The campaign of delegitimization Israel has been facing in a global organized fashion since Durban I, which has evolved not “just against Israel…[but]…also against the Jewish People,” isn’t really new.  Anti-zionism during the early Mandate period,  even including outstanding Jewish personages almost succeeded in overturning the Balfour Declaration policy (see: “Was Balfour Policy Reversible? The Colonial Office and Palestine, 1921-23” by Sahar Huneidi in the Journal of Palestine Studies; and a series of articles published in the Daily Mail that became a book, “The Palestine Deception” by Joseph M. N. Jeffries).  Let us not forget that on June 21, 1922, the idea of the Palestine Mandate for Jews was defeated in a vote of 60 to 29 in the UK House of Lords with Lord Islington pronouncing the following:  “I venture to say that Zionism, as it is now in practice in Palestine, is really the antithesis of the true principles embodied in the mandatory system.”  

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Indeed, as Shmuel Katz has highlighted, the first Arab political organization, the Moslem Christian Association (MCA), was organized at the inspiration of Jaffa’s District Military Governor, Lt. Col. J. E. Hubbard, who had formally proposed to his superiors in the military government administration the setting up of an Arab organization under the personal direction of the district head of British Intelligence, Captain Brunton. Sir Wyndham Deedes later admitted that from its inception the Moslem Christian Association had enjoyed “the support and financial aid of the British administration.”  Does this subversive interference not sound familiar in a current phenomenon?  So, too, the EU funding of Israeli NGOs as outside subversive interference isn’t new either.

Lawfare is one form of this delegitimization onslaught but a more invidious manipulation of the science of the law I found in this academic paper, "Sovereignty, Colonialism and the ''State'' of Palestine Under International Law" by John Reynolds of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, from 2009. 
I’ve picked out four problems with this presentation and the first concerns Reynolds presumption of what he defines as:

The creation of a Palestinian State

Actually, the idea was the reconstitution of the Jewish national home in which Arabs had no special mention but were lumped together in the demographic pool of simply "non-Jews."  Not a “Palestinian state” but a Jewish national home in the territory known as “Palestine.”  Here:

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country

Those underlined words, it is obvious, would seem very clear to even someone not steeped in legalisms as not supporting Reynold''s thesis.  The Jews, indeed, are to be granted the political national rights in and to the country and all others, and Arabs are not even mentioned specifically, receive but civil and religious rights to be honored by the Jewish state.

The second problem is in this formulation of his, that:

Conceptions of that State had changed according to prevailing social and political circumstances

Again, he pushes “that State” which was not conceived as being the purpose of the Mandate as he would have had us believe and then he hides from his readers what those “circumstances” were.  He glosses over the reality that they were basically quite illegal attempts by Arabs to violently thwart the Mandate decision, and thus violate international law.  The Arabs, in 1919-20 in Jerusalem, in 1921 in Jaffa, in 1929 in Hebron and other locations throughout the country in the three year riots of 1936-1939, broke the laws, slaughtered, murdered, raped, robbed and pillaged Jews and destroyed and burned property.  That effort sought to deny Jews any place for their "home" anywhere in the territory defined as "Palestine."

Moreover, the British themselves betrayed the Mandate decision in 1939 by issuing a White Paper policy statement that was considered an illegal act in that it broke with the terms of the British Mandate as decreed by the League of Nations and the Balfour Declaration.  As was the report of the Permanent Mandates Commission to the Council of the League, the Commission unanimously stated:

...The policy set out in the [1939] White Paper was not in accordance with the interpretation which, in agreement with the Mandatory Power and the Council, the Commission had placed upon the Palestine Mandate

As further made clear, what the British government did was to:

Declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State

And that was wrong and ultimately, was an indirect collaborative effort with Nazi Germany during the Holocaust when Jews, because of that White Paper, could not enter the Mandate.  With no where to go and with British officials assuring they could not leave Europe for the Palestine Mandate, only the concentration camps and crematoria were the option.

My third point I chose from his writing is this terminology, the buzz words of radical progressive thought:

The history of decolonisation, the appropriate framework for succeeding foreign rule

Despite repeated attempts by Arabs and their supporters, Jews returning to their national patrimony were not and are not "colonisers" or engaged in "colonisation" (and read this).  We are home, not in some overseas colony.  We are not imperialists.

The fourth negative element is this phrase:
The Palestinians, as a people that identifies itself as a national group connected to a Palestinian homeland

In my opinion (and read Eli Hertz’s opinion), self-identification is simply not sufficient especially as there is an internationally legally-recognized pre-claim by the Jewish people that surely is superior to any Arab-related claim by any objective parameter since the Arabs were conquerors and occupiers of the Jewish homeland beginning in 638 CE, 2000 years after the Jewish presence.  During the Mandate period, the nationality of "Palestinian" applied to Jews and non-Jews as so even according to this "analysis," Jews still have at least (and so much more) an equal claim as any Arab. And in any case, Jews can also claim a “self identity” claim at least as equal to Arabs who assert they are “Palestinian” other than the Mandate Palestinian nationality.

Today, the assertion of a separate "Arab Palestinian" identity, which is distinct from, say, a Jordanian identity – and we need recall that Jordan was a fiction of British colonialism created in the March 1921 Cairo Conference -  is a fabrication and cannot compare with the historical, religious, cultural and physical connection Jews had and have with the Land of Israel.

In all, Reynold''s legal mumbo-jumbo is all blarney, nothing but deceptive nonsense and misleading talk.  Which is too bad since Reynold is a doctoral candidate at the Irish Centre for Human Rights and also a Government of Ireland Scholar; NUI Travelling Scholar; LL.M International Human Rights Law (NUI Galway); BBLS (University College Dublin).  His academic papers are here.

Mr. Reynold seems to be ideologically driven by a political viewpoint, which is unfortunate for him and academia.  It is also unfortunate for Israel that such claptrap is considered wisdom amongst too many self-appointed intellectual elites.

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