Jeff Handmaker teaches human rights, development and social justice and conducts research at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University in The Netherlands. He is a member of the Editorial Committee of Al-Majdal and of Badil’s Legal Support Network.
Philanthropic colonization is a failure. National colonization will succeed.
- Theodor Herzl (1897), First Congress Address, Delivered in Basel, Switzerland.
It is very possible that the Arabs of the neighbouring countries will come to their aid against us. But our strength will exceed theirs. Not only because we will be better organized and equipped, but because behind us there stands a still larger force, superior in quality and quantity … the whole younger generation [from Europe and America].
- David Ben Gurion, quoted in N. Masalha (1992) Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 66.
Apartheid—both petty and grand—is obviously evil. Nothing can justify the arrogant assumption that a clique of foreigners has the right to decide on the lives of a majority.
- Steven Biko (1978) I Write What I Like.
Role of Civil Society in Ensuring Adherence to International Law
The United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine took place under the auspices of the Committee on the Inalienable Right of the Palestinian People (‘the committee’) at the UN Office (Palais des Nations) at Geneva on 8 and 9 March 2005. For this conference, the Committee chose the theme: Implementing the ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory – The role of Governments, intergovernmental organizations and civil society.
Violations of human rights and humanitarian law, particularly when systematically carried out with no regard to their consequences, demand that other states and international organisations not simply take notice, but take action. The legal basis for proportionate and “effective” (1) responses to such violations are gaining momentum through an emerging international legal principle of the responsibility to protect, which forms part and parcel of state responsibility. The responsibility to protect is firstly a duty to ensure that mechanisms are in place to prevent violations from taking place (2) and secondly a duty of states, acting in their individual or – ideally – collective capacities, to intervene in order to protect civilians from potential or further violations.(3)