Post by: Breanna Tate
My name is Breanna Tate, and this summer I have been interning for Jerusalem Institute of Justice. JIJ aims to save lives by preventing torture, terrorist attacks, and discrimination through human rights law. My supervisor, Uri Morad, who is the Director of Internal Law & Public Diplomacy Department, tasked me with writing a transcript for a webinar covering the relationship between the United Nations and Israel since the beginning of their relationship in 1945.
A highly relevant actor in this relationship is the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). In 1965, the PLO became one of the world’s most infamous providers of terror. Their Charter declares, “the liberation of Palestine through armed struggle while seeking to destroy the existence of Zionism in the Middle East,” and since then the PLO has announced itself to be the representative of the Palestinian people.
Terrorist factions of the PLO that are responsible for massacre after massacre have convinced “peace-keeping” organizations like the UN to condemn Israel for retaliating against acts of war and terror. For example, despite the Munich Olympic Games massacre of Jews in 1972, the Ma’alot massacre of Jewish high school students in 1974, and the attack on a Jewish nursery in 1980, the UN did not “condemn” the PLO. What’s more, when Israel retaliated, the UN passed a resolution stating, “Condemns Israel’s violation of Lebanon’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and calls once more on the Government of Israel to refrain from further military actions and threats against Lebanon.”
The UN did not condemn the PLO because the PLO has managed through lawfare, boycotts, divestments, and sanctions, to internationally isolate Israel. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pastor, spy, and martyr for the liberation of Jews from Hitler’s Holocaust, spoke of this power of persuasion in his Letters & Papers from Prison,
If we look more closely, we see that any violent display of power, whether political or religious, produces an outburst of folly in a large part of mankind; indeed, this seems actually to be a psychological and sociological law: the power of some needs the folly of others. It is not that certain human capacities, intellectual capacities for instance, become stunted or destroyed, but rather that the upsurge of power makes such an overwhelming impression that men are deprived of their independent judgment, and…give up trying to assess the new state of affairs for themselves.
The power of the powerful rests not only in their ability to intimidate but also in their ability to persuade. It rests in their ability to convince. The Durban Conference of 2001 supposedly against racism and discrimination housed an NGO forum aimed at the discrimination and isolation of Israel through lawfare. Posters were passed around with Hitler’s face and the question, “What if I had won?” The voice of those who wore the masks of human rights organizations were actually advocating for hate. So, to close, JIJ’s webinar aims to shed light on acts of discrimination and give rise to voices for freedom.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Intern. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.