On January 3rd, CAMERA on campus hosted an online event with renowned international law expert, Professor Eugene Kontorovich. The webinar, cosponsored by Yamina at Ben Gurion University, Kahol Lavan at Ben Gurion university, Im Tirzu at Sapir College, and StandWithUs, was designed to expose students to the legal facts about Israel. When reflecting on Sunday’s event, Lotem Shahar, the head of Yamina at Ben Gurion University, highlighted the importance of Israeli students understanding International Law in relation to Israel. According to Shahar, international legal facts are useful tools in the arsenal of Israel activists, and serve as an effective complement to the primarily used narrative-based activism.
In only thirty minutes, Professor Kontorovich explained the intricacies of Israel’s borders, their origin in the San Remo Conference of 1920, and how these oft-forgotten facts are critical in understanding Israel’s legal claims in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Indeed, he clarified that in accordance with the legal doctrine of uti possidetis juris, the State of Israel inherits the borders of the preceding governing entity — in this case, the British Mandate. The professor did note, however, that it could be argued that Israel may have forfeited its claims to Gaza when it withdrew from the territory in 2005. Professor Kontorovich also discussed the importance of looking comparatively at different countries that were formed with prior mandate borders, as Israel was, to recognize the hypocrisy of the accusations lobbied against Israel.
Click here to read the full article in The Times of Israel.
Contributed by 2020-2021 Sapir College CAMERA Fellow Sara Goel.