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International bias, International law, and the settlements (Arlene Kushner’s blog)

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From Arlene Kushner’s blog, May 4, 2016

On Monday, I attended a class that is part of the Legal Grounds pilot law course named in memory of Salomon Benzimra z”l.  We are very pleased at the progress of the classes – which provide important information about our rights in the land.  (Write to me if you would like to know more.)

This class was taught by Prof. Eugene Kontorovich.

Credit: thetower

Eugene has been moving in a direction that is brilliant.  He has done a carefully researched survey of how the world approaches situations that are akin to the Israeli situation, with regard to “occupation,” “settlements” and the like, and how these situations are addressed by the international community.  International law, after all, applies to various nations in the same situation – or at least it should.

He offered a good deal of valuable information in the course of his lecture. But I want to leave you here with one thought, which rather encapsulates our situation:

When nations, entities and international bodies criticize Israel, they very frequently rely upon the charge that Israel is not acting in accordance with “international law.”  This tends to shut down argument. International law? The standard by which other nations are required to function? Well…surely Israel should be required to act the same way.

What he has discovered, however, is just the reverse of what should have been expected.  While Israel is charged with failing to adhere to “international law,” it turns out that other nations that are in similar situations are not accused of breaking “international law.”  For example, the term “illegal settlements” – a clear pejorative – is applied almost exclusively to building Israel does and not to that of other nations, even when those nations have taken over territory that is not theirs and have actively encouraged their nationals to settle there.


So we can forget international “law” – a highly dubious construct.  What we see is international “bias.”  That bias has always been with us, but there is an enormous and alarming burgeoning of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in certain parts of the western world now.

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