ISTANBUL - The world commemorated on Monday the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which coincides with the 74th anniversary of the issuance of the United Nations on November 29, 1947, a resolution to partition Palestine into two states, Arab and Jewish.
On this occasion, the Geneva-based "Law for Palestine" organization held an international electronic conference entitled "Palestine and International Law: Effectiveness and Horizon" in partnership with Birzeit University and the Independent Commission for Human Rights, both of them in Palestine.
The participants in the conference - which witnessed an extensive public presence in Palestinian universities - discussed the path of the Palestinian cause in the international legal literature, and the practical path that Palestine had planned since the accession of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations in 1947, leading to the promotion of its status to a non-member observer state in the United Nations. and ending with the process of filing cases with the International Criminal Court.
A large number of legal and diplomatic figures who have worked in the field of the Palestinian cause during the past decades participated in the conference, including a group of United Nations special rapporteurs for the Palestinian territories, including John Dugard, Richard Falk and Michael Link.
Al Jazeera Net met with a number of jurists and international law experts participating in the conference to talk about the reality of the Palestinian issue and its prospects in light of the political changes locally and regionally, and asked them the following questions:
Why is the legal work and international solidarity with the Palestinian cause important?
Does it have an effect?
Ihsan Adel, founder and head of the Law for Palestine Organization, says that despite all the shortcomings and criticisms of international law and the relationship of the United Nations mainly to the problem of Palestine, this system has in fact proven its effectiveness in many cases, although of course it is not sufficient at all and does not comply with legal and moral responsibility entrusted with this system.
Adel: Since the year 2000, there have been many victories for Palestine through the international law system, despite the drawbacks of this law (Al-Jazeera)
Adel adds that on the ground, the PLO was able to fall under the umbrella of the United Nations, at a time when the organization was still adopting armed struggle in all its literature, and the United Nations approach to fighting colonialism - especially in the seventies of the last century - enabled the PLO to expand and strengthen its presence, and therefore The presence of Palestine as a cause of a people seeking liberation.
Since the year 2000, Palestine has achieved many victories through the international law system, such as the ruling of the International Court of Justice against the Israeli separation wall, and the promotion of Palestine’s status in the United Nations to a non-member observer state, which enabled it to join hundreds of agreements, foremost of which is the accession to the International Criminal Court, which It has led, and still is, to a major crisis for many Western countries, which do not want to see Palestine sue Israeli officials in court.
In addition, the Palestine issue received justice at regional and local judicial levels, such as the European Court of Human Rights’ decision to reject the criminalization of the BDS movement, and the decision of the same court regarding Israeli settlement goods, and others.
On the other hand, the problem of the ineffectiveness of international law lies - as it is hoped - for subjective aspects related to the law itself on the one hand, as it is primarily established by the most powerful countries in the world, which enables it to continue to dominate, and for reasons related to the Palestinians themselves on the other hand, as they do not Dealing with international law and its tools is still seasonal, not strategic, and is often the subject of individual jurisprudence rather than an organized collective effort.
Therefore, what is required - according to Ihsan Adel - is the existence of an organized legal action for justice in Palestine, to benefit from all the energies in the world and to accumulate experience and build on it, and this is what the “Palestine and International Law… Effectiveness and Horizon” conference seeks, as it represents an excellent opportunity for Thinking, advancing and playing a pivotal, organized and conscious role for justice in Palestine, and networking with all those interested to create a basis for mobilizing energies, and directing them to serve the cause, human beings, and justice in this world, based on international law.
And if international law, in the eyes of some, does not produce tangible results, then at least it - and it is definitely more than this least - brings a state of international solidarity and sympathy, and creates a crisis of legitimacy for the actions of the Israeli occupier, which is what global movements and movements - such as the boycott of Israel movement - depend on in order to Reinforce its call to boycott the occupation, to create real pressure that changes the facts on the ground.
What is required of the supporters of the Palestinian cause in the legal dimension to push the issue to the fore of active international attention?
Francesca Albanese, Program Officer for the Palestinian Issue at the Arab Renaissance Organization for Democracy and Development, believes that what is required is from the international community as a whole, not only from supporters of the Palestinian cause.
She adds that addressing the reality in Palestine means first and foremost a retreat from the outdated and unjustified settler-colonial model, which has transformed through the practices of the protracted occupation in modern history into a severe form of apartheid and persecution of people and even their defenders. Himself robbed their lands and resources.
Albanese: Lawyers must use legal and human rights frameworks to advocate for the Palestinian cause (Al-Jazeera)
Albanese says that international law should be the basis for exposing this occupation reality, and addressing it in the courts and in international forums, and in the diplomatic sphere, as well as in the private sphere.
At the level of the scholarly effort of supporters of the Palestinian cause, lawyers must employ the legal frameworks of settlement and apartheid along with, of course, the human rights framework in their work, both in academia and in the courts.
Those who work in courts in the West and where relevant jurisdiction exists should consider bringing cases against the architects and officials of the illegal situation in Palestine, including settlers.
The same spokeswoman cautions that those who work on advocacy must place a strong emphasis on accountability, and apply punitive measures permitted by international law, such as diplomatic and trade measures, to more comprehensive sanctions.
And all lawyers in the world must ensure that their colleagues who work as human rights defenders in Palestine are not targeted and fought because of their advocacy for justice in Palestine.
Those working in Arab countries should reveal the danger of normalization with Israel, and the need to protect the Palestinians, whose precarious conditions make them vulnerable in Arab countries in particular.
Finally, those who work with immigration authorities in the West must ensure that Palestinians fleeing the Middle East are adequately protected as refugees first and foremost, and as persons still denied their right to self-determination.
To what extent is the Palestinian issue still central or the focus of attention in the world?
What are the implications of this for the Palestinians' quest for freedom and justice?
Ardi Emsis, Assistant Professor of Law at Queen’s University, member of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the War in Yemen (2019-2021), and former editor-in-chief of the Palestine and International Law Yearbook believes that Palestine remains a subject of great interest by the international community, and the United Nations continues to assert its “responsibility standing on the question of Palestine until it is resolved in all its aspects in accordance with international law.
Emsis: It is a mistake to think that the concern of the international community alone can provide freedom for Palestine (Al-Jazeera)
Emsis inferred that Palestine remains a central concern of the international community with the issuance of several resolutions of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations, the mechanism established by the Human Rights Council for investigation, the judicial opinion of the International Court of Justice, and the ongoing investigation by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
The academic, however, notes that it would be a mistake to believe that this concern and these institutions can provide freedom for Palestine alone. Rather, global civil society must continue to highlight Palestine's plight with the aim of creating the conditions for meaningful political change, in line with international law and justice.
What are the future scenarios for the case in the near future?
Alaa Al-Tartir, a policy analyst in the Palestinian Policy Network, says that "in light of the calcification of the Palestinian political system, the rooting of repressive authoritarianism, and the entrenchment of internal Palestinian fragmentation, not to mention the continuation of the Israeli occupation and the apartheid regime, the continuation of the current miserable dynamics is the most likely scenario in the near future. ".
Al-Tartir adds that moving to other future scenarios brings the Palestinians closer to their freedom and right to self-determination, and requires engaging in a serious, comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue that establishes a new phase of Palestinian political thought and action, and seeks to sort out a legitimate, democratic, effective Palestinian leadership that is responsible, responsive to the masses and subject to accountability. These audiences, in turn, seek to disrupt the existing power relations and the general framework of the prevailing system of governance.
Al-Tartir: Without fundamental changes to the existing balance of power inside the Palestinian territories, the current bad situation will continue (Al-Jazeera)
The same speaker stresses that without making fundamental changes to the existing balance of power and without a sustainable Palestinian renaissance that seeks to highlight the roots of Palestinian weakness, the status quo will continue to take root and become entrenched, and the more this status quo becomes entrenched, the harder and longer the path of freedom for the Palestinians will become.
According to a policy analyst in the Palestinian Policy Network, the list of actions and proactive requirements required of the Palestinians is long and arduous, and any future scenario different from what is currently in place necessarily requires an alternative leadership action with a long-term forward-looking vision and effective immediate political tools, so that the Palestinians do not find themselves forced to accept scenarios The future is more miserable than what exists now.Keywords: