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

 

The U.S. Should Recognize Israeli Sovereignty over the Golan Heights

July 19 2018

Since the 1970s, American governments have sporadically pressured Jerusalem to negotiate the return of the Golan to Syria in exchange for peace. Had Israel given up this territory, Iranian forces would now be preparing to establish themselves on its strategically advantageous high ground. Michael Doran, testifying before the House of Representatives, argues that for this and other reasons, Congress should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan. (Video is available at the link below.)

Between 1949 and 1967, [the period during which Syria held the Golan], thousands of clashes erupted [there]. By contrast, ever since Israel took control of the Golan Heights in June 1967, they have served as a natural buffer between the two belligerents. The last 70 years serve as a laboratory of real life, and the results [of the experiment conducted therein] are incontrovertible: when in the hands of Syria, the Golan Heights promoted conflict. When in the hands of Israel, they have promoted stability. . . .

From the outbreak of the [Syrian] civil war, Iran and Russia have worked aggressively to shape the conflict so as to serve their interests. The influence of Iran is particularly worrisome because, in the division of labor between Moscow and Tehran, Russia provides the air power while Iran provides much of the ground forces. . . . Thanks to Iran’s newfound ground presence [in Syria], it is well on the way to completing a so-called “land bridge” stretching from Tehran to Beirut. There can be no doubt that a major aim of the land bridge is to increase the military pressure on Israel (and Jordan, too). . . .

Would Americans ever consciously choose to place Iranian soldiers on the Golan Heights, so that they could peer down their riflescopes at Jewish civilians below? Is there any American interest that would be served by allowing Iran to have direct access to the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s primary water reservoir? Would it ever be wise to place Iranian troops [where they could] serve as a wedge between Jordan and Israel? The answer to all of these questions, obviously, is no. And the clearest way to send that message to the world is to pass a law recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

As for the claim that the Jewish state’s seizure of the Golan in 1967 violates international law, Doran notes that Washington undermined this claim with its attempts in the 1990s to broker a deal between Jerusalem and Damascus:

The ready American (and Israeli) acceptance of the June 4, 1967 cease-fire line [as the basis for such a deal] is nothing short of startling. That line . . . leaves Syria in possession of territory along the shores of the Sea of Galilee and elsewhere that it acquired by force in 1948. In other words, to win over its enemy, [Syria], the Clinton administration dispensed with the principle of the impermissibility of the acquisition of territory by force—the very principle that the United States has remained ever-vigilant in applying to its ally, Israel.

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More about: Congress, Golan Heights, Iran, Israel & Zionism, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy