Announcement: International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism, Cork 31 March – 2 April 2017

by | 12 Dec 2016

olivebranchIt is with excitement that we are announcing the launch of the conference “International Law & the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism” that will be held between the 31stof March and the 2nd of April 2017 at University College Cork, a constituent university of the National University of Ireland.

This conference will be the first of its kind and constitutes a ground-breaking historical event on the road towards justice and enduring peace in historic Palestine. It is unique because, while most attention today is directed at Israel’s actions in the 1967 Occupied Territories, the conference seeks to expand the debate surrounding the nature of the State of Israel and the legal and political reality within it.

The conference will raise questions that link the suffering in historic Palestine to the manner of Israel’s foundation and its nature. It aims to generate a debate on legitimacy, responsibility and exceptionalism under international law as provoked by the nature of the Israeli state. It will also examine how international law could be deployed, expanded, and even re-imagined, in order to achieve peace and reconciliation based on justice.

The conference is interdisciplinary; its examination of the themes of legitimacy, responsibility and exceptionalism will link issues pertinent to a wide range of academic fields. Speakers include leading scholars from Law, Politics, Philosophy, Theology, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, History and other disciplines.

Keynote addresses and panel sessions will provide a much-needed platform for scholarly debate and disagreement. Speakers and participants will come from widely differing backgrounds, having different, and indeed opposing, perspectives on the central questions addressed by this conference.

Recent developments in some countries – particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom – have evidenced a chilling repression of academic freedom when it comes to critique of Israeli state policy. This renders it all the more crucial to provide forums for such debate. The history of this conference reflects these developments. Originally, it was planned to hold the conference at the University of Southampton, but growing pressure on academic freedom in the United Kingdom forced a decision to move the conference to Ireland. We look forward to productive and constructive academic engagement in Cork with the vital themes and questions raised by the conference.

Organising committee:

Ms. Juman Asmail, Independent Researcher.
Professor Oren Ben-Dor, University of Southampton.
Professor George Bisharat, University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Professor James Bowen, University College Cork.
Mr. Mike FitzGibbon, University College Cork.
Dr. Kathy Glavanis-Grantham, University College Cork.
Dr. Piaras MacEinri, University College Cork.
Dr. Jacqui O’Riordan, University College Cork.
Dr. John Reynolds, Maynooth University.
Professor Suleiman Sharkh, University of Southampton.


  1. I am interested in attending the conference.

    Kindly let me have details about the venue, registration and the programme.

    • Hi Rahim, that is great. Please look at the website for details and look forward to seeing you in Cork. Oren Ben-Dor

      • Hi there how can I contact the organisers of this event? Please let me know, thank you!

  2. The 48 war was the was the result of the Palestinians together with their Arab allies to perform ethnic cleansing on the Jews and their failure to complete it.
    Every single Jew in the parts of the Mandate seized by the Arabs was expelled from their homes. No exceptions.

    850,000 Jews were also forced from the Arab countries.

    After the 5 Arab armies attacked Israel in 48, Palestinian leader Haj Amin Al Husseini stated:
    I declare a holy war, my muslim brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!
    The Arab League Secretary, General Azzam Pasha declared “a holy war. He said, “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.

    • You have a poor grasp of history (which parts of “the Mandate” were seized by Arabs, for example?) Maybe read some history books before sounding off.

      • The Etzion Block and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem for starters besides the villages of Ataroth and Neve Yaacov North of Jerusalem; and in the North the Mishmar HaYarden triangle (temporarily) the Yarmuk re-entrant, The Customs House above the Bridge of Jacob’s Daughters and the hills above Tel Dan where the Syrians built Tel Fajr and two other forts from which to regularly annoy the Israeli villages in the Jordan Valley till the areas was retaken in 1967. In fact the Syrian demand for the Green Line is in flagrante breach of the Arab parrot cry against acquiring territory by war which sits badly on the lips of the biggest imperialists between Rome and Maritime Europe. So much for 1948 but in 1929 the Arab rioters led the British to evacuate Jews from not just Hebron but Beer Sheva, Gaza, and Nablus.

        • You left out the Kfar Shiloach neighborhood of Jerusalem, now called Silwan, which also underwent Arab-initiated ethnic cleansing campaigns and finally, British authorities who were not willing and incapable to protect the Jews of Shiloach, evacuated the last remaining 35-40 Yemenite families in August 1938.

          • Oh, and the same happened in the north with Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood, ethnically cleansed in early 1948 aswell as the Kibbutz Bet HaAravah on the Dead Sea shore.

          • That’s interesting, Yisreal.
            The same Silwan that “anti-Apartheid” activists raise holy terror over if a Jew tries to move into the neighbourhood?

  3. Jews represent 0.1% of the world’s population. They have a tiny sliver of desert land they can call a country where they can be safe from the rampant gangs bigotry such as one-sided forums like this. Go pick on a country that is not presented with existential threats on a daily basis. Ireland is 3x bigger than Israel. Go pick on a country your own size.

    • “They have a tiny sliver of desert land they can call a country”

      (a) it’s not a desert and (b) if they just wish to live peacefully in Israel, why have they occupied Gaza and the West Bank for fifty years an annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan?

      • I will answer your question with a my own question.Why did the Palestinians fail to declare a nation state of their own between 1948 and 1967 when there were no settlements and no occupation . ? Purely rhetorical of course . There never was any intent.The goal in 67 was to annihilate Israel and take the whole land . The Arab armies were defeated but the objective remains the same.Stage your nonsensical hate fest if you must . It achieves nothing more than to provide a warm environment for like minded polemicists and those with deeply unpleasant motives

      • And who did they take this land off Poor Emma?

        Arabs didnt start calling themselves Palestinian until the late 60’s. What do the 600,000 Syrians planted in Israel in the 50’s refer to themselves?

        Or the Arab Nations who expelled between 850,000-1 million indigenous Jews and called for them to ‘be sent to their home in Palestine”. Thats the real Nakba. Not the 50,000 or so Arabs who were told to leave for 48 hours while the Arab Nations slaughtered the Jews and Christians and others.

        LOL You re writers of historical facts. Always a pleasure to see a lady support the Islamic State of Palestine

  4. In the Balfour Declaration of 1971, in the San Remo decision of 1920 and the Mandate decision of the League of Nations in 1922, the term “Arab” does not appear at all. Only “non-Jews”, which includes Arabs and a dozen other nationalities living in the country at the time, mainly reps of religious orders and such such as German Templars, Greek Orthodox monks, Franciscans, et al.

    Almost 60 nations did not know of an Arab nation who were “Palestinians”? Is that possible?

    They were completely invisible?

    Or perhaps all knew that the entire Middle East was for Arabs – except for “Palestine” which was to become the reconstituted Jewish national Home? Jews were the primary national group who possessed superior political & national rights while local Arabs were awarded no more than “civil and religious rights [of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine]”.

    • 1917.
      sorry for typing error.

  5. When this academic exercise is over it will be interesting to take its conclusions to the independences and legitimacies of the USA and Ireland, several Latin American states and Saudi Arabia which was assembled by that gangster Abdul Azziz ibn Saud who having conquered the place named it after himself and in best feudal manner went round his tribes marrying and divorcing the daughters of the chiefs.

  6. If the Palestines want there State they have to earn it , it reminds me of this storey an elderly man wanted to win the lottery before he was eighty
    When he reached eighty he had not won the lottery he bitterly complained to god for not winning , God replied by telling him how do you expect to win you did not buy lottery ticket, the moral of this storey
    The Palestines have not bought a ticket they have to talk directly to Israel if they want to achieve a State of the own also they have to get rid of Hamas for anything to happen.


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