Middle East

Michael Kearney at the University of York has written a long and interesting response to Julian's post, which I have posted below to make sure people see it.  I'm far from expert about the law of statehood, so I'm reluctant to comment on the international-law debate.  I continue to believe, though, that accepting the Palestinian declaration would be disastrous for...

So, it turns out that the US military was lying through its teeth when it claimed that the three Afghan women murdered during a "bungled" Special Operations attack in Afghanistan six weeks ago were not killed by NATO -- read: American -- forces: NATO military officials had already admitted killing two innocent civilians — a district prosecutor and local police...

David Bernstein links today to an article in The Times -- a right-wing British newspaper published by Rupert Murdoch -- attacking Human Rights Watch.  The article is breathlessly entitled "Nazi Scandal Engulfs Human Rights Watch," which I have to admit piqued my curiousity -- until I realized that the "Nazi scandal" concerned Marc Gelasco, a research analyst who resigned from...

The BBC reports: The European Court of Justice has ruled that Israeli goods made in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank cannot be considered Israeli. This means goods made by Israelis or Jews in the West Bank cannot benefit from a trade deal giving Israel preferential access to EU markets. At first glance, this seems like the correct result, especially given the...

Alan Dershowitz has a very short but persuasive assessment of the legal issues arising out of the alleged Israeli assassinations of a Hamas leader in Dubai. So if the Israeli Air Force had killed Mabhouh while he was in Gaza, there would be absolutely no doubt that their action would be lawful. It does not violate international law to kill a...

The Nation has just published an extensive article documenting the "secret war" Blackwater employees have been conducting in Pakistan.  The opening grafs: At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which...

Clinton seems like she's been a relatively competent Secretary of State, but her take on the news that Abdullah Abdullah will not participate in Afghanistan's runoff election is truly priceless: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, traveling in Abu Dhabi, gave the administration’s only comment. “We see that happen in our own country where, for whatever combination of reasons, one of...

Jonathan Adler, a blogger at The Volokh Conspiracy, has asked me what I think about the editorial that Robert Bernstein, the founder of Human Rights Watch, published yesterday in the New York Times criticizing the organization's coverage of Israel.  My basic response: although I disagree with much of what Bernstein has to say, his criticisms must give anyone pause, because...

Another classic by the Sudanese government: Ismail also accused Israel of being behind aggravation and continuation of the Darfur crisis, saying "a group of Darfurians have recently admitted that they have provided the International Criminal Court (ICC) with false evidences, which support our assurances that there are Zionist trends behind aggravation of the Darfur crisis and undermining of the stability in...

When I wrote my critique of the Jerusalem Post editorial on the ICC, I also sent a short letter to the editor pointing out the editorial's basic factual errors.  It was a very straightforward letter -- no politics, just indisputably true facts such as that the ICTY and the ICC are different institutions. It's been more than a week, and the...

Economic blackmail is a part of politics -- but Israel's latest ultimatum to the Palestinian Authority regarding the ICC is still unfortunate: Israel has warned the Palestinian Authority that it would condition permission for a second cellular telephone provider to operate in the West Bank - an economic issue of critical importance to the PA leadership - on the Palestinians withdrawing...