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A Bigoted Hague Decision

A Bigoted Hague Decision

Israel is under neither a moral nor a legal obligation to give any weight to the International Court's predetermined decision.


The Israeli government has both a legal and a moral obligation to comply with the Israeli Supreme Court's decision regarding the security fence.

After all, the Supreme Court is a creation of the Knesset and is therefore representative of all of the people -- Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. Moreover, the Supreme Court has a real stake in both sides of the fence dispute. Its job is to balance the security needs of its citizens against the humanitarian concerns of West Bank Palestinians. It tried to strike that balance by upholding the concept of a security fence while insisting that the Israeli military authorities give due weight to the needs of the Palestinians, even if that requires some compromise on the security of Israelis.

Contrast this with the questionable status of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. No Israeli judge may serve on that court as a permanent member, while sworn enemies of Israel serve among its judges, several of whom represent countries that do not abide by the rule of law.

Virtually every democracy voted against that court's taking jurisdiction over the fence case, while nearly every country that voted to take jurisdiction was a tyranny. Israel owes the International Court absolutely no deference. It is under neither a moral nor a legal obligation to give any weight to its predetermined decision.

By showing its preference for Palestinian property rights over the lives of Jews, the International Court displayed its bigotry.

The Supreme Court of Israel recognized the unquestionable reality that the security fence has saved numerous lives and promises to save more, but it also recognized that this benefit must be weighed against the material disadvantages to West Bank Palestinians. The International Court, on the other hand, discounted the saving of lives and focused only on the Palestinian interests. By showing its preference for Palestinian property rights over the lives of Jews, the International Court displayed its bigotry.

The International Court of Justice is much like a Mississippi court in the 1930s. The all-white Mississippi court, which excluded blacks from serving on it, could do justice in disputes between whites, but it was incapable of doing justice in cases between a white and a black. It would always favor white litigants. So, too, the International Court. It is perfectly capable of resolving disputes between Sweden and Norway, but it is incapable of doing justice where Israel is involved, because Israel is the excluded black when it comes to that court -- indeed when it comes to most United Nations organs.

A judicial decision can have no legitimacy when rendered against a nation that is willfully excluded from the court's membership by bigotry.

Just as the world should have disregarded any decision against blacks rendered by a Mississippi court in the 1930s, so too should all decent people contemptuously disregard the bigoted decisions of the International Court of Justice when it comes to Israel. To give any credence to the decisions of that court is to legitimize bigotry.

The International Court of Justice should be a court of last resort to which aggrieved litigants can appeal when their own country's domestic courts are closed to them. The Israeli Supreme Court is not only open to all Israeli Arabs, but also to all West Bank and Gaza Arabs. Israel's Supreme Court is the only court in the Middle East where an Arab can actually win a case against his government.

The decision of the International Court of Justice against Israel should harm the reputation of that court in the minds of objective observers rather than damage the credibility of Israel. The Israeli government will comply with the rule of law by following the decision of its own Supreme Court.

If the International Court of Justice were itself to apply the rule of law instead of the calculus of politics, it might deserve respect.

Now -- like the general assembly of which it's a creation and the Mississippi courts of the 1930s of which it's a clone -- all it deserves is the contempt of decent people for its bigoted processes and its predetermined partisan result.

Prof. Dershowitz wrote this article the day before the International Court rendered this opinion because he was certain -- based on the composition of the court -- that its verdict would be against Israel. Following the decision he did not have to change a single word.

This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

Click here to read a statement on the subject by Israel's UN ambassador, Dan Gillerman.

July 10, 2004

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Visitor Comments: 25

(25) Fred, July 21, 2004 12:00 AM

fence must continue to be built.

I am so much amazed to the way the ICJ
as it is called can say that Israel should demolish the fence but forget to tell Yarafat to stop his blood thirst militants in the regions that are under his control.
To this court I say you should look closely a bout 3000 years back and see to whom the land belongs.To Israel I will say hold firm to the fence because it is saving lives that would now be dead without it.The world will speak as it has always done but you should remember that you have all the right to protect your your land.
Arafat does not want peace and you have the right to live because it is agift from God.
God bless and keep Israel together.

(24) Anna Read, July 21, 2004 12:00 AM

The fence

The UN must be total idiots or think thatIsraelis are. After all that has happened to Jews over the centuries, they expect Israel to take down the fence & make it easy for Palestinian suicide bombers to come prancing in, after their ever-loving mothers have patted them on the head & sent them off to blow themselves & innocent Israelis into a million pieces ? Get off the grass, UN. The fence stays. Anna Read, New Zealand

(23) SHirley, July 17, 2004 12:00 AM

Do what you have to do

Because you know what is best for your little space that you have.I pray that you can keep the terrost out we can't here in America. Don't listen to the news media.

(22) Anonymous, July 13, 2004 12:00 AM

Religious Ideals

Mr Dershowitz is correct. The Untied Nations was founded by the United States, but with the reality of European predominance in its leadership. The difficulty with this is that most Americans are in America because of European persecution specifically religious, ethnic, or economic. Many did not choose to leave Europe but were forced, and the previous inhabitants of America were the victims of a horrific genocide as a result. The countries responsible for these crimes against humanity are the same nations that have the most influence in the United Nations today, and it is their laws and concepts by which the United Nations is most influenced.

How can an organization that is controlled by nations that persecuted their own people forcing them across the seas and then banning them from ever returning, and following them with persecution into their new lands, weild a fair and even hand, it can not and it will not as the concepts of the leaders themselves are biased. And these nations will not "permit" Israel equality simply because of religious persecution, and leaders that refuse to accept God's authority over the nation.

These nations have built into their legal systems concepts of injustice, immorality, and inequality that make it impossible for them to wield justice in a fair manner. These are the same legal systems that allowed the holocaust, religious persecution and torture of Christian sects, genocide against Native Americans, political massacres, and the Inquisition to name a few. The leaders, concepts, and legal systems of these nations permit and encourage the bigotry and bias we see in the United Nations. And the United Nations will continue to do so simply because the nations that influence it the most will not accept American or Israeli religous ideals, the very ideals that establish a moral code that places God as the highest authority in government, rather than power hungry leaders of corrupt governments.

(21) Richard Crouse, July 13, 2004 12:00 AM

We knew what the outcome would be, so don't waste time.

How come Israel is the only country in the world that has to account for it's actions when it is saving their own people. Anything everyone else does is acceptable? Who sets the standards?

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