02 April 2010

CONF: The Role of Law in Undermining the Defense of Democracy

Conference "The UN's Goldstone Report: The Defamation of Israel and the Threat to American National Security in the Age of Terrorism" of the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ) and Touro College's Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust (IHRH), at Fordham University School of Law, 140 W 62nd Street, New York City, 27 April 2010, 9.00 am-5.00 pm

Description: "International law and legal institutions are being used to pursue strategic and political goals as a corollary to modern warfare. In the case of Israel and the threat posed by terrorism in the 21st century, 'lawfare' can be as biased and lethal as any other form of weaponry. Attacks on the legitimacy of actions taken in self-defense by democratic states, in the halls of the UN and international and domestic courts, radically undermine the ability to protect the welfare of the Jewish state and all democracies from the scourge of terrorism. This assault empowers and emboldens the enemies of democracy and encourages the intolerance and antisemitism at the root of the terrorist and anti-Zionist agenda.

"In particular, the semblance of authenticity and the cloak of legal language surrounding the Goldstone Report have given it an undeserved legitimacy and inspired a plethora of further mechanisms intended to demonize and delegitimize the state of Israel. The report and the lawfare strategy it embodies, erode the legitimacy of international law and pose a clear and present danger to the right of all democratic states, including the United States, to defend themselves. This [conference] will explore, examine and expose the fallacies of the Goldstone Report, and other manifestations of lawfare, as well as suggest strategies for fighting back."

Of particular interest may be the part of the programme on "The Role of Law in Undermining the Defense of Democracy".

Confirmed speakers include: Gabriela Shalev (Ambassador of Israel to the United Nations), Shmuel Trigano (Professor of Religious and Political Sociology, Paris West University Nanterre La Défense), Anne Bayefsky (Director, IHRH, Touro College), Samuel Edelman (Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, American Jewish University), Malvina Halberstam (Professor of Law, Cardozo School of Law), Kenneth Marcus (Ackerman Visiting Professor of Equality and Justice in America, Baruch College), Ed Morgan (Professor of Law, University of Toronto), Nicholas Rostow (University Counsel and Vice Chancellor, State University of New York), Peter J. Haas (President, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East), and Martin Kramer (Senior Fellow, Shalem Center).

Kosher lunch provided.

Seating is limited and participants must pre-register. Please RSVP asap: info@jewishlawyers.org

Co-sponsored by B'nai Brith, American Jewish International Relations Institute, International Council of Jewish Women, World Council of Conservative/Masorti Synagogues, Jewish Law Students Association of Fordham School of Law, American Zionist Movement, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and Women's League for Conservative Judaism.

A first conference on lawfare last month, also held in New York City, was criticized afterward for not inviting any speakers from the opposing camp. Although seemingly more academic, this one sounds fairly one-sided too.

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