International Law and Fifty Years of Occupation
Friday, October 20, 2017 - 11:45am to 1:15pm
011 Old Chem
The Israeli government's approach to controlling the West Bank and Gaza and changes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the past fifty years involve evolving official reinterpretations of international humanitarian law (IHL) as well as human rights laws. These reinterpretations, while intellectually sophisticated, deviate significantly from international consensus about the status of the occupied territories and the rights and duties of an occupying state. The reinterpretive project has been undertaken in order to, first, assert that the territories are not "occupied" and then "legalize" state practices toward Palestinians that violate customary legal norms and bedrock rules of IHL, including torture, targeted killing, and the use of massive force against civilians. Israel's continuing occupation provides a unique testing ground to debate the interpretation, applicability, and enforceability of IHL. This talk addresses the reinterpretative project and its consequences.A light lunch will be served.Cover art: David Reeb.