Thursday, November 21, 2013

Neighborhoods In Judea and Samaria are Legal and We Can Prove It, International Lawyers' Group Says....



Moshe Eyal (left) and Alan Baker intend to make the case for Israel’s legal rights before government officials, power brokers and the media through the Legal Forum for Israel’s new International Action Division.Moshe Eyal (left) and Alan Baker intend to make the case for Israel’s legal rights before government officials, power brokers and the media through the Legal Forum for Israel’s new International Action Division.

Neighborhoods In Judea and Samaria are Legal and We Can Prove It, International Lawyers' Group Says....
By Joanne Hill

TORONTO - It’s been repeated enough times that even Israel’s allies accept as fact that Jewish neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria are illegal, but that doesn’t make it true.
So a group of 350 lawyers in Israel have joined forces with lawyers in Canada, the US and the UK to fight this lie with facts based on international law.
They’ve created the International Action Division of the Legal Forum for Israel. It’s headed by Alan Baker, formerly Israel’s ambassador to Canada and advisor to Israel’s foreign ministry, and now director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs.
Baker was in Toronto last week with Moshe Eyal, associate director, Legal Forum for Israel, to spread the news about, and raise funds for, this new initiative.
Despite its staunch support of Israel, Canada has accepted the false notion that the neiborhoods are illegal.
“Canada is Israel’s best friend, no doubt about it,” he said. “Prime Minister Harper, far more than any leader, is supportive of Israel. But the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, on its website, clearly claims or states that they consider Israel’s neighborhood activity to be unlawful and an obstacle to peace....
“The whole term that’s used, Occupied Palestinian Territories, OPT, which has become standard UN language, is completely false. These territories aren’t occupied and they’re not Palestinian. There’s never been a Palestinian sovereignty. They’ve never been declared in any treaty or legal document to belong to the Palestinians.… According to the Oslo agreement, they’re on the negotiating table and the outcome will be determined by the two sides.
“So how come the European countries and even, to a certain extent, the US State Department and even the Canadians have come to the conclusion that these are occupied Palestinian territories? This is something that we’re fighting against with facts and laws.”
The Legal Forum for Israel is independent of any government. It has a small staff based in Jerusalem and relies on hundreds of volunteers. Its lawyers recently wrote a detailed critique of a report issued by the United Nations Human Rights Council, which claimed that Israel’s settlements were unlawful and in violation of international treaties and that Israeli leaders were war criminals.
“It’s become so accepted in the last 40 or 50 years that nobody really thinks about it. Even the International Court of Justice, which came out with a sort of side comment that, well, of course, Israeli neighborhoods are a violation of international law. Without analyzing it, without going into it, they made this comment, which has now become grounds for determining that, if Israeli neighborhoods are a violation of international law, then Israeli settlers like Alan Baker are war criminals and should be put on trial. And this is what the UN is now urging the Palestinians to do.”
The Legal Forum for Israel will present the legal case for Israel’s rights in letters and documents, which they will distribute to heads of governments, diplomats, the UN and others, as well as the media, Baker said.
They intend to set the record straight and have the last word.

http://www.jewishtribune.ca/news/2013/05/27/toronto-settlements-legal-and-we-can-prove-it-international-lawyers-group-says