Saturday, July 17, 2004

Lawfare and the ICJ

Prof. Jeremy Rabkin says the ICJ decision is lawfare -- the pursuit of strategic aims through legal proceedings. His op-ed piece, available to WSJ subscribers earlier this week, is available on Opinion Journal.

Here is an excerpt detailing the practical effect of the ICJ decision on the "Peace Process":

How can a Palestinian representative, for example, now embrace a peace plan that cedes less than full sovereign control of the Old City of Jerusalem, when the highest international court has declared that Palestinians should have the right to oust all Israeli claims to that place? How can Israel put any trust in international guarantees when even the ICJ seems so indifferent to its life-and-death concerns?
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Israel has already announced that it will ignore the court's decision. American officials have vowed to veto any resolution at the Security Council aimed at enforcing it. But European governments, already so eager to distance themselves from Israel, may find it much harder to disclaim what the ICJ--and all its European judges--have pronounced to be the legal rights and wrongs of the Mideast conflict. For Yasser Arafat, the decision now looks like an unalloyed boon, tossed to him without extracting any serious effort to help suppress ongoing terrorist activities.

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