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.

Read more at Gatestone

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

How the White House Can Bring Mahmoud Abbas to the Negotiating Table

April 28 2017

Next month, the Palestinian Authority president is expected to arrive in Washington to meet with President Trump, perhaps as a prelude to a summit between Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu under American auspices. A Palestinian delegation is currently in the U.S. to conduct preliminary meetings with administration officials. Eran Lerman discusses what can be accomplished:

The most important aspect [in the present discussions] may remain unspoken. It can be defined as “strategic reassurance”: the realization that after years of uncertainty under Barack Obama, the American administration . . . is once again committed without reservation to its friends in the region, the so-called “camp of stability.”

President Obama’s abandonment of [the former Egyptian president], Hosni Mubarak, regardless of the merits of the case, was catastrophic in terms of the loss of any residual political courage on Abbas’s part. Obama was sympathetic to the Palestinians’ cause, but his policies generated an acute level of uncertainty for the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, laced with what seemed like a measure of support on Obama’s part for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere. This was not an environment in which to take fateful decisions.

The Trump team seems to be working to restore confidence and reconstruct [alliances with] both Israel and the pro-Western Arab states. In this new environment, it could be safer for Abbas to take measured risks and enter into an open-ended negotiation with Netanyahu. The effort may still fall apart, if only because the Palestinians have fallen into the habit of posing preconditions. But there seems to be a better chance of drawing them in when they feel that their traditional patrons in the Arab world, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are once again basking in the sunshine of American strategic support. . . .

At least in theory, it should therefore be easier now for . . . the White House to persuade Abbas to accept a point of entry into negotiations that stays within the two-state paradigm but is no longer predicated on strict adherence to the June 4, 1967 lines.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Donald Trump, Hosni Mubarak, Israel & Zionism, Mahmoud Abbas, Peace Process, U.S. Foreign policy