“It is illegitimate and intellectually dishonest to predetermine the lawfulness of a policy by simply ignoring one side’s claims,” the legal scholars said in a letter.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
The International Legal Forum (ILF) asserted Israel’s territorial rights and sovereignty over Judea and Samaria in a letter signed by over 100 legal scholars from around the world and sent to Israel’s political and legal leadership last week.
The letter came in response to a rival letter published on the blog, Opinio Juris, and signed by over 200 legal scholars in June, warning of international violence and criminal prosecutions should the government of Israel implement its proposal to apply sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria.
The ILF letter said, “Contrary to the claim of the open letter, the sovereign status of the West Bank has long been contested.”
“Alongside the school of thought that holds that a ‘State of Palestine’ holds sovereignty over the territory of the West Bank, or that a Palestinian right of self-determination gives the Palestinian people the legal equivalent of territorial sovereignty, there is also a school of thought that contends that Israel has lawful sovereignty to the West Bank.”
The ILF said that “it is illegitimate and intellectually dishonest to predetermine the lawfulness of a policy by simply ignoring one side’s claims.”
The letter also urged legal scholars “not to contribute to the politicization and weaponization of international law.”
Among the letter’s signatories were Dr. Cynthia Day Wallace, former Senior Adviser to the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe; Dr. Matthijs de Blois, University of Utrecht, Netherlands; Prof. Malvina Halberstam, Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University; Nicholas Rostow, senior research scholar at Yale Law School; and Daniel Serota, Queen’s Counsel, UK.
According to the ILF’s website, the organization is “a nonprofit, proactive legal hub, centralizing efforts of lawyers, organizations and activists worldwide, in the fight to promote justice, peace and equality in Israel and the Middle East.”
Yifa Segal, director of the ILF, said, “The legal war against Israel is strategic and threatens to bring devastating consequences. We combine the best minds around the world to fight this war together.”