International Law Used as anti-Israel Lawfare

by Robbie Sabel, (JCPA 2013)

Israel’s record of compliance with international law is remarkably strong. In a long series of decisions, the Israeli High Court has ordered the Israeli government, army, and security services to change policies that, in the court’s view, were in violation of customary international law. The court has even intervened in actual combat situations.

Perhaps because Israel’s detractors are aware of this reality, they have undertaken a process of manipulating international law in a way that invents rules that are applied only to Israel and not to other states or in other situations.

Israel’s detractors invented a new international legal concept called “illegal occupation.” In an armed conflict, international law clearly permits military occupation. The UN Security Council has never declared Israeli occupation to be illegal. U.S. occupation of Iraq after the Second Gulf War was universally considered a legal act.

It is often presented manipulatively as a legal axiom that the Green Line already has the status of a legally binding border. By signing a peace agreement, Israel and Jordan have now mutually acknowledged the termination of the Armistice Agreement and its demarcation line. The validity of an armistice line expires with the expiration of the armistice. Therefore, formally, there is no longer any legal validity to the Green Line.

By any accepted legal standard, Gaza is not under Israeli occupation. International law requires that, for an area to be considered as under occupation, the territory must be “actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.” Again, there appears to be a unique definition of “occupation” applicable only to Israel.

The essence of any legal system is that law applies equally to all. Devising tailor-made rules of international law for application only where Israel is concerned undermines international law and can have an insidious and corrosive effect on the rule of law in general.

The attempts to brand Israel as a state that violates rules of international law have become a recurrent feature of the “lawfare” being waged against Israel. Although no state has a perfect record in this regard, Israel’s record of compliance with international law is remarkably strong. Israeli courts enforce customary international law as part of the “law of the land” and in a long series of decisions, the Israeli High Court has ordered the Israeli government, army, and security services to change policies that, in the court’s view, were in violation of customary international law. Perhaps uniquely among national court systems, the court has even intervened in actual combat situations. The Israeli government has a near-impeccable record of complying with such court orders.

In a personal vein, this author can attest to a not-very-friendly senior Egyptian negotiator telling him in a private conversation that although negotiating with Israel was “hell,” he was aware that once agreement was reached, Israel had a very good record of complying with its undertakings.

Perhaps because Israel’s detractors are aware of this reality, they have undertaken a process of manipulating international law in a way that invents rules that are applied only to Israel and not to other states or in other situations. Blatant examples of such manipulation include: (see below)

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak

Anti-Semitism is the world most powerful super glue - it unites most of the causes, even brings together mortal enemies no matter how disparate or ugly they may be. It invokes and perpetuates the darkness of jealousy and hate. It spreads like maggots on a dead body of sick societies, who must be grateful for existence of Jews. Without Jews most of them would have destroyed each other a long time ago!

UGLY NAZI and DUBIOUS 'REGRET'

Ban Ki-moon regrets a 'misunderstanding' over using the word 'occupation' to describe Morocco's annexation of Western Sahara. (NO apology given to Israel for calling Jewish land 'occupied territories')

Failure to Protect Jewish Land

1. The IDF has failed to tackle the widespread phenomenon of illegal construction, having demolished only 30% of such structures over a 19-year period. There are 20,086 instances of illegal construction in Area C, 13,481 were built by Arabs. (But Israeli government is not in a rush to remove them from Jewish land!)

2. A small synagogue recently rebuilt at the site of the Givat Soreq outpost on the outskirts of Karmei Tzur was demolished by Israeli Civil Administration. It was in this same synagogue that sacred texts were set ablaze two months ago by Arab terrorists, a hate crime carried out by those in nearby Arab populated town Halhul. (Demolition of a Jewish synagogue takes priority!)

Child Labor Increases in Gaza - Jew-Haters do not Protest This!.

The United Nations estimates that 80 percent of the PA population is aid dependent (international parasites). Child labour has risen sharply in Gaza, where youngsters toiling in garages and on construction sites have become breadwinners for families feeling the brunt of the Palestinian enclave's 43 percent unemployment rate (while their fathers are sitting and doing nothing, except for killing Jews). The increase in Gaza goes against trends. The International Labor Organization says the worldwide number of children in labor has fallen by a third since 2000

Where is Freedom of Speech?

Britain's press regulator censured Rupert Murdoch's “The Sun” tabloid for a "significantly misleading" story claiming one in five British Muslims 'sympathize with jihadist fighters'. (Most likely the Islamist tendency is higher!)

A Muslim was Killed for Loving 'Infidels'

Asad Shah, a much-loved local shopkeeper, was brutally murdered in Glasgow Thursday, hours after wishing his Christian customers a happy Easter on Facebook, in what police are treating as a religiously motivated crime.

One 'Normal’ Day in Israel (27 of March 2016)

1. IDF Arrests Stone-Throwers Near Beit Sahour

2. Terrorists Smash Bus Windshield on Highway 443

3. Jerusalem Light Rail Attacked

4. Iron Dome Batteries Moved Near Gaza

5. New Hebron Video Shows IDF and Medics Afraid of Suicide Bomb

6. Harsher Penalties for Dishonoring Israeli Flag

'Ugly Nazi' Showing Its Full anti-Semitic Colours!

1. Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Stephane Dion, is calling on the UN Human Rights Council to review the appointment of Western University law professor Michael Lynk, who has a long-held and public bias against Israel, as its (only) Special Rapporteur on human rights in Palestine.

2. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has adopted a measure that calls for the establishment of a database of businesses "involved in activities" in Judea and Samaria. Israel's UN ambassador, Danny Danon, called the database a "blacklist" and said the UNHRC was behaving "obsessively" against Israel. (Time has come to blacklist the ‘Ugly Nothing’ and make it irrelevant in Eretz-Israel and in all civilized countries!)

Quote of the Week:

Obama has a worldview that would challenge any government in Israel, rightwing or leftwing. His worldview is so foreign to us. For example his intense reluctance to use military force; or his cooperation with international organizations that are always condemning us, like the Human Rights Council; reaching out his hand to the Muslims and Iran; the demand that we freeze all construction even in Jerusalem – even Meretz couldn’t freeze all the construction in Gilo – but that’s what Obama demanded.” - Michael Oren, a former Israeli Ambassador to the US

International Law Used as anti-Israel Lawfare

UN General Assembly Resolutions (Over 50% of all UN resolutions have been dedicated to discredit and vilify the Jewish state!)

According to the UN Charter, UN General Assembly resolutions have the status of recommendations to states and are not binding.  They do not create international law and no state can be “guilty” of violating such a resolution. Such resolutions are political statements dictated by whatever group of states can muster a majority vote on a given issue at a given time. A prime example is UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (II) of 1948, which proposed measures to resolve the Arab-Israeli dispute including the issue of refugees. All the Arab states that were UN members at the time voted against the resolution, as they objected to any recognition of Israel. The General Assembly has subsequently readopted the part of the resolution concerning the refugees.

The Palestinian legal position is that this article has thus miraculously been turned into a binding rule of international law. The legal reality is, however, that even where the General Assembly reiterates such a resolution, it nevertheless remains nonbinding. In the words of a leading French jurist, “Neither is there any warrant for considering that by dint of repetition, non-normative resolutions can be transmuted into positive law through a sort of incantatory effect.” No state is on record stating that it accepts General Assembly resolutions, as such, as binding on itself. Nevertheless, the claim is frequently heard that Israel is “violating” General Assembly resolutions. Apparently there is an interpretation of the UN Charter that is applicable only to Israel.

UN Security Council Resolutions

Those anti-Israeli lawfare tacticians who are aware that UN General Assembly resolutions are not binding try to charge Israel with violating UN Security Council resolutions. Here again the critics ignore the explicit rules set out in the UN Charter. Security Council resolutions are only binding where the council, acting in accordance with Chapter VII of the charter, declares that there has been an act of aggression by a state or that a state’s action is a threat to world peace or security.

The Security Council has never made such a declaration regarding Israel, nor for that matter has it ever made such a declaration regarding Arab aggression against Israel. Like the General Assembly, the Security Council is a political body and its resolutions are political statements and not legal judgments. Members of the UN have undertaken to implement Security Council resolutions only when they are decisions adopted under Chapter VII. Nevertheless, this stipulation of the charter has not prevented Israel from being charged with “violating” nonbinding Security Council resolutions.

“Illegal” Military Occupation

There is a legitimate debate as to whether the West Bank is indeed the territory of an enemy sovereign state and hence subject to the rules of military occupation. Beyond this debate, though, the bon mot used by nearly all anti-Israeli publicists is that Israeli military occupation is illegal as such. However, in an armed conflict, international law clearly permits military occupation. It is interesting to note that the UN Security Council has never declared Israeli occupation to be illegal. The Security Council’s reticence in condemning Israeli occupation as illegal is not necessarily derived from sympathy with Israel’s policies but presumably from the awareness that occupation is perfectly legal in case of armed conflict.