Dershowitz would defend Israel in The Hague over outpost law

US lawyer opposed to the law but says International Criminal Court set up to deal with genocide, not ‘property disputes’

TOI

American law professor and prominent pro-Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz said that he is opposed to the newly passed outpost bill, but would happily defend Israel in an international court over the law.

“I’m opposed to the statute, I think it is a very bad idea,” Dershowitz said in an interview broadcast Saturday on Israel Radio.

The Knesset late Monday passed the so-called Regulation Law, which enables the appropriation of private Palestinian land for Israeli settlement outposts in the West Bank, in a move the Palestinians condemned as a means to “legalize theft.”

UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Nickolay Mladenov called the bill a “very dangerous precedent” and raised the possibility the law could open Israel up to potential prosecution at the International Criminal Court, a risk the Israel’s attorney general has warned of, as has Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu despite his support of the bill.

But Dershowitz said the court in the Hague was not the proper venue for such a case.

“The International Criminal Court was set up to deal with genocide, with mass murderers, not to deal with property disputes,” Deshowitz said. “So i think it would be utterly improper for the International Criminal Court to set up an investigation based on a dispute over land.”

Nevertheless, he acknowledged Israel could still find itself there due to “bias against Israel in international tribunals.”

“I would feel very comfortable defending Israel in front of the International Criminal Court if a case were brought on the kind of land dispute that is represented by that statute,” said Dershowitz.

The law professor praised Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit for opposing the law amid reports he would testify against it at the High Court.

Mandelblit has repeatedly said that he won’t be able to defend the law before the court, warning that it marks the first time Israeli legislation explicitly affirms government support for wildcat settlements, and would openly curtail property rights of Palestinians in the West Bank in a way that contravenes the protections granted to occupied populations under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

“I have enormous respect for the attorney general of Israel and i think its his job to stand up against laws that he thinks are illegal under Israeli law and i commend him for taking that position,” Dershowitz said.

If Mandelblit were to take such a drastic step, it would be unprecedented.

The law, which passed with a majority of 60 to 52, allows Israel to compensate Palestinians whose land has been taken over by settlers, instead of removing the outposts.

Several anti-settlement groups have petitioned the High Court against the new law. The court is widely expected to strike down the law.

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. Thanks but no thanks Alan. I’d prefer to hire a lawyer who not only understands the law but also believes in my innocence. There are plenty of other good lawyers who stand for Jewish rights to Judea and Samaria.

  2. Sebastien Zorn

    @ Leon Kushner:
    I agree, plus last I checked, Israel doesn’t recognize the authority of the ICC. So Dershowitz would validate the authority of a hostile international Kangaroo court that currently doesn’t have standing and defend his client, whom he doesn’t believe in, solely on the grounds that it’s the improper venue? That’s loony. I thought he was smarter than that.

    I googled: countries that don’t recognize the ICC

    “On 17 July 1998, the Rome Statute was adopted by a vote of 120 to 7, with 21 countries abstaining. The seven countries that voted against the treaty were Iraq, Israel, Libya, China, Qatar, Yemen, and the United States. U.S. President Bill Clinton originally signed the Rome Statute in 2000.
    United States and the International Criminal Court – Wikipedia”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_and_the_International_Criminal_Court

    I was a little confused by that last sentence so I went to the article.

    “The United States is not a participant in the International Criminal Court (ICC)….As of November 2016, 124 states are members of the Court.[2] Countries that have not signed or ratified the Rome Statute include India, Indonesia, and China.[2] On May 6, 2002, the United States, in a position shared with Israel and Sudan, having previously signed the Rome Statute, formally withdrew its intent of ratification.[2]

    Positions in the United States concerning the ICC vary widely. The Clinton Administration signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but did not submit it for Senate ratification. The Bush Administration, the U.S. administration at the time of the ICC’s founding, stated that it would not join the ICC. The Obama Administration has subsequently re-established a working relationship with the Court as an observer, but the Rome Statute remains unratified by the United States.[3]…”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_and_the_International_Criminal_Court

  3. M. Cohen

    @ Leon Kushner:
    Leon,
    Only last summer Dershowitz was on Martha’s Virgnard addressing a Fox News
    Reporters and said the following:
    I did not know they let people like you in here.
    I am a Democrat and I support Hillary Clinton
    He was making fun of Fox and the Republicans
    Now, suddenly, since Trump was elected, he his playing nice!
    No dice Alan, we don’t need you anymore, you Democrat…

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