Settlements’ Legality Won’t Prevent Peace

The release of a report on the legality of Israel’s presence in the West Bank commissioned by Prime Minister Netanyahu is being widely dismissed by critics of his government as well as those of the Jewish state. Though its findings that Jews have the right to live in the territories and that Israel’s presence there does not fit the traditional definition of a military occupation are solidly based in international law, no one should expect the left to respect the report issued by a panel headed by former Supreme Court Vice President Edmond Levy. Nor should we be surprised if the international community ignores it. Opposition to the settlements is so deeply entrenched that there is no argument, no matter how grounded in logic or justice, that would persuade those committed to the myth settlements are the only obstacle to peace, that they are not illegal. As legal scholar David M. Phillips wrote in the September 2009 issue of COMMENTARY, international law supports this position.

0
Shares
Google+ Print

Settlements’ Legality Won’t Prevent Peace

Must-Reads from Magazine

Taking Back the Language

A rhetorical fight.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stumbled into controversy this week, although it was perhaps unwarranted. Trudeau became the subject of derision and mockery when he interrupted a woman at a town hall to correct her use of the term “mankind,” suggesting that she replace this dated designation with the more inclusive “peoplekind.” He only offered his proposal after enduring several minutes of a rambling new-age monologue regarding the chemical composition of “maternal love.” Trudeau’s interjection was probably flippant, but neither his interlocutor nor his critics seemed to notice. It’s hard to blame them.

1
Shares
Google+ Print

Trump’s Obligation to Syria’s Gas Attack Victims

Preserving moral clarity.

In the space of a single month, the Syrian regime has reportedly deployed chlorine gas in civilian neighborhoods on six separate occasions. The Trump administration admirably declined to look away. The State Department demanded that the world “speak with one voice” in condemning these attacks, and was particularly hard on Syria’s benefactors in Moscow. “Russia ultimately bears responsibility for the victims in East Ghouta and countless other Syrians targeted with chemical weapons since Russia became involved in Syria,” said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Let’s suppose, though, that the world does not speak with one voice on Syria. What then? The Trump administration cannot now fall back on perfunctory statements of disapproval amid mass murder using chemical weapons. That is, unless this White House is prepared to abandon the laudable precedent it has set in defense of the defenseless.

21
Shares
Google+ Print

Poland Slams the Door on Holocaust Dialogue

Darkness is no disinfectant.

The legacy of the Shoah in Poland, John Paul II said, is “a wound that has not healed, one that keeps bleeding.” The Polish government’s new Holocaust law rubs salt into the wound and renders healing that much more elusive.

17
Shares
Google+ Print

The Stock Market Crash That Wasn’t

What goes up must come down.

No, it’s not a crash. It’s not even a correction, at least not yet.

18
Shares
Google+ Print

The Somethingburger!

Debating the memo that ate Washington.

We agree, on the COMMENTARY podcast, that the memo alleging inappropriate handling of a warrant into a Trump campaign official, is not a nothingburger. Rather, we think it is a somethingburger. It speaks of important matters and needs to be considered seriously. But we also debate the extent to which the heated support for the idea that the memo invalidates any investigation into the president is disingenuous and politicized. Give a listen.

7
Shares
Google+ Print