Academics talk fighting de-legitimization in Knesset

Academics and MKs brainstormed on how to fight slander of Israel in a Knesset Caucus To Fight De-legitimization meeting Monday.

Demonstrators march in central London July 19 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Demonstrators march in central London July 19
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Academics and MKs brainstormed on how to fight slander of Israel in a Knesset Caucus To Fight Delegitimization meeting Monday.
"We want to know how to improve our public democracy when facing the great mass of action to de-legitimize the Jewish People and Israel," caucus and Yisrael Beytenu faction chairman Robert Ilatov said.
Ilatov added: "Israel needs to change the narrative that claims we are an 'occupier'...this is a mistaken narrative that leads the world to question Israel's right to defend itself."
Professor Eugene Kontorovich of Northwestern University, a Senior Fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem, recounted that Mandatory Palestine, which was supposed to become a Jewish state alone, included the West Bank.
"The Mandate created a provisional state whose borders clearly ran from the river to the sea. Under well-established international law rules those borders remain the same unless something formal happens to change them," Kontorovich explained. "No such event has occurred. Moreover, this has nothing to do with the Mandate being designated for a Jewish national home. If all the Jews here, and all the Arabs, moved to Canada, and Filipinos moved in instead, it would not change the fact that this geopolitical entity has the same borders as established by the Mandate."
In addition, Kontorovich pointed out that other countries in the area kept their mandatory borders despite demographic changes. For example, Lebanon was meant to be a Christian Arab state under the French mandate. Though Christians are now the minority, the borders did not change.
As for the West Bank, Kontorovich explained: "Israel's legal title to the land under the Mandate means it cannot be an occupier…In international law, a country can't occupy itself. This makes all the questions about the legality of settlements moot, because they are based on the existence of an occupation."
Bar-Ilan University expert on Arabs and Islam Dr. Mordechai Kedar suggested a few simple fixes to improve Israel's image.
First, he suggested that Ben-Gurion Airport not be called TLV on flight tickets, rather JSM for Jerusalem, saying that not doing so is de-legitimizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Second, Kedar said Israel should not have celebrated 66 years of independence this year, rather it should celebrate 2,964 years since the first Holy Temple was dedicated in Jerusalem, marking Jewish sovereignty in the city.
Third, Kedar suggested that Israel not allow Al Jazeera to report from Israel, just as it does not allow Iranian or Hezbollah channels to do so.
"I appear on Al Jazeera sometimes, and they are committing media jihad," Kedar said. "Qatar hates Israel. They spent half a billion dollars on a media campaign to make Jerusalem not part of the State of Israel.
"The Emir of Qatar spent another half billion on infrastructure in Gaza, and when I say infrastructure, you know what I mean, tunnels [for terrorism]. They bought cement so Hamas can attack us," he added.