Using International Law to Condemn Israel’s Existence

A group of 45 academics—all but two of whom obsessively hate the Jewish state—are scheduled to assemble in Ireland this spring to debate Israel’s right to exist. In the words of the conference’s organizers, it will be “unique because it concerns the legitimacy in international law of the Jewish state of Israel. Rather than focusing on Israeli actions in the 1967 Occupied Territories [sic], the conference will focus on exploring themes of legitimacy, responsibility, and exceptionalism, all of which are posed by Israel’s very nature.” According to Denis MacEoin, the conference is part of a larger delegitimization strategy greatly abetted by the recent UN Security Council resolution on the settlements:

[T]he resolution has handed the Palestinians a weapon as powerful as any they have used against the Jewish state in their many physical attacks upon it for more than a century. Lawfare has for many years now replaced warfare (although not terror) as the Palestinian method of choice for the long-term [goal] of eliminating Israel; this new resolution, even if only advisory, is a major step along the way to declaring not just the settlements but the entirety of Israel itself as illegal. . . .

A major impetus for [further directing international law against Israel] will be given early in 2017 over three days at a conference at University College Cork in the Republic of Ireland—a country already well known for the strength of its anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiment. This upcoming conference . . . is [an] international gathering of, for the most part, academics who are also anti-Israel activists. . . . [It] will not be an academic conference in any real sense of the word. It is, from the outset, a hate-fest of anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic rhetoric and distortion. . . . [A] significant majority of the participants have made no secret of their support for the boycott of Israeli academics—a boycott that in itself strips from the conference any semblance of academic neutrality.

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More about: BDS, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Lawfare, United Nations

Palestinian Leaders Fight Economic Growth

Jan. 15 2019

This month, a new shopping mall opened in northeastern Jerusalem, easily accessible to most of the city’s Arab residents. Rami Levy, the supermarket magnate who owns the mall, already employs some 2,000 Israeli Arabs and Palestinians at his other stores, and the mall will no doubt bring more jobs to Arab Jerusalemites. But the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) are railing against it, and one newspaper calls its opening “an economic catastrophe [nakba].” Bassam Tawil writes:

For [the PA president] Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah officials . . . the image of Palestinians and Jews working in harmony is loathsome. . . . Instead of welcoming the inauguration of the shopping mall for providing job opportunities to dozens of Palestinians and lower prices [to consumers], Fatah officials are taking about an Israeli plan to “undermine” the Palestinian economy. . . . The hundreds of Palestinians who flooded the new mall on its first day, however, seem to disagree with the grim picture painted by [these officials]. . . .

The campaign of incitement against Levy’s shopping mall began several months ago, as it was being built, and has continued until today. Now that the campaign has failed to prevent the opening of the mall, Fatah and its followers have turned to outright threats and violence. The threats are being directed toward Palestinian shoppers and Palestinian merchants who rented space in the new mall. On the day the mall was opened, Palestinians threw a number of firebombs at the compound, [which] could have injured or killed Palestinians. The [bomb-throwers], who are believed to be affiliated with Fatah, would rather see their own people dead than having fun or buying attractively-priced products at an Israeli mall.

By spearheading this campaign of incitement and intimidation, Abbas’s Fatah is again showing its true colors. How is it possible to imagine that Abbas or any of his Fatah lieutenants would ever make peace with Israel when they cannot even tolerate the idea of Palestinians and Jews working together for a simple common good? If a Palestinian who buys Israeli milk is a traitor in the eyes of Fatah, it is not difficult to imagine the fate of any Palestinian who would dare to discuss compromise with Israel.

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More about: East Jerusalem, Israeli Arabs, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian economy