August 2023 | thinc.Bulletin | 23/8
IN THIS thinc.BULLETIN
∞ Recent developments in lawfare
∞ thinc. current and planned activities
∞ Looking back | Israel on Trial Conference
∞ Reading recommendations
∞ Follow us | thinc. social media channels
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN LAWFARE
“Lawfare” is the use and misuse of law and legal systems to advance political and military interests. Not all lawfare is illegitimate. But using law to destroy a UN member state is definitely unacceptable. The fact is that there are many actors on the international stage that aim to either destroy or hurt the Jewish State of Israel. Twenty eight states do not even recognize Israel’s existence. Many of them actively seek its destruction. For example:
Using law to achieve those goals is illegitimate.
Our mission as thinc. is to challenge the use and misuse of law to delegitimize the State of Israel.
Whatever political views one may have, and whatever criticism one may have of the current government, and whatever view one may have of the military administration of the occupied territories – the Jewish State of Israel is a legitimate member of the United Nations and of the international community. It is unacceptable that so many states and non-state actors are endeavoring to destroy the Jewish state and/or compromise its vital security interests.
Update on recent developments in “lawfare” against Israel
There are many things happening in this area. Here are some highlights –
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague is considering the UN General Assembly’s request for an Advisory Opinion to condemn Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. This legal process is being used as a weapon by Israel’s enemies. The resolution was prepared by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), in collaboration with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The goal of the PLO is to liberate the whole of Palestine from a Zionist entity (“from the river to the sea”). The OIC comprises 56 Islamic states, and its agenda includes the liberation of lands that belong to the Islamic world (“umma”) – especially Jerusalem. The OIC has effectively hijacked the UN. Most states in the world did not favor this request; the resolution was adopted with only 87 votes in favor. There are 193 UN member states, so this means 106 member states either voted against, abstained, or were absent in the vote on 30 December 2022. The OIC’s anti-Israel agenda is being pushed by a minority of Islamic states who manage to manipulate other states, like the Netherlands, who are unwilling to push back.
Last February, the ICJ asked all UN Member States to make submissions to it on this matter. The deadline was 25th July 2023.
Fifty-seven states and international organizations made submissions by that date. The vast majority of these submissions are hostile towards Israel, promoting the narrative that Israel is nothing more than an illegal occupier of Palestinian land. However, a number of states make submissions that defend the rule of law, and Israel’s right to a fair hearing – they include USA, UK, Canada, Czech Republic, Fiji and Nauru. It is extremely likely that the court will deliver a ruling within the next months that will declare Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and control of Jerusalem to be illegal.
Media and political leaders continue to spread lies about Israel, often twisting or misrepresenting the law. For example, this week Belgian International Development Minister Caroline Gennez was quoted in a national Belgian paper as saying: “In the occupied Palestinian territories, for example, the situation is becoming untenable. Entire villages are wiped off the map by the Israelis. The periods of escalating violence are shorter than before, but more frequent and intense. As a result, the population no longer has room to catch their breath. Since the beginning of this year, more Palestinians have been injured and killed in violence than in the whole of 2022.”
As Itamar Markus (Palestinian Media Watch) responded: “This is outrageous libel. Israel has destroyed some illegally built houses. There is one illegally built Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar at a very strategic place near Maaleh Adumim that the Supreme Court ruled years ago should be destroyed. Even so, every Israeli government keeps asking the Supreme Court for an extension so as not to destroy the village. It may also be true that the PA with EU money built a few illegal houses together and created instant “political villages” that Israel destroyed. But the image trying to be created that Israel is going and wiping out villages is completely libelous.”
For more recent developments in lawfare:
thinc. current and planned activities
Our Director of Research Prof. Gregory Rose recently published Op-ed in the Australian Institute of International Affairs
Our Senior Fellow Prof. Dr Wolfgang Bock published an article in MENA.
The Modern Israel & the Bible course with Andrew Tucker (international lawyer) and Johannes Gerloff (journalist and theologian) is being finalized – publication likely in September 2023. Stay tuned!
The Israel on Trial book is being revised and updated. We hope to submit a revised manuscript to the publisher in 2024.
The presentations of the Israel on Trial 2023 Conference in The Hague are published here.
Save the date: A conference about EU policies is planned on 29^th November 2023 in Israel Center, Nijkerk, Netherlands.
Upcoming speaking engagements:
- Andrew Tucker to visit to speak at the Kingdom Festival on the Gold Coast on 29th September – 4th October 2023, together with German/Israeli theologian and journalist Johannes Gerloff
- Andrew Tucker to participate in a conference for church leaders in Norway 23-24 October 2023
- Andrew Tucker to speak at CSI Summit November 2023
- Greg Rose to speak at a Round Table organized by JCPA on 4^th September 2023 in Jerusalem
thinc. recently assisted several Australian Christian Zionist groups to make a statement to the Australian government in response to its latest policy announcement.
We have a growing collaboration with the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) Europe on combatting the EU Two States Policy. Andrew Tucker recently presented our latest report on the EU’s labeling rules to an IAF Policy Conference in Prague.
We are delighted to announce that Frank Fink-Jensen has joined thinc. as Operations Manager. Frank will be part of the management team, and responsible for managing projects and administration and support for our growing organization.
We regret to announce that due to family and other commitments, our wonderful Marketing and Communications Officer Jeannette Gabay has reluctantly decided to step back. We are so thankful to Jeannette for all her hard work over the last 18 months, and wish her every blessing!
We are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Marketing Consultant. Silvia Fainaro will join the thinc. team, responsible for developing our digital communications and marketing strategies.
We are also pleased to announce several new Advisory Board members. You can read more about our advisory board members here.
We are thankful for our growing collaboration with Christians for Israel affiliates in the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and elsewhere!
LOOKING BACK | ISRAEL ON TRIAL CONFERENCE
In recognition of Israel’s 75th anniversary, we recently organized the inaugural Israel on Trial conference in The Hague (29-30 March). Legal experts from around the world gathered to deliberate on the phenomenon of “lawfare” against Israel. It was concluded that the one-sided criticism and condemnation of Israel is not only unfair, it undermines Israel’s right to territorial integrity, misplaces the causes of conflict, and only serves to harden extreme positions on all sides. International institutions such as the ICJ and ICC should refuse to allow themselves to be used as instruments in politically motivated proceedings that undermine the sovereignty of the State of Israel.
Today, we are pleased to share with you two more speeches:
The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee called for the EU to help the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israel for war crimes, in a resolution on EU-Palestinian relations. The resolution said that the committee “regret[s] the limited progress on the ICC infestations in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the occupied Palestinian territories and commit to help the ICC and its prosecutor move forward with the investigation and the prosecution. Click >> here <<
Antisemitism is global and multifaceted. One area in which antisemitism has grown is within elements of the political left. This often takes the form of anti-Zionism, a movement that rejects the Jewish right to self-determination and of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, and frequently employs antisemitic tropes to attack Israel and its supporters. It also manifests through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a campaign that promotes diplomatic, financial, professional, academic and cultural isolation of Israel, Israeli individuals, Israeli institutions, and Jews who support Israel’s right to exist. Click >> here << to continue reading.
Germany’s antisemitism commissioner Dr. Felix Klein, said that applying the framework of apartheid to discuss Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is “an antisemitic narrative”. Click >> here << to continue reading.
Berlin’s ambassador to Jerusalem Steffen Seibert is bolstering anti-Israel NGOs. He uses his ambassadorial role as a blunt diplomatic instrument to assault Israel’s legitimacy. Click >> here << to continue reading.
After IAF Chairman Bert-Jan Ruissen tabled questions to the European Commission, the EU distances itself from German envoy’s Gaza stunt. Click >> here << to continue reading.
UN official Francesca Albanese accuses Israel of depriving Palestinians of their liberty. International Legal Forum blasts U.N. special rapporteur’s “unhinged anti-Israel bias and endorsement of terror.”. Click >> here << to continue reading.