Professors: Stop calling Israel an occupier

Friday, June 14, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff

Professors participating in an international conference at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv this week explained that international law that does necessarily support the claim that Israel is imposing a belligerent occupation on Judea and Samaria.

Under the title of "Israel and International Law," the conference brought together professors of law from around the world to discuss the issue of Israel's presence in and sovereignty over the so-called "West Bank."

Prof. Avi Bell of the University of San Diego explained to Arutz Sheva that it is "a mistake to think of this as a simple black and white matter of law. It's not. It's complicated."

Bell noted that "the way the law is generally discussed is as if it's all absolutely clear that Israel's case is insupportable," while in reality Israel has a very good legal case for continued sovereignty over these territories.

Prof. Jeremy A. Rabkin of George Mason University added that since the creation of the United Nations, "no other country in the world...has ever acknowledged that it is involved in an occupation." As such, this is a very flexible category without modern legal precedent, so it is unfair to create an international law that applies only to Israel.

Meanwhile, a poll conducted by Smith Research on behalf of the Knesset's Land of Israel Caucus found that 68 percent of Israelis oppose surrendering Judea and Samaria because doing so would pose a serious security threat to the Jewish state.

Prior to Israel's capture of Judea and Samaria during the Six Day War in 1967, Arab forces regularly used the strategic highlands to launch terrorist and military attacks on Israel's civilian population centers.

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