|Legal Warfare Report: Israeli academics pressure Western companies to terminate business links with Israel
|IAM has periodically reported on Israeli academics who participate in activities designed to pressure Western companies to terminate business links with Israel. These faculty work with a number of American denominations including American Friends Service Committee (Quakers), Presbyterian Church USA and United Church of Christ who have taken a lead in the BDS movement. Other Israeli academics operate through Who Profits from the Occupation? a project aimed at identifying Israeli companies that, according to the official website "profit from Palestinian and Syrian land." Who Profits? helps to raise awareness and organize boycotts of such companies and also works with a coalition of radical groups in the West that promote "corporate accountability." The combined efforts of these groups have resulted in dissuading a number of companies from doing business with Israel and, recently, in helping to delist Caterpillar from the MSCI-ESG index of ethical companies. The index of "progressive investment" is used by pension funds, investment funds and individual investors interested in ethical investment.
Among the academics that IAM profiled in the past few months are:
Dalit Baum, formerly of Haifa University, who now works for American Friends Service Committee West Coast office in charge of BDS. Baum, a leader in the academic lesbian community in Israel was recently invited to aconference on gender organized by Hanna Herzog (TAU).
Neve Gordon (BGU) who published a chapter in a recently released book that supports BDS.
Merav Amir (HUJ) who is involved with Who Profits published a chapter in the same book.
Anat Biletzki (TAU) gave a lecture under the auspices of the Tree of Life Foundation of the United Church of Christ that supports BDS.
|Lawfare - IAM Review of "Contested Indigeneity: The Development of an Indigenous Discourse on the Bedouin of the Negev"|
|The burgeoning international human rights efforts have helped to create a "consciousness movement" of indigenous people. Spurred by activists, human right lawyers and scholars, in 1983 the U.N. created a working group on indigenous population. The group failed to come up with a definition of who qualifies for this category, but the U.N. adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. The Declaration and some subsequent resolutions were also ambiguous with regard to the compensation for indigenous people, notably whether they should be entitled of their lands and resources.
Citing this vagueness of the U.N. Declaration, Canada, New Zealand and Australia reject it, stating that the "provisions of the Declaration are overly broad, unclear and open to interpretation . . . the text is not balanced, and suggests that Indigenous rights prevail over the rights of others.” The three countries have subsequently reversed the decision but stipulated that the Declaration is vague enough to lend itself to different interpretations.
|Rebuttal to Dr. Amir Paz-Fuchs|
|Israel Academia Monitor has initiated a new program aimed at tracking the contribution of Israeli professors to lawfare (legal warfare), defined as the use of international law and human rights conventions to delegitimize the state of Israel in the international arena.
IAM believes that too little attention has been paid to this highly effective strategy.
The following article is a detailed rebuttal to a lecture which Dr. Amir Paz-Fuchs (Ono Academic Center and Tel Aviv University's Human Rights Clinic) delivered at a conference co-sponsored by the Ono Academic Center and the Law Faculty at Columbia University. The lecture was posted on Youtube and widely disseminated.