POSTS BY Yuval Shany

The ABC of the OPT: The Broken Promise of Belligerent Occupation Law

The ABC of the OPT, the award-winning new publication by three outstanding Israeli scholars and jurists – Orna Ben-Naftali, Michael Sfard and Hedi Viterbo –demonstrates, in a masterly fashion, the use and abuse of the laws of belligerent occupation as a masquerade for raw power and as a tool for oppression. The authors illustrate, using the format of a legal lexicon dedicated to specific legal terms and rhetorical devices (or newspeak), how the distorted application of the laws of belligerent occupation by Israeli lawyers and judges has conferred an aura of decency and legitimacy upon the long and open-ended occupation of the West Bank. This approach draws its intellectual roots from classic insights of critical legal studies – e.g., that law is chronically malleable to abuse and that law constitutes politics through other means.

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