Defending Israel from the Coming Legal Assault

While the most recent Gaza war officially ended after 50 days of fighting, its second phase, which will be fought in courts and UN committees, has not yet begun. Soon a variety of NGOs and UN bodies, supported by a host of American and European law professors, will try to defame and punish Israel through legal and quasi-legal proceedings. Israel must fight back against this campaign, writes Peter Berkowitz, and it is in the interest of all who value democracy, liberty, and humanity to back it:

In theory, calling Israel to account seeks to safeguard human rights, uphold international law, and constrain the inherent brutality of war. In practice, it criminalizes Israel’s right to defend itself and abuses key principles of international law. Also, by rewarding Hamas, which commits the double war crime of militarizing urban areas in Gaza and targeting civilian populations in Israel, the lawfare aimed at Israel incentivizes terrorism and weakens the ability of the United States and the West to defend themselves.

To defend itself while also bolstering the long-term interest of other liberal democracies engaged in the struggle against transnational terrorism, Israel should undertake a preemptive strike, both in the legal arena and in the court of public opinion. The facts and the law are on Israel’s side.

Read more at Real Clear Politics

More about: Human Rights, Israel, Lawfare, Laws of war, Protective Edge, Terrorism, UN


Iran’s Program of Subversion and Propaganda in the Caucasus

In the past week, Iranian proxies and clients have attacked Israel from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran also has substantial military assets in Iraq and Syria—countries over which it exercises a great deal of control—which could launch significant attacks on Israel as well. Tehran, in addition, has stretched its influence northward into both Azerbaijan and Armenia. While Israel has diplomatic relations with both of these rival nations, its relationship with Baku is closer and involves significant military and security collaboration, some of which is directed against Iran. Alexander Grinberg writes:

Iran exploits ethnic and religious factors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan to further its interests. . . . In Armenia, Iran attempts to tarnish the legitimacy of the elected government and exploit the church’s nationalist position and tensions between it and the Armenian government; in Azerbaijan, the Iranian regime employs outright terrorist methods similar to its support for terrorist proxies in the Middle East [in order to] undermine the regime.

Huseyniyyun (Islamic Resistance Movement of Azerbaijan) is a terrorist militia made up of ethnic Azeris and designed to fight against Azerbaijan. It was established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps . . . in the image of other pro-Iranian militias. . . . Currently, Huseyniyyun is not actively engaged in terrorist activities as Iran prefers more subtle methods of subversion. The organization serves as a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime on various Telegram channels in the Azeri language. The main impact of Huseyniyyun is that it helps spread Iranian propaganda in Azerbaijan.

The Iranian regime fears the end of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan because this would limit its options for disruption. Iranian outlets are replete with anti-Semitic paranoia against Azerbaijan, accusing the country of awarding its territory to Zionists and NATO. . . . Likewise, it is noteworthy that Armenian nationalists reiterate hideous anti-Semitic tropes that are identical to those spouted by the Iranians and Palestinians. Moreover, leading Iranian analysts have no qualms about openly praising [sympathetic] Armenian clergy together with terrorist Iran-funded Azeri movements for working toward Iranian goals.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Azerbaijan, Iran, Israeli Security