Jerusalem, June 14th, 2018 – At a well-attended press conference in Jerusalem on Thursday, 7thJune, ECI Legal Counsel Andrew Tucker launched a new book “Israel on Trial.” The event was co-hosted by The Menachim Begin Heritage Center, NGO Monitor, European Coalition for Israel and The Hague Initiative for International Cooperation (thinc.).
At the conference Andrew Tucker and co-author Matthijs de Blois presented the legal case for Israel from an international law perspective. In a revealing presentation, Tucker compared the binding commitments made by the international community after WWI with respect to a future Jewish state in Palestine with the conclusions of the same international community today in 2018. Tucker argued that the international community is reneging on its earlier commitments. For example:
• In 1922 the League of Nations explicitly called for “close settlement” of Palestine by the Jewish people. However, in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 in December 2016 the Council – purporting to speak on behalf of the international community – calls all Israeli settlements “a flagrant violation of international law.”
• In 1922 the Mandate for Palestine was set up explicitly to prepare the “reconstitution” of the national home by the Jewish people in Palestine. Today, however, it is said that a large part of Palestine is to be reserved for an Arab Islamic State which will exclude Jews.
• The Mandate required the protection of civil and religious rights of all residents of Palestine. In contrast, there are no guarantees for the protection of minorities in the proposed State of Palestine.
In their extensive research leading up to the publication of the book de Blois and Tucker have come to the conclusion that the San Remo Resolution and most importantly the Mandate for Palestine are still relevant for the relationship between Israel and the Arab Palestinians. In his presentation de Blois explained the historical and legal significance of the San Remo resolution and the Mandate for Palestine. The rights created by these legal instruments were specifically protected by article 80 of the Charter of the United Nations, which requires UN Member States to respect the rights granted to states or peoples under international instruments prior to 1945. This includes the rights granted to the Jewish people by the League of Nations under the Mandate for Palestine.
Tucker pointed out how international law has been used since 1967 as a political weapon against the State of Israel. He noted that there are four sources of international law – conventions and treaties; international custom (ie. practice of states); general principles of law recognized by civilized nations; and judicial decisions and writings of experts (which are subsidiary sources only). Tucker explained that the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion in July 2004 (which described settlements as “illegal”) and UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of December 2016 (which declared that Israeli settlements have no legal validity and flagrantly violate international law) may be politically important but they are not legally definitive or binding.
At the conference, ECI Director Tomas Sandell, Professor Gerald Steinberg and Legal Advisor Anne Hertzberg of NGO Monitor also spoke on the role of international law in the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Steinberg called the book “an important contribution to the discussion of the legal foundation of the State of Israel.”
The Hague Initiative for International Cooperation (thinc.) is an independent research organization and partner organization to ECI, dedicated to the study, implementation of and adherence to the rule of law – on national and international levels. ECI Legal Counsel Andrew Tucker serves today as its program director. Dr. de Blois is a thinc. Senior Fellow.
The book, “Israel on Trial – How International Law is being Misused to Delegitimize the State of Israel” is published by thinc. and has now been released for sale. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .