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 (UNHRC) 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 which has had links with the terrorist organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – made a joint submission to the CoI, alleging that Israel is an “apartheid” state.
UKLFI and CAMERA have responded directly to Harvard’s Law School, arguing that the submission not only failed to substantiate this serious allegation, but also contained basic factual errors and shockingly poor legal analysis for such a prestigious institution.
According to UKLFI and CAMERA, the submission contradicts its own incendiary claim that Jewish Israelis are “privileged” and presents inaccurate figures that misrepresent the Jewish state. In slandering Israel as an “apartheid” state, UKLFI and CAMERA comment that the IHRC fails to take into account the 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’s submission also fails to explain how Israel’s repeated offers of peace and statehood to the Palestinians are consistent with its claim that Israel has an “intent to dominate.” The submission even suggests that Israel’s detention of a handful of terrorist suspects 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 it an opportunity to defend the 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 radically false allegations inflame hatred and give rise to antisemitism worldwide. We must expose these 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.”