The Palestinian Authority Is Launching a New Lawfare Campaign

Oct. 29 2021

For the past several years, the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas—unwilling to resume either negotiations with Israel or a war of terror—has tried to use international law and institutions to put pressure on Jerusalem. With his efforts at the International Criminal Court (ICC) stalled, he may now have tried to refocus his campaign on the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Alan Baker and Lea Bilke explains:

The International Criminal Court was established in 1998 as an independent judicial body to try individual criminals accused of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. The International Court of Justice is the UN’s principal judicial organ and is entrusted with solving issues of litigation between states as well as issuing advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by UN organs.

Based on their recent statements, Palestinian leaders appear to be considering an appeal to the ICJ in order to question the very legality of Israel’s status and actions in the territories in the light of international law and the Oslo Accords.

The Palestinian leadership alleging before the UN and ICJ that Israel is violating the Oslo Accords would be ironic in light of the long list of fundamental breaches of those accords by the Palestinians, whether by continuing incitement, support for and advocacy of terror, economic boycott, . . . and refusal to resume negotiations.

Their defense and citation of the Oslo Accords are even more ironic in light of their inability or lack of will to honor a host of specific commitments pursuant to the Accords. Such basic violations include Palestinian attempts to alter the status of the territories unilaterally; their active engagement in international diplomacy in violation of their commitments not to be so involved; their accession to international treaties and organizations; [and] their expulsion by the Hamas terror organization from any capability of governing the Gaza Strip.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: ICC, International Law, Lawfare, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism