Tag Archives: International Law

Empire, Resistance, and Security: International Law and the Transformative Occupation of Palestine by A. Dirk Moses

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The Israeli colonists trump the Palestinian right of self-determination in the minds of those who identify the Palestinians with “red Indians” and associate the colonists (many of whom are United States citizens) with their forebears who conquered the North American interior. It is no accident that both sides in Israel/Palestine invoke this frontier analogy. “We are not red Indians,” declared Yasser Arafat, implying that Palestinians could not be exterminated or driven off their ancestral land. Others averred the contrary: “Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians,” the Israeli historian Benny Morris told an interviewer in 2004. “There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history.” Echoes of the nineteenth-century North American discourse about savage Indians and manifest destiny are not difficult to hear. The Palestinians can indeed be dispossessed and, as before, international law will not stand in the way of occupiers. When Israeli leaders say that their punitive measures are responses to the terroristic resistance of the occupied people, international law largely justifies them and their various transformative occupation regimes—West Bank, Gaza, and Israel itself—in the name of security and self-defense. For this reason, critical observers like Richard Falk propose a new international convention to ensure that occupiers withdraw as soon as possible and do not inhibit the self-determination of the occupied; and, in the case of prolonged occupation, that mechanisms are institutionalized—like a ten-year limit—to ensure such a withdrawal. Even this proposal does not address the security exception.

Lemkin already addressed the relevant lacuna in IHL in 1944. The Hague Regulations covered individuals rather than peoples whose protection, let alone right of self-determination or autonomy, was unaddressed. The regulations did not proscribe the “various ingenious measures for weakening or destroying political, social, and cultural elements in national groups.” He recommended that they be amended in two ways:

“In the first should be included every action infringing upon the life, liberty, health, corporal integrity, economic existence, and the honor of the inhabitants when committed because they belong to a national, religious, or racial group; and in the second, every policy aiming at the destruction or the aggrandizement of one such group to the prejudice or detriment of another.”

Herewith, he hoped to outlaw genocide, which, we recall, he defined broadly as a technique of occupation that destroyed, disintegrated, and weakened an enemy nation. Accordingly, in Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, he posited genocide as a colonial formation:

“Genocide has two phases: one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor. This imposition, in turn, may be made upon the oppressed population which is allowed to remain, or upon the territory alone, after removal of the population and the colonization of the area by the oppressor’s own nationals.”

Continue reading at https://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/59625/moses_empire_resistance_and_security.pdf?sequence=1

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The Genocide of the Palestinian People: An International Law and Human Rights Perspective by Center for Constitutional Rights

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While there has been recent criticism of those taking the position that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians, there is a long history of human rights scholarship and legal analysis that supports the assertion. Prominent scholars of the international law crime of genocide and human rights authorities take the position that Israel’s policies toward the Palestinian people could constitute a form of genocide. Those policies range from the 1948 mass killing and displacement of Palestinians to a half-century of military occupation and, correspondingly, the discriminatory legal regime governing Palestinians, repeated military assaults on Gaza, and official Israeli statements expressly favoring the elimination of Palestinians.

Continue reading at https://ccrjustice.org/genocide-palestinian-people-international-law-and-human-rights-perspective

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Why The Genocides Continue by John Bart Gerald

Palestine: some European governments are attempting to counter a genocide of Palestinians by recognizing Palestine as a State, with rights under international law. Sweden recognizes the state of Palestine. Spain’s lawmakers have passed a motion asking the government to recognize the State of Palestine. Similar requests by the parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland have been refused. A similar motion and non-binding resolution is underway in France and in Denmark. With the exception of countries mentioned and the U.S., Canada, Japan, Columbia, Mexico, Panama, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy, Latvia, Finland, Estonia, Belgium, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, most other countries in the world have already recognized Palestinian statehood. A study by the World Zionist Organization finds a worldwide increase of anti-Semitic acts by 383% over the same period last year, during Israel’s waging of Operation Protective Edge against Gaza. The percentage rises to 100% in Canada, 435% in Europe and 1200% in South America.

Continue reading at http://www.nightslantern.ca/why-the-genocides-continue.htm

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Jonathan Cook: Israel and the Genocide Word

Lemkin and the UN convention’s drafters understood that genocide did not require death camps; it could also be achieved gradually through intentional and systematic abuse and neglect. Their definition raises troubling questions about Israel’s treatment of Gaza, aside from military attacks. Does, for example, forcing the enclave’s two million inhabitants to depend on aquifers polluted with sea water constitute genocide?..

And what to make of a plan just disclosed by the Israeli media indicating that Netanyahu and his allies have been secretly plotting to force many Palestinians into Sinai, with the US arm-twisting the Egyptians into agreement? If true, the bombing campaigns of the past six years may be better understood as softening-up operations before a mass expulsion from Gaza. Such a policy would certainly satisfy Lemkin’s definition of genocide.

Continue reading at http://www.redressonline.com/2014/10/israel-and-the-genocide-word/

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If Gaza Isn’t a Genocide, What Is?: Discourse as Resistance by Megan MacKenzie

There is a need to at least consider the term genocide and its application to Israel and Palestine… It is time for an honest assessment of Israeli actions- not just in this recent Gaza ‘offensive’ but in terms of its entire method of occupying and controlling Palestinians and their land. Those of us studying international relations and international law have an obligation to try to transcend the discursive politics and the growing pressure to avoid, qualify or stifle our expressions and reactions to the politics of the region.

Continue reading at http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/2014/07/if-gaza-isnt-a-genocide-what-is-discourse-as-resistance.html

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Bolivia rejects Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people

Bolivian Foreign Ministry also calls on the international community to intervene to stop “the genocide” and stressed that “should respect and comply with international agreements and treaties.” The Foreign Ministry also expressed concern about the operation called “[Protective] Edge” that has killed more than 80 Palestinian civilians, including children, adolescents and women, and injured more than 500.

“We urge you to investigate and punish the crimes committed by Israel in this region, in the framework of international law, human rights and international humanitarian law,” the statement said.

Bolivia joins the call of the people of Alba, who strongly condemned the cruelty against the Palestinian people, as a human slaughter has described President Mahmoud Abbas. Venezuela recently criticized Israel for bombing Gaza… and asked the mediation of international organizations.

Continue reading at http://lainfo.es/en/2014/07/10/bolivia-rejects-israeli-attacks-against-the-palestinian-people/

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Israeli Ethnic Cleansing Of Palestine – The Slow-Motion Genocide by Stephen Lendman

Why aren’t Israeli leaders held accountable? Why is Palestinian suffering allowed to continue? Why aren’t their legitimate rights respected? Why isn’t international law enforced? Terrorism’s infrastructure lies in Israel’s occupation… Decades of Israeli leaders bear full responsibility. Palestinians are wrongfully blamed for their crimes. Israel is guilty of slow-motion genocide.

Continue reading at http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2014/02/15/israeli-ethnic-cleansing/

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Advocating for Palestinian Rights in conformity with International Law: Guidelines An outcome document by Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, Birzeit University Institute of Law

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“Today, colonialism, including settler colonialism, is absolutely prohibited. Colonialism, however, was not expressly prohibited by international law at the time Israel was established. The normative shift began only in the 1950s as result of anti-colonial liberation movements, and colonialism became expressly prohibited in 1960, when the UN adopted the Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Since the prohibition does not apply retroactively, earlier colonial processes in which settler colonial societies had established themselves as nation-states were de facto immunized and normalized by UN-led ecolonization. As a result, the dominant legal opinion is that the legal framework of colonialism is not applicable within the borders of existing states, even where founded through aggression, colonization, ethnic cleansing or genocide, such as the United States, Australia and Israel.”

Continue reading at http://lawcenter.birzeit.edu/iol/en/project/outputfile/6/986afcc6c9.pdf

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Amnesty International: Trigger Happy – Israel’s Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank

5. ISRAEL’S OBLIGATIONS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW
Several bodies of international law apply to Israel’s conduct in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem…  International criminal law, which establishes individual criminal responsibility for certain violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, as well as torture, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearance…

5.5 INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW
Individuals, including military personnel and law enforcement officers, can be held criminally
responsible for certain violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian
law.
Under the principle of universal jurisdiction, all states have an obligation to investigate and, where
enough admissible evidence is gathered, prosecute crimes under international law, including
genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, extrajudicial executions and enforced
disappearances.

Continue reading at http://www.amnesty.org/fr/library/asset/MDE15/002/2014/en/349188ef-e14a-418f-ac20-6c9e5c8d9f88/mde150022014en.pdf

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