Skip to content

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. Follow him @yishaischwartz

Why the Administration is Perfectly Pleased with the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act

By
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 8:33 PM

Today, just hours before Senator Corker’s slightly amended “Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act” sailed through committee on a unanimous vote, the Obama administration began walking back its longstanding opposition. White House spokesman Josh Earnest even told reporters “it’s now in the form of a compromise that the president is willing to sign.” There are two . . .
Read more »

Polite Sabotage: The Attempt to Gut the Iran Oversight Bill by Amendment

By
Monday, April 13, 2015 at 2:34 PM

This morning’s New York Times has an excellent article outlining the debate over Senator Corker’s Iran deal oversight bill—likely heading for mark-up tomorrow. But most interesting to me was the brief section on how White House-aligned Democrats are targeting the bill: Democrats on the committee, in close consultation with the White House, have focused on . . .
Read more »

Terror Money, Mid-game Rule Changes, and Presidential Power

By
Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 4:00 PM

As the details of a nuclear deal are hammered out, a case that directly implicates the American-Iranian relationship is clamoring for cert. On Monday, the Supreme Court asked for the view of the Solicitor General in Bank Markazi v. Peterson, an appeal based on a 2013 mega-judgment allowing plaintiffs to collect billions of Iranian Central . . .
Read more »

Two New FISA Court Judges Designated

By
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 11:08 AM

From the FISC’s website: “The Chief Justice has designated Judge James P. Jones of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia and Judge Thomas B. Russell of the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky to seven year terms on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Their terms . . .
Read more »

What Does the Word “Implement” Mean in the Iran Framework Agreement?

By
Monday, April 6, 2015 at 2:37 PM

Since last week’s announcement of a “framework agreement” on the Iranian nuclear program, I’ve been bothered by a handful of troublesome ambiguities. Near the top of that list was what precisely had been agreed to regarding an Iranian commitment to the Additional Protocol (which authorizes intrusive IAEA inspections of suspected non-disclosed nuclear sites) and to . . .
Read more »

The Middle East Ticker

By and
Monday, April 6, 2015 at 2:33 PM

Twitter and YouTube have been blocked in Turkey. The move comes after the sites failed to comply with an order issued last week by the Istanbul First Criminal Courts of Peace to take down footage of an Istanbul prosecutor being held at gunpoint. The footage had been circulating on social media while a hostage crisis was still . . .
Read more »

After Bibi’s Reelection: Why a Pivot to the UNSC is Still a Mistake (Part 1: Settlements)

By
Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 2:45 PM

As the White House continues to direct a cascade of criticism at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, some commenters are beginning to ask whether the ongoing verbal offensive serves any strategic purpose. More are already theorizing about what precisely the President and his staff mean when they announce they are “reassessing” or “reevaluating” their policies . . .
Read more »

The Middle East Ticker

By and
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 3:30 PM

With support of 67 parliamentarians, Netanyahu set to begin forming a government: Benjamin Netanyahu’s big election victory just got more official, with the leadership of parties representing a majority of the Knesset formally recommending that Israel’s President Ruby Rivlin task Netanyahu with the formation of a government. Most analysts believe Netanyahu will form a narrow . . .
Read more »

Netanyahu’s Latest “Reversal” on Palestinian Statehood

By
Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 6:26 PM

Earlier today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat down with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, and explained that he hadn’t changed his policy on the creation of a Palestinian state. “I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution,” he insisted. For the second time in three days, the American media went into . . .
Read more »

Two Further Notes on the NPT and Iranian Legal Arguments

By
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 8:59 AM

As Iran and the P5+1 edge ever closer to an agreement, the public is beginning to get a peek at the general contours of the potential deal. Many of the details—careful pencil calculations about numbers of centrifuges, degrees of uranium enrichment and breakout time—require so much specialized knowledge that it is difficult for non-experts to . . .
Read more »

On Bibi’s “Reversal” Concerning Palestinian Statehood

By
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 10:00 AM

On Tuesday afternoon, American media burst into an uproar at the news that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had apparently “revers[ed] his support for a two-solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” The New York Times even sent out a midday news alert to subscribers’ phones.  The idea that Netanyahu would change positions on such a central an issue . . .
Read more »

The Day After the Iran Deal Ends

By
Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Last week, before a largely adoring crowd at a joint session of Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unleased a fusillade against the administration’s potential Iran deal. At the center of his critique was the argument that “virtually all the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade.” According to Netanyahu, the . . .
Read more »

The Middle East Ticker

By and
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 4:35 PM

Despite a vote to end security cooperation with Israel, PA crackdown on Hamas continues: Last week, the Central Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization voted to end security cooperation with Israel to protest Israel’s withholding of Palestinian tax revenue. (Under Oslo-era arrangements, Israel collects Palestinian tax revenue and then transfers it to the Palestinian Authority. . . .
Read more »

The Middle East Ticker

By and
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 5:44 PM

Qatar is reportedly pushing Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official arm in Syria, to break away from Al Qaeda and form an independent entity that would also include some smaller jihadi groups such as Jaish al-Muhajirin wal-Ansar and others. The action would remove the legal obstacles preventing Qatar from supporting the group, which has been sanctioned by . . .
Read more »

Of Torts, Diplomacy, Israelis and Palestinians

By
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 . . .
Read more »

The Middle East Ticker

By and
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 . . .
Read more »

Yesterday at the Military Commissions: the 9/11 Case

By
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 . . .
Read more »

The Middle East Ticker

By and
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 . . .
Read more »

On Judge O’Toole’s Stubborn Reluctance To Moving the Boston Bomber Trial

By
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, . . .
Read more »

Does the Palestinian Turn to the ICC Mandate a Cut-off in Economic Assistance?

By
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 . . .
Read more »