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Monday, January 07, 2013

Why Abu Mazen's attack on 'settlements' was really rich

Professor Eugene Kontorovich suggests that there is rich irony in the fact that 'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen attacked Israel over 'settlements' while he was in Ankara, and that Israel should start taking advantage of Abu Mazen's hypocrisy.
Cyprus was a state with clear borders when Turkey invaded in 1974, and is a charter member of the ICC. If anyone should be loosing sleep over settlements suits in the ICC, it would be Turkey. Interestingly, no one has suggested in the past decade that Cyprus’s ICC membership would scare the Turks out of N. Cyprus, or get the Turks to agree to a peace deal). But a referral by Cyprus would not face the various thorny temporality and territoriality issues of a Palestinian complaint. Moreover, Cyprus is a particularly gross case of changing the demographics of occupied territory through settlement, with settlers now outnumbering protected persons n the territory.
Apart from the manifest hypocrisy, what should be disappointing for believers in international humanitarian law is the failure of anyone to call Abbas (or Erdogan) on it. I am not aware of any news, NGO, or governmental response pointing out the unseemliness of Abbas invoking the ICC from Ankara.
But it turns out that Europeans have for the past decade taken a different kind of interest in the Turkish occupation, as Dore Gold reports. Priced out of the French Riviera and Amalfi coast, Europeans wanting to buy a Mediterranean vacation property increasingly flock to Turkish-occupied Cyprus.


Discussions of a potential ICC referral often focus on potential liability by Palestinians as a factor that would dissuade them (or the Court) from proceeding. But Israel’s best bet for heading off such a suit would be to advertise the implications for other non-member states that would clearly be on the settlement hook: Turkey and Russia.

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