A group of law and international relations students, who are members of Israel
advocacy group Stand With Us, are continuing their efforts in the battle to
influence Israel’s image on issues of international law by hosting their second
annual conference of foreign students.
Sixty students, ten more than last
year, are taking part in this week’s event, the Student Conference on
International Law (SCIL), at the university’s Law Faculty, which started Monday
and runs until Thursday.
The 60 participants hail from 25 countries and
speak 18 different languages. All of them have scholastic focuses, internships
or ambitions to work in fields relating to international law.
the group organized its first conference in response to the would-be “Gaza
Flotilla II,” in which people sailed their vessels toward Gaza in an attempt to
break the blockade, and the Welcome to Palestine “flytilla,” in which hundreds
of pro-Palestinian activists flew to Israel.
The theme for this year’s
conference is addressing Israel’s legal challenges, turning theory to
One of the conference organizers, Stand With Us’s Shay Assor,
said this year’s conference is even more diverse than last year’s and that the
delegates have increased both in quantity and in quality.
also attending from countries as diverse as India, Singapore, Nigeria and many
According to Stand With Us, one participant grew up in
Tehran until the age of 19 and is currently finishing a masters’ degree in
international law in The Hague. Another is a Chinese student who works in the
district court in one of his country’s biggest provinces.
from the Netherlands is working as a legal advisor to NATO.
last year, the conference will include workshops and lectures by high-profile
Israeli law and diplomacy experts, including former ambassador to the United
Nations Professor Gabriella Shalev.
Other prominent speakers include
Supreme Court Justice Neil Hendel, Channel 2’s senior commentator Ehud Ya’ari,
representatives of the IDF Military Advocate General and the Foreign Ministry,
leading international law experts from the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University,
and delegates from other organizations, including UNESCO.
lawyer Richard D. Heideman, who has brought terrorism cases in the United States
against Libya, Syria and Iran as state sponsors of terror, will give the keynote
“Those who hate and desire to annihilate Israel must not be
permitted to mis-brand Israel as a cover for their own heinous acts of
terrorism…. This conference attempts to give up-andcoming international
attorneys the ability to understand the important issues of the day,” said
“This initiative is all the more impressive because it is
spearheaded by Israeli students concerned about how legal minds of the future
are viewing their country…. To fully appreciate the balance that Israel is
striking every day between upholding the highest humanitarian standards and
complying with international law, you need to come here,” said Stand With Us
Israel Director Michael Dickson.
The conference is sponsored by the
Faculty of Law at Hebrew University, the Washington law firm of Heideman
Nudelman & Kalik, PC, the Pratt Foundation and The Israel Forever