UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) exposed numerous factual and legal errors in Harvard’s International Human Rights Clinic’s (IHRC) submission to the United Nations that slanderously accused Israel of being an apartheid state. UKLFI and CAMERA have urged the Dean of Harvard Law School to distance the school from this flawed report.
On 27 May 2021, following Operation Guardian of the Walls, the United Nations Human Rights Council created what is potentially the most anti-Israel mechanism to date: the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and Israel (“CoI”).
On 28 February 2022, the IHRC, along with Addameer – an organization tied to the terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – made a joint submission to the COI, alleging that Israel is an “apartheid” state.
UKLFI and CAMERA have responded directly to Harvard Law, demonstrating to them that the submission not only failed to substantiate this serious allegation, but contained basic factual errors and demonstrated shockingly poor legal analysis for such a prestigious institution.
From IHRC contradicting its own incendiary claim that Jewish Israelis are “privileged” to presenting inaccurate figures that misrepresent the Jewish state, the submission is filled with falsehoods and omissions. In slandering Israel as an “apartheid” state, IHCR completely fails to account for the existence of armed conflict. Instead, the clinic simply states as truth that Israel’s security measures fail a “balancing test” without ever actually applying the test. IHRC fails to explain how Israel’s repeated offers of peace and statehood to the Palestinians is consistent with their claim that Israel has an “intent to dominate.” In a particularly absurd moment, the authors even suggest that Israel’s detention of a handful of terrorists is preventing political life for Palestinians.
UKLFI and CAMERA have written to the Dean of Harvard Law School, calling on him to distance Harvard Law School from the false and incendiary claims of the law clinic.
In the true spirit of intellectual pursuit and legal debate, UKLFI and CAMERA also call on the Harvard Law Clinic to collaborate in holding a public debate on the claims made in the latter’s submission, under mutually agreed terms. If the IHRC stands behind the submission, this will offer them an opportunity to defend their claims.
Yifa Segal, International Director of UKLFI, explained: “UKLFI and CAMERA prepared the reply as we were concerned that the prestigious name of Harvard Law School may grant credibility to the submission by its International Human Rights Law Clinic. It might not be clear to all readers that this was not submitted officially by the law school and was evidently not vetted by it.”
Adv. Yifa added: “A debate would grant students the opportunity to hear both sides of the argument, perhaps for the first time. We’ve seen how such radically false allegations inflame hatred and give rise to antisemitism worldwide. We must expose these lies and set the record straight.”
David Litman, CAMERA research analyst, said: “Serious charges require serious evidence. One-sided accusations, omitting inconvenient facts, and outright distortions of reality fall far short of the standard to be expected of law students and legal professionals. If the anonymous authors stand behind their work, let them come forward and defend their charges.”