March 7, 2012

Jewish right to State of Israel NOT recognized under International Law

So says Boston University Law Professor Susan M. Akram at the One-State Conference held at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University last weekend.

There is no legal basis for a Jewish state, let alone the right of the Jewish nation to self-determination.

Take a listen:

Here are the words in black and white:
Israel’s claim of a state, on the basis of exclusive and discriminatory rights to Jews [sic], has never been juridically recognized. In other words, the concept of the Jewish people as a national entity with extraterritorial claims has never been recognized under international law. 
But Professor, Israel's claim of a state is not exclusionary or discriminatory, but the opposite.

Court recognition is not necessary under international law. Sovereignty is what matters, either a state’s assertion of its sovereignty within the territory it exclusively controls or when when it is recognized as such by other states in a legal sense. Israel meets both international tests, among other indications. It has been recognized by the vast majority of states, the UN, the International Court of Justice, and scores of other intergovernmental and international organizations. 

Recognition is not a matter for the court to determine anyway. It is not "justiciable," meaning capable of being decided by legal principles or by a court of justice.

As for the recognition under international law of the Jewish people "as a national entity with extraterritorial claims" the Professor could not be more wrong.

The Jewish people have legal rights going back to the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine of 1922. It took responsibility placing Palestine "under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home." It recognized "the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

Not to mention the findings of the Peel Commission of 1936 and UN Resolution 181 in 1947 that both recommended a Partition that would include a Jewish state. 

I suspect that Professor Akram would say that the 2004 advisory opinion of the ICJ in Wall Case was terrific. If so, even though I dispute its findings, I would suggest that it recognizes Israel is sovereign and that Jews have self-determination.

There are excellent resources that fully discredit Professor Akram. In 2011, several world-renowned experts joined to present an authoritative exposition of Israel’s Rights as a Nation-State in International Diplomacy, published jointly by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the World Jewish Congress. It explains clearly why the Jewish people deserve a state of their own and refutes all the major claims against Israel’s rights.

One must therefore ask why Professor Akram would promote what is completely wrong and misleading?

Which gets to the Conference itself. Harvard really dropped the ball. I agree with Harvard Hillel president Sara Kantor that:
Harvard’s name has a certain power and it seemed to be presented as a Harvard one-state conference. It lends a certain legitimacy that this conference didn’t necessarily have.
This was not a "Harvard" conference at all, but one organized by anti-Israel students and supporters, created to:
Educate ourselves and others about the possible contours of a one-state solution and the challenges that stand in the way of its realization.
The Conference was sponsored by several student groups - namely, Justice for Palestine (HLS), the Palestine Caucus (HKS), the Arab Caucus (HKS), the Progressive Caucus (HKS), and the Association for Justice in the Middle East (GSAS).

Shmuel Rosner, senior political editor for The Jewish Journal said in the International Herald Tribune:
The event was less an academic forum than an activists’ party ... The program included just one speaker with first-hand familiarity with the peace negotiations.
The one speaker referred to was Diana Buttu, former legal advisor to the PLO and also an organizer of the event. Buttu is vehemently anti-Israel, and is not above giving false information in pursuit of the cause. (See video here and here).

As such, the reader may decide for him or her self about the Conference and Harvard's role. A CAMERA article offers more information about the main participants and responsibility of the university.

I would ask many of those who proudly call themselves Progressives AND Zionists, why is the Progressive Caucus part of this scene, so eager to hear and promote the likes of Ms. Buttu and other speakers at the Conference like Ilan Pappe and Stephen Walt, all avowed anti-Zionists? Where is the opposition to these people and what they stand for and are trying to do?

And to go further, is all this REALLY so small a part of the Democratic Party that all Democrats should see it as the work of a fringe? If so, how can one explain the Gaza 54, all Democrats, and the 91 Democrats that did not sign the Hoyer-Cantor letter

It is not as if the matter is pervasive, but is it prudent or wise to look away or treat as pariahs and deranged the people that identify what is actually taking place, such as what is shown above?


  1. The truth of the matter, of course, is that Israel has more legitimacy as a country than virtually any other country on the planet.

    From a moral perspective, from a political perspective, and from a legal perspective this is just undeniable.

    In fact, I am horrified and disgusted that this conversation is even taking place.

    2,000 years we got our asses kicked.

    2,000 years and these insidious swine want to rob us of the means of self-defense. This is not just a few bloggers on Daily Kos.

    This is Harvard University.

    This is Yale from last year terminating YIISA, the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism.

    And, yet, our brothers and sisters in the fight want to go after Republicans and Christians.

    I am telling you guys, the American Jewish community needs to wake up to where the fight really is. It's not against the John Hagees of the world.

    Our fight, sadly enough, is a fight within the very political movement that we did so much to build.

    And, no, I do not like it any more than you guys do.

    1. As I said to your same comment at Israel Thrives:

      I hope to hear some answers to the questions I asked.

      To see the problem as Mormons and fundamentalist Christian Republicans, which they seem to obsessively do, is to see the matter in a religious light only.

      It neglects the secular, political dimension that denies Israel and the Jewish people, and offers much more concern, here in the US and internationally.

      I do not like it any more than you do either, although it seems at times some think and even say it gives us relish.

  2. Another one state idiot blathers on. Kind of like this guy:

    David Harris Gershon

    David Harris Gershon

    1. I am less concerned about his blather than the fact that persons with more prominence also going down that road, while others act as if it's nothing much.

      Not to mention the ridicule some throw when this fact is pointed out.

      The matter is not insignificant in Progressive circles and even among Democrats, as shown in the diary and elsewhere.

  3. I linked your blog (and "Israel Thrives") in an article I wrote for an Australian left wing, anti-Israel blog where I have been commenting under my own name for years. Webdiary. They refused to publish it. In fact they are refusing to put up anything more to do with "Israel" as a matter of policy.

    I regard this as a good sign.

    You can see the piece I wrote here.

    1. Thanks. Most of what I include here is for myself.

      I do agree, however, that many on left-wingers are not able to deal with criticism, except in a most ugly way, including name-calling and censorship.

      Feel free to offer your thoughts anytime.

  4. Thank goodness for academia because without that most of these people would be that most gas stations are self serve.

  5. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.