Co-authored with Sofiah MacLeod & Sara Kershnar
[W]hen the JNF Committee sought legal advice from England in 1905 as to the possibility of registering as a charity, their legal advisors were unanimous that it would be impossible: “We therefore conclude that the purpose of the Fund will be a political rather than a charitable one and that limiting the Fund’s use to strictly charitable purposes would run counter to the main purpose of the Fund.”
This open letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was first published in Arabic by Ma’an News, Palestine, in early March 2010.
Since the adoption of the strategy of the “peace of the brave” which seeks to achieve Palestinian rights through negotiations, Palestinian officials have never missed an opportunity to raise the demand for the international community to intervene and ensure respect of its international law and UN resolutions. And while the Palestinian leadership had limited its own strategic options in the public relations battle around the peace negotiations, the demand for enforcement of international law preserved a certain “logic” in midst of the general deterioration, in particular the disintegration of the Palestinian political system.
Decision of Palestinian Leadership and International Pressure an Insult to the Victims
Statement of Palestinian Civil Society Responding to Deferral on Goldstone Recommendations Endorsement, issued by:
Adalah * Addameer * Aldameer * Al Haq * Al Mezan * Arab Association for Human Rights * Badil * Civic Coalition for Jerusalem * DCI-Palestine * ENSAN Centre * ITTJIAH * Independent Commission for Human Rights * Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre * Palestinian Centre for Human Rights * Ramallah Centre for Human Rights Studies * Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling *
Badil Statement, 2 October 2009 – The recommendations of the UN fact finding mission to the Gaza Strip headed by Judge Richard Goldstone represented a golden opportunity for the Human Rights Council, the Security Council, the General Assembly, and all member states – particularly the United States and the European Union – to exercise their moral and legal obligations to hold Israel accountable for its crimes committed during its 2008-2009 war against Gaza. Yet the official Palestinian position calling for the postponement of the vote to endorse the report's recommendations now hamstrings these opportunities. In so doing, it has undermined the principle of international legitimacy as a basis to resolve the Palestinian issue and prevents the Palestinian victims of this assault from achieving redress.
Joint written statement submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Twelfth Session
14 September - 2 October 2009
On 29 September 2009, Judge Richard Goldstone submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council in his capacity as the head of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (“Goldstone Mission”).1 The 575 page report was the result of thorough and meticulous research and resulted in a flurry of activity and controversy that included deferring endorsement of the report, civil society mobilization protesting the deferral, and a special session of the Human Rights Council in which the the report and its recommendations were adopted.
In the last issue of al-Majdal, we explored legal avenues for holding accountable Israeli perpetrators and those complicit in violations of international law. All the pending cases discussed in that issue have since been dismissed, whether through legislative intervention (as with the Daraj case in Spain), or findings that the cases were not justiciable or the plaintiff did not have standing (as with the al-Haq case in the U.K. and the Bil'in case in Canada). Once again, Palestinian victims were denied effective remedies because challenging Israeli impunity was judged to be too politically sensitive for the courtrooms of the richest and most powerful countries in the world.
Jurisdictional arguments: The ICJ is Unlikely to Decline to Render an Advisory Opinion
It is highly unlikely that the Court will decline jurisdiction to render the advisory opinion; in fact, it has never refused to render an advisory opinion requested by a UN body. Most recently, the Court has indicated that it has broad competence to issue advisory opinions.(1) The only precedent for declining an advisory request is the Status of Eastern Carelia case, in which the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ)—the ICJ’s predecessor—found that the consent of the two states directly involved in the dispute was required before it could render the opinion.(2)