Not a War Crime

Not a War Crime

Credit: IFCJ/Eva Geller

If any holy site where worshipers come to pray — like the Vatican or Mecca — were declared illegally occupied, the world would have a conniption. Not so, it seems, with the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Alan Dershowitz argues that the Western Wall is lawfully part of the Jewish state, and will remain for as long as Israel exists:

Last week, in Israel, I committed a flagrant violation of international law. This “war crime” consisted of placing a note asking for “peace, salaam, shalom” in the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. The reason the note requesting peace constituted “a flagrant violation of international law” and a “war crime” is that the United Nations Security Council, in a Resolution adopted in December 2016, declared that all areas captured by Israel during the 1967 War are illegally occupied territories. That includes the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and the access roads on Mount Scopus to the Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital.

Former US President Barack Obama demanded that his permanent representative to the United Nations not veto this one-sided, wrong-headed, ahistorical, bigoted, and anti-peace Resolution. Obama changed American policy by allowing such a resolution to be enacted by the Security Council as revenge on Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who, quite correctly, opposed the very bad deal Obama made with Iran enabling it to develop nuclear weapons.

Although Obama himself had once stood in front of the Western Wall and placed a note in it, he now apparently regards Judaism’s holiest place as territory illegally occupied by Israel. He is dead wrong, but that does not change the Security Council Resolution.

So now I, and doubtless many others, have not only willfully and deliberately committed a violation of international law, we are also guilty of a war crime, because building or using civilian structures on illegally occupied territory is a war crime; and Israel built, and I used, the promenade in front of the Western Wall after Israel recaptured it during a defensive war.

Let me be clear: I intend to commit this crime during every visit to Israel. Call it an act of civil disobedience, or call it an act which simply recognizes the absurdity and illegality of the Security Council Resolution…

Tags: Anti-Israel Bias Jerusalem

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