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The Palestine Center Annual Conference 2004 Implementing the International Court of Justice Ruling on the Wall: The Role of States and Civil Society The United States and the Law Panel II: The Responsibility of States in Upholding International Law. Presentation by Josh Ruebner

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Presentation by Josh Ruebner Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

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The Palestine Center Annual Conference 2004Implementing the International Court of Justice Ruling on the Wall: The Role of States and Civil SocietyThe United States and the LawPanel II: The Responsibility of States in Upholding International Law

Presentation by Josh Ruebner

Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation


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ICJ Advisory Opinion Extracts

Paragraph 163(D)

All States are under an obligation:

Not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall

Not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction

To ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention [Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War]


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U.S. Undermining of ICJ

  • United States voted no on UN General Assembly Resolution ES-10/13 on Oct. 21, 2003, which declared the wall to be in “contradiction” to international law. joining with:

    Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia

  • United States voted no on UN General Assembly Resolution ES-10/14 on Dec. 8, 2003, which sent the matter to the ICJ

  • The United States submitted a written statement to the ICJ on Jan. 30, in which it argued that an advisory opinion “risks undermining the peace process and politicizing the Court”.

  • Mike Pence (R-IN) introduced H.Con.Res.371 on Feb. 26. The resolution supports “the construction by Israel of a security fence to prevent Palestinian terrorist attacks” and rebuked the UN for requesting ICJ assistance on this matter. 164 Representatives co-sponsored.

  • On April 1, 79 Senators sent a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urging him to “act so that the ICJ does not take up the issue.”


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U.S. Reaction to ICJ Opinion

  • State Dept. spokesperson Richard Boucher characterized the ICJ ruling as “one that we didn't think was appropriate under international law”. It could “impede efforts to achieve progress towards a negotiated settlement”. (State Dept. Daily Press Briefing, July 9.)

  • Mike Pence (R-IN) introduced H.Res.713 on July 13, deploring the “misuse” of the ICJ for the “narrow political purpose of advancing the Palestinian position”. The ICJ opinion “seeks to infringe upon Israel's right to self-defense”. Passed the House on July 15 by a vote of 361-45-13.

  • Gordon Smith (R-OR) introduced S.Res.408 on July 20. The resolution “condemns” the ICJ and “supports the construction of a security fence”. The resolution also refers to the West Bank as “disputed” territory. 40 cosponsors.


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U.S. Rendering of Aid & Assistance

FY2005 Foreign Operations Appropriations:

Foreign Military Financing (FMF): $2.2 billion (does not include joint DoD-IDF funding)

Economic Support Funds (ESF): $360 million (does not include $50 million for immigrant resettlement)

Loan guarantees: $9 billion authorized over three years (Public Law No. 108-11: Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2003)


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U.S. Exports of Bulldozers to Israel, 1996-2003

Source: US International Trade Commission


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Legislation to Bring U.S. into Compliance w/ ICJ

  • Loan guarantees can be used "only to support activities in the geographic areas which were subject to the administration of the Government of Israel before June 5, 1967.” President deducted only $289.5 million from available loans in Nov. 2003. Human Rights Watch estimates $1.3 billion for total construction of wall.

  • Arms Export Control Act (Public Law 90-829) limits the use of U.S. military aid to "internal security" and "legitimate self-defense" and prohibits its use against civilians.

  • Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (PL 87-195), Section 116, states that "No assistance may be provided under this part to the government of any country which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights”.


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