Friday, March 5, 2010

Irwin Cotler: The real Apartheid? A Middle-East without Israel

Hadar Israel
03 March '10

The real apartheid in the middle-east is the rejection of the legitimacy of a Jewish State, according to Irwin Cotler, the featured speaker at Hadar’s second public forum February 24 on Lawfare: Fighting False Legal Actions and Boycotts that Demonize Israel. Cotler, former Justice Minister of Canada, a Canadian MP and a renowned international human rights lawyer also told the packed hall at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center that groups like Hadar that mobilize citizen engagement are of vital importance in “delegitimizing the delegitimizers.”

The delegitimization of Israel – while not a new phenomenon - has been “laundered” under the banners of human rights, the UN, and the fight against racism, Cotler explained. The Palestinian narrative with its many falsifications has been adopted as the human rights narrative and Israel is portrayed as an international outlaw. In addition, the recent Goldstone commission was corrupt from its creation by the fundamentally biased UN Human Rights Council, Cotler said.

IDF Lieutenant Colonel (res.) David Benjamin, said that Israel exceeds international legal and moral standards in fighting terrorism, and minimizes civilian casualties. D.J Schneeweiss, Israel’s coordinator of anti-boycott strategy in Europe, said that Israel needs to change the rules of the game and apply a “full court press” in challenging delegitimization.

The forum’s moderator was David Horovitz, Editor in Chief of the Jerusalem Post.

The main problem Israel faces in its battle for legitimacy, according to Cotler, is the laundering of delegitimization through internationally respected agencies such as the UN and its various arms, international legal conventions and NGOs.

(Read full article)

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