The U.S. Needs a Better Strategy for Combating the International Criminal Court

Sept. 4 2020

This week, the State Department announced that it is sanctioning the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and another official, after they decided to investigate American military personnel. The move reflects Washington’s longstanding, bipartisan opposition to the court. While recognizing the importance of curbing the ICC’s lawlessness, Orde Kittrie suggests alternative means of doing so:

The stakes for U.S. and Israeli security are high. . . . Experts have speculated that the ICC could indict former president George W. Bush and former CIA directors, including George Tenet, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Israel faces similar risks. Its government has reportedly prepared a list of several hundred current and former Israeli officials, including the prime minister, who could be subject to arrest abroad if the ICC moves forward against Israel.

The United States can more effectively attempt to block the ICC’s illegitimate investigations by building on bipartisan support at home and leveraging common ground with allies. The United States should emphasize that potential ICC steps forthcoming in 2020 that are hostile to American interests could cause damage to the court’s relationship with the United States in ways that would outlast the current administration.

In recent years, more than half the ICC’s 155 million-euro annual budget has come from a handful of close U.S. allies: Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, and Spain. These allies can remind the ICC of the substantively strong arguments that its investigations of the United States and Israel are contrary to its own rules and clash with its founding principles. By steering the ICC away from confrontation with the United States, these allies can protect their own overseas military personnel from problematic precedents.

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Read more at FDD

More about: ICC, International Law, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy

 

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