Richard Heideman discussed his book, "The Hague Odyssey"
The Jewish Policy Center
October 7, 2013
International human rights lawyer Richard D. Heideman spoke to the Jewish Policy Center on October 7th about his book The Hague Odyssey, Israel's Struggle for Security on the Front Lines of Terrorism and her Battle for Justice at the United Nations. Heideman, a former President of B'nai B'rith and RJC Leader, has been in the forefront of advocacy for Israel and the rights of victims of terrorism in Israel and in the U.S.
Heideman discussed Israel's isolation a the UN resulting from the larger blocs of countries arrayed against it.┬áThe Israeli government is often attacked as racist and criminal in the General Assembly and in UN Committees including the Human Rights Council and UNESCO. Even before the construction of Israel's security fence during the second intifada, critics had contended that Israel way racist by its nature. They now contend that the fence is evidence of apartheid. Heideman eloquently argues that the primary obligation of any sovereign government is to protect its population, that Israel's security fence is intended to keep Israelis safe and has, in fact, saved lives.
(Photo: Michael Johnson)
When the UN General Assembly requested that the International Court of Justice produce an advisory opinion about the legality of the security fence, the Government of Israel addressed only the issue of the Court's jurisdiction in the matter. It lost on the procedural point, but Heideman filed a brief on behalf of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies passionately defending Israel's right to self defense. He argued that Israel should be allowed, even obligated, just like any other state, to defend her people. The Court issued an advisory opinion against the fence that, according to Heideman, has been used by Israel's adversaries as if it had the weight of law -- which it does not.
Looking toward the future, Heideman warned that a break in the current negotiations between Palestinians and Israel will again open the floodgate of Palestinian motions to international bodies condemning Israel and acting against it. He also cautioned that even if Israel and the Palestinians achieve an agreement, countries such as Iran will continue to pose an existential threat.
Related Topics: Israel, Palestinians
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