New York Times

NYT: World Court Says Israeli Barrier Violates International Law

The International Court of Justice ruled today that it is against international law for Israel to build its barrier in the West Bank and that it should be dismantled. The advisory ruling by the World Court, in the Hague, is nonbinding. But it contributes to the debate surrounding construction of the network of fencing and ditches on lands that have been the focus of Middle East peace efforts. Israel says it is building the barrier as self-defense against attackers, but Palestinians call it an attempt to grab land. A copy of the ruling, posted on the Web site before the court began its reading of the decision, said that the construction of the wall is “contrary to international law.” 

Debating Universal Jurisdiction in Belgium

“The controversy started in 2001, when the survivors of the 1982 massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut by pro-Israeli Christian Lebanese militia filed a criminal complaint in Belgium against Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who was minister of defense in the early 1980’s. Soon, the law that had won widespread praise was being attacked by lawyers, business leaders and foreign governments — in particular, the United States and Israel.” Daphne Eviatar, writing in The New York Times, gives a full and fair overview of recent developments in Belgium’s Universal Jurisdiction law and the ongoing battle against impunity for war crimes.