Why Al Jazeera’s Lawsuit against Israel at the ICC May Backfire

In May, the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network requested that the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate the death of its reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was hit by a stray bullet during a shootout between the IDF and Palestinian guerrillas. Rafael Medoff suggests that this exercise in lawfare may end up hurting Al Jazeera—not just because its claim against Israel has no merit, but because the proceeding might reveal the news organization for what it is: an arm of the Qatari government tasked with disseminating anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, and Islamism. Medoff cites a historical precedent:

Al Jazeera’s suit against Israel is somewhat reminiscent of the legal actions initiated by the anti-Semitic agitator, Benjamin Freedman, against American Jewish organizations in the 1940s. Freedman, a New York businessman who was born Jewish but embraced Catholicism, placed large advertisements in the American press in 1946 accusing Jews of trying to, “drag [the U.S.] into a war to create a nationalist sovereign Jew state in Palestine.” The ads were signed by the “League for Peace with Justice in Palestine.”

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) charged that the purported interfaith coalition was a sham. . . . Freedman promptly filed suit, demanding $5 million in damages. An AJC leader welcomed the suit as, “an opportunity to demonstrate in court the nature and character” of Freedman and his alleged organization. The suit was dismissed before it went far enough to delve into those details, but two years later, the litigious Freedman re-opened that pandora’s box.

The defense [in the subsequent case] produced a cable sent by Freedman to Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Palestinian Arab mufti and Nazi collaborator, praising Husseini’s “vision, courage, strength, and struggle [on] behalf [of] justice” and vowing “fullest cooperation” with the mufti’s war against the Jews. The defense also revealed a document in which Freedman reported to an associate that he had recently, “negotiated [the] immediate establishment” of a “sub-machine gun factory” in Pakistan.

Not surprisingly, the judge dismissed the suit, finding that Freedman was “a crackpot,” and that [the criticism he claimed to be libelous] was “proven to be true.”

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Al Jazeera, Anti-Semitism, Qatar, Shireen Abu Akleh

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security