European Jihadists Are Targeting Christians

For many years, Jews in France, and other parts of Western Europe, have lived under the threat of Islamist violence. They are also accustomed to their governments’ apathy. More recently, some of this violence has been directed at Christians. Itxu Díaz writes:

Two years ago, Islamic State ordered its followers to attack churches in Spain. Now, it seems that the call is being heeded. On January 25, a Moroccan man attacked two churches in Algeciras, Cadiz, in southern Spain. Armed with a machete and clad in a djellaba, the man seriously wounded a priest at the church of Maria Auxiliadora y San Isidro, attacked those attending Mass, destroyed sacred artifacts, and praised Allah. At Nuestra Señora de La Palma, he killed the sacristan, likely mistaking him for a priest. The perpetrator then unsuccessfully attempted to break down the door of a third church. He walked through the city, brandishing the machete and inciting terror, until the authorities apprehended him.

Since 2014, around 60 jihadist terrorist attacks have claimed 300 lives in Western Europe. The attacks usually occur in waves; the recent aggressions seem to indicate the beginning of a new wave. Up until now, church attacks mostly occurred in France. Nice has suffered the most jihadist attacks on churches in recent years. But Spain is seeing more and more of these attacks.

The government has also been downplaying recent events. . . . We’ve seen all this before, especially in France: time and again, European social democracies minimize jihadist attacks and acts of vandalism against churches, to the detriment of both Muslims and Christians alike.

Read more at First Things

More about: European Islam, ISIS, Jihadism, Terrorism

The ICJ’s Vice-President Explains What’s Wrong with Its Recent Ruling against Israel

It should be obvious to anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of the Gaza war that Israel is not committing genocide there, or anything even remotely akin to it. In response to such spurious accusations, it’s often best to focus on the mockery they make of international law itself, or on how Israel can most effectively combat them. Still, it is also worth stopping to consider the legal case on its own terms. No one has done this quite so effectively, to my knowledge, as the Ugandan jurist Julia Sebutinde, who is the vice-president of the ICJ and the only one of its judges to rule unequivocally in Israel’s favor both in this case and in the previous one where it found accusations of genocide “plausible.”

Sebutinde begins by questioning the appropriateness of the court ruling on this issue at all:

Once again, South Africa has invited the Court to micromanage the conduct of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. Such hostilities are exclusively governed by the laws of war (international humanitarian law) and international human-rights law, areas where the Court lacks jurisdiction in this case.

The Court should also avoid trying to enforce its own orders. . . . Is the Court going to reaffirm its earlier provisional measures every time a party runs to it with allegations of a breach of its provisional measures? I should think not.

Sebutinde also emphasizes the absurdity of hearing this case after Israel has taken “multiple concrete actions” to alleviate the suffering of Gazan civilians since the ICJ’s last ruling. In fact, she points out, “the evidence actually shows a gradual improvement in the humanitarian situation in Gaza since the Court’s order.” She brings much evidence in support of these points.

She concludes her dissent by highlighting the procedural irregularities of the case, including a complete failure to respect the basic rights of the accused:

I find it necessary to note my serious concerns regarding the manner in which South Africa’s request and incidental oral hearings were managed by the Court, resulting in Israel not having sufficient time to file its written observations on the request. In my view, the Court should have consented to Israel’s request to postpone the oral hearings to the following week to allow for Israel to have sufficient time to fully respond to South Africa’s request and engage counsel. Regrettably, as a result of the exceptionally abbreviated timeframe for the hearings, Israel could not be represented by its chosen counsel, who were unavailable on the dates scheduled by the Court.

It is also regrettable that Israel was required to respond to a question posed by a member of the Court over the Jewish Sabbath. The Court’s decisions in this respect bear upon the procedural equality between the parties and the good administration of justice by the Court.

Read more at International Court of Justice

More about: Gaza War 2023, ICC, International Law