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.
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?