Jan. 21, 2016
Are There Double Standards in Israel’s Application of the Rule of Law in the Territories? – Amb. Alan Baker
U.S. Ambassador Daniel B. Shapiro asserted on Jan. 18 that “at times there seems to be two standards of adherence to the rule of law – one for Israelis and another for Palestinians.” Indeed, according to the legal situation prevalent in the West Bank, there are two legal frameworks.
The one applied by Israel’s Civil Administration vis-a-vis the Palestinian residents is based on the international norms regarding the administration of territory administered following armed conflict and pending a peace agreement. The second legal framework covers the Israeli residents within the territory who are subject on an ad-personam basis to Israeli law.
Unlike the insinuations in Amb. Shapiro’s statement, this dual set of legal frameworks is not based on any double standards, but on a clear division of legal authorities dictated by both international humanitarian law and Israeli law. Both these legal systems require strict adherence to the rule of law and the concomitant rules of natural justice. The writer served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada.(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)