International Law – by Category

Israel’s Basic Rights

Ten False Assumptions Regarding Israel

Amb. Alan Baker, August 15, 2016

Israel is inundated with one-sided international resolutions, declarations, “peace plans,” and advice from governments, international organizations, leaders, pundits, and elements within the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. Most of the above rest on widely-held, false and mistaken assumptions regarding preconceived notions of what Israel’s very existence means, its leaders, government, policies, and positions held by the vast majority of the Israeli public. Read More »

Mahmoud Abbas Rejects Even Discussing the Rights of the Jewish People to a State

Pinhas Inbari, March 19, 2014

Since his return from Washington, where he met with President Barack Obama, Mahmoud Abbas has demonstrated on successive occasions that he is only willing to harden his position on peace with Israel. For example, he has (according to senior Fatah members) stated his “non-recognition of Israel being a Jewish state.” Read More »

Ten Fundamental Facts Underlying the Peace Process

Amb. Alan Baker, March 2, 2014

Despite many attempts throughout the Peace Process to delegitimize Jewish claims to Israel, the facts demonstrate otherwise. Read More »

The Legal Basis of Israel’s Rights in the Disputed Territories

Amb. Alan Baker, January 8, 2013

The territories of Judea and Samaria remain in dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, subject only to the outcome of permanent status negotiations between them. Read More »

Israels Rights as a Nation State in International Diplomacy: Introduction

September 18, 2011

A concerted campaign is being waged against Israel to question its very legitimacy in virtually every aspect of its historical, political, and cultural life, with the aim of undermining the very foundations of Israel’s existence. Read More »

The National Rights of Jews

Prof. Ruth Gavison, 2011

For too long, the conflict between Jews and Arabs and between Israel and Palestinians was based on rejection of the national aspirations of the other side. Read More »

An Overwhelmingly Jewish State – From the Balfour Declaration to the Palestine Mandate

Sir Martin Gilbert, 2011

This essay examines how British policy with regard to the ‘national home for the Jewish people’ evolved between November 1917 and July 1922, and the stages by which the Mandate commitments were reached. Read More »

Self-Determination and Israel’s Declaration of Independence

Prof. Shlomo Avineri, 2011

The Arabs of Palestine and Arab states went to war not only against the emerging Jewish state, but also against a UN resolution in the only known case when member states of the UN not only did not abide by a UN resolution but went to war against it. Read More »

The Violation of Israel’s Right to Sovereign Equality in the United Nations

Amb. Alan Baker, 2011

It is assumed, and even goes without saying, that as a nation-state within the framework of international diplomacy, Israel enjoys the most elementary and basic right of all states: to be regarded and accepted, and to conduct itself vis-à-vis other states on the basis of full equality. Read More »

Back to Basics on Israel’s Security Needs

Elliott Abrams, August 18, 2010

U.S. policy since 1967, developed under President Johnson, included the idea that the so-called ’67 borders were incapable of providing Israel with adequate defense and would change. Read More »

The Right of Jews to Statehood

Prof. Ruth Gavison, 2008

Sixty years after its establishment, the State of Israel is the only country in the world confronted with a debate not about its borders, but its very existence. There are UN member states that openly call for, pine for, and await the physical liquidation of Israel. Read More »

Gaza: Wars, Flotilla, Blockade

Israel and the Gaza Strip: Why Economic Sanctions Are Not Collective Punishment

Justus Reid Weiner, March 1, 2015

The economic measures that Israel uses against the Hamas proto-government in Gaza fall under legitimate uses of economic sanctions, and conform to the requirements set forth in both the Hague regulations and the Geneva Convention. Furthermore, these sanctions were only imposed after it became clear that nothing else would work. Read More »

The Gaza War 2014: The War Israel Did Not Want and the Disaster It Averted

Hirsh Goodman and Dore Gold, editors, 2015

This piece is a researched and documented narrative that relates the truth as it happened. Israel was the target of thousands of rockets and mortar attacks against its civilian population, with some Israeli areas targeted that had three times the population density of Gaza. Israel clearly acted out of self-defense. Read More »

The Status of Judea & Samaria (The West Bank) and Gaza and the Settlements in International Law

Talia Einhorn, August 14, 2014

Until a peace treaty is concluded, Israel is entitled, under international law, to continue the settlement of the territories of Judea and Samaria, fulfilling the principles laid down by the League of Nations in the original Mandate Document. Read More »

The Latest Hamas-Israel Confrontation — Some Pertinent Legal Points

Amb. Alan Baker, July 24, 2014

Much is being written and spoken about in the international media and by leaders in the international community regarding the recent violence between the Hamas terror entity in the Gaza Strip and Israel, especially given the graphic pictures displayed by the various media sources. But there are pertinent legal points that do not always figure in this barrage of selective, often inaccurate, and even malicious commentary and criticism. Read More »

The UN Gaza Report: A Substantive Critique

Dore Gold, September 21, 2011

On November 5, 2009, Amb. Dore Gold and Judge Richard Goldstone discussed the UN report on Gaza war crimes. Read More »

The Gaza Flotillas to Come: Some Ground Rules before Setting Out

Amb. Alan Baker, June 5, 2011

There is no humanitarian emergency among the civilian population in Gaza, and hence there can be no justification for conveying emergency shipments intended to alleviate an emergency that clearly does not exist. Provoking a confrontation with Israel continues to be the primary aim of flotilla organizers like the Turkish IHH. Read More »

Israel’s Blockade Stands the Test of International Law

Irit Kohn, October 6, 2010

What does international law have to say about blockades against rogue enterprises? Read More »

The Legal Basis of Israel’s Naval Blockade of Gaza

Prof. Ruth Lapidoth, July 18, 2010

A naval blockade means preventing the passage (entry or exit) of all vessels to or from the ports and coastal areas of the enemy, irrespective of the kind of cargo carried by these vessels. Read More »

Israel’s Naval Blockade of Gaza Is Legal, Necessary

Amb. Dore Gold, June 10, 2010

The Israeli blockade is legal and necessary and its removal would lead to a flood of heavy Iranian weaponry, including long-range missile systems, coming to Hamas. Read More »

The Dangerous Bias of the United Nations Goldstone Report

Amb. Dore Gold, March 24, 2010

The Goldstone Report alleged that Israeli troops had committed “war crimes” by attacking purely civilian targets in the Gaza War. To make matters worse, the report failed to link Hamas to any violations of the laws of war, even though its continuing rocket attacks on Israeli civilians caused the Gaza War to begin with. Read More »

A Moral Evaluation of the Gaza War – Operation Cast Lead

Asa Kasher, February 4, 2010

There is no army in the world that will endanger its soldiers in order to avoid hitting the warned neighbors of an enemy or terrorist. Israel should favor the lives of its own soldiers over the lives of the well-warned neighbors of a terrorist when it is operating in a territory that it does not effectively control, because in such territories it does not bear the moral responsibility for properly separating between dangerous individuals and harmless ones. Read More »

Blocking the Truth of the Gaza War: How the Goldstone Commission Understated the Hamas Threat to Palestinian Civilians

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, September 18, 2009

Statements of Palestinians recorded by the commission and posted on the UN website provide authentic evidence of the commission’s methodology and raise serious questions about its intentions to discover the truth. Read More »

Palestinian “Policemen” Killed in Gaza Operation Were Trained Terrorists

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, September 13, 2009

A decisive majority of the Palestinian “policemen” killed in the 2009 Gaza Operation were members of the military wings of the Palestinian terror organizations and fighters who had undergone military training. Human rights organizations had artificially inflated the numbers of Palestinian “civilian” casualties by including these men. Read More »

Did Israel Use “Disproportionate Force” in Gaza?

Amb. Dore Gold, December 28, 2008

The charge that Israel uses disproportionate force keeps resurfacing whenever it has to defend its citizens from non-state terrorist organizations and the rocket attacks they perpetrate. Read More »

International Law and the Fighting in Gaza

Justus Reid Weiner, August 27, 2008

Attacks deliberately aimed at civilians are war crimes. The launching of rockets at civilian targets in Israel by Palestinians in Gaza violates international law. Both the terror squads carrying out the attacks, as well as their commanders, bear criminal responsibility. Read More »

Is Israel Bound by International Law to Supply Utilities, Goods, and Services to Gaza?

Abraham Bell, February 28, 2008

In light of a decade of ongoing Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel’s civilian population, Article 23 of the Fourth Geneva Convention permits states like Israel to cut off fuel supplies and electricity to territories like Gaza. Dependence on foreign supply – whether it be Gazan dependence on Israeli electricity or European dependence on Arab oil – does not create a legal duty to continue the supply. Read More »

International Law and Gaza: The Assault on Israel’s Right to Self-Defense

Abraham Bell, January 28, 2008

A careful examination of the relevant law demonstrates that Israeli counterstrikes to date conform to the requirements of international law. Moreover, Palestinian commission of war crimes and acts considered under international conventions to be terrorist acts and acts of genocide require Israel and other countries to take steps to punish Palestinian criminals for their acts in the Gaza fighting. Read More »

International Courts and Universal Jurisdiction

Will the French Anti-Boycott Law Lead to a Pan-European Law?

Amb. Freddy Eytan, November 11, 2015

The recent ruling by France’s supreme appellate court is certainly encouraging. It establishes unequivocally that promoting the boycott of the Jewish state is a hate crime and entails incitement to discrimination. Read More »

Draft International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Anti-Semitism

Amb. Alan Baker, May 6, 2015

The international community has never considered criminalizing anti-Semitism as an international crime, in a manner similar to the criminalization of genocide, racism, piracy, hostage-taking, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and terror. By its very nature, with anti-Semitism’s long, bitter, and never-ending history, and its propensity to constantly re-appear in modern forms and contexts, it cannot and should not be equated with, linked to, or treated as any other form of racial discrimination. It stands alone. It cannot and should not be relegated to any type of listing of forms of racial discrimination and xenophobia. Read More »

UN Approves PA for ICC

Amb. Alan Baker, January 8, 2015

The Ban Ki-Moon should not have allowed the Palestinian Authority to come under the jurisdiction of the ICC Statute, as membership should be extended to “states only.” Read More »

Hamas and the Decision by the European Union Court: More Deception and Manipulation

Amb. Alan Baker, December 17, 2014

The Court decision should not be seen as proof of the legitimacy of Hamas and its actions, nor as ultimate recognition by Europe of the organization’s status.  Such a deception would clearly be part of the general policy of the Palestinian leadership to cynically manipulate and mislead the European governments, media and general public and thereby attempt to generate European approval, a green light and even impunity for Hamas terrorist activities. Read More »

Palestinian Participation in the “Assembly of States Parties to the ICC Statute”

Amb. Alan Baker, December 10, 2014

The Palestinian Authority celebrations in the aftermath of their invitation to join the ICC as an observer state are nothing more than an indication of their leaders’ naivete. It demonstrates how little the PA leadership actually knows about the aforementioned membership. Read More »

Mahmoud Abbas’ Latest ICC Bluff

Amb. Alan Baker July 10, 2014

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas latest attention-grabbing bluff is to renew the Palestinian request to be accepted as a state by the International Criminal Court (ICC), for the sole purpose of being able to institute war crimes and other proceedings against Israeli leaders and senior security personnel. To accept the PA as an obvservational member would be a regrettable development for the stature of the international criminal court as a viable and apolitical judicial institution. Read More »

and the Unwarranted Trust of the West: The Case of Palestinian Accession to International Conventions

Amb. Alan Baker, April 17, 2014

On 1 April 2014, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed letters requesting that “the State of Palestine” be granted accession to 15 international conventions and treaties. This action by the Palestinian leadership, and the consequent, hurried acceptance of the Palestinian applications by the UN and by the Swiss government, raise serious questions both regarding the flawed perception as to the very existence and legal status of a sovereign state of “Palestine,” as well as to the potential implications of what are serious violations of the Oslo Accords and of the very integrity of the international law of treaties. Read More »

Palestinian Manipulation of the International Community

Amb. Alan Baker, 2014

The lengthy and continuing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has evolved, over the years, through various phases or cycles of terror on the one hand, and attempts at peace-making on the other. To this backdrop there must be added another major and increasingly influential factor in the complex equation: the international community, its institutions, and its basic perceptions. Read More »

Manipulating International Law as Part of Anti-Israeli “Lawfare”

Robbie Sabel, June 2, 2013

Israel’s record of compliance with international law is remarkably strong. 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. Read More »

Draft International Convention for the Prevention of Incitement to Terror

Amb. Alan Baker, February 2013

The draft international convention proposed here represents an effort to place before the international community a comprehensive instrument that attempts to address the issue of incitement and to criminalize it in international law. Read More »

Reasons Not to Join the International Criminal Court in The Hague

Amb. Alan Baker, January 10, 2010

There has been talk recently about the possibility of Israel joining the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Unfortunately taking such a step could harm Israel more than benefit it.  *There should be a comma inserted after Unfortunately, both in the blurb as well as in the article. Read More »

Curbing the Manipulation of Universal Jurisdiction

Diane Morrison and Justus Reid Weiner, 2010

Universal jurisdiction was far more relevant in the days preceding the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). With its advent, there is now a permanent court to address the very crimes that would be the subject of universal jurisdiction claims. Read More »

Lawfare

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, June 18, 2009

“Lawfare” is the use of often marginal legal claims to create publicity to link the word “Israel” with war crimes, apartheid, and violations of international humanitarian law. “Lawfare” against Israel is not a matter of justice, but rather a matter of resources, politics, and propaganda. Read More »

Averting Abuse of Universal Jurisdiction

Irit Kohn, February 26, 2009

The purpose for which universal jurisdiction was created may be a worthy and noble one. However, its current execution is problematic, to say the least. Read More »

Libel Tourism: International Forum Shopping for Defamation Claims

Abraham Bell, 2008

Libel tourists are claimants who, aggrieved by a publication that hurts their reputation, sue in a court outside their home country in order to increase the likelihood that they will win the case. Libel tourists search for the international jurisdiction friendliest to plaintiffs bringing libel or defamation claims. Read More »

What Israel Can Learn from the International Court of Justice Ruling on Genocide in Srebrenica

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, March 15, 2007

Since it has now been ruled that states can be tried for genocide, a case can probably be brought under the Genocide Convention against Iran since Article III of the Genocide Convention describes incitement to genocide as a punishable act. The ICJ ruling may have applicability to the Palestinian Authority, as well. Read More »

International Humanitarian Law

“Breaking the Silence” in Zurich, Betraying Swiss Values

Alexander Arndt, June 8, 2015

An upcoming Breaking the Silence event is advertised by its sponsors as revealing “structural repression, army cooperation with extremist settlers, and daily harassment of Palestinians,” much to the concern of many in Switzerland who understand the intricacies of Israel’s combat against Hamas, the fact that BtS doesn’t identify its “witnesses” to unverifiable incidents, and the dubious practices of BtS which is funded by numerous biased sources. Read More »

New “Breaking the Silence” Report Maliciously Defames Israel

Dore Gold, May 5, 2015

It is clear that Breaking the Silence is less interested in uncovering the facts and instead seeks to defame the State of Israel. Read More »

Israel and the Gaza Strip: Why Economic Sanctions Are Not Collective Punishment

Justus Reid Weiner, March 1, 2015

The economic measures that Israel uses against the Hamas proto-government in Gaza fall under legitimate uses of economic sanctions, and conform to the requirements set forth in both the Hague regulations and the Geneva Convention. Furthermore, these sanctions were only imposed after it became clear that nothing else would work. Read More »

Middle Eastern Christians: Battered, Violated, and Abused, Do They Have Any Chance of Survival?

Justus Reid Weiner, May 22, 2014

Throughout the Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity, Christians are facing pervasive and systematic persecution that is steadily increasing in its intensity and scope. A century ago, Christians represented some 20 percent of the population of the Middle East; today, that figure is estimated at 4 percent.  One leading academic authority in London has estimated that between one-half and two-thirds of Middle Eastern Christians have either been killed or left the area over the last century. Read More »

Targeted Killings and Double Standards

Justus Reid Weiner, June 5, 2012

Targeted Killings (TK) have been subjected to significant scrutiny by human rights groups in a manner that has created a double standard in which different countries’ TK policies are subject to different criteria of evaluation and critique. Any such differentiation can have no basis and must be evaluated uniformly and consistently.  This study looks closely at the work of both Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI), with respect to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and several Western armies (the U.S., the U.K., the Netherlands, Canada and Australia) that have implemented TK policies since November 2000. Read More »

The UN Gaza Report: A Substantive Critique

Dore Gold, September 21, 2011

On Thursday, November 5, 2009, Amb. Dore Gold and Judge Richard Goldstone discussed the UN report on Gaza war crimes. Read More »

Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel, and the Jews

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, 2011

In the past decades many pioneering efforts to demonize Israel have come from elites of the Nordic countries. The motifs of this anti-Israelism are similar to those of classic anti-Semitism of which it is a new mutation. Such highly discriminatory prejudices are in particular expressed in Norway and Sweden by leading socialist and extreme-leftist politicians as well as journalists, clergy, and so-called humanitarians. Behind the Nordic countries’ appearance and oft-proclaimed concern for human rights lurk darker attitudes. This book deals mainly with lifting the humanitarian mask as far as Israel and Jews are concerned. Read More »

Are the Palestinians Ready for Peace? Palestinian Incitement as a Violation of International Legal Norms

Amb. Alan Baker, April 7, 2011

One of the central and essential requirements for achieving and sustaining meaningful, peaceful, and trusting relations between peoples is the mindset, the will, and the psyche of peace – the mutual trust and respect that must exist between peoples at all levels, both among the leadership as well as among the general public. Read More »

Proportionality in Modern Asymmetrical Wars

Amichai Cohen, 2010

In practice there exist two very different approaches to the interpretation of the principle of proportionality: the human rights model, which gives preference to the interests of civilians who might be harmed by military action, and the contractual model, which gives precedence to state interests. Read More »

Children on the Frontlines: Palestinian and Pakistani Child Abuse

Justus Reid Weiner, January 1, 2010

This disturbing practice of deadly child abuse is on the rise in these two Muslim societies. Recent events in both the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent have made the magnitude of the problem that much more acute. Read More »

International Law and Military Operations in Practice

Col. Richard Kemp, June 18, 2009

Islamist fighting groups not only do not adhere to the laws of war, they employ a deliberate policy of operating consistently outside international law. Read More »

Accountability of Hamas under International Humanitarian Law

Sigall Horovitz, June 18, 2009

Hamas can be held responsible for violations of international humanitarian law.  Individuals can be charged with criminal responsibility for serious IHL violations, referred to as war crimes. Read More »

Hamas’ War Crimes

Abraham Bell, January 29, 2009

While the human rights organizations are pointing an accusing finger at Israel due to the operation in Gaza, according to international law it is precisely Hamas that committed war crimes. Read More »

Palestinian Crimes against Christian Arabs and Their Manipulation against Israel

Justus Reid Weiner, September 19, 2008

Under the Palestinian regime Christian Arabs have been victims of frequent human rights abuses by Muslims. Palestinian Authority officials are directly responsible for many of the human rights violations. Yet for political and economic reasons many Palestinian Christian leaders blame Israel for these crimes rather than the actual perpetrators. Read More »

International Law and the Fighting in Gaza

Justus Reid Weiner and Avi Bell, 2008

Attacks deliberately aimed at civilians are war crimes. The launching of rockets at civilian targets in Israel by Palestinians in Gaza violates international law. Both the terror squads carrying out the attacks, as well as their commanders, bear criminal responsibility. Read More »

Hizbullah’s Triumph: The Long-Term Implications of Prisoner Exchanges

Justus Reid Weiner, July 15, 2008

By exchanging prisoners with the proxy organizations as if they were law-abiding states, Israel can be seen as upgrading the status of the organizations’ unlawful combatants from terrorists and war criminals. Such exchanges afford them the same rights as lawful soldiers, without demanding from their leaders the reciprocal obligations. Read More »

A Disproportionate Response? The Case of Israel and Hizballah

Joshua L. Gleis, December 1, 2006

In responding forcefully to Hizballah’s provocation in the summer of 2006, Israel not only restored much of its deterrent capability, but did so against a weapon of the Iranian and Syrian militaries. Read More »

How Should Israel Respond to War Crimes Accusations from the War in Lebanon?

Abraham Bell, November 9, 2006

Discussing how Israel should respond to war crimes accusations diverts the agenda away from Hizballah – a terrorist group that committed war crimes in the recent war that far exceed in gravity and quantity all those Israel is accused of. Read More »

Occupation

Are There Double Standards in Israel’s Application of the Rule of Law in the Territories?

Amb. Alan Baker, January 21, 2016

Regrettably, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro’s recent statements indicate that there appears to be a lack of understanding – whether by Ambassador Shapiro himself or by those senior State Department and White House officials who instruct him – as to the legal situation prevalent in the West Bank areas of Judea and Samaria. Read More »

The Legal Basis of Israel’s Rights in the Disputed Territories

Amb. Alan Baker, January 8, 2013

The oft-used term “occupied Palestinian territories” is totally inaccurate and false. The territories are neither occupied nor Palestinian. Read More »

The Levy Report and the ‘Occupation’ Narrative

Dore Gold, July 20, 2012

The charge of “occupation” has evolved into one of the most potent weapons in the delegitimization campaign against Israel. Read More »

Is the Gaza Strip Occupied by Israel?

Col. (ret.) Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, 2011

Our analysis shows that Israel does not really possess full control over the external perimeter and that it has no military ability to influence the situation in the Gaza Strip and make its authority felt therein. This means that it has no effective control over the area. Read More »

Why is Israel’s Presence in the Territories Still Called “Occupation”?

Avinoam Sharon, 2009

The term “occupation” is often employed politically, without regard for its general or legal meaning. If handing over authority to a Coalition-appointed interim government ended the occupation of Iraq, would the same not hold true for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority and Israel? Read More »

From “Occupied Territories” to “Disputed Territories”

Amb. Dore Gold, January 16, 2002

The politically-loaded term “occupation” seems to apply only to Israel and is hardly ever used when other territorial disputes are discussed. In territorial disputes from northern Cyprus, to the Kurile Islands, to Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf – in which the land in question was under the previous sovereignty of another state – the term “occupied territory” has not been applied to the territory that had come under one side’s military control as a result of armed conflict. Read More »

Refugees

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA): An Agenda for Conflict

Dr. Rephael Ben-Ari, July 20, 2014

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is today one of the largest UN programs. It remains the only UN agency whose area of operation is not global but regional, and that deals with a single group of people (the Palestinians). Through its entrenchment of the idea of a Palestinian “return,” allowing its schools to be used by Hamas as weapons depots, and centralization of the Palestinian issue, UNRWA has been a key player in stoking the conflict’s flames. Read More »

Has Mahmoud Abbas Really Accepted the Clinton Parameters on the Refugee Problem?

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, March 19, 2014

An analysis of Mahmoud Abbas’ speech to the Fatah Revolutionary Council before he met with President Barack Obama in Washington on March 17 reveals that his claim to have accepted the Clinton Parameters on the refugee issue is not consistent with his demand for recognition of the personal right of return of each individual refugee. Read More »

No Change in the Palestinian Position on the Right of Return

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, November 5, 2012

The gap between Israel and the Palestinians on the refugee question is unbridgeable. Read More »

The Jewish Exodus from Arab Lands:  Toward Redressing Injustices on All Sides

Aharon Mor and Orly Rahimiyan, September 11, 2012

For over 2,500 years, Jewish communities have existed in the lands now known as the Middle East and North Africa, as well as in Iran. Around one million Jews lived there at the start of the twentieth century; today less than 3 percent of that one million still remain. Read More »

The United Nations and Middle East Refugees: The Differential Treatment of Arabs and Jews

Dr. Stanley A. Urman, 2011

Emanating as a result of the 1948 conflict in the Middle East, Palestinians are considered by some as the world’s longest-standing extant refugee population. They continue to require international assistance. On the political level, the United Nations has addressed – and continues to address annually – the issue of Palestinian refugees exclusively, even though Palestinians were not the only Middle East refugees. Read More »

The Palestinian Refugees on the Day After “Independence”

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, December 1, 2010

According to the Palestinian consensus, non-implementation of the right of return will leave open the gates of the conflict with Israel. This implies justification for the continued armed struggle against Israel even following the establishment of a Palestinian state. Furthermore, the Arab Peace Initiative does not envision the Palestinian refugees being resettled in a West Bank and Gaza Palestinian state. Read More »

The Plight of the Refugees and Resolution 242

Prof. Ruth Lapidoth, June 4, 2007

The original Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees did not include descendants, spouses, or those who acquired a new nationality in its definition of refugees. Under this definition, the number of Palestinians qualifying for refugee status would be well below half a million. UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948 recommends that refugees should be permitted to return subject to the condition that they wish to live in peace with their neighbors. Read More »

Settlements

Ten False Assumptions Regarding Israel

Amb. Alan Baker, August 15, 2016

Israel is inundated with one-sided international resolutions, declarations, “peace plans,” and advice from governments, international organizations, leaders, pundits, and elements within the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities.  Most of the above rest on widely-held, false and mistaken assumptions regarding Israel, its leaders, government, policies, and positions held by the vast majority of the Israeli public. Read More »

The Curious State Department Announcement on Israeli Settlements

Amb. Alan Baker, August 2, 2016

A brief review of recent State Department statements would indicate that the State Department appears to be utterly and disproportionately fixated with Israel’s settlements, to the exclusion of any other issue that could be bothering the world’s largest and only super-power. Read More »

Israel’s Decision to Declare 988 Acres of West Bank Territory as State Land

The Jerusalem Center, September 1, 2014

There is considerable confusion about the recent action of Israel’s civil administration declaring 988 acres of West Bank territory as state land. In general, West Bank territory may be divided into three legal categories: state land, private land, and land whose status is to be determined. However, the land which is about to be declared state land is in the least controversial of the settlement blocs. Read More »

The Status of Judea & Samaria (The West Bank) and Gaza and the Settlements in International Law

Talia Einhorn, August 14, 2014

This study analyzes the status of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) under international law. Until a peace treaty, concluded by the parties, comes into effect, Israel is entitled, under international law, to continue the settlement of the territories of Judea and Samaria, fulfilling the principles laid down by the League of Nations in the original Mandate Document. Read More »

Biased, Prejudiced, and Unprofessional: The UN Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Mission Report on Israeli Settlements

Amb. Alan Baker, March 17, 2013

The accepted usage in UN and other international bodies of the term “occupied Palestinian territories” (OPT) is legally flawed and indicative of the inherent bias accompanying this entire exercise. There has never been any determination that the West Bank territories are in fact “Palestinian territories.” The use of the expression “OPT” constitutes a politically biased and unjustified prejudgment as to the legal status of the territories, which remain “disputed territories” pending agreement between the parties. Read More »

European Settlements and Double Standards

Dore Gold, January 4, 2013

European buyers have been flocking to buy property in “occupied” Northern Cyprus. Read More »

Israeli Settlements, American Pressure, and Peace

Steven J. Rosen, June 14, 2012

Mahmoud Abbas participated in 18 years of direct negotiations with seven Israeli governments, all without the settlements freeze that he now insists is an absolute precondition to begin even low-level talks.  Read More »

Israel’s Rights Regarding Territories and the Settlements in the Eyes of the International Community

Amb. Alan Baker, 2011

The issues of the legality of Israel’s settlements and the rationale of Israel’s settlement policy have for years dominated the attention of the international community. This has been evident in countless reports of different UN bodies, rapporteurs, and resolutions,as well as in political declarations and statements by governments and leaders. Read More »

The Settlements Issue: Distorting the Geneva Convention and the Oslo Accords

Amb. Alan Baker, January 5, 2011

The continued reliance by the international community on the Geneva Convention as the basis for determining the illegality of Israel’s settlements fails to take into account the unique nature of the history, legal framework, and negotiating circumstances regarding the West Bank. Read More »

U.S. Policy on Israeli Settlements

Amb. Dore Gold, June 9, 2009

In seeking to constrain Israeli settlement activity, the U.S. is essentially trying to obtain additional Israeli concessions that were not formally required according to Israel’s legal obligations under the Oslo Accords. The U.S. and Israel have already negotiated specific guidelines for settlement activity so that it will not diminish the territory of a future Palestinian entity. Read More »

Protecting the Contiguity of Israel: The E-1 Area

Nadav Shragai, May 24, 2009

The completion of the E-1 construction plan would not cut the West Bank in half and undermine Palestinian contiguity. Read More »

Diplomatic and Legal Aspects of the Settlement Issue

Jeffrey Helmreich, January 19, 2003

While one may legitimately support or challenge Israeli settlements in the disputed territories, they are not illegal, and they have neither the size, the population, nor the placement to seriously impact upon the future status of the disputed territories and their Palestinian population centers. Read More »

Palestinian Statehood

The Two States in the West Bank and Gaza Annul the Two-State Solution

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, March 8, 2016

In the face of increased Palestinian pressure at the UN Security Council and other diplomatic arenas, Israel is being increasingly pressured to acquiesce to a hastily implemented Two-State Solution. However, this has become increasingly problematic, with the existence of two Palestinian states making these diplomatic drives irrelevant.  Read More »

France’s Ultimatum to Israel – Legally Flawed and Politically Imprudent

Amb. Alan Baker, February 2, 2016

This ultimatum undermines the Oslo accords (to which it bore witness) and jumps to conclusions on issues which must be settled through negotiation. Read More »

Parliamentary Recognition of Palestine – Legally, Historically and Politically Questionable

Amb. Alan Baker, October 27, 2014

Official political bodies in the UK, Ireland and Sweden have called for the recognition of Palestine, claiming that such recognition would “contribute to securing a two-state solution.” However, as claims are based on faulty legal, historical, and political foundations, it would be legally and politically prudent were the UK House of Commons and the Irish Upper House, as well as the prime minister of Sweden, to reconsider their ill-advised resolutions or statements. Read More »

Palestinian Deception and the Unwarranted Trust of the West: The Case of Palestinian Accession to International Conventions

Amb. Alan Baker, April 17, 2014

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently signed letters requesting that “the State of Palestine” be granted accession to 15 international conventions and treaties. All 15 conventions listed in the Palestinian requests for accession require that only states be permitted to accede. By rushing to accept the Palestinian accession requests, the depositories are in fact undermining the very integrity of international treaty law and creating dangerous precedents. Read More »

Abbas Denies His Authority to Make Cardinal Decisions for a Lasting Peace Agreement

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, January 13, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas must recognize that he is not a serious partner for negotiating with Israel because he does not have the authority to make decisions for the Palestinian people. The practical significance of his stated political positions in the negotiations with Israel is his rejection of any authority to make historic decisions regarding a political compromise. Read More »

Hamas: Abbas Does Not Represent the Palestinians in Negotiations

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, December 31, 2013

American policy regarding the peace process is based on the premise that it is possible to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians represented by the PLO-Palestinian Authority under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas. However, the PA does not represent all of the components of the Palestinian people, nor does it have a mandate to make decisions on the core political issues in the name of the Palestinian people. Read More »

The Palestinian UN Upgrade: Setting Things Straight

Amb. Alan Baker, December 5, 2012

The UN upgrade resolution has neither created a Palestinian state, nor did it grant any kind of statehood to the Palestinians Read More »

New States Are Not Created in the UN

Amb. Dore Gold, November 30, 2012

For now, Israel will have to take measured steps to deter Abbas from going further down the path of unilateralism. Read More »

The Palestinians’ Dubious UN Move

Dore Gold, September 28, 2012

It is a strategy that will ultimately backfire for it will remind key players in the international community that the Palestinian Authority does not want a negotiated peace with Israel, leading the U.S. and even the EU to question why they should continue to invest in it at all. Read More »

How Arab Media View a Declaration of Palestinian Statehood

Linda Menuhin Abdul Aziz, June 27, 2011

Unlike the vibrant debate in Israel over the Palestinian plan to seek support for statehood in September at the UN, the Arab media is occupied with the wave of changes sweeping Arab countries, leaving little room for discussion of the projected Palestinian plan. Read More »

A UN Resolution to Recognize a Palestinian State within the “1967 Borders” Would Be Illegal

May 29, 2011

The following is a letter drafted jointly by lawyers of the Legal Forum for Israel and by Amb. Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Read More »

Countdown to September: Israel, the Palestinians, and the UN General Assembly

Dore Gold, May 1, 2011

The public debate in Israel over the Palestinian plan to seek UN support for statehood in September is based on a fundamental misconception: the UN General Assembly cannot by itself establish or recognize a Palestinian state. Read More »

Palestinian Unilateralism and Israel’s Rights in Arab-Israeli Diplomacy

Dan Diker, 2011

The key elements of this revived Palestinian unilateral strategy require examination and assessment; how did pronouncements by the current Palestinian leadership garner Western support even while the Palestinian move undermines the entire framework of the Western-sanctioned and supported peace process established in Madrid in 1991 and then operationalized during the Oslo peace process? Read More »

The Palestinian UN Gamble – Irresponsible and Ill-Advised

Amb. Alan Baker, April 3, 2011

The Palestinian leadership has announced its intention to abandon the negotiation process and to unilaterally seek a UN resolution that will impose a solution upon Israel. Such a resolution would void the very basis of the peace process, undermine the legal existence of the Palestinian Authority, and render meaningless the signatures of the major powers as witnesses to previous agreements. Read More »

The International Context of the U.S. Veto at the UN Security Council

Amb. Dore Gold, February 25, 2011

Israel needs to prepare for the possibility that the UN Security Council will be asked to decide on the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines. Read More »

Recognition of a Palestinian State – Premature, Legally Invalid, and Undermining any Bona Fide Negotiation Process

Amb. Alan Baker, December 9, 2010

The acts of recognition of a Palestinian state in 1967 borders by Brazil, Argentina, and possibly other Latin American states have no significance other than as a political expression of opinion. The unceasing efforts among states by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority to attain recognition of unilateral statehood within the 1967 borders and thereby bypass the accepted negotiation process, runs counter to their commitments in their agreements with Israel. Read More »

Averting Palestinian Unilateralism: The International Criminal Court and the Recognition of the Palestinian Authority as a Palestinian State

Amb. Dore Gold with Diane Morrison, October 20, 2010

To retroactively revise the political status and reinvent the area as an already existing Arab state or as a precursor to a would-be Arab state of Palestine would be tantamount to wiping out the historical and legal roots of the State of Israel and the internationally recognized rights of the Jewish people to a homeland in Palestine. Read More »

The Palestinians’ Unilateral “Kosovo Strategy”: Implications for the PA and Israel

Dan Diker, January 12, 2010

Washington’s intensive shuttle diplomacy as well as Arab pressure may convince Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table with Israel. However, Abbas’ new precondition that the international community recognize the 1967 lines in the West Bank as the new Palestinian border bolsters the assessment that the Palestinians have largely abandoned a negotiated settlement and instead are actively pursuing a unilateral approach to statehood. Read More »

A Paradox of Peacemaking: How Fayyad’s Unilateral Statehood Plan Undermines the Legal Foundations of Israeli-Palestinian Diplomacy

Amb. Alan Baker, November 15, 2009

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad published a plan in August 2009 to unilaterally declare statehood after a two-year state-building process. However, any unilateral action that undermines the existing Oslo interim framework could jeopardize the peace process and remove the basis for the existence of the Palestinian Authority. Read More »

Counter-Terrorism

Do Stabbing Attacks Constitute Terrorism?

Amb. Alan Baker, December 9, 2015

In a curious attempt at legal acrobatics and apologetics,  Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, while attempting to support Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström’s recent accusations against Israel for extrajudicial killings of Palestinian terrorists who stabbed Israeli citizens, has claimed that such knife attacks cannot really be considered terrorism. While the ability of Sweden’s prime minister to sit from afar in a relatively safe, Scandinavian terror-free haven and to virtuously pontificate on what is and is not terror, and whether Israel is or is not entitled to deal with it is somewhat enviable,  there is nevertheless a need to set the record straight as regards terrorism. Read More »

The Legal War: Hamas’ Crimes against Humanity and Israel’s Right to Self-Defense

Amb. Alan Baker, February 26, 2015

The ideological foundation of Hamas as set out in its national charter, and its actions of indiscriminate terror directed against Israeli towns, villages and citizens, clearly define its character as a terrorist entity. Hamas’ numerous terrorist actions during last summer’s war in Gaza are violations of international humanitarian law for which Hamas’ leaders and commanders are accountable and prosecutable.  International law recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself, whether by the conventional international right of self-defense as set out in the UN Charter or by the international customary right to self-defense. Read More »

The Latest Hamas-Israel Confrontation — Some Pertinent Legal Points

Amb. Alan Baker, July 24, 2014

Much is being written and spoken about in the international media and by leaders in the international community regarding the recent violence between the Hamas terror entity in the Gaza Strip and Israel, especially given the graphic pictures displayed by the various media sources. But there are pertinent legal points that do not always figure in this barrage of selective, often inaccurate, and even malicious commentary and criticism. Read More »

Beyond Radical Libertarianism: Internet Freedom and the Rule of Law

Michael Mertes, November 1, 2012

The fight against terror requires intellectual and moral clarity. Terror is a crime, and legal systems make incitement to a crime a criminal offense in itself. Read More »

Incitement to Terrorism in International Law

Yael Ronen, November 1, 2012

This is the first universal instrument that squarely addresses the issue of incitement to terrorism in terms of criminal law. Read More »

Targeted Killings and Double Standards

Justus Reid Weiner, June 5, 2012

According to Human Rights Watch’s test of legality of targeted killings, there are significant differences between Israel’s policy and the policies of Western armies, which have resulted in far more civilian fatalities. Read More »

Legalizing Targeted Killings

Amb. Dore Gold, March 30, 2012

Belatedly, the major powers are validating the same Israeli strategy against terrorism that they had universally condemned a little more than a decade ago. Read More »

Israel’s Military Justice System in Times of Terror

Judge Amnon Straschnov, March 30, 2011

Why should Israel keep the rules of engagement and follow international law while fighting terrorists when the terrorists do not? Israel is a civilized state and the Israeli soldier is not the same as the Palestinian terrorist. Israelis do not shoot at civilians or kill women and children, and they do not put bombs in buses. Read More »

International Law’s Limitations on Contending with Terror

Dr. Roy S. Schondor, June 18, 2009

At the time the major conventions regulating the laws of war were drafted – the Hague Conventions of 1907 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949 – the phenomenon of a conflict between a state and a terrorist organization outside its boundaries was almost nonexistent and these conventions did not pretend to regulate this issue. Read More »

Redefining the Law of Armed Conflict? Legal Manipulations Regarding Israel’s Struggle Against Terrorism

Maj. Gil Limon, June 18, 2009

UN Security Council Resolution 1368, adopted immediately after the 9/11 attacks, recognized the right of states to act in self-defense against terrorist organizations. At the same time, human rights laws are only applied to parties to armed conflicts which are states, creating a lack of symmetry between the legal obligations of both parties with regard to the law of armed conflict. Read More »

Asymmetric Conflicts and the Rules of War

Col. (ret.) Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, June 18, 2009

The existing body of laws of armed conflict is suitable in dealing with counterterrorism operations and may be adapted to such situations. Read More »

Self-Defense and the Dignity of States

Prof. George P. Fletcher, June 18, 2009

Everybody in the international arena agrees that no country should have to tolerate attacks against its territory and that it is entitled to use defensive forces to repel aggression. Article 51 of the UN Charter enshrines the principle of self-defense. If we tolerate missile attacks upon our territory, then we surrender our dignity as an independent entity in the international arena. Read More »

Can a Conventional Army Vanquish a Terrorist Insurgency?

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, January 1, 2007

It is necessary to adopt an alternative concept of victory, which should be called “minimal victory,” in which terror is not destroyed, but is contained at a minimal level, and one must invest constant energy in order to prevent its eruption. Read More »

Delegitimizing Israel

The Self-Destruction of UNESCO

Amb. Alan Baker, April 20, 2016

This latest decision, erasing Jewish claims to Judaism’s holiest sites, is singular in the fact that UNESCO, which has for long been considered and heralded to be the world’s central body for the advancement of truth, culture, education and science, has been hijacked and turned into another Israel-bashing body. Read More »

Anti-Semitism is the Motivation for the BDS Campaign Whose Goal is to Delegitimize Israel

Amb. Freddy Eytan, June 7, 2015

While it is legitimate to criticize the policies of a government, the BDS movement goes far beyond legitimate criticism, and in essence calls for the dismantling of the Jewish state. The question is whether the spread of BDS and increasing public pressure will encourage leaders of the international community to change their firm opposition to the detriment of Israel. Read More »

Unmasking BDS: Radical Roots, Extremist Ends

Dan Diker, December 14, 2014

The public protests demonizing, criminalizing, and delegitimizing Israel that occurred during Operation Protective Edge also characterize the ongoing boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. Global BDS activists exploited the 2014 Gaza conflict to reinvigorate their political, legal, and economic warfare campaign against Israel. Indeed, BDS is being used as a platform to advocate ending Israel’s existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Read More »

What is the Real BDS Endgame? The Elimination of Israel

Ehud Rosen, February 12, 2014

To certain audiences, BDS supporters will emphasize that the reason why the international community should apply punitive measures to Israel is due to its presence in territory captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. However, in many cases, BDS activists are often quite clear about their intentions. Leading BDS figures such as Omar Barghouti, As’ad Abu Khalil, and Ahmed Moor have all stated that BDS’ true aim is the delegitimization of Israel unto its demise as a Jewish state. Read More »

Erekat Is Wrong: The Jewish Presence in the Land Dates Back for Millennia

The Jerusalem Center, February 2, 2014

The Jewish presence in the land can be documented as dating back for millennia, while the politically motivated claims made up by Palestinian leaders in an attempt to refute the long-standing history of the Jews in the region lack any such proof. Read More »

Manipulating International Law as Part of Anti-Israeli “Lawfare”

Robbie Sabel, 2 June 2013

Israel’s record of compliance with international law is remarkably strong. 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 are not applied to other states or in other situations. Read More »

The Myth of Israel as a Colonialist Entity: An Instrument of Political Warfare to Delegitimize the Jewish State

Amb. Dore Gold, 2012

Since modern Israel’s roots preceded the arrival of the British to the Middle East, Britain was not Israel’s mother-country, like France was for Algeria. Indeed, the Jews were already re-establishing their presence independently in their land well before the British and French dismantled the Ottoman Empire. Read More »

Manipulation and Deception: The Anti-Israel “BDS” Campaign (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions)

Amb. Alan Baker, March 19, 2012

The BDS movement is composed of a small number of well-financed activists encouraged by senior Palestinian figures. Read More »

Countering Challenges to Israel’s Legitimacy

Prof. Alan M. Dershowitz, 2011

Of all the nations on the face of the earth, Israel has the most lawful origin. It was conceived in law, born through law, and has survived lawfully. It is not among the nations, such as the United States, born in bloodshed through revolution. Read More »

Analyzing the Durban II Conference

Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg, March 4, 2010

“The objective of the Durban process is to use human rights and international law terminology to isolate, demonize, and delegitimize Israel”. Read More »

The Campaign to Delegitimize Israel with the False Charge of Apartheid

Robbie Sabel, 2009

The accusation is made that the very fact that Israel is considered a Jewish state proves an “Apartheid-like” situation. Yet the accusers have not a word of criticism against the tens of liberal democratic states that have Christian crosses incorporated in their flags, nor against the Muslim states with the half crescent symbol of Islam. Read More »

The UCU May 2007 Boycott Resolution and its Aftermath

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, September 28, 2008

At the end of September 2007 the University and College Union (UCU) in the UK announced that it would end its involvement with plans for an academic boycott of Israel. It mentioned that it had been advised that such an action would be illegal under British law. Read More »

The Academic Boycott of Israel: A Review of the Five-Year UK Campaign to Defeat It

Ronnie Fraser, March 2, 2008

There is an urgent need for a proactive strategy especially on the part of the UK Jewish community to build positive relationships with the leadership of institutions, trade unions, and professional bodies, something that has been lacking in recent years in the UK. Read More »

The Challenge to Israel’s Legitimacy

Amb. Dore Gold, 2008

The assault on Israel’s legitimacy has in fact accompanied the Jewish state from its very foundation as a by-product of the larger Arab-Israeli conflict. Read More »

Selective Human Rights – NGOs and the Delegitimization of Israel

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, 2008

In the six-week period of the Second Lebanon War, self-proclaimed “human rights” and humanitarian NGOs issued over one hundred statements. Of these, 90% were directed against Israel. Read More »

Jewish Anti-Zionists and the Delegitimization of Israel

Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, 2008

A Jewish or Israeli background provides a powerful alibi to those who support, endorse, and articulate the denial of Israel’s right to exist. Israel’s detractors readily seize upon such Jewish and Israeli censors of Israel to prove the most extreme arguments against Israel. Read More »

The Right of Jews to Statehood

Prof. Ruth Gavison, March 26, 2008

Sixty years after its establishment, the State of Israel is the only country in the world confronted with a debate not about its borders, but its very existence. There are UN member states that openly call for, pine for, and await the physical liquidation of Israel. Read More »

Israel – An “Illegitimate” State?

Dr. Abraham Bell, 2008

Article 15 of the PLO Charter calls for the elimination of Israel, as does article 19 of the Fatah Constitution and article 6 of the Hamas Charter. The chorus of voices proclaiming Israel’s illegitimacy can be heard as well throughout the rest of the Arab world. Read More »

Laundering Delegitimization

MP Prof. Irwin Cotler, 2008

Former Justice Minister, Canada between nineteen and twenty-two resolutions against Israel are passed every year by the General Assembly in a three-month-long ritual of delegitimization. These resolutions exceed all the resolutions passed against the other 190 members of the international community combined. Read More »

International Legitimacy and International Law

Daniel Taub, 2008

One crucial part of Israel’s strategy must be to turn the tables. If legal principles and institutions are being used to question the legitimacy of Israel, then Israel in turn must question the legitimacy of the principles and institutions being harnessed against it. Read More »

Borders and Boundaries

10 Things to Know about the UN Partition Vote of November 29, 1947

Amb. Alan Baker, November 29, 2015

Delving deeper into the consequences of the extremely significant UN vote on the Israeli-Arab conflict today. Read More »

The U.S. and Israel’s  Struggle Against the 1967 Lines

Amb. Dore Gold, June 1, 2014

The United States has historically backed Israel’s view that UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted in the wake of the Six-Day War on November 22, 1967, does not require a full withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines (sometimes loosely called the 1967 borders). Moreover, in addition to that interpretation, both Democratic and Republican administrations have argued that Israel was entitled to “defensible borders.” Read More »

No End to Palestinian Claims: How Israel and the Palestinians View Borders

Pinhas Inbari, January 8, 2014

There have been repeated signs that the Palestinian leadership has claims to Israeli territory within the 1967 lines, such as as a PLO plan to present territorial demands in 1999 in line with UN Resolution 181 (the partition plan), a claim on the Israeli Gaza border village of Netiv Ha’asara, and a proposal submitted by Mahmoud Abbas to the UN General Assembly in 2011 based on UN Resolution 181. These demands echo a shift in Peace Talk rhetoric to one that is largely focused on borders. Read More »

New Threats to the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, August 11, 2013

Souring relations between El-Sisi’s Egypt and America, cross-border incidents, and a restive Sinai Peninsula have all been catalysts for a series of modifications to the treaty. Read More »

Sinai, the New Egypt, and the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty

Amb. Alan Baker, August 22, 2012

The challenge posed by the evolving character of Sinai should be handled within the context of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. Read More »

The Historical and Legal Contexts of Israel’s Borders

Prof. Nicholas Rostow, 2011

More than sixty years after the admission to the United Nations of the state of Israel with no internationally recognized boundaries, a central question remains: what legal rights to territory does Israel have and, assuming such rights exist, how far do they reach; that is, what are Israel’s rightful borders? Read More »

The Palestinians Resurrect the Partition Plan

Amb. Dore Gold, November 25, 2011

Whoever thinks that U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 – the famous Partition Plan – from Nov. 29, 1947, is for historians of the Middle East alone, is not aware of the role that the 64-year-old resolution still plays to this very day. Read More »

Israel’s 1967 Borders Aren’t Defensible

Dore Gold, May 21, 2011

The cornerstone of all postwar diplomacy was UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed in November 1967. It did not demand that Israel pull back completely to the pre-1967 lines. Read More »

The Misleading Interpretation of Security Council Resolution 242 (1967)

Prof. Ruth Lapidoth, 2011

Security Council Resolution 242 does not request Israel to withdraw from all the territories occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War. The resolution does not recognize that the Palestinian refugees have a right to return to Israel. The resolution recommends that the parties negotiate in good faith in order to reach an agreement based on certain principles, including an Israeli withdrawal to recognized and secure (i.e., agreed) borders, and a just settlement of the refugee problem reached by agreement. Read More »

The Fallacy of the “1967 Borders” – No Such Borders Ever Existed

Amb. Alan Baker, December 21, 2010

The “1967 borders” do not exist and have no basis in history, law, or fact. Read More »

The Evolution of Israel’s Boundaries

Amb. Yehuda Z. Blum, 2008

When Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948, its Declaration of Independence made no reference to the new state’s boundaries. Asked about this omission a few hours before the formal ceremony, David Ben-Gurion (Israel’s first prime minister) explained that it was a deliberate decision to evade the issue of the boundaries. He told his colleagues that, since the UN had done nothing to implement its resolution, the boundaries recommended by the General Assembly no longer had any validity. Read More »

Correcting the Record on Resolution 242

Amb. Dore Gold, June 4, 2007

Resolution 242 says that as part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have “secure and recognized” borders. Resolution 242 does not mandate Israeli withdrawal from all territories taken in the 1967 war. Read More »

Contextualizing Resolution 242

Amb. Meir Rosenne, June 4, 2007

Any discussion of Resolution 242 must be based on its true content and intentions, rather than the perception of these following their distortion by propaganda claims. Resolution 242 called for negotiations to find solutions. These negotiations are only hindered by the distortion of the resolution by those who seek to destroy the peace process. Read More »

Security Council Resolution 242: An Analysis of its Main Provisions

Prof. Ruth Lapidoth, June 4, 2007

Following the Six-Day War, neither the Security Council nor the General Assembly called upon Israel to withdraw to the armistice lines established in 1949. It is generally recognized that occupation resulting from a lawful use of force (i.e., an act of self-defense) is legitimate. The provision on the establishment of “secure and recognized boundaries” would have been meaningless if there had been an obligation to withdraw from all the territories. Read More »

The Territorial Clauses of Security Council Resolution 242

Amb. Yehuda Blum, June 4, 2007

Dame Rosalyn Higgins, former president of the International Court of Justice, said: “Until such time as the Arab nations agree to negotiate a peace treaty, Israel is in legal terms entitled to remain in the territories that she now holds.” Stephen M. Schwebel, former president of the International Court of Justice, said, with Israel acting defensively and its neighbors acting aggressively in 1948 and 1967, “Israel has better title on the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt.” Read More »

The ICJ Opinion on the Separation Barrier: Designating the Entire West Bank as “Palestinian Territory”

Robbie Sabel, October 2, 2005

The International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) in its advisory opinion on the legality of Israel’s separation barrier uncritically adopted the UN General Assembly phrase “Palestinian territories” as applying to all the territories. The UN General Assembly is a political body. It is not a global legislature that creates international law through its resolutions. Read More »

Israel’s Anti-Terror Fence: The World Court Case

Laurence E. Rothenberg and Abraham Bell, February 2004

Israel’s security fence in the West Bank, called by its detractors the “Apartheid Wall,” is recognized as having saved countless lives as its construction helped break the back of the Palestinian suicide bombing campaign against Jewish civilians during the Second Intifada. The security fence is a necessary and proportional response to a campaign of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by Palestinians. Read More »

Jerusalem

Separation In Jerusalem: The Legal Dimension

Nadav Shragai, September 1, 2015

The late British historian Sir Martin Gilbert once remarked that Jerusalem is regarded as a microcosm of the Jewish historical rights to the Land of Israel. Israel not only based these rights in Jerusalem on religious and historical connections but also on an act of legislation and an explicit legal doctrine. Read More »

U.S. Policy on Jerusalem

The Jerusalem Center, April 9, 2014

This piece delves into the many different shifts in U.S. stance on the Jerusalem issue. The piece covers U.S. policy from 1948 through the present day. Read More »

Passport Control: An Examination of U.S. Policy on Jerusalem

Michal Navoth, November 7, 2013

Congress has passed a law saying that Americans born in Jerusalem should be allowed to write “Israel” as their place of birth on their passport. The State Department’s claim that such a designation would interfere with its authority to implement foreign policy is not true. Read More »

Is Jerusalem Really Negotiable?

Amb. Alan Baker, February 13, 2013

Why has a resolution of the Jerusalem question defied all past negotiators? This study analyzes the various proposals for solving the issue of Jerusalem. Read More »

Defending Israel’s Legal Rights to Jerusalem

Amb. Dore Gold, 2011

Prior to the granting of the Mandate for Palestine to Great Britain by the League of Nations, there were many proposals to restore the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland. From Napoleon Bonaparte’s proclamation in 1799 to Theodore Roosevelt’s writings in 1918, the idea of the historical rights of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland was linked to their rights to Jerusalem. Read More »

Europe Seeks to Divide Jerusalem

Amb. Dore Gold, December 10, 2009

According to the 1993 Oslo Agreements, Jerusalem is one of the issues to be discussed in future permanent status negotiations. The Swedish move to have the European foreign ministers back a declaration recognizing eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state clearly pre-judges the outcome of those talks. Read More »

The European Union Report on Jerusalem: Distortions and Omissions

Nadav Shragai, April 1, 2009

An imbalanced EU position paper on Jerusalem written in December 2008, and recently leaked to the media, completely ignores Israel’s historical and legal rights to its capital. The EU attack refers primarily to the City of David, located just beyond Jerusalem’s Old City walls, an area identified by archaeologists and historians as the location of King David’s capital some 3,000 years ago. Read More »

Legal Divergences Between the European Union and Israel with Regard to Jerusalem

Prof. Ruth Lapidoth interviewed by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, September 5, 2007

A number of major political divergences of view between the European Union and Israel also find their expression in legal positions. One such issue concerns the legality of Israeli neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Read More »

 International Law