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thinc.Bulletin – May 2023 (A)

Israel's sovereignty is under intensifying attack - ICJ opinion | Looking back | Israel on Trial Conference | Events | Invitation to JCPA-briefing | Current developments | Reading recommendations
thinc.Bulletin – May 2023 (A)

May 2023 | thinc.Bulletin | 23/5


∞ Israel’s sovereignty is under intensifying attack – ICJ opinion
∞ Looking back | Israel on Trial Conference
∞ Events | Invitation to JCPA-briefing
∞ Current developments | Reading recommendations
∞ Follow us | thinc. social media channels

Israel’s sovereignty is under intensifying attack at the international courts here in The Hague.

The UN General Assembly is being manipulated by a minority of states who are hostile to the existence of the Jewish State of Israel. Through the UNGA, the international courts have become a platform for Israel’s opponents to score victories that undermine Israel’s territorial and political sovereignty.

Israel’s military occupation since 1967 (a result of Jordan’s illegal attack on Israel in 1967, supported by the Arab Palestinian leadership) was intended as a temporary measure, pending a negotiated outcome. Tragically, in 1974 the world agreed to accept the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The PLO, supported by most of the Arab/Islamic world, has consistently refused to accept any negotiated solution that respects Israel’s legitimate rights to security. In a NYT Op-ed in 2011, Mahmoud Abbas announced the plan to deliberately manipulate the international legal system to achieve Palestinian statehood recognition, thus avoiding good faith negotiations.

The victims of this strategy are the Palestinian people themselves, who for 55 years have been denied their dignity, governed by a corrupt regime in Ramallah that refuses to hold elections, kept in refugee camps funded by the West.

On 30th December 2022, a minority of 87 of the 193 UN member states managed to have the UN General Assembly adopt a resolution 77/247 requesting the International Court of Justice to render an advisory opinion on the following questions:

(a) What are the legal consequences arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, from its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures?
(b) How do the policies and practices of Israel referred to in paragraph 18(a) above affect the legal status of the occupation, and what are the legal consequences that arise for all States and the United Nations from this status?”

On 3rd February 2023, the Court invited all UN member states to make written submissions to it concerning the request for legal advice, by 25th July 2023.
The Hague Initiative for International Cooperation is deeply concerned about this request, and is of the opinion that the Court should decide NOT to render an opinion.

The questions posed in the UNGA’s request are deliberately selective and biased. Any attempt by the Court to answer these questions will inevitably result in an opinion that is unbalanced and completely lacking in historical context.

In this article, we describe some of the highly problematic legal issues raised by this request.

As a recent UN report shows, it is clear that behind the scenes the PLO (which is responsible for the biased UNGA request) is lobbying hard in the UN to mobilize member states to convince the Court to answer the questions posed by the UNGA and issue an opinion condemning Israel.

It should be recalled that the PLO voluntarily entered the Oslo Accords in the 1990s in which it committed to negotiate a political solution. However, it refuses to abandon its commitment to Israel’s destruction. As Prof. Eyal Benvenisti has noted, the PLO has consistently and intentionally refused to honor its commitments to amend its Charter to remove the provisions of the Charter denying Israel’s legitimacy.

The UNGA’s request is a deliberate attempt to misuse the legal system to avoid negotiations and obtain a military victory via the courts. The International Court of Justice must not allow itself to be used as a weapon in the hands of ideologically driven parties to this battle. The only way for Palestinian self-determination claims to be satisfied is through good-faith negotiations.

The Hague Initiative for International Cooperation is committed to work in the coming weeks to provide advice, and to assist UN member states with the drafting of detailed written submissions.

>> Click here to continue reading <<


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 a taster of the conference, as well as two more speeches, by Dr. Matthijs de Blois (thinc.) and Dr. Loqman Radpey (ECIGL, Edinburgh University)

Speakers and participants speak about their experiences at the ‘Israel on Trial’ conference
Dr. Matthijs de Blois, fellow at thinc. and former assistant professor at Utrecht University’s Institute of Legal Theory of the Law Faculty, discusses ‘The Jewish State of Israel under international law’. In his speech, De Blois addresses the recent request of the General Assembly of the United Nations to the ICJ to render an Advisory Opinion on various legal questions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. De Blois argues that any such opinion, as well as other issues that relate to the Jewish State under international law, should take into account article 80 of the UN Charter, which preserves the rights of the Jewish People under the Mandate for Palestine based on the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine.
Dr. Loqman Radpey, research fellow of the Edinburgh Centre for International and Global Law (ECIGL), discusses the foundations of the Modern Middle East – A Kurdistan Perspective. In his speech, Radpey addresses the notion of national self-determination, peoples’ self-determination, and the crystallization of self-determination as a legal right as applied to the Kurds. Treaties shaped the boundaries of the modern Middle East, and the Kurds were fragmented among different nation States. Because of this fragmentation, as well as the fact that the current scope of self-determination doesn’t capture the current situation of the Kurds, the Kurds have not been able to implement self-determination to create their own nation-state. The Kurds’ well-defined nationhood, however, should ideally be the paradigm of a nation, Radpey argues in his presentation.

The “Two-State” Solution
It’s Time for Political Climate Change in the EU

Andrew Tucker, our director, will be hosted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs to present thinc.’s most recent research report called “Two States for Two Peoples?”. The report provides a thorough reassessment of the EU’s Middle East policies. Andrew will address the historical, legal, and political dimensions of the “Two-State” policy. Ambassador Alan Baker (JCPA) will moderate and respond. You’re all cordially invited!

Sunday, May 14, 2023, 11:00 a.m.,
at the Jerusalem Center, 13 Tel Hai Street

The discussion will be conducted in English.
Registration is required.
RSVP: Email: [email protected]
Phone: 02-561-9281

You can order the report ‘Two States for Two Peoples?’ >> here <<


Are ‘armed settlers’ legitimate military targets under international law? – analysis by Michael Starr, Jerusalem Post. Claims have been made that the Dees, who were murdered in a recent terror attack, were armed settlers as justification for them being targeted. Continue reading >> here <<

What is US Department of State’s Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs doing to implement the Taylor Force Act? By Maurice Hirsch, Adv., Palestinian Media Watch. ​​​​​The US Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs has met with PA, PLO, and Fatah officials to “to improve the lives of the Palestinian people” but did he call on the PA to abolish its Pay-for-Slay policy of rewarding terrorists and murderers for attacking and murdering Israelis? Continue reading >> here <<

World Rugby says pulling Israel from tournament wasn’t discriminatory – Jewish News Syndicate. “We expected World Rugby to take a closer look at the events leading up to the withdrawal of the invitation,” says Tel Aviv Heat CEO Pete Sickle. Continue reading >> here <<

Amnesty’s War on Israel Joins Its War on Technology – On May 2, 2023, Amnesty International published “Automated Apartheid,” the latest installment in a multi-year campaign to smear Israel by exploiting that label. Amnesty alleges that Israel’s use of facial recognition technology at security checkpoints and in Hebron and Jerusalem is illegal and “fragments, segregates and controls Palestinians” – claims that were echoed uncritically in a New York Times article on the report. The report also targets companies providing camera equipment to Israel as part of Amnesty’s ongoing BDS agenda. NGO Monitor. Continue reading >> here <<

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