Reply: Online Edition

1. Testimony Testifying Against Israel

In preparation for its hearing on the issue of Israel’s security fence, the ICJ invited a series of anti-Israeli terrorist organizations that openly champion and justify use of force and terrorism as a means of achieving their objectives as “likely to be able to furnish information on the question submitted to the Court.”1

It is revealing just whom the ICJ believed could contribute information under its limited, fact-finding apparatus of written affidavits and oral presentations.

The ICJ heard testimony from the PLO, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), and the Arab League, while refusing to hear any input from Israeli victims of terrorism.

The ICJ approved requests from the League of Arab States (which is officially in a state of war with Israel; see pages 18 and 20 for some of the League Resolutions), and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to participate.2 The ICJ’s decision to honor the requests of these two Arab ‘international bodies’ (i.e., accepting that they have something to contribute to the question at hand) is allowed under Article 66, Clause 3 of the ICJ’s Charter. Yet, the decision to invite them is in stark contrast with the fact that the ICJ did not consider it fitting and proper to invite the Organization of Casualties of Terror Acts in Israel to present evidence – a step offered under Article 66, Clause 2 of its own Charter, which makes provisions for its own judicial procedures:

“To … notify any state entitled to appear before the Court or international organization considered by the Court … as likely to be able to furnish information on the question” [italics by author].

A request on the part of Israeli terror victims’ families to participate in oral hearings was rejected by the ICJ on the eve of oral hearings on the grounds that the families do not represent a country and therefore should not take part in the hearings.3 This was doubly ironic, for prior to this the ICJ decided in the Order of its docket, Resolution 2 (December 19 2003) that it is fitting and proper for the ICJ to permit ‘Palestine’ – which does not represent a country – to “submit [to the Court] a written statement on the question … taking into account the fact that the General Assembly has granted Palestine a special status of observer and that the latter is co-sponsor of the draft resolution requesting the advisory opinion…”4

Dr. Pieter H. F. Bekker, a member of the American Society of International Law and former staff lawyer at the ICJ, dryly described the ICJ’s decision to invite a non-state “a novelty.”5 In a move reflecting a dubious regard for justice, the Court utilizes the PLO, a terror conglomerate, that in 1972 murdered 11 Israelis at the Munich Olympics6 and whose UN-sponsored website to this very day features the “Palestinian National Charter” calling for the destruction of Israel by armed struggle as an evidentiary source.7

Taking the ‘fence issue’ to the International Court of Justice was a controversial step from the start. The voting in the General Assembly on the resolution to request an advisory opinion passed the General Assembly, but not with the typical near-unanimous anti-Israel vote. The resolution failed to receive an absolute majority among 191 member states. There were 90 in favor, 8 against and 74 abstentions, including most of Europe8 19 delegations didn’t even show up to vote.9

According to Article 66 of the “International Court of Justice’s Charter,” “… any state[s] [are] entitled to appear before the Court.” Nevertheless, one is struck by the fact that 23 out of the 26 states who chose to present affidavits are categorized as “Not Free” by the human rights monitoring organization, Freedom House.

Some of these states are rated as the worst offenders of human rights for which:

“Political rights are absent or virtually nonexistent as a result of the extremely oppressive nature of the regime or severe oppression in combination with civil war. States and territories in this group may also be marked by extreme violence or warlord rule that dominates political power in the absence of an authoritative, functioning central government.”10

The 26 states include: Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Comoros, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and ‘Palestine’ – all of whom submitted scathing ‘finger pointing’ affidavits regarding Israel’s conduct. Nearly one-half of the briefs were from entities that do not even recognize Israel’s right to exist or have no diplomatic relations with Israel.11

What other entities were allowed to present affidavits? Clause 2 of Article 66 of the ICJ’s Charter cites that:

“The Registrar shall also, by means of a special and direct communication, notify any state entitled to appear before the Court or international organization considered by the Court … as likely to be able to furnish information on the question.”

It is most incongruous that the ICJ, ‘sticking strictly to its mandate’ repeats time and again the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” (out of context) but sees nothing wrong with accepting testimony from the PLO, Fateh, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic States, entities that refuse to recognize Israel, oppose compromise, justify support for terrorism, champion the use of violence and defy in words and deeds, ‘the inadmissability of use of violence.’

Fateh – the main faction of the PLO to which Arafat belonged and was its founding member – displays its constitution on its website.12 It calls under Article 12 for the:

“Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”

The next Fateh Article calls for:

“Establishing an independent democratic state with complete sovereignty on all Palestinian lands, and Jerusalem as its capital city, and protecting the citizens’ legal and equal rights without any racial or religious discrimination.”

As for how it will achieve its goals, Fateh’s constitution, Article 19, minces no words:

“Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.”

In the PLO’s testimony to the ICJ, which appears in paragraph 115 of the opinion, the organization claims that the Barrier:

“… severs the territorial sphere over which the Palestinian people are entitled to exercise their right of self-determination and constitutes a violation of the legal principle prohibiting the acquisition of territory by the use of force.”

The ICJ addresses this charge with all seriousness.

It is also illuminating to examine the record of the League of Arab States’ resolutions since the founding of the Arab League in 1945, which is hardly a model for peaceful settlement of disputes in the spirit of the United Nations. For instance, prior to the establishment of the Jewish state, the League took the following steps:13

  • In December 1945, the Arab League launched a boycott of ‘Zionist goods’ that continues to this day.14
  • In June 1946, it established the Higher Arab Committee to “coordinate efforts with regard to Palestine,” a radical body that led and coordinated attempts to wipe Israel off the map.15
  • In December 1946, it rejected the first proposed Palestine partition plans, reaffirming “that Palestine is a part of the Arab motherland.”16
  • In October 1947, prior to the vote on Resolution 181 – the “Partition Plan” – it reasserted the necessity for military preparations along Arab borders to “defending Palestine.”17
  • In February 1948, it approved “a plan for political, military, and economic measures to be taken in response to the Palestine crisis.”18
  • In October 1948, it rejected the UN “Partition Plan” for Palestine adopted by the General Assembly in Resolution 181.19

On May 15 1948, as the regular forces of Egypt, Trans-Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and contingents from Saudi Arabia and Yemen invaded Israel to ‘restore law and order,’ the Arab League issued a lengthy document entitled “Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine.” In it, the Arab states drew attention to:

“… the injustice implied in this solution [affecting] the right of the people of Palestine to immediate independence … declared the Arabs’ rejection of [Resolution 181]” which the League said “would not be possible to carry it out by peaceful means, and that its forcible imposition would constitute a threat to peace and security in this area” and claimed that the “security and order in Palestine have become disrupted” due to the “aggressive intentions and the imperialistic designs of the Zionists” and “the Governments of the Arab States, as members of the Arab League, a regional organization … view the events taking place in Palestine as a threat to peace and security in the area as a whole. … Therefore, as security in Palestine is a sacred trust in the hands of the Arab States, and in order to put an end to this state of affairs … the Governments of the Arab States have found themselves compelled to intervene in Palestine.”20

The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, was less diplomatic and far more candid. With no patience for polite or veiled language, on the same day Israel declared its independence on _May 14 1948, at a Cairo press conference reported the next day _in The New York Times, Pasha repeated the Arabs’ “intervention to _restore law and order” revealing:

“This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”

The League of Arab States continued to oppose peace after Israel’s 1948 War of Independence:

  • In July 15 1948, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 54 calling on Arab aggression to stop:

    Taking into consideration that the Provisional Government of Israel has indicated its acceptance in principle of a prolongation of the truce in Palestine; that the States members of the Arab League have rejected successive appeals of the United Nations Mediator, and of the Security Council in its resolution 53 (1948) of 7 July 1948, for the prolongation of the truce in Palestine; and that there has consequently developed a renewal of hostilities in Palestine.”21

  • In October 1949, the Arab League declared that negotiation with Israel by any Arab state would be in violation of Article 18 of the Arab League.22
  • In April 1950, it called for severance of relations with any Arab state which engaged in relations or contacts with Israel and prohibited Member states from negotiating unilateral peace with Israel.23
  • In March 1979, it suspended Egypt’s membership in the League (retroactively) from the date of its signing a peace treaty with Israel.24

More recently, in the Beirut Declaration of March 27-28, 2002, adopted at the height of Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel, the Arab League declared:

“We, the kings, presidents, and emirs of the Arab states meeting in the Council of the Arab League Summit in Beirut, capital of Lebanon ... have conducted a thorough assessment of the developments and challenges ... relating to the Arab region and, more specifically, to the occupied Palestinian territory. With great pride, we followed the Palestinian people’s intifada and valiant resistance. … We address a greeting of pride and honour to the Palestinian people’s steadfastness and valiant intifada against the Israeli occupation and its destructive war machine. We greet with honour and pride the valiant martyrs of the intifada.”25

The Arab League, which has systematically opposed and blocked peace efforts for 60 years, is in a declared state-of-war with Israel, and more recently, proudly and publicly supports the deeds of suicide bombers, is now deemed by the International Court of Justice to have something significant to contribute regarding the propriety of Israel’s security barrier.

Another ‘welcome participant’ in the ICJ’s proceedings was the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The OIC recently held a conference in Malaysia prior to the issuance of the ICJ opinion, dedicated to refuting the connection between the Muslim world and terrorism. In an editorial in The Washington Post (“Death Wish,” April 4 2002)26 the stunned editors of the paper noted the nature of this organization and its agenda:

“57 assembled states adopted a resolution that specifically rejected the idea that Palestinian ‘resistance’ to Israel has anything to do with terrorism … In effect, the Islamic conference sanctioned not only terrorism but also suicide as legitimate political instruments … It is hard to imagine any other grouping of the world’s nations that could reach such a self-destructive and morally repugnant conclusion … Muslim spokesmen protest that terrorism is not easily defined. … And yet it should not be hard to agree that a person who detonates himself in a pizza parlor or a discotheque filled with children, spraying scrap metal and nails in an effort to kill and maim as many of them as possible, has done something evil that can only discredit and damage whatever cause he hopes to advance.”

It continued and warned prophetically:

“That Muslim governments cannot agree on this is shameful evidence of their own moral and political corruption. … The Palestinian national cause will never recover – nor should it – until its leadership is willing to break definitively with the bombers. And Muslim states that support such sickening carnage will risk not just stigma but also their own eventual self-destruction.”

Nevertheless, the Bench of the International Court of Justice is convinced that such an organization can contribute to its deliberations.

The ICJ also overlooks the existence of Palestinian self-rule27 and the role _of the PA and Arafat in encouraging, financing, directing and even engaging directly in terrorism.28 It also ignored the solidarity Palestinian society has exhibited in embracing terrorism.

At the time of the hearings, reputable Palestinian pollster Dr. Khalil Shikaki of Ramallah found broad public support for terrorism and the belief that ‘terrorism pays off.’ In late September 2004, following the ICJ opinion that judges terrorism immaterial, Dr. Shikaki’s annual poll found 77 percent of all Palestinians support the double suicide bombing of two public buses in Beersheba (compared to 75 percent for a similar act at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa in October 2003, before the issuing of the ICJ’s opinion); 75 percent support the shelling of Israeli civilian settlements from Gaza; and 64 percent (up from 59 percent in October 2003) “believe armed confrontations have helped Palestinians achieve their national rights in ways that negotiations could not.”29

  1. See Appendix I. ICJ Advisory Opinion, 9 July 2004, paragraph 6.
  2. “OIC at Hague: Link between suicide attacks, Israeli ‘terror’” at: (11352)
  3. “ICJ rejects terror victim’s families participation,” The Jerusalem Post, February 21 2004 at: (11353)
  4. Order December 19 2003, at: (11354)
  5. Pieter H. F. Bekker, “The UN General Assembly Requests a World Court Advisory Opinion on Israel’s Separation Barrier,” American Society of International Law, December 2003, at: (11355)
  6. This and a host of other atrocities, including a 1970 attack on an Israeli elementary school bus that killed 12 children and adults. For details of the Munich massacre, see: (11356)
  7. Appendix G“Palestine National Charter 1968.” Also see: (10366) There is no ‘revised text’ of the Charter, as promised in 1993.
  8. Saul Singer, “Delegitimizing Israel,” National Review at: (11357)
  9. Pieter H. F. Bekker, “The UN General Assembly Requests a World Court Advisory Opinion on Israel’s Separation Barrier,” American Society of International Law, December 2003, at: (11355)
  10. Freedom House, an NGO founded nearly sixty years ago by Eleanor Roosevelt, monitors the degree of freedom accorded citizens of various countries according to various parameters, and classifies countries accordingly. For the full report see: (10783)
  11. Countries that do not recognize Israel: Cuba, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Republic of Korea. Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
  12. See Appendix H. The FATEH Constitution.
  13. Listing of the Arab League sessions covering the League sessions between June 4 1945 to November 17 1957 can be found at: (11358)
  14. Session: 2, Cairo, Egypt. Resolution 16 (December 16 1945), “The Boycott of Zionist Goods and Products” (Khalil, 2:161) – plans made to establish a committee to enforce the boycott. (11358)
  15. Session 4, Bludan, Syria, Resolution 82 (June 12 1946), “The Higher Arab Executive Committee” (Khalil, 2:162) – Establish the body to coordinate efforts with regard to Palestine. (11358)
  16. Ibid.
  17. Session: 7, Cairo, Egypt, Resolution 181 (October 9 1947), “Defending Palestine” (Khalil, 2:164-65) – Reassertion of the necessity for military preparations along Arab borders. (11358)
  18. Session: 8, Cairo, Egypt, February 1948, Council approved plan for political, military, and economic measures to be taken in response to the Palestine crisis, including withholding petroleum concessions and other possible sanctions against countries aiding the Zionists. (11358)
  19. Session: 9, Cairo, Egypt, October 1948, rejection of partition plan for Palestine. (11358)
  20. For the full text of the Arab League declaration on the invasion of Palestine – 15 May 1948, see Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs at: (11359)
  21. UN Security Council S/RES/54 (1948), July 15 1948, at: (10894)
  22. Session: 11, Resolution 250, October 1949, Cairo, Egypt, Declared that any member State negotiating with Israel would be in violation of Article 18 of the Arab League Pact. (11358)
  23. Session: 12, Resolution 312 (April 13 1950) Called for severance of relations with any Arab State, which engaged in relations or contacts with Israel. (11358)
  24. Session: 70, March 1979, Bagdad, Iraq, Resolution to recommend severance of political and diplomatic relations with Egypt. (11358)
  25. For excerpts from the text, posted in English translation on the Arab portal al-bab (‘Gateway’), see: (11360)
  26. Defending Palestinian suicide bombers. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 3 2002. See: (11369). See also “Malaysia PM: Arm Islam, Fight Jews” at: (10514) and (11482)
  27. See Main Points of Gaza-Jericho Agreement (Oslo) at: (11371)
  28. See IDF report: “Arafat’s and the PA’s Involvement in Terrorism” at: (11372)
  29. See polls by pollster Dr. Khalil Shukaki, at:

This document uses extensive links via the Internet. If you experience a broken link, please note the 5 digit number (xxxxx) at the end of the URL and use it as a Keyword in the Search Box at

Top ↑ Powered by Remote IT