On January 15, 2013, University of Houston Law Center professor Jordan Paust penned an article entitled “Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program and Lawful Israeli Self-Defense,” which was published on Jurist, a website of analysis and opinion pieces written by law professors, lawyers, and legal scholars. It is clear throughout Paust’s piece that his arguments are neither sound nor based in fact, and unfortunately rely entirely on false premises and long debunked propaganda. Paust himself is a contributing editor to Jurist.
To begin with, the title of Paust’s analysis itself betrays both its agenda and its absurdity, considering Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program according to all Western and Israeli intelligence agencies and unprovoked, “preventative,” “anticipatory” or “preemptive” military assaults are not only totally illegal but also can not possibly be justified as “self-defense.”
And that’s just the beginning; the falsehoods continue to stack up. In fact, Paust reveals his utter ignorance from the get-go, writing – in his very first sentence, no less – that the Iranian leadership “continues to proclaim its desire to wipe Israel off the map” – something even Israel’s own Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor admits it has never done. His understanding of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter (which affirms the right to retaliatory self-defense if attacked first) is bizarrely lacking, especially considering he’s a law professor. He joins the shameful company of Alan Dershowitz in this regard.
Paust goes on to (1) accuse of Hezbollah and Hamas of terrorism and serving as Iranian proxies, without ever mentioning Israel’s decades of international law violations and continuing war crimes and occupation or the fact that they are autonomous organizations that don’t take direction from Iran; (2) ignore all facts pertaining to the illegality of initiating of a “war of aggression” (the “supreme international crime,” according to the Nuremberg Tribunal); and (3) claim that Iran is violating UNSC resolutions regarding the cessation of uranium enrichment, a demand many have long acknowledged is ultra vires, itself abrogates the NPT and the resolutions are themselves illegal.
Apparently, though, these facts aren’t important to Professor Paust.
Furthermore, among the “facts” that Paust marshals to advance his argument that Israel could legally launch a preemptive attack on Iran is the contention that “Iran is publicly ‘gunning’ for Israel.” Yes, he wrote that. And he still has a law degree. And is presumably literate.
From there, Paust launches into a bizarre and wholly inapplicable “Wild West Showdown” analogy in which the (Israeli) “good guy” is justified in “shoot[ing] first” since he knows the (Iranian) “bad guy” is out to get him. It is “not necessary that the bad guy shoot first,” Paust writes, elaborating (for some inexplicable reason) that “the good guy could have drawn first once it was known that the bad guy was gunning for him and they were staring each other down in the street.” By way of trying to make this dumbfounding, Manichean analogy make sense, he explains, “Someone was about to draw first and, in context, the process of attack had begun and a right of self-defense had been triggered even though it was possible that the bad guy might back down and make this clearly known before the good guy fired.”
If this passes for astute legal analysis these days, it’s no wonder the United States has little to no respect for basic tenets of international law.
The analysis is so strained, based entirely on presumptions and assumptions with no basis in fact (only in Netanyahu-approved talking points), that Paust discredits himself by writing in the first place.
In the end, Paust pines for a peaceful way out. His solution? That Iranian leaders “shift their attention to peace,…comply with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” and not build a bomb. As countless IAEA reports have demonstrated, Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful and no nuclear material has ever been diverted to a military program. Iran has also never been found to have violated its obligations to the NPT. Its leaders, for decades now, have repeated denounced nuclear weapons as, not only amoral and religiously sinful, but also strategically useless and politically irrelevant.
But you wouldn’t know that from reading Jurist.
- Ask The Leveretts Anything: Are Israeli Fears Of A Nuclear Iran Overblown? (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
NBC reported two days ago that Israel teams up with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists.
The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.
Both Iranian, Israeli and Western commentators tend to believe that Israel and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, known as the MEK are behind the terror campaign.
In 1997, the State Department listed the MEK as a terrorist group, justifying it with an unclassified 40-page summary of the organization’s activities going back more than 25 years.
But in the last few weeks the Jewish Lobby in the USA is going out of its way to support the terrorist MEK.
Watch Zionist Alan Dershowitz advocating the immediate delisting of an active terror organisation.
In the video above Zionist Dershowitz urges the U.S. government to protect the 3,400 MEK members and their families at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, about 35 miles north of Baghdad. With the departure of U.S. troops, the MEK feared that Iraqi forces, with encouragement from Iran, would attack the camp, leading to a bloodbath. One may be naïve enough to believe that Dershowitz’call is nothing but noble, yet, embarrassingly enough, the same Dershowitz, has never been caught trying to stop his beloved Jewish State from murdering Palestinians in Gaza, in the West Bank or anywhere else.
This discrepancy is far from being a coincidence. Apparently killing civilians in the name of the Jewish State must be a ‘kosher endeavour’.
Yesterday I wrote to University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, asking her to condemn a vile and inflammatory attack by Professor Ruben Gur on the University’s own students.
The unchecked inflammatory rhetoric by opponents of the conference, especially Professor Gur, is making students and conference participants feel unsafe.
Most disturbingly, Gur singled out Jewish students and speakers, calling them “capos” at Nazi extermination camps. “Capo” or “kapo” is the term for a concentration or death camp inmate who collaborated with the Nazis.
It would seem that Gutmann has no problem with such anti-Semitic attacks as long as the Jews being singled out in this despicable manner are deemed to be supporters of equal rights for Palestinians.
And Gutmann has failed to speak out even as pro-Israel groups are bringing a violence and torture advocate to campus to counter the BDS conference.
Failing to stand up to violent rhetoric
While I’ve had no response to my letter – 24 hours after sending it and confirming it was received by telephone – Gutmann wrote a public letter in the campus newspaper The Daily Pennsylvanian reiterating her opposition to BDS and adding this weak sauce:
Since its founding more than 270 years ago, Penn has stood for the free exchange of ideas. That concept is central to our mission, and is one that cannot be compromised if we are to uphold our standing as a great university.
Amid the passion that many feel around this weekend’s events, we urge you to focus on the one thing we cannot afford to lose: the great tradition and enduring gift of Penn’s founders – the chance to speak our minds freely.
These banalaties are an inadequate response to one of Penn’s faculty members denouncing Jewish students as “capos” and Nazis just because he disagrees with them.
Members of PennBDS, the campus group organizing the conference, responded to Gur’s hate speech in a letter of their own:
We read with some shock the opinion piece you published yesterday by Penn Professor Ruben Gur. With no evidence whatsoever, and in direct contradiction to everything we’ve ever said or written, Gur designates our student group “genocidal” and equates our upcoming conference with Nazi anti-Semitism. He labels our Jewish participants and organizers “Capos” and (in the same breath that he scolds us for describing Alan Dershowitz as an “Israel apologist”) compares Palestinian human-rights activist Omar Barghouti with Adolf Hitler.
Gutmann too should condemn Gur’s inciteful hate speech in clear terms. Instead, on that point, she has so far chosen silence.
Perhaps people should email or call President Gutmann (215-898-7221) to make sure she gets the message that she needs to stand up for her students against vile and discriminatory rhetoric from professors, and ensure the campus is safe for them to exercise their rights.
And yet President Gutmann and the University of Pennsylvania administration seem to take a surprisingly lax view.
A question that should perhaps be investigated is whether Gutmann’s failure to protect students – especially Jewish students – against the kind of intimidation and hate speech by Professor Gur amounts to a violation of their civil rights under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Singling out Jews
Professor Gur is not the only one attacking the BDS conference and singling out Jews for special opprobrium. In The Jewish Exponent, Bryan Schwartzman writes:
More than a third of the listed speakers are Jewish, including Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace.
This ominous sentence – where Schwartzman ‘counts the Jews’ – echoes Gur’s singling out of Jews as “capos.”
Bringing a violence advocate to campus
Not only is the University of Pennsylvania failing to stand up for its students rights, but increasing the heated atmosphere by bringing a notorious advocate of violence and torture onto campus to speak against the BDS conference. His name is Alan Dershowitz.
To counter the Penn BDS event, local pro-Israel groups including Hillel and the Philadelphia Jewish Federation have summoned the famed trial lawyer and Harvard University professor of law Alan Dershowitz to campus to keynote a Feb. 2 event: “Why Israel Matters to You, Me, and Penn: A conversation with Alan Dershowitz.” Penn’s Political Science department – which has pointedly refused to co-sponsor the BDS conference – will co-host Dershowitz’s lecture, where the professor has vowed to explain why he considers BDS to be one of the most “immoral, illegal and despicable concepts around academia today.”
The support Dershowitz received from the university and from pro-Israel groups that claim to abhor violence is ironic in light of Dershowitz’s record. Indeed, Dershowitz is an open advocate of torture who has urged Israel to destroy entire Palestinian villages, attack civilians and bulldoze their homes.
It’s really past time for the University of Pennyslvania to show some responsibility, stop pandering to the political agendas of outside groups, and stand up for the safety and rights of its own students.
David Horowitz Spreading his hate on campus:
- Gilad Atzmon : The Zionist Caricature (middleeastatemporal.wordpress.com)