Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The 2009 Edward Said Memorial Lecture by Richard Falk “Imagining Israel-Palestine Peace: Why International Law Matters”

The exclusion of international law from past efforts to establish a peace process has disadvantaged the Palestinians and benefitted the Israelis. Respect for Palestinian rights would help neutralize the disparities of diplomatic and military power that have so far existed. Neither the realization of rights nor military power can achieve either peace or victory for one side. International law matters in the following respects: to identify the contours of a fair and sustainable peace; to explain the failures of past diplomatic efforts to solve the conflict; to establish winners and losers in the legitimacy war that is being waged on a global battlefield.

Richard Falk is the UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestine Territories and Visiting Distinguished Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Previously, he was the Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice at Princeton University. He was a member of the Independent International Commission on Kosovo (1999-2001) and the Human Rights Inquiry Commission for Palestine of the UN Human Rights Commission (2002). Mr. Falk is author of several books including The Declining World Order (2004), The Costs of War (2008) and Achieving Human Rights (2009).

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