Israel Doesn’t Follow International Law to Be Popular, but Because It’s the Right Thing to Do

Jan. 19 2022

For the past eleven years, Bashar al-Assad has waged a bloody war on his own people, not simply ignoring the laws of war but actively flouting them—yet he is about to be welcomed back into the community of nations. Russia, which assisted in this war with equal unscrupulousness, has been rewarded by Europe with gas pipelines and other economic benefits. Meanwhile, Israel has gone to unprecedented lengths to limit civilian casualties in a decades-long war with Palestinian terrorists happy to hide missile launchers in kindergartens, and is subject to constant condemnation from European and sometimes American leaders—not to mention from self-styled human-rights groups. A cynic might conclude that the Jewish state would be better served exploiting the tactical advantages of brutality, since it will be the object of censure no matter what. Not so, writes Yossi Kuperwasser:

The IDF is careful to uphold the principles [of just warfare], not only because doing so anchors its ability to defend itself against lawsuits in the International Criminal Court and other foreign courts, and not only because of the need for international legitimacy to use force, which directly affects the country’s ability to import appropriate weapons. The IDF upholds them, first and foremost, because the laws of war align with [Israel’s] own moral codes, which obligate the IDF, as an army in a democratic state, to the rule of law.

It could be argued that in a specific situation, not adhering to the laws of war could lead to greater success in the war on terrorism and in securing deterrence, and reduce the danger to Israel in the short term, but the cost of doing so would be insufferably high. It would harm uninvolved persons, as well as our ability as a people to face ourselves. The moral advantage actually increases Israel’s power in the long run.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Bashar al-Assad, IDF, International Law, Laws of war

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy