Dershowitz: “My job today is to delegitimize international law.”
The Jerusalem Post reports on a recent discussion between Alan Dershowitz, Aharon Barak, and Amnon Rubinstein on Israel’s proper attitude toward international law. Each represented a different perspective. Barak (former Israeli Supreme Court chief) suggests that Israel must follow international law as it is, while Rubinstein argued that Israel should engage to make sure international law is interpreted fairly and reasonably against it. And then there is Dershowitz’s position, which is (predictably), the most interesting and extreme position:
Dershowitz charged that Israel was singled out for discrimination by those who interpret international law, whether they are international tribunals like the International Court of Justice, human rights organizations or left-wing academics, including Israeli and Jewish ones.
“The judges in the international tribunes are corrupt,” Dershowitz said. “They are appointed by political leaders to do their state’s bidding. You can’t have one law for Britain, one for America and another one for Israel. You can’t have different laws for thee and me. We see human rights turning into human wrongs or human lefts.
“My job today is to delegitimize international law, to attack it to the core. There must be one standard for all. Until that day happens, I will be its sworn enemy. I prefer no international law to unfair international law.”
Buried beneath Dershowitz’s colorful rhetoric (“sworn enemy”!) is a lot of legitimate criticism of how the laws of armed conflict are applied against Israel. Since the Israeli government has been, in general, pretty sensitive to international law issues, its ultimate attitude toward this kind of international law is pretty important. Interestingly, it is Dershowitz, the non-Israeli, who is recommending the most radical and aggressive position.