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Publications Briefing Papers Archive :

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Jonathan Dahoah Halevi  |  Refugees

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.
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Ambassador Dore Gold With Diane Morrison  |  Sovereignty

A unilateral declaration of statehood, instead of a negotiated solution to the conflict, would not only be a treaty violation, but could affect international reactions to the newly created Palestinian state. According to the Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States, a state is required not to recognize or treat as a state any entity which has "attained the qualifications of statehood in violation of international law." To circumvent this problem, the Palestinian Authority might attempt to be conferred with statehood by others, especially by international institutions that decide it already has the attributes of a state.
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Asher Fredman  |  International Law

This study analyzes the reporting of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch regarding the 2008-2009 conflict in Gaza and southern Israel. Their factual and legal claims, particularly relating to Israel's use of white phosphorus and UAVs, are considered in light of military sources, state doctrine, and the academic literature. The analysis demonstrates that many of the NGOs´ factual claims are contradicted by expert sources, and that in numerous instances their presentation of international law is inaccurate or incomplete.
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Justus Reid Weiner, Avinoam Sharon and Michelle Morrison  |  How Israel Is Guided by International Law

The conventional wisdom is that the success of a future peace agreement between Israel and an envisaged Palestinian state would require the support of an international peacekeeping mission. Yet bilateral peacekeeping has shown itself to be effective along the Israeli-Jordanian border, and bilateral security cooperation with multinational oversight has succeeded along the Israeli-Egyptian border. It may well be that primarily bilateral security arrangements, rather than an international peacekeeping mission, presents the best course.
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Nicholas Rostow  |  Settlements

Israeli settlements in the territories that came under Israeli control as a result of the June 1967 war have long been a subject of often highly emotional debate within the United States, Israel and the international community. The Obama Administration’s decision to focus on settlements right out of the gate heightened attention on this already salient issue, but it is by no means clear that heightened attention will by itself facilitate resolution of the Palestine/Israel problem. Settlements are handy for obscuring the fundamental issue.
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Irwin J. Mansdorf  |  Sovereignty

Israel's creation, far from being a foreign colonial transplant, can actually be seen as the vanguard of and impetus for decolonization of the entire Middle East, including a significant part of the Arab world. It is not popularly recognized how the Arab world benefited from the Balfour Declaration, which served to advanced their own independence from the colonial powers of England and France.
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Nadav Shragai  |  Jerusalem

The Jewish majority in Jerusalem is declining, meanwhile, according to the proposed plan for the city, there will not be sufficient Jewish housing by 2020 or Arab housing by 2030. The plan also calls for creating urban contiguity between eastern Jerusalem and Palestinian neighborhoods outside the city, reinforcing Palestinian demands to recognize the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as a single political entity.
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Amichai Cohen  |  Proportionality

As the uses of force in Somalia, Kosovo, and Iraq show, Western armies are very concerned about protecting the lives of their soldiers, and to that end are willing to risk many civilian lives. They also find acceptable the notion that civilian lives can be forfeited in order to attain important military goals. Israel's Gaza operation clearly shows that Israeli commanders successfully followed the requirements of the administrative model of the principle of proportionality. The IDF required commanders to take humanitarian law into account in the planning stages of the operation. Legal advisors were involved in the planning of many operations and provided advice regarding specific targets. The right questions were asked, checks were made, and the incidental damage to civilians was on the whole limited.
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Diane Morrison and Justus Reid Weiner  |  Universal Jurisdiction

The principle of universal jurisdiction has been, and continues to be, an important tool in the legal practitioner's tool box and an essential means for achieving justice for international crimes. Unfortunately, the principle has also become a political device employed for far more cynical means and far less noble purposes. In the early 1960s, Israel was one of the first states to invoke the principle of universal jurisdiction in its groundbreaking trial against Adolf Eichmann, the "architect of the Holocaust."
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Robbie Sabel  |  Apartheid

Israel is a multi-racial society, and the Arab minority actively participates in the political process. There are Arab parliamentarians, Arab judges including on the Supreme Court, Arab cabinet ministers, Arab heads of hospital departments, Arab university professors, Arab diplomats in the Foreign Service, and very senior Arab police and army officers. Incitement to racism in Israel is a criminal offence, as is discrimination on the basis of race or religion. The comparison of Israel to South Africa under white supremist rule has been utterly rejected by those with intimate understanding of the old Apartheid system.
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Avinoam Sharon  |  “Occupation”

The term “occupation” is often employed politically, without regard for its general or legal meaning. Iraq was occupied by the Coalition forces from the spring of 2003 until June 28, 2004, at which time authority was handed over to the Iraqi Interim Government. At that point, Coalition forces remained in Iraq, but Iraq was no longer deemed occupied. 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?

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Avi Bell  |  Law

This briefing paper examines the promise and peril of libel tourism – the practice of suing in a court outside the claimant’s home country in order to increase the likelihood of winning a libel case. Libel tourism has reached the headlines recently due to an increase in the number of persons who have discovered the advantages of bringing libel actions in England. In the last decade, Roman Polanski (an American living in France) brought a successful libel action against Vanity Fair (an American magazine), Khalid Bin Mahfouz (a Saudi who also holds Irish citizenship) brought numerous libel actions with some success against defendants from around the world, Boris Berezovsky (a Russian) succeeded in persuading the House of Lords of his right to sue Forbes (an American magazine) and Rinat Akhmetov (a Ukrainian) successfully sued Kyiv Post and Obozrevatel (two Ukrainian internet journals). The practical result of the liberal English approach towards foreign libel claims is to chill speech throughout the world. Everyone who publishes a statement that will appear on the internet, or in a book that can be sold in England, must be aware that an English court will be ready to entertain a libel suit against the writer, subjecting him or her to the pro-plaintiff English legal standards.

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Justus Reid Weiner and Avi Bell  |  Gaza

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. Under the rules of command responsibility, senior Hamas leaders such as Khaled Mashal, who ordered a continuation of the rocket attacks, are among the parties guilty of war crimes. The holding of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit incommunicado and out of reach of the International Committee of the Red Cross since 2006 is a clear violation of international law concerning prisoners of war. The International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings makes it a crime to bomb public places with the intent to kill civilians. Under this Convention, the Palestinian attackers are considered international terrorists and Israel is required to assume criminal jurisdiction over them. In carrying out attacks on Israeli Jews as part of a larger aim to kill Jews, Palestinian terrorists are also violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Click here to view Powerpoint Presentation on "International Law and the Fighting in Gaza"(15M)

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