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Israel Alone: The International Community’s Use of Lawfare Against the Jewish Homeland

June 10 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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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 10/7 massacre, the Biden administration has either been complicit (in refusing to exercise its veto at the UN General Assembly and in fact submitting its own anti-Israel resolutions demanding an end to the Gaza war), or has aided and abetted such immorally reprehensible efforts. Demands to prevent incursions into Rafah, force “humanitarian aid” into Hamas-controlled Gaza despite its use of human shields in the form of Palestinian citizens and Israeli hostages, and political motivations to prevent Israel’s ability to achieve it’s wartime goals that include release of all hostages, have only 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 House of Representatives, in a bipartisan effort, voted to sanction the ICC members just as President Trump had done when he was in office. President Biden instead has threatened to veto such legislation in effect supporting the ICC’s disgraceful efforts. In addition, the administration has been pressuring various EU officials to not issue sanctions against Iran in response to the IAEA’s report of numerous violations as Iran pursues nuclear weapons. What do all of these actions mean, what is Israel’s best defense, what will be the impact of these measures on Israel’s ability to fight the war against Hamas and win, and what should the U.S. be doing to help Israel. To answer all of these questions and provide further insights into the complicated nature of international law in the face of Israel’s existential war for survival, is international law expert Avi Bell.

About the Speaker: Avi Bell is an Israeli Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law and at Bar-Ilan University’s Faculty of Law. Bell received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Chicago, and his S.J.D. from Harvard. He interned in the office of Israeli Supreme Court judge Mishael Cheshin.

In addition, Bell frequently writes about the Arab-Israeli conflict. He also debated Richard Goldstone in a debate at Stanford Law School entitled “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 of 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 currently teaches classes on property and intellectual property at University of San Diego School of Law, and on property, intellectual property and public international law at Bar-Ilan University’s Faculty of Law. Bell also serves as Senior Fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum.

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June 10
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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Avi Bell
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