Since when did 120 Jewish lawyers ever agree on anything ………..

Some 120 Jewish lawyers say that reassertion of sovereignty by Israel in Judea/Samaria would amount to ‘annexation’ and would therefore be illegal. On a quick count 59 of the signatories (letter here) are resident in the US, 34 in the UK, 14 in Israel, 12 in Australia, 2 elsewhere.

They are wrong.  Consequent on the San Remo Accord, the League of Nations designated the West Bank for a Jewish homeland in 1922.  The international legal doctrine of uti possidetis juris granted Israel sovereignty over Judea and Samaria upon its independence in 1948. Jordan illegally conquered and annexed the territory during its 1948 attempt to destroy Israel. Israel defended itself from Jordanian aggression in 1967. If Israel applies civilian law to part of Area C, that is NOT an attempt to gain sovereignty over another country’s territory!

Most of the signatories are not from the UK. I’ll leave it for others in their jurisdictions to comment on why they would sign a factually incorrect letter.

As for the UK signatories, let’s start with Adam Wagner. He thinks that saying Kaddish for Hamas terrorists is simply expressing a ‘range of opinions’. And he promoted (tweet since deleted) a vile article attacking Labour Against Antisemitism, the wonderful organisation whose volunteers worked unceasingly to defeat Corbyn in December.wagner luis june 2020

Wagner even opposed the conviction of Alison Chabloz for her obscenely antisemitic songs!

wagner luis 2 june 2020

Five of the signatories are from Matrix Chambers, the group of human rights barristers which ‘formed strong links’ with Phil Shiner, the disgraced lawyer struck off after he ‘hounded British soldiers with false murder and torture claims’. Hugh Tomlinson is also a member of Matrix. He wrote a hostile opinion of the IHRA definition of antisemitism for which he was paid by four anti-Israel organisations: the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, ‘Free Speech on Israel’, Independent Jewish Voices and Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

Sarah Sackman was was the Labour Party candidate in Finchley and Golders Green in the 2015 General Election. In its manifesto for the 2019 general election Labour promised to impose an arms embargo on Israel and to recognise a Palestinian State if it gained office. Fortunately it didn’t.

Philippe Sands was a Board Member of the Tricycle Theatre when it refused to host the Jewish Film Festival unless it distanced from funding from the Israel Embassy. He defended the decision on BBC TV. Commendably the Festival stood its ground and has never returned to the Tricycle. I boycott the Tricycle and many others do too.

Simon Myerson is a signatory of Yachad, the far left organisation which denounces Israel to British Ministers.  Yachad was closely linked with the despicable Kaddish for Hamas. 22 of the 49 (45%) who said they were going to the event also signed the Yachad letter lambasting the Board of Deputies’ excellent Gaza statement. Myerson is no ‘youth’ but recently signed a ‘communal youth letter’(signature subsequently deleted)

Several other signatories – eg Harold Paisner and Justin Crewe and Mark Phillips
and David Leibowitz – are commercial lawyers with no known expertise in matters of national sovereignty. As for Lords Collins, Dyson, Woolf and Sir Michael Burton – not impressed.  The Age of Deference is long dead.  I tried to find examples of them speaking out for Israel or against antisemitism.  I found  this. Three days before the election and all he could say was ‘There’s a powerful case that Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite‘.  Please don’t stick your neck out, m’Lud.  Maybe he should go back to selling vacuum cleaners

34 Jewish lawyers in the UK and 59 in the US signed the letter. Thousands of Jewish lawyers in the UK, the US, Israel, Australia and South Africa  DID NOT SIGN.

If you were a Jewish lawyer who was approached to sign the letter and refused – Thank You!

If you’re one of the 34 in the UK who DID sign, how come you’ve never volunteered to help UK Lawyers for Israel, if you’re so concerned about the country?

Addendum: Natasha Haudorff (a barrister and a Director of UK Lawyers for Israel, who has clerked for the President of the Israeli Supreme Court) has published this excellent reference piece.

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