Should Israel Fear Palestinian Lawfare?

Yes, argues Robert Nicholson. The fact that the International Criminal Court is unlikely to succeed in prosecuting imagined Israeli crimes is irrelevant. The Palestinian lawfare campaign can achieve its ends even without achieving its desired verdicts. Nicholson writes:

Form is more important than substance in the lawfare strategy. It’s not necessary that litigants present strong arguments or even win cases. What’s important is that they appear outnumbered and heroic, adhere to lofty vocabulary, and use the court’s noble reputation to delegitimize their opponent in the eyes of the world. . . .

If everyone in the global audience appreciated the cynicism behind this strategy, lawfare would not be so worrisome. But well-meaning people are easily fooled by headlines of “war crimes” and “ethnic cleansing” and don’t have the time or legal training to investigate the facts. Shaking their heads in disbelief, they walk away with just one thought: Israel is a flagrant human-rights abuser that needs to be punished—international law says so. And here lies the crux of the problem: lawfare uses a façade of morality to conceal and advance a subversive political agenda. Worst of all, good people can’t see past the façade.

Read more at Philos Project

More about: ICC, Lawfare, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinians


The Diplomatic Goals of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to the U.S.

Yesterday, the Israeli prime minister arrived in the U.S., and he plans to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, but it remains uncertain whether he will meet with President Biden. Nonetheless, Amit Yagur urges Benjamin Netanyahu to use the trip for ordinary as well as public diplomacy—“assuming,” Yagur writes, “there is someone to talk to in the politically turbulent U.S.” He argues that the first priority should be discussing how to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But there are other issues to tackle as well:

From the American perspective, as long as Hamas is not the official ruler in the Gaza Strip, any solution agreed upon is good. For Israel, however, it is quite clear that if Hamas remains a legitimate power factor, even if it does not head the leadership in Gaza, sooner or later, Gaza will reach the Hizballah model in Lebanon. To clarify, this means that Hamas is the actual ruler of the Strip, and sooner or later, we will see a [return] of its military capabilities as well as its actual control over the population. . . .

The UN aid organization UNRWA . . . served as a platform for Hamas terrorist elements to establish, disguise, and use UN infrastructure for terrorism. This is beside the fact that UNRWA essentially perpetuates the conflict rather than helps resolve it. How do we remove the UN and UNRWA from the “day after” equation? Can the American aid organization USAID step into UNRWA’s shoes, and what assistance can the U.S. provide to Israel in re-freezing donor-country contributions to UNRWA?

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza War 2023, U.S.-Israel relationship