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International Law and 50 Years of Occupation


Oct 20 2017


11:45 am - 1:15 pm


Forum for Scholars and Publics

011 Old Chemistry Building, Duke's West Campus Quad

International Law and 50 Years of Occupation

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International Law and 50 Years of Occupation

With Lisa Hajjar

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.

Free and open to the public. A light lunch will be served. This event is part of the speaker series, “50 Years of Occupation, 1967-2017: Israel/Palestine, Histories and Futures,” co-sponsored by the Duke Center for Jewish Studies, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, Humanities Futures @ the Franklin Humanities Institute, and the Duke University Middle East Studies Center.


Lisa Hajjar

University of California, Santa Barbara

Lisa Hajjar is a professor of sociology at the University of California – Santa Barbara. Her publications include Courting Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza (University of California Press, 2005) and Torture: A Sociology of Violence and Human Rights (Routledge 2013). She is currently…...

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