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What is the value of law?Historically, the Middle East region has suffered some of the world's most naked cases of double standards applied to all parties, including Arab and other regional states or leaders (Israel, Turkey, Iran), powerful non-governmental organizations that actively engage in warfare (Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis in Yemen and dozens of other smaller militias), foreign governments that wage war in Arab lands, and assorted other parties, including individuals. Rare exceptions to the rule of the broad inapplicability of international norms in the Middle East have included the international special tribunal to try those accused of killing the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the ICC indictment of Sudanese President Omar Hassan Bashir, and some United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran, Iraq, Hezbollah, and select others. We in the Arab world have long complained of global double standards in not holding Israel accountable for its defiance of international norms, while taking more tangible and often direct military or political action against Arabs like Saddam Hussein, Omar al-Bashir, Bashar Assad, Moammar Gadhafi and others who are accused of criminal or inhuman activity.
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