How Israel Can Fight Back against the International Criminal Court

March 5 2021

On Wednesday, the International Criminal Court (ICC)—following a highly dubious ruling extending its jurisdiction to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip—announced that it will launch an investigation into supposed war crimes committed in those territories since 2014. Given the way in which the body has handled this issue so far, Jerusalem can expect the resulting proceedings to pay little attention to either law or fact. Amnon Lord argues that the Jewish state must respond not by trying to prove its innocence legally, but by going on the diplomatic offensive:

If legal officials do have a role [in responding to the investigation], from this point forward it should be in preparing the legal tools to buttress the political fight on the international stage. This means that . . . the relevant legal experts must prepare cases exhibiting the despicable record of senior Palestinian Authority officials who had a hand in terror. These cases need to be exposed in the international arena and the media. Beyond this, Israel must not cooperate with the ICC, whose authority it doesn’t recognize and of which it isn’t a member.

We mustn’t repeat the mistake of a few years ago when Israel allowed ICC officials into the country to explain Israel’s position on the matter. The ICC, in any event, apparently won’t require any investigations on the ground. Palestinian and Israeli or international organizations, or the Palestinian Authority itself, can submit material to the ICC.

[W]hen the indictments do arrive, . . . the accused individuals will never appear before the court, and it won’t be possible to try them in absentia. The movement of Israeli officials in certain countries will become a permanent hassle, but a tolerable one. What will happen is that the process will open the gates of endless persecution by the international left, the Palestinians, and their helpers in Israel. Anti-Semitism will rise, and along with it Israelis’ sense of being under siege.

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 Israel Hayom

More about: ICC, Israel diplomacy, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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