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The Legal Case for Israel

The Legal Case for Israel

We have focused frequently on the lawfare strategy against Israel, advocated by people like Hastings College of Law Professor George Bisharat, which has been a primary focus of Palestinian political strategy ever since Israel put a halt to suicide bombings by building the security barrier.

Lawfare against Israel, however, is based on politics, not law, and is an attempt to delegitimize Israel since they can’t blow it up.

One of the best explanations of the legal and political background is presented in this video by Northwestern Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich.  He puts the lie to the currently fashionable notion that the “1967 borders” have any legal or historical signficance, and demonstrates that Israel does not “illegally occupy” the West Bank.  In fact, it was Jordan which illegally occupied the West Bank prior to 1967.

For further context see the write-up at Elder of Ziyon.


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If the Israeli government would stop wanting to be liked and would just kick arse and take names, none of these degrees morons, or the rock throwers and homicide bombers they support, would dare raise their heads much less utter nonsense. Don’t try to be liked when you’re trying to survive.

Insufficiently Sensitive | February 9, 2013 at 11:46 am

Professor Kontorovich clearly nails down the ‘international law’ terminology, which is quite a bit different than what you hear in heated opinions on NPR. It’s never defined there, but its name is used by reference as a club to beat non-Arabs and Israeli actions and politicians. His talk is a breath of fresh air among all the half-informed polemics.

TrooperJohnSmith | February 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm

The ultimate Legal case for Israel begins in the book of Exodus. It was written by the Creator, from whence all inalienable rights flow and to whom all man made laws are subordinate.

Case is closed.

Only have time to watch the first 10 minutes right now, but this is saved for good in my favorites to be deployed in future arguments when the subject arises.

Good show!

I will have time to watch the rest at my leisure later as our two little ones just left for a Bat Mitzvah that lasts until 4:00.

Praise the Jews!

Great, cogent presentation on beating back the legal framework arguments against Israel. That, however is only one step in the process. The fact that Israelis accepted the armistice with Jordan in 67 became a weak link in future claims. They obviously had a legal claim to the West Bank from the British Mandate, but have not exercised control over that area as a part of Israel since its creation. Could there be some “common law” aspect of international law that interferes with the Mandate claims? In any event, continued building of Israeli homes in the West Bank area seems totally legal and proper.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to sammy small. | February 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    That armistice needn’t be a weak link. Professor Kontorovich showed clearly that the armistice following the 1948 war was simply a cessation of shooting, not a staking of final boundaries. Same applies here.

Excellent presentation.
I like Professor Simon Greenleaf’s argument (Harvard Unversity School of Law) who uses the Tanakh as the legal evidence:
“…The first rule of municipal law to which he alludes is as follows:
Every document, apparently ancient, coming from the proper repository or custody, and bearing on its face no evident marks of forgery, the law presumes to be genuine, and devolves on the opposing party the burden of proving it to be otherwise… The second rule that he cites is as follows:

In matters of public and general interest, all persons must be presumed to be conversant, on the principle that individuals are presumed to be conversant with their own affairs. The other rules of legal evidence are as follows:

In trials of fact, by oral testimony, the proper inquiry is not whether it is possible that the testimony may be false, but whether there is sufficient probability that it is true.

A proposition of fact is proved, when its truth is established by competent and satisfactory evidence.

In the absence of circumstances which generate suspicion, every witness is to be presumed credible, until the contrary is shown; the burden of impeaching his credibility lying upon the objector…

The credit due to the testimony of witnesses depends upon, firstly, their honesty; secondly, their ability; thirdly, their number and the consistency of their testimony; fourthly, the conformity of their testimony with experience; and fifthly, the coincidence of their testimony with collateral circumstances….”
In short, Israel is legally established by the witnesses of the book.

The legal case for Israel?

Excuse me. Israel needs a legal case?

This is the land G-d gave the Jews. How’s that for a legal case.

And by the way, Israel has not (yet but will, hopefully) rolled back her borders to historic locations: the borders of David and Saul, i.e. all of Judea and Samaria and more.

Bring it.

The Biblical argument answers how things were. The Bible also says, “The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Face it, the legal occupant of a territory is basically the one who has held it and developed it for a long time. Do Americans want to make the legal case for how we got this country? Land is acquired by force, or by demographics, or now, by the socialist / media complex. And that’s how it goes.

Bottom line: Israel is there. Several generations have grown up there. That’s a fact, Jack, and the rag heads would do better to create a civil productive society rather than working for mutual annihilation.

BannedbytheGuardian | February 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Legalities is one thing & hearts & minds another.

The way to the latter is through archeology & tourism . Israel can & ought present their stake in this historical light.

Increasingly the bible is seen as a historical handbook with some very pertinent wisdoms . Ironically with the fall of Christianity , Jews lose their historical foe.

Now they are alone again with Pisslam.

What do we ( ye olde christians ) matter at this point in time?

    Juba Doobai! in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | February 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    What fall of Christianity? Christianity is the world’s fastest growing religion and Christians are today defending Jews.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Juba Doobai!. | February 9, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Juba . A few years ago there was a siege of the church in Bethlehem . Muslims inside & non Christ believers ( Israelis / Jewish ) outside.

      Not one Christian in the world came to defend their faith. The Muslims shat in it & the Israelis shelled it.

      Juba – 2000 years is an awful long time . People have given up . I barely know anyone under 30 who has ever been to church or read a bible. They only tick the box so they have somewhere to go to get married , for their funeral or to bargain with god for their sporting teams. Parents tick the box so they can get their kids into a non public school.

      When Christianity no longer gives rulers more power eg The Vikings – they will ditch it.

      I read The Daughters Of The Revolution are ditching religious aspects .

      Of course should Jesus turnip again he would himself have a hard time today .

      Yes it is sad , but it is happening.

        BBtG, You are stuck in PC UKhanistan which is largely a decadent wasteland, with way too many anti-Christs and PC heathen that are noisily and adamantly defending the PC (Punitive Conformity) line. However, in the wider world under the radar, the pagan world is coming to Christ in huge numbers. Even in the dark NAMESTAN infested with Islam.

        There is also a rise of faith, holiness and joyful observance among young Torah-keeping Jews that is different than the outward rigidity and closed community of the Hasidic Orthodox.

        Within the Faith and Worship of the One True God is contained the joy, peace and true riches for which humankind hungers, and that cannot and will not ever be contained, extinguished, or invalidated.

          Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | February 10, 2013 at 5:19 am

          “Where sin/evil abounds, grace abounds more.” (Romans 5:20)

          All that evil and darkness only makes people hunger more for goodness and light. Deception and delusion only makes people hunger for what is true and real. False love and abuse, only makes people desire true love and gentleness more.

          “In Him was life and that life was the light of men. And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it, has not put it out, absorbed it, has not appropriated it…the true Light coming into the world, genuine, perfect, steadfast Light that illumines every person.” (John 1:4,5 AMP)
          “I will give you for a light unto the nations…Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel…Saying to those who are bound, Come forth; to those who are in spiritual darkness, Show yourselves – come into the light. Even the captives of the mighty and the tyrant will be delivered, for I will contend with those who condend with you…and I will make those who oppress you consume themeslves in mutually destructive wars, and they shall be drunk with their own blood.” (Isaiah 49:6,9,25,26)

It’s worth mentioning that the Arabs not only rejected the 1947 partition plan but had no intention of instituting it anyway.

I refer everyone to Ephraim Karsh’s excellent “Palestine Betrayed.” It has a lot of direct sources to support the general Israeli line but the one pertinent to this discussion is that when the Arab armies invaded mandatory Palestine their intention was to grab land, not set up an Arab state.

The Jordanians took as much as they could get. The Egyptians had several land goals in the area, one of which was the Negev. The Syrians intended to take as much of the Galilee as they could. Karsh’s sources confirm this; they are direct and in substantial part from Arab sources.

As should be pointed out more often,from 1949 to 1967 the Arabs could have set up this supposedly desperately needed Palestinian state whenever they liked, without needing to consult Israel at all.

A glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel might be glimpsed if the Palestinians were ever to realize that the rest of the Arabs don’t give a damn for them, seeing them only–and I mean “only”–as sticks to beat Israel and the west.

But this would require at least a tiny ability to engage in self-examination and self-reflection and this is something that Arab society tends not to have.

Joseph Farnsworth | February 12, 2013 at 9:04 am

All human beings are semi-sentient ambulatory blobs of “earth”. Human beings and many other forms of life fight over spots on the earth’s crust. “Owning” land is a human construction, enforced and guarded by the ability and commitment to do so: Might makes right. Generally, people will band together to create Laws that they are “subject to” but afford “protections.” Such as, at a high level, the very muscular International Law.
But ultimately, what makes laws, contracts, constructs valid is that they are accepted and that they provide benefits to many who are “subject” to them. Like modern corporation law, Noam Chomsky notwithstanding, whose relatively recent ability or “intellectual construction” to be able to own intellectual property has generated many benefits to mankind.
So with the modern Israel. Its existence provides benefits – to the world – over what we’d have without it. Its utility and benefits to the world justify it. As long as enough continue to support it – for might and strength do ultimately make right.

[…] rights in lawfare against Israel, Professor William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has brought us a brilliant video by Professor Eugene Kontorovich, an international law expert, who explains the legal case for […]