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Netanyahu is the Iran deal's victor, he'll just never admit it

For 20 years the Israeli prime minister has been demanding the U.S. and the world put a stop to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and that’s exactly what Obama delivered. And no, there won’t be any consequences for the public fight with the American president.

It has become somewhat of a trope in recent months to warn of the damage Benjamin Netanyahu has done by so openly and directly working to oppose the Iran deal, the flagship foreign policy achievement Barak Obama’s legacy. Most of those warnings, however, can be attributed to either wishful thinking or veiled politicking surrounding the deal itself.

Benjamin Netanyahu is a political mastermind. The Israeli prime minister may have made some faulty assumptions and made questionable moves in the United States, but the consequences have never approached anything of substance. In fact, nearly every move he has made regarding Iran in recent years has resulted in an achievement.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been pushing the United States to do something about what he then termed an imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran for two decades. In a 1996 speech to a joint session of Congress, then Prime Minister Netanyahu implored the United States to assemble and lead an international effort to put a stop to Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. He has made similar speeches at any and every opportunity ever since.

Domestically, Netanyahu has used the Iranian threat to craft and perpetuate a brilliant and resilient political career based almost entirely on fear-mongering (periodically substituting the Palestinian threat when timely or expedient). He made the Iranian nuclear threat a mainstay of his Mr. Security political persona, which has helped him become Israel’s second-longest-serving prime minister. (If Netanyahu manages to stay in office for three more years, he will surpass David Ben-Gurion.)

The threat of war

Internationally, Netanyahu has demanded the world take action for years upon years, warning of a second Holocaust. When that didn’t work, he added his own threats into the mix: that Israel would unilaterally attack Iran. If you don’t stop Iran from getting the bomb, Netanyahu told the world, I will.

And so it was for the good part of the past decade. As I wrote a few weeks ago:

And the war mongering worked. Part of Barak Obama’s appeal in the 2008 elections was his promise to go down the warpath, instead pledging to give diplomacy a try...

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Israel plans to force-feed hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner

Israeli authorities tell Mohammad Allan, who has been hunger striking to protest being held without charge, that they intend to ask a district court to authorize force-feeding him.

Israeli authorities plan to use a brand new “force-feeding” law against a Palestinian man currently being held without charge who is on the 52nd day of a hunger strike.

Authorities on Friday told Mohammad Allan’s attorney that they intend to ask a district court to authorize force-feeding him, according to Physicians for Human Rights — Israel.

PHR sent out a press release on Saturday:

This would be the first recourse to the shameful legislation that the Knesset has approved on July 30, authorizing the force-feeding of Palestinian detainees on hunger-strike against their will despite vehement opposition of the medical community and human rights organizations in Israel and worldwide. PHR-Israel is about to appeal against it in Israel’s Supreme Court, while the Israeli Medical Association has submitted its petition last week.

Force-feeding violates medical ethics as it administers forceful treatment to a patient against his will, and is considered a form of torture. Article 7 of the 1975 World Medical Association Declaration of Tokyo states that doctors are not allowed to force-feed hunger strikers. Israel’s medical community should stand firm and united in this testing time. PHR-Israel encourages the doctors and nurses in Soroka hospital to refuse to carry out any act that violates the letter and spirit of medical ethics.

PHR-Israel urgently calls to refrain from any type of forced treatment on Mohammad Allan and urges the Israeli authorities to release him immediately.

Two weeks ago Israeli authorities agreed to release another Palestinian hunger striker, also being held without charge in administrative detention.

The World Medical Association has unequivocally stated that physicians should respect a patient’s refusal to accept food and/or water. “Forced feeding contrary to an informed and voluntary refusal is unjustifiable,” the WMA Declaration of Malta on Hunger Strikersreads.

The WMA declaration goes on to explain, hunger strikes “are often a form of protest by people who lack other ways of making their demands known. In refusing nutrition for a significant period, they usually hope to obtain certain goals by inflicting negative publicity on the authorities.”

The head of the Israeli Medical Association, Dr. Leonid Eidelman, has long opposed attempts to force-feed prisoners. As similar legislative measures came and went over the years, he has consistently argued...

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A vote for the Iran deal is a vote against war

The nuclear deal sets back any Iranian military nuclear program by at least 10 years, and does so without sparking a regional war. That, by itself, makes the deal the best option available.

One of the easiest things to forget when discussing the Iran deal is just how inevitable and nearby war seemed for so long.

It seems like just yesterday that the news was dominated with headlines like: “Will this be the year that Israel goes to war with Iran?”; “How Israel’s War With Iran Will Be Fought”; “Israel ‘prepared for 30-day war with Iran’”; “Pentagon predicts Israel will drag US into war with Iran”; “Israel stepped back from brink of war with Iran in 2010”; and, “Ex-ambassador to Israel: U.S. will go to war with Iran in 2013.”

One of the strongest arguments against an Israeli attack against Iran, aside from the guaranteed regional war that would follow, was that a preemptive strike could only ever set back Iran’s nuclear program a few years. A military strike could not destroy Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. In fact, it would almost certainly have had the opposite effect by convincing the Iranian leadership that it needs greater deterrence against attack.

The current P5+1 deal sets back any Iranian military nuclear program by at least 10 years, and does so without sparking a regional war. That, by itself, makes the deal the best option available. And that’s the bottom line.

There is a genuine debate to be had about whether Israel ever truly wanted to attack Iran militarily had a window ever opened. Some have argued that Benjamin Netanyahu’s war-mongering was always intended to scare the world into action, to push the major world powers into establishing a serious sanctions regime against Tehran, with an eventual goal of pressuring it into abandoning its nuclear program.

If the latter was the plan all along, then it succeeded. The P5+1, spurred on by Israel’s threats and warnings, created a sanctions regime that led to political change in Iran, and eventually brought about a serious diplomatic process that resulted in the current nuclear deal.

Benjamin Netanyahu has a right to be dissatisfied with the Iran deal. He even has a right to lobby against it in the United States, even though it is a fait accompli. Doing so, however, is a very risky proposition — both for him and his...

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An assault on civil rights in the name of equality

In response to ‘Jewish’ terrorism Israeli authorities are taking some of the worst tools used against Palestinians and applying them to everyone. Thus Israel-Palestine went from a place where half the population is denied basic rights to a place where anybody — Jew and Arab alike — can lose them at any time.

The problem with anti-terror laws is that they are always legislated in the wake of unimaginably horrifying terror attacks.  In one such attack last week, extremist Jewish settlers attempted to burn an entire Palestinian family alive in their sleep, and succeeded in murdering a small baby.

On Sunday, Israel’s cabinet announced that it was authorizing law enforcement and intelligence agencies to almost completely disregard the civil rights of citizens suspected of crimes that constitute terrorism. According to one report, the government is even considering authorizing the use of torture to prevent further attacks.

The policy changes announced on Sunday, subjecting Jews to counter-terrorism measures usually reserved for Palestinians, doesn’t actually require any new legislation.

Jewish and non-Jewish Israeli citizens can already be — and are — denied access to legal counsel, held incommunicado and be accused with secret evidence when the authorities decide it is expedient. First legislated 70 years ago, administrative detention — including against Israeli citizens — was cemented into Israel’s law books in 1979. And Israel’s Supreme Court green-lighted “moderate physical pressure” (read: torture) over 15 years ago.

In other words, the laws and regulations authorizing the government to selectively disregard the civil rights, due process and human dignity of the people under its control are already on the books. And the government is already comfortable doing so.

So what’s the big deal, you ask? What changed? Why are we talking about this as if it’s some major shift in policy?

Indeed, every government in the history of the State of Israel has used “emergency regulations” against the non-Jews living in its various jurisdictions — specifically, against Palestinian populations. Emergency regulations are sets of laws that, during legally prescribed situations of unrest, allow for basic rights to be disregarded in the name of public order and safety. Israel has been under a self-declared state of emergency and its emergency regulations have been in force since May 15, 1948.

From 1948 until 1966, Israel used emergency regulations to rule its own citizens of Palestinian descent under...

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Has the IDF found a way to climb down the Susya tree?

Up against extraordinarily harsh diplomatic pressure from its closest allies, Israel seems to have found a way to save face without creating too much of a fuss — at least temporarily.

With more or less the entire Western world warning Israel not to demolish the Palestinian village of Susya and forcefully displace its residents, it is no surprise that the Israeli army might be seeking a way to climb down the tree it is stuck on.

So how does one announce that it might not demolish that village which it has been claiming for years has no right to exist? As a first step, you might look for an internal document you discarded years ago, one that argues the residents of Susya do actually own the land from which you want to expel them, and then leak it to the press.

That is exactly what it appears the army is doing. Somebody in the Israeli Defense Ministry leaked such a document to Haaretz over the weekend. The document reportedly says that Susya’s residents own the land they live on, a fact that would make forcefully transferring them elsewhere more difficult.

The U.S. State Department, most European Union foreign ministers, the United Nations and hundreds of activists have all joined a very public campaign to save the impoverished village in recent weeks. It is hard to remember such harsh language from Israel’s closest allies about such a specific policy in recent years.

Last month every single EU head of mission went to the village on a solidarity visit. Last week, a State Department spokesperson warned Israel that following through with its plans would be a “provocation” and that it would “set a damaging standard for displacement and land confiscation, particularly given settlement-related activity in the area.”

This past weekend, over 500 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists descended upon the South Hebron Hills hamlet to protest plans to demolish it.

Speaking at the rally, Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghoutti highlighted the effect that international pressure can have, as evidenced by the case of Susya.

“Combining popular resistance on the ground, international solidarity and boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli policies,” Barghoutti said,“is very productive and very effective at this stage.”

The Israeli army document that shows Susya’s residents own their land is not a reversal of policy, but whoever leaked it is trying to guide policy makers down the...

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The real reason Jewish-American spy Jonathan Pollard is back in the news

Pollard is scheduled to be released in November. The issue for Israel is whether the U.S. will allow the Jewish American to move to Israel, where Washington fears he would be given a hero’s welcome.

The 30-year saga of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard is once again gaining serious attention in the Israeli, American and international news media.

The reporting, most of which appears to be directed speculation, is focusing on whether Pollard will be released in late November or sooner, and whether a decision in Washington to release him early could be part of some sort of quid pro quo aimed at convincing Israel to drop its opposition to the Iran deal.

Nearly all of the news coverage has missed the real issue at play.

First things first. In all likelihood the former U.S. Naval Intelligence worker will be released by the end of November, and that has been public knowledge for decades. The Federal Bureau of Prisons’ public website lists his release date as November 21, 2015.

The public campaign to release Jonathan Pollard, spearheaded by his wife Esther and fueled by a handful of friendly Israeli journalists and a cadre of Jewish politicians, despises any mention of the November 2015 release date. They understand that the very concept of scheduled parole undermines their argument for early release, and so they deflect.

Notice how Esther Pollard and the entire Justice for Jonathan Pollard have been conspicuously absent from the recent flurry of media coverage, save, perhaps, for some behind-the-scenes pushing of the early release angle. The reasons for this are relatively simple.

In addition to seeing Pollard freed, many of his backers in Israel want nothing more than for Jonathan to receive a hero’s welcome when he walks onto the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport. Nearly every Jewish politician and public figure in Israel will want to take part; Pollard’s means easy public relations points.

The problem here is that parole in the United States generally involves restrictions on the parolee, including their freedom of movement – and particularly restrictions on travelling outside of the United States. In other words, the chances of Pollard being allowed to visit – or move to – Israel in the years following his parole are slim to none. If the United States releases Pollard but doesn’t allow him to emigrate, it would deflate the political significance of his release as far...

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Hundreds protest forced transfer, destruction of Palestinian village Susya

Despite a pending High Court case, the village is facing imminent destruction and forced population transfer. State Department, EU foreign ministers have all called on Israel to let the villagers stay on their land.

Over 500 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists descended on the tiny Palestinian tent-village of Susya on Friday to protest its imminent demolition and the forced transfer of its residents.

The activists marched through the village, stopping at various homes along their way to hear the stories of families facing eviction and transfer.

At the end of the demonstration activists hung a massive banner in view of passing settlers, declaring that Susya is here to stay.

Palestinian parliamentarian Mustafa Barghoutti, one of few politicians who attended the protest, praised the non-violent popular resistance model adopted by the residents of Susya and many other Palestinian villages. “Combining popular resistance on the ground, international solidarity and boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli policies,” Barghoutti said, “is very productive and very effective at this stage.”

Susya has been the recipient of seemingly unprecedented international diplomatic and media attention in recent weeks and months. European foreign ministers, the U.S. State Department, and activists around the world are all demanding that Israel refrain from destroying the village and to legalize its status.

The Israeli army first demolished the village of Khirbet Susya, deep in the desolate south Hebron Hills, three decades ago, on the grounds that it was located on an archeological site. Susya’s residents, many of whom lived in caves on the site for generations, packed up and moved a few hundred meters away, onto their adjacent agricultural lands.

The IDF, which as the occupying power controls nearly every aspect of Palestinians’ lives in the West Bank, never recognized the validity of the move. To this day, the village has no connections to electricity or running water, and its access roads are not paved.

On the other hand, when it comes to unauthorized Jewish settlements, all of which squat on Palestinian land, Israeli authorities supply electricity, water, security and more. The terms “double standard” or “discrimination” don’t even begin to describe the dual realities in that part the West Bank.

The Israeli army has issued repeated demolition orders against the village on the grounds that none of its tents and tin shacks were erected with the proper permits. The army’s Civil Administration, however, rejects 90 percent of Palestinian planning...

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Israeli website: 77 must-do activities before Iran kills us all

After the Iran deal, Israel’s days are surely numbered. So before the nuclear holocaust descends upon us, one Israeli website is suggesting you break out your bucket list and start checking things off. The result is funnier than you might think.

Like many other societies embroiled in protracted violent conflict, Israel is known for a tasteless — yet often-times hilarious — ability to find humor in even the most mortal dangers. ”The Iranian threat,” and the potential for assured destruction Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has assured us it brings, has proved to be an especially fruitful source of comedic relief.

Then, on Tuesday, the unthinkable happened. The P5+1 reached a deal with “the ayatollahs.” End times are upon us. Somebody had to up their game. What is an apocalypse without a listicle? That, it seems, is what at least one culture editor at Israeli news site Walla! was thinking on Wednesday. The website published an article titled: “77 things you need to do before Iran kills us all with an atomic bomb.”

The article continues (my translation):

We won’t bore you with all 77, so here is a top 7:

1. Get a European passport and use it to visit Tehran

2. See films about the Nakba at the [Tel Aviv] Cinemateque before [Culture Minister] Miri Regev censors everything

3. Break a court-imposed gag order

4. Approve new connection requests on LinkedIn

5. Find a normal apartment in Tel Aviv, just so you can feel like it’s possible

6. See Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Lauryn Hill and all of the artists who canceled their concerts in Israel [because of the boycott]

7. Finally let go of our Holocaust complex before we are annihilated again

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Archaic gag order lifted: Two Israeli civilians being held in Gaza

This is the third time in five years — that we can discuss — in which Israeli authorities have tried to use comprehensive gag orders to stop the publication of stories of public interest. This also is the third time that the Internet has made a mockery of such efforts to control information.

A 28-year-old Israeli man, Avraham ‘Avera’ Mengistu, crossed into the Gaza Strip in October 2014 and never returned. +972 and the Israeli media has been unable to tell you anything about Mengistu until today, when a nine-month comprehensive gag order was lifted on the entire affair as the result of an appeal filed by Haaretz. Mengistu’s fate is not known Israeli media has suggested that he is being held by Hamas. A second Israeli citizen, a young Bedouin man whose identity is still covered by the gag order, also crossed into Gaza and is unaccounted for.

A blanket gag order was imposed last year on publication of the story in all Israeli media outlets, which prohibited even the citing of foreign media reports. The story was circulated informally starting late last year. A number of Ethiopian-Israelis dared to start a campaign for his release in recent months by wearing shirts that read “Avera Mengistu?” at anti-racism protests. In early June, American blogger Richard Silverstein published the story in English. Silverstein has been used by Israeli journalists to leak stories under severe gag orders in the past.

The gag order prevented the family from launching any public campaign to pressure the government to secure his release. The Gilad Schalit family, in contrast, managed a massive public campaign operation for five years until the government ultimately negotiated their son’s release. The Mengistu family is alleging that racism has played a large role in the way the state handled the gag order. “I am one million percent certain that if he were white, we would not have come to a situation like this,” his brother Yalo told Haaretz.

A history of failed censorship

The Mengistu case is not the first time that the Israeli security establishment has attempted to bury the very existence of a story using one of the most archaic tools available to a government — a comprehensive gag order. In two cases in the past five years, the borderless Internet made a mockery of the concept of gag orders and attempts to control the free flow of...

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A year after Gaza: The only lesson we can draw from Protective Edge

Both Israel and Hamas are preparing for the next round of fighting. So how does one prevent the inevitable?

Hamas is preparing for the next round of fighting. That has been the messaging the Israeli security establishment has dispatched throughout the media in recent days, part of widespread coverage marking one year since the start of last summer’s war in Gaza.

“Since the end of Operation Protective Edge Hamas is rebuilding its terror infrastructure and its capabilities, which were severely damaged during the operation,” Deputy Gaza Division Commander Col. Nochi Mandel told Israel Radio on Tuesday. “The organization is building up its forces with [training] exercises, the manufacture of rockets and mortars, and tunneling,” he added.

“It’s not just the IDF that is preparing for the next round,” Walla! News posited in its version of the same story that appeared in nearly every Israeli news outlet on Tuesday. The nameless “senior officer in the Southern Command” added that in that next round of fighting, Hamas’s armed wing plans to have entire companies of combatants infiltrate into Israel.

Despite the tens of thousands of explosive munitions dropped and shot into Gaza, Hamas, it appears, has not decided to unilaterally declare peace.

The IDF, too, is preparing for the next round of fighting. It is procuring new munitions and guns, jets and drones, developing anti-missile and rocket technologies, and collecting intelligence against Hamas. That, after all, is what adversaries do.

In fact, as long as there is no peace, as long as the occupation and the siege and the oppression of Palestinians continues, Israel will find itself engaged in armed conflict with various Palestinian groups who view violence as the only path to liberation. The same goes for Israeli generals and politicians who believe the occupation and the siege and oppression and occasional violent escalations are the only way to keep Israel safe from said Palestinians.

It’s actually even simpler than that. As long as there is no peace and dignity and equality, there will be violence. And unfortunately, there will most likely still be some violence once peace and dignity and equality reign, regardless of the number of states or the routes of their borders.

The only absolute certainty is that as long as there is occupation, there will be conflict. And as long as there is conflict, there will be looming violence. And as long as...

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Why is Israel concocting ties between Hamas and ISIS?

By dreaming up an association between Hamas and Islamic State, Netanyahu hopes Israel will have it easy the next time it goes to war against Gaza.

The head of Israel’s military government in the territories, Maj.-Gen. Yoav “Polly” Mordechai, spearheaded the latest round of Israel’s fantastical, anti-intellectual conflation between Hamas and ISIS this past week. Taking advantage of the horrendous attacks by an ISIS affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Mordechai told Al Jazeera Arabic that Hamas is aiding the world’s most terrifying terrorist organization—by bringing its wounded fighters into Gaza for medical treatment.

The attempt to make a connection between the two groups is nothing new. In fact, facts be damned, Israel—and the Netanyahu government in particular—has a rich history of conflating Hamas with whichever evildoers it deems most expedient at the time. Making the ISIS, connection, as Larry Derfner reported in great depth last year, has been Netanyahu’s primary strategy for de-legitimizing Hamas since last summer’s war in Gaza.

Maj.-Gen. Mordechai’s accusations are expedient for many reasons. Firstly, Hamas’s relationship with the Egyptian government has gone from bad to worse since the overthrow of former president Muhammad Morsi. In recent weeks, however, a détente of sorts has begun to take shape, most recently evidenced when Cairo reversed an earlier decision that had declared Hamas a terrorist organization. It is no secret that the current Israeli government believes it is in its interest to ensure that Egypt remains adversarial toward Hamas, and what better way to advance that goal than to tie the latter to ISIS.

Secondly, Netanyahu hopes that the more he can concoct an association between Hamas and ISIS, against which there is an international consensus that any force is justified, then Israel will have an easier time the next time it goes to war against Gaza. Never mind the absurdity of actually comparing the ideology, goals, tactics and identity of the two groups. The only thing more absurd would be to compare ISIS to Iran. In addition to the fact that ISIS is a fanatical Sunni group and the Iranian regime is Shia, Ishaan Tharoor wrote in The Washington Post earlier this year, “Iran’s theocratic rulers are hardly champions of religious pluralism and tolerance, but they are not crazed fundamentalist jihadists, bent on smashing idols and butchering religious minorities.”

But Mordechai’s “proof” that Hamas is supporting ISIS follows in a long line...

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Netanyahu and Obama find a shared interest — screwing the Israeli people

Despite the years of endless clashes of both personality and policy, this dramatic political saga really won’t surprise you one bit.

The rather lousy relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and U.S. President Obama has been the subject of much discussion in recent weeks as former Ambassador Michael Oren brought already ridiculous levels of behind-the-scenes speculation to new lows. Years of public clashes over settlement construction, peace talks, negotiations with Iran, and more, have provided endless fodder fueling public clashes between the two leaders.

There is one area, however, where President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have suddenly, and perhaps surprisingly to outsiders, found their interests aligned.

American Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro attempted to use his influence to determine the outcome of a fateful vote in the Israeli Knesset this week. It is a rather bizarre political story with surprising actors being asked to play even more surprising roles. It is a story of foreign intervention into questions of domestic Israeli policy in ways that upend the narrative regularly spun by right-wing Israelis. It is a story that shouldn’t surprise anybody, and yet surprised nearly everybody.

The story starts with two of the most common ingredients found in nearly all Middle Eastern dramas: fossil fuels and American economic interests. You see, about six years ago a surprising discovery was made off of Israel’s coast— the largest natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean. Almost immediately, people started talking about the discovery as a game-changer, both geopolitically in the region, but also for Israel’s economy. The gas was supposed to be enough to domestic supply in Israel for decades.

Unfortunately for most Israelis, the contracts to search for said fossil fuels were negotiated decades earlier, at a time when nobody took seriously the prospects of actually finding any gas. Thus, as economic incentive dictates, the increased economic risk for the energy companies was contractually offset by massive profit margins in the unlikely situation that gas was discovered. So what did Israel do when gas was discovered? It unilaterally “renegotiated” the contracts to give itself a significantly greater portion of future profits. The energy companies were not happy but they ultimately agreed to the new terms.

In the five years that have passed, all but a few thousand Israelis forgot about the game-changing importance of the gas discovery. People assumed that they, the citizens, were getting ripped off in the whole...

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Lessons from the UN Gaza report: Next stop, ICC?

The Human Rights Council’s independent inquiry is full of suspicions of war crimes. More important is what it has to say about how Israel investigates those allegations, and what that means for the International Criminal Court.

To the relief of Israel and the chagrin of many others, the UN report into last summer’s war in Gaza is not an indictment of Israel. It does not declare conclusively that Israel committed war crimes and it is certainly not one-sided. The Human Rights Council report released on Monday is valuable, nevertheless, when read as a preview of what might transpire in a much more consequential body investigating the 2014 war — the International Criminal Court.

The independent commission of inquiry does not have any real authority. Although its researchers and on-the-ground support staff from the OHCHR are highly respected and among the more credible international organizations doing such research in Gaza, its work still goes to one of the most politicized and almost satirically anti-Israel bodies in the international system — the UN Human Rights Council.

Furthermore, the lack of access Israel and Hamas provided to the commission of inquiry greatly reduces its ability to make any definitive conclusions. The report is peppered with language like: “may amount to war crimes”; “strong indications that … amount to a war crime”; and, “if confirmed … would constitute a war crime.” The only instance about which war crimes are spoken of declaratively is the case of the extra-judicial executions of Palestinian collaborators in Gaza.

But even if the commission of inquiry had been given full access, and if it were able to gather enough evidence to say definitively that war crimes were committed, it still cannot do anything about it. That’s where the ICC comes in.

Ironically or not, the question of whether war crimes were actually committed is not the most significant factor that will determine whether the ICC launches any criminal investigations or hands down indictments on Gaza. Certainly, without suspected war crimes there would be no investigations or indictments. But in order for the ICC to have jurisdiction over suspected crimes in the first place, certain conditions must be met — first and foremost, a concept called complementarity.

Complementarity means that if Israel investigates its own soldiers for suspected violations of international law, and if it does so in good faith, then the ICC has no jurisdiction. But once...

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