September 12, 2018

Trump Targets ICC/PLO

“The Trump administration on Monday threatened tough action against the International Criminal Court [ICC] should it try to prosecute Americans for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and said the PLO’s office in Washington would be closed for seeking to punish Israel through the court.” (Reuters)

The United States did not ratify the ICC’s founding treaty and is thus not a member; it has cooperated to varying degrees since the ICC was founded in 2002. The ICC can only bring a case against Americans with a UN security council resolution. (International Criminal Court)

“The Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, was first founded in 1964 during a summit in Cairo, Egypt. The organization’s initial goals were to unite various Arab groups and create a liberated Palestine in Israel. Over time, the PLO has embraced a broader role, claiming to represent all Palestinians while running the Palestinian National Authority (PA).” (History channel)

See past issues

From the Left

The left is critical of the Trump administration’s latest moves to dismantle international institutions and diplomatic channels.

From the Right

The right supports the moves, arguing that the ICC intrudes on US sovereignty and that the Palestinians are not negotiating in good faith.

“It's certainly true that the ICC is far from a perfect institution — critics, for example, point to its disproportionate prosecution of African officials. But it still represents a key cog in the international system, and one that could yet provide justice for the hideous crimes of those like Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or Myanmar's generals."

Washington Post

“The move [to shut down the PLO office] will eliminate a communication channel—diplomatically and physically—that has been at the heart of the peace process under four Administrations."

New Yorker

“The State Department [also recently] announced that the U.S. would no longer provide any funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which runs hundreds of schools for Palestinian refugees, dozens of medical clinics and food assistance for half the population in the Gaza Strip alone. The Trump administration called the agency ‘irredeemably flawed,’ but left it unclear how fewer schools, less healthcare and more hunger would aid the cause of peace."

Los Angeles Times

From the Right

The right supports the moves, arguing that the ICC intrudes on US sovereignty and that the Palestinians are not negotiating in good faith.

“When the ICC was established its mandate was specifically to investigate crimes in areas, like Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, where there was no functioning legal system to investigate atrocities. Like so many international bodies, it has been weaponized and directed at the United States and at Israel."

RedState

“The International Criminal Court is one of those unaccountable multilateral organizations beloved by President Obama. The ICC prosecutor now threatens to undertake an investigation of the United States for war crimes in Afghanistan... [National Security Adviser John Bolton offered] a swaggering, make-my-day speech asserting the sovereignty of the United States and warning the ICC: Don’t tread on us."

Power Line Blog

Regarding the PLO, “It would be hard to identify a more overdue reality check in U.S. foreign policy... this isn’t to be vindictive but to show Mr. Abbas and the PLO that they can't continue to underwrite anti-Semitic textbooks and anti-Israel terrorism without consequences. If the Palestinians want to be treated with the respect of a peace partner, they have to first show a desire for peace."

Wall Street Journal

On the bright side...

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