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Israel alone: International community’s use of lawfare against the Jewish homeland 

Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) Webinar

As the United Nations, International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice focus their efforts on demonizing Israel’s defensive efforts to protect its citizens in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attacks on Oct. 7, the Biden administration has either been complicit in (by refusing to exercise its veto at the U.N. General Assembly and after submitting its own anti-Israel resolutions demanding an end to the war in Gaza) or has aided and abetted such immorally reprehensible efforts.

Demands to prevent incursions into Rafah, to force “humanitarian aid” into Hamas-controlled Gaza despite its use of human shields and political motivations to prevent Israel’s ability to achieve its wartime goals, which include the release of all hostages, have been met by international roadblocks supported by the Biden administration. In response to the issuance of arrest warrants for Israel’s democratically elected leaders by the prosecutor at the ICC, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to sanction the ICC members, as part of a bipartisan effort, just as former President Donald Trump had done.

U.S. President Joe Biden has instead threatened to veto such legislation, in effect supporting the ICC’s disgraceful efforts. In addition, his administration has been pressuring various E.U. officials not to issue sanctions against Iran in response to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report of numerous violations as Iran pursues its quest for nuclear weapons.

What do all of these actions mean? What is Israel’s best defense, and what will be the impact of these measures on Israel’s ability to fight the war against Hamas and win? And what should the United States be doing to help Israel?

International law expert Avi Bell addresses these questions and provides further insight as Israel wages an existential war for survival.

About the speaker: Israeli Avi Bell is a law professor at the University of San Diego School of Law and Bar-Ilan University’s Faculty of Law. He earned his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Chicago, and his S.J.D. from Harvard University. He interned in the office of Israeli Supreme Court Judge Mishael Cheshin.

Bell frequently writes about the Arab-Israeli conflict. He also debated Richard Goldstone in a debate at Stanford Law School titled “The Goldstone Report and the Application of International Law to the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” where a few days later, Goldstone said that “contrary to the report’s assertions, Israel did not intentionally target civilians.”

In 2006, Bell criticized Human Rights Watch for its reports on the Second Lebanon War, claiming that the organization’s claims “mislead readers and betray … bias,” and that “HRW investigation [in Srifa, Lebanon] was either professionally incompetent or a complete fabrication” and “nothing more than window dressing for predetermined anti-Israel conclusions.”

Human Rights Watch responded by claiming that Bell “displays a curious ignorance about even the basic requirements of international humanitarian law.” However, a 2007 report by Human Rights Watch admitted that its “allegation [of criminality in Srifa] turned out to be wrong.” The report stated that “eyewitnesses were not always forthcoming about the identity of those that died, and in the case of Srifa, misled our researchers … a visit to the graveyard made it possible to establish that most of those killed in Srifa were actually combatants,” and concluding that “further Human Rights Watch investigations into a deadly strike at Srifa established that an Israeli attack there killed 17 combatants and five civilians on July 19, not the 26 civilians claimed in Fatal Strikes” and “Human Rights Watch regrets the serious inaccuracy in its initial Fatal Strikes report.”

Bell was formerly a visiting professor at Fordham University School of Law and the University of Connecticut School of Law. He teaches classes on property and intellectual property at the University of San Diego School of Law; and on property, intellectual property and public international law at Bar-Ilan University’s Faculty of Law. He also serves as a senior fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum.

Israel Alone: The International Community’s Use of Lawfare Against the Jewish Homeland
The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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