A European Treaty Won’t Help Israel Prevent Domestic Violence in Its Borders

June 14 2022

Created in 2010, the Istanbul Convention is an international treaty for “preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence,” which some 45, mostly European, countries have signed. Despite support for joining the convention from Israeli politicians—including Foreign Minister Yair Lapid—the Israeli government recently decided to defer doing so for the foreseeable future. Eugene Kontorovich explains the wisdom of this decision:

Violence against women should be dealt with by tougher penalties and better enforcement, not through international virtue signaling. Any useful ideas in the convention can and should be discussed and adopted on their own merits.

Joining the treaty would expose a wide variety of Israeli social policies to scrutiny by the treaty’s monitoring arm, known by its acronym GREVIO. Anti-Israel bias has turned many international monitoring mechanisms, like the UN Human Rights Council, into arenas for condemning Israel for “the occupation.”

Will GREVIO be different? For one, the serving commissioner, Rachel Eapen Paul, worked for many years for a BDS-promoting NGO. Just last month—while a GREVIO member—she addressed a convention of a radically anti-Israel organization that condemns Israel’s “ethnic cleansings” and “colonial policies” in Jerusalem.

Finally, groups lobbying for the convention fail to disclose how much they have to gain from its adoption. Article 9 [of the document] would require Israel to “support” financially NGOs dealing with such issues and make them “partners” in its implementation. That would be good news for . . . a variety of pro-BDS organizations, which would label themselves advocates of Palestinian women’s rights.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: BDS, Israeli politics, NGO


Why President Biden Needs Prime Minister Netanyahu as Much as Netanyahu Needs Biden

Sept. 28 2023

Last Wednesday, Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu met for the first time since the former’s inauguration. Since then, Haim Katz, Israel’s tourism minister, became the first Israeli cabinet member to visit Saudi Arabia publicly, and Washington announced that it will include the Jewish state in its visa-waiver program. Richard Kemp, writing shortly after last week’s meeting, comments:

Finally, a full nine months into Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest government, President Joe Biden deigned to allow him into his presence. Historically, American presidents have invited newly installed Israeli prime ministers to the White House shortly after taking office. Even this meeting on Wednesday, however, was not in Washington but in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Such pointed lack of respect is not the way to treat one of America’s most valuable allies, and perhaps the staunchest of them all. It is all about petty political point-scoring and interfering in Israel’s internal democratic processes. But despite his short-sighted rebuke to the state of Israel and its prime minister, Biden actually needs at least as much from Netanyahu as Netanyahu needs from him. With the 2024 election looming, Biden is desperate for a foreign-policy success among a sea of abject failures.

In his meeting with Netanyahu, Biden no doubt played the Palestinian issue up as some kind of Saudi red line and the White House has probably been pushing [Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman] in that direction. But while the Saudis would no doubt want some kind of pro-forma undertaking by Israel for the sake of appearances, [a nuclear program and military support] are what they really want. The Saudis’ under-the-table backing for the original Abraham Accords in the face of stiff Palestinian rejection shows us where its priorities lie.

Israel remains alone in countering Iran’s nuclear threat, albeit with Saudi and other Arab countries cheering behind the scenes. This meeting won’t have changed that. We must hope, however, that Netanyahu has been able to persuade Biden of the electoral benefit to him of settling for a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia rather than holding out for the unobtainable jackpot of a two-state solution.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship