Lisa Hajjar – “International Law and Fifty Years of Occupation”

Date: October 20, 2017
Time: 11:45am - 1:15pm
Location: Forum for Scholars and Publics / 011 Old Chem

A light lunch will be served.

The Israeli government’s approach to controlling the West Bank and Gaza and changes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the past fifty years involve evolving official reinterpretations of international humanitarian law (IHL) as well as human rights laws. These reinterpretations, while intellectually sophisticated, deviate significantly from international consensus about the status of the occupied territories and the rights and duties of an occupying state. The reinterpretive project has been undertaken in order to, first, assert that the territories are not “occupied” and then “legalize” state practices toward Palestinians that violate customary legal norms and bedrock rules of IHL, including torture, targeted killing, and the use of massive force against civilians. Israel’s continuing occupation provides a unique testing ground to debate the interpretation, applicability, and enforceability of IHL. This talk addresses the reinterpretative project and its consequences.

Cosponsored by the Forum for Scholars and Publics, Humanities Futures @ the Franklin Humanities Institute, and the Duke University Middle East Studies Center.