prosecute non-party states, except where such states “accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the court.”

Instead the Rome Statute gives the court jurisdiction where “the state on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred” is a “party to this statute,” but Israel has not ratified the statute and the Palestinian Authority, which acceded in 2015, is not a state. If the UK is for international law, it should be against this lawless behavior.

No doubt the court yearns to see an end to the [Israel-Palestinian] conflict, as do we all, but its apparent attempt to jump-start that process is as knuckle-headed as Barack Obama’s “daylight” strategy towards Israel or Downing Street’s endless scolding over settlements. . . . It is for the Palestinians to claim their own sovereignty at the negotiating table.

An ICC vendetta against Israel will not achieve dignity, prosperity, and self-determination for the Palestinians. It will only promote the suspicion that the ICC imperils national sovereignty in pursuit of political ends.

Read more at Spectator

More about: ICC, International Law, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria