The Palestinian Authority Is Launching a New Lawfare Campaign

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.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

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

How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus