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Posts by Yishai Schwartz

Yishai Schwartz is an associate editor at Lawfare. Before the late unpleasantness at the New Republic, he was a reporter-researcher at that magazine. He previously was a fellow with the Tikvah Fund and an intern at Lawfare, which welcomed him back after his New Republic stint under a little-noticed refugee program.

Of Torts, Diplomacy, Israelis and Palestinians

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Friday, February 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM

On Monday, a New York jury found the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Liberation Authority responsible for a series of terror attacks that killed and maimed American citizens in Israel from 2002 through 2004. The politically-fraught civil judgment in Sokolow vs PLO awards the victims an initial $218.5 million (a sum that may still be . . .
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The Middle East Ticker

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Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 10:45 AM

Editor’s note: Below, we offer our latest roundup of Lawfare-relevant items from the Middle East and North Africa. As we noted last week, this feature will appear occasionally and is modeled on Paul Rosenzweig’s  “Bits and Bytes” series regarding cyber matters. Our goal will be to keep readers informed of legally inflected stories they might have . . .
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Yesterday at the Military Commissions: the 9/11 Case

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Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 2:28 PM

As readers likely know, earlier this week, pre-trial motions in Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al. hit an unanticipated obstacle when one accused, Ramzi Binalshibh, indicated that he recognized one of his translators from a past role as an interpreter at a CIA black-site. Given the recent uproar over the revelation that the FBI had been questioning . . .
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The Middle East Ticker

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 12:23 PM

Editor’s Note: As we scale up Lawfare’s coverage of security issues in hot-button regions, we thought we would start rounding up Lawfare-relevant items from the Middle East and North Africa. This feature, which will be occasional, is modeled on the “Bits and Bytes” feature that Paul Rosenzweig has been doing on cyber matters. The goal will be . . .
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On Judge O’Toole’s Stubborn Reluctance To Moving the Boston Bomber Trial

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Jury selection in the trial of  accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has dragged on for over a month. Since January 5, over 150 potential jurors have been questioned, and still the judge proceeds haltingly through a pool filled with preconceptions about Tsarnaev’s guilt and fury at what the bombing’s perpetrators. But despite these challenges, . . .
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Does the Palestinian Turn to the ICC Mandate a Cut-off in Economic Assistance?

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Monday, February 9, 2015 at 1:45 PM

The Palestinian turn to the International Criminal Court has Israel’s supporters fretting over potential prosecutions and international delegitimization. But as a recent letter from 75 senators to Secretary of State John Kerry illustrates, the most immediate repercussions will likely be felt by Palestinians themselves—in the form of an automatic cutoff in American economic assistance. The . . .
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Iran Sanctions 101: A Historical Primer

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Monday, February 2, 2015 at 2:45 PM

Last week, a harsh new set of Iran sanctions legislation sailed through the Senate foreign relations committee by a vote of 18-4. The legislation, written and introduced by Senators Mark Kirk and Robert Menendez, is post-dated for June to serve as a sort of Damocles sword,  slapping new restrictions on Iranian industry and closing loopholes . . .
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Neither War Nor Peace: Israel’s Northern Borders

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Friday, January 30, 2015 at 11:49 AM

For now, the recent eruption of violence along the Israeli-Lebanese border appears to be contained. With thousands of its fighters bogged down in Syrian battles, Hezbollah’s strategic context is radically different from 2006, when a carefully planned kidnapping of Israeli soldiers dragged Israel into a bloody war in southern Lebanon.  Most analysts seem convinced that . . .
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The Corker Bill: Sensible Oversight on an Iran Deal

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 8:56 AM

In recent days, the White House has unleashed a full-court press seeking to block a skeptical Congress from passing further Iran sanctions. In his State of the Union, President Obama threatened a presidential veto; at a recent Senate Banking Committee hearing, senior administration officials argued that new sanctions “are more likely to undermine, rather than . . .
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Two Pieces of Spy News

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Monday, January 26, 2015 at 5:11 PM

(Another) Russian Spy Ring Busted in New York City Earlier today, the Department of Justice announced charges against a New York-based Russian spy ring. Although three defendants have been charged, only one, Evgeny Buryakov, aka “Zhenya,”  has been arrested.  According to the official complaint, Buryakov worked as an agent of the Russian foreign intelligence agency, . . .
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Netanyahu’s Foolish Speech

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 2:59 PM

Yesterday, Speaker John Boehner announced that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accepted his invitation to address a joint session of Congress. In what reporters are calling “breach of protocol,” the White House appears to have been blindsided, receiving notification only shortly before the news became public. The decision to invite Netanyahu for a speech . . .
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The French Response to Terror: Counterterrorism Detention and Prosecutions Across the Atlantic

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 12:15 PM

In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery, Western European security forces unleashed a dizzying storm of arrests and prosecutions and announced “exceptional” new measures to combat terrorism. In the space of just a few days, dozens of suspects were detained in Belgium, France and Germany, many of whom were questioned for days without . . .
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The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

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Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM

As the week began, Ben noted that the last few weeks have been fairly kind to NSA. Ben hypothesized that the story may finally be blowing over. Well, maybe not quite over. Jack critiqued a new DNI directive banning members of the intelligence community from citing news reports based on leaks in their speeches, opinion articles, books, term . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Let’s begin with Pakistan today. The New York Times takes a closer look at Islamabad’s Red Mosque, where soldiers and Islamist students fought a pitched battle in 2007 and where a new library named for Osama bin Laden is set to be dedicated. The authors ask: does the mosque’s boldness and success foreshadow militant Islamism’s . . .
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Oral Argument Summary: Ralls Corporation v. CFIUS

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Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 12:00 PM

The courtroom was nearly full Monday for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals oral arguments in Ralls Corporation vs Committee on Foreign Investments. Ralls is a fascinating case that tests Presidential power at its apex—in actions related to national security and specifically authorized by Congress—against the due process claims and the property interests of foreign . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Terror continues in Nigeria. After the leader of Boko Haram released a video saying over 200 schoolgirls are being held hostage, three gunmen opened fire at another school—but thankfully, no one was injured. Two bombs exploded in Hat Yai, a southern province in Thailand, wounding ten people. The Bangkok Post has the story. Although no . . .
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The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

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Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Let’s begin with the White House’s recent release of its highly anticipated Big Data report: Ben noted the release of the report, and Paul gave us some of his reactions. In short, he’s pleased that the administration has taken a clear position that use of data (rather than collection of it) should be the focus of regulation, but . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Today, we’ll start with developments in Ukraine: As the interim government in Kiev continues to experience setbacks in its operations against pro-Russian militias, Vladimir Putin demanded that Ukrainian forces withdraw from the Southeast of the country entirely and allow time for a “national dialogue.” The New York Times discusses this, and other developments from the ongoing conflict. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 12:58 PM

We begin on these shores: Shane Harris of Foreign Policy has an exclusive report about the cyber security unit of the Federal Reserve and its role in helping to protect trillions of dollars from hackers. Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times tells us that the Senate Intelligence Committee quietly eliminated a provision in a bill last year which . . .
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The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

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Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 9:55 AM

This week, let’s start with the courts. Ben flagged the Second Circuit’s decision ordering that the government to release the legal memos that justify the targeted killing of Anwar Al Awlaki. Jane followed up with a summary of the court’s reasoning, and then offered an analysis suggesting that the decision may end up being bad for transparency. . . .
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